Talk:Matthew Shepard/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Melissa Etheridge Reference

The wording "Lesbian Singer Melissa Etheridge" doesn't sound quite unbiased. While it is relevant that she is a homosexual, it's not the way to start that sentence, and kind of sounds like the "Lesbian Singer" part was added by someone who wanted to make absolutely sure people didn't think a heterosexual had sympathy for Shepard.

re: Melissa

I dont think it is too relavent that she was a lesbian, in reguards to feeling sympathy. So, yeah saying "lesbian singer" does sound rather bias and degrading - does being a lesbian affect how she gives her condolence? One might say "human rights activist and singer" instead.

Santa Monica Blvd memorial

I drive through West Hollywood about once or twice a week, and I noticed that there is a corner, or landscaped snippet of a median at Santa Monica Blvd and Crescent Heights that was dedicated to Shepard. I thought maybe it would be something interesting to add to the article; I saw that someone commented on the lack of info of nation-wide empathy, i.e. candlelight vigils and such.

Apparently, an activist by the name of Morris Kight proposed the idea for this memorial area. a small biography which contains this can be found here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out about the memorial. Other than this biography, I haven't been able to find any terribly thorough sources.


More needs to be said about the issues raised by the 20/20 investigation..-- LKS 5/13/06

Peer review

Looks good so far - near to GA status in my opinion. It would be more readable with more images to break up the text - no pictures of the protests or vigils or charity logo or trial etc available.?

20/20, vigils, Angel Line

More needs to be said about the issues raised by the 20/20 investigation.-- LKS 5/13/06

I think this article is biased due to its allegations that Matthew Shepard was an innocent man; he was a crystal meth dealer who was killed for his inability to pay the men who eventually killed him; it is through his own indecisiveness that he met with his demise.

Any sources on this? --dionyziz 17:43, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
Claims like this are often made against Matthew, and none have been factually corroborated. CaveatLector 05:52, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
If this was true, why did the defense attempt to use the Gay Panic Defense? The Meth BS presented by Elizabeth Vargas sounds more like a Twinkie Defense. --Belinus 01:17, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Christian bullshit. And even if someone is a dealer, does this justify murder?
Please don't bring your biases against a particular group of people onto Wikipedia. There are many Christians that were appalled by the actions of those two men.

I think this article should contain a paragraph about the scale of international candle lit vigils. The aftershock section focuses on the celebrity reaction, which has the effect of making the protests by Phelps look similar in size to the support from Ellen - and I think that's inaccurate. For sheer numbers (if not media attention) the outpouring of support for Matthew dwarfed the anti-gay crowd. --Camipco 04:04, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

There should be a line about the international memorial of blacked-out websites. It was some time 15-17 October 1998. I doubt there was any record of how many sites were blacked, but perhaps the people who organised it have a record of how many webmasters said they had.-- 06:37, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I removed this:

A friend of Shepard's created "The Angel Line". Now, when Phelps protests in various towns at funerals of AIDS victims or slaughtered homosexuals, individuals assemble a circle around them wearing white robes and gigantic wings that literally block the protesters from the view of passers-by.

Neither Google nor InfoTrac finds anything about ("Angel Line" and "Fred Phelps") or ("Angel Line" and "Matthew Shepard"). So I would like to see some confirmation before putting this information back into the article. AxelBoldt 18:09 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)

Here's a cite: [1] . They also figure in the play The Laramie Project. Here's an article [2] about a more recent anti-Phelps angel action in Idaho. Montréalais
Great, thanks. It seems the group called itself "Angels of Peace", and searching for that phrase gives a lot more hits. However, I cannot verify that the tactic was used at the funeral, only at the court hearing. See for instance [3]. AxelBoldt 03:35 Feb 27, 2003 (UTC)

not a hate crime?

20/20 recently interviewed principles in the case, including the prosecutor, who say that the murder was done for robbery in order to get drug money, and that Shepard knew the two killers before the night of his murder. The defense decided to argue that Shepard "came on" to the two, which infuriated them into a frenzied state in which they couldn't control their actions.

I'm not familiar with all of the details and sources, but someone who is should do a major update to this entry, about the truth of the horrendous act, yet how it has helped equal rights activists nonetheless. 54MP0 X 70RG0 05:52, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'd be wary about labelling the 20/20 allegations as "the truth of the horrendous act" at the moment, especially as the propositions made in the documentary have been widely disputed by many involved in the original case (indeed, they claim that the convicted murderers contradict statements they made during the original trial process). I agree, however, that the dispute ought to be covered either within the original article or a related one. As a UK resident who hasn't had the benefit of seeing the 20/20 documentary, it'd be best left to someone who has, though. User:smatthewman

Does anyone else think "hate crime" is too much of an inherently POV, loaded term? An example of controlling terminology in order to control the debate? It seems akin to the practice of using "unborn child" when one is referring to a blastocyst or zygote. Cigarette 23:39, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Um. Maybe there should be two pages for Matthew Shepard, one for his life, which is worth more than a paragraph, and one for the details of the attack. This page seems to be too focused on his death. Maybe a separation is in order? -Ross, 16 of May, 2005

It's appropriate given that the only reason he's known is because of his murder. Exploding Boy 00:31, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
Its true that only reason why we know him is because of his death and also the fact that he was a victim of hate crime but i think what they have is good because maybe his parents might not want to tell everything and i think they gave you enough info on his life that they thought was good.

-Whitney,May 16,2005 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I've read somewhere that Matthew Sheppard was killed because of a drug deal gone bad. The "hate crime" angle was exaggerated for personal agenda and for media coverage because major news agencies wouldn't report on a "common" drug deal gone awry. Do these statements have any factual basis?

No, they do not. The killers used "gay panic" as their defence in court. They did not say it was a drug deal gone bad. They said he had come onto them and they had beaten him to death for doing it because it had made them insane. The drug deal story was concocted later. -- Grace Note.
      • Regardless of what the killers used as their defense in court, and regardless of the beliefs of those who edit at Wikipedia, crimes against one based solely on their sexual orientation DO NOT constitute a Hate Crime. Thus it is inappropriate and false to include him in the hate crimes section or to mention this as a hate crime. Personal thoughts and feelings are supposed to be absent from these pages and they're supposed to represent pure and undisputed fact. The pure and undisputed fact here is that at the time the murders were committed and to this day, there was no legislation on the books that would consitute this a hate crime. Thus, it should not be included on the page.
        • See Hate Crime. Crimes committed against someone "solely" on the basis of their sexual orientation qualify. This act is widely cited as a hate crime, and prompted federal legislation. It is quite neutral to portray it as it is understood. Srcastic 17:54, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
          • If you look closely at the Hate Crime page you will see that it does indeed exclude sexual orientation in the following paragraph...As of October 2001, the federal hate crime law 18 USC 245 (b)(2), passed in 1969, protects religion, race and national origin, and applies only if the victim is engaged in one of six protected activities. Seven states have no hate crime laws, 20 states have hate crime laws that do not protect sexual orientation, and 24 states have hate crime laws that include sexual orientation. I am fairly certain that Wyoming is one of the 20 states that does not include sexual orientation as a basis for a hate crime. Thus, if the following are true, and Wyoming does not recognize it as a hate crime, the articles inclusion in the "Hate Crime" category is inappropriate and non-neutral. Additionally, I believe court and official documents from the trial clearly show that this was not classified as a "Hate Crime" under Wyoming law. As well, the official court transcripts do now show that the killers acted "solely" on the basis of sexual orientation. Several defenses were used at trial. I again reiterate that this articles inclusion in the "Hate Crime" category is inappropriate.
            • The start of Hate Crime states "Hate crimes are crimes (such as violent crime, hate speech or vandalism) that are motivated by feelings of hostility against any identifiable group of people within a society. If systematic, rather than spontaneous, instigators of such crimes are sometimes organized into hate groups." That broad definition of hate crime certainly includes crimes motivated by animus towards homosexuals. See also Merriam Webster's definition, and's definitions, which explicitly include sexual orientation. That a statute does not happen to include sexual orientation in the scope does not detract from the term's common understanding, usage, or definition. The inclusion in the Hate Crime category is thus entirely appropriate, and efforts to stifle this mere cross reference cannot be couched on an overly technical reading of the term, when the term itself is not so defined in Wikipedia. Srcastic 23:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Please read the rest of this talk page below. There is a possible NPOV way to say all of this and add everyone's points. Rather than debate the subject, we can try and work together to come up with an NPOV way of stating everyone's points. -- Samuel Wantman 00:54, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that there is a neutral point of view way to post that some people consider this crime to be a hate crime. But listing it in the hate crime section with the current law in Wyoming clearly void of any mention of sexual orientation is both misleading and inaccurate. It would not be included in an Encyclopedia Brittanica article, thus it should not be included here.

Shepard's murder touched off a tremendous national debate about hate crime. You cannot possibly believe that his death has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of hate crimes. Putting his name in Category:Hate crimes has nothing to do with the fact that the murderers were or were not convicted of a hate crime. Policy on categorization, says that articles should be placed in categories if the topic is discussed in the article. Categories are not a stict taxonomy. If you look in Category:George W. Bush you will find The Pet Goat. The Pet Goat is in Bush's category, not because the book is about Bush, but because Bush is discussed in the article, and its claim to fame was related to Bush. Let's assume that next week there is incontivertible evidence revealed that the convicted murderers of Shepard were framed, and Shepard worked for the CIA and was killed by terrorists. This article should STILL belong in Category:Hate crimes because of national controversy and discussion that has already taken place. -- Samuel Wantman 06:41, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

This was not a hate crime so it is dishonest and inaccurate to include it in the category of hate crimes. Doing so only perpetuates the myth that it was a hate crime. Everything else is irrelevant. --SpinyNorman 08:35, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
This WAS a hate crime, regardless of what do you think about it. And, per arguments above, it is also regardless of what is written in statute, because hate crime is a broad term, including sexual orientation too. 07:39, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Since there's no such thing as a hate crime in Wyoming, they obviously couldn't have committed a hate crime. "Hate Crime" is, first and foremost, a legal definition. It's illegal in some countries for a woman to show skin outdoors; that doesn't mean you can say every American is guilty of that "crime", since the crime doesn't exist in the US. 23:37, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

My brother attended the University of Wyoming in 1999 shortly after this happened, and said it was widely known and accepted in Laramie that this was in fact a crime related to Shepard owing them drug money and had little, if anything, to do with his sexual orientation. Basically, special interest groups just used this otherwise obscure murder as a prop to push their own agendas. Not that some of them didn't have worthy goals, but this was taken out of context in almost every news cast I saw of it. I unfortunately never saw the 20/20 in question, otherwise I would rewrite this article myself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:37, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
FYI, you guys are replying to a very old thread from 2004 (in 2006, one editor suggested that readers continue down to more recent threads that describe the NPOV way to deal with this subject). ~a (usertalkcontribs) 22:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Republican majority

Is it necessary to emphasize the Republican majority of the House of Representatives for the hate crime legislation bill, for purposes of neutrality?

The information is relevant. The Republican party's stance is indeed against homosexuality being considered a hate crime (and, in fact, I believe they're against hate crimes in general). So, it adds context. I don't quite see how it's POV. —BorgHunter (talk) 19:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The information is not relevant in that a measure in congress is not listed as "defeated by the republicans" or "defeated by the democrats." It is listed as "defeated by a majority."
State the vote in a NPOV way. I don't know the details, but say "in a senate vote, X democrats joining (all?) Y republicans to defeat the bill." Another possibility is to reference a different article that discusses the vote. -- Samuel Wantman 04:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Good idea, my initial thoughts are that the questionable material was included as a political statement. Further, the argument that "I believe they're against hate crimes in general" should be included in an article about the republican parties political stance, not in a biographical article such as this.


I've reinstated the categories that were removed. In the first instance, you can be a figure in the history of LGBT rights without fighting for rights yourself. In the second, the killers were convicted of a hate crime, regardless that they later recanted their testimony. In any case, it is widely regarded to have been a hate crime, regardless whether the perpetrators themselves thought it was. You might compare the crimes of Nazis in WWII. They didn't think they were doing anything wrong but still, they swung for it. -- Grace Note.

Googling "Matthew Shepard" "hate crime" brings up some very respectable sources. Though Wyoming may not have had a hate crime statute, and thus no charges could be brought accusing the perpetrators of that, nonetheless it appears to be widely considered by outside sources to have been a hate crime. -Willmcw 07:45, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Shepard wasn't killed because he was gay and he's only really notable because of his death. So it isn't really appropriate to mention him in the context of LGBT rights. Since his murderers weren't convicted of hate crimes, it isn't appropriate to mention them here either - popular prejudice notwithstanding. Also, I removed the quote from the obscure pop singer. It isn't really relevant and it is arguably uninformed as well. --SpinyNorman 08:00, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
On what basis do yuo say he wasn't killed because he was gay? I thought that was what the murderers testified to in court. -Willmcw 08:06, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The murderers recanted this claim. The "gay bashing" issue was created by the media. --SpinyNorman 08:09, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
And you believe the recantation of murderers because....? If it was the murderers who first made that assertion, then it can hardly be the media who created it. -Willmcw 08:26, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
According to reports in the media, it was the girlfriend of one of the murderers who came up with the idea of the "gay panic" defense. The court rejected it and interviews after their conviction, the murderers admitted that it was just a ploy. --SpinyNorman 16:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
According to the murderers' lawyers, it was due to "gay panic". [4] The judge wouldn't allow them to use that as a defense, but that doesn't mean he didn't think it was accurate. It means that, even if true, it is not a defense in a murder case. We can certainly mention that the killers later came up with a different story. -Willmcw 17:35, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The claims they made after the trial make it clear that the "gay panic" was a contrived defense. Especially considering the statements by some of the people who knew him that one of the killers was bisexual. --SpinyNorman 03:12, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
We'll never know the truth. If they lied under oath than it is hard to give more credence to their unsworn comments. Were the statements about one the killers being bisexual made under oath? What's the source for that? -Willmcw 03:36, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't know that they testified under oath that they attacked Shepard because he was gay. I'm not sure that being under oath means anything as far as their credibility is concerned. In any case, it wouldn't be the first time that a murder defendant embellished on the stand. The fact that they said they attacked him for money after they'd been convicted (they had no motivation to lie any longer) is telling (to me at least). The comment about one of the killers being bi came from one of the girlfriends I believe. I forgot where I read it. --SpinyNorman 03:43, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
It's all absolutely irrelevant: Matthew Shepard's murder is generally considered motivated by his homosexuality in some manner, therefore, it should be in the hate crime category. We can argue in circles for months on he said this, and they said that, oh but they later doesn't matter! It's one simple category. If this continues, quite honestly, we'll have a candidate for WP:LAME on our hands. People think it's a hate crime, so leave the category there, it's as simple as that. —BorgHunter (talk) 03:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Shepards murderers weren't convicted of a hate crime. How it was "generally considered" is irrelevant. --SpinyNorman 19:41, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
SpinyNorman, see below which summarizes the justifications for including in the hate crime section quite well. See also Wikipedia, which states that "Editors are encouraged to uphold a policy of "neutral point of view" under which notable perspectives are summarized without an attempt to determine an objective truth." Taking that ideal to heart certainly weighs for the relevance of how the crime is "generally considered", and justifies mentioning that the crime was widely considered to be a hate crime. Srcastic 23:37, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Why should we believe them after the trial, but not to believe what was said expressly on their behalf, during the trial? You even want us to disbelieve what they may have said under oath, and yet believe what they say now. What's your rationale? Please, SpinyNorman, enlighten us as to the thought processes leading you to defend them. --Markzero 02:58, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

There is no reason why most of what is stated above BY BOTH SIDES of the debate cannot be included in the article. But, it is important that ANY assertions made in the article be backed up with citations. Wikipedia is not the judge and jury of this case. If something has been reported by a reputable news source it can be mentioned in the article. If the assertion has been refuted by other reliable sources the fact that the assertion has been refuted can also be mentioned. Everything must be stated in a NPOV way. It is not up to us to decide which assertion is correct. Even if it turns out that Matthew's murder was proven NOT to be a hate crime, it would still make sense to categorize the article under "hate crime". If only to point out an example of a situation in which a case was mis-judged. Frankly, I don't think that is the case, I think it was a hate crime, but my opinion doesn't matter. --Samuel Wantman 06:54, 26 December 2005 (UTC)


Please work out your differences here on the talk page, and remember to follow the rules. · Katefan0(scribble)/mrp 21:56, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Hate crime?

I don't know whether Shepard was killed because he was gay or not. If his murder was the result of homophobia, then on a personal level (as a gay person), I hope everybody would unite in condemning it even more than a drug-related murder. Regardless, I have to agree that the inclusion of a category called "hate" crimes seems rather, well, POV. Maybe a term like "identity-related crimes" or something like that would be more appropriate. Corax 22:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

My only point here is that if his murderers weren't convicted of a hate crime, then his murder can't be called a hate crime. Wikipedia is supposed to be in the business of reporting facts, not popular misconceptions. I agree that his murder was tragic and his murderers reprehensible. Whether or not he was targetted because he was gay, and there is conflicting evidence on that, he was certainly targetted because he was smaller and appeared to be weaker than his attackers. --SpinyNorman 00:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, you miss the point. The reason that they were not convicted of a hate crime is becuase under current law crimes done on the basis of sexual orientation are not classified that way. If sexual orientation would have been included they wuld have given the jury convicted the two based on testimonty from the girlfriends stating the two plotted to pose as homosexuals. The court found premeditated - not random. 23:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The point is that they were not convicted of hate crimes. The reason why is irrelevant. The fact that Shepard's attackers were found guilty of a premeditated act doesn't mean they committed a hate crime. Lots of premeditated crimes against gays are not "hate crimes". --SpinyNorman 16:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Please see my comment above. It is possible for both concerns to be incorporated into a paragraph that is NPOV. Something like this...

Even though the murderers were not convicted of a hate crime, the case is often considered a hate crime because court testimony claimed that Matthew Shepard was targeted on the basis of his sexual orientation [citations here calling it a hate crime]; . Under federal United States law and Wyoming state law, crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation are not considered hate crimes [citation here]. Shortly after the murder President Bill Clinton tried to push legislation through Congress adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes law. The measure was defeated [citation here].
--Samuel Wantman 02:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The prosecutor charged that Matthew's killers plotted beforehand to pose as homosexual to rob one. The court found them guilty. They targeted homosexuals, on the basis of their sexual orientation. The only reason it is not officialy a hate crime is because current laws do not includes sexual orientation. That is exactly why his death resulted in a push to include it. 23:04, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I like Samuel's proposal. 23:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

If we can reach consensus on the paragraph, I can unblock the page. I'm just here trying to facilitate. Citations are still needed, and the parties who have been reverting each other need to agree on the wording. -- Samuel Wantman 07:59, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
You can't say "often considered a hate crime" because that's an editorial comment. You could say "some consider the attack to be a hate crime" - that would be neutral, but it doesn't really matter in the end because what some people consider isn't really relevant. The fact is that it wasn't a hate crime. Calling it a hate crime is factually incorrect. --SpinyNorman 16:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
"You can't say 'often considered a hate crime' because that's an editorial comment." Say what? If you can get several citations, from different points in time, then it's not an editorial comment, it's a statement of fact. (As someone who has kept tabs on items about this murder since I wrote about it at the time, I can assure you that finding such references will not be difficult, because it is often considered a hate crime.) "As often as not" might be an editorial comment, but that's not what it says. --TreyHarris 18:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course it is. The word "often" is judgmental. You could say "some consider it the attack to be motivated by Shepard's sexuality" if you had several references, and that would not be editorial. But there is another problem with the phrase: whether people "consider it a hate crime" is irrelevant. Some people also consider it a "public service" to attack gays. The opinions of individuals are not relevant in this context. The term "hate crime" has a specific legal meaning. You can't say it was a "hate crime" any more than you can say that it was "jaywalking" or "money laundering". --SpinyNorman 18:00, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
"The word "often" is judgmental." Wikipedia is not a search for the Perfectly Objective Truth. (The viewpoint that such a thing as Perfectly Objective Truth even exists is itself not NPOV.) Just because the word "often" requires a minor judgment call, just because there are no values n, m such that n per m is "often" but n-1 per m is "not often", does not mean that the word "often" is inherently POV. "Often" is defined as "frequently; many times." If we can show (and we can) through citations that various people have considered this a hate crime "many times" or "frequently", then it is "often considered a hate crime". We're about to descend into metaphysics here; this is ridiculous. --TreyHarris 21:01, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
"The fact is that it wasn't a hate crime." Do I understand your argument correctly: you're saying that, because neither Henderson nor McKinney were convicted of violating a statute popularly known as a "hate crime", it can factually be said that the act was not a hate crime, correct? --TreyHarris 18:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
It is worth noting that the FBI would consider it a hate crime for reporting purposes, as they explicitly track sexual orientation motivated crimes. Please see my comments in the above section to the effect that hate crime's broad definition, along Merriam Webster's definition, and's definitions, explicitly and implicitly include sexual orientation in the meaning of hate crime. I would support "often considered a hate crime" over "some consider it to be a hate crime," as that is perfectly consistent with Wikipedia's stated goal of including "notable perspectives ... without an attempt to determine an objective truth". Other support for "often considered" would include references to media outlets and foundations like MTV, the BBC, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Also, see major newspaper articles, including:
  • McGhee, Tom. "Summit Focus on LGBT Workers." The Denver Post, September 22, 2005: C-04
  • Killeen, Wendy. "Stories, Music, Magic." The Boston Globe, December 04, 2005: pg. 13
  • Spencer, Charles. "Bigotry in the Backwoods." The Daily Telegraph, June 28, 2005 London Edition: Arts pg. 017
  • Cooperman, Alan. "Christian Groups Plan More Monuments." The Washington Post, June 28, 2005. pg. A06.
  • Shuttleworth, Ian. "The Laramie Project - Sound Theatre." The Financial Times, July 1, 2005. Pg. 15.
The above demonstrate fairly conclusively that Shepards murder was a hate crime, as commonly understood, though perhaps not under the law at the time in the jurisdiction. It is worth mentioning that there is controversy over labeling the murder as a hate crime, and that can be reflected on the hate crime page. Nonetheless, NPOV certainly supports its inclusion. Srcastic 00:21, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
The phrase "most people consider it a hate crime" is inherently POV. The person using this phrase is using an "appeal to the majority" argument to claim that it was a hate crime with the implication that hate crimes are somehow worse than identical crimes that were not motivated by prejudice. Yet the question of whether or not it was a hate crime can be answered asbolutely and objectively. Were Shepard's attackers convicted of a hate crime? The answer to that question is not subject to interpretation or the whim of public opinion. It could be stated that a number of people believe that they should have been convicted of a hate crime or that US federal law included attacks on gays as being within the scope of a hate crime. But the fact remains that Shepard's murder was not prodecuted as a hate crime and that the girlfriend of one of the attackers has stated that the attack was not motivated by Shepard's sexuality but by the fact that he was small, weak and appeared to be someone who had a lot of money on them. And as an editorial note of my own, I'd like to know why a murder committed by bigots is worse than a murder committed by bullies/cowards. --SpinyNorman 17:59, 14 January 2006 (UTC) Please note that your comment in response to mine mischaracterizes my argument. I did not say that we should say "most people." Rather, I said it should be referred to as "often considered" which merely acknowledges reality. Srcastic 02:08, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Again, I repeat my question. Do I understand your argument correctly: you're saying that, because neither Henderson nor McKinney were convicted of violating a statute popularly known as a "hate crime", it can factually be said that the act was not a hate crime, correct? --TreyHarris 21:01, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm saying that since Shepard's attackers were not convicted of a hate crime, it is inaccurate to say that they were. --SpinyNorman 01:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
And again, you fail to seperate the legal definition from the popular understanding, Wikipedia definition, and dictionary definations. No one is contending that it should say they were convicted of a hate crime, but certainly it is NPOV to state that they are widely understood, though contentiously so, to be perpetrators of a hate crime (meaning crime motivated by bias, not legal definition). Please engage with the Wikipedia purpose of reflecting widely held views without seeking to portray objective truth instead of merely restating your opinion. Srcastic 02:05, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Popular understanding (aka popular ignorance) is irrelevant in an encyclopedia. This article must reported what ACTUALLY happened - not what some people wish would have happened as though it actually did happen. --SpinyNorman 00:43, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Let's try a different tact here. I am copying my proposed paragraph below. Could we start by just ADDING to it any points of view about the crime being a hate crime. Let me be clear. I don't want you to add YOUR point of view, I want people to add POV's that can be cited, and add the POV's in as NPOV way as you can. For now, let's agree not to discuss these individually, but just make the paragraph as complete as possible. Afterwards, we can talk about how to edit it down to something we all agree represents the varying opinions about this issue. I want to reiterate again that we are not deciding the correct POV of this issue is. We are just laying out what the issues are, and what the different citable POVs are.

Even though the murderers were not convicted of a hate crime, the case has been called a hate crime by [gay rights groups and some media reports (this should be adjusted to match the citations)] because court testimony claimed that Matthew Shepard was targeted on the basis of his sexual orientation [citations here calling it a hate crime]; . Under federal United States law and Wyoming state law, crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation are not considered hate crimes [citation here]. Shortly after the murder President Bill Clinton tried to push legislation through Congress adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes law. The measure was defeated [citation here].

So what needs to be added to this? -- Samuel Wantman 22:14, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Because there are statements from witnesses in the case that Shepard was not targetted because of his sexuality, the phrase "because court testimony claimed that Matthew Shepard was targeted on the basis of his sexual orientation" shouldn't be included unless there are excerpts from the court record that support the claim. Also, the statement about president Clinton and federal hate crimes legislation is irrelevant. Shepard's attackers weren't prosecuted by the federal government and the federal law wouldn't have applied to this case even if it had been in effect. --SpinyNorman 01:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The reasons should match whatever the citations are. I am not participating in the editing of this page, just facilitating. If there are citations (which I believe there many) talking about this case being a hate crime, the citations will have the reasons. You cannot claim that the people making the claims IN THE CITATION are wrong, and since they are wrong, their statements and the controversy that resulted should not be mentioned. This would be revisionist. You can find citations that counter the claims. Your claim that the hate crimes legislation "is irrelevant" would be true if someone cannot produce a citation that connects the legislation to the case. I believe that will also be an easy citation to find. You can find counter claims with citations and add them. Everyone needs to back up claims with citations. I wrote the paragraph with the assumption that these citations will be found. -- Samuel Wantman 02:14, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
So we apparently agree. If there are excerpts from the court record where witnesses offer testimony that Shepard was targetted because of his sexuality, then those can be reported here. However, the bare statement "Shepard was targetted because of his sexuality" shouldn't be included without that supporting evidence, especially in light of the claims by the attackers and the girlfriend that this was not the case. As for the comments on the legislation being relevant, we evidently agree on that as well. It should only be mentioned if someone can produce evidence that federal law is connected with Wyoming state law (which, in this case, it is not). Ergo, the mention of federal hate-crime legislation is not relevant. If, however, the Shepard case had a direct effect on Wyoming legislation, that would be relevant and should probably be mentioned. --SpinyNorman 05:09, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Let me be clear. We are not retrying the case on this page. If someone produces a citation that says "_____ considers this a hate crime because ______", it is a legit cite and can be used. If the reasons put forward in the cite are in error, the cite can STILL be used. If you want to refute the cite with another cite you can and should. BOTH cites may be used. If someone produces a cite that says that the case led directly or indirectly to the push for federal legislation, that can be use also. If you find a cite that states there is no connection, BOTH cites may be used.
If someone says "The Earth is flat because _________", would that be a "legit cite"? I don't think so. The question of whether or not this is a hate crime isn't a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact. Shepard's murderers were not convicted of a hate crime, ergo the murder was not a hate crime. --SpinyNorman 09:00, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
YES! absolutely. If I were writing about Colombus, I would not remove text about those that worried that he would fall off the earth. Also, in this case there is more than one meaning of hate crime and you are insisting that we only consider conviction under Wyoming law as the only possible meaning of hate crime. That makes no sense, especially when the paragraph I have proposed makes it clear that they were not convicted of a hate crime and why. -- Samuel Wantman 09:21, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Your logic escapes me. It is like saying that the 1963 Civil Rights March in Washington, had nothing to do with the Civil Rights legislation that followed because laws are made by congress and not by protesters. Wyoming is part of the U.S. the last I checked. The case got NATIONAL attention, and if that attention led to FEDERAL legislation it SHOULD be mentioned in this article. -- Samuel Wantman 06:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
You're overlooking an important difference. The federal hate-crimes law doesn't tell states how to prosecute their criminals. --SpinyNorman 09:00, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Even if it led to higher gasoline prices it would be relevant. If the legislation was related even indirectly to this case, it is worth mentioning. Please try to make constructive changes and work collaboratively. -- Samuel Wantman
Indeed not, however if the federal government did have such a LGBT hate-crime law, they could choose to prosecute for violations of a person's civil rights. Remember, it is an opinion that this could've/should've be constitued as a hate crime, and opinions generally have no place here. However, it is a fact that many people would've liked to have it considered a hate crime, and reporting that fact does not violate any NPOV rules. I don't know why you don't understand that. Maverick 07:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

SpinyNorman is tactitly assuming that a crime that isn't tried in court cannot be as such, as the requisite motivational aspect that enters into the definition of a hate crime was not itself part of the charges being tried. But that view is flawed. Had the DAs in the case not tried the defendants for kidnapping, would the crime not still been a case of kidnapping? You tell me. ProfessorFokker 10:55, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

The term "hate crime" is a legal one. It can't be used any other way. It is like the term "murder". Someone can't accurately be called a "murderer" unless they've been convicted of murder. An act can't accurately be called a "hate crime" unless the perpetrators have been convicted of a hate crime. The murderers of Matthew Shepard were not convicted of a hate crime, ergo Matthew Shepard's murder was not a hate crime. It really is that simple. --SpinyNorman 00:43, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Even though the crime was not considered a hate crime by the state of Wyoming and US law, it has been called a hate crime and reported as a hate crime by many groups and media outlets. That is what the article says, in a NPOV way. To igonre those facts would be taking a POV stance. The crime stimulated more recent discussion about "hate crimes" than any other recent event I can think of. Someone can't be called a murderer unless found guilty of murder, however they can be accused of murder, and there can be mention of news accounts about them getting away with murder. The article does not say that the accused were convicted of a hate crime. It does report that many thought they derserved to be so charged, yet for legal reasons could not be. There is nothing wrong with saying this in the article. -- Samuel Wantman 01:09, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The only thing that matters here is the reporting of facts. The fact is that Shepards killers were neither charged with, nor convicted of, a hate crime. They weren't even accused by prosecutors of having committed a hate crime. Ergo, Shepard's murder is not a hate crime - despite some people's insistence on misusing the term. It is nothing short of dishonest to call Shepard's murder a "hate crime" or to include it in the category of hate crimes. Yes, some people think that it should have been prosecuted as a hate crime and there's nothing wrong with reporting that fact. But to deliberately attempt to blur reality here is unacceptable. --SpinyNorman 04:36, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


On the Matthew Shepard page under background, it says "Shepard was born in Casper, the only son of..." Matthew actually had a younger brother, Logan. Therefore, this section is inaccurate.

The page also does not mention Matthew's trip to Morocco, where he was attacked and raped by a group of locals.

Do you have sources for these assertions? -Will Beback 20:36, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I have personally spoken with Judy Shepard (Matthew's mother) many times over many years since Matthew's murder, and Logan Shepard does indeed exist - Matthew's younger brother. I also concur on the lack of any mention of Matthew's trip to Morocco and the attack that occurred there - it too is true. Beyond verification by family members (& even IMDB for info on the well-researched films), simple Google searches yield Denis Shepard's statement in court that verifies Logan's existence and numerous citations from reputable entities about his Morocco experience. 01:38, 2 February 2006 (UTC)PFink

Does anybody know anything about the murderers background, does anyone care? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Getting this page unblocked

To get this page unblocked we have to agree on the wording of this paragraph, or agree on a different paragraph.

Even though the murderers were not convicted of a hate crime, the case has been called a hate crime by [gay rights groups and some media reports (this should be adjusted to match the citations)] because [reason for calling it a hate crime as mentioned in the citation] [citations here calling it a hate crime] . Under federal United States law and Wyoming state law, crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation are not considered hate crimes [citation here]. Shortly after the murder President Bill Clinton tried to push legislation through Congress adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes law. The measure was defeated [citation here].

I am just mediating this, and as such, I am requesting that the blanks be filled in, or alternatives written for consideration. -- Samuel Wantman 07:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

extra sentence in first paragraph clarifying dates.

just added to the first paragraph a sentence that clarifies the attack was on Oct 7 and that he died on Oct 12. I think it can be confusing to folks how this first sentence originally lists his dates as 12/1/76 - 10/12/98 and then also says he was murdered on the night of October 6 - October 7. This gets detailed later in the section "The Attack," but I thought it was worth mentioning upfront. Snowden666 21:00, 5 February 2006 (UTC)snowden666

WP:POINT cite requests

Sorry for those I just trounced on. I saw all of those {{fact}} notations, and thought they were legitimate, so I started researching. Then when I got a few done and tried to save, I saw the edit conflict, and discovered that it was actually just trying to make a point. But rather than throw away the research, I just saved (incorporating in, in a pitiful sort of way, the simultaneous edit that also tried to add references).

Unhappy.... --TreyHarris 00:21, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, thanks for the additional sourcing for the article. I'm sorry that you went to the trouble. I'd removed the spurious requests, but due to an edit conflict they were restored. That's why WP:POINT is an important guideline. -Will Beback 00:26, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Okay, they're all cited. Whew! --TreyHarris 08:45, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Category:Hate crime

Several months ago, to accommodate Spiny Norman, I split the category Hate crimes. It is now Category:Hate crime which is for articles that discuss the TOPIC of hate crime, and there is Category:Hate crimes (with an "s") that is for crimes that were prosecuted as hate crimes. While there may be disagreement about putting this article in the latter category, I cannot think of any reason not to put it in the former. This article discusses hate crime, it talks about the legislation that was proposed as a result of Matthew's murder. It is very NPOV to categorize this in the TOPIC of hate crime. Someone researching the topic, no matter what their bias, might want to visit this article. I do not want to rehash all the discussions that we have already have. I thought this was settled, but recently Spiny Norman removed the "Hate crime" categorization. I am going to assume good faith that he did not see or understand the "s". -- Samuel Wantman 00:36, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

The new category is irrelevant - it is just a way to do an end-run around the issue. The "new category" is essentially just a thinly-veiled redirection to the hate crime article which brings us back to the legal issue. The fact remains that Shepard's attackers were neither charged with, nor convicted of a hate crime. As such it is blatantly deceptive to mention hate crimes in connection with his case. The fact that some people believe that Shepard's attackers SHOULD HAVE been charged with a hate crime is irrelevent. It is their personal opinions and speculation and is not relevant to an encyclopedia article. There isn't even agreement that Shepard was targetted because of his sexuality. First his attackers said he was (evidently as a legal ploy) and then they said he wasn't (when they had no motive to lie). --SpinyNorman 21:04, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to butt in late in this conversation, but I fail to see how your arguments to nullyfy the use of "hate crime" as a categorization scheme will help the Wikipedia project. As an indexing tool, it is valid. The fact that Matthew Shepard's death is linked hate crime laws and the development of hate crime legislation is well established by various U.S. government publications. [5]. I think you are confusing the issue in saying that we cannot depend upon de facto status and must instead rely upon de jure interpretations. The fact that no "hate crime law" existed in the state of his death is not disputed, nor is it really relevant here. And, true, you cannot charge someone for a hate crime, per se, if the criminalization of hate crimes is not on the books in that particular jurisdiction. But that does not mean that the case is not relevant to the "hate crime" topic, under common academic usage and understanding of the term. Furthermore, reasoning is not cogent when it is based upon the legal trivia of a particular state's laws, especially when they conflict with the de facto truth of the matter: Matthew Sheppard's death was/is an instrumental milestone in the development of hate crime legislation, both pro and con (as your arguments illustrate). To not recognize that Matthew Shepard's slaying payed such a role would be academically dishonest. So, therefore, that fact the killers were not charged with "hate crimes" or not has no merit as to the notability this case has in the hate crime debate or in the study of hate-crime law. That alone makes it a valid hate crime topic, particularly to scholars of LGBT topics and criminal law. - Davodd 22:00, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
It's also very misleading to say "Shepard's attackers were neither charged with, nor convicted of a hate crime." The fact that Wyoming didn't have hate crimes legislation on its books (and still doesn't)[6], -- and that there is no federal hate crimes legislation based on sexual orientation -- means that the perpetrators couldn't be charged with a hate crime. That doesn't mean, however, that it wasn't a hate crime. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 22:36, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter WHY they weren't charged with a hate crime. The only relevant issue is Shepard's attackers were not so-charged and despite the informal association of Shepard's name with the issue of hate crimes, the fact remains that his murderers were not subject to prosecution for hate crimes. To say otherwise is wrong. It is like people who insist on calling OJ Simpson a murderer. He's not. He might well have killed his ex wife and her maybe-boyfriend, but he wasn't convicted of murder, so to include Simpson in the category of "murderers" is simply incorrect. --SpinyNorman 03:50, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Your analogy is not correct. If O.J. Simpson got away with murder because the State of California did not try people for murder but only for assault; and thousands of people were appalled and called on the government to make murder illegal; and if the President called for congress to make murder illegal; then I would certainly think that the article about O.J. Simpson could be put in the category "Murder" even if he was not in the category "Murderers". His guilt or innocence, or his not being convicted of murder would be irrelevant. -- Samuel Wantman 04:47, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, the fact of the matter is that Shepard's attackers were not charged with or convicted of a hate crime. Why they were not is irrelevant. The fact some people think (incorrectly) that Shepard's murder was a hate crime is also irrelevant. Wikipedia is about reporting facts, not wishful thinking or popular ignorance. --SpinyNorman 21:49, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
What you're saying is there's a difference between "OJ Simpson was convicted of murdering his wife" and "OJ Simpson is believed to have murdered his wife". And you're right. But either one would be included in his Wikipedia page. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 04:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the latter wouldn't be included because whether or not some hypothetical person's opinion is that OJ is a murderer isn't relevant. --SpinyNorman 06:57, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

(reset margin) And yet the fact remains that Shepard's attackers were not charged with or convicted of a hate crime. Ergo, this was not a hate crime - the opinions and wishful thinking of the public notwithstanding. --SpinyNorman 18:29, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

See, this is the problem - you see an "ergo" that just isn't there. Why does it matter what the state of Wyoming charged them with, or what they were convicted of? How does that affect whether the murder was a hate crime? You seem to have the peculiar delusion that the definition of a hate crime depends on what a state chooses to do about it. This is clear nonsense. The Sheppard murder was either motivated by hate or it wasn't, but that doesn't depend in any way on what charges were brought. Next you'll say that if nobody is charged with a murder then it never happened!
Zsero 21:40, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
It matters because if they were convicted of a hate crime, then it would be truthful to include this article in the category of hate crimes. Since they weren't, it is dishonest to categorize the article in this way. If someone is not convicted of murder, then they can't honestly be called a murderer. And, since you mention it, Shepard's attackers say that they were motivated by greed rather than hate. So are you undermining your own claim? --SpinyNorman 10:13, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
If someone is not convicted of murder, then they can't honestly be called a murderer.
This is just a bizarre statement. Many murderers are never convicted, or even caught in the first place. Are you really saying that they're not murderers? Are you really that detached from reality? Or are you speaking some strange private language in which "murderer" means "convicted of murder", and "committed a hate crime" means "was convicted of a hate crime". Or perhaps in your universe nothing exists until a court says it does.
But in the real world things do happen outside courtrooms, and in the English language "murderer" means someone who committed a murder, whether or not they were ever caught, charged, or convicted. And a "hate crime" is any crime that is motivated by hatred for a broad class of people, regardless of whether the local laws have special procedures for such crimes, or of whether the motivation ever became a legal issue. Zsero 10:03, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The term "murderer" is a legal one. It is a "term of art" - just as the phrase "hate crime" is. Just because a person who commits a crime hates the person against which it is committed, that doesn't make it a "hate crime". Since Shepard's attackers were never charged with or convicted of a hate crime, that means they didn't commit a hate crime. There's no evidence they even targetted Shepard because he was gay - that was just second-hand spin from the gay community. --SpinyNorman 06:53, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
No, "murderer" is not a term of art. It is an ordinary English word, meaning someone who has committed murder, 'without regard' to whether they have been caught, let alone charged or convicted. Even if nobody ever finds out that a murder has occurred, it is still a murder, and the person who did it is a murderer. That is not an opinion, it is a simple fact well-known to any fluent speaker of the English language. I can only presume that you are not one. Zsero 15:15, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
"Categorization isn't what you think it is". I'm not sure if you guys have covered this, but categories are not as hard-and-fast as you describe. I'll bring you a quote from Talk:Parapsychology:

This whole discussion is hinged on an incorrect assumption about the nature of categorization on Wikipedia. That an article is in a category indicates that the article has some relevance to that category. It is the article, and not the topic which is categorized. If you understand this, then a great many categorizations on Wikipedia will make sense to you, which are otherwise patently absurd. Placing Parapsychology in Category:Pseudoscience is not a POV statement about parapsychology, it is an assertion that someone interested in the parapsychology article might benefit from further research through other articles which touch on pseudoscience, and conversely that people researching the pseudoscience category would benefit from the parapsycology article. Period. -Harmil 20:26, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

In other words, someone who came to Matthew Shepard might want to know about hate crimes. Therefore, keep the category in. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 19:53, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
There is already a link to hate crime in the article, it isn't necessary to lie to the reader and claim something that isn't true - that Shepard's attack was a hate crime. --SpinyNorman 10:13, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if it was a hate crime or if it wasn't. If someone's searching through the category tree for hate crimes, they should be able to find this case, which is relavant to the concept of hate crimes whether or not it actually was one. Just the way someone searching through Category:Science should be able to find the topic Parapsychology - whether it really is a science or not. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 14:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Why is it relevant? Because people think it should have been charged as a hate crime? That isn't relevant at all. Since when is wishful thinking a criteria for reporting? Oh, and I disagree with your claim about parapsychology as well. Someone searching through the science category shouldn't have to sift through pseudoscience. Now if you want to create a category for pseudoscience, then I agree parapsychology should be there. Likewise, if you want to create a category for attacks that weren't prosecuted as hate crimes even though some people think they should have been, then you can include Matthew Shepard. --SpinyNorman 04:47, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
It's relevant not just for wishful thinking. It's also relevant because the debate over whether or not it was a hate crime made national news and sparked activity in the Oval Office[7] as well as Capitol Hill. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 05:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Such "debate" that existed was manufactured out of ignorance and misinformation. As such, it isn't relevant. What happened is that certain activists used the incident as an excuse to talk about gay-bashing. What happened to Shepard was a tragedy to be sure and the men who attacked him are in prison where they belong. However, that doesn't make what they did a hate crime. --SpinyNorman 06:57, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
For the sake of argument, let's assume that everything you say is true. If the debate was manufactured out of ignorance and misinformation, add citations to the article that document how the debate was manufactured, and that dispute the misinformation. Let us also assume that tomorrow, undeniable evidence comes to light that clearly shows that the murder was not a hate crime and over time everyone agrees that it was not a hate crime. Even then, this article should remain in the "hate crime" category because of the murder's strong connection with the hate crime debate. I cannot think of any other incident, rightly or wrongly, that brought more attention on the topic of hate crime against LGBT people. Even if the murder was not a hate crime, the aftermath most certainly was related to the topic of hate crime. So Spiny, what you are arguing has nothing to do with putting this article in a hate crime category. Your own statement above, "What happened is that certain activists used the incident as an excuse to talk about gay-bashing" is reason enough to put this in the hate crime category. -- Samuel Wantman 07:27, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The evidence of which you speak already exists. Shepard's attackers have, after they passed the point where they were motivated to lie about it, admitted that they didn't target Shepard for attack based on his being gay. So we're back to the crux of the matter - that Shepard was not the victim of a hate crime and his attackers were not prosecuted for having committed a hate crime. The uninformed and irrelevant discussion by activists is beside the point. Wikipedia is here to report facts - not gossip and propaganda. --SpinyNorman 07:59, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I think I'd want more than just the attackers (and one of their friends) asserting that they didn't beat Matthew Shepard to death because he was gay. But, in any case, I think taking the position that the attackers claim now that it wasn't a hate crime is futile: the attack was certainly at the time claimed by his attackers to be motivated by their hatred for gay men, and without doubt became part of the national and international debate about hate crime on that basis. To argue that it can't be included in the category hate crime because the criminals have since changed their story about the motivation for their attack on him is to rewrite history. Yonmei 11:00, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The only reason they claimed they attacked Shepard because he was gay was to play into a legal defense tactic that turned out to be futile. Statements made by both the attackers and people who knew them show that it was a defense tactic. Now that the two are in prison and they have no motive to lie anymore they have said that their motive in the attack was greed, not hate. --SpinyNorman 16:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
But the "legal defense tactic" they used was the infamous "gay panic defense", which is, effectively, a legal excuse for men carrying out hate crimes against gay men. You, for some reason, want to believe they were lying then and are telling the truth now. But, even if we were to assume that they were lying then, and also assume that they are telling the truth now, Matthew Shepard's murder still belongs in the category Hate Crime. You are arguing that because his murderers now claim they were lying when they asserted that they murdered Matthew because they hated gay men, we should rewrite history and pretend that they never said it at all. Why do you want to do that? Surely, as you say, it's facts that matter, and, truth or lie, their use of "gay panic defense" is a fact. Yonmei 21:49, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter why the debate existed - the fact is that it does exist. People (the press, the government, the talk shows, co-workers around the water cooler - not just wishful thinking, but a large percentage of the population) were talking about hate crimes and hate crime legistlation. To use your own argument, it doesn't matter why there was a debate - the point is that there was one. That alone makes the article eligible for the category. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 15:40, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
No, actually, it doesn't. Encylopedia articles are supposed to report facts, not reflect popular ignorance. One of wikipedia's greatest strengths (the fact that anyone can edit articles) is also its greatest weakness. The amount of popular ignorance to be found in these pages is astonishing. It is also difficult to remove since popular ignorance tends to be, well, popular. And also, I'm getting pretty pissed off that people are reverting other legitimate changes I've made to the article along with the disputed category removal. But I guess that's just another example of the kind of intellectual laziness that plagues this site. --SpinyNorman 16:29, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, you are missing the point. The point is that that national debate occured in a large part due to Shepard's death and the surrounding events. Therefore the category is relevant. JoshuaZ 16:35, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
OK Spiny, lets talk about the other changes. You added "however, there is no evidence that Shepard was targeted because he was gay and his attackers deny targeting him for this reason." The evidence that he was targeted because he was gay came from the attackers. If they later denied it, it doesn't erase that evidence. It is quite possible that their initial accounts were correct, and they lied about the denial. Do you have some sort of crystal ball that lets you know which account is a lie? Even if you did, it would be original research. If you post a cited claim which has evidence that supports their denial, feel free to add it. But even having a cited claim does not mean that you can state it as a fact. SpinyNorman is not the arbiter of truth at Wikipedia. Nobody is. -- Samuel Wantman 21:12, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
What claims they defendants may or may not have made as a part of their legal defense are not "evidence". They are allegations. The fact that they have since retracted these allegations completely nullifies them. --SpinyNorman 06:53, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Spiny, we've been over this a hundred times. This is not a court of law. While it might make them not matter in some legal system, it still makes them related to the category. What matters is how it is connected to the legislation that later passed about hate crimes. JoshuaZ 07:09, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Deletion Request for the Picture on commons

Can someone ask the parents per email for a correct license for the picture? Helps on Commons: [8] [9] [10] Here are Templates for Mails: [11] an here is a Template for a Permission [12]. Then are there no question anymore. --Fg68at de:Disk 15:01, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Um, don't want to re-ignite old flames but

1. Some of the cites seem pretty thin - ref 2 says

"Mother of Hate-Crime Victim to Speak at Colby

Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old man from Wyoming who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998, will speak at Colby College on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. [...]"

To support the claim that "Many people think the case should have been dealt with as a hate crime".

The second cite (ref 3) "widely denounced as a hate crime" has more weight (as does the source). But with these cites (and the law as it stood then and now, I believe) I would be reluctant to go any further than:-

"According to Talk of the Nation the murder was widely considered a hate crime."Rich Farmbrough, 11:53 15 October 2006 (GMT).

How many cites, then, do we need to avoid this "controversy" that it was a hate crime? I live in the UK, I heard it reported, in the UK and elsewhere at the time as a hate crime. It never occurred to me until I read this "controversy" on this Talk page that anyone would try to argue that it was not a hate crime. I recognize that my own personal recollection that the murder was widely considered to be a hate crime is not a sufficient citation: so, how many cites do we need of contemporary reports of the murder in order to squelch this "controversy"?Yonmei 14:42, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

2. If someone was so minded, a short section after of within the "After the attack" section could concentrate the "Hate crime controversy" (there does seem to be one, outside this talk page?) in one place. Rich Farmbrough, 11:53 15 October 2006 (GMT).

That's a good idea, though I have no idea where, outside this Talk page, one would find cites for it. This Talk page is the only place I have ever seen anyone question the fact that the murder was and is widely regarded as a hate crime: yet I suppose the people posting here claiming that it isn't must be getting that idea from somewhere else. Yonmei 14:42, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
That last line should probably read "the person posting here claiming that it isn't..." and his logic has been challenged by many others. I think there is a clear consensus and the flame is out. -- Samuel Wantman 16:53, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

HIV status

There seem to be several conflicting claims about Shepard's HIV status (i.e. negative or positive). Is there any way we can address this? Carolynparrishfan 00:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I didn't see anything about that either way in the article. I suppose a copy of a definitive pos/neg test result just before his murder would be best. Though, is his HIV status relevant? ---*- u:Chazz/contact/t: 20:18, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I recall a report that the first police person on the scene was a woman who also raised animals of some sort. She had several fresh cuts on her hands from replacing the fencing at her farm. She contacted his blood and became HIV infected, but then some years later tested negative. I will try to find this information from a verifiable source. If cited, this would only provide background for the rhumors and support a statement that his HIV status is officially "unknown". Jerry 04:08, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


I have added citation needed tags to unsourced comments, several of which are potentially libellous if they are not true. They were previously rv'ed without any discussion at all. If people want the tags removed can I asked that the comments in question are sourced. -*- u:Chazz/contact/t: 21:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Question: Whom would they be libelling? Zsero 02:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Remove section?

"When the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to display any sort of religious message on city property if it was legal for Casper's Ten Commandments display to remain, Phelps made attempts to gain city permits in Cheyenne and Casper to build a monument "of marble or granite 5 or 6 feet in height" on which will be a bronze plaque bearing Shepard's picture and the words: "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."

If nothing has come of the above (no plans are currently in process) or if the plaque has been denied, this should be removed. It's much more about Phelps and Cheyenne than it is about Matthew. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 00:21, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The plans for the memorial are still up on the godhatesfags website, btw. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 13:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
But haven't been updated in over 3 years. Casper denied the request in November 2003, and temporarily removed its Ten Commandments sculpture; in late 2006 it announced plans to restore the Ten Commandments in a setting that would not require it to allow private groups to put anything up. Zsero 15:53, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
What do y'all think? Should that section be removed from the article? -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 01:00, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be kept. The page is about more than just the individual Matthew Shepard, it's about everything that happened as a result of his murder. I think the Phelps information should be kept and possibly updated with the info Zsero posted as well. I've noticed there are a lot of citation requests, some every other sentence. Seems a little excessive but I will try and help out with addressing them. Cheers. Parammon 00:02, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree the article has (and should have) information about what happened to Matthew and the results. But the sentences quoted above are about Phelps, Cheyenne, and plans for a plaque that were shot down. They seem rather far afield from Matthew and what happened to him. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 00:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd agree except the plaque and words target Shepard specifically. That makes it worthy of inclusion here; at least that's my vote. As the new kid here I will gladly cede the point if that's the consensus. I hope that if it's not included here it can be added to Fred Phelps page in the People Targeted by Phelps section. It's a noteworthy incident.Parammon 19:30, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Clearly the Phelps information is still pertinent to the article. He has directly used Matthew Shepard as a vehicle to perpetuate his hatred for the gay community for almost a decade. The monument and plaque, which specifically target Matthew, are symbolism of this hatred and its impact on society. There was wide news covereage regarding the monument- it is inmaterial whether or not it actually ever comes to fruition. TBarry —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Recent revert: Criticism of Hate Crime Theory

I reverted to a previous version because the information under this heading, starting with this paragraph:

'Numerous Critics have emerged against the Hate Crime Theory of Shepard's Murder. These critics contend that no credible evidence has been brought forward to suggest that this was a hate crime, and that Shepard murder in fact involved drugs and robbery, not a bias attack.'

Is already covered in the article and does not need to be repeated. The only source it uses is the already mentioned ABC News. Although the idea that the critics are numerous does seem new, though that is unsourced. If there is new information please include it. There was also a claim, again unsourced, that one of the assailiants is bi-sexual. Thanks. ParAmmon (cheers thanks a lot!) 03:20, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Did you read the sourced link??? "O'Connor had known Aaron McKinney for years. In flush times, McKinney partied in O'Connor's limos, and, in fact, McKinney and his girlfriend lived for a while in an apartment on O'Connor's property. O'Connor says he never heard McKinney express any anti-gay attitudes. In his interview with Vargas, O'Connor reveals his belief that McKinney is bisexual. "I know of an instance where he had a three-way, two guys and one gal," he said. "Because he did it with me." O'Connor added, "I know he's bisexual. There ain't no doubt in my mind. He is bisexual." McKinney's former girlfriend Price says she now believes that as well. "He was always into trying to talk me into having a three-way with one of his guy friends," she said."

This isn't anywhere else in the article, and it's directly relevant to the "hate crime" theory. I hope you just are not trying to hide this information. I am putting it back up.

Did you read the article? The discussion about the drug theory is already there. You are needlessly adding a section on information that is already represented in the article. In fact the same source you cite is used repeatedly in the article.
If you want to go back up into the article and add to that discussion the statement about his bisexuality, feel free. I don't care. I don't think it is endemic to the arguement. Gay and Bisexual people are just as capable of being homophobic as the rest of the population. I'm not going to touch what you added. I will leave anymore action to others.
Please learn how to add refernces to an article, i.e. the correct format. Your enthusiasm is appreciated but I would never try to hide anything, so please try not to throw aspersions around like that. It is unwarranted and quite frankly offensive.ParAmmon (cheers thanks a lot!) 04:09, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate any constructive criticism. If you think that the information needs to be added further up in the article, rather than have it's own new section, I have no problem with that. If you also want to change the way the source is listed, I have no problem with that. But it is clear that the bi-sexuality reference to McKinney is sourced, and I believe it's relevant. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:05, 6 February 2007 (UTC).
Someone else moved the bisexuality reference further up in the article. I agree by the way, it is worth noting and I'm glad it's incoprporated. Thanks! ParAmmon (cheers thanks a lot!) 06:15, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
McKinney's initial defense was that he had had homosexual experiences in the past, and that they had traumatized him to the point that he burst into tears upon the sign of a gay couple kissing at a church. (As stated by his girlfriend) The suggestion that he might be bisexual, is indifferent to case he presented to the court. Rather than attempting to show that he was a bisexual, and had a significantly diminished chance of being homophobic, rather than choose to stay openly and loudly that the alleged advances returned him to traumatic experiences of his childhood? ... Come on, someone's trying to spin the truth here, and it is in all likelihood him, as he has presented so many different and varied stories that it would be impossible to tell which were the most true based on anyone's accounts. --Puellanivis (talk) 05:47, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

some thoughts on Article improvement

I just read this article for the first time by following a Wiki link and would like to offer what hopefully will be considered constructive comments, coming from someone in the general public reading it as an encyclopedia entry.

Firstly, I suggest the opening paragraph should state what is the significance of the subject, instead of assuming the reader already knows. It could state in neutral tone, "His murder, which was widely reported as a horrific hate crime, brought national attention to the subject of hate crime legislation...", or something like that.

Secondly, the article is quite terse with regard to Matthew Shepard, the person. While I realize that he is notable because of his murder, in my opinion the article should tell us a little bit more about him than simply which schools he attended. What were his interests? Did he have any friends? Was he ostracized at school and lonely? Indeed, the article implies that he was homosexual, but nowhere does it explicitly state this as fact.

In other words, added context would aid understanding of the circumstances leading to his demise. Surely, the published works (which admittedly I've not read at all) could be sourced to provide this info. FWIW, JGHowes 12:50, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Relevance of quote

Recently some editors have been removing this paragraph from the article, questioning its relevance:

After the attack, the prosecutor told reporters that Shepard's friends had been vocal about Shepard's sexuality: "They were calling the County Attorney's office, they were calling the media and indicating Matthew Shepard is gay and we don't want the fact that he is gay to go unnoticed."

If you read the source article you can see the relevance. The major point of that article was to raise doubt over the motive. The question is why everyone seemed to assume right from the start that it was a hate crime. If that was the conclusion the detectives drew from objectively examining the evidence, then countering that conclusion would require a strong argument. But it transpires that the initial impression did not simply emerge on its own, but was the result of an organised effort to put it out there. Before the police could form a conclusion of their own, this campaign made sure that "hate crime" was foremost in everyone's minds. So the suggestion that it wasn't one after all shouldn't be so surprising, and doesn't require much evidence. That's why it's relevant. Zsero 21:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC) the quote should be included in order to put forward a grand (and POV) conspiracy theory? CaveatLectorTalk 21:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me? "Paranoid conspiracy theory"? What conspiracy theory? This is a well-sourced fact; at least as well-sourced as any other fact in the article. Are you seriously denying its truth? I thought you were worried about its relevance, not claiming that it wasn't true! In any case, the paragraph has been in the article undisturbed for over a year, until some anonymous person came along and removed it (or was that you?). If you have a serious case to make for why it should not be there, make it here. In the meantime, the paragraph should stay. Convince us that it should be deleted, and it can go.
I'm not going to put it back right now, because I'm giving you a chance to put it back yourself. If you're serious and honest about the editing process you'll restore the article to how it was, and then come and discuss it. If you're not serious, then I'll know how to proceed.
Zsero 23:42, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Please remember to stay WP:CIVIL. While I certainly criticized your edit, I did not say such downright obnoxious things as you just have. Let's look at the 'paragraph' (this is actually just once sentence) shall we?
After the attack, the prosecutor told reporters that Shepard's friends had been vocal about Shepard's sexuality: "They were calling the County Attorney's office, they were calling the media and indicating Matthew Shepard is gay and we don't want the fact that he is gay to go unnoticed." [1]
First and foremost, if this information is to be included it should go into the section that is clearly marked as After the Attack. Now, I have asked what exactly this adds to the article. It's one sentence, taken completely out of context of the entire article, which YOU believe somehow shows 'evidence' that the police did not objectively classify this as a hate crime. Can you seriously see this isn't POV on your part? It certainly is a fact of the case, but all I can ask is what does it matter and why should it be in the article? And on another note, it's quite clear from your comments that you want to import the 'this was not a hate crime' POV into this article. For whatever motives you might have. CaveatLectorTalk 22:44, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me? What "obnoxious things" did I say about you? You're the one who goes on about "paranoid conspiracy theories", so it's a bit rich of you to demand civility. I've been perfectly civil, but your refusal to allow your edit to stay reverted until after we've sorted it out leads me to question how serious you are about the process. You've decided that the sentence should be removed, and so it must be removed regardless of anyone else's opinion. First you don't question its factuality, but say that it should go because you can't see its relevance; but then I explain why it is relevant you see to switch arguments, and now seem to be claiming that it's not factual. Pick an argument and stick with it.
I've already clearly explained the relevance. Whether the attack was or was not a hate crime is an open question. The reader must make up her own mind about it. And therefore the article needs to present the relevant facts. One fact is that right after the attack everyone seemed to assume that it was a hate crime. But how did this idea get out there? Was it based on the evidence alone, or on something else. The fact is that there was an organised campaign to get the idea out there, and that must shed some doubt on whether it really was one.
Now for your POV argument. I am not pushing a POV at all here, but you certainly seem to be. You seem determined that it was a hate crime, and that anything which might lead the reader to another conclusion must be erased. That's POV. Or don't you think so?
I repeat my previous offer: if you want to discuss this calmly and honestly, revert your own edit, restore it to how it was, and then we can discuss it. If you don't do this, and won't discuss it, and simply leave things alone, but then when I revert it you let loose with comments like "again with this nonsense", I'll have to conclude that you're not dealing in good faith. And accusing me of paranoid conspiracy theories is certain to make me question your good faith.
Zsero 08:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
First of all, please do not question my seriousness when you have been on the wiki for half as long as I have. It is obviously you who does not understand the process. Somebody removed a sentence from the article they felt didn't belong. You added it back, but I agreed with the other editor, so I then removed it again. You then reverted it BACK and THEN came to the talk page to 'discuss' it ('If you read the source article you can see the relevance. The major point of that article was to raise doubt over the motive. The question is why everyone seemed to assume right from the start that it was a hate crime. If that was the conclusion the detectives drew from objectively examining the evidence, then countering that conclusion would require a strong argument.') The major point of the article was NOT to 'raise doubt over the motive' This is an ABCNews article that is looking back on the crime years after it has been committed, which includes these questions. The article itself does not have an agenda. The quote you pulled from the article is what you are using to service YOUR own agenda in the wiki article. If you're wondering about your obnoxious comments, assuming that I somehow don't know about the wiki process or that I was the previous anonymous editor (when a quick look at my contribution history shows that I've been here twice as long as you have). The fact that Shepherd's friends told investigators that he was gay is not an organized campaign. THAT is the 'paranoid conspiracy theory' I was referring to. 'Was it based on the evidence alone?' Is Shepherd's sexual orientation not part of the evidence?
I'm genuinely confused by all of this. You seem to think that this one sentence inclines people to believe that it wasn't a hate crime. I really don't think so. I just think its a random sentence taken out of the article that doesn't actually RELATE anything of any importance. Now, if you seem to want people to think that there was a big conspiracy/campaign/whatever to have this seen as a hate crime. This is what bothers me. If you want to take a quote in order to let people make up their own minds, take the quote from the lead detective who gives his opinion on the matter, rather than subtly suggesting that a bunch of activists got together to deliberately trump up hate crime charges against the killers. So excuse me, but if you want the edit reverted, do it yourself, and perhaps we can call in more editors to help us discuss this out. THAT is the 'process' that you are referring to. CaveatLectorTalk 16:31, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I hardly think the two articles below are irrelevant since a number of sources (most notably LifeSiteNews) say something akin to the fact that "In perhaps the most famous 'hate crime' case of Matthew Shephard, his murderers said their crime had nothing to do with Shephard's homosexual orientation, but concerned money for drugs. ABC News' 20/20 admitted after an investigation that the attack had not been a 'hate crime,' but was, in fact, a bungled robbery. Nevertheless, the case generated over 13,500 'Matthew Shepard' news stories, massive TV coverage, two major Hollywood specials, three TV movies and a play."

Moreover, "It's important to note that the two thugs who robbed and murdered Shephard are now serving life in prison apart from any "hate crimes" law, proving once again that such laws are entirely unnecessary if not completely unconstitutional. Equal justice under the law is guaranteed, and equal justice was received."

Whoever posted what is immediately above--sign your posts. Please. It's really hard to take you seriously. Also, again, (see lengthy debate above under "hate crimes") it's cherry picking to cite the defendants' insistences that they killed Shepard because of drugs, and then ignore their defense at trial (that they killed him because he was gay), which has been entered into evidence in a court of law. If people insist on getting legalistic about this, then the trial should be balanced with their statements to ABCNews. Or the account provided in the trial should take precedence outright.--ProfessorFokker 20:17, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Category:Rape victims

There's no mention of this in the article.~ZytheTalk to me! 19:36, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

You're right. I'll remove it. Anybody, go ahead and re-add it if information becomes available. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 22:29, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Howard Stern?!

"Stern allowed the group to build their own demise as the show cast and callers proceeded to insult and discredit the anti-gay cause."

Does anybody else find this statement to be a little ridiculous? "Build their own demise" and "discredit the anti-gay cause?" Hardly objective and definitely not unbiased. Doesn't seem appropriate in an encyclopedia article.

Can somebody perhaps rewrite this little bit to make more sense and avoid the clearly subjective sentiment it has now? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:17, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

  • I'd also like to request that somebody move the tale of the incident to Stern's article and/or the Phelps groups article. Much as I enjoyed reading it, it doesn't feel particularly relevant here.--ProfessorFokker 20:10, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

20/20 section POV

The section on the 20/20 story is 1) way too long; and 2) POV. "...who yet again changed their versions of what happened that night."," To aid the impugnment of the report... " I suggest cutting it down considerably. Thoughts? Cap'n Walker 15:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree. Its current status is a violation of WP:UNDUE, particularly the lengthy quotes. --Strothra 15:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Okay, I "neutralized" and shortened it considerably. I don't think jailhouse recantations merit more than a paragraph or two in this article. Cap'n Walker 19:09, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The Attack

Why is the description of the attack described from the perspective of the attacker who was found guilty in court? Usually history is written by the victor. Not on Wikipedia!RineholdM (talk) 08:44, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I just had a look at that section and don't feel it is written in anything but a neutral way. The only part which gives input from the attackers is the sentence which says "according to [the attacker], Shepard asked for a ride home". The rest of the paragraph is obviously taken from the police report and newspaper articles. Do you see something which would lead yuou to believe this section is NPOV? If so, please either discuss it here or rewrite the paragraph. And thanks for sharing your concerns. Jeffpw (talk) 08:51, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
RineholdM, the article has been written in a neutral way and according to sources available. We cannot simply rewrite sourced material without replacing it with better sources. Since you are a new editor, it would be helpful to see WP:VERIFY before making edits such as this: [13]. In order to maintain WP:NPOV all sides should be presented. --Strothra (talk) 09:15, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree. While Iknow that RineholdM's rewrite of the paragraph is correct, having followed the case at the time, it looks like original research without sources to back it up. I haven't reverted the changes, but I encourage RineghldM to find sources. Jeffpw (talk) 09:19, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going to revert either - I'll add cn tags, but the testimony of the convicted should be added again to the section about the case since it was a key part of the trial. --Strothra (talk) 09:23, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Never mind the cn comment, just saw Rine's last edit that added the Salon article. --Strothra (talk) 09:25, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Suggested additions to the 20/20 portion of the page, comment please?

While ABC's 20/20 report has recently received much attention from people attempting to show that Shepard's murder was not caused by hate crimes, and therefore that the most recent Hate Crimes Act passed by the House of Representatives is based upon an erroneous assumptions about Shepard's murder. With some investigation there are numerous inconsistencies in the report compared to the recorded events of the trial. McKinney speaking for the first time about the case, directly violating a condition of his plea bargain[2], stated that "I have gay friends. ... You know, that kind of thing don't bother me so much."[3] Directly contradicts with the presented defense that he used during the trial, which was also in part confirmed by the Laramie Police.
McKinney used a "gay panic" defense, by suggesting that Shepard's alleged advances brought McKinney back to memories that were stated to be that he had had two homosexual experiences prior to the murder, one was as a young child, when he was forced to give oral sex to another child[citation needed], and another situation described as a confused teenage experience with a male cousin.[citation needed] It was also testified by his girlfriend that upon accidentally entering a gay church, he was struck to tears by the sight of two men kissing.[citation needed] His defense to the claims that it was a crime motivated by hate, was that Shepard's alleged advances had actually caused him to return to repressed feelings about his own homosexual experiences. To now, years later, claim that his responses to homosexuality are of indifference, rather than a fundamentally uncontrollable response of fear, is itself at least contradictory, and at worst perjurious.
While other officers have told 20/20 their recollections about the details of the case, and precipitation of the attack[citation needed], Detective DeBere(?) under oath, had testified that the original statements made by the convicted murders left no doubt in his mind that the attacks were not only premeditated, but were motivated by hatred of homosexuals, and homosexuality, which seems much more substantiated by the actions of McKinney's own defense of his reaction to homosexuality, rather than if the precipitation of the attack had been drug-related.

I know, a lot of it is a bit of an essay, and shouldn't be included as is, that's why I took it to the talk page to get it cleaned up and polished before it's added to the actual article. --Puellanivis (talk) 05:38, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I have a quick question.

Ok, was Shepard gay or just a ardent supporter of LGBT? I've been trying to figure this out. Can anyone answer it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

For people engaged in the "not a hate crime" POV pushing.

I think you'd feel more at home over at Conservapedia. It really does seem more suited for your particular demographic. There are also a number of other lovely articles you will probably enjoy reading and contributing to. --W2bh (talk) 17:32, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Discredit is subjective and doesn't apply, since they don't have good reputations to begin with.

I removed the "and discredit" in the portion concerning their appearance on Howard Stern because a)whether they were being discredited by the words of the callers is subjective and b)Phelps and his followers don't currently have a good reputation(outside of other limited groups that share their views) to tarnish, which is what discredit means, "to harm someone's good reputation". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronar (talkcontribs) 14:29, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Peer review request

A peer review request has been made. Please watchlist Wikipedia:Peer review/Matthew Shepard/archive1 to track comments. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 16:28, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Adding sexual orientation

I think that his sexual orientation needs to be more directly stated in the background or the introduction part. This is important, as he was attacked, according to the attackers during-that-time-girlfriends, because he was gay. Also, the hate crime legislations was incited because of this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

"The Trial"

"media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull" Doesn't this seem a bit insensitive? I doubt there are guidelines regarding this sort of thing, but I think this can be reworded, and if (for some strange reason) it cannot, then would it hurt to remove this sentence? Littelbro14 (talk) 08:05, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, this is toned down from the original version. There are guidelines for this - Wikipedia is not censored and may contain information others find offensive. --Ave Caesar (talk) 13:48, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Hate crime legislation proposed - Confusing

The section seems to be either outdated or contradictory. The section states :

  • The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 3, 2007.
  • Similar legislation passed in the Senate on September 27, 2007
  • President Bush has indicated he may veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

But two lines further down "Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, says "she is still committed to getting the Matthew Shepard Act passed." Pelosi plans on trying to get the bill passed early in 2008"

So what happened ? Did President Bush veto it ? If not, why does it still have to be passed by Congress ?? Passportguy (talk) 08:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Change the phrase "was a gay American student" to something better

Napoleon1805 (talk) 02:49, 22 August 2008 (UTC)Saying Matthew Shepard was gay is equal to saying that a heterosexual person was straight. For instance, a page would not start out with "(Person's Name) was a straight student that was murdered..." Perhaps it would be better to start another sentence explaining his orientation, instead of labeling him as 'gay', when the same would not be done if he happened to be a heterosexual. Sounds slightly insulting in its current sense.

But he is famous FOR being gay, unlike most straight people. Assuming the murder really was homophobically motivated, the sexuality of the victim is of prime importance. almost everything else attched to his name also hinges on his sexuality (the charity, Act, protests).Yobmod (talk) 11:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


Why did they hate him? I see nothing? Was he gay? Were they black? etc. You need this in the introduction and later. Total crap article as it stands. (talk) 04:23, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Additional background information.

As someone who knew Matt, he lived in Raleigh, NC for a period during 1996 or 1997. He worked at the Jersey Mike's sub shop at the Pleasant Valley Shopping Center. I know of other people in the "community" that knew Matt as well. I do not have the time to research this on my own, but I am certain he lived here for at least a period of months. I wrote about him extensively in my journal at the time. He smoked Marlboro Lights too (not relevent, I know). It's been ten years today and he's been on my mind now more than ever. I cannot watch the movies/plays or read the stories. My therapist led me in this direction. Matt also lived in an apartment close to the shopping center where he worked in Raleigh.

Miss you buddy —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cafergot (talkcontribs) 19:43, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Chastity Pasley

I found a photograph on Yahoo of the three suspects that were arraigned in this crime. It includes Chastity Pasley, who, from what I can tell, must have been dropped from the case. Does anybody know why she was also charged? Was she dropped from the case or convicted of lesser charges? —MiguelMunoz (talk) 18:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

crystal methamphetamine

I was just watching the A&E Documentray "Life or Meth" and they said that the killers of Matthew Shepard were high on Meth. Can anyone confirm or deny this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Page move


(Just a heads up, but I also left a neutral note at WikiProject LGBT studies asking for input. AniMate 18:37, 16 November 2008 (UTC))

Along the lines of many other lgbt and other pseudo-notable deaths, should this be moved to Murder of Matthew Shepard. There is not much about the person, but enough about the precedent and consequences, thus making the death notable encyclopedically. Lihaas (talk) 11:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Nonsense. If the bio isn't strong enough there is plenty to add to it. Between the news reports, books , movies and interviews with his family and friends. -- Banjeboi 00:21, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I think adding to his bio will not help, he is only notable because he was killed. I know that is pretty cold, but unless there is something notable about him, apart from his death, I think the article should be moved. Sennen goroshi (talk) 06:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support the move, otherwise afd it. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose the move. Person is quite notable. Passportguy (talk) 17:48, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Please explain how? Based on your explanation I will or will not afd at this time but being murdered shows zero notability. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:51, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I support the move. The reason Shepard is notable is because of the murder. If he were notable in his own right, then he should have a separate article. FlyingToaster 07:39, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

For the record, I have no particularly strong opinion either way about the proposed move, other than the fact that in cases as famous and high-profile as this one there should be as broad a discussion as possible and not an arbitrary "because that other article got moved, this one should too" move. I'm not convinced that titling an article with the name of the individual is necessarily inconsistent with the view that a person who's notable primarily in death should be written about in an article about the incident rather than a biography, but I also don't have any strong objections if consensus favours the move — except to note that, per the WP:CAT-RD criterion about "Redirects whose target title is incompatible with the category", any category that's meant to list people rather than incidents (e.g. birth and death years, Category:People from Laramie, Wyoming) should be retained on the redirect, rather than the primary article, if the move takes place.

But at the same time, I will offer a bit of food for thought here: what's unique about the Matthew Shepard incident, compared to most other hate crimes, is that the incident got into mainstream media and made Shepard a household name and face and an enduring symbol of the fight against anti-LGBT hate crime, one whose name still carries rare weight a full decade after his death. For better or for worse, he is notable as an individual and not just an incident, precisely because he somehow managed to become the "perfect storm" that captured public attention in a way that very few hate crime victims before or after him ever did. When it comes to WP:N, the bottom line is the presence or absence of significant coverage about them in reliable and verifiable sources, not whether their notability boils down to the difference between "did" and "was done to". So it simply isn't an AFD candidate. No !vote, just $0.02 for the pot, on the rename. Bearcat (talk) 17:56, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I love when people make unilateral decisions while discussions are still ongoing. For the record, I oppose this move. Shepard is a household name, and while it true that he became notable through his murder, it is also a fact that he became notable as a result of it. He has a foundation named for him, and he has a congressional act that will likely pass when the new administration comes in named for him. AniMate 18:05, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS MOVE (and I'd put that in larger blinking red font if would prove my point more) and request SqueakBox move it back to Matthew Shepard until some kind of consensus is reached, preferably now through a Request for Comment. --Moni3 (talk) 18:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

To me it seems very straightforward, he was not notable but his murder most certainly is. Far from being unilateral all I am doing is imposing wikipedia practices, and I have bundles of experience. the ANI thread clearly supports this. Do you really want to be shot down in an afd or an Rfc. When an individual shows zero notability and then is murdered we never create a bio article, there is tons opf precedence for this and none whatsoever for the opposing argument. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:08, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
The only thing that's going to get shot down in any AFD is the notion that this article is anything but a speedy keep. AFD is not the place to debate what the title should or shouldn't be. And it is arbitrary to impose a page move of this type, regardless of whether it's supported by practice elsewhere or not, while a discussion is ongoing and hasn't yet achieved any sort of consensus. I've stated previously that I'm not necessarily opposed to the page move in principle, but Matthew Shepard is more notable than usual for this class of article, and thus requires a careful discussion and consensus about this particular case rather than a blanket imposition of one person's opinion. HTH. Bearcat (talk) 18:13, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Submitted to RFC. Bearcat (talk) 18:13, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
You still have not addressed the issue. For what precisely was this chap notable for before being murdered. if you can answer that we can debate but until then precisely what can we debate. As an experienced suer I am surprised you are not aware that we don't do bios on unnotable murder victims, however tragic their deaths ware. I personally think his murder was notable but he was not and is not. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:20, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not have an inviolable rule that a person can only have an independent article if they were already notable before their death — notability is determined solely by the presence or absence of reliable and verifiable sources about the topic. Not every individual who's notable primarily for being murdered becomes an enduring and internationally famous civil rights icon. But Shepard did, which makes him significantly more notable than your average murder victim. The actual point behind the rule you cite is that most murder victims receive a brief flurry of press coverage right around the time of their murder, and then fade back into obscurity — so we write an article about the incident rather than the person, because the person's notability doesn't transcend the circumstances of how they became notable. Shepard's notability, however, does transcend the fact that it initially came about as a result of being murdered, because 10 years later he's still an instantly recognizable and heavily written-about civil rights icon whose name carries far more weight than most murder victims. He hasn't faded into obscurity at all. Bearcat (talk) 18:24, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
We only have verifiable refs for his murder, these refs give him no notability but they do give it to his murder. Your point is not proven re notablilty follow by obscurity, see for instance Keith Bennett. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:49, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the point has been addressed. Shephard's death is SO NOTABLE and his name has become such a symbol that "Murder of Matthew Shepard" denotes the act, and not the outcome and consequences. See Emmett Till. --Moni3 (talk) 18:25, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
All your point shows is how highly notable his murder is. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:44, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
after reading the article, "murder of..." seems right to me. --Cameron Scott (talk) 18:40, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, the whole article is about his murder. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:44, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
That's a false comparison, because they're not even close to equivalent in terms of enduring international fame or social impact. Bennett is not a household name to anyone who doesn't have a personal interest in the Moors case, and is virtually unknown outside of the United Kingdom; Shepard is an international household name even to people who don't have a personal interest in LGBT hate crimes. Bearcat (talk) 19:12, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Did Keith Bennett have any legislation named for him? Is he an influential symbol in a civil rights movement? AniMate 19:18, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
This had got to be the most utterly ridiculous case of wiki-lawyering I have ever encountered. And I don't encounter much because I don't care about the intricacies of policy blah blah most of the time. I'm so mellow I'm barely alive, but relegating this article to "Murder of Mathew Shepard" is jaw-droppingly astonishing in its ignorance and/or arrogance. That's my AGF. My not AGF is assuming this is being equated to one of many victims of a mass murderer because he was just another faggot who got killed. There is not an American who doesn't know this man's name. His death startled a nation awake to the existence of hate crimes. Matthew Shepard wasn't just Judy's son who was murdered, he is a symbol of a town that grew his killers, a community that reeled afterwards trying to examine how it happened, a nation that converged in the town to grieve and battle over hatred and damnation, and a canon of laws and artistic tributes to the examination of preventing it from happening again. I lived in Colorado at the time, 30 minutes from Ft. Collins where he was brought to the hospital to die. I taught 4th grade, and *all* of my students talked about it. My parents called me from Florida to tell me to be careful since they assumed Westerners were out hunting gay people to beat them to death. He is the most famous person ever to come to the nation's conscious from Laramie, Wyoming. Yes, his article should be improved to the point of FA, but I can't do goddamn everything at once. I am completely and utterly stunned. Natalee Holloway, Emmett Till, Michael Donald, Leo Frank, Mary Dyer, ....--Moni3 (talk) 19:27, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Assuming bad faith on my part is a really bad idea, and tragically he is not the only perosn killed for being gay, and no, not every gay person murdered for being gay gets an article. I still have heard nothing about the notability of him outside being murdered. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:35, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
If you have not heard it, you are not listening. --Moni3 (talk) 19:53, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
You do seem unwilling to entertain that Shepard's position as a catalyst within the gay rights movement makes this more than just a "Murder of..." article. AniMate 20:02, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
You're right, he's not the only person ever killed for being gay. But he most certainly is the single most famous person ever killed for being gay, as well as the one whose murder has had the deepest and most enduring social and political impact. Notability that accrues after death is still notability. Bearcat (talk) 20:05, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
His fame extends far beyond the United States as well. Just sayin'. Bearcat (talk) 20:08, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I think it's fair to say that Matthew Shepard is the symbol of the gay rights movement. He's certainly the most recognizable. I'm unsure why this is such an issue, especially when this is clearly going to be offensive to a large number of editors and readers. AniMate 20:13, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Once an article title is agreed upon, please make sure that the talk page archives, etc, are moved accordingly. Right now the links are broken so I've added a manual link. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:45, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Squeakbox, you really aren't listening. Shepard may not have been notable *before* his murder, but *after* his murder he sparked something akin to Rosa Parks - people all around the world know about him, his story, and his name - whether or not they care about what the LGBT movement stands for, they still know his name. Not just his murder, but his town (Laramie, Wyoming is now intrinsically tied to gay rights), his mother (Judy's name and her story are extremely well known - she could probably have her own article), and even legislation (the entire concept of hate crimes are intrinsically tied to him) -- all have been changed by his life and death. You might as well rename Pedro Zamora to Pedro Zamora's death. I respectfully request you move the article back to his name. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 21:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

It should be moved back to Matthew Shepard. His death occurred a decade ago, and material is still being written about both his death and his life. So, we know with certainty this isn't "15 minutes of fame". Also, I strongly oppose the notion of prefixing (or appending) a person's article name with the cause of their notability. We can end up with articles names like Congressman Joe Blough, Actor John Smith, Billionaire Somebody Else, Discover of Whatever So-and-So, etc... It is common that a person becomes notable for a single thing, but that doesn't mean that single thing should be incorporated into an article title. --Rob (talk) 22:11, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

That is a poor example, as these were/are notable in life. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:24, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Notability is notability regardless of how or when the person achieved it. Bearcat (talk) 00:10, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Out of interest, will JonBenet Ramsey be getting the same treatment? In fact, pretty much everyone who is under the category of Category:Murdered_American_children need their article names changing if this proposed move occurs permanently. What about the victims of Jack the Ripper who currently have their own articles despite having done nothing more of note than being murdered. Surely their articles should be changed to reflect this? Where does this end? Are we to go through everyone in the category Category:Murder_victims to check if they were notable before their deaths? And if so, why have we started with this particular murder victim? Intesvensk (talk) 22:50, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Just FYI, it actually started with two other murder victims, both transgender, Gwen Araujo (now Murder of Gwen Araujo) and Amanda Milan, (now Murder of Amanda Milan). An emerging pattern of "many other lgbt and other pseudo-notable deaths" per Lihaas, above. --Moni3 (talk) 22:57, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm curious about this too. Are you going to start going through some of the victims of racist crimes and move those to "Murder of..." articles? Since you feel so strongly about this as a naming convention, I'm assuming you're going to be raising the issue on those pages as well. AniMate 23:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I have four reasons to oppose this move. First, I'm aware of no meaningful policy for Murder of X titled bios of notable murder victims. Second, WP:WAX: If other articles have been mistakenly or otherwised moved to this title format, it is not a reason to do it here. Third and I must say, most chillingly, this smacks to me of a highly PoV ("many other lgbt and other pseudo-notable deaths") try at dehumanizing the victim and his life into a criminal act. It is unhelpful and distracting to readers and could likely be needlessly nettlesome to many. Lastly, this name violates WP:Title, which not only does not support this naming format, but more or less all Wikipedia searches for this topic will be for Matthew Shepard and will come here through a redirect, whereas the policy says "titles should make linking to the article simple" and moreover, "titles should be brief without being ambiguous." This move should never have been made without a clear consensus, which I don't think would have been given. Gwen Gale (talk) 00:05, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I have agreed with SqueakBox several times on pedophilia-topics, but I cannot agree with him here. This article should most definitely be moved back to Matthew Shepard, per the very valid reasons given above. If Natalee Holloway, Emmett Till, Michael Donald, Leo Frank, and Mary Dyer get to have their articles solely titled after their names, so should Matthew Shepard; this is about way more than WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. It is about it being logical. Flyer22 (talk) 00:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. Usually, moving to "Murder of..." is the correct course of action in such cases. But not this one. So much has been written about Shepard and his life - not just his murder - that he easily passes WP:BIO in his own right through substantial third-party sourcing. This should be returned to its original name, and quickly. Black Kite 11:36, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • opppose move Shepard is an iconic figure. Black Kite and Gwen summarize the matter well. JoshuaZ (talk) 22:47, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Since my attention has been brought to the fact that my proposed guideline, Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts) is being used by some to justify the move, I would, in this particular case, point out that the part of the guideline relevant to this is [the section on articles for victims]. Assuming (and I know little of this man) that he has become the subject of wide-ranging third-party sources as an individual and thus meets WP:BIO beyond the reporting of his death, then the proposed guideline would be in favour of keeping the article where it is. Regardless, the guideline explicitly suggests discussion prior to moving existing articles. My 2p - questions to my talkpage if there are any. Fritzpoll (talk) 18:08, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

oppose move This young man became a household name in the US and elsewhere. Yes, it was because of the horrible hate crime committed against him, but, as others have pointed out, he himself became notable because of it. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:54, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Renaming of anti-LGBT victims

Recently, a number of articles have been renamed to make the victims of anti-LGBT violence the object rather than the subject of their articles:

I am moving these back to their original names because:

  1. The person's name is most likely how a reader will look for the articles (ie. use the most common name as per WP:NAME).
  2. The "Murder of" prefix is unprecedented for others who are notable because they were victims of hate crimes. For examples, see Category:Ku Klux Klan crimes, Category:Racially motivated violence against African Americans, Category:Victims of religiously motivated violence in the United States, Category:Lynching deaths in the United States, and Category:Lynching survivors in the United States.
  3. The new name lacks consensus and in at least one case the new name has been used as justification to remove other pertinent information: see here.

I respectfully request that these articles retain their original names unless it is decided, through a consensus-based process that a different name would be more appropriate. Queerudite (talk) 03:18, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Respectfully these moves are not policy. See the naming policy for articles about murder victims at Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts)#Article title. The articles are supposed to be titled "Murder of...". It's the prefered way anyway. I don't think there was any attempt at an "ant-LGBT" enforcement here. However, I think Matthew Shepherd is better named after the victim given his status. But he is the exception not the rule.Nrswanson (talk) 04:15, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
As per the policy you cite: "If an article has already been created with a title not conforming to this convention, a discussion on the article's talk page should be attempted prior to moving the article to ensure that there are no editorial reasons for it remaining." Can we please follow this policy? Queerudite (talk) 04:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain this is a situation where everyone is right. You're both quoting different policies correctly. What's needed is a broader discussion to determine which policy is the "most" correct. AniMate 04:27, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Well Queerudite if you actually bothered to read the talk pages at Amanda Milan and Gwen Araujo you would see that I did just that. We talked about it first. There was already a consensus to title those articles in that way. As for this page I would not support Matthew Shepherd being retitled. I can't say about the other articles becuase I haven't read them or been involved in editing them. I would say that this should be determined on a case by case basiss which is what Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts)#Article title suggests. Cheers.Nrswanson (talk) 04:34, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
By my count, three editors in support of the move to "Murder of" and three (including me) in support of the original name is not consensus. Queerudite (talk) 04:41, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
As noted a the top of the Notability (criminal acts) article, it is only a proposed guideline, and not yet adopted. References to the article's content, such as 'murder of' prefixing, "should not describe it as 'policy'". —ADavidB 08:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I think the "Murder of " prefix simply makes no sense in most cases. If the person's identity is truly non-notable, then there should be no article whatsoever; or the name of the article should be something different entirely, such as a name based on the location and year of murder. The "Murder of " prefix serves no purpose whatsoever, as nobody would conceivable type in the article title, or look in a category under "M" for "Murder". I expect to find Matthew Shephard under Category:1998 deaths under "S" for Shephard, not "M" for Murder. If a person isn't important enough that somebody might look it up, why exactly are we making an article? --Rob (talk) 06:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think WP:Notability (criminal acts) supports Murder of X titles, because it's not even policy yet. Morever, Murder of X titles are not supported by WP:Title. For starters, by far most readers will wind up on these articles through redirects, the titles are distracting and could be/are taken as PoV/muddled/needlessly long by many readers and lastly, these titles objectify human beings. These crimes are about people, otherwise they wouldn't be notable. Calling an article Jane Doe does not make it a biography drawn from claims of wider notability about the person's life any more than the title Berlin makes that one an article about a music project. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:13, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts)#Article title. The policy does state that "Murder of..." is the prefered way to title these articles. I think the benefits of the "Murder of..." titling outway any negatives. First of all, articles titled after victims tend to turn into biographies which is not acceptable for an encyclopedia or by wikipedia's guidelines regarding victims which says, "Victims of high-profile crimes do not automatically qualify as notable enough to have a stand-alone article solely based on their status as victims. Notability with regards to this is defined as satisfying some other aspect of the notability of persons guideline that does not relate to the crime in question. As such, a victim of a crime should normally only be the subject of an article where an article that satisfied notability criteria existed, or could have properly been created prior to the crime's commission. Thus, attempts at inclusion prompted by appearance in the press should not be excluded if notability can be otherwise asserted." Second, articles entitled after victims tends to attract a lot of personal information about the victim's personal life which can be tasteless, disrespectful, and an invasion of the privacy of the victim and their family. Third, articles entitled after victims can tend to memorialize the person and wikipedia is not a memorial. Those are just a few of many reasons that I prefer the "Murder of..." titling. In some cases, as in Matthew Shepherd, I think the person became an icon so they deserve their own article. That is my two cents.Nrswanson (talk) 12:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
The pith is, Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts)#Article title isn't policy and so far I don't see a consensus to make it so. Murder of X titles are not supported by policy. As an editor (and as an aside) I don't think slapping Murder of in front of a crime victim's name does anything but muddle the sway of WP:RS/WP:V over article content. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:43, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I could be swayed either way for most of these articles except for Matthew Shepard, Scott Amedure, and Gwen Araujo (do not count that as consensus to do it!). However, stripping them of the category of LGBT hate crime victims because they are now not people but articles about murders or crime, in my opinion, is utterly ridiculous. F-bomb ridiculous. Similarly, I hope the renaming of crime victim articles crusade will extend to other victims based on race and religion as well. I have a feeling that this issue will be quickly clarified if all these articles are renamed. Starting with LGBT-related articles makes editors who write about bias and discrimination (perhaps justly) suspicious that these folks are being singled out. --Moni3 (talk) 15:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Just to clarify, in the individual case of Glenn Kopitske, the article had been moved from "Glenn Kopitske" to "Glenn Kopitske murder" about a year and a half ago by another user; the recent move was from "Glenn Kopitske murder" to "Murder of Glenn Kopitske" in accordance with the fact that no matter what the result of this debate between "Person" and "Murder of person" is, "Person murder" is nobody's idea of the preferred naming convention.

I favour "Person" rather than "Murder of person" as the naming convention, though I'm not fundamentally opposed to accepting "Murder of person" if there's really a consensus to do so. I'll elaborate my reasons in more depth later, however, as I have to head out to run some errands right now. But as food for thought, I will put out right now that my reasoning starts with the principle that articles should always be at the simplest possible title. Bearcat (talk) 17:48, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment. Moving hundreds of articles to "Murder of" is a terrible idea. We could quibble over each case and come up with some gory rubber-necking justification for how much slaughter there was, and all sorts of rather distasteful discussions that would only serve to enliven those who enjoy murder scenes. Blech! We have current notability guidelines in place and at last count those were simple and direct enough so that drilling down to determine which side of Person X vs. Murder of Person X an article falls will do little but engender heated battles about murder victims. So the real question remains where does the precedent of "Murder of" conventions go? In addition to the festive round-abouts previously touched upon I invite all to consider the many nuances and possibilities. We can effectively rework thousands of articles not to focus on the human being but on the one thing that they are actually notable for.
    • "Homicide of"
    • "Manslaughter of"
    • "Suicide of"
    • "Execution of"
    • "Euthanasia of"
    • "Drug overdose of"
    • "Exsanguination of"
    • "Asphyxia of"
    • "Poisoning of"
    • "Hanging of"
    • "Rape of"
    • "Marriage of"
    • "Divorce of"
    • "Pop hit song of"
    • "Movie career of"
etc. ad nauseum. You get the point. "Murder of" usage, IMHO, only serves to dehumanize murder victims and that's fine for a blog or someone's book but not a title of an encyclopedia article. -- Banjeboi 23:21, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Hello. I just checked out Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts). Basically, it says if Matthew Shepard is notable on his own the article should be Matthew Shepard, and if he's only notable for his murder the article should be Murder of Matthew Shepard. I know that's not a policy but I think it's a good idea. I actually think we should focus "on the one thing that they are actually notable for." Not to dehumanize Matthew or be biased against LGBT, but to keep an encyclopedic focus on what's notable. MakeBelieveMonster (talk) 03:26, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts) is not Wikipedia policy. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:40, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
He specifically says that he knows it isn't - but I agree, and have tried to point this out above: WP:N/CA does not yet have consensus as a guideline. Fritzpoll (talk) 20:53, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Much less a policy. Gwen Gale (talk) 23:50, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Policy or not it is a good idea, and in practice very few unnotable in life murder victims, LGBT or not (LGBT having nothing to do with it) have a bio article, and for good reasons. I see no reason to make this an exception. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:17, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
This article isn't about Matthew Shepard, it's about how he was murdered and the aftermath. (Well, 9/10 of the sections.) I think the title should reflect that. MakeBelieveMonster (talk) 01:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Which is to say, it's about Matthew Shepard. Gwen Gale (talk) 01:53, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Tori Amos?

It looks like the song listed here is for Kosovar refugees, not Matthew Shepard, should this be in here? (talk) 16:59, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

If it doesn't relate to this article, it shouldn't be included. Is there a reliable source that contains the lyrics to this song? —ADavidB 20:31, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

medical info

the information released by the hospital to the press, including the statement from the parents, is available on the hospital website [14] not sure how that could be included (talk) 17:22, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Murdered because he was gay

The phrase "because he was gay" in the first sentence of the lede has repeatably been removed by IP editors without any edit summary or discussion. And of course those changes were reverted. User:Sam has just improved the lede by adding a new paragraph restating the mainstream motive in a better more neutral way. Although there are opposite views, they are handled in a separate section as appropriate. The only disagreement I have is that Sam's last version reordered the position of the motive and reaction paragraph with the verdicts paragraph. Placing the verdict paragraph first sets it out of chrono order, and also implies that the verdicts are more important that the motive and public reaction. The verdicts are not what made this subject notable and important, it was the horrific manner of death, what most say was the driving motive, and ultimately the press and public reactions. Comments? — Becksguy (talk) 07:55, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Funny, in my eyes, it seemed more important located at the end, because it implies the lasting effect of the crime. Either way is fine with me. -- SamuelWantman 03:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Get this to GA or FA

I have access to a university library and its associated databases. Last year, I considered the 3 highest profile articles in WP:LGBT that should be improved are the Stonewall riots, Harvey Milk, and Matthew Shepard. I've brought two of those articles to FA. I've offered a couple times at WT:LGBT to send as much information to any editors interested in improving this article to get it to GA or FA. In light of Virginia Foxx's stunning dumbassery, it seems it's even more important to make sure this article is accurate without question.

My offer is still open. There would be an incredible amount of reading and copy editing involved. I will assist. Think about it and let me know if you're interested. --Moni3 (talk) 13:17, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

The fence.

So yeah..where in Laramie is the fence seen in all the photos? And yes, I do need an answer on this. -- (talk) 04:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Most people do ask questions because they want/need an answer. Try this [15] website. Apparently the location is not easy to find. Wperdue (talk) 04:40, 26 May 2009 (UTC)wperdue
According to the text of the Wikipedia article the fence itself has long since been removed by the property owner. Is this not the case?? KDS4444Talk 18:05, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Move back and keep to Matthew Shepard

Per this archived discussion. Do it now, please. No consensus to move it, and very good reason not to. --Moni3 (talk) 23:23, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I moved it, since that discussion seemed to indicate that was the consensus.  :) -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 23:34, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
I've protected it from future moves. If there is consensus to move it, it can be unprotected. -- SamuelWantman 00:00, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

20 / 20 interview given WP:UNDUE weight.

It was in the news for a little while, but ultimately the 20/20 interview is just one human interest story on a subject that has attracted a huge amount of coverage from many more credible sources. Why does it have an entire section to itself? I think that a sentence mentioning it would be sufficient. If it is going to be given so much weight and prominence, it needs something to justify it -- something showing the wide-ranging impact that it had, or something along those lines. --Aquillion (talk) 04:18, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Does nobody have anything to say about this? Would anyone object if I trimmed the entire section down to one sentence or so? --Aquillion (talk) 03:35, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think moving it to the "Public reaction and aftermath" section would be to controversial. It is notable as I can't think of another major news organization that has reported on the story in such a negative way, though I don't watch Fox News. I would give it more than one sentence though, since the removal will likely incite a charge of censorship from someone. AniMate 04:09, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
How is what I just did? It could possibly use some rewriting, but I think it captures the basic gist of the points made in the larger section, and does it without giving it undue weight. --Aquillion (talk) 05:15, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I reworded it. The trimming upon the move seems a bit much, though the ref's are there for those who want to read more. —ADavidB 11:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I thought that one provision of the plea bargain was that the killers were never to talk to the press. The 20/20 interviews would seem to violate this plea agreement. Why isn't that mentioned here? T-bonham (talk) 09:13, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

2008 interviews of Aaron McKinney

The source for the section "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later" Interviews [16] essentially rests on one AP article that reports that the script is "condensed" from the notes of the interview by Greg Pierotti. Although I believe that McKinney made the comments as indicated, we need better reliable sources for this. It's important since it refutes the 20/20 claim that potentially drugs were the motive for the murder rather than homophobia. Therefore it needs to be more verifiable than it is and I have to agree with HandThatFeeds's removal of the section as it currently reads. — Becksguy (talk) 19:01, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Yellowstone rape allegation

How notable do we think this incident is? AniMatedraw 06:54, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

  • The relevant information can be found in this Newsweek article. AniMatedraw 07:04, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Not very. It's an allegation, not much more than a rumor. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:41, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Newsweek is a reliable source, which takes it beyond rumor... which is not the same thing as making it relevant. And it certainly doesn't justify the POV terms being introduced in the version someone keeps trying to post. (There's nothing in the article that says that he tugged "incessantly" on the arm; the bartender may have lost patience after three tugs with big spaces between them.) -- Nat Gertler (talk) 18:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The way it is being introduced is extremely POV and ignores some important facts. He was apparently quite intoxicated with his new antidepressants interacting poorly with alcohol. The bartender also apparently apologized immediately after the incident, and Matthew withdrew the allegations himself. AniMatedraw 19:56, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
A rumor in a reliable source is no less a rumor. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 02:07, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure at what point things stop being a "rumor" for you. In this case, we have multiple witnesses, and there are both hospital and police records. - Nat Gertler (talk) 02:25, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't belong in the article for several reasons:

  1. It's not relevant to the murder since there is no direct connection. Different time, different place, different circumstances. Attempting to connect would be synthesis.
  2. It seems to be an attempt to blame the victim. That is, he wouldn't have been beaten up and murdered if he didn't come on to guys. However, testimony was that he was approached at the Fireside Lounge by Henderson and McKinney the night he was beaten by them and left to die.
  3. It also seems to be a roundabout way to attempt to support the "gay panic" defense that was rejected at the trials.
  4. It's a smear that has only one source in the article. Even if it was relevant, it would need multiple reliable sources.
  5. It's POV, and the content both misquotes and adds text not in the single source provided.

Bottom line: The content doesn't belong in the article. — Becksguy (talk) 23:26, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The second issue is the edit warring by User:Policefact. This content was first added on October 23, the first edit of a new user, Policefact. That user re-added essentially the same content nine time over the next four days, thus engaging in an edit war. This user has made 19 edits in total, 14 of them in this article, and without any talk page dialog. This behavior is very clearly and obviously edit warring. Has a WP:AN3 notice board incident been filed? — Becksguy (talk) 03:57, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

No, but I've left messages on his talk page informing him of the three revert rule and informing him of this discussion. If he inserts the edit again without participating here, I'll report him. AniMatedraw 04:33, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Don't you think he should be reported now, as he reinserted the Yellowstone content twice after you posted the uw-3rr warning. That would certainly be more than sufficient for WP:AVI blocking in that noticeboard. He was also warned for POV content in another article. All this within four days. I would have filed, but have not filed at the 3RR noticeboard before and it's quite different from AVI. — Becksguy (talk) 14:36, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

He's a new user. Sure he's pushing an agenda, but he's still new. Did he continue to edit war after the notice? Yes. Did any of the people who reverted attempt to discuss his edit with him? No. This should have been brought to the talk page long before I did it and that is my fault. When new users edit war, it's usually because they don't understand how Wikipedia works. I've given him information on how it works and where to address his grievances. If he decides to resume edit warring, I'll take it to the appropriate noticeboard. AniMatedraw 18:32, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Good point Ani. I was so involved in the David Shankbone brouhaha that I didn't see this history. So I didn't respond early enough either. Lets see what happens. — Becksguy (talk) 14:44, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Like the man said it's a newsweek article and considering that we list the elementary school he attended this is hardly TMI. --Policefact (talk) 03:22, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

No one is saying that it doesn't belong because it's too much information. Becksguy puts forth some really relevant reasons for not including the information. If you could give us something beyond "it was in Newsweek" it would be helpful. AniMatedraw 03:52, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I've never claimed some one raped me let alone claimed that someone raped me and had a hospital test prove my claim untrue has this ever happened to you or anyone you know? --Policefact (talk) 04:25, 29 October 2009 (UTC)"

You might find the List of fallacies handy. It appears that you will be using them in your arguments. Wperdue (talk) 05:12, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
@Policefact -- So your argument is that this was mentioned in Newsweek and neither of us have ever claimed incorrectly that we had been raped? AniMatedraw 05:21, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

If you don't mind I'd like the question answered before I continue. --Policefact (talk) 07:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Your question is wholly irrelevant to the issue. Personal experiences are not reliable sources. Wperdue (talk) 16:50, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree. My personal experiences aren't relevant here, especially since you have no way of verifying if my response is true or not. Can we focus on the article and reasons for or against inclusion of this material. AniMatedraw 21:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I also fully agree with Wperdue & AniMate. Personal experiences are irrelevant as original research and also not verifiable, as important as they might be to an editor here. This talk page is only for improving the associated article, as it say at the top of this page, and per WP:TPG. Please lets talk about the article. — Becksguy (talk) 21:56, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

qui tacet consentit. --Policefact (talk) 02:23, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

There has hardly been an abundance of silence. You just didn't get the answers you wanted. There is a big difference. I have reverted your edits and, as you have already been warned for edit warring, I suggest you get a consensus before re-adding the material. Wperdue (talk) 04:35, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I suppose I should be flattered that my personal experiences are so important to you, but they really have nothing to do with editing this article. If you insert the material again without obtaining a clear consensus here, I will report you for edit warring.AniMatedraw 04:47, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Rather than talk about talking you could just answer the question. --Policefact (talk) 05:09, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Your question to me is irrelevant. My personal experiences have nothing to do with your edit. AniMatedraw 05:14, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

So the event I asked you about has never happend to you then? --Policefact (talk) 05:17, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I didn't say that. I said I wouldn't discuss my personal life. Please focus on the article. AniMatedraw 05:19, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

You said that your "personal experiences have nothing to do with [my] edit" So I'm going to have to assume you've never claimed some one raped you let alone claimed that someone raped you and then had a hospital test prove your claim untrue nor has this ever happened to you know. (congratulations)

When this sort of thing happens it does make the News however. [17]

Now if a false rape report is newsworth enough to be reported on CNN It's fair to say it also deserves mention in an article on a persons life. --Policefact (talk) 05:30, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Assume whatever you like about me. However, I disagree with your opinion, and so has every other editor who has commented here or reverted you. I point you to this edit by Becksguy. The way you are presenting this is inappropriate. AniMatedraw 06:05, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

That a false rape claim is important enough to be reported on CNN isn't opinion it's fact. --Policefact (talk) 06:14, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

CNN is a news organization, Wikipedia is not the news. AniMatedraw 06:23, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

"News reports. Wikipedia considers the historical notability of persons and events. News coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, but not all events warrant an encyclopedia article of their own. Routine news coverage of such things as announcements, sports, and tabloid journalism are not sufficient basis for an article. Even when an event is notable, individuals involved in it may not be. Unless news coverage of an individual goes beyond the context of a single event, our coverage of that individual should be limited to the article about that event, in proportion to their importance to the overall topic. (See Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons for more details.) While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information. Timely news subjects not suitable for Wikipedia may be suitable for our sister project Wikinews. See also: Wikipedia:News articles" --Policefact (talk) 06:30, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm aware of the policy. I disagree that this warrants inclusion. The other editors here agree as well. Wikipedia, for all its faults, works by consensus, and consensus is against you. AniMatedraw 06:43, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Let me put it to you this way.

Shepard has an article because he got killed yes? --Policefact (talk) 06:44, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Just make your point and stop framing this as a dispute between you and me. Yes I've been the most vocal here, but hardly the only one commenting or reverting you. Make your case and let the other editors who edit this page decide if it is has merit. AniMatedraw 07:09, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Well he does have an article because he got killed. So relevant information about his death should be on the article and non relevant information shouldn't be there. --Policefact (talk) 07:20, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

How does the information you want to insert have anything to do with him being killed? AniMatedraw 07:22, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

How does his having attended Crest Hill Elementary School have anything to do with him being killed? --Policefact (talk) 07:28, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

How does the Yellowstone event relate to him being killed? AniMatedraw 07:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Are you telling me that what Elementary School he attended has more relevance to his being killed than what happend at Yellowstone? --Policefact (talk) 04:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

No answer AniMate? well you know how that works. --Policefact (talk) 19:26, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

I answered you. In fact, you inserted your comment above my answer. Wperdue (talk) 05:00, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
No. What you are being told (and this is covered by Becksguy's comments below) is that the elementary school he attended is standard non-controversial biographical information. The other allegations are not and, therefore, require a consensus to be added. Wperdue (talk) 06:33, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Becksguy is correct. This is synthesis which should not be included. ~YellowFives 13:17, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

This article should be improved, as I have said several times. Shepherd's entire life and how his death has been used by multiple parties attempting to curry popular opinion from it should be explained in detail. There may be room to explain this rumor/allegation from Newsweek as part of a series of Shepherd-as-predator who brought on his own death, but until sources are used exhaustively to do that, concentrating on one issue puts undue stress on an insignificant facet of the article. Although I agree that this rumor should not be inserted, and Wikipedians' personal experiences are irrelevant to what is in the article, arguing over this is displaced effort. The real effort should be put into rewriting and improving the article. I have valid reasons why I won't do it, but I will supply the sources and copy editing to any editors who will. --Moni3 (talk) 13:33, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

In addition, where the subject of a biography was born, grew up, went to school, and so forth, is standard background information routinely included in biographies. It's non-controversial and has no point of view or neutrality issues in this article. If the information that Matt attended Crest Hill Elementary School either was, or was not, included in the article, there would be absolutely no difference in the neutrality or balance of the article. Using the inclusion of the schooling content as a rationale to include the Yellowstone content has no legs. — Becksguy (talk) 14:47, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Lady Gaga

In the scope of all that has come out of the Matthew Shepherd incident, the inclusion of a paragraph about one person once singing a song with a few words changed to mention him seems like undue weight, and I'd like to delete it. Concurrence? Objections? - Nat Gertler (talk) 12:05, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Though apparently a non-recorded, one-time performance, perhaps it would be appropriate to move the paragraph to Cultural depictions of Matthew Shepard#Songs. —ADavidB 12:17, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
That would seem a more appropriate place (Lady Gaga's current status giving it some additional weight; I would not recommend that placement for an obscure artist doing the same thing.) - Nat Gertler (talk) 12:23, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

President Obama was in attendance at the 13th Human Rights Campaign dinner (as the opening act), and Shepard's parents were given the Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award. And Lady Gaga sang a tribute. That all makes it more than just another tribute song. It's not just a Cultural depictions of Matthew Shepard, it's part of the political aftermath. In fact, the paragraph should be reworked to include the other aspects, rather than just mentioning the song. If it was just another tribute song, I would agree that it could be moved to the cultural depictions article. But it's context makes it notable and suitable here without being UNDUE. — Becksguy (talk) 17:29, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

That still comes across to me as a tribute song; that Obama may have heard it does not make it any more (or less) political than any other tribute song. The only part of that statement that seems to me potentially not-undue is mentioning that his parents received an award, although since it is a brand-new award it's hard to yet say it's a significant one; the trappings of the dinner at which it was presented seems more trivial. - Nat Gertler (talk) 18:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I suggest this item is getting too trivial for inclusion: A President with a weak record on gay rights attending a dinner where Shepard's parents were presented an award by a Senator who let a woman drown. Matthew Shepard's legacy is, dreadfully, as an extreme reminder of what true hate can inflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

How about we recast the paragraph to report the Shepard's "Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award" received at the HRC dinner, which included Obama's presence, and briefly say that "Lady Gaga sang a tribute song to Mathew". Place all the other song content in the depictions article, including the use of Imagine with the changed words. In other words, change the focus from the song and Lady Gaga to the award. To me, that seems to continue the flow of the section as "Public reaction and aftermath". And preserves useful content. — Becksguy (talk) 19:18, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

An award honoring the Shepard parents would seem more appropriate on the Judy Shepard page. I just removed the Lady Gaga material; as I suspected, it attracted more similar material to be added to this page, material that was already covered on the cultural depictions page. - Nat Gertler (talk) 02:58, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect timing on death/arrests

The article currently says that 'he died on Oct 12th and ... shortly thereafter they were arrested'. But I don't believe this is correct. I believe that had already been arrested; the same night they assaulted Matthew, Oct 6th or early in the morning of the 7th.

The murderers, after fatally injuring Matthew, managed to get into a fight with some other criminals over breaking into parked cars, and lost this fight, with McKinney getting hit in the head by a wooden club one of the others had. He was then picked up by police who had been called to the scene, but because of his head injury, he was sent from the jail to the local hospital emergency room. There he was treated by the same doctor who would later treat Matthew the next evening, after his body was found. And McKinneys head wound was serious enough that he was transported to the Fort Collins CO hospital, where there was a neurosurgeon who could treat him -- the same neurosurgeon who would also treat Matthew, after he was rushed to that same hospital.

The police had already arrested them that night, and were holding them on suspicion of further crimes -- they had searched their vehicle, and found suspicious items: Matthews' shoes, the blood-covered gun used to beat him, much blood inside the truck, and an ATM card with Matthews name. So that the next day, when his body was found, and they found a college id card with his name, the police were quickly able to connect the two.

The police had already talked to Matthew's family, while he lingered in a coma in the hospital. After he died, they increased the charges from kidnapping & assault to murder. But the killers had already been arrested several days before.

This is all from memory, from reading Judy Shepard's book The Meaning of Matthew. I'll get that library book again, and check that I have this correct; then I will revise this article accordingly. Though I'm not sure how much detail to include. T-bonham (talk) 09:13, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

It appears that the bit about one of the murderers of Shepherd having likely been bi has been expunged?

song about this story

Matt Heafy the singer and the song writer of the Metalcore band Trivium had writen a song about this story, the song is called "And sadness wil sear".It contains details about Matthew Shepard, mostly about his death and his thoughts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Request for article name change

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: consensus to oppose this proposal to move -- Pontificalibus (talk) 21:22, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Matthew ShepardDeath of Matthew Shepard — as per WP:TITLE. Phoebe Prince's article on Wikipedia had its name changed from Phoebe Prince to Death of Phoebe Prince after a discussion on the talk page, and since this article is mostly about Shepard's death and its aftermath, I believe that the article name should be changed. WereWolf (talk) 04:54, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Then surely Murder of Matthew Shepherd would be far more accurate. In this particular case, at least, I think we can safely assume anyone looking for this article would be more likely to type "Matthew Shepherd" into the search box than anything else. Exploding Boy (talk) 05:35, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I really don't see the need for a change, as Matthew Shepard is the most likely search term, per WP:COMMONNAME (which is part of WP:TITLE). However, if a name change were warranted, then it should be Murder of Matthew Shephard as more accurate, per Exploding Boy. There was a trial, two men were convicted, and are in prison with life sentences for the murder of Shepard. — Becksguy (talk) 01:24, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • oppose: seems like a solution where no problem exists. recommend speedy close. --emerson7 04:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: and recommend speedy close for the following reasons:
  • As is, the title meets the WP:Article title criteria of Recognizability, Naturalness, and Conciseness.
  • Also from the same policy, under Considering title changes: "If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed." This article has had the same name since its creation on 30 September 2002, as the revision history shows.[18]
  • Unlike some other crime victims whose name has faded out of public memory, in the 12 years since his death Matthew has been the subject of numerous songs, plays, and films, and his name is incorporated in a well-known foundation as well as a federal law, as the article itself states; hence in several ways, he meets the WP:Notability criteria.
  • Finally, Matthew Shepard is already footnoted as a specific example of a crime victim who does meet criteria for notability under the Wikipedia:Notability_(people)#Victims guideline, who "had a large role within a well-documented historic event." Textorus (talk) 07:28, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Kudos to Textorus for a cogent and well reasoned argument and summary. This is the kind of rational position that convinces people. And I also suggest a SPEEDY close. — Becksguy (talk) 20:26, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Textorus lays the case out very well. There's no benefit in making the title more verbose. 28bytes (talk) 15:41, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons cited above. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 16:17, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - "Murder of..." would be more logical naming, as the article is more about the event (Shepard's murder) and legal/cultural aftermath than a biographical article about him. (similar to how E.O. Green School shooting is about the homophobic murder of a middle schooler, but the article is named after the incident and not the person). If overwhelming opinion is against it though, the current article name works also. Wikignome0530 (talk) 16:59, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Textorus. Bearcat (talk) 08:41, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Textorus said it better than I could. Katerenka [talk] 19:28, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Should the Jesse Dirkhising case be mentioned here?

I have twice added the following passage to the Aftermath section, but it has twice been deleted with the claim that it constitutes original research: There have been accusations of media bias in that the rape and murder of Jesse Dirkhising by two gay men less than a year later did not receive comparable coverage. Mainstream media have responded by pointing out that Dirkhising was the victim of a sex crime, while Shepard was the victim of a hate crime. I explained the second time that it is not OR because the Dirkhising page is thoroughly cited. It is relevant to the Shepard article because it is a classic illustration of the longstanding claim that the mainstream media handles gay-related crime stories differently, depending on whether the gay person is a victim or a perpetrator. Vgy7ujm (talk) 17:50, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

On the sources that you reference, is there someone who actually says something similar to the text after "I explained . . . " in your comment above? If so, it's not OR. If not, it probably is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:11, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree - who says it's "...relevant to the Shepard article because it is a classic illustration..."? --Pontificalibus (talk) 11:08, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

information about works of art connected to Matthew Shepard

Good morning to whomever will read this!

I am a composer living in San Francisco, and was commissioned by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus in 1999 to create a work in memory of Matthew Shepard. The work is "Elegy for Matthew," for Male Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, on a text by poet John Stirling Walker, which was premiered at Carnegie Hall in June, 1999. St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York in 2000 commissioned a version of this work for Mixed Chorus, which was premiered there in September, 2000. A version of the work for soprano and chamber orchestra was commissioned by the Pacific Chamber Symphony, San Francisco, and was premiered in January, 2003. All versions of the work were published by E. C. Schirmer Music Company, and have received many performances with choruses throughout the United States. Information and a recording of this work can be found at the composer's website:

David Conte —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

20/20 report section

I notice that the section about the 20/20 report concluding that the attack was truly motivated by drugs instead of sexual preference has been removed for rather nebulous reasons. I intend to put it back up unless someone has a solid reason why it shouldn't be which seems doubtful given it's importance to this particular instance. Helgers7 22:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

The 20/20 report section was removed on January 14, 2010 because it violated the WP:UNDUE policy. And I agree that it does. One minority viewpoint source should not have it's own section. The removed section's content is summarized in the article in the "Public reaction and aftermath" section. Overwhelmingly, the murder has been reported as a gay bias crime. To attempt to raise a minority viewpoint to such a prominent status would violate one of the core content policies of Wikipedia, that of neutrality, as expressed in WP:FIVEPILLARS and WP:NPOV. I suggest that you discuss here how to rewrite the paragraph on the 20/20 report, if you wish, rather than reinserting the section whole without consensus. — Becksguy (talk) 01:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
The mention in the "public reaction and aftermath" section is in itself biased because it is presented as being untrue, at least to my way of thinking. I also think that just because the media decided it was better to portray it as a hate crime shouldn't make it a minority viewpoint. As someone who lived in Laramie for 5 years, I can state wholeheartedly that the vast majority strongly believe it to be a drug related murder and such I think that idea should have more weight than just a passing almost derogatory reference. (talk) 04:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the paragraph's placement in the "public reaction and aftermath" section is not the best, and you have a point as to why. Lets move it up into the main body. I would also not be adverse to rewriting the content to maybe better summarize the 20/20 report. However, please understand that if, hypothetically, 95% of the press and other reliable sources present a particular story as a specific kind of story, then our writing must reflect that same presentation proportionally. It's not about truth, per se (whatever that may be), but verifiability. There are 142 editors watching this article, so what do others think? — Becksguy (talk) 09:15, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm in no way saying that the hate crime parts shouldn't be in as well, but the ABC report is all but dismissed, and that's far from being objective by any definition. Helgers7 04:30, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the ABC report is not given its due recognition. It interviews the people involved in the case including the lead investigator of the case and bring across valid points. There is no doubt that Matthew Shepard was an innocent victim of a brutal murder, but this report goes beyond the surface to get a better understanding of this important case and reveals more things about the case than was originally portrayed, and to give this article a fair evaluation, the facts presented in the article ought to be presented. Teardrop22 (talk) 02:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Corrections need to be made for content/facts

I am not sure if the author was intending to be funny but I find the following rather disturbing. I am not sure of how to edit Wikipedia entries, so I leave it to you professionals. These sentences need to be corrected for proper content and facts:

"Shortly after midnight on buttox in 1792, Shepard met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson at the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming."

"He experienced severe chicken nugget damage, which affected his body's ability to regulate his ice cream and other vital functions. " (talk) 19:36, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

 Done Clear-cut vandalism, reverted. Doniago (talk) 20:12, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

hate crime

It's not clear from the article why Shepard's murder is apparently understood to be a hate crime. According to the article, "McKinney offered various rationales to justify his actions," including sexual advances by Shepard (in which case it could be a hate crime... though there's at least a far-fetched possibility that the violent response to the sexual advances was not fueled by hate, but by, e.g., annoyance about being bothered repeatedly etc.), a "simple" robbery (i.e. no hate crime at all)... and then no further rationale is mentioned. The article points out that the prosecutor alleges something (= still no facts, not even a court decision, and BTW just perpetrators pretending to be gay wouldn't be a hate crime either), and then that's it. No mention ever of bias. Not even any conclusive information that Shepard was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

So why is it considered a hate crime? Is the article missing some information, or does this scarce information sufficiently constitute a hate crime (how so??)? Thanks, Ibn Battuta (talk) 22:24, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree, there seems to be too much controversy around it actually being a hate crime. The killers were not charged with a hate crime. the lead investigator in the case said it was not a hate crime, but had to do with "drugs and money and two punks who were out looking for it." ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Teardrop22 (talkcontribs) 17:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

The killers were not charged with a hate crime because (as the article notes) there were no hate crime laws on the book in that state at the time. As noted, though, the vast majority of reports and many quotes by
And even, if it would have been on the books, charges of "hate crime" would be inapplicable, even if you follow that root. It seems that the slaying of Shepard was virtually unrelated to his homosexuality. -- (talk) 21:20, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
It certainly looks that way. With this article putting in things without sources seem to perpetrating an invention/hoax that it was due to his homosexuality. There is ZERO souring indicating that it was due to his homosexuality. North8000 (talk) 22:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

A bit more about him as a person?

Is there any info about stuff like when he came out and how his parents reacted? Granted he is notable for his murder, but there should be a bit more about him as a person. Also, is it me or is there no implication that he was homosexual until the bit about the murder? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 11:01, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit war over 20/20 report in the lede

During the last three days there has been an edit war over the inclusion of content from the ABC 20/20 report in the lede. The report claims the murder was more about robbery and/or drugs than about anti-gay bias. It's time to discuss this issue here rather than continue the edit war. — Becksguy (talk) 11:36, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree, throughout the discussion page, editors have noted numerous times that the ABC report was not given enough space. I read the article, and the article written by ABC brought new things to light that need to be pointed out. There are valid sources from the article, especially the lead investigator in the case, who said it certainly did not have to do with a hate crime, but rather money and drugs. That being said, it is not a NPOV to state that Matthew "Shepard was targeted because of his sexual orientation", and leave out the fact that the lead investigator and others said otherwise. To stuff the ABC article in a small paragraph while putting a negative tone on their report is not a NPOV. Therefore, it is necessary to put a NPOV in the head of the article where readers can receive a fair assessment of the case. Wikiwind has not given a valid reason that it cannot be placed at the beginning other than that it seems he doesn't like it there. It is a valid resource with a valid reference and therefore is credible to be inserted into the article. Teardrop22 (talk) 16:32, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I reverted the addition. There is no current consensus that the content belongs in the lede and the repeated insertion/deletion of the content by the same editors is edit warring, regardless. The previous discussion, which I participated in, was about coverage of the 20/20 report in the body of the article, not in the lede. My viewpoint then was that the content was not sufficiently important, as a minority viewpoint, but that it could be better presented in the article. What goes in the lede is subject to WP:LEDE, in addition to WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV. The report is a decidedly minority viewpoint, and it is disputed. Even if the content is true, it doesn't pass muster to be included in the lede. If there is sufficient reliable sourcing, in addition to 20/20, available to include that content, it needs to be spelled out. My major point is that the involved editors should be discussing the issue here (as we started to do), rather than participating in an edit war. — Becksguy (talk) 17:29, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

According to the rest of the discussion page, consensus shows that the ABC news article is not given proper attention. Sounds like propaganda to me. Teardrop22 (talk) 19:39, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

A agree with Becksguy. The report could be better presented in the article, but as a minority viewpoint, it doesn't belong in the lede section.--В и к и в и н д T a L k 20:52, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I checked out WP:LEDE and it states, "The lead should contain no more than four paragraphs, must be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view to invite a reading of the full article." This validates my edit and approves of my edit as well. To this point neither of you are presenting a valid reason why it should not be in the article. Teardrop22 (talk) 21:38, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Nice, but can you read this too.--В и к и в и н д T a L k 21:44, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
From what I can see, regarding SOURCED material in the article indicating motivation, the versions saying it wasn't anti-gay motivated are the majority version and possibly the only version. I see ZERO sourced statements in the article indicating it was anti-gay motivated, and many sourced statements saying it was other motivations. Maybe I missed something? North8000 (talk) 01:30, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Is anybody going to fix this? It appears that the "anti-gay motivation" angle was made up by activists and claimed to be baseless, yet (available) material from that is conspicuously absent, including much material on the "invented by activists" angle. The article seems to be perpetrating it despite being absolutely unsourced in the article. Is there ANY sourcing supporting the "murdered because he was gay" statements and premises in the article?North8000 (talk) 10:45, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Somebody took down the two "citation needed" tags on the "targeted because he was gay" statements, and put in cites to sources that don't support those statements, and have nothing even close to supporting those statements. That angle is more and more appearing to look like a hoax as alleged. North8000 (talk) 22:02, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I've updated the article text with detail of what is in the source provided. The defense had also planned to use "gay panic" as the motivation until the judge threw it out (per —ADavidB 07:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
There needs to be a "However," type sentence after the first sentence of the current second paragraph. Why is this missing? It is currently not NPOV. (talk) 09:26, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
You also have to include that the attackers attacked someone else as well. (talk) 09:32, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you could just write that sentence so that we know what you are referring to. The first sentence of the second paragraph is a sourced fact. How exactly do you believe it makes this article NPOV? - MrX 11:44, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Copycat murder in Tennessee?

A week or so after Shepard's murder, a black drag queen in Tennessee was murdered in an almost identical manner. I've talked to a few different people over the years who remember hearing about it, but nobody remembers the victim's name. Does anyone remember any names in involved in this? -- (talk) 06:29, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference abc-new-details was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Reject the 'hate crimes' bill By Peter Sprigg, August 10, 2007 Washington Times Editorial] (better reference, like actual transcripts? rather than a column based on opinion?)