Saturday, October 07, 2006

Matthew Shepard (December 1, 1976 to October 12, 1998)

Matthew Wayne Spehard was born to an average american family. He was born into a two parent church attending family and he had a very average american life in many ways.

He was fortunate enough to travel and study abroad for high-school and he learned many languages.

Matthew Wayne Shepard is a story known to many across the USA and Canada now. He was a student in Wyoming who was attacked onOctober 7, 2006. It was a brutal attack and he died five days later. The men who killed him are serving life sentences in prison.

Matthew was 21 years old when he died. He was robbed, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. The beating left him with a fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. His brain damage was so severe that his entire body's abilityt o regulate his own heart rate, temperature, and vital signs was effected. He had a dozen facial lacerations. He never regained consciousness and was on life support until he was pronounced dead on October 12. When Matthew was initially found he was mistaken for a scarecrow.

There are varied accounts of what happened with the murderers giving many different stories but it is widely concluded that Matthew's sexual orientation was a factor in selecting him for the robbery and beating.

As he was in intensive care there were vigils throughout the nation wth the public reacting with warmth and prayer.

Since then Melissa Etheridge wrote the song "Scarecrow" as a tribute to him referring to him initially being thought of as a scarecrow when he was found. Elton John wrote "American Triangle" Coretta King wrote to Matthew's mother expressing her sympathy and sharing her support for gay and lesbian rights.

Matthew's parents have become very involved in civil rights issues and want to keep their son's memory alive through their work.

No parent should ever have to know that the child that they carried for 9 months, birthed, and raised was beaten and left tied to a fence to die. No human being should have that as final chapter of their life. While I do not believe in capital punishment I am thankful that these men have life sentences.


Post a Comment

<< Home