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Voice of Matthew Shepard's Killer to Feature in Laramie Epilogue


In August I posted about the 80-minute epilogue to The Laramie Project which was to open on the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death. Some new details: the show will be opening at more than 130 theaters simultaneously on October 12.

The AP reports that a major segment of the show features testimony from Aaron McKinney (above, center), whom gay actor/writer Greg Pierotti interviewed for more than 10 hours:


"According to the detailed notes taken by Pierotti and condensed into the new script, McKinney says he had been drawn to crime ever since childhood, feels sympathy for Shepard's parents and expresses regret that he let his own father down. 'As far as Matt is concerned, I don't have any remorse,' McKinney is quoted as saying in the script, which was provided to The Associated Press by the production company. McKinney, according to the script, reiterates his claim that the 1998 killing in Laramie, Wyo., started out as a robbery, but makes clear that his antipathy toward gays played a role. 'The night I did it, I did have hatred for homosexuals,' McKinney is quoted as saying. He goes on, according to the script, to say that he still dislikes gays and that his perceptions about Shepard's sex life bolstered his belief that the killing was justified. McKinney and his accomplice, Russell Henderson, targeted Shepard at a bar in Laramie in part because they assumed he was gay, according to the script. 'Well, he was overly friendly. And he was obviously gay,' McKinney is quoted as saying. 'That played a part ... his weakness. His frailty. And he was dressed nice. Looked like he had money.'"

Of Judy Shepard's ongoing work against hate crimes, McKinney says: "...she never shuts up about it, and it's been like 10 years."

Pierotti says he wanted to address whether or not the murder was a hate crime, a question raised by a sensationalist 20/20 segment by Elizabeth Vargas in 2004 claiming the murder was motivated by drugs.

Adds Pierotti: "He's perfectly comfortable acknowledging he doesn't like gay people, and for me it was unnerving to experience his lack of remorse. Yet I feel very protective of him — not in an apologist way, but I see he has a lot of complexity. ... As an artist, it's more interesting to dig into who this person is."

The New York performance, which will take place at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, will reportedly be connected to all the other performances by the internet with a live question-and-answer session following the debut.

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  1. McKinney is disgusting, but the interview is definitely important, as far right wingnuts, ABC's 20/20 (under the guidance of wingnut a**hole John Stossel), and washed-up losers like Camille Paglia have been trying for years to pretend that Shepard's death was just about drugs or robbery and that anti-gay sentiment wasn't a key motivation for what took place. Now you have the killer definitively on record saying that it was. Pierotti should be commended for nailing this down, on record and at length, once and for all.

    Pierotti's suggestion, however, that he feels "protective" of McKinney may be saintly, but it kind of makes me sick.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Sep 29, 2009 8:49:08 AM

  2. Amazing work getting him to speak on the record about this. Amazingly inexcusable to say he feels "protective" of someone who would like nothing more than to crucify you and get away with it.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Sep 29, 2009 9:37:32 AM

  3. Good example of an animal that should be kept locked deep within the prison system for the rest of his natural life. Pathology like that just can't be fixed.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Sep 29, 2009 10:00:43 AM

  4. "Yet I feel very protective of him — not in an apologist way, but I see he has a lot of complexity. ... As an artist, it's more interesting to dig into who this person is."

    Yet another pathetic gay man with a taste for trade.

    A lot of complexity, please. A violent homophobe. I'll bet if he was fat and ugly, you wouldn't find so much "complexity".

    Posted by: Spot | Sep 29, 2009 10:17:23 AM

  5. Too bad nobody was around to be protective of Matthew. The only person that is qualified to forgive this murderer is God.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 29, 2009 10:27:58 AM

  6. I don't know if I am more mad at Pierotti or the killers. The killers are animals, and are beyond redemption as far as I am concerned. But this guy, Pierotti,... protective? Complex? Artist? And I suppose what you step in on the sidewalk is "Dog Treats"? Let's stop trying to overintellectualize. They are hatemongers who by the heinous nature of their actions, deserve no consideration as human beings. Plain and simple. "Artist" my a....!

    Posted by: Reggie | Sep 29, 2009 10:29:02 AM

  7. Spot FTW

    Posted by: Chrissypoo | Sep 29, 2009 11:21:24 AM

  8. What a monster. Proving ALL homophobes are capable of murder...every single one of them.

    This monster will rot in hell, and it gives me satisfaction knowing his whole life is absolutely detroyed. All three of them. Pieces of sick shits. You'll amount to nothing but bacteria in prison!

    Posted by: Bayley | Sep 29, 2009 1:26:38 PM

  9. Can't wait!! have my tickets to the DC premier!

    Posted by: Drew | Sep 29, 2009 9:40:16 PM

  10. Don't call him a monster or an animal; that dis-burdens him of his guilt in the evil he has done. What he did was animalistic, monstrous, but he is still a man committed an act of meditated choice, an ethical act.

    Posted by: Zach | Sep 30, 2009 12:00:28 AM

  11. The names Matthew Shepherd, Harvey Milk and Mark Bingham will live in the generations , long after these murderous, bigoted, hate filled, sour scum have rotted into quicklime.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 30, 2009 5:25:59 PM

  12. The first 6 comments here show at once that most don't understand at all why Pierotti would feel protective of his subject, and why he does.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Sep 30, 2009 8:04:16 PM

  13. I'm a 30 yr old lesbian(obviously lesbian) who went to prison in wyoming. They shipped us to a texas holding facility where aaroon mckinney & henderson wee as well. Mckinney got snuck into my dormatory one time to see a female inmate. I was aprehensive to share space for any amount of time with a man who killed someone who was also gay like I am. But what choice did I have I was in a cell. Funnily enough he gave me the same rap about the robbery gone bad but blaintlainly denied any homophobia as a motive so I'm glad I read this article. I'm a tattoo artist & mckinney asked me if I,d be willing to tattoo him while he was in our unit...I asked him what he had in mind & he said I want murder across my chest & I told him he'd be better off to put matthew across his chest....

    Posted by: jericho | Oct 21, 2010 10:45:42 PM

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