It was the hate crime that shocked not only the nation but the world.
On the night of October 8th, 1998 Matthew Shepard was brutally attacked, pistol whipped, tied to a fence and left to die tied to a fence by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson in Laramie, Wyoming. It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears. Shepard, who was still alive but in a coma, was discovered 18 hour later on the morning of October 7th.
Matthew passed away a few days later on October 12, 1998 and the world mourned.
Now, 20 years later Matthew’s remains will finally be put to rest.
The New York Times reports:
For 20 years, the ashes of Matthew Shepard have not been laid to rest. Mr. Shepard’s killing in 1998, when he was a 21-year-old college student, led to national outrage and, almost overnight, turned him into a symbol of deadly violence against gay people.
Mourners flocked to his funeral that year in Casper, Wyo., but there were also some protesters, carrying derogatory signs. Mr. Shepard’s parents worried that if they chose a final resting place for their son, it would be at risk of desecration. Now they have found a safe place. On Oct. 26, Mr. Shepard will be interred at the Washington National Cathedral, the neo-Gothic, Episcopalian house of worship that is a fixture of American politics and religion.
“I think it’s the perfect, appropriate place,” Dennis Shepard, Matthew’s father, said in an interview on Thursday. “We are, as a family, happy and relieved that we now have a final home for Matthew, a place that he himself would love.”
Requiescat in pace, Matthew (1976-1998)