A "20/20" INVESTIGATIVE REPORT -- WAS THE 1998 MURDER OF MATTHEW SHEPARD
IN LARAMIE, WYOMING REALLY AN ANTI-GAY HATE CRIME? ELIZABETH VARGAS HAS
AN EXCLUSIVE REPORT WHICH UNCOVERS SURPRISING NEW EVIDENCE,
AIRING ON ABC NEWS' "20/20," FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Men Convicted of Shepard's Murder Speak for the First Time Since Being Sentenced
An ABC News investigative report re-examines the 1998 headline making murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was severely beaten and tied to a fence by two men on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Shepard died a few days after the incident. It was not only the beating/death itself that spurred the national headlines and demonstrations, but the sexual orientation of the victim. Shepard became a symbol for the gay community when the murder was deemed an anti-gay hate crime. Two local men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, both 21 at the time, were convicted of murder and both are now serving double life sentences. The whole world seemed sure that what happened in Laramie was a clear cut case of tolerance vs. hate. But was the murder of Matthew Shepard a "gay bashing," or were there other factors in play that night? The report airs on "20/20," FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
This exclusive ABC News investigation uncovers surprising new information, including Laramie's underground world of methamphetamine use, which may have contributed to the crime. Elizabeth Vargas conducts exclusive prison interviews with McKinney and Henderson, who speak for the first time since being sentenced. The investigation also questions whether the killers knew Shepard prior to that fateful night.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is the executive producer.