The author of a book on Mathew Shepard says his death was related to drugs and not his sexual orientation. Stephen Jimenez writes that Shepard was involved in the Methamphetamine trade and that his horrific murder was the result of a drug deal gone wrong.
He says Shepard's main killer had been using meth which fueled the attack, an assertion that law enforcement authorities say is not true.
Jimenez says Shepard was friends with one of the killers named Aaron McKinney. McKinney has repeatedly denied ever meeting Shepard, but Jimenez says he’s interviewed several witnesses who disagree.
"It’s common procedure among criminals to protect people that are their accomplices. In this case I think he was very careful about protecting people who were his suppliers. So the fact that Aaron McKinney denied knowing Matthew Shepard is that would open a can of worms that Aaron McKinney was not interested in doing."
Jimenez says it’s important to set the record straight about what happened to Shepard and to draw attention to Wyoming’s Meth problem.
"It’s easier to feel sad about what happened to Mathew Shepard. To stick with the legend and the myth…it’s easier. I think it’s harder, it requires more of us, it’s more challenging, and requires more courage to look at the complexities of this and really understand it."
Jimenez will discuss his book Tuesday night at seven at the Gryphon Theatre in Laramie. He says he’s not trying to minimize the crime. The Mathew Shepard Foundation says the book is based on rumors and innuendo.