It is inconceivable to me that any thinking person would view Stephen Jimenez’s book about Matthew Shepard as anything other than an attempt to cash in on a tragic event. The article does not identify who organized the panel to discuss Mr. Jimenez’s work of fiction, but it demonstrates a shocking lack of sensitivity to the family and the community of Laramie during the anniversary month of Matthew Shepard’s death. History is what it is - it cannot be re-written to create a more desired or acceptable narrative. The circumstances of Matthew’s death are an inconvenient and painful truth, and making the victim responsible for his own horrific death is beyond unconscionable. None of Mr. Jimenez’s book holds up to scrutiny and the author himself seeks to avoid questions about his research. Those involved in the investigation surrounding Matthew’s death have called the book pure fiction, and unlike Mr. Jimenez, they have the facts. The world will always have its Stephen Jimenezes who exploit the pain and tragedy of others for their own gain: the least we can do is deny them the legitimacy of obscure ‘book awards’ and public panels.

Patricia McDaniel


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