In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student in Wyoming was brutally beaten by two men and died from his injuries. His story became synonymous with anti-gay hate crimes. Stephen Jimenez went to Laramie to research the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in 2000, after the two men convicted of killing him had gone to prison, and after the national media had moved on.
His aim was to write a screenplay on what he believed to be an open-and-shut case of bigoted violence. As a gay man himself, he felt an added moral imperative to tell Matthew Shepard’s story. But what Jimenez eventually found in Wyoming was a tangled web of secrets, plunging him into the underworld of drug trafficking. Over thirteen years, Jimenez traveled to twenty states and Washington DC, interviewing more than one hundred sources. The resulting work, “The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard,” has provoked debate not only about the facts of this case but discussion about how "truth" and "reality" are shaped by media. Stephen Jimenez will be at The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City on November 1 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.