Reject the ‘hate crimes’ bill

From Peter Sprigg and the Washington Times.

“Such a brutal crime was unusual, but not unheard of, in Laramie, Wyo. The victim had spent the evening drinking in a bar and accepted a ride from a stranger. It would be the victim’s last. The victim would be assaulted and then left outside of town on the prairie on a cold night — to die. No one would find the victim until the next day. The attacker, who was on drugs, had left his child and the child’s mother at home.

All of America is familiar with the story of Matthew Shepard — the homosexual college student whose death in 1998 made him the leading martyr of the homosexual movement and the poster boy of the push for “hate crimes” laws. Such laws, like the one recently passed by the House and pending in the Senate, are meant to give extra protection against violent acts motivated by bias — including bias against homosexuality.

The facts I described in the first paragraph do, indeed, fit the facts of Matthew Shepard’s death. But he’s not the victim I was referring to. I was writing about Cindy Dixon.

You’ve probably never heard of Cindy Dixon. But she does have a connection with the Shepard case. Her son, Russell Henderson, is one of two men now serving a life sentence in prison for the death of Matthew Shepard. But Cindy Dixon herself was the victim of a crime that had an eerie similarity to the Shepard killing. In January 1999, just three months after Matthew Shepard died, Cindy Dixon was also found dead by the side of a road outside Laramie. Matthew Shepard had met Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney in a bar. Cindy Dixon was picked up on a street corner after staggering out of one. Aaron McKinney brutally beat Matthew Shepard with the butt of a large handgun. Dennis Menefee is believed to have sexually assaulted Cindy Dixon, but her death was from hypothermia. Otherwise, the crimes were nearly identical.

The two men who killed Mr. Shepard — McKinney, who beat him, and Henderson, who tied him to a fence — are each serving two consecutive life terms in prison for felony murder. Dennis Menefee, who left Cindy Dixon in a snowbank, was sentenced to four to nine years in prison for manslaughter.”

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