Brutal Killing Spurs Hate Crime Legislation
Lieutenant Dennis Adler and Prosecutor Cal Rerucha stretch out the chain used in the murder of Matthew Shepard while defendant Russell Arthur Henderson, seated, watches in the Albany County District Court in Laramie, Wyoming. Henderson, along with Aaron James McKinney, lured Shepard to a field on October 6, 1998, savagely beat him, tied him to a fence, and left him for dead. He died of his wounds six days later. Along with the murder of James Byrd, Jr., by white supremacists around the same time, this crime led to passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, 18 U.S.C. §249.