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Saturday, May 9, 2009


I know there are various negative opinions about Mathew Shepherd and most are based on speculation and the associated conjecture. Even if all of the gossips are to be believed and he was all of the dirty things I refuse to repeat , the kid was killed for one reason - because he was different in a place where different can still get you killed.

The people who oppose the Matthew Shepard Act which would add sexual orientation and gender identity use quips like " isn't every crime a hate crime " and other sarcastic remarks to convince everyday folks that the addition is a joke . Then there are the hypocritical Bible-beaters like Fred Phelps who celebrate hate crimes . But the largest group of people are people who think that it won't affect anyone they know. Now that's where they are wrong.

This guy was a friend of mine many years ago . His name is Shawn Keegan , but everybody called him Junior . He was a friendly little guy about 5'6" , and pretty innocent-looking . He was homeless for a time and used to crash on my couch , but he was no freeloader , just a previously lost kid who was getting his life in order . That is , until May 21st , 1996 , the day prior to my 20th birthday. It was just after midnight when he was picked up by Marcello Palma , but instead of a sexy time , Junior got a bullet to the head . The same asshole stalked and shot dead 2 other folks that night. The guy was under mental health treatment but somehow was still allowed to own the .357 magnum used in the murders as well as a huge cache of rifles and handguns . And then Palma ran like the coward he is. When he was caught , he had the privlidge of hiring superstar lawyer Eddie Greenspan to claim him to be mentally incompetent (He was directed to kill "scum" by G-d) and fight for his life . Brenda , Shawn's mother , loudly fought for justice for three young people who Palma thought he had silenced. Because of the hate crime enhancement , all three charges were upped to First-Degree murder (25 years to life , parole not probable) instead of second (10 years to life , parole probable) , and on April 20 , 2001 , Marcello Palma was convicted of all counts and will never see an barbed-wire-free existence . Unfortunately , the scumbag has become something of a "celebrity" with a following of right-wing religious nuts . And that is abhorrent to me . If any "good" can come from this , it will be people seeing that this can happen to anyone's friend or family member , continue giving a voice to an exhuberant man who was taken just as his life was beginning. At least his killer got the time .

About 6 months after this , my friend Rahim (I don't have even a grainy photo but I drew a lot of "Flying Furrball" cartoons of him over the years I knew him) was tortured and killed by his closet-case so-called boyfriend and the mother of the boyfriend . He was injected over a period of 3 days with opiates and G-d knows what else and had actually escaped once before they threw him from the balcony of his 21st-store apartment. Rahim was 18 but had lived on his own for at least a couple of years and was doing quite well , until he met the family from hell . Rahim's family had him quickly buried under the guise of religion but in reality just wanted to bury the "shame" and nobody was ever convicted .

Both of these awesome dudes left the earth before I could introduce you to them . These were people who were killed by people so filled with self-hatred that they unleashed it on people who had done nothing wrong except be themselves .

My American friends , if there is ANYTHING that can be done to incarcerate unrepentant bashers and murderers for longer , you should be all for it . And you should sign the HRC petition to the U.S. Senate .


  1. I don't like the way the US treats violent crime. Mandatory minimums for pot are 20 yrs, but rapists get out after 5 mths. This includes pedophiles. And while sex offenders are required to register, I worked in a neighborhood where a group home for vulnerable adults was and there was a sex offender a few houses down. Prison systems complain they can't house all the violent criminals so they are "forced" to let them go. I think the mandatory minimums should be repealed for marajuana and put in place for all violent crimes. I am deeply sorry for your loss though.

    My next door neighbor when I was a teenager was beaten to a pulp by her high as hell husband. Somehow he found her apartment. We think he had been following her. She survived and tried to file charges, but my hometown laws had some loophole where if the suspect was not apprehended in 4 hrs of charges being filed the charged would be automatically dropped. Guess who was mysteriously missing for just enough time? He also managed to get the kids, the house and the business in the divorce settlement. She was required to pay child support.

  2. It wasn't my loss , it is the world's loss . And your scumbag neighbour papa should be taken out , tortured and shot , and have a herd of horses crap on his corpse. I keep hearing more and more stories like this and it just enrages every fibre of my being.

  3. Yeah he was military (which makes it even more funny that he got the business because he couldn't have possibly ran it when he was TDY or on base, but he lied and said she worked 1 day for it and the judge bought it despite everyone testifying) so I think he had some inside connections as far as knowing how he could get around the legal system for domestic violence. It seemed like he had been planned this coup for quite some time. My parents testified against him in court to no avail. Laws for violent crimes need to change. I would rather have a pothead on the street than a rapist anyway. I would rather have a violent husband behind bars than someone who sold a dimebag. And for fuck's sake when cops are excessively violent the departments need to stop backing them and can their asses w/ jailtime worse than a civilian offender. I'm tired of hearing about 10 yr old kids and 80 yr old grandmas being tazed like 47 times because they were "non compliant". That in itself is a hate crime.

    *sigh* I am furious about it too. 1 story is too many, it should never happen. I wish I could've known your friends, if they were any bit as cool as you the world really is at a loss. *hugs* wish I could say something more.


Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think