Friday, February 7, 2014

Jesse Dirkhising, the murder that didn't count



The following has been circulating for a while now. I didn't write it, but it's important to remind people of what happened to this young boy and why the media has so blatantly ignored it for ten long years.

Why This Death Didn’t Count

Most Americans, and many in other countries, have heard of Matthew Shepard, the 21- year-old Wyoming college student who in October 1998 was robbed, beaten and left to die on a fence in an alleged antihomosexual “hate crime.” Details of his death and the trials of his murderers were recounted endlessly in newspapers and television news programs.

He became a cause célèbre for hate-crime legislation and the subject of several books and at least two made-for-TV movies.

Few, however, have ever heard of Jesse Dirkhising. That’snot surprising, since the Arkansas seventh-grader’stragic death less than a year later,in September 1999, and the circumstances surrounding it were not considered newsworthy by those who shape the news we hear.

The difference, as some media watchers have pointed out, is that the two men who tied up and blindfolded 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising, gagged him with his own underwear and repeatedly sodomized him before he suffocated were homosexuals. When Mr. Shepard was murdered, a great outcry arose for more hate-crime legislation. When Jesse Dirkhising was murdered, not only was there no outcry for hate-crime legislation, there were extremely few news sources that even carried the story.

A writer for The New Republic, himself a homosexual, reported on the media double standard in the April 2, 2001, edition. “. . . You’ve probably never heard of this case,” he wrote. “The New York Times has yet to run a single story about it. The Washington Post has run only a tiny Associated Press report—and an ombudsman’s explanation of why no further coverage is merited . . .

“In the month after Shepard’smurder, [the media reported] 3,007 stories about his death.

In the month after Dirkhising’s murder, [the media reported] 46 stories about his. In all of last year, only one article about Dirkhising appeared in a major mainstream newspaper, The Boston Globe. The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times ignored the incident completely. In the same period, The New York Times published 45 stories about Shepard and The
Washington Post published 28. This discrepancy isn’t just real. It’s staggering . . .

“So why the obsession with Shepard and the indifference with regard to Dirkhising? The answer is politics. The Shepard case was hyped for political reasons: to build support for inclusion of homosexuals in a federal hate-crimes law.The Dirkhising case was ignored for political reasons: squeamishness about reporting a story that could discredit that, and the lack of any pending interest-group legislation to hang a story on.

“The same politics lies behind the media’s tendency to extensively cover white ‘hate crimes’ against blacks while ignoring black ‘non-hate crimes’ against whites. What we are seeing, I fear, is a logical consequence of the culture that hate-crimes rhetoric promotes. Some deaths—if they affect a politically protected class—are worth more than others. Other deaths, those that do not fit a politically correct profile, are left to oblivion. The leading gay rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign—which has raised oodles of cash exploiting the horror of Shepard’s murder—has said nothing whatsoever about the Dirkhising case.”

Examples like this—and many more that can be found through searches of alternative media sources on the Internet—demonstrate that most major media outlets often aren’t reporting the full spectrum of the news, but only the news they want you to hear.

10 comments:

Ryan said...

You're a cunt.

Anonymous said...

^ I agree with Ryan

Anonymous said...

Wait, who said the two guys who raped him were gay?

Most men who rape other men do it for power, not because they're gay. Haven't you read "The Kite Runner"? Go back to high school.

Alex Harman said...

In this case, they actually were gay -- they were a gay couple who had lived together in a long-term relationship for several years. However, and this is the part the right-wingers trying to make hay out of this case refuse to recognize, that in no way makes their crime analogous to the murder of Matthew Shepard. It wasn't a hate crime, it was a sex crime, no more or less heinous than other sex crimes against children and adolescents that happen on a daily basis in this country. It was somewhat unusual in that the victim was male -- the majority of such crimes are committed against girls -- and considerably more so in that the two perpetrators were a gay couple; most sex crimes are committed by individual men, or by pairs or groups of men who are friends (like Charles Ng and Leonard Lake, or Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris) and/or relatives (like first cousins Angelo Buono and Ken Bianchi, better known as the Hillside Stranglers), but not sexually involved with one another. When such crimes are committed by couples, they are nearly always male-female couples -- the Dirkhising murder is the only exception I have ever heard about, though I'd be surprised it it's unique -- with over 6 billion people on earth, there almost have to be at least a few other predatory gay couples.

Generally, to be considered nationally newsworthy, a sex-murder has to be deliberate murder, rather than the kind of unintentional felony-murder this was (all evidence points to the conclusion that the intent was to rape the victim, but not to kill him), and must usually also be one of a series perpetrated by the same killer or killers. The best analogy for Jesse's death is not that of Matthew Shepard, but that of Tammy Lynn Homolka. Like Jesse, Tammy was drugged by a couple she thought were trustworthy -- her own sister, Karla, and Karla's fiancé, Paul -- raped repeatedly, and asphyxiated due to the drugs she was given and the position in which she was abused (though in her case it was due to being laid on her back -- the combination of alcohol and sedatives caused her to vomit while unconscious, and she aspirated the vomit and effectively drowned). Her death would never have come to light as a murder at all, much less become national news, had her killers not gone on to commit the deliberate murders of at least two other teenaged girls, Leslie Erin Mahaffey and Kristen Dawn French.
(to be continued...)

Alex Harman said...

Even so, the Bernardo Homolka murders were not as large a story (at least here in the States -- they dominated the news in Canada, which has a smaller population, lower per capita murder rate, and far fewer serial killers than its neighbor to the south) as the Matthew Shepard case, for precisely the reason the Washington Post's ombudsman gave for the lack of coverage of Dirkhising: there was no lesson to be learned. While Shepard's death represents the tip of an iceberg of prejudice against gay people that validates violence against them in the eyes of many, murders like Homolka's and Dirkhising represent flotsam -- the depraved acts of individuals entirely detached from social norms and acting in opposition to, not in accord with, those norms.

The lesson the religious right wants us to take from Dirkhising's murder is that homosexuals are evil and a danger to children, but that, not to put too fine a point on it, is bullshit: Joshua McCabe Brown and Davis Carpenter are no more representative of gay couples in general than Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka are of straight couples in general. Or, for that matter, than Gerald and Charlene Gallego, or David and Catherine Bernie, or Alton Coleman and Debra Brown, or Mary Frances Creighton and Everett Applegate, or , or Ricky Dean Davis and Dena Riley, or Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, or Judith and Alvin Neelley, or Carol (no relation to Ted) Bundy and Doug Clark, or Fred and Rose West, or Jim Deveggio and Michelle Michaud are of straight couples in general.

A homophobe with a sufficiently weak grasp of statistics might argue that there are fewer gay than straight couples, so Bernardo and Homolka represent more of an aberration than Carpenter and Brown, but there are plenty of other straight serial killer couples to choose from, and the number of their victims runs into the dozens or hundreds, whereas Jesse Dirkhising may well be the only known victim of a rape-murder perpetrated by a gay male couple. If there's something newsworthy about his murder, it's that very rarity, but that's precisely the opposite of the "lesson" the right-wing press has been attempting to draw from it. The first gay serial killer couple has yet to be uncovered, as does the first deliberate rape-murder by a gay couple. And when they are, they still won't have any more relevance to the rights of the vast majority of decent, law-abiding gay people than the numerous murders committed by the aforementioned heterosexual serial killer couples have to the rights of the vast majority of decent, law-abiding straight people.

Jen35 said...

I guess my question would be to Ryan and Mr. Anonymous: Why so angry? Jesse Dirkhising in my opinion was a victim of a brutal child abduction and assault. Alex, I agree it wasn't a hate crime. However, our media is very distorted. They like to stir things up.

I do want to point out the Kansas hate crime on the three white girls by close to 40 african americans that were tried in juvenile court despite some being close to 17. That crime shoudve been publicized .. God knows if that happened the other way around, Jesse Jackson and a sleu of others would be picketing for justice.

Christopher Chapman Curry said...

Thank you for this post. I usually do not comment on what I read, but given the hateful, malicious vitriol thrown at you here, I had to speak up. I am-sadly-not at all surprised to see how thoroughly this remarkably horrible crime has been covered up by the media: until a few moments ago I had never even heard this poor child's name (and that by chance), and I know why. Reporting this exceedingly loathsome homosexual sex-crime, a crime perpetrated upon a child (pedophilia), would have been (and, of course, still is)anathema to the agenda of the GLBTQ forces which are tirelessly seeking to normalize the psycho-sexual behavioral disorder of homosexuality. What happened to Matthew Shepard was heart-breakingly atrocious and evil, and as an African-American man I feel that I am particularly sensitive to how he was brutally murdered (middle of nowhere, dark, alone, drunk guys, scared out of his mind, tied to something, tortured). My heart bled for him. This crime received the attention it deserved. However, the lame excuses offered up (here on this blog, and by the media)as to why the Dirkhising child's murder received such short shrift in the media ring so hollow and would be laughable were it not for the truth they reveal: many homosexuals and their advocates do not care a jot about children or the young aside from their potential use to them as potential partners (future, or otherwise...). If these people cared so much about the health and welfare of children they would not continually obfuscate issues surrounding pedophilia: for instance, the old chestnut "heterosexual men are far more likely to molest children than homosexuals are". Well, yes, and then, no: straight men comprise about 98-99% of all men, so of course, if any number of them are molesting girls these numbers are going to exceed the numbers of boys molested by homosexuals. However, of all children molested, boys (yes, minors molested by men)make up a third-with only about 7% of them having been molested by women. In other words, homosexual pedophiles-as opposed to heterosexual pedophiles-perpetrate their crimes upon their young victims at a staggeringly huge rate: 1-2% of the population (please spare me the totally discredited 10%-Kinsey-nonsense)responsible for so much of the life-long, life-altering misery that being the victim of a pedophile brings. Google it for yourselves, check and collate a few sources. Do I think that all, or even most homosexuals are pedophiles? No. But there is simply no way that the vast majority of them-especially the ones reporting the news-do not know the extent of the pedophilia issue within their community. This deliberate and habitual covering-up, the distortions, and the outright falsehoods promulgated by the GLBTQ community and their advocates have lead me to believe that the worst is true: their agenda is very, very dark, and it involves our chldren...
As one Christian to another, Thanks again for having the courage to post this.
Peace

Christopher Chapman Curry said...

Thank you for this post. I usually do not comment on what I read, but given the hateful, malicious vitriol thrown at you here, I had to speak up.
I am-sadly-not at all surprised to see how thoroughly this remarkably horrible crime has been covered up by the media: until a few moments ago I had never even heard this poor child's name (and that by chance), and I know why. Reporting this exceedingly loathsome homosexual sex-crime, a crime perpetrated upon a child (pedophilia), would have been (and, of course, still is)anathema to the agenda of the GLBTQ forces which are tirelessly seeking to normalize the psycho-sexual behavioral disorder of homosexuality. What happened to Matthew Shepard was heart-breakingly atrocious and evil, and as an African-American man I feel that I am particularly sensitive about how he was brutally murdered (middle of nowhere, dark, alone, drunk guys, tied to something, scared out of his mind, tortured). My heart bled for him. This crime received the attention it deserved.
However, the lame excuses offered up (responses here on this blog, and by the media)as to why the Dirkhising child's murder received such short shrift in the media ring so hollow and would be laughable were it not for the truth they reveal: many homosexuals and their advocates do not care a jot about children or the young aside from their potential use to them as potential partners (future, or otherwise...). If these people cared so much about the health and welfare of children they would not continually obfuscate issues surrounding pedophilia: for instance, the old chestnut "heterosexual men are far more likely to molest children than homosexuals are". Well, yes, and then, no: straight men comprise about 98-99% of all men, so of course, if any number of them are molesting girls these numbers are going to exceed the numbers of boys molested by homosexuals. However, of all children molested, boys (minors molested by men)make up a third-with only about 7% of them having been molested by women. In other words, homosexual pedophiles-as opposed to heterosexual pedophiles-perpetrate their crimes upon their young victims at a staggeringly huge rate: 1-2% of the population (please spare me the totally discredited 10%-Kinsey-nonsense)responsible for so much of the life-long, life-altering misery that being the victim of a pedophile brings.
Google it for yourselves, check and collate a few sources.
Do I think that all, or even most homosexuals are pedophiles? No. But there is simply no way that the vast majority of them-especially the ones reporting the news-do not know the extent of the pedophilia issue within their community. This deliberate and habitual covering-up, the distortions, and the outright falsehoods surrounding this issue promulgated by the GLBTQ community and their advocates have led me to believe that the worst is true: their agenda is very, very dark, and it involves our chldren...
As one Christian to another, Thanks again for having the courage to post this.
Peace

Anonymous said...

"The lesson the religious right wants us to take from Dirkhising's murder is that homosexuals are evil and a danger to children, but that, not to put too fine a point on it, is bullshit"

The lesson they want to point out is exactly what the title says. Some murders mean less then others, you try to downplay the Dirkhising murder because it was "involuntary" but anyone who mentions that Shepard was a drug dealer and that his murderers were only trying to rob him (and that the involuntarily killed him)...well somehow that's seen as outrageous and cruel. In fact, I might accuse you of what you accuse the "religious" right. After all, weren't many gay rights groups blaming the fiery sermons of evangelicals over the murder of Shepard? Kind of like how you claim that Dirkhising's murder is being used to prove how evil gays are. I have to say, your bias is truly sickening

Leonardo de la Paor said...

14.07.2010
Kevin Bishop, an admitted pederast (pedophile), is promoting the work of the North American Man - Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) in South Africa. Bishop, who was molested at the age of six, is also an admitted homosexual who is blunt about the relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia.
"Scratch the average homosexual and you will find a pedophile," said Bishop in an interview with the Electronic Mail & Guardian (June 30, 1997).
This pedophile/homosexual activist began studying pedophilia while a student at Rhodes University. He also discovered Karl Marx there, as well as other literature that helped form his world view. His views are being echoed around the world by homosexual activists who are seeking what they call "sexual freedom” for children."