Monday, November 13, 2006

Matthew Shepard vs. Mary Stachowicz: Why Did AP Hype One Murder Victim and Ignore the Other?

The ugly truth is too much for most in the media to admit:
they would have cared a lot more about Mary Stachowicz
if she were “gay,”
and if her murderer, Nick Gutierrez, were not.

read story here.

14 comments:

Dani said...

Yeah - I was wondering where all the outrage is?

I guess it's only considered a "hate crime" if a homo dies.

I am really surprised that this guy may get the death penalty. At least something good is coming out of this.

Josiah said...

1. The man was gay? Did he keep his eyes closed during the raping process or something?

2. Matthew Shephard was left to die on a fence after he was beaten and his brain stem was smashed in. Until then, hate crimes were almost completely ignored. It would have gone away in a week if Laramie didn't react so strongly, and then events like the funeral with the Westboro baptist church picket didn't happen.

3, So they used the self-defense plea and made an excuse, that, judging from the evidence, looks shaky anyway.

4. As soon as it starts mentioning "bigoted and crude stereotypes" without any quotes or the like, it's not giving the full story at all.


5. There is no proof that he killed the woman because she was a Christian. from the evidence, as prosecutors argued, it was because he was stealing from a purse. In other words, it's not a hate crime.

Kevin said...

Why is it that I easily found an article by the Associated Press on the trial of this man? Peter LaBarbera, at AmericansforTruth needs to figure out what 'truth' really means.
I knew about her and what had happened to her soon after the trial--I don't remember where I read it (probably in the S.F. Chronicle).

And before I get jumped on, I think what this horrible guy did deserves the death penalty--absolutely.

Also, am I the only one to question why in the heck a supposedly gay man raped and sodomized a woman who reminded him of his mother?

LaBarbera is only concerned with glorifying violence. He is more concerned with getting a bit of publicity out of this and it is pretty shameful of him to use the death of this woman to glorify himself.

jas said...

people would have cared a lot more about my cousin's mother if she were a 5 year old beauty queen too.

it is sad that people don't get the recognition, but its not up to us. its up to the moronic People magazine, Us magazine, Enquirer reading public with a 2 second attention span.

Stephen said...

I didn't know about Matthew Shephard until I came across Fred Phelps' website where he claimed to have a voice recording of Matthew burning in hell. Nice.

Gay guys tend not to rape women... To the best of my knowledge, we tend not to get off on women.

This sounds to me like a crime. A horrible crime, but a sadly common one. People are killed in America all the time, the American people don't seem to care at all about the life of another person, especially if that person is not white.

Mark said...

I abhore Westboro members, all 9 of them!

Christinewjc said...

When I originally heard about this horrible murder, it was then that I realized that the whole concept of "extra" punishment for "hate crimes" was hopelessly misguided and could potentially be terribly misused.

Why was this woman's murder less newsworthy than Matthew Sheppard's? Both were horrific. All the murderers deserved the death penalty. But that doesn't answer why the media pumped up its exposure for one over the other.

The answer is that a murder that puts a terrible blot upon the gay agenda's desire for "hate crimes" laws will not stand the test if such murders (as Stachowicz's) are well known. People will then realize that elevating one social group above another can cause severe problems. This includes the nasty habit of some "staged hate crimes" done by lesbians and gays. (I have examples, too, if interested in seeing them).

In the past, I did some forum board research about this case. I hope you don't mind, Mark, that I post them. What was said by gay activists and their advocates on that board is very telling of the double standard that they adhere to when it comes to perceived "hate" crimes...even murder!

*******
This was originally posted back in July 2004 at my message board site.

Silence to applause of homosexual murderer



'Gay' Reaction to Mrs. Stachowicz’s Murder: Silence to Applause 12/4/2002
By Allyson Smith



"I really don't feel sorry for her. She paid a very steep price for being an arrogant religious fascist. Too bad for her." – "Iris," in a posting on the ACLU Online Forum.




"Quite frankly, if anyone in this case was being ‘persecuted’ it was Mr. Gutierrez. Unfortunately for the victim this was a lesson that she learned too hard and too late. Maybe this will give pause to other people who similarly try to ‘help’ homosexuals." — "Silence Dogood," on ACLU Online Forum.






Mary Stachowicz

In the three weeks since Mary Stachowicz was murdered by homosexual Nicholas Gutierrez in Chicago, some pro-homosexualists have reacted with much more sympathy for the ‘gay’ killer than for his Christian victim. In fact, several even have gone as far as saying that Mrs. Stachowicz deserved to die for questioning the man’s lifestyle.






Predictably, the mainstream media and homosexual advocacy organizations have reacted to Mary Stachowicz’s murder the same way they did to 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising’s torture-murder at the hands of two homosexual men in 1999: by avoiding it. As of December 4, no formal condemnations of Mrs. Stachowicz’s murder have been issued by leading groups such as the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.




Soulforce, a group that works in churches to oppose the traditional Christian view of homosexuality, issued no press statement, but a spokeswoman did give a quote to The Washington Times:




"We condemn this murder, like we do all murders," said Laura Montgomery Rutt, spokeswoman for Soulforce. "A hate crime needs to have an intent to intimidate a whole class of people. If in this case, it was directed at this person and intended to intimidate Christians, that would be a hate crime in my mind."




A devout Catholic, Mary Stachowicz met her martyrdom while working at the Sikorski Funeral Home on Chicago’s northwest side, where she got to know Gutierrez, 19, who lived in a second-floor apartment above the funeral home. On the afternoon of November 13, Stachowicz attended Mass at St. Hyacinth parish across the street, then returned to the funeral home and went to visit Gutierrez in his apartment.




According to Chicago police, an argument broke out when Mrs. Stachowicz lectured Gutierrez about his lifestyle and his lack of direction in life. Gutierrez later told police that he had issues with his mother and that the way Stachowicz was talking to him gave him flashbacks of his mother that angered him.




When Stachowicz asked him, "Why do you boys instead of girls?" Gutierrez snapped. In a fit of rage, he punched, kicked, stabbed and strangled the 51-year-old wife and mother of four. Gutierrez then stuffed her body into a crawl space under the floor of his apartment, where it remained for two days until he confessed to police.




Family members were baffled by Stachowicz’s disappearance. They posted fliers in neighborhoods, and her daughter made a public plea for her safe return.




"My sister is very healthy. She's very stable. She has the closest family you can imagine," Stachowicz’s younger sister, Alice Kosinski, told NBC5.com. "Her faith would not allow for anything out of the ordinary."




After learning of Gutierrez’s confession, Stachowicz’s loved ones agreed that the circumstances of her murder were in keeping with her character. Kosinski told The Chicago Tribune, "Because she's so Catholic, there's no room for being gay in the Catholic Church."




Friend Mary Coleman said, "Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, 'God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life.’ That's how Mary did things."




Rev. Francis Rog of St. Hyacinth Church told ABC 7 Chicago news, "She was a very intense person, concerned about the good of the parish, always seeking things for the poor as well as spiritual welfare for people."




Police recovered Stachowicz’s body on November 15 and charged Gutierrez two days later with first-degree murder, concealing a homicidal death, and burglary for attempting to steal money from Stachowicz’s purse.




Chicago local media reported these events, choosing headlines devoid of the words "gay" or "homosexual." In contrast, several homosexual publications – including Gay.com/PlanetOut.com, Gay People’s Chronicle, and the Washington Blade -- did use "gay" in their headlines.




Gay.com began running the story on November 19, a full week before the first mainstream news story appeared in The Washington Times.




The same day, National Review Online columnist Rod Dreher published a commentary titled These Victims Are People, Too" wherein he lamented "the deafening media silence around the savage murder of Mary Stachowicz" and speculated on its cause:




"One cannot help wondering if the upright citizens who report the news don't privately share the view of gay blogger James Wagner, who said of Stachowicz’s strangling:





The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother.





Dreher added, "I believe many, and probably most, journalists share the unspoken assumption that Christians bring such trouble on themselves."




That assumption appears to be shared by pro-homosexual cyber citizens. A search for "Mary Stachowicz" on message boards, e-mail lists, and Web logs (blogs) turned up several people who reacted viciously toward Stachowicz and Christianity

For example, James Wagner’s boyfriend, Barry, expressed the hope on his blog that "maybe will strike fear in the hearts of a few fundamentalists" and then asked, "Where do I send a check for his (Gutierrez’s) defense fund?"




James and Barry’s statements drew the following response from fellow homosexual Michael Benedetto:




"I think that if gays are going to continue to have any credibility in politics, our sympathies in cases like this are going to have to lie first and foremost with the victims. And that's one upsetting thing about Barry's and James' posts: Until the criticism started to roll in, the only sympathy they expressed was for the wrong person."




Elsewhere, Benedetto wrote, "es, the woman (Stachowicz) was clearly a meddlesome b---- who didn't understand that the lives of her co-workers were none of her business. That does not make her any less the victim, or absolve her killer of any of his guilt."




"I don’t condone this murder, BUT …."




Several posts implied that Stachowicz had brought on her own death. One man wrote to a Yahoo discussion forum, "It's Sad Someone Was Murdered, BUT... ...I do wish the Religious Wrong would learn to mind their own business."




"Iris" wrote to the ACLU Online Forum: "I am in no way condoning this man's behavior. Murder is murder. He should receive life or the death penalty for his actions. But one fact remains ... if she would have been minding her own business instead of attempting to ram her religion where it didn't belong, none of this would have ever happened. I really don't feel sorry for her. She paid a very steep price for being an arrogant religious fascist. Too bad for her."




"Silence Dogood" agreed: "I won't go so far as to say that she deserved what she got, no one deserves to die, but I won't exactly be shedding any tears for her. Quite frankly, if anyone in this case was being 'persecuted' it was Mr. Gutierrez. Unfortunately for the victim this was a lesson that she learned too hard and too late. Maybe this will give pause to other people who similarly try to ‘help’ homosexuals."








"Real" hate crimes




Other discussions centered on the characteristics of hate crimes. "Real" hate crimes, explained ACLU Online Forum member "morningstar," must be like Matthew Shepard’s murder; they must be premeditated and target a group.




"KingFred" wrote to the MacAddict Forum: "Since (Gutierrez has) already admitted he did the crime, there's no question he should do the time. But ‘hate crime’? Don't see it here. He didn't go out to get himself a Christian. He did in a person who may have been berating him, using her Christian beliefs as ‘weapons'. That doesn't justify what he did by any means, but it may explain it."




Catholic League President William Donohue summed up the problems with hate crimes statutes as illustrated by Mary Stachowicz’s murder in a November 26 press release:




"A few thoughts on this matter: a) this (Mary’s murder) will not be listed as a hate crime, thus showing how useless this category of crime is; b) the killer is going to be charged with a capital offense, thus showing once again how useless this category of crime is; c) Mary Stachowicz will never be remembered the way Matthew Shepard is, thus showing how politically corrupt the whole concept of hate crime legislation really is. The fact is she was murdered for having a Catholic-informed conscience."




Others blamed the Roman Catholic Church for Stachowicz’s murder. On the Naked Writing blog, "JodyW" commented, "Gutierrez is responsible for what he did. So the RCC is responsible for continuing to put forth a silly, stupid and factually wrong doctrine of ‘objective disorders’ and ‘intrinsic moral evil’ regarding homosexuality. For all that evil that doctrine has done and continues to do, they have a lot to be held accountable for."




Perhaps the cruelest comment of all was this from a San Francisco man on Yahoo: "The b---- had it coming to her. I'm glad he killed her. Too bad he'll probably spend the rest of his life in prison getting his little butt pounded, but still, I'm glad he killed her. The b---- deserved to die."




Mary Stachowicz, R.I.P.




The Chicago Tribune published the following obituary for Mary:




Mary Stachowicz, nee Frank, devoted wife of Jerry; beloved mother of Peter, Christopher, Angela (Louie) Ruffolo and Daniel; loving daughter of Agnes and the late Rudolf Frank; dear sister of Irene (John) Rog and Alice (Mark) Kosinski. Funeral Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., from Cumberland Chapels, 8300 W. Lawrence Ave., Norridge, to St. Hyacinth Church, Mass 11 a.m. Interment St. Adalbert Cemetery.




Four pages of condolences accompanied the obituary, where former classmates, co-workers and other family friends left messages of sympathy for Mary’s tragic demise.




The Chicago Sun-Times reported that, after Mary’s death, Alderwoman Vilma Colom (35th) introduced a city council resolution in her memory. "She lost her life in an unselfish attempt to help a very disturbed young man, and for that she should be remembered," said Colom, who goes to the same church Stachowicz did.




Mary’s sister, Alice Kosinski, told the Chicago Tribune that her sister's death is difficult for everyone in her family to fathom.




"We're not doing that well," she said. "It just doesn't make any sense, and somehow we're going to have to make our peace with it."

Kevin said...

Imagine what this woman's life would have been if she had been involved in some type of anti-bullying program. It is possible that if she would be alive today if she had not:
"lectured Gutierrez about his lifestyle and his lack of direction in life."

Or said:
""Why do you boys instead of girls?"

Or if the Catholic Church hadn't said:

"Because she's so Catholic, there's no room for being gay in the Catholic Church."

I am not defending this guy. Also, I find it curious that in the post that Christine made there is nothing in there about her being raped and sodomized. It only says: "In a fit of rage, he punched, kicked, stabbed and strangled the 51-year-old wife and mother of four." So what happened? Was she raped and sodomized by a supposed homosexual, or is someone making up some lies to make this crime seem even more horrible than it really was? Or is someone leaving out what really happened because it makes no sense for a homosexual man to rape and sodomize a woman who reminded him of his mother???

About hate crimes--a crime motivated by hate for a certain religious belief is in the hate crime legislation. If this was not considered to be a hate crime by the authorities, then that has nothing to do with the fight by gays and lesbians to be included in hate crime legislation. The authorities must have seen that it was not motivated by his hate for her religion. The problem here is that some people want to aggrandize a horrible murder into something like a gay murderer vs. a catholic 'martyr.' This was not the case and trying to make it seem like that won't change the circumstances. He has been found guilty and hopefully he will pay the ultimate penalty.

Christinewjc said...

Kevin stated, "So what happened? Was she raped and sodomized by a supposed homosexual, or is someone making up some lies to make this crime seem even more horrible than it really was? Or is someone leaving out what really happened because it makes no sense for a homosexual man to rape and sodomize a woman who reminded him of his mother???"

For clarity, the question Mary asked was:

""Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?"

While searching for the date of her murder, I found another article on Mary's murder.


It appears that the additional information (that she was also raped and sodomized) was revealed later, at the trial.

The article that I posted was originally written and posted in 2002.

Rape and sodomy are sexually performed, of course, but are mostly meant to forceably hurt, damage and degrade the other person. It was just another way to show his hatred for her (plus, he was probably also viciously acting out because of the hatred he had for his own mother, too).

Christinewjc said...

Just the fact that there are only 25,300 google search links for Mary Stachowicz and 95,200 for Matthew Shepard speaks volumes about the media bias coverage between the two murders.

Kevin said...

Thanks Christine. I wasn't quite sure where the two apparent differences were coming from, but I see they are the same story.

Josiah said...

w[[Oh, please Debra. Matthew Shephard was for sure a hate crime, and more than the media leaped on it. Matthew Shephard is accepted by most of the population as being being a hate crime based off of sexual orientation. Not so for Mary Stachowicz, where, considering the reasoning for his crimes, had unfortunately met a very mentally unstable man.

Also, the trial has come to light for 11 days. Matthew Shephard's trial was over about 8 years ago. Even if this was considered a hate crime, which, from the evidence, it wasn't, a google search for her still wouldn't show nearly as many links.

jas said...

there is no such thing as a hate crime.

Josiah said...

Jas, a hate crime is clearly defined as a crime committed against a person specifically because the victim belongs to a specific group