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Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1st, 1976 - October 12th, 1998) was born in Casper, Wyoming, the first son of Dennis and Judy Peck Shepard. He was 21 years old when he was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming in October of 1998. He was tied to a fence, pistol-whipped, and left to die for one reason: he was gay. His two killers are now serving life sentences, one of them without parole. Matt's mother Judy has since opened a foundation in his memory to promote awareness of crimes against gays and to advocate for peace, tolerance, and acceptance. The three TV movies Anatomy of a Hate Crime, The Matthew Shepard Story, and The Laramie Project, as well as the play of the same name, were made in tribute to Matthew, as were many songs by various musicians.