Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Remembering Ryan Keith Skipper

Ryan Keith Skipper

Ryan Keith Skipper

April 28, 1981 – March 14, 2007

Wahneta, Florida

This is the second anniversary of Ryan’s murder.  In the deep of night, as March 13 bled into March 14, two attackers savaged him as he sat in his car.  The Polk Country Associate Medical Examiner testified that his autopsy revealed 19 stab and slash wounds, probably from two knives.  The killing stroke was a 3.5-inch-deep cut into his neck, severing his jugular. 

 Though nothing can bring Ryan back to his family and friends, Joseph Eli “Smiley” Bearden, now 23, was found guilty on all counts.  He is now serving a life sentence  for Ryan’s murder.  William David “Bill Bill” Brown, Jr., now 22, will stand trial for first degree murder in October of this year. 

Sheriff Grady Judd has not yet apologized for filling the airwaves with misinformation about Ryan’s life, his character, and the events on the night of the murder.  Every allegation he repeated to the press has been disproven.  Judd should have been drummed out of office.  Instead, he was re-elected by the citizens of Polk County this past November.

Ryan’s life is cherished, and his memory is a powerful force for winning equality for LGBT Americans.  The manner of his death is a strong incentive for all people of good conscience to urge Congress and the President to enact the Matthew Shepard Act and the Transgender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act into law, as well as abolish the military’s infamous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

March 15, 2009 Posted by | Florida, gay men, Law and Order, Legislation, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Remembrances, stabbings, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Remembering Ryan Keith Skipper

   

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