Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Ryan Skipper’s Family Issues Press Release After Conviction of Son’s Killer

Pat Mulder

Pat Mulder embraces a supporter

Bartow, FL – In an email blast send to supporters of the Ryan Skipper Fund and Foundation this evening, news of the reaction of Lynn and Pat Mulder to the guilty verdict for William D. “Bill Bill” Brown went nationwide.  Brown was found guilty of first degree murder and burglary with a deadly weapon by the Polk County jury.  He had previously pled guilty to arson and evidence tampering.  In view of the gravity of the verdict, a heavy sentence, probably life in prison with no possibility of parole, is expected when Judge Hunter rules in early December.  Speaking to the press and to dozens of supporters outside the Polk County Courthouse, the Mulders said, “We would like to thank the State Attorney’s Office and especially Mr. [Cass] Castillo for consistently striving to uncover the truth and seek justice for our family and for Ryan. We want to thank the detectives of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office who worked diligently and showed compassion to our family. Thank you to the crime scene technicians whose attention to detail helped uncover the truth. And thank you to everyone else along the way who committed their time and talent to ensuring that justice was served. Lastly, we thank the jurors who have taken time from their jobs and families to fulfill an important civic duty. You paid attention to testimony that was brought before you and rendered a conclusion that serves justice and benefits society.  To the public, we want you to know that Ryan, like so many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, was a good and upstanding member of this community. We all deserve to be judged by our abilities and character instead of our differences. We are all human beings and we all deserve the right to pursue happiness, to have a job, to be parents either naturally or by adoption, to be in a committed loving relationship which is legally recognized, to serve our country in the military openly and honestly with pride. Finally we want the public to know the devastation hate crimes inflict is not only on the individual victim but their families, friends and the entire community feels the impact.  We will always cherish our memories of Ryan. We along with countless others will continue to honor Ryan by always standing up for truth, honesty and equality for all!” Brian Winfield of Equality Florida made this statement in response to the news of Brown’s conviction for Skipper’s murder, “Today’s verdict concludes the final trial of Ryan’s two attackers.  But it does not end the epidemic of anti-gay hate violence in Florida.  Ryan was killed because he was a gay man who lived his life honestly.  During the trials, witnesses revealed that Ryan’s murderers bragged about what they had done and ‘felt that they were doing the world a favor by getting rid of,’ their words ‘one more faggot.’”  Winfield went on to say that hate violence perpetrated against LGBT people in Florida had increased 33% each year for three of the last four years.  He concluded, “The violence Ryan suffered is the most extreme expression of an all too common sentiment – that gay and transgender people are less valued.  The silence of elected officials and even the media in the face of these violent attacks must end.  Gone are the days of blaming the victim for his own murder.”  No one from Brown’s family was present to support him in court today.

Ryan Skipper's gravestone

November 4, 2009 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Blame the victim, Florida, gay men, gay panic defense, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Media Issues, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Politics, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

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    Comment by Yanz (Sacramento, CA) | November 4, 2009

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