Matthew Shepard's Ashes Will Be Laid To Rest At Washington National Cathedral

Twenty years after he was tied to a fence and left to die, Matthew Shepard's remains will be interred at Washington National Cathedral.

October 12, 2018

Matthew Shepard [Wikipedia]

Matthew Shepard [Wikipedia]

By: Catherine Townsend

Twenty years after his brutal murder, Matthew Shepard’s ashes are finally being laid to rest.

Shepard was a 21-year-old college student when he was robbed by two men, pistol-whipped, and tied to a fence in Laramie.

Shepard, who was targeted because he was gay, hung in freezing temperatures until he was spotted by a passing cyclist.

He later died in the hospital – and his murder became a symbol of violence against gay people.

Shepard’s parents, worried that their son’s final resting place could be a target for anti-gay groups, have kept his ashes all this time.

But on October 26, Shepard will be interred at the Washington National Cathedral.

“I think it’s the perfect, appropriate place,” Matthew’s father Dennis Shepard told The New York Times. “We are, as a family, happy and relieved that we now have a final home for Matthew, a place that he himself would love.”

The cathedral regularly hosts prayer services and memorials for politicians and presidents, and recently hosted Senator John McCain’s funeral.

Bishop Robinson said he had been working with Shepard’s parents on LGBTQ issues for years and said that he belived the family had taken “this tragic, awful event" and were "making something meaningful and productive out of it.”

In the years since Shepard was tied to a fence and left to die, legislation has been introduced to help protect LGBTQ citizens – but the Bishop said that he believes that there is much work left to be done.

Read more: The New York Times

Next Up

How The Hate Crime Murder Of Matthew Shepard Changed History

Matthew Shepard died following a six-day coma that resulted from Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney — a pair of local hoodlums he met at the Fireside Bar, a relatively gay-friendly tavern — beating, torturing, and pistol-whipping him.

5 Facts About The Life, Murder & Legacy Of Matthew Shepard

The 1998 hate crime killing of a young gay man changed society, culture, and the law forever after.

Crime Specialists Use Homicide Victim’s Head As Photo Shoot Prop

“You're just as evil to me as that murderer,” said Reba Sanchez.

The Murder Of Gianni Versace: 5 Things To Know About Serial Killer Andrew Cunanan

The case made international headlines and sparked a massive manhunt.

David Sparks Charged In Slaying Of Savannah Spurlock, Mother Of 4

David Sparks was arrested in July after the discovery of human remains at a rural Garrard County home allegedly owned by members of Sparks' family.

Ed Ates Was Paroled After Serving 20 Years For A Murder He Says He Didn't Commit

None of Ed Ates's hair, blood, fingerprints, or semen were found at the scene. He had no scratches or bruises on his body, and police found no blood on his clothing or shoes.