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.

TAKE ACTION – Call the Associated Press and ask why they ignored the Mary Stachowicz case while continuing to devote extensive coverage to the Shepard case. Politely tell them that “gay” victims are not more important than Christian victims–hate is hate–and that there is no logical reason why Shepard’s case deserves any more coverage than Stachowicz’s.

National Associated Press:

AP Headquarters
450 W. 33rd St.
New York, NY 10001
Contact by e-mail
(212) 621-1500

To contact the Illinois or Chicago Associated Press, click HERE
or call 800-572-2585.

by Peter LaBarbera

All murder victims are equal, but some are more equal than others, to paraphrase George Orwell.

mary-stachowicz.jpgOn Nov. 3, a jury took just three hours to find Nicholas Gutierrez guilty of the first-degree murder and rape of Mary Stachowicz (pronounced Stack-OH-vich), a 51-year-old Chicago mother of four and former co-worker who attended church nearly every day. Gutierrez, a homosexual, is now eligible for the death penalty, and his horrifying crime is the sort that cries out for that form of justice.

On this date four years ago (November 13, 2002), Gutierrez, then 19, raped and sodomized Mary, and stabbed, beat and strangled her to death before hiding her bloodied and mangled body in the floor crawl space of his apartment—above the Chicago funeral home where she worked and where he had been laid off. For three days, family members and friends searched frantically for Mary until Gutierrez guided police to her body and gave a warped “confession” filled with self-serving lies.

nicholas-gutierrez.bmpThe trial revealed evidence of the brutality of Gutierrez’s murderous assault on Mary: the tip on his hunting knife was bent from the force of his 11 stab thrusts against her body, and he broke 10 of her ribs.

As if his savagery were not evil enough, Gutierrez, a stocky man about six feet tall, and his public defender lawyers effectively blamed Mary for her own murder—arguing that the five-foot-five-and-half-inch tall Stachowicz had attacked him because she was obsessed about his homosexual lifestyle. By attempting this preposterous “anti-Christian panic defense,” Gutierrez’s lawyers played to bigoted and crude stereotypes of religious people as crazed “homophobes”—in a desperate ploy to reduce his sentence to second-degree murder.

To demonstrate the folly of Gutierrez’s defense, prosecutor James McKay showed the jury a crime scene photo of her bloodied and disfigured face—which he mockingly contrasted with the superficial cut sustained by “Mr. Band-aid,” Nick Gutierrez, on the day of the assault.

Thankfully, the jury didn’t buy Gutierrez’s story and took just three hours to convict him.

If you are the typical American—even if you live in Chicago—you probably have never heard of Mary Stachowicz because she simply was not the right kind of victim. Matthew Shepard, a “gay” college student from Wyoming murdered by two drug-induced thugs in 1998—now there’s a victim who deserves worldwide sympathy and fame. Shepard’s is now one of the most famous homicide cases in all of history, thanks to media hype and homosexual activists’ “spin” that:

1) falsely linked his tragic death to the rhetoric of Christian pro-family groups; and

2) erroneously reported that he was targeted for murder “just because he was gay.” His tragic killing is now exploited as a teaching tool to promote acceptance of homosexuality on high school and college campuses across the country. (Six years after the murder, ABC finally did some serious journalism challenging this myth, revealing that Shepard’s killers were motivated by money and drugs, not anti-gay hate.)

A whole industry has arisen to exploit Shepard’s tragic killing, which has been used as a teaching tool to promote the acceptance of homosexuality to millions of impressionable high school and college students across the country.

Enter Mary Stachowicz, who may have been killed, at least in part, “just because she was a faithful Catholic”—not that the media cares. (A recent Nexis media database search on Mary’s name found a grand total of only 13 articles; a similar search on “Matthew Shepard” found 997 articles in the last month alone.)

Associated Press completely ignored the Gutierrez trial, ensuring that it would receive little national attention—despite the heart-rending details of the Stachowicz case. (On the day that Mary’s killer was convicted of murder, her daughter Angela gave birth to another grandchild whom she will never get to see. Mary’s widowed husband Jerry was forced to endure the humiliation of testifying as to when they had last made love, to prove that the semen found on her murdered body was not his.)

Adding insult to injury, as Gutierrez’s trial was going on, AP ran a feature story about Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, who was speaking to college students in Chicago about “hate.”

I called AP’s Chicago office to ask why they weren’t covering the Gutierrez trial—right there in the Windy City—after all the attention they heaped (and continue to heap) on the Matthew Shepard case. I was told that the Shepard case is different because that was a “hate crime.”

Such is the folly of the “hate crimes” concept. It is hard to conceive of a greater demonstration of hatred than Nick Gutierrez cutting Mary’s life short in such a ghastly way and then cravenly exploiting his victim’s strong Catholic beliefs as a way to reduce his sentence. Did the “monster” who sodomized and killed Mary do so because she caught him stealing from her purse, as prosecutors argued, or did he fly into a rage after she “taunted” him about his homosexuality (as a headline in the Chicago Sun Times gratuitously stated)? Or was that just a convenient yarn he concocted to save his hide, knowing that the media and some gullible defense lawyers might play along? (The Tribune reported that Gutierrez’s homosexual partner, Ray Scacchitti, testified that “Stachowicz knew he and Gutierrez were gay and never questioned them about their lifestyle.”)

All this could have made for some fascinating coverage of a trial that might have yielded larger questions, such as: Was Matthew Shepard more a victim of hate than Mary Stachowicz? Are some homosexuals so obsessed with others’ approval that they pose a threat to religious people? Are Christians a growing target for “hate crimes” in America? No surprise that the local media failed to pursue these angles, seeing that most big Chicago media corporations march every year in the “Gay Pride” parade.

There is no logical reason why Matthew Shepard should be a household name while Mary Stachowicz, by all accounts a good person who devoted her life to her church, dies unknown—a victim of bigotry and slander even in her death. 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.

This article was posted on Monday, November 13th, 2006 at 1:30 am and is filed under AFT In the News, Media Promotion, News, Victims of Homosexual Murderers. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Support Americans for Truth about Homosexuality

Americans For Truth
P.O. Box 340743
Columbus, OH 43234

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Americans for Truth Radio Hour

Americans for Truth Academy

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'