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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BP)–The first of two homosexuals to be tried for raping and murdering 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising was found guilty March 22 in Bentonville, Ark.
With Joshua Brown, 23, now convicted for the September 1999 rape and murder of the boy, Brown’s homosexual partner, Davis Carpenter, 39, will go to trial May 7.
The attack by two homosexuals against a young teen boy has stirred few reports in the national media. In Little Rock, only three stories are found in a search of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s website. One of the stories focuses on the now-concluded trial of Brown; the other two stories deal with the media issue.
The sweeping amount of national coverage devoted to the 1998 killing of a homosexual, Matthew Shepard, by two men in Wyoming is being called into question, in terms of media bias, when compared to the lack of coverage devoted to two homosexuals who raped and murdered a seventh-grade boy.
A writer in The Washington Times noted March 23 that the Arkansas trial for young Dirkhising’s murder had not been mentioned by The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, NBC, ABC, CBS or CNN.
Also being questioned: why such prominent figures as Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Richard Gephardt, Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, were quick to decry the Shepard murder but have remained silent about young Dirkhising’s murder.
During the weeklong trial in Benton County, Ark., prosecutors charged that Brown sodomized the 13-year-old while Carpenter directed the assault in the men’s squalid one-bedroom apartment in Rogers, Ark. Police found instructions in the men’s apartment outlining the method by which Jesse was raped and killed.
The boy was gagged with a pair of dirty underwear during the five-hour assault and suffocated, as recounted by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Prosecutors called nearly 25 witnesses and presented 181 items of evidence that police said they seized from the apartment, many reeking of human excrement and some smudged by petroleum jelly. After his arrest, the Democrat-Gazette reported, Brown told police the assault included giving the 13-year-old boy an enema of urine and antidepressant pills.
As of March 23, the jury was deliberating on Brown’s sentence for murder; on March 22, the jury recommended that Brown receive a 25-year sentence for rape. He will have to serve 70 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole, the Democrat-Gazette reported.
Dana D. Kelley, a freelance writer in Jonesboro, Ark., wrote in the Democrat-Gazette March 23, while noting the lack of media coverage, also challenged two of the leading homosexual activist organizations about their attention to the Dirkhising rape and murder.
“The Human Rights Campaign calls itself the largest gay and lesbian political organization,” Kelley noted, “but there is no mention whatsoever of the Jesse Dirkhising murder in its news section on its Web site. Back in October 1999, HRC spokesman David Smith said the Dirkhising killing ‘had nothing to do with gay people.’
“GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is equally silent about the story on its Web site,” Kelley continued. “And even though the victim in this case was a school-age child, the Gay/Lesbian/Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, led its news this week with a statement asserting that Santana High School’s alleged shooter, Andy Williams, may have been the target of ‘anti-gay epithets.’
“This blithe non-response can only be viewed as what it appears to be — a reluctance by any gay organization to categorize any activity by gays as ‘perverted,'” Kelley wrote. “Most people would call the people who did this to Jesse perverts in every sexual sense of the word.”