Shorty Hall was no Paris Hilton, or Anna Nicole Smith, or Tony Soprano. He wasn't even a missing white woman. If he had been even close to any of the above, you would have heard of him already, since his beaten and broken body was found on April 22, the victim of a horrific homophobic hate crime wherein he was beaten and tortured for hours before being left in a ditch to die.
Here's what happened: Hall, 35 and all of 5'4" and 100 pounds, was allegedly beaten to death by Indiana teens Coleman King, 18, and Garrett Gray, 19. King and Gray confessed to the killing, claiming that it was triggered by Hall having made homosexual advances on them. In Indiana, there is such a thing as a "gay panic" defense — that is to say, a claim of temporary insanity triggered by the so-called horror of being subjected to a homosexual advance.
In this case, that "temporary" insanity would have lasted for hours and hours, during the beating that occurred at Gray's house, first upstairs, then downstairs, then in the back of a pickup truck en route to a remote spot where they dumped him, first stopping to snap a cellphone pic and send it to a friend. Check it out, dude! The next day they returned to find him dead, where they left him, returning in a few days to collect that body, wrap it in a tarp and store it in Gray's garage, which also happened to be the garage of his father, the county's deputy coroner.
This was in APRIL. It is now JUNE. Where has the media been on this? The story has not been a secret in Indiana, nor in the gay community, where it has been circulating with horror. It has been picked up of late blogs, inside and outside Indiana, and now it's been picked up by Gabriel Rotello here at HuffPo and at Daily Kos. So hopefully it will hit the mainstream soon (CNN, we're sure ObamaGirl would happily cede some airtime). The question is, why hasn't it already? Surely the same local wires that transmit the news of a disappeared Kelsey Smith provides notice of a crime such as this? It's natural for a story to catch fire when one outlet picks it up, and hopefully that is what will happen with this. But it is an example of how many stories like this go unnoticed. The more uncomfortable question to grapple with, it seems, is why.
Hate Crime in Indiana? [The Bloomington Alternative] The Gruesome Death of Shorty Hall, Indiana's Matthew Shepard [Gabriel Rotello, HuffPo]