Mary Stachowicz

Mary Stachowicz was attacked with such ferocity the assailant’s hunting knife blade was bent, but a defense attorney for her alleged attacker is painting her with the blame, saying it wasn’t a “hate crime” and it happened because her comments about his “gay” lifestyle assaulted the man.

And since it was only a routine murder case, not a “hate crime,” the story is getting almost no coverage from mainstream media outlets, several conservative groups have noted.

The murder trial for Nicholas Gutierrez, 23, in Stachowicz’ 2002 death has begun in Chicago, where prosecutor Jim McKay described the viciousness of the attack on the 51-year-old mother of four and faithful Catholic Church member.

She was stabbed, strangled, raped and beaten, and then her body was stuffed in a crawl space under the floor of an apartment, he reported.

But the suspect’s attorney, Crystal Marchigiani, alleged in her opening remarks that it was Stachowicz who attacked Gutierrez, and her verbal assault was what sparked his response.

“It happened because she could not leave him alone in his (homosexual) lifestyle,” she said, describing the apparent confrontation between the two at the Sikorsky Funeral Home where Stochowicz worked and where Gutierrez lived in an apartment with his partner, Ray.

“The Gutierrez defense team’s Politically Correct courtroom ploy ought to be called the ‘Anti-homophobe Panic Defense,'” said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, a pro-family organization. “Marchigiani’s is an ugly attempt to exploit the liberal caricature of Christians who oppose homosexuality as crazed haters with a penchant for aggression.”

“So here we see a new defense tactic: stoking the flames of anti-Christian bigotry to save a ‘gay’ murderer from the punishment he deserves,” he said.

According to a report from the Culture and Family Institute, weblog postings after the murder were full of anti-Christian hate statements.

“I really don’t feel sorry for her. She paid a very steep price for being an arrogant religious fascist. Too bad for her,” said “Iris” in a posting on the ACLU Online Forum.

“Maybe this will give pause to other people who similarly try to ‘help’ homosexuals,” said “Silence Dogood” on the same forum.

“The mainstream media and homosexual advocacy organizations have reacted to Mary Stachowicz’s murder the same way they did to 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising’s torture-murder at the hands of two homosexual men in 1999: by avoiding it,” said Allyson Smith of the CFI.

She noted that there was no condemnation of the murder from Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance or the Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

One pro-homosexual group, Soulforce, which works in churches to oppose traditional Christian views of the sexual lifestyle, did make a statement to a newspaper, even though it did not release a press statement.

“We condemn this murder, like we do all murders,” said Laura Montgomery Rutt, but “a hate crime needs to have an intent to intimidate a whole class of people.”

Chicago police reported that on Nov. 13, 2002, an argument broke out between the two and when Stachowicz asked why Gutierrez had sex with “boys instead of girls,” he erupted in rage, punching, kicking, stabbing and strangling her.

He later led police to the body and confessed.

National Review Online writer Rod Dreher has lamented that the media buzz about the case has been deafening by its silence.

According to Dreher, “One cannot help wondering if the upright citizens who report the news don’t privately share the view of ‘gay’ blogger James Wagner, who said of Stachowicz’s strangling: ‘The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother.’

“I believe many, and probably most, journalists share the unspoken assumption that Christians bring such trouble on themselves,” wrote Dreher.

The Culture and Family Institute also quoted the victim’s friend, May Coleman, who said, “Those of us who knew her (could) hear her soft voice saying something like, ‘God wouldn’t approve of the way you’re living your life.’ That’s how Mary did things.”

Regional media outlets reported on the attack, but notably left out words such as “gay” or “homosexual,” the institute said.

Catholic League President William Donohue said the murder is not listed as a hate crime, and won’t be, even though she “was murdered for having a Catholic-informed conscience.”

“Mary Stachowicz will never be remembered the way Matthew Shepard is, thus showing how politically corrupt the whole concept of hate crime legislation really is.”

LaBarbera said the woman “is a modern day martyr who died because she told the truth to a man caught up in homosexuality. Her compelling story is largely unknown to Americans, because the same media that devoted millions of print column inches and broadcast minutes to covering the Matthew Shepard murder case have largely ignored Mary’s story.”

“The reality today is that growing secularist intolerance threatens to redefine Judeo-Christian beliefs as ‘prejudice, intolerance,’ or worse, ‘hatred.'”

Dreher wrote that the similarities in the cases couldn’t be ignored.

“Where have we heard this sort of thing before? Why, when three redneck men killed Matthew Shepard a few years ago, after the homosexual young man propositioned them in a bar. Understandably, the men found Shepard’s words offensive,” Dreher said.

He said there is no moral difference between Stachowicz’ attack and the one on Shepard.

“Both were heinous, and both deserve publicity, but the Stachowicz case, like the case of Jesse Dirkhising earlier, is being largely ignored,” Dreher wrote. Dirkhising was a 13-year-old Arkansas boy raped, tortured and strangled by a gang of “homosexuals” in 1999.

One researcher reported that in the month after Shepard’s murder, Nexis recorded 3,007 stories were available about the death. However, “in the one month after Dirkhising’s case, there were 46 stories.”

“In Canada,” Dreher noted, “Christians are having their freedom of speech and worship taken away by hate-speech laws designed to protect homosexuals from having their feelings hurt.”



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