The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project Act 3: Aaron McKinney (continued) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As Aaron McKinney’s interrogation continues, Rob Debree asks if Matthew tried to defend himself, and Aaron indicates that he did, but he didn’t really stand a chance. Aaron tells the detective that he hit Matthew about three times with his fists and six times with his pistol, while Matthew begged him to stop. Rob asks if Russell Henderson dragged him to the fence and tied him up after that, but Aaron says he does not remember clearly. He confirms, though, that Matthew was conscious when Russell tied him to the fence. Aaron says that he told Matthew not to look at his license plate number, and he hit Matthew again when Matthew looked.
The actors return to playing out Aaron McKinney’s confession, in which Aaron describes killing Matthew in brutal detail. Aaron’s descriptions finally give a clear portrait of what happened that night, and Aaron does not seem to try to hide anything from the detective. As with the descriptions of Matthew’s injuries, the playwrights openly confront the reality of violence by including Aaron’s graphic description of the murder.
Themes
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon
Rob Debree suggests that Aaron McKinney does not like gay people, and Aaron confirms that no, he doesn’t. When Rob suggests he hates them, Aaron hesitates, and says he just gets angry if they hit on him. Rob asks if Matthew Shepard threatened him, and Aaron says he did not. Aaron then begins to realize that he will never see his son again. Rob tells Aaron he will go to court that day to be arraigned. Aaron asks if Matthew is definitely going to die, and Rob says yes. Aaron asks what his sentence will be, and Rob tells him it is up to the judge and jury to decide.
As Rob Debree interviews Aaron about his homophobia, Aaron tells Rob he does not like gay people, especially if they hit on him, but does not agree that he hates them. Damningly, this is a view that is also expressed by many non-criminal Laramie residents, suggesting that it may be possible for any normal person who harbors similar views to snap and hurt someone just like Aaron did.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon