Aaron Webster, at age 41, died from a vicious assault. Aaron Webster was swarmed by a group of people. He was severely beaten on the head and upper body with what authorities initially thought was a baseball bat or a pool cue. Aaron's naked body was found on a walking trail in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia by a friend. His friend said Aaron died in his arms. The location of his body was in an area of Vancouver where gay men look for sex.
One 18 year old man has plead guilty for his role in the murder. Because he was a youth at the time of the crime, he was treated as a young offender and as a young offender cannot be identified and cannot serve a sentence any longer than three years.
A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article about a review of the sentence for this young offender indicates the judge who sentenced him described the murder as a hate crime. During the trial, the judge described the murder of Aaron Webster as "a thug brigade, stalking human prey for entertainment in a manner very reminiscent of Nazi youth in pre-war Germany."
In December, 2004, Ryan Cran, a 22 year old man, was convicted for Aaron Webster's death. A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news story indicates the murderer was allowed to remain out of prison on bail until sentencing.
Aaron Webster's murder appears to be a hate crime. None of the men charged with his murder were charged under the provisions of hate crimes legislation. As a result, Aaron Webster's murder has become a cause mobilizing human rights activists. Those wishing to send a letter of concern to the Solicitor General in British Columbia are encouraged to do that. Contact information and a copy of a letter that was sent to the Solicitor General in British Columbia can be found on the Stop Homophobia web site.
A series of article about Aaron Webster's death and the trials of those charged with the murder can be found on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation web site. Links to some internet articles about Aaron Webster's death and the court trials of his murderers appear below:
Gay Politician Slams Enforcement Of Hate Crime Law In a Canadian Press article on the 365gay.com web site, Svend Robinson is reported as having spoken to a crowd of about 400, calling for hate-crimes legislation to be applied in this case and to be enforced in other cases.
Svend Robinson Interview Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interview with former Canadian Member of Parliament about sentencing of men convicted of killing Aaron Webster. In this interview, Svend Robsinson expresses concern that the murderers were not charged with a hate crime. Svend Robinson says the private members bill that he introduced making gay bashing a hate crime was dedicated to the memory of Aaron Webster.
Ryan Cran Guilty in Webster's Death
Guilty Plea in Murder
Charge Laid in Murder - has audio clip.
Vigil for Aaron Webster
CBC National News Story. This is an early news story.
An editorial about the need for same-sex marriages discusses Aaron's death. The article can be read on the Equal Marriage for Same Sex Couples web site.
Who is to Blame for the death of Aaron Webster?
Links to Stop Homophobia editorials about Aaron Webster's death and the prosecution and sentencing of those convicted with his murder appear below:
Aaron Webster Murder Trials Revisited. December 2005.
Aaron Webster's Murders Not Charged With Hate Crime. April 2005.
Conviction in Aaron Webster Murder. December 2004.
Searching for Justice
Aaron Webster's cousin, Denise Norman, has been fighting for justice. In an article, "Parole Is An Easy Way Out Of Jail," appearing on the Real Justice web site, Denise Norman tells Aaron Webster's story, the sentence given, Ryan Cran, the only adult convicted in connection with Aaron Webster's killing, and efforts to ensure Aaron's loved ones could be heard at Ryan Cran's parole hearing.
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