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SLDN Investigates Murder of Army Soldier

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has launched an independent investigation into reports that the murder of a Fort Campbell, Kentucky soldier earlier this week may have been an anti-gay hate crime. In the early morning hours of July 5, 1999, 21-year-old Private First Class Barry Winchell was attacked in his barracks on base, allegedly by another soldier in his unit. Winchell died of his wounds on July 6 at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

SLDN has received numerous calls concerning this crime, and has dispatched staff members to the Fort Campbell, Kentucky area to speak with people who may have relevant information. "SLDN takes allegations of hate crimes seriously and asks for the public’s help in ascertaining the facts of this case," stated Michelle Benecke, a former Army officer and SLDN’s Co-Director.

Anyone with relevant information may contact SLDN by email at sldn@sldn.org or by phone at 202.328.3244, extension 113. If necessary, those contacting SLDN do not have to give their names.

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