The ‘West Memphis Three’ is Free

Alright, let me get a few people angry, why not?

First, I will be honest and say that in 1993 when I was a young mother of a one year old, I thought they were guilty.  I was angry, disgusted, sad and horrified at the thought that someone could do that to those beautiful little boys.  Worse, I thought, if someone could do that to them in that little safe southern town, then surely the boogeyman could take my daughter and hurt her, too.

The Victims

That’s why they screen jury pools before hand.  So that nutty, slobbering and scared people like me are not allowed to make up their minds before the evidence is presented.  Unfortunately for the so called ‘West Memphis Three’ that is exactly what did happen at their trials.  Once I calmed down and began to watch the events that followed I started to think maybe someone down in Memphis was screwing up – or maybe the officials in charge of all the fairness had decided to chuck that part of their jobs and just adopt a ‘go with the mob’ mentality.

Anyone, and I mean anyone that reads the ‘evidence’ in this case starts to get that sideways, confused look.  Like your dog gets when you look at him and make puppy whimpering sounds while you smile at him…you know ‘let’s drive Fido crazy making him think a baby pup is crying somewhere’ ha. ha. ha.  Very funny.  You scratch your head and talk to yourself, ‘what the…?’ is said more than once.

There is no evidence.  I don’t mean it’s thin, I mean there is none.  What is there, I will never be told otherwise – was manufactured or was presented by the prosecutor’s Uncle Billy/the state’s knife expert who wouldn’t know a knife pattern from a jack rabbit’s ass.

–crawling down from my soapbox–

So over the years I have tried to keep track of the many appeals and such that goes on when someone is on death row, as Damien Echols was.  Supposed to be the ‘leader’ of this 3 boy (yes they were boys) satanic murdering ring, I found that he had grown up to be super intelligent, sensitive and I was glad that he had found (real) love and gotten married.  It pissed me off though that he would probably never get to be a real husband to her because Tennessee was too proud to just stop all of the bullshit and admit that they had imprisoned 3 innocent men – and may kill one before it was all said and done.


The Accused

Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) and Johnny Depp (Johnny freggin Depp) took an interest in the case and publicly demanded that Tennessee do just that- ball up and do this right.  I was STUNNED when they didn’t give them another trial, instead they resurrected some nearly non-existent law that allowed them to just let them walk out of prision-but at the same time be able to go on t.v. and proclaim that ‘they still think they are the killers, and we KNOW we’d win at another trial…but we’re just going to open the doors and let them go. Right now. Thanks, bye!”

WHAT??  Are they high, down there in the state offices in Memphis?  Is the office over-run with teenagers just making up rules as they go along??  Who did they think was going to hear this mess and go, “Oh, ok.  That makes perfect sense and I believe you, that you would let 3 SATANIC MURDERERS OF LITTLE BOYS out instead of just giving them that new trial they are asking for.”   That is just insane.  Those people, the prosecutors, judges, all of them took a look inside of those old boxes and prepared to re-try them just to shut the very public… public up.  And when they saw what the previous administration had left them with…I imagine they started googling ‘how to get our asses out of this mess’ and this little statute, used one time because it was created to be used for that one time special circumstance was the lesser of the evils that they had to choose from.


The Movement

As I watched the press conference with the three men I felt so ashamed of my country for allowing this to go on this long.  All of them were visibly uncomfortable – the press were just shouting over one another and blasting flashbulbs in their faces.  It hit me that Damien had been in solitary confinement for nearly 18 years and this barrage of activity must be just terrifying for him.  I’m sure this post will never be read by any of them-but on the off chance let me just say that as for me, I am sorry, deeply sorry that I ever thought  they were guilty and that if it matters at all I was praying for a miracle.  In my opinion, that’s exactly what happened!

Here are some links if anyone is interested in reading or re-reading/viewing what’s out there on this really amazing case.

Press Conference Part One   the conference after they had been released

free the west memphis three website  a LOT can be found and done from this site, links to the movies-every single article that ever came out ANYwhere can be linked to from here.  Damien’s wife must have gotten ZERO sleep because she did the most through job of research that was humanly possible.

the three FREE!

Categories: news, opinion, the west memphis three | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “The ‘West Memphis Three’ is Free

  1. This case was a very interesting one. The three had no alibis. Misskelley confessed three separate times, once with his lawyer present. Baldwin told someone else he committed the crimes. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene. He bragged about the murder to two other teenagers, stating he killed the three boys. This was presented as evidence at the trial. Echols also had a history of psychiatric treatment. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood.

    Fibers on the murdered victims’ clothing were found to microscopically similar to things in the Baldwin and Echols homes. The serrated wound patterns on the three victims that were consistent with, and could have been caused by, a knife found in a lake behind appellant Baldwin’s parents’ residence.

    Echols’ stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. A funeral register found in his room with hand-drawn pentagrams and upside-down crosses. Echols’ journal contained morbid images and references to dead children.

    Statement about Damien Echols stomping and killing a dog

    Echols’ psychiatric records –
    about his history of violence and drinking blood

    Misskelley’s Voluntary Third Confession Transcript –
    He describes the crimes in detail in front of his lawyer, implicating Echols and Baldwin.

    BTW The three could have gone to trial and tried to clear their names. They decided to accept the Alford Plea.

    • It was interesting – and I am no expert, have no crystal ball to know the real truth but if we are all to be judged in a courtroom for our teenage deeds, I could have been convicted with them. I was fascinated by all sorts of things that if looked at and presented by people trying me for murder, would have looked very very bad.
      As for Misskelley, no one – especially a police officer and a team of court officials – should have been allowed to hammer at him as they did to get those confessions (it’s fact that highly intelligent, professional people have confessed to crimes that they could never have committed under intense police questioning) because, let’s face it Mr. Misskelley was no where near mentally equipped for that.
      An important fact – one that is not mentioned very often now that they are friends brought together by this case, is that Misskelley was not even considered a friend to Baldwin or Echols. I’m also not going to go looking it up right now but one, perhaps twice, Misskelley stated that yes, they committed the crime at around, say ten a.m., then like noon (I will look this up for for now I’m guessing) in any case the “confessions” were having them killing the boys while the three children were safe in school. The police, getting even more pissed off, wouldn’t take those confessions and stop because…? Well, it didn’t fit the timeline and was impossible so they had to keep going.
      Yet another disturbing part is that several of the children’s own family members were shady – and that’s being polite about it. Violence, mysterious death of the mother of one of the children after the killings, others not cooperating with the police, police not taking down statements from witnesses that had information that pointed away from the suspects…and there were NO muddy clothes. Tell me that three (one that is mentally handicapped) can trounce through mud that you sink to your ankles in, kill 3 little boys that would struggle, be in a creek, etc. walk to their homes (leaving no muddy footprints or mud in the houses) without anyone seeing all of them with mud & blood on them. Where’s the DNA? Let’s be rational, this case should have been a dream for the State – with all of the advances made in Forensic Science? If those kids killed them there should have been 200 different pieces of evidence that can now be explained, tested and shown to prove it.

      As for the ‘Alford’ plea…it’s been 18 years – with Damien on Death Row. They took the plea for one reason – Damien could be put to death before they could be given the chance to clear their names. They were not given the chance in 18 years, why think if they held on a bit longer it would happen? Baldwin looked physically ill when discussing his decision to take the plea.

      Again, all of the above – let’s disregard all of that, my opinion is that the greatest proof IS that plea. NO court – judge – prosecutors would have EVER given them the opportunity if they really believed the crap they’ve been spouting. But hey, we are all entitled to our opinions.

  2. No one hammered at Misskelley. There is no evidence of coercion. The third confession had to be one of the friendliest confessions I have ever seen.

    Misskelley did know them before the crime. He stated he participated in several cult orgies with them before the crime occurred. In the third confession, Misskelley stated he made mistakes in prior confessions to throw the police off.

    The crimes occurred at night in a swamp in an isolated area, leaving much less evidence than in another area. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the scene of the crime according to court documents.

    There was no DNA because the samples were taken later the crime occurred in a swamp.

    I don’t believe they would ever have executed Echols with the new trial coming up. The case was weakest against Baldwin, this is why he refused to accept the plea at first. You should read Misskelley’s third confession.

    There is much more to this case than the rock and movie stars and supporters movies present. Try to read about both sides of the case.

  3. it’s all quite intresting. might do some follow up reading on this. a 60min dec on this would be better 😛 it’s always so hard .. well in fact nealy impossible to know wat actually happend…

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