Black & Blue

Damien Echols was famous long before he moved to Salem last year. Convicted of murdering three young boys in Arkansas, Echols spent 18 years on death row until a series of documentaries and articles destroyed the case against him. He’s free now, but as he attempts to rebuild his life on the North Shore, will a city best known for its witch hunts ever let him?

damien-echols-salem-2

For Davis and Echols, Salem seemed like the perfect place to live: a town with a history that had innoculated it against witch hunts. (Photo by Scott M. Lacey)

Salem was the only place Echols and Davis even considered living. They knew they’d never go back to Arkansas. And after spending a year in Manhattan, they knew they didn’t want to live there, either. The subway gave Echols panic attacks. Salem—the witch trials, the idea of this magical place that seemed to exist in perpetual autumn where different sorts of people could live without persecution or even a side eye—had been a childhood fascination, along with Halloween, cold weather, and the Red Sox, the team that seemed to him to most embody hope.

Not long after his release, Echols and Davis came to Boston to go to a Red Sox game, where they sat in the owner’s box and met Jonathan Papelbon, Echols’s favorite player at the time. The next day, they took their first trip to Salem. Davis remembers how people were kind and helpful in a way she wasn’t used to, having spent the previous two decades under constant duress. She and Echols went on a ghost tour.

“Of course, they tell you about the hangings, the witch trials and all that, but the guy says, ‘and that’s why Massachusetts is such a blue state now,’” Echols recalled. “Because we learned our lesson back then.”

One afternoon in March, Echols, 38, reclined in a cubby at the Salem tattoo shop Witch City Ink, the needle drilling into his arm a welcome distraction from the latest reporter who’d come to analyze him. He was dressed in black, his hair grown out to his shoulders, with prescription sunglasses—he can barely see without them—perched on his pale nose for most of the conversation. A liquid kale-ginger concoction rested on a shelf beside him. “I have about 20 years of bad nutrition under my belt, and I hate vegetables,” he explained. “But this is pretty harsh.” Davis, a vegetarian, has been trying to get him to eat better. He prefers steak tacos, pizza, and bagels spread with both cream cheese and butter. Echols has been serious about tattoos since he got out of prison, when one of his first stops was to a West Hollywood parlor with Johnny Depp to cover up an old self-administered tattoo, the name of a high school girlfriend. Depp and Echols chose matching hexagrams from the Chinese classic text I Ching, a symbol of moving forward and overcoming obstacles.

Echols estimates that he now has about 40 tattoos, many of them religious in nature, all of them symbolic, and all of them very new and black: old Viking runes, Chinese and Egyptian characters, dragons, angels. He enjoys the act of getting tattoos, and he likes the armor they help create—the way they help make him feel in control of how people see him. “It feels like you’ve got some sort of buffer between you and the outside world,” he says.

He also likes being able to blend in here in Salem, where any given afternoon on Essex Street—which is lined with shops hawking spells, tarot readings, and magical merchandise such as potions and voodoo dolls—might include an encounter with a fuchsia-haired psychic, or a guy dressed up as a pirate. It is at once quaint and completely contrived. Davis says that it hasn’t been easy to make friends as adults in a new town, but Echols disagrees. “People just come right up and talk to you,” he says.

“To you, they do,” she corrects him.

“People have the sense that they know me before they even meet me,” Echols explains. “Though most want to tell you their stories, not hear yours. They want to tell you about the bad hardships going on in their lives, to pour out whatever baggage they have.” Or they give him presents: drawings, a light switch fashioned in his likeness, jewelry for Davis, a painting of his upper body with the lower half of a centaur. In many ways, he becomes who they want him to be.

 

Lucia Coale and her husband, Ed Schutte, found out about their new neighbors back in September, not long after Davis and Echols had signed the papers on the 1810 Colonial a few houses down. Someone on the street sent out an email: “Oh my gosh, guess who’s moving here?” Coale remembers it saying. “We all went through a period where we checked [Echols] out on the Internet and watched Paradise Lost.” Coale herself began to follow Echols on Twitter, which is how she learned that weeks after they’d moved in, he and Davis still didn’t own a TV, which meant that every time Echols had a television appearance, which in those days was often, they were heading down to the Hawthorne Hotel to watch it.

Some time later, Coale and Schutte were out on a bike ride when they saw Echols and Davis out walking. “I tend to be a very chatty person, so I just kind of walked up and I said, ‘Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m your neighbor,’” Coale recalled. They invited Echols and Davis over to watch TV whenever they wanted. “I didn’t know we would become friends with them,” Schutte said. “Are you going to be friends with someone who was in solitary confinement for years? How would that work?”

But it did. The men talked about music. The women went to yoga. They all loved Mexican food and laughed at the same jokes. They didn’t talk about prison, unless Echols brought it up, and after meeting Echols in person Coale and Schutte said they had no doubt of his innocence.

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  • jack dobson

    Pretty sharp and nice piece about a triple child killer turned celebrity. But this is America and I’m certain Casey Anthony’s travails will make for a nice feature and some cool merchandise somewhere in Orlando.

  • Shannon Bradley Byers

    I have serious reservations about anyone that actually bases their opinion of the case on any of the Paradise Lost mockumentaries. If you want the facts of the case you need to be reading http://www.westmemphisthreefacts.com/ and http://callahan.8k.com/ Echols can claim all he wants that he doesn’t like his “celebrity”, but actions speak louder than words. I don’t see him shying away from ANY opportunity to keep his name relevant and adding to his cult of “chupacabras” daily. This is a man that claimed he had to relearn how to eat with fork when he was released, yet people seem to have had no problem paying 200 bucks to let him use a tattoo machine on their bodies so they could forever be adorned with the mark of the beast.

    • 1Superherogirl

      I wouldn’t recommend Westmemphisthreefacts at all, the site is very biased. Callahan is the best.

  • Michael Blatty

    A well-written piece by a fine writer whose previous work I have very much enjoyed. I am correctly quoted here but must take issue with the statement that I am most bothered by the puff pieces on Echols and the fact that he seems to revel in his celebrity. In fact, I am most troubled by the fact that he is an unrepentant child torturer and murderer who is living here (in Salem) and fobbing himself off as an innocent man and victim. I go into greater detail about this piece at the Salemweb.com community message site.
    The true story about Echols will be written one day. You will find much of it at the WestMemphisThreeFacts and WestMemphisThreeTruth sites. As good as Ms. Giacobbie’s writing is, you will not find it here.
    Michael Blatty
    Salem

    • Michael Blatty

      Ms. Giacobbie remarked, when I asked her point blank what her impression of Echols was (following her interview with him) that she found him to be “unformed” as a result, she supposed, of his many years in prison. She added that she found his wife Lori to be much more interesting. I told her, in turn, that while I find Echols’s SITUATION to be of considerable interest, I find the man himself strangely uninteresting. I disagree, by the way, with her view of Echols as “unformed.” I find him to be a perfectly
      formed psychpathic child-killer.

      • Michael Blatty

        Now that it is gone I cannot recall what the comment since removed was. Certainly I did not use offense language of any sort. Would the administrator of this site kindly remind me of the nature of my “violation” here?
        With thanks!

  • Anne

    One day I will actually manage to read an article about Echols before the Blattys have already left their mark on it … but for that to happen I would have to stop having a life, which isn’t likely to happen.

    So, you guys have fun filling your empty lives with negativity and obsessing over someone you think you know, because you read some articles and websites.

    • Michael Blatty

      Well, Anne, I have read a great deal more than “some articles and websites.” And you know him better because…..? In fact, I do not claim to know him. What I do know from the extensive reading I have done of actual court documents (vs. the movies you may have seen) is that he tortured and murdered three defenseless eight-year-olds. By the way, I am one individual – not “the Blattys”. Don’t know what
      leads you to presume that any other members of my family have
      an opinion about the man. They do not.
      Incidentally, I was asked to meet with the writer of this piece and
      only agreed to with great reluctance. You now understand why.

      • Shannon Bradley Byers

        But Mike, don’t you know that its just not possible for any of us to actually KNOW people involved with this case and have knowledge outside the internet to have anything other than a glowing opinion of Echols and his cult following?

        • Michael Blatty

          Will she explode with bitterness and rage when I suggest that there is no need for the “s” at the end of “rhetoric”?

          • jack dobson

            She mays.

          • Michael Blatty

            Another misogynist, I see.

          • Anne

            Bitterness and rage? Because you pulled the spelling Nazi card for lack of real arguments?

            You just confirmed my low opinion on your (online)character and I thank you for that. Makes me feel good to know I did not judge you too harshly.

          • Michael Blatty

            Glad you are feeling good, Anne.
            Doubtless you will find that offensive as well!
            All the best,
            Mike
            (My “real arguments” are expressed throughout this forum on which I have taken the time to respond to every question/challenge/insult directed at me. Alternatively, go to Salemweb.com where I have been posting “real arguments” for several months now. Reread your initial post here, Anne.. It does not ask a question but rather offers up an insult – after which you say that you wish to have no further conversation with me. Emotionalism can only take one so far, you know. Sooner or later, alas, one is obliged to fall back upon that dreaded human faculty: reason.)

      • Anne

        I’m not interested in a discussion with you, don’t bother. You have insulted me once before and I’m really not interested in getting another dose of condescending and misogynistic rhetorics from you.

      • Michelle Twidwell

        Ok, so what about the DNA evidence that did not belong to ANY of the three convicted boys?

        • Michael Blatty

          Hi Michelle. Just saw your note. If alright with you, please tell me first which “DNA evidence” you are referring to and what relevance you think it has to the murders and why.
          Regards,
          Mike

    • sisma

      *Is Michael Blatty “tutoring” your child?*

      Salem, MA resident Michael Blatty, who has posted numerous comments below, works as a high-school tutor and is obsessed with the idea that Damien Echols (and Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley) are murderers.

      Given that the majority of people who are familiar with the four documentaries on the West Memphis Three–or familiar with Mara Leveritt’s book, or with the Arkansas Supreme court (who ruled in 2010 that a new evidentiary hearing was required in the case), or with FBI profiler John Douglas, or with the State of Arkansas (who released the three men with time served, via Alford pleas, so as to avoid three $18M lawsuits)–understand that three men lost 18 years to prison for crimes they did not commit, I am left deeply concerned that Blatty, a man entrusted with highschool-age children, spends his freetime parroting the prosecution’s 1993 Satanic child sex-assault and murder fiction.

      I am wondering if anyone whose child is in contact with Michael Blatty, or whose child has been around Blatty in the past, might be able to share further insights into Blatty’s “interesting” (for want of a better phrase) psychological makeup.

      I’ve been trying to figure out what, exactly, concerns me most about Blatty’s fixation with the prosecution’s false case. In a nutshell, it’s not that the prosecution had no evidence of guilt, or that their theory of the crime (Satanic triple rape-murder) was roundly disproved before no less an authority than the AR Supreme Court, which ordered an evidentiary review after experts from around the country proved that the children had not been raped or had their genitals removed–my concern is that Michael Blatty still *wants* to believe the prosecution’s fictional Satanic-child-sex-crimes.

      I mean, why does Blatty *want* to imagine that three boys were raped and mutilated, when even the State fo AR concedes this is not the case? It reminds me of how, during the “investigation,” certain detectives pushed young Misskelley for hours upon hours until he gave them false, but nonetheless exceedingly graphic, tales of child sexual assault, from forced oral sex to anal rape.

      As author-journalist Mara Leveritt writes, in Devil’s Knot:

      BLOCKQUOTE: (Detective) Gitchell asked about several forms of sex. Jessie said that, in addition to raping them, Damien and Jason had had oral sex with two of the boys or, as he put it, “They stuck their thang in their mouth.”

      BLOCKQUOTE: At one point, Gitchell rose from his seat, apologizing to Jessie. “Okay. All right,” he said. “Hold on just a minute.” There was a pause, during which Gitchell left the room. When the chief detective returned he explained, “I’m sorry I keep coming back and forth, but I got people that want me to ask you some other questions…” When the questioning resumed, he asked, “Did anyone go down on the boys and maybe sucked theirs or something?” (pp. 89-90)

      Now that we know rape and genital mutilation had no part in the crime, why does Michael Blatty continue to believe it? What purpose does this fantasy serve? And is this the sort of thing he is discussing with the highschool kids that Blatty is “tutoring”?

      I understand that Blatty, who also claims to be a “writer” (though I can find nothing he’s written other than retellings of the prosecution’s Satan-stories), might experience issues related to growing up in the shadow of his father, Peter Blatty (_The Exorcist_), but it does not explain Michael’s creepy obsession with the West Memphis Three, nor does it assuage my concerns regarding his fitness to be around children who are the same age as were the wrongfully accused in this case.

      That Blatty lives in here in Salem–beautiful, compassionate, friendly Salem, whose collective wisdom is borne of so much pain–is merely a bitter irony. I am far more concerned for Michael Blatty’s present influence not on a community of adults who know better, but on children entrusted to his care and authority.

      I may be contacted at scaredinsalemma@yahoo.com

      Thank you,

      Scared (again) in Salem
      http://michaelblatty.blogspot.com/

      • Anne

        Interesting thoughts and I have wondered before actually … but hard to judge someone based on their behaviour on the internet alone.

        I mostly just hope for the kids he’s “tutoring” (what does that mean anyway? If he was actually teaching it would say “teaching”, non?) that he leaves his condescending and rude online self behind when he enters a classroom (or whatever you enter for “turoring”) and treats the kids with respect and as equals.

      • Shannon Bradley Byers

        Another person that insists on saying that poor little Jessie was interrogated for way longer than he actually was. The FIRST, of many, confessions came withing a 4 1/2 hour window of being picked up, questioned, having his father sign permission for the polygraph, and then more questioning. He was not coerced, he was not denied anything and it was certainly not “hours upon hours”.

        Mike has every right to be concerned about the admitted and convicted whiny felon living in his town. I will say it again, if Damien “hates” his celebrity he needs to quit putting himself out there EVERYWHERE and just shut the hell up.

        As stated above, he had a new evidentiary hearing to start the process of clearing his name. HIS defense decided that it would be better for him to plead guilty to first degree murder and admit there was enough evidence to be convicted AGAIN, rather than have a new trial. Wonder why that is?

        Personally, I would be glad to have my child tutored by someone who is obviously intelligent enough to do the proper research and not sit behind his keyboard like an unamed coward who obviously doesn’t know what they are talking about.

      • Michael Blatty

        Just back from a visit to Gettysburg with the family and saw the above. Whoever wrote it (naturally, too cowardly to give their name) conveniently leaves out the clearly uncoerced statement given by Jessie Misskelley TO HIS OWN LAWYER in which he graphically describes Echols having molested at least one of the three boys and equally graphically describes Baldwin having castrated one of the boys. These are not “fantasies” or “fixations” on my part but rather facts which this anonymous writer chooses for whatever reason to ignore. Likewise, Echols’s interest in demonology and the occult at the time of the murders of these three children is undeniable if one reads the evidence available at Callahan, even though there can be no hard proof that Echols was motivated to kill because of his belief in the so-called “dark arts.”
        As for this anonymous writers suggestion that I discuss the case of Echols with any of the students I tutor he is (as usual) dead wrong and I challange him to come up with a single statement to the contrary by anyone. His premise and manner of behavior as descibed here are both laughable.
        Echols was before his release and remains a felon guilty of first degree murder of three children. He talked about wanting to know how it felt to kill someone before he killed them, bragged about having done it on several occasions to several different people after he killed them and before his arrest, and has since pleaded guilty to the murders rather than go forward with the probability (according to him) of a new trial. He is guilty as charged and as he pleaded and the onus is on fools like “anonymous” to prove him innocent, not upon anyone else to prove him guilty YET AGAIN. “Anonymous” clearly has no understanding of the American legal system.

        • Michael Blatty

          Verbatim transcript of Jessie Misskelley’s confession given against the advice of his own attorney (excerpts):
          Detective Davis: What, what was Damien doing at this time?
          Misskelley: Well the one that got cut on his face, he stuck his finger on his cheek and licked the blood off of it.
          Davis: That’s what you saw Damien do? What else was he doing?
          Misskelley: He grabbed one of em by the ear, I don’t know which one, he grabbed one of em by the ear trying to pull his ear off or something. He grabbed em pretty tight. It turned kind of red.
          Davis: Did the, were the kids, the three little boys, were they saying anything, doing anything during this?
          Misskelley: They were saying, “Stop! Stop!”…
          Davis: Ok, Jessie told me that Jason came over to you and then went back to the boy THAT HAD BEEN CASTRATED AND STAT HITTING HIM IN THE FACE. WHAT WAS DAMIEN DOING AT THIS TIME?
          Misskelley: HE WAS STILL HOLDING THAT, STILL MESSING WITH THEM BOYS, THAT BOY’S PENIS…
          Davis: What happen next you said, Damien’s still got the other one, Jason’s got one and you got one. What happens next?
          Misskelley: DAMIEN WAS MESSING WITH THE LITTLE BOY’S PENIS.
          Davis: When you say he was messing with one of the boy’s penis, what do you mean? What was he doing?
          Misskelley: PULLIN ON IT.
          Jessie Misskelley’s confession with his hand on a Bible (excerpts):
          Stidham: OK, so were the boys making any noise or saying anything?
          Misskelley: They, uh, we put a shirt in their mouth.
          Stidman: Who did?
          Misskelley: Damien and Jason did, put their shirt in their mouth.
          Stidham: Then what happened?
          Misskelley: THEN THEY TOOK OFF THEIR, UH, THEIR PANTS – DAMIEN AND THEM TOOK OFF THEM LITTLE BOY’S PANTS.
          Stidham: How did they take them off?
          Misskelley: PULLED THEM. JUST PULLED THEM COMPLETELY OFF…THEY DIDN’T UNSNAP THEM OR NOTHING. THEY JUST JERKED.
          Stidham: Pulling them from the legs. By their feet and pulled the legs off – the pants? or did they…
          MISSKELLEY: THEY WAS INSIDE OUT. THEY PULLED THEM FROM THE TOP, JUST – THEY JERKED THEM OFF.
          Stidham:You sure?
          Misskelley: UH-HUH (Affirmatively indicating.)
          Stidham: WHO DID THAT?
          Misskelley: DAMIEN.
          Stidham: Then what happened?
          Misskelley: THEN HE STARTED GETTING ON -UH, STARTED PLAYING WITH THAT LITTLE BOY’S PENIS…
          Stidham: OK, then what happened?
          Misskelley: THEN DAMIEN STARTED MESSING, YOU KNOW, PLAYING AROUND WITH HIS PENIS AND STUFF.
          Stidham: What do you mean playing around with it? Tell me exactly what happened.
          Misskelley: HE PUT HIS HAND OVER THE TOP OF IT, ON- YOU KNOW, SQUEEZING IT, AT IT, SQUEEZING IT…
          Stidham: Then what happened after that?
          Misskelley: THEN DAMIEN STUCK -STUCK HIS PENIS FROM BEHIND ONE OF THWEM LITTLE BOYS – I DON’T REMEMBER WHICH ONE – BUT HE DIDN’T STICK IT ALL THE WAY IN, HE JUST – HE JUST STUCK IT IN AND PULLED IT OUT. THAT’S IT…
          Stidham: ok, then what happened?
          Misskelley: THEN HE, UH, HE SHOT OFF ON THE PANTS AND STUFF.
          Stidham: WHO DID?
          Misskelley: DAMIEN.
          Stidham: WHY DID HE DO THAT?
          Misskelley: TO BE SICK.
          Stidham: SHOT OFF ON THE PANTS?
          Misskelley: UH-HUH (Indicating affirmatively.)…
          Stidham: WHAT WAS THE LITTLE BOY DOING WHILE DAMIEN WAS JACKING OFF?
          Misskelley: DAMIEN DONE BEAT HIM UP…
          This, then, is the man that our Salem film fest organizer Joe Courtrera feted at the Salem Film Fest and described to a Boston Globe reporter as “JUST A SWEET GUY WITH A BUNCH OF TATTOOS.”

          • Miranda

            Why are you bringing up what was already presented in front of many professionals to be bullshit. Misskelly has an IQ of less than 70.Do you understand that he is mentally challenged and made all of this nonsense up? This is such a load of crap. All of this was done and brought before all the defense and Atty Genl and why do you think they were released? Because this is all nonsense again from a man who was beyond mentally challenged. This guy has the mentality, it was proven, of a 3rd grader… Get your facts straight..YOU don’t know anything about this case much except the lies told here. Do you understand anything about law? Are you an atty? Do you work in any capacity of law? I’m pretty sure you don’t. This was a huge mistake made by ignorant people that had to have someone to blame to get reelected. You must be kidding reading and listening to this utter garbage..pure garbage. they are now out of prison for good!!! They won’t be going back because they didn’t do anything wrong.

        • Miranda

          I don’t believe a word of this. They never would have been released from prison at all if this were the case.Many, many highly educated and the best forensic scientists came in to find out with what laughable little evidene they had,that this was wrong, if they made them sign a release stating they couldn’t sue the state for $16 or I think it may have been $60 Mill than why would they have let them go and sign a statement like this. Look you can look as far as you can for this baloney evidence but highly skilled, the best educated atty’s, detectives and many scientists were brought in to look at any of the evidence they may have had and there was none of these three men period. They were let out and should have been let out much sooner because the truth came out many years later that THEY SCREWED UP AND MADE A HUGE MISTAKE… YOUR EVIDENCE IS TAINTED CRAP. I agree with everyone involved that got these guys out that there was nothing there to charge any of them with.This stupidity that Damien supposedly stated was from some kid that was saying off the wall things and there’s no proof. Solid evidence This so called looking into the occult or satanism is just sheer crap. This didn’t happen and they weren’t guilty. Do you know what it’s like for a judge who was up for reelection as were all the other men involved, to say that after 17 years to be exact and have one to be on death row to admit they were wrong??? they weren’t about to do that because they’re ignorant idiot fucks. Sorry man but that’s the truth and you need to be able to differentiate what is fact from fiction.Simple as that.They were not guilty at all!! .

      • Miranda

        I agree with you. This is sick. The South, as my father was once stationed there from the Air Force, is very odd. We weren’t born or raised there, yet we lived there for a short, thankfully, while. I never felt good or comfortable living there because my parents stressed education and that place did not. They were literally 20 years behind everything. So many young people died of or were addicted to drugs. Seems as if there was a kind of attitude of no education, okay to quit school, don’t attend or try to attend college to better oneself, things that were so disgusting and odd to me because my parents were both college educated as my brother and I both were. We all wanted to go to college but my father stated we had no choice. That was actually fine with me . I had incredible professors in college and the lectures were amazing. I asked my father if he had choices to be stationed elsewhere because I hated where we lived.. but I thank God we weren’t there long. When I found out we did have choices, I was so angry at him and asked him why in the hell he chose that particular area.. No answer and all I can say is that I would never return because the ignorance, the illnesses, years later I heard through the grapevine, being 34 years old now, that about 7 people my age had already died of murder or cancer. What the hell?? I heard from a highly educated man I know there, state that the reason it was known as the obesity state was that people were so damn lazy there, got these diseases and many more with all the education we have out in the world and have had since as far back as I can remember, yet they chose the worst way out. The kids I went to HS with have already had 5 kids or more, have already been divorced and married 2-3 x’s already, smoke like crazy, have diseases that people our age shouldn’t be dealing with at this time in our lives. When I actually, I don’t know why I did this, went to a high school reunion, literally I was the only one the same size as I was in high school. 5’5″ tall, 115 lbs and didn’t smoke and I had a few glasses of wine and they were chugging large pints of beer and tequila shooters. I was thinking, wow, have your fun getting a DUI driving home.This didn’t even occur to them.They actually brought up incarceration or being arrested and they stated they had been arrested for DUI, traffic citations that they decided not to pay, Drivers license suspension, being caught driving when suspended and so many other stupid things. When I told them as they had asked me if I had ever been arrested and I stated no, as I never have been, I didn’t feel superior, I felt horribly sad at these people that I thought were going to go places and they didn’t. That thought I was the strange one that had never been arrested. This was sick to hear. They’ve wasted a good amt of time screwing up their lives and it bothered me. I moved away as soon as I went away to college to another state because I hated it there. I wasn’t born or raised there and I was crawling out of my skin and cursing my father for having moved us there when we were younger and I didn’t have a say so, because if I did, I would have advised him, he’s going without me or my brother who felt the same way as I did. .My mother did as well. That did cause a rift in their marriage. They’re still married but she was beyond angry. We were all disgusted by his stupidity in this particular decision. When I left, that one sickening reunion was the only time I went back because I had other friends of mine that lived in cities as I moved to when I left there and we all decided to go to this reunion together. We had all made successful careers, own businesses and went to college, graduated college and traveled the world ..some of us together and we’re still in touch.When we went to this place down South, that to this day I don’t want to go near, believe me it made me so grateful for my education, for that fact that I had made the right decisions and for the fact that I didn’t and never will be this complacent person that lives in a shitty town with kids that have no fathers and live in a poverty ridden area..All their choices in life because we all have chances to make good and a good deal of them decided to stay children and immature and it was sad, sad,sad. I was happy to leave and I am happy to say I will never return.. That’s what mentality these young boys at the time were dealing with whent they got arrested for doing absolutely nothing wrong. I find it sickening and hope they can sue the hell out of that state because they took 18 years of their lives because of sheer ignorance. Here’s to hoping they sue the hell out of that crazy state.

        • Adrian Poesiat

          Miranda, completely agree on your musings on the South. I lived in Louisiana for some time and had similar.impressions. This is a bizarre case and I also feel the State judiciary and justice system refuses to accept they erred

        • kjh64

          Oh, please. The South is a very big place encompassing several states and large cities. There are all different kinds of people in the South. Yes, there are people in the South that are obese, do drugs, drop out of school etc. BUT, you have those just as much up North or out West too. It is about class, NOT region. There are plenty of people in the South who are middle class, live in big cities or suburbs, go onto higher education and most are not like what you describe. I too lived in the South and it was not at all what you describe. There have been miscarriages of justice all over the country too.

        • Adrian Poesiat

          Miranda, you just described my experience living in Louisiana. I’m from Vancouver Canada but went to a college for a year on the Gulf. It was an unusual experience.

        • racheld

          I really find this offensive. I was born up north and moved to the south when I was 15. I am now 28. I am educated, have a family, and a great CAREER. I am also 5′ 3″ and 130 lbs. And ALL of my friends are the same. I love the south and all the people here. They are some of the kindest, most caring people who would give the shirt off their back if they thought it would help! The “issues” of people fm the south that u described, wake up honey, are people ALL OVER THE WORLD! And I can tell u now, if u moved down here and automatically jumped up on ur high horse thinking u were Gods gift and “us southerners” are nothing but white trash uneducated redneck whores, ya. Pretty sure u wouldnt have had a good experience. Cuz most of us woulda dragged u right off ur high horse and slapped u w some humility and human decency! Ur comment was by far the absolute most ignorant shit ive seen in a long time. The town u moved to might not have been very good for you and your lifestyle, but just because u had a bad experience there, that doesnt give u the right to jus go ahead and categorize all people who live in the south as the trash u speak of. Ive lived up north and CURRENTLY in the south and im telling you, I avoid moving back up north because of ignorant people like u! Ill pray for u that u can find it in you to have some respect and empathy for mankind. To me it sounds like u need a hell of alot of prayers! And before you go off judging someone else, just remember, u dont know their story. And, besides, its not our place to judge!

    • Miranda

      I agree with you Anne. People are allowed to speak their minds on various topics but the ugliness of seemingly much older men??? show on top of the comments area from the two who are continually agruing back and forth is so childish. None seem to have grown up. What is the problem? Speak to each other as if you agree to disagree but what are you guys actually arguing about? Seems ridiculous. You will see maybe one day that this case was so utterly disgusting in a place where education seemed highly lacking in the Judge, the prosecution and the detectives. They can’t admit they were wrong because all these years they had these innocent men in prison because of the coercion of these so-called detectives is utterly disgusting. I saw the whole case, the stupidity of stating that someone looked differnt in some small, poor town where these people literally had no education, you’ve heard them speak I’m sure. Damien apparently is a smart person. To see that he came out of that hell hole and had people helping him is a miracle because their system his highly corrupt and they pray that people will have as low an IQ as one of the three men who gave this off the wall no good confession because they knew they were dealing with someone who was not bright whatsoever. That is one town I would never go back to if I were them and move as far away as possible if I were any of those 3 individuals because of the stupidity of the so-called people who put them in prison, death row and so much more.They’re dealing with a nightmare that they’ll have to speak to some professional about for most of their lives because of the sheer horror they dealt with there. The actual film was disgusting and showed poverty stricken, uneducated people that literally had no chance at all and these scumbags were preying on this to happen. This stupid kid,now a guy in his 30’s who stated that all 3 of them did this horrendous crime did so because he wanted to find something to sensationalize his life. He grew up uneducated, quit school, when tested was found to be mentally challenged and had quite a low IQ.. so much more. Damien was caught up in the same area, never hung out with this kid that made the original confession and they all preyed on some person who came from a dirt poor, uneducated family and they had literally no one to turn to until this prosecutor and somehow HBO got a hold of this story and many celebrities did what needed to be done. They got the truth out as Damien Echols wife did as well. They has ZERO evidence and it’s a pretty scary world when you see people sent to prison, one to die, 18 years of their lives wasted in hell and they only way they get out is some disgusting, ignorant judge that on purpose made them wait longer than they should have because they knew the screwed up badly. very badly and had the wrong people all along. Who the hell gets convicted with absolutely no evidence? Disgusting case all around. Drugged up people, the mother of one of the kids dies from a drug overdose and was married to some nut job, the others parents were not bright and very poverty stricken. It’s pretty sad and sickening when you see this happened in America. You only think something like this would happen in a movie like Midnight Express. Another sick tale but unfortunately a true one in a country that lives barbaricly. Shame on AK for letting this happen. They had to sign a statement for the plea, Alford piece of shit plea, stating they were guilty, yet innocent and will have their lives affected negatively forever unless this mess can be overturned. They’re messed up. they’re sickening and how these people could be involved in law is a huge disgrace. the judge should be thrown out and the atty’s except for the defense should be disbarred and the detectives.. a joke from hell sent apparently.. I was shocked beyond belief when I saw the ignorance of all those people. People who were supposed to have attended law school. Extremely hard to believe any of them passed high school much less law school. Sickening. I hope somehow they find a way to sue the hell out of all the people responsible for ruining their lives. Surely somehow this will hopefully happen. What a disgrace..

      • Adrian Poesiat

        Yes Miranda, I too find it mysterious that the prosecutor passed the bar exam.

  • jack dobson

    Ms. Giacobbe, you have attributed this quote to Todd Moore: “Meanwhile, the father of one of the victims declared to a camera crew that Echols deserved to die: “I’m all for burning them at the stake, just like they did in Salem.”
    Do you care to share with us where this quotation has appeared on film or print? I would cut to the chase and venture it doesn’t appear anywhere, but it may have somewhere, some time. Granted, it would be quite understandable for a parent whose son was slaughtered and discarded like garbage to say such a thing, particularly if one of the killers pled guilty to be released and profit off his crimes. But if this ever has appeared somewhere, please provide a link or citation.

    • jack dobson

      I just learned it is an apparently apocryphal quote that was picked up and disseminated as true and attributed, not unlike 90 percent of the mythology around this case.

      • Michael Blatty

        Ms. Giocobbe says in her article that the three eight-year-olds’ bodies “were weirdly mangled.” What she does not mention is the fact that the boys had been stripped naked before being hog-tied wrist to leg and wrist to leg and then slashed and beaten prior to being tossed into a watery ditch to drown. No doubt that detail would have clashed with the glamour shots of their murderer. Well, after all, what is one to expect of a magazine whose cover is of a gigantic ice-cream sundae? (“The definitive guide to the region’s very
        best scoops, frappes, and sundaes!”)

        • jack dobson

          I found the dessert article to contain considerably more substance, and I ain’t talkin’ calories.

          In all fairness, this was no worse than the usual Echols-inspired drivel. Indeed, it was better written and did subtly mention Echols’ nuttiness. With that caveat I only read the story once. I saw no claim that Echols could fly and shape shift*. If this in error, I will make a correction upon a second reading.
          *WM3 mythology took an “Echols Can Levitate”
          quote from one Buddy Lucas, who originally was slated to testify for the State, and claimed it was widely believed in West Memphis. In one of those odd twists of fate, Echols’ murder groupies, chupacabras and hangers on now line up so he can transfer energy from his hands into their bodies via the majick of Reiki. Strange times, strange times.

          • Michael Blatty

            Ms. Giocobbe did tell me at the outset that while she would summarize the case at the start of her piece, her intention was to report upon Echols’s new life in Salem and the various reactions to him here, not to investigate the question of his guilt or innocence. I think she did a good job of following through on that limited plan. I also agree with you that the writing itself is quite good. Perhaps my expectations under the circumstances were unreasonable.

          • Hope Haff

            Wow, hatred and scapegoating are still alive and well in Salem. Please remember the words of Increase Mather(father of that notorious liberal,
            Cotton Mather:) “It were better that Ten Suspected Witches should escape, than that one Innocent Person should be Condemned”.

          • jack dobson

            With Echols, you have an admitted, convicted, and now confessed triple child murderer who kind of escaped. I don’t find it “better,” but then again, this isn’t a witch exactly, is it?

          • jannloch

            He pleaded guilty while maintaining his innocense.

          • Michael Blatty

            Yes, Jannloch, which is his right under the law. Every convicted murderer that I have ever heard of does the same (maintain his innocence). He pleaded guilty rather than have a likely new day in court. That says a great deal, in my opinion.
            Regards,
            Mike

          • Fred Giannelli

            Blatty, U said you watched the talk @ MIT with Echols & Senghor. A study in contrasts. Both served 18 years, one has always maintained his innocence, one accepted responsibility for his acts. Now you say, “Every convicted murderer that I have ever heard of does the same (maintain his innocence).”

            Don’t trip on your shoelaces, even if there may be a hair in them that is a consistent match with the DNA of Terry Hobbs…

          • Michael Blatty

            Mr. Giannelli:
            No, I have never said that I watched the talk at MIT that you refer to. I did not watch it and did not say that I did. I agree, however, that I should not have said “every” convicted murderer denies his guilt but rather “almost every” convicted murderer does.
            Now that I have your ear (however briefly) I would like to ask that you refrain in the future from writing disgusting things in reference to my children on the Salemweb site and elsewhere. I have been, as you know, rather tolerant of your behavior in light of what I take to be your emotional disabilities. But you cross a line there and I do not take it lightly. It is one thing for you to go rooting around the internet as you have done attaching disgusting remarks to posts that I have made on Salem sites going back for many years. It is another for you to drag my children into any online discussion. When someone some weeks back posted on Salemweb some disagreeable information about Mr. Echols’s son (who is in his 20’s) I objected to the administrators of the site and had them remove it. I will no longer respond to any commentary by you, something I have said to nobody else.

          • Fred Giannelli

            Blatty, U R an idiot with OCD. Get over this Echols thing. He poses no real threat to Salem’s children. Why ? Because he’s probably INNOCENT. Your kids are grown up now… They must really wish sometimes that the Romans wiped out all your predecessors. Like most kids, they probably need to go through a phase of rebellion. Do they ever have dreams about murdering you with a SPOON ???

            FYI, one thing that I have learned from bumping into Damien & Lorri on the mean streets of Salem is that you should never, EVER discount direct human interaction and INTUITION. I don’t get the feeling at all that Damien committed these terrible crimes. One look at Terry Hobbs’ face from the very first TV report and how he handled the phone call from his friend in the WOM film looks like he would crack under the heat and pressure. But then the fine upstanding law professionals that you regard so highly and have never, EVER been known for corruption and have proven everything they have had by railroading these 3 kids.

            The only thing the WM3 are guilty of was actually liking METALLICA !!! And they have certainly paid the price.

            PS. Didn’t you claim to have sent ANTHRAX in the mail to your mother-in-law once ???

            Salem is the new SOUTH PARK !!!

            Piss off moron…

            telepathic.regards
            Ĩed

          • Michael Blatty

            8 and 12 is not “grown up,” creep. Get yourself some psychiatric help and stop acting like an out of control infant.

          • Fred Giannelli

            They could probably kick Damien’s ass. U my dear Citizen Kane loving Salem puritan are the tragic Salem Internet CLOWN !!!

            http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/254811/preview-what-did-you-say

          • Fred Giannelli

            and now a short break from our sponsor…http://youtu.be/_PTSAaCwh5M

          • Rowdy

            The state was perfectly free to retry them and if you actually believe that Ellington doesn’t know every minutia of this case, you really are naive. It was all about the money, not the murdered boys. That must make you upset, no?

          • Rowdy

            Hold up. How come the state didn’t proceed with new trials, they were not obligated to do the Alford plea whatsoever? Let me clue you in a little..they were released because they were innocent. The state would have been on the hook for around $60 million and we couldn’t have that, huh. Obviously careers and money were more important than finding justice for three murdered boys. No doubt, you would have taken the same deal they did Blatty, you just don’t have the guts to admit that probably. Yeah..regards

          • cpenick

            The silence here now is cracking me up….lol.

          • Michael Blatty

            I said about a week ago that I would be taking a break from this page for about a week, cpenick! Am I supposed to watching here 24/7? I like your sense of humor, though, and the fact that you manage to make your points in a friendly sort of way. See you here in another few weeks, perhaps. Cheers!
            (P.S. What part of Echols being guilty of these murders do you apologists and comforters of this unrepentant child-murderer not understand? The denial of reality here is truly quite remarkable.)

          • Michael Blatty

            Dead wrong, Rowdy. Echols’s own lawyers asked for the Alford plea in their client’s best interests because they knew their chances of prevailing in a retrial were minimal. Echols pled guilty because he is guilty and knows that a retrial would not win him exoneration or freedom. He got a better deal than he deserved because the state decided that it did not have the resources to commit to a retrial if it were to go forward. Were I a guilty man as Echols is would I have signed the Alford plea as he did? Absolutely! IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE IF YOU ARE GUILTY! Would I have signed it and pleaded guilty to the first degree murder of three children if I were in fact innocent? Absolutely not. Never.

          • cpenick

            Actually, if you look here in the video I attached, you’ll see that Ellington admits that they had a very good chance of being acquitted.

            Also, you’ve never sat in solitary for 10 years….a mile in his shoes, etc…. you don’t know what you’d do. I argued with a guy the other day that said he’d never give up info had he been waterboarded. I asked him in he had ever been waterboarded…..”no”….we all LIKE to think we’d not give up info, right?

            Also, under the presumption they are not guilty, would you let the same system that railroaded you do it TWICE? They got a lot of things to cover up…..

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jldNzzod-G0#at=2561

          • Michael Blatty

            cpenick:
            I say yet again: Bragged about killing the boys, found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury, pleaded guilty on the advice of his own lawyers, no alibi, history of violent acts and severe mental illness, no other credible killer after 20 years of attempts to find one, multiple confessions by Jessie Misskelley including details only someone there could know, caught lying on the witness stand and continues to lie to this day about even unimportant things, detectives, prosecutor, judge, state of Arkansas belive him to be guilty. What part of guilty do you foolish, foolish people not understand? The legal burdon is upon Echols to prove his innocence, not upon the judicial system or me or anyone else to find him guilty YET AGAIN. I like you, pal, and think you sincere but you are even dumber than Echols – which is pretty damn dumb.
            This is my last comment on this site. Come on over to Salemweb if you want to display your gullibility further still.
            Regards,
            Mike

          • cpenick

            Ah he likes me but calls me dumb….lmao……

          • cpenick

            You really do sound like a parrot, Blatty. Keep repeating those BS arguments over and over again. It’s clear you really don’t do your own research, but repeat what you’re told. You’ve got what, 8 months of “research” in? You’re still baby, old man! lol
            Salemweb is more like a spiderweb I’m not getting involved in.

          • DiDi34

            To point to jurisprudence in the trial/conviction as evidence that he is guilty (the judge/jury/D.A. ‘said so’) and this same ‘system’ allows him to go free on his plea, then, by that rationale, the system is correct in that latter decision also, and he should be allowed to go about his
            life and not be witch-hunted as the free man he is and who has served his time as the judicial systems says that he has. The same judicial system you put your faith in regarding the
            trial/conviction is the same system that allowed him to go free. Can’t have it both ways when using an appeal to authority argument to support claims of guilt; to wit, the fact that it IS
            the judicial system means that its decisions are infallible because it IS the judicial system. A circular argument I know, but not one that I support as there *are* proven wrongful conviction cases on record.

          • Hope Haff

            Not a witch. A witch hunt.

          • Michael Blatty

            Show me your evidence that Echols is innocent, Hope, or the proof that someone else committed these foul murders – because until you are able to, reason tells me that we ought to consider a man who bragged of the murders before he was arrested, was tried by a jury and found guilty, and later pleaded guilty to the murders, as the man who in fact killed those poor boys. Or are you suggesting that we ought to let every convicted murderer in the U.S. (and like Echols, they all claim to be innocent) go free “just to be sure” we are not holding an innocent man?

          • jannloch

            Show me the evidence that Echols is guilty!

          • racheld

            I would like to know….were u there when the girls heard him brag of the killings?! Didnt think so. MOST of the trial was hearsay and was proven when the little boy was NEVER present at the time of the murders and his mother had stated the police scared her to death and thats why she lied and pulled her son into it as a “witness”! U want proof of another suspect?! Hobbs. Along w a friend an 2 teens. The statements that Misskelly had given did NOT match up w evidence. For example, he stated they were tied up w rope, when in fact it was w their shoelaces. And all the rape allegations were PROVEN TO BE FALSE BY THE AR SUPREME COURT! ur ignorance is completely disgusting. U are like a damn parrot who continuously repeats the garbage that others have tried to throw out to the media since day one, but I have yet to read of a single time u have given FACTUAL PROOF that these boys murdered those babies! If they did, no way in hell would a SOUTHERN SUPREME COURT allow them to sign the deal and ALLOW 3 MURDERERS WAITING ON EXECUTION TO WALK OUT! Like others have said, show me cold hard PHYSICAL evidence n not circumstantial and then maybe, MAYBE id sit down w an open mind to read what you have to say. Until then, quit repeating urself. Its getting real damn old. And really is pointless.

          • Rowdy

            Yeah and talking snakes are cool too!

      • Rowdy

        You got schooled by Miss cpenick is what happened.

      • cpenick

        How did that work out for ya?

    • Michael Blatty

      Mr. Dobson, this does not sound to me like something Mr. Moore has ever said. I’m glad you have raisied the question. Yet I do agree that under the circumstances (the vicious slaughter of his only son) such a statement by Mr. Moore would be perfectly understandable. Will be curious to see what Ms. Giacobbe has to say..

    • cpenick

      I’m almost 100% he said it ON CAMERA in Paradise Lost (the first one). I’d have to look at it again and verify which film, but he did indeed say that.

      • Michael Blatty

        As when Echols said he was 99.99 percent certain Byers killed the boys – and later 99.99 percent sure Terry Hobbs did? HE is on camera saying both, as you know.

        • cpenick

          I’m not splitting hairs here…I’m simply confirming that it WAS said. And at the time he said it, no I probably wouldn’t have blamed him for saying it. To the best of the information he had at the time, they had the right guys. If he said it now, I would blame him.

          • Michael Blatty

            Well if he did say it I would be curious to see the proof.
            Regards,
            Mike

          • cpenick

            Again, check the first PL.

          • Michael Blatty

            Sorry, I don’t look at that tripe.
            Show me if you can find it (which I doubt.)
            Best,
            Mike

          • cpenick

            BAM! Doubt me again. ;-)

          • Rowdy

            Now ya can’t help but wonder just what all else they have wrong, like everything? haha

          • Michael Blatty

            Thanks for going to the trouble of finding the proof and posting it here. It did not sound to me like something that Todd Moore would have said but I stand corrected. As you yourself admit above, one can scarcely blame him under the circumstances (his only son having just been brutally murdered.)

          • Fred J Walsh

            If you change your mind about watching the Paradise Lost movies, don’t stop at number two. You may become one of the people out there still talking about human bite marks and the obviousness of Mark Byers’ guilt.

          • cpenick

            For once, Fred, we’re on the same page…there are things to learn there, but with a grain of salt. A lot has changed since that film came out.

          • cpenick

            Although according to this article, it looks like it might have been on the second one, along with Byers and his antics. http://sunrec.tumblr.com/post/45759155848/the-nightmare-of-the-west-memphis-three

          • Michael Blatty

            Well, cpenick, it sounds a lot more like Byers’s style than Mr. Moore’s. Unless you or the author of this article can show me where and when he said what he is quoted as having said I will continue to think it untrue.
            All the best,
            Mike

          • cpenick

            Figures….you keep letting others do your research for you, and eat whatever they feed you. CONSIDER EVERYTHING, Blatty…even if it doesn’t fit your agenda. You can call it tripe if you want, but if you keep your nose in one side of the story, you’re just gonna fit what you want to believe, despite the actual truth. And here I thought you were diligent. I’ll find it, no worries. I’ll scrub though the dvd’s….

          • Michael Blatty

            You know very well yourself, cpenick, how slanted the Paradise Lost seris is and how the films’ makers leave out much damning evidence against the so-called WM3. Do you not agree that the first film, for instance, makes it seem almost a certainty that Byers killed the boys? Those films are advocacy films for Damien Echols, not documentaries.

          • cpenick

            I think PL2 is what makes it look like Byers did it. He made himself look like a violent ass. It was wrong, admittedly. I’m still not convinced of Hobbs either, but I will say he is more likely than the WM3. Regardless, the PL series was enough to get me to dig for the finer details and comb thru Callahan and listen to the trial audio. Still don’t see a damn thing convincing whatsoever. If you think I got all my info from the documentaries, you’d be gravely wrong. I just hope you aren’t getting all your info from WM3 “Facts”….look into unbiased sources. Otherwise, if you are looking for what you want to see, you’ll find it.

          • cpenick

            You can look at them as slanted, that doesn’t even bother me….but it might give you some ideas of things to go look up at Callahan. Something there might spark an idea of something to look deeper into.

          • 1Superherogirl

            He did say that in one of the Paradise Lost movies, I’ve seen it. It’s one thing to say what he said is understandable, quite another to insist he never said it. He said it.

          • cpenick

            Here you go, Mr. Blatty. Right around the 17:45 mark, so you can skip ahead. :-) It was actually in PL3.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajgNzU0Ev2Y

          • Rowdy

            You paying attention too, Dobson?
            Do your homework, you two!

        • Rowdy

          Of course I’d blame him. We are innocent until proven guilty in this country and it surprises me coming from a constitutional lover like Moore, I’m sure he’s never changed his tune. The witches were hung, not burned and they were innocent, so all you witch burners keep dreaming.

    • Emma

      “”Todd Moore, Michael’s father, expresses the same sentiment, albeit in a less histrionic fashion. “I’m all for burning them at the stake, just like they did in Salem,” he says, perhaps unaware that the women executed at Salem did not, in fact, turn out to be witches.””

      This is taken from the article here – http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/apr/04/nightmare-west-memphis-three/?pagination=false

    • Rowdy

      If you’ve missed this clip, you really haven’t done any research at all other than reading a couple of websites called Truth and Facts, that have neither. LMAO
      Moore got it all wrong too, the innocent witches were hung.

    • cpenick

      Here you go. Right around 17:45
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajgNzU0Ev2Y

  • cpenick

    So what you’re telling me is that Blatty can be found in the ladies’ room. :-p lol Seriously, how are you ALWAYS the first to comment? What program are you running that searches for him in real time? lol Otherwise, I can’t do anything but picture you sitting on google, hitting refresh to see if something new pops up.

    • jack dobson

      The irony of someone on the ‘Net accusing someone of using the ‘Net too much never ceases to amuse me.

      • Rowdy

        Then there’s the people that never use it enough.. ^^

  • Jenny Ray Sondergaard

    Just a little side note… Some people seem to have forgotten that there is actually DNA evidence that proves none of the guys who were convicted of the WM3 murders had any part to play in the crime. The fact that each appeal came back as denied was because it kept going in front of the same judge. The same judge who wouldn’t admit the DNA evidence. This is also the same judge who got in trouble with the Arkansas State Supreme Court for denying the admission of the evidence when they sent the judgement back to his court saying that he needed to really think twice about not allowing the evidence to be admitted into the case. Also, I think it would be a good idea to mention that this is the same judge who offered this deal they got before the case could be heard in his court again about allowing this DNA evidence. Just some thoughts to ponder while you sit on your high horse and thinking you are better than everyone else just because you are the son of a man who made a lot of money off a bloody, gross movie that is older than dirt now!!!!

    • Michael Blatty

      Dear Jenny:
      Thanks for the good laugh! I needed it!
      All the best,
      Mike
      (P.S. It is pretty gross in places, isn’t it? )

    • Fred J Walsh

      “DNA evidence…proves none of the convicted…had any part to play in the crime.”

      Not true. This statement grants undue power to the lack of conclusive wm3 DNA from the scene.

      To start with, as Barry Scheck observes, Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence.

      Remember too, that the crime scene was outdoors, compromised by the overnight search, with bodies that had been submerged in water overnight, and the evidence collection conducted within the confines of available 1993 technology.

      Finally, we must consider what percentage of cases actually have DNA from the purported assailant. The figure is lower than you think. Probably much lower.

      Again, Barry Scheck, 15 years after the murders:

      “Commissioner Schellenberger asked for documentation of the percentage range I cited where DNA testing will be dispositive of guilt in capital cases. This figure is based upon frequent representations from our nation’s leading criminologists.

      “…Michael M. Baden, M.D., director of the
      Medicological Investigations Unit of the New York State Police, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary indicated that ‘in less than 10% of murders, the criminal leaves DNA evidence behind.’

      “James Christy, director of the Future Explorations Unit
      of the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Unit was quoted as saying that ‘only about 1% of criminal cases introduce DNA evidence.’

      “…[T]here is no rigorous study I know of that establishes whether there is a higher percentage.”

      SOURCE: http://www.mdcase.org/node/132

      Scheck’s documentation indicating that DNA was recovered in
      only between 1 and 10 percent of murder cases would seem to be born out by this study of 400 murder cases, which put the figure at 4.5%.

      SOURCE: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/11/07/the_case_against_evidence/

      Conclusion: All things considered, if the wm3 are factually guilty (as I believe), it’s statistically much more likely that their DNA would *not* have been found. The odds were on their side.

      • Rowdy

        Guess Terry Hobbs wasn’t so lucky then.

        • Fred J Walsh

          The boys played in his house. Chris Byers, that very day. A possible hair of a family member is not the bright red flag you think it is; even the defense’s forensics man in PL3 admitted it was weak evidence.

    • Adrian Poesiat

      Touché Jenny. Unfortunately Blatt strikes me as someone who doesn’t want to balance his opinion with the possibility. He might be wrong and so refuses to see both sides. That is the gist of genuine debate

      • Adrian Poesiat

        Excuse me, Blatty.

    • Chuck Swindler

      “…there is actually DNA evidence that proves none of the guys who were convicted of the WM3 murders had any part to play in the crime.”

      This sentence does not make any sense; how can existing DNA evidence prove that someone was not there at the crime scene? Are you attempting to state that the lack of DNA evidence somehow confirms your misguided belief in the WM3? That wouldn’t make sense, either.

      The truth is that no one really knows what happened (aside from the killers), but if you can’t wrap your head around basic, fundamental logic then you should not be commenting.

      • Tom Maldez

        Excellent post, Chuck. The fact that no DNA matching any of the WM3 guys was found at the crime scene doesn’t come remotely close to trumpeting their innocence. There’s a saying in law enforcement “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

        All three have admitted their guilt when they took the Alfred plea. The jail time served wasn’t nearly sufficient for what they did, but at least it was something.

        • Heather Gibson

          Do any of you “experts” understand the basic concept of an Alford plea?? You keep saying they admitted their guilt when they took the plea when the entire purpose of an alford plea is maintaining your innocence while agreeing the prosecution would likely win at trial.

          • Tom Maldez

            Thanks for the clarification, as I am clearly no expert of the “Alfred” plea. Be that as it may, I believe very strongly in their guilt.

  • Stanley Steamer

    Blatty has a right to feel the way he does.

    Echols has a responsibility.

    Anyone with a child in this town should be concerned-with-and-or -aware-of-anyone related to such heinous crimes. The operative word is “HEINOUS” crime. It is just terrible to think about what happened to those boys. The victims here are the children…lets not forget. They are the ones who suffered one million times worse than we could ever imagine.

    If Echol’s wishes to ever walk in this town or any other town without being “judged” his responsibility is to find the ones responsible. He is a judged individual. Everyday he is judged…he is still in prison.

    It is less convincing though, when those who are accused (like Echols) are hoarding the limelight, fame and attention. Building an empire of fame on the brutal malicious deaths of young boys…is…well…very disturbing. I think we have had enough.

    It is an epidemic we face in the U.S. as society continues to popularize the violent, and insane. Echols is only walking a path which has been paved by Gacey and Manson…It is no different. The gullible crowds at the Salem Cinema (this spring) who watched the Echols propaganda film should be careful. While any film of this genre is a work of exoneration…Echols can act…he is an actor…this was a “piece”. As the diverse Salem crowd fawned over his strife, and were allured by his quiet and solemn persona… what I saw was… a reflection of this “tormented society.” It could be that the Salem crowd are a reflection of Echols. They can relate with him, and by doing so they are forgetting. Many come to Salem to be accepted and non-judged.

    I hope Echols becomes President of the United States. Personally, I hope Blatty (and others) suggest him out. Not because I dislike Echols (or favor Blatty) I just don’t think Salem is a place I would like to live with him in it. Frankly, this is negative energy in an otherwise nice place to live.

    I am not a hater…just an observer.

    Perhaps Echols should move to L.A. and Blatty stick to his Pea Soup.

    Oh.. and the Kooky Scientist…please just stick to being Kooky.
    SS

    • Michael Blatty

      Stanley:
      You say some truly insightful things here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for doing so in such an interesting way.
      All the best,
      Mike

    • Fred Giannelli

      Stanley Steamer,

      I think I know your “other” name but I’m not Psychic, nor Telepathic so I won’t bother outing you here. I’ll leave the jumping to conclusions to that pedantic bore Blatty…

      telepathic.regards
      Ĩed

    • racheld

      It is not Echols responsibility to find the ones responsible! That was the job of the shotty investigators who dropped the ball 20 yrs ago! And I’m sorry, but if I was wrongly convicted and spent 18 yrs behind bars, a majority in solitary confinement, id speak out also. The poor man is trying to clear his name and articles such as this are to try n help people see he is, in fact, NOT the murderous monster everyone made him out to be. Ignorance isnt always bliss I guess….

  • Emma

    Blatty gets his information from “The Blood Of Innocents” hence his total misinformation. I would be embarrassed to be using that as my reference point. I read every document on Callahan8k and that is where I became convinced of the 3’s innocence.

    Also I get the feeling that Blatty is obsessing over Echols because he (Echols) is more globally known than Blatty.

    • Michael Blatty

      Dear Emma:
      Not true about “Blood of Innocents.” It is simply the very first book I read about the case (just prior to reading “Devil’s Knot.”) I have read every document you have on Callahan8k and have arrived at the opposite conclusion. So let’s look beyond mere opinion (yours vs. mine) to the realities of the case. Was Echols found guilty by a jury? Yes. Did Echols brag to several people that he had killed the boys? Yes. Did Echols sign an Alford plea saying that he killed the boys? Yes. Is Echols a convicted felon and child-killer? Yes. Have any other possible suspects been indicted after 20 years of attempts by Echols supporters to frame them? No. As they say, I rest my case.
      Your theory about me wanting to be “globally known” is just plain silly but gave me a good laugh for which I thank you!
      All the best,
      Mike
      (P.S. Actually, I want to be intergalacticly known!)

      • cpenick

        I don’t think you’ve even known who Damien Echols is long enough to have completed reading Callahan. Give me a break, Blatty.

      • tim

        i’m sorry… but you have to be the most gullible moron i’ve ever come across.

        you’re points for believing he did this is.. being found guilty by a jury.. you mean a jury caught up in the mania of the case and their slanted opinions based solely on how they look?.. a jury that was lied to by witnesses who later admitted to lying.. and a jury who used the coerced confession of a mentally handicapped child to help form their conclusion? …. rright, that’s definitely a good point in proving his guilt.

        did echols brag to people that he had done it? .. hmm.. some people are stupid, like you, but even at 18 i don’t believe he’s dumb enough to brag seriously about killing someone. that doesn’t sound like something a murderer would do. yesterday i bragged to my dad that i killed bin laden., but, he wasn’t dumb enough to believe it. .. yet another garbage piece of “evidence” you’ve used to form an opinion.

        did echols sign an Alford plea? .. really.. you’re going to use that in your argument as proof of guilt? .. wow. i’m not even going to respond to that one, i think it’s pretty self explanatory as to why that is a horrible sign of actual guilt. plus, why did the courts have him sign it in the first place? .. they KNEW he would be exonerated.. and they KNEW that the three would sue and that they would win.

        is echols a convicted child killer?.. hmm.. i believe that argument is practically the same as your first point..

        (wow, you’re really bad at taking in information and forming and opinion)

        and lastly the dumbest point of all is that in 20 years the police haven’t looked into anyone else.. well.. this point goes against your other points. the three kids were convicted, therefor the police believed they needn’t investigate any further.. and since they signed the Alford plea, the case is still considered solved.. so, again, they’d have no need to investigate further.

        now.. had they done the job correct in the first place, none of this would’ve been an issue. and if the police conducted a proper “interview” they wouldn’t have been so sloppy.

        so.. out of your 5 points of proof.. 2 of them are basically repeats, 1 of them is rather stupid, and 1 of them goes against the rest of them.

        now, maybe we should put your 5 crappy points against ALL of the testimony and evidence that points in the other direction.

        or hell.. there are 5 more solid points that lean in the direction of the stepfather being guilty.

        maybe you should step back, reevaluate your opinion, look at the case without a bias (which you CLEARLY have) and form a proper opinion based on all of the facts. not just things you believe to be fact.

        and lastly.. this man has spent almost 20 years locked up for something he hasn’t done.. if that isn’t injustice enough, now he’s still not allowed to dress and act the way he wants now that he’s a free man?

        and as you say.. he was guilty right? and signed a plea saying he was guilty right? .. so the courts say he’s paid for his “crime” by serving 18 years.. and you say he’s not allowed to be himself.

        you’re insane.

      • supporter

        Mr. Blatty ~ I have followed this case since day one. I remember reading the newspaper at work when it happened and at the time believed that these “satan worshipers” Jessie, Jason and Damien had committed this crime. I have since read every book, watched the documentaries, read numerous articles as well as Callahan’s. I truly believe they are innocent. There is no doubt in my mind that they are. I just wonder how you will feel if years later it is proven that they are actually innocent? You don’t know with 100% certainty that they are guilty so how will you feel about having publicly crucified this man if he is truly innocent? These three men have suffered enough, especially Damien, and I just wonder if you have any real compassion in your soul. Will you feel remorse? Will you apologize? Will you feel bad about the vicious and cruel things you said? I can’t help but wonder …

        • James

          Forget “Not guilty” and give me your top three bullet points that PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE. I totally agree that without the confession, they didn’t have a strong case against the M3, but I just watched the CNN documentary, and I saw no evidence that PROVES their innocence. I agree with the latest result, not enough to convict, but so many of you argue the evidence proves their innocence. CNN must have edited that part out.

      • Adrian Poesiat

        I’m glad you’re not a DA Michael. That would be scary

    • James

      I just watched two and half hours of West Memphis 3, and I have one question for you (since you are convinced of their innocence): CLEARLY there was not enough evidence to convict, and Terry Hobbs is a questionable character, to put it mildly, but what are your three strongest bullet points that prove their INNOCENCE? I’m sure you know there is a country mile between “not proven beyond a reasonable doubt” and “innocent.” As a juror, I would have struggled mightily to convict without the confession (that was not admitted in the second trial), but not convicting and believing they are innocent are two different animals. You specifically asserted their innocence. Based on what? I mean, with three defendants, it seems statistically improbable, if not impossible, that not one of them could establish a legitimate alibi.

  • Fred Giannelli

    Boston magazine, meet Salem’s very own Village idiot, Mike Blatty. Mike Blatty, feel free to make an ass out of yourself here…

    • Michael Blatty

      Surprised to see that old guttermouthed Fred Giannelli has managed to keep it clean on these pages as he is the only poster that I know of on the Salemweb.com site who has been routinely censored there due to disgusting language. Google his name to find other (uncensored) samples of his brand of commentary upon a variety of subjects. Old Fred has also gone to the trouble of going through very old posts of mine on other websites and adding disgusting comments in response to them. Very peculiar person, to say the least!

      • Fred Giannelli

        awww …. poor baby Blatty is afraid of dirty words touching his virginal ears and eyes…

        Top 5 things Blatty fears most:

        1. Damien Echols

        2. Jason Baldwin

        3. Jessie Misskelley

        4. naughty words

        5. links to videos from his Daddy’s movie which contain dirty words !!!

        http://youtu.be/rxofWN8BAoc

        • James

          Now you are just coming off as creepy. You should have quit while you were making intelligent arguments. Whenever that was.

          • Fred Giannelli

            This comment has been removed for violating our commenting policy.

      • Fred Giannelli
    • katie Delany

      Thank you, Fred, But I have read so much of his blather that I did not need confirmation of his being the village idiot.

      • Fred Giannelli

        ; )

  • Michael Blatty

    Will take a break from this now (after all, I did not write the article under discussion!) and check back in a week or so. In the meantime, I would recommend to anyone seeking the facts about Mr. Echols and the murders for which he was convicted and to which he has pleaded guilty the following excellent websites
    :
    http://www.westmemphisthreefacts.com/
    http://wm3truth.com/
    http://trenchreynolds.me/?s=west+memphis+three

    Regards,
    Mike Blatty
    Salem

    • Fred Giannelli

      Blatty will be busy crafting the perfectly worded letter to Al Gore begging him to take down the Internet because he can’t stand the heat in a retarded flame war. Impressive logic… “I
      have 2 young sons, so I’ll taunt, provoke, antagonize a person I
      believe to have sacrificed 3 children to the devil in a satanic ritual
      sacrifice.” Makes a lot of sense…
      apparently, Blatty studied Logic/Philosophy @ Georgetown under the great German philosopher/logician Choco Leibniz… http://www.natashareedblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/4.jpg

    • Michael Blatty

      Back as promised (July 6) following a family vacation to Gettysburg to read new comments and respond.

    • Hope Love

      I Commend Mr. Mike Blatty for standing his ground. I live in Arkansas; These 3 are Guilty as sin. It amazes me how gullable & ignorant people are after watching West of Memphis; people can be easily brain washed in believing all this Propaganda. Looks like Peter Jacksons money is what set WM3 Free.
      Whats sad & disheartning is the fact 3 young boys lives were lost; & West of Memphis focus seemed alot about Echols & his wife Lorri; that honestly just made me sick. While these people are making millions; the victims families were trying to raise what money they could to restore a Memorial (for the 3 victims) in town that needed repairs.

      • Adrian Poesiat

        Hope Love, if the State is so convinced of their righteousness in convicting these three then they wouldn’t have made the Alford plea a condition of release. How convenient not to admit their incompetence. They know the defence will have access to quality lawyers instead of some half assed public defender

    • Tiffani Jones
  • Fred J Walsh

    “He began to walk the moment he got to town, in the morning, at night, when he was anxious or bored or simply awake, through the rain and later the snow….In his heavy black leather jacket and sunglasses, he wandered all around town, quietly but purposefully, like a ghost looking for something to haunt.”

    Long, frequent walking is a habit Echols developed in his teen years as a resident of West Memphis, AR — but you might not know that, to hear him tell it, today.

    In 2010 Echols told an interviewer he “didn’t go to West Memphis a lot, at all,” having lived outside West Memphis in Marion, further dismissing Robin Hood Hills crime scene area as a wooded, residential area that he was unfamiliar with, and never would have been in — noting that his occasional trips to West Memphis would have been expressly purposeful, citing Wal-Mart as a destination.

    SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=leEtbjm2uHI#t=532s

    These contentions fly in the face of the available documentation, including Echols’ own 1994 testimony.

    At the time of arrest, per his testimony, Echols lived at Broadway Trailer Park in West Memphis, not in neighboring Marion. And he testified to walking around West Memphis “a lot” with co-defendant Jason Baldwin.

    DE: We [Jason and I] like to walk around a lot just with no place particular in mind. Just start out walking and walk around all day.

    Q: Did you walk quite a bit around West Memphis, then?
    DE: Yes, I did.

    When shown a map of the neighborhoods around the Robin Hood Hills crime scene, Echols told the prosecutor he would have passed through the area “2-3 times a week” over the past couple of years, in part because those neighborhoods lie nearly smack dab between his own residence and those of best friend Jason Baldwin and girlfriend Domini Teer.

    Further, Echols has offered in his books vivid memories of having lived as a child, for a time, at Mayfair Apartments which overlooked Robin Hood Hills. And the Sanders family, longtime friends of his own, lived in West Memphis about 1.25 miles west of the crime scene, another reason for Damien to be in the residential area frequently.

    That Damien walked around West Memphis “a lot” is further evidenced by the accounts of fellow defendant Jessie Misskelley and stepfather Jack Echols:

    “…Damien he don’t stay in one place long, he always walk around, he always go to West Memphis…he goes to West Memphis a lot…and he walks around.” – Jessie Misskelley, Dec 1993

    SOURCE: Interview of Misskelley by Dr. Richard Ofshe – http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/jm_ofshe.html

    “There were other times when Damien had so much energy he did not know what to do. He got really excited and kind of hyper and he always walked at these times. Damien walked to some of the parks in the area, to some of his friends houses, and across town. He told me that he sometimes got confused because he was sure where he needed to go but when he got there he felt like he was in the wrong place. I though that he meant that he changed his mind about where he wanted to go but he told me that it was not like that. Damien did not decide where he was supposed to walk to but got a feeling about where he should be but, when he got where he was going, his feeling changed and he had to go somewhere else. He was real frustrated at these times and I did not know how to help him. I did not really understand what he meant about not knowing where he wanted to be. I sometimes felt that I should have done a better job trying to figure out what he was talking about and maybe then I could have made things a little better for him.” – Jack Echols, Sept 2000

    SOURCE: http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/a_j_echols_declaration.html

    Note Jack Echols citing “parks in the area” as favorite stepson haunt. Damien himself listed “woods, park” as the two resources he used in the community.

    SOURCE: http://callahan.8k.com/images/500/3/392.jpg

    Taking long walks is no crime, and obviously the above documentation is not intended as proof of guilt (which I believe is indicated from the totality of the available information) but is merely meant to show that Echols will lie about things which do not flatter his innocence stance, regardless of how easily the lies can be checked out. And because reporters typically do not know the facts, he’s never called on it.

    • Rowdy

      Those dots don’t even come close to connecting though.
      next you’ll tell us about that picture of Echols on Hobbs couch,
      like it really does exist. Do you have any documentation that
      puts Echols in those woods? I have some that puts Hobbs there.

      • Fred J Walsh

        As stated, the post is not meant to prove guilt, but rather to illustrate Echols’ tendency to lie in the course of his narrative.

        To speak to your question, Echols put himself at the scene on a few documented occasions during his May 1993 travels through the local roller rink, softball fields, and Lakeshore neighborhood. One such instance was presented in court, where he called liars the girls who recounted his taking credit for the crimes at a softball game, telling the prosecutor that kids make up stories. More recently, Echols concedes that *if* he said it, it would have been “like a joke.” Maybe.

        And maybe he was so periodically disconnected from reality at the time of the crimes, that he honestly didn’t remember saying it. After all, this is the same individual who’d been hospitalized for homicidal/suicidal impulses 3x in the year leading up to the crimes, whose parents told mental health officials in Sept 1992 that they no longer wanted him in their home, for fear of what he could do to them and to the other children in their residence. Also the same individual who, while awaiting trial, wrote that his body was changing via kool-aid packets and sugar, and that soon the world would recognize him as “The Christ,” “The New Messiah,” “The Beast of the Apocalypse,” a higher being who would need to recruit disciples before Halloween, so as to fight Armageddon. So, when Echols shook his head and smirked at the girls’ testimony as though he couldn’t believe it, maybe he really couldn’t believe it — because he frankly didn’t remember what others of sound mind could recount from May 1993. Or maybe he just lied. Again.

        • Rowdy

          Yet if a no investigated parent lies, you don’t even flinch?
          Why would a parent lie about who he was with that evening of the 5th while searching. ..and the bad memory excuse doesn’t hold water when the parent can refer back to his hand written journals that began on the 5th.

  • sisma

    *Is Michael Blatty “tutoring” your child?*

    Salem, MA resident Michael Blatty, who has posted numerous comments below, works as a high-school tutor and is obsessed with the idea that Damien Echols (and Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley) are murderers.

    Given that the majority of people who are familiar with the four documentaries on the West Memphis Three–or familiar with Mara Leveritt’s book, or with the Arkansas Supreme court (who ruled in 2010 that a new evidentiary hearing was required in the case), or with FBI profiler John Douglas, or with the State of Arkansas (who released the three men with time served, via Alford pleas, so as to avoid three $18M lawsuits)–understand that three men lost 18 years to prison for crimes they did not commit, I am left deeply concerned that Blatty, a man entrusted with highschool-age children, spends his freetime parroting the prosecution’s 1993 Satanic child sex-assault and murder fiction.

    I am wondering if anyone whose child is in contact with Michael Blatty, or whose child has been around Blatty in the past, might be able to share further insights into Blatty’s “interesting” (for want of a better phrase) psychological makeup.

    I understand that Blatty, who also claims to be a “writer” (though I can find nothing he’s written other than retellings of the prosecution’s Satan-stories), might experience issues related to growing up in the shadow of his father, Peter Blatty (_The Exorcist_), but it does not explain Michael’s creepy obsession with the West Memphis Three, nor does it assuage my concerns regarding his fitness to be around children who are the same age as were the wrongfully accused in this case.

    That Blatty lives in here in Salem–beautiful, compassionate, friendly Salem, whose collective wisdom is borne of so much pain–is merely a bitter irony. I am far more concerned for Michael Blatty’s present influence not on a community of adults who know better, but on children entrusted to his care and authority.

    I may be contacted at scaredinsalemma@yahoo.com

    Thank you,

    Scared (again) in Salem
    http://michaelblatty.blogspot.com/

    • sisma

      Michael Blatty’s child rape-murder fixations

      I’ve been trying to figure out what, exactly, concerns me most about Blatty’s fixation with the prosecution’s false case. In a nutshell, it’s not that the prosecution had no evidence of guilt, or that their theory of the crime (Satanic triple rape-murder) was roundly disproved before no less an authority than the AR Supreme Court, which ordered an evidentiary review after experts from around the country proved that the children had not been raped or had their genitals removed–my concern is that Michael Blatty still wants to believe the prosecution’s fictional Satanic-child-sex-crimes.

      I mean, why does Blatty want to imagine that three boys were raped and mutilated, when even the State fo AR concedes this is not the case? It reminds me of how, during the “investigation,” certain detectives pushed young Misskelley for hours upon hours until he gave them false, but nonetheless exceedingly graphic, tales of child sexual assault, from forced oral sex to anal rape.

      As author-journalist Mara Leveritt writes, in Devil’s Knot:

      BLOCKQUOTE: (Detective) Gitchell asked about several forms of sex. Jessie said that, in addition to raping them, Damien and Jason had had oral sex with two of the boys or, as he put it, “They stuck their thang in their mouth.”

      BLOCKQUOTE: At one point, Gitchell rose from his seat, apologizing to Jessie. “Okay. All right,” he said. “Hold on just a minute.” There was a pause, during which Gitchell left the room. When the chief detective returned he explained, “I’m sorry I keep coming back and forth, but I got people that want me to ask you some other questions…” When the questioning resumed, he asked, “Did anyone go down on the boys and maybe sucked theirs or something?” (pp. 89-90)

      Now that we know rape and genital mutilation had no part in the crime, why does Michael Blatty continue to believe it? What purpose does this fantasy serve? And is this the sort of thing he is discussing with the highschool kids that Blatty is “tutoring”?

      Again, if you have any information, if anyone whose child is in contact with Michael Blatty, or whose child has been around Michael Blatty in the past, please feel free to contact me at scaredinsalemma@yahoo.com

      Thank you, Scared (again) in Salem

      http://michaelblatty.blogspot.com/

      • Fred J Walsh

        Many who watched a few movies designed to advocate a point of view, believe the Three innocent. Others, like certain police officers, the prosecutors, the trial judge, two juries, many citizens and onlookers, and, yes, the State of AR, believe the Three guilty — and in fact, the Three remain guilty as a matter of law. Mike Blatty is not alone in his belief, he is merely vocal.

        • cpenick

          …and uneducated.

      • Michael Blatty

        Third time this character has posted his wild accusations on the same site! Please see my reply to his first of these three identical posts above.

      • James

        You are just dead wrong. There was sexual mutilation on one of the boys. That was in the documentary. But if you get off spreading false information, knock yourself. No, really. KNOCK YOURSELF OUT!

        • sisma

          James, it is you who are wrong. But I will happily explain, if you’re interested. I get the sense, however, that you and Michael Blatty are more interested in fantasizing about fictional satanic homosexual sexual abuse. Why this is so, I can only imagine.

          Forensic re-examination of the evidence by numerous medical examiners, in the years since the original trials, indicates that none of the children was sexually mutilated or mutilated in any manner by a human being, but that genital injuries and supposed “human bitemarks” were the result of *reptile* rather than human predation — specifically turtles in the drainage ditch where the boys bodies were found. (SOURCE: Two most recent docs, or watch video of the AR Supreme Court ordering new hearings based on this and DNA evidence http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfvo98_ar-supreme-court-orders-new-hearings-for-west-memphis-3_news )

          At the original trials, however, the incompetent local medical examiner “explained” the post-mortem photos to the jury thusly: “Here we can see that the skin of the penis has been literally removed or carved off. . . . And what we have here is the shaft of the penis without the skin on it. And all around it we have all these cutting, gouging wounds. The scrotal sac and testes are missing.” (SOURCE: Trial transcript) The examiner had also believed there was urine in the two of the three children’s stomachs and no small number of other “findings” that were not corroborated by further tests; disturbing fictional “findings” indeed, that Peretti floated to investigators, only to later let them drop, or change them completely. (SOURCE: Leveritt 111-112) As ever, uncritical regional media only reinforced the prosecution’s fictional narrative of satanic homosexual assault. Leading the pack with inaccurate but sensational reportage, the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Marc Perrusquia reported incorrectly that all three boys had been “sexually mutilated,” that their “genitals had been removed.” (SOURCE: Leveritt 3, 16)

          Upon these fantasies in 1993, no facts would intrude. I hope you’re smarter than that. Hell, even Perrusquia, who wrote a whole crappy book about it, has since realized that got the entire case all wrong. Maybe you’ll come around? I’ve given up any hope for Michael Blatty. Clealry, he has some sort of predilection for Satanic homosexual assault fantasies.

    • Michael Blatty

      Anonymous is apparently keen on posting the same comment several times in one place! See my response to his bizarre claims following his duplicate post above.

  • Adrian Poesiat

    This case reminds me so much of the David Milgaard wrongful murder conviction in Saskatchewan in the late sixties. Three teens coerced by the RCMP into false confessions, lazy and/or incompetent police work and an overzealous prosecutor. Milgaard was eventually exonerated because of tireless PI work financed by his family and a public flogging of the abuse of due process. The real murderer was found, a serial ra

    • Linda MacDonald

      another similar case is the young black teenagers accused and convicted in the Central Park rape and beating of a woman jogging in the park. They were eventually exonerated.

  • Adrian Poesiat

    Rapist/murderer who was in the area at the time. The difference is Milgaard was given 11 million dollars for 27 years iimprisionmemt that ruined his life while Tennessee arrogantly refuses to accept responsibility for their system breakdowns

    • MemphisBorn

      FYI, West Memphis is in Arkansas, and the case was handled entirely in Arkansas; we here in Memphis, Tennessee (where I still live now and was in my junior year of high school when the trial began) live seven miles away across the Mississippi River and over the Tennessee state line and could only watch in abject horror as one miscarriage of justice after another piled on top of the WM3.

      • JE McManus

        There’s plenty of abject horror going on in the political world in TN as well. Look at that disgrace called animal control in Memphis. TN is as much a part of the good ole boy system as Arkansas and all the rest of the latent south.

  • katie Delany

    Michael Blatty, What was your father’s obsession with demonized children? He wrote one of the most disgusting books ever published using a child as the devil spewing vulgar profanities and performing the most offensive acts with a cross of Jesus. Are you sure you should act as the righteous one compared to Mr. Echols? Should you live in Salem?

    West Memphis police did not record all of Misskelly’s “confession” , that is common knowledge. Could a boy with an IQ of 72 be coerced? Then have the confession taped? Many possibilities here, but the fact is a borderline mentally disabled boy is very easy to confuse and influence. It is very easy to believe that when he didn’t have the answers, to accept the interrogators suggestions that were continually repeated to him rather then continually be berated for long periods.

    You also seem obsessed with his dress and tattoos. ( obviously, you really have it out for him) My brothers and son wear black, sunglasses, listen to death metal, burn incense and sage and have religious tattoos and some obscure ones and necklaces from the Budda religion. Do you believe that they are prone to be murders for their habits or appearance? I imagine you would cross the street to avoid them.
    Also, I’ve read that Nichols has horrible eyesight and needs glasses, and chooses sunglasses probably to avoid the glare from people like you.

    Damien is trying to make a life for himself after being locked up in solitary death row for 18 years, half of his life. Please let him find his peace.

    We are not God, we were not there. and there was no material evidence. If it disturbs you that much that you have invested so much time in chat rooms on Salem’s Blog and Boston Magazine and God knows where else, as a self professed intelligent man, you should realize your obsession is extremely unhealthy and you may need therapy and may be happier living somewhere else.
    Regards
    Katie Delany

  • katie Delany

    Michael Blatty, What was your father’s obsession with demonized children? He wrote one of the most disgusting books ever published using a child as the devil spewing vulgar profanities and performing the most offensive acts with a cross of Jesus. Are you sure you should act as the righteous one compared to Mr. Echols? Should you live in Salem?

    West Memphis police did not record all of Misskelly’s “confession” , that is common knowledge. Could a boy with an IQ of 72 be coerced? Then have the confession taped? Many possibilities here, but the fact is a borderline mentally disabled boy is very easy to confuse and influence. It is very easy to believe that when he didn’t have the answers, to accept the interrogators suggestions that were continually repeated to him rather then continually be berated for long periods.

    You also seem obsessed with his dress and tattoos. ( obviously, you really have it out for him) My brothers and son wear black, sunglasses, listen to death metal, burn incense and sage and have religious tattoos and some obscure ones and necklaces from the Budda religion. Do you believe that they are prone to be murders for their habits or appearance? I imagine you would cross the street to avoid them.
    Also, I’ve read that Nichols has horrible eyesight and needs glasses, and chooses sunglasses probably to avoid the glare from people like you.

    Damien is trying to make a life for himself after being locked up in solitary death row for 18 years, half of his life. Please let him find his peace.

    We are not God, we were not there. and there was no material evidence. If it disturbs you that much that you have invested so much time in chat rooms on Salem’s Blog and Boston Magazine and God knows where else, as a self professed intelligent man, you should realize your obsession is extremely unhealthy and you may need therapy and may be happier living somewhere else.
    Regards
    Katie Delany

    • Provanzano

      No good. You forgot what Jesus said about the “sins of the father”…and now you’ve pointed your finger … That’s the problem with xians. You believe you’re championing Jesus’ cause when in reality you act a lot more like the Romans who beat him…and laughed.

  • eddie burgess

    myself having studied this case for years i have actually came to the conclusion that they are guilty of the murders, i believe echols to be truly evil, and perhaps possessed by a demon, or perhaps tries to be.

    • katie Delany

      Mr. Burgess, Since there was no DNA or trace that the WM3 were near the bodies or in the immediate area where the bodies were found, no semen found on the pants (mentioned in Misskelly’s coerced and heavily influenced confession) . How did you come to your “conclusion”? And on what grounds is Damien “possessed”? And really, “POSSESSED BY A DEMON”?, You comment is comical..

      Mr. Blatty and others seems to have difficulty accepting that Damien ‘speaks” for a fee. Let’s think about this for a moment: The system put an 18 year old kid (who dropped out of school) on death row. He did not have any access to learning a craft or schooling as other prisoners in jail.. When he was released, he had no skills to make money. In prison he met a Buddhist Monk who I assume assisted with Damien’s coping skills in that horrible place which assisted him to live day to day and find peace within.

      Along with speaking events, Damien has utilized what he learned from this Monk and is trying to make a living. Yes, he had people helping him initially, but I am sure that slowed down too and he had to make his own way on his skills.

      I find most of these comments ignorant and uninformed (regardless, of what police reports you have read, Mr.Blatty, You have no proof, just hearsay, which is not prosecutable in any state.

      My sincere apologies to Damien Nicols for the ignorance displayed on this and other sites. I support you and am embarrassed by this “witch hunt” . I am sure most of the comments come from religious people who are supposed to “let go, let God”.. and not judge others.

      Sincerely,
      Katie Delany

      • eddie burgess

        i think you are just a blind follower, taken in by the demons spell, oh yea, hes guilty all right,u can see the evil in his eyes, yea there was no trace of evidence, the kids were submersed in water, washed away any evidence, heck what the hell, they were 3 bored teens who were looking to butcher and rape some little boys, im not saying i condemm him, for what he did, im sayin he did it, leave him alone, he was just doin what he does best, kill and anally rape kids

        • katie Delany

          Mr. Burgess, I haven’t followed anyone in my life. I think for myself and I stated my opinion quite clearly in the several posts I have made.There are no demons, just haters. I count you among them.
          Sincerely,
          Katie Delany

        • VenusDoom3

          There was no evidence of rape whatsoever. Have you actually researched this case? Dilation of the anus is a common postmortem condition. I repeat: there was NO evidence of rape.

        • jake481

          Total loony.

    • Tiffani Jones

      If you “followed the case for years”, how could you still believe he is guilty? You would know that DNA found in the tape that bound one of the murdered boys belonged to the stepfather. Don’t be ignorant.

      • Chuck Swindler

        Tiffani, your statement is inaccurate and misleading. Have you actually read all of the transcripts, court documents, psychiatric records and interviews? Have you evaluated all the photos pertaining to the crime scene? If you have done so and still believe they’re innocent….then I’d be inclined to find you not ignorant, but naive.

        Ignorant would be to make the claim above without having digested all of the available information.

    • nych

      REALLY? A DEMON? This would be hilarious if it werent so incredibly frightening that anyone could believe in that mumbo jumbo in a free, secular, educated society. Of course America is rapidly becoming the new Afghanistan with the New Right as the theocratic Taliban. Also education and intelligence are seen as BAD things in America today. It is even scarier that you got so many upvotes for your paranormal nonsense. At least now I know why some commenters still think the WM3 guilty, “seing evil in their eyes”, or decrying their “unnatural” behavior. The willfully ignorant, fearful, fundy mindset is sterng with some people just as it was in the West Memphis community. Curious what EVIDENCE from the case, which you “studied for years” led you to the eminently logical conclusion that a demon is involved? I assume that had you been on the jury, you would have sensed thebpresence of the “demon” and had no need for inconvenient things like facts. You could also avoid thinking about icky unpleasant things like lying witnesses and prosecutors and cops with an agenda having little to do with justice. Just keep your eyes ears and mouth shut everyone. Trust that your leaders will carry out God’s will and punish all sinners, i.e. anyone who isnt EXACTLY how you want them to be. Sorry for the rant, just figured I would get it off my chest while it is still legal to have an opinion and criticize religion and govt. Very soon in the US doing that will get you put where Damien was.

      TL; DR
      “demons?” Take your meds you fundy psycho.

    • jake481

      Well, i guess if you did study the case for years then you would know if he were possessed by a demon. Thanks for your input.

      Have you identified any other demon-people? Maybe you should go to the police with this info.

  • Brian White

    One, I’m thankful Blatty doesn’t live in my town. There are so many trust fund babies living off of what their parents did these days and they subsequently live miserable lives because they can’t live up to their parents success. The father writing a horror story classic… The son writing at a blog site for a small town paper. A good display of the apple doesn’t always fall close to the tree. It also likely kills him that whenever he is cited he is known as “The Exorcist” writer’s son.

    I, however, can’t put my faith in courts, DAs, police, or witnesses in a place where the school systems perpetually rank among the lowest in the country. It also doesn’t help knowing that it is still encouraged to fly the confederate flag in the southeast. Perhaps if they were more educated they would have presented a much better case where there isn’t any doubt. If Mr. “Tudor” cared for kids, as he says, maybe his efforts would be better spent educating kids in terrible states.

    Lastly, if I had to choose, not knowing if Echols is guilty though on the side of not guilty, I would prefer to live next to an alleged killer than an alleged provides nothing to society blog “writer”… Damn the guy that wrote “The Exorcist” was brilliant! Too bad he didn’t have anyone to follow his footsteps.

  • Adrian Poesiat

    Katie Delany, thanks for saying it like it is. Having lived in Louisiana I’ve had a first hand experience with the legal system in the South and this case illuminates the dark side of it’s faults.

  • Stephen Jones

    I understand that we are all entitled to our opinions, but I wish people would learn to substantiate their claims. Seeing “evil” in someone’s eyes does not prove anything other than your ability to judge someone that you know nothing about. Facts speak louder than words or your fabricated mystical abilities of proving guilt. It disgusts me that, after all of the evidence has been placed on the table, people are still so obtuse and naive to see Damien, Jason, and Jesse as satanic ritualistic murderers and, mainly, just because they were different. It’s deeply tragic what happened to those boys and their families, but efforts are continuing to be misplaced by pointing fingers in the wrong direction. Science and thoughtful investigation has already proven the incompetence of the Arkansas Judicial System and Law Enforcement. I would hope that this would give us the opportunity to see that change and the real murderer(s) brought to justice.

    • Shawn M. Yeaton

      Seeing evil in their eyes is what caused these kids to end up in jail for 18 years in the first place.

  • Catherine G Pilie

    Where’s Pumpkin!!!!

    • Kristen Snow

      yeah, where is Pumpkin?

      • JE McManus

        Obviously, in the shelter. I just can’t believe the wife thought it appropriate to dump the dog because her husband was up worrying and concerned about the dog not sleeping for one night, or that he allowed it, especially since coming from an environment where he didn’t have any decision making privileges. Makes me sick. The dog was probably euthanized.

        • Tiffani Jones

          what makes you think anything happened to Pumpkin?

          • JE McManus

            It’s referenced in the article, Tiffani, e.g. “Meanwhile, after years of working furiously to win her husband’s freedom, Davis’s life is now consumed with the minutiae of managing his celebrity. She books the appointments, handles the press requests, answers the emails, monitors the photo shoots, and watches out for things that might possibly upset him. “He’s getting more independent, but for a long time he just wasn’t capable of doing anything by himself,” she says. “He still doesn’t have the reserves that most of us have.” After he spent an entire night fretting over why the dog, Pumpkin, wouldn’t go to sleep, Davis was the one who decided that the animal should probably go back to the shelter.”

  • Catherine G Pilie

    Oh, and Damien, if you ever want to visit New Orleans, we would love to have you. I can assure you, no witch hunts here. Just happy Quarter Rats.

  • vanessa Jones

    Obviously this man has never spent very much time in the deep south. I am from Tn. about an hr. from where this crime took place. The state of Ark. is happy the WM3 used the Alford plea because they knew a new trial was coming and they couldn’t afford the trial and the lawsuits that were going to follow because they committed the heinous crime of taking 18 years from three innocent young men. Watch the paradise lost shows and learn something because you will see those films depict the reality of living in some of the small southern towns in ARK

    • Happy Day

      The cost of the trial and lawsuits was not the reason but, new trial(s) would have been enough reason for the 3 boys/men to not go to trial again.

    • James

      You are alleging prosecutorial and/or judicial misconduct. Basis? They were convicted by two juries. Maybe you want them arrested for juror misconduct? Serious allegations. Make your case.

  • tckartist

    Dear Damien,
    “God”/”Universe”/”Whatever” bless you. And if you ever want to come to Reno, you will be welcomed with open arms. No pretentious, self-righteous pricks/”saints” here….And for the rest of you pretentious, self-righteous, self-appointed Society Guarders (.i.e. Blatty and Blatty-ites) f. u. – nobody cares what you think.

    To Damien and Lorrie (and those blessed to be your friends) : I raise my glass to you – you are amazing specimens of the truly human race, who hold honor and compassion to be virtues, rather than somehow “outdated values”. Good on you both and many, many years to you!

    • Chuck Swindler

      Nobody cares what you think either.

      • jake481

        I care.

  • Deborah Rachel Rapp

    I just finished reading Life After Death. It must be very difficult to try and have any semblance of a “normal” life after being in a box for 18 years and having a dysfunctional upbringing. I hope Damien can find some way to overcome the trauma he endured. And be a productive citizen in society. Anything above that is a miracle.

  • Connie O

    I followed this case for years and was truly happy for Damien when he was finally released. It’s a tragedy that small minded ignorant people choose to continue the injustice. Godspeed Damien!

  • Provanzano

    I don’t know if Damien Echols or Amanda Knox are guilty or not. It irritates me that those little boys lost their lives and Meredith Kercher lost hers. In the meantime, all we can do is make these people celebrities and give them interviews and books? Not for me. I don’t give a damn. I prefer that the truth is found. Johnny Depp and Vedder be damned, too. This isn’t about fame. Innocent lives were lost and all the sheep do is look for a way into the pen to be “part of” the celebrete’. NOT FOR ME. There were more important people who are all but forgotten …what a mess this world is.

  • Michael Field

    I was a big supporter of these three guys since the first PL was released back in the mid 90s.

    Since their release, I have had my doubts. I still have a hard time seeing Jason as a brutal murderer….but Damien has done NOTHING since his release to convince me he is innocent. You would think, like Jason and Jesse, Damien would avoid ANYTHING to make him look out of place or “strange”….seeing as that was one of the big factors in his original trial. While in prison he did everything he could to distance himself from anything viewed as “strange”, now that he is out (and guilty in accordance with the law) he has gone back to acting the way he did when he was arrested. Does it mean he is a murderer? No. However, if I was in his situation, I would do everything within my power to make sure the world, and all my supporters, see me as “normal” as possible.

    It made me read more, I have since read the entire court transcript….everything that wasn’t in any of the documentaries, all of the witness testimony, all of the witness pre-trial interviews, looked at all the evidence. A case that once seemed so bad, it seemed 100% sure that these guys were innocent….doesn’t seem that clear after you look at ALL the evidence. I have my doubts, and Damien’s actions since release haven’t helped his case, in my eyes.

    • Chevy

      As far as everything I’ve read about murderers it’s guilty people who try to act ‘normal’ and do what they ‘should’ to fit in not innocent ones. I think if someone is innocent and can maintain thier individuality after being falsly accused (if that is the case) then that would be something they should be proud of. I for one can’t imagine what it would be like to be falsely accused of something so horrible, taken away from my family and thrown in a cage- with real hard core murderers and rapists- If those boys are innocent then how fucked up is that? And how fucked up is it that someone else got away with such a sick crime? And noone seems to care, people just want to focus on people who ‘look/act different’. Bit sketchy really. How about look at evidence without pointing any fingers or any hear say specualtion from greedy, liars and see what the real, concrete, factual evidence says- trust those who seek the truth~ doubt those who say they have found it

    • nych

      The main reason Damien was convicted in the first place is for being “different”. Naturally in prison and while trying to get exonerated, he would remember the hardearned lesson that society will target and punish you if you dont conform. Now after being free for the first time in two decades, you think his desire to finally be able to express himself and be his own “wierd” self if he wants somehow makes him look guilty? I honestly cant follow your logic at all here. How does the way he chooses to live now have ANY reflection on his guilt or innocence? Or are you also among those who think nonconformity itself is deserving of punishment. Really, what IS your argument here? HOW IN YOUR MIND does his behavior now have ANY relation to his guilt. Not being a smartass…I really dont know what you are trying to say here.

  • pubpubpub

    Nasty child-killing Satanist. But I lived in Marblehead, Mass and I know Mass is the best place for someone like him.

    • Tiffani Jones

      Someone like him? DNA proved that hair that was in the tape that bound one of the murdered boys belonged to the step-dad. Do your research. Burning witches. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • pubpubpub

        You should hang yourself, Satanist.

        • Tiffani Jones

          What are you, 12 years old?

          • pubpubpub

            Grow up, groupie, and fuck off already.

          • pubpubpub

            Like I said, you Satanist filth, kill yourself.

      • Carlos robles

        You and the rest of the “supporters” need to give the “hair” thing a rest. One hair proves nothing, At all…ever.

    • jake481

      Yeah, Massachusetts is a perfect place for an innocent man to enjoy his life. Thanks for your support.

    • KrusyKrab

      spoken like a true marbleheader.

  • JACKSON

    TOO MUCH EVIDENCE POINTS TO HIS GUILT. THEY SHOULD HAVE LET HIM ROT IN PRISON WHERE HE BELONGS. HE STILL LOOKS AS WEIRD AS HE DID WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER. AND TO THINK PEOPLE ARE MAKING THIS MURDERER OUT TO BE SOMETHING TO IDOLIZE. NOT ME. DEPP AND VEDDER PROBABLY WORSHIP THE DEVIL TOO. THEY ARE NUT CASES JUST LIKE THEIR IDOL MICHAEL ECHOLS. LORRI DAVIS ONLY MARRIED HIM FOR THE PUBLICITY. BUT, SHE BETTER WATCH HER BACK CAUSE SHE’S SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL, HIMSELF. NO CHILDREN PLEASE THEN WE WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH A “ROSEMARY’S BABY” SEQUEL. DO YOU STILL PERFORM BLOW JOBS ON THE DEAD, MICHAEL??????? AND ARE YOU STILL GETTING HARD – ONS FOR LITTLE BOYS???

    • Chevy

      You say something about evidence but you don’t actually produce any… Do you know the guy? Do you have any evidence? People can and do get swept away by ridiculous mass hysteria at times, some people see what they want to and not the truth. Now I don’t know anything for sure, I’m just some random person who read a few things about this. However I have not seen any real evidence pointing to the 3 boys who were convicted in this case. I have seen evidence of police leading, stupidity, possibly even more sinister reasons behind police ‘blunders’ that seemed to end up protecting people or just ignoring them who it seems there is much more evidence against. It does appear that this may be a case where 3 innocent people were convicted. But that’s just an unexpert opinion. It is possible there were 6 victims in this case and if so all 6 deserve justice. And you seem quite aggressive.

      • Happy Day

        I find it hard to believe 3 kids were coerced into pleading guilty.

  • veronica herrera

    People argue whether the boys were raped or not, to me, the rape is not as horrible as the murder. The murder is the main thing that put these guys ini prison, not the rape per se. I am not dismissing child rape, but to me, the murders are the most awfult thing I can try not to imagine happening to any child. Its too painful to go there in my mind. There are so many on both sides of this. At any rate, they were released and people will always be intrigued with DE, and not with the other 2 for some reason. Maybe because DE is such a dark person.

    • veronica herrera

      and sadly nohing can undo the crime.

    • Happy Day

      Most children that are raped would disagree with your opinion it “is not as horrible as murder”, sadly.

  • Ty

    Growing up in Los Angeles an avid punk rocker- I am no stranger to how corrupt police can be. It was the norm to leave shows and gigs for a nice out numbered beating from the police. I can only imagine how much more terrifying it can be in a town like WM. Anyways, 9 years ago I read Devil’s Knot and really sympathized for them. Definitely I would say I supported their innocence at the time. A while back i was pleased to see that even though the circumstances were conditional, they were released. I have to say that at the present time however, and as i follow the current events I’m not sure. Not changing my stance, I am just wondering why if the DNA evidence clears the WM3- wherein or who does it point to? Scouring the web, There is really nothing that updates the progress of finding out who committed this horrendous crime. Anything I find on Damien Echols only shows a guy trying to rebuild his life, as he is entitled to. If he is innocent. Does anyone have any info as to who and what agencies are working to solve this and where the situation stands?

    • Stephie McCarthy

      Yes, new court documents have been registered accusing 4 other men; supported by witnesses and confessions. UK Daily Mail March 2013

      • Happy Day

        There is nothing new filed, only suggestions on who the defense wants people to believe killed these boys. Terry Hobbs is a piece of trash, but that alone doesn’t make him guilty of murder. As far as Pam Hobbs, just like Terry, she too is plain trash.

  • Shannon

    If you watch the documentary “:West of Memphis” it actually points the evidence straight to Terry Hobbs, a stepfather of one of the boys that was murdered not Damien Echols. I truly believe that he is the one that did it, and if our police officials and court systems could be less corrupt, innocent people wouldn’t be put behind bars.

    • Ty

      Yes- I remember while reading DK that this guy actually had his teeth removed, stating for dental illness, upon learning that the victims, or one of the victims sustained human bites- Will definitely check out West of Memphis, hopefully the authorities are taking a good look at this guy- thank you

      • supporter

        You are thinking of the other father, Mark Byers (who is actually the adoptive father of Christopher Byers). He is not the one they refer to in West of Memphis. Terry Hobbs was the step-father of Stevie Branch. A hair was found in one of the shoe laces which DNA confirmed belonged to Terry Hobbs. Mark Byers had his teeth removed, but he is NOT the killer. There was no evidence found at the crime scene belonging to Mark nor to any of the WM3.

        • Raven Cassidy

          how about both Byers and Hobbs did the murders..has anyone thought of this ?

  • Stephie McCarthy

    There’s new info as of March 2013 and new court documents accusing 4 men of the murders (among them Terry Hobbs and his friend Jacoby), in the UK Daily Mail.

    • Happy Day

      You are being sly about your information. You make it appear the “new court documents” are legal and issued by the Prosecution. They are not “legal” documents. The attorney’s for the WM3 are trying to claim others committed this crime.

      • Carlos robles

        Thank you, that makes two of us that aren’t blind followers.

  • Pauline Bernoski

    They did it!

    • Jelepjokk

      You did it!

  • Adrian Poesiat

    Yes, quite coincidental that Terry Hobbs had his teeth removed after the bite mark evidence was made public. After seeing Hobbs being interviewed my belief in his involvement in this horrible crime has been bolstered

    • Carlos robles

      Exactly my point in my post above, Mark Byers had his teeth surgically removed……Not Terry Hobbs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mark_Byers

      • Pongo

        Exactly. And there is no “bite mark evidence” either. There’s a 1 inch circular wound on the forehead of Stevie Branch. There’s no way physically possible for a person to position their teeth in order to make a mark like that. These people will just believe anything that comes out of wm3.borg and still can’t get the parents names right. lol

  • JE McManus

    A guy is concerned over why his dog won’t sleep one night and the dedicated wife has him return it to the shelter? He’s not allowed to care?

  • Dark Ian Cracker

    What douche that Michael Blatty is. He doesn’t like how Echols is courting celebrity; I’m sure it’s because Blatty’s a loser who can’t match his father’s achievements and is now courting celebrity of his own the only pathetic way he can. What a gutless rat that guy is!

  • Carlos robles

    You bunch of supporting idiots. Terry hobbs was the boys stepfather so why wouldn’t a single secondary transfer hair be in his shoelace? JM confessed like 6 times and knew details that only the killer would know, also Baldwin confessed to his lawyer. Damien lied/lies about absolutely everything, no alibi, was heard confessing, and any questions regarding the case he says the same rehearsal. Exactly. You stupid mother fuckers can’t even get the parents names right. YOU READ CALLAHAN WEBSITE, for the actual facts. You supporter idiots just go by mindless media propaganda, while 3 young boys are in the ground, at the hands of Damien and his minions.

    • KAlamaraku

      How does it feel being stupid?

    • Jackie Ellis

      The hair wasn’t found in Stevies shoelace.. It was found in Michaels.. Far more unlikely to be secondary transfer in that case. Get your facts right.

    • Raven Cassidy

      you can’t be that unintelligent ? hello Mcfly ….the police told and coached Jesse what to say and when he said it wrong they corrected him ….wake up and smell reality

      • Walter White

        How do you know? Oh right, you were there.

        • Bradley Lewis

          Back at ya. You and your all-knowing god complex seem fairly confident that every thought coming to your mind is absolute truth and not the pasty shit-smeared ramblings of a rest stop toilet stall wall scribbled by some close-minded Arkansas native who couldn’t know any better. You must have been there, no?

          Let’s weigh sides. Your claims stand resolute with those of the original prosecutors from 1993 while the rest of us, who have actually listened and taken into account all the information gathered since, have formed logical conclusions contrary to yours. To be perfectly honest, its blatently obvious to the rest of us that you wouldn’t know the truth if it tea bagged you and came in your mouth, you back-woods halfwit hick.

          Stop attacking people because of your own inability to process real facts. It only makes you look like an asshole. And I can only assume that your referring to others who are obviously smarter than you as “stupid mother fuckers” was a half-assed attempt at irony on your part. It sucked, BTW. Especially considering motherfucker is one word :-/

        • Raven Cassidy

          were you there ???

  • Carlos robles

    Oh btw, the SINGLE HAIR the wmpd found could’ve also belonged to 3 million other people in the US population. There is no guaranteed match. Read next time, and don’t look like an asshole.

    • KAlamaraku

      3milion citizens but NOT the 3 convicted men. So your pal Hobbs may or may not be guilty but the wm3’s DNA was nowhere on the scene. From the DNA evidence it’s more likely to be Hobbs than the 3

      • Walter White

        It was a secondary transferred hair, that may or may not have anything to do with anything. So based on your “views” all the other circumstantial evidence means nothing, but the mysterious “hair”, is the case cracker. You guys are so deluded by the media and such.

  • Adrian Poesiat

    Ad homymems don’t support the narrative of your argument Carlos, they just make you seem angry and closed minded. This wouldn’t be the first time incompetent and/or lazy police work and an overzealous prosecutor has imprisoned the wrong people. What’s scarier is an innocent on death row. Then the state becomes a murderer. That’s happened in all the states who have the death penalty

  • Tiffani Jones

    Interesting turn of events. “Pam Hobbs has said she does not believe the three men who were originally convicted for the crimes were guilty of murdering her son and his friends.”
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300713/West-Memphis-Three-New-possible-suspects-named-brutal-1993-West-Memphis-murders-cub-scouts–including-boys-stepfathers.html#ixzz2ple2hGAb
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  • Jenny

    I’m amazed how so many people seem to be ignorant of the statistics that relate to child deaths. Number 1 suspect for police in the majority of cases is a close family relative and of these the most likely is the step father. In this case however the investigation started right from the out set to be based on fitting the evidence to the assumption that the boys bodies showed signs of torture when in fact the most basic forensic tests would have shown that the damage construed as “satanic” was the result of the turtles who are so numerous in the waterways in the area where the boys were found. The so called forensic expert who was employed by the State and therefore not an independent authority, was, in my opinion, criminally negligent in his findings. A case like this makes me so angry.

    • Adrian Poesiat

      Yes, in over 90% of murder cases the victim knew their murderer or were related to them or were their spouse.

    • Diana Wolfslag

      I was thinking of the same… No one ever questioned the family

  • James

    My only comment is that I could be TORTURED by the police for 12 hours, and I am not going to falsely confess to murdering three boys. I would rather die with the truth on my lips, than confess and destroy the lives of two co-defendants. With that confession, the investigation stopped, and that permitted the real killer/s to walk away scot free.

    • Ms. Pris

      The thing is, you’re presumably an adult and confident of your rights. Jesse Misskelley was a developmentally delayed teenager.

      • Walter White

        He wasn’t as stupid as the defense, and the media made him out to be.

        • Ms. Pris

          He clearly has FASD.

          • Walter White

            Who, miskelley? Nah, just a overblown defense tactic, its all nonsense..

          • Ms. Pris

            I don’t actually recall his defense saying anything about FASD, but if you look at his face, the visual markers are clear. The face develops as the brain develops, and FASD has very clear facial features that indicate impairment.

    • Harry Greb

      He confessed after four hours, FYI.

    • Diana Wolfslag

      No one has any idea how they would behave until they are in that position. What you think you would never do is bullshit.

    • Grecia Monroc

      Also his mental faculties are not normal.

  • pp

    this guy hobs socked the mother in the jaw and shot her brother in law.Seems she brought the whole thing on by kissing a mexican in her iwn home.Classic white trash storie

  • Alien

    So, they live in Salem now! LOL, I find that slightly…. tacky! My guess is that they live there for business purposes – gotta keep Damien´s boogeyman-mysterious-magick image intact, or people will lose interest in him. Not sure it is all that beneficial for their quest to have someone else tried for the horrendous murders however.
    Saw a recent interview with Damien yesterday. I found him super-creepy, extremely self centered and immature. I am not entirely blaming him for that, rather the eighteen years on death row and a very dysfunctional childhood. People who get out of prison after very many years tend to “be”/behave in the manner they did when they went to prison. So Damien is basically a nineteen-year-old now in a late thirties man´s body.
    I have read quite a bit about the case and have always been on the fence about it. In (very) short, my feeling is that Jason Baldwin did not participate in the murders, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley, I just don´t know.
    I said I found Damien creepy, but that does not neccessarily mean that I think he is a murderer.

    • Freak Speely

      He moved back to NYC in the past month, or at least is on a long-term visit. I guess Salem ultimately didn’t agree with him.

    • NameGoesHere

      Another person who doesn’t understand science, or DNA. It’s 2014, how about catching up with the rest of us!

      • Alien

        Are you talking to me? I know about the case in detail, I know about DNA. I did say I was on the fence, because no one can be 100% certain one way or another. The WM3 are PROBABLY innocent, but there is still room for doubt.

        • Raven Cassidy

          um there is no doubt … if there is zero evidence then they are innocent !!!! there never was any solid evidence linking any of the teens to the murders. the only reason they were convicted was due to lying witnesses and mass hysteria …

  • Fred Giannelli

    This town ain’t big enough 4 thee both ov them…

    Blatty moved last August and Echols & Davis are en route…

    http://youtu.be/eUJ_ifjKopM

  • Michelle

    The WM3 are innocent. Mark Byers is the most likely suspect. His wife’s death is undetermined so that is still a mystery. In a polygraph he said his wife was murdered when a few minutes before he said she died of a broken heart. He claimed his teeth were removed before the deaths of the boys but dental records show they were taken out I believe 3 months later when the bite mark evidence came out. He also claimed his teeth were knocked out, then claimed they fell out due to a medicine he was taking for seizures( there has been this medicine causes periodontal disease), then his dental records show they were pulled by the dentist. He lies constantly. His story has changed. He worked as a watch repairman also…this is very intricate work. It is possible this would have given him the skills to do what happened to the one child. Byers also was a drug informant for the WM police department. Its possible some of the police did not want to lose a valuable asset. Also, for those who say a turtle was responsible…this was disproven. First, a turtle would not just pull off the skin that perfectly and leave the rest. Also, one of the most respected and acclaimed men in forensics disproved it. It was also proven that no rapes had occurred. Also, Jessie m said the murders happened noon or around there I believe, when it was actually night time. the children were still in school. Jessie was just following what the detectives told him first. Also, a majority of the interrogation was not recorded…only the part when he confessed. The prosecution claimed the three teenagers killed them next to the creek and then splashed water to remove the blood. I’m sorry but it was dark so they couldn’t have seen it all and some would have sunk into the ground. The boys were not killed there as the prosecution claimed. It is so sad the jury didn’t really look at the evidence

  • Amy Yeske

    As glad as I am that the WM3 have finally been released, I’d be even more glad to be reading about what the authorities are doing to find the actual murderers of three innocent children. Oh that’s right, they offered the Alford plea, rather than admit their wrongs. So it seems these poor babies will never have true justice. That is what truly makes me sad.

    • Alien

      I agree – it´s a travesty! Seems nobody really cares who murdered those three little boys.

      • Cat Davids

        exactly. It’s this silly death cult groupie fest! Those poor boys and their poor parents.
        I found that doco was such a middle class elitist city person laughing at hillbilly festival. It seemed like the city people that made the doco were laughing at people’s accents etc rather than actually showing what was going on

  • Howard

    an innocent person would not,could not plead guilty to what was done to those innocent little boys! As a parent and Grand parent I felt morally obligated to study this case its all out there for all to see if you are willing to do the research and No! I’m not including the HBO documentaries as fair and honest reference material. They plead guilty for whatever reason to the most despicable and evil act a human being could commit. That and the evidence however unprofesionally put together says it all.

    • Bear Jablonski

      It makes me sick to know people like you are part of the human race. And let me tell you watching what you see on the TV or listing to what this person and that person says is not research. Those kids were and always will be innocent.
      They had so many other leads to go on but no let’s mess with the tard kid till he says what we want him to.
      What they need to do is look into that Hobbs freak!!

      • Pongo

        Wow. Why are you so hostile? All they did was express doubt and that makes them unworthy of being part of the human race? I happen to believe they’re guilty too. Does that mean I don’t deserve to live on your planet too?

        • Joe G

          How anyone can believe they were ever guilty is beyond me. Unless there’s some strong religious reason to bolster your stereotypical hatred, which is insane but sadly believable, there’s simply so way possible they ever should have been convicted. Please exit the planet ;)

      • john doette

        I think it is horrible how so much evidence ending up pointing towards family members( stevie’s dad) and . . But the ones that were found guilty do not have any actual evidence but a person with special needs( who actually at first stated he hurt the boys with his friend that were not jason and damien), a child and his mother who later claimed she was scared to death of the police so she said what they wanted :/ It is all horrible i have no idea who done this but it is truly sad that this happen.

    • Walter White

      I totally agree, the real conspiracy theorists are the ones watching that HBO crap that leaves out all kinds of real facts. Nobody thats innocent confesses with such great detail, not to just the cops but lawyers too. Its become a fad to support the wm3….a sad and stupid one.

      • Raven Cassidy

        if you were locked in a room with two cops berating you and basically telling you details of the crimes over and over and saying if you just tell us what happened we will let you go, it is brainwashing and Jesse was in that room being brainwashed and purposely being emotionally and mentally tortured … for 12 hours …and only 46 min were taped ? so what do you think they did to him when it wasn’t being recorded? these corrupt police officers needed someone to blame so they picked easy targets period …..the real killer was most likely the man in the Bojangles covered in mud and blood …logic people C’mon logic ….

        • Cat Davids

          he confessed three times months apart even against the advice of his defense. Read the last two confessions he gave. He’s trying to say the other two were more responsible than him. They definitely did it.
          I wish they didn’t, but after reading all the court documents over the past few years it’s obvious they did it.

          • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

            reading doc transcripts doesn’t make you a lawyer or beacon of truth, smarty.

    • Tug Spano

      Wow, you know nothing about psychology, interrogation, and forced confession. Pathetic how you’ll use your uneducated, superstitious opinion to decide the fate of another.

    • Cathy Schmiers

      they had to say they were guilty to be released.

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

      newsflash – innocent people plead guilty to things for various reasons.

    • Kathy Hagan

      If you had been on death row for 18 years I’d like to know what you would do. They were children when they went to prison. Jason didn’t want to take the plea but Damien would have to stay on death row if he didn’t. It could have taken years for a new trial.

  • Michelle

    If you actually listened to parts of the interrogation of Jessie you would hear how much leading the police did. You would also hear that Jessie gives so many facts about the case that are incorrect. If you are going to confess to murder, you would tell the truth about what happened because you’re already going to prison. Jessie says it happened during the day but the boys were still in school at the time he claims they were killed. The murders actually happened at night so no one would confuse the day for night time. He says the boys were raped but there were no signs of sexual assault and if that had been true, there would have been obvious signs of it. An innocent person would plead guilty if he is mentally retarded and kept in interrogation for a very long time. Also, none of those three teenagers had the skills to do what was done to the Byers child. To sum it up, innocent people ten times more intelligent than those boys confess to crimes daily and just because you read what it says on the internet does not mean it is true. There is basically no evidence that points to those boys.

    • Cat Davids

      have you read all three of his confessions even after he was convicted? The last conviction he gives is chiling.

  • Jenn jenn

    Its cases like this that have me in school for criminal justice. How was justice served by pinned three innocent boys. So many people esp while young go through the ” black” phase. I myself used to be a cutter and I felt different then the other people in my town. I listened to metal … still do at almost 33. I have a lot if tattoos, I myself am very “educated” in wiccan ways. I also have 4 kids, never sacrificed or even thought of sacrificing anything and I am pursuing a degree in psychology and criminal justice. My heart goes out to everyone of the families that lost a child in this and not just the 3 little boys but Damien, Jason and Jessies as well. They may be free and I am so happy to hear it but they lost their lives as well in a sense. They will never be free of the “child murderer” or “satanic” whispers of some. They are innocent!!! I pray that justice is finally found for these boys and all the families involved

  • Cathy Schmiers

    I watched the HBO documentaries. I might be unlike everyone else on the planet but I am undecided about whether the young men are guilty or not.The confession to the police was tainted because the time was wrong.Supposedly they bragged about killing them because there were witnesses to it.They later disappeared.So who knows.I do know one thing.If there is some doubt whether Damien did it or not leave him alone.I wouldnt entirely trust him but being mean to someone because he might be guilty is wrong.

    • Mr_Pell_Dillebreadth

      The confession was tainted because it was false! Misskelly couldn’t identify any details of the murder scene without prodding and bullying, with investigators feeding him the info and him repeating it!

    • Bradley Lewis

      And I can respect that. At least you admit that there’s a chance they might be innocent. I think the entire trial process would have gone a lot differently from jump street were more people able to keep an open mind like that.

      While I support their innocence, I respect your more cynical point of view. Thank you for that.

  • Cat Davids

    They are guilty, guilty, guilty!
    The documentaries are biased and leave out a lot of information. If you sit down and read the court transcripts you will see why two juries found them guilty. Deciding based on biased documentaries is silly!
    Jessie just kept confessing again and again.
    They had NO alibis, they could not prove where they were at the time of the murder. All of them had previous criminal histories- Jessie had previous smashed a young girls head with a rock, Damien had tortured animals and all his psych reports are on the internet are there to be read.
    Read all the court transcripts and then you will be convinced.

    • Kelli Diane

      I read ALL the court documents and I am NOT convinced of their guilt. I am more likely to believe that one or both of the step fathers ( Byers and Hobbs) had more evidence against them. The police, due to the heinousness of the crime probably felt pressured to close the case as quickly as possible. Both step fathers had criminal backgrounds as well, that doesnt make the West Memphis 3 guilty. I dont see ANY evidence that should have convicted the 3. They were railroaded. It was sloppy police work and just because they were different and mentally retarded ( Misskelley) the confessions were coerced as well. I am not convinced and I work in the legal field. I need more convincing evidence than what the sorry PD came up with.

    • Mr_Pell_Dillebreadth

      Indeed, Jessie confessed more than once. Each time, he gave details that didn’t resemble the murder scene at hand. He changed these details through each retelling, shaped by the leading presence of the WM investigators. (Feel free to read the transcripts Cat.)

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ kyron

      lack of alibi isn’t evidence of guilt, numbnutz

      • Trey Sumpin

        When none of the 3 suspects can offer an alibi, it is quite suggestive, actually.

        • Viorica Britton

          No, it really isn’t. (And the “none of them had an alibi” is factually incorrect. Jessie had one that was supported by MULTIPLE witnesses.)

    • Joe G

      Biased? Left out a lot of information? There was more than enough reasonable doubt created by what those documentaries presented that I can’t imagine what could have possibly been left out to rightfully convict them boys. The only people who still today believe them to be guilty belong back there with the dirty cops and those out to convict satanism. Because its clear the boys weren’t the one on trial. The occult was what was convicted in that courtroom. And it was blaitant and shameful and juvenile.

      • Viorica Britton

        Most of the information left out did nothing but make the case for their innocence stronger, actually, so I’m not even sure where the OP’s getting his/her information.

    • kris

      casey anthony did it

    • Rick Nolte

      But there is nothing in the court transcripts about the jury tainting is there? That was something else the judge conveniently allowed. Along with the bogus “satanic expert” who was nothing more than a quack. Also please provide links that demonstrate physical evidence aginst these three. Not evidence that they wore black or read Ann Rule books or listened to heavy metal rock music. Hard physical evidence!

      • Big Red

        The 1 confussed muiltiply times

        • TheBadgerine

          He has an IQ of 72. His confession, or confussedness, or however you would spell it, never should have been allowed. He never should have stood trial.

        • Stephanie Ronan Crews

          The “confussion” that was given “muiltiply” times was given by a BOY whose IQ was borderline mentally retarded. He would’ve told them that he was Big Bird if they told him he’d be able to go home if he admitted to being a seven-foot-tall canary with a silly voice. Shut up, Big Red. You obviously have no idea what this case is about. Stop embarrassing yourself.

          • vinno65

            The important fact to remember was although Jessie “confessed” he refused to testify against Echols and Baldwin even witht the offer of a reduced sentence

        • Bradley Lewis

          What is this “confussed” you speak of? I can only assume it was a Freudian slip combining the words “confess” and “confused” since that was obviously Jesse’s predicament.

          Even in its idiocy, that was the smartest thing you’ve said to date, Big Red.

    • Viorica Britton

      Pretty much everything you wrote up there is factually incorrect. What’s your agenda? Why so determined for these men to be guilty? I can understand *not* wanting to believe the police could be *that* incompetent and allow a real murderer or murderers to walk free, but at the expense of another person’s liberty or rights? Fascinating pathology.

    • Adrian Poesiat

      This case is very similar to the David Milgaard case in Saskatchewan in 1969. Three 17 year olds, circumstantial evidence at best, no forensic evidence linking them to the murder(s), interrogation using leading questions with no lawyers present, forced confessions, lazy and/or incompetent police work and an over zealous prosecuting attorney who is so arrogant and ignorant he cannot be impartial

    • Bradley Lewis

      Alright, so let’s humor that train of “thought”. There were a lot of man made reports and historical events that lead you to determine they are the type of boys capable of such murderous behavior. Oh, yeah, and they had no alibis. Therefore they must be guilty.

      Huh? Me thinks all this Salem talk has you confusing the American Justice System with the witch trials of a few hundred years ago. Things don’t (shouldn’t) work like that.

      The fact that there was DNA evidence, none of which linked any of the boys to the crime, should have been reason enough for any sane jury to determine they were not guilty. In order to decide someone is guilty you’re supposed to be under that impression without reasonable doubt. I, HBO, and a ridiculous amount of other folks out there have doubts…each of which is more reasonable than the last.

      It seems to me that you may have a habit of hearing stories and then turning them into sagas. While I agree that mutilating animals does not a good boy make, it doesn’t mean I’m gonna brand any kid capable of it a murderer just because I’m more capable of feeling compassion for animals than for black clad boys I’ve never met. Give me proof that I cannot deny.

      And what’s this business about Jessie bashing some girl’s head in with a rock? I threw a bucket at some chicks head in the sandbox when I was four because I didnt appreciate her nasty tone and she had to get stitches…I’ve since learned not to throw things at people’s heads and I’m quite sure she now knows not to be so impertinent. Were I on trial for murder would you tell people that I ate her liver and carried her head home to my mom in a bucket? Saga? You get my drift.

  • Sherri McClain Millican

    I was a dental assistant. I did a report on bite mark evidence. I came across the west Memphis three. the doctors took molds of the west Memphis three because there was bite marks on the boys that were murdered. And the bite marks did not match up. The courts have been using bite mark eviedence since 1850. In this trial the judge said it was not valid. That is when I knew that these guys were not guilty. And Jessie Kelley is a borderline down syndrome patient. He would say anything to please an adult.

  • Amy

    I just watched Devil’s Knot and read about the three young men. They were targeted because they were different. The case never should have been tried in that county! The police screwed up and lost evidence. What does that say about our system? My daughter is different then other people in our family, does that mean she could end up being a murderer? No. I’ve researched satanic rituals and witchcraft, does that make me one? I think not. What happened to these three young men was unjust and shows just how ignorant people really are. I hope the real murderer(s) get caught and these three men sure the ass of the system!

    • Trey Sumpin

      The case wasn’t tried in that county. It was tried in Jonesboro. More ignorance from someone who has never read any actual case files.

      • Treah Heart

        Mmm guess that makes u a genius. they were tried in that co. then tried in jb upon their release… i live in ar …. in jb

  • Catherine Turley

    seems to me that whatever the causes of echols’ mental issues as a youth, those issues will remain and continue to plague him until treated. i suspect he was annoyed with people long before his prison experience and release. i also find it interesting that they had no qualms about sending the dog back to its prison.

    • Stephanie Ronan Crews

      Wow. Where’d you get your psych degree?

  • Big Red

    They all GUILTY

  • Big Red

    echols mother caused a man to be murdered in Marion, Arkansas in September 1994. I see the apple does not fall far from the tree.

    • Stephanie Ronan Crews

      Big Red, you are so inherently stupid and ignorant that I can’t even waste my time responding. You probably wouldn’t understand anyway.

  • Big Red
  • Big Red

    Friday, September 30, 1994

    The parents and sister of convicted child killer Damien Echols have been subpoened as witnesses to a murder that happened earlier this month in Crittenden County, an official said Thursday.

    Joe Hutchison, 38, his wife Pam, 35, and their daughter Michelle, 17, witnessed a shooting death Sept. 9 on the banks of the Mississippi River as the family and others were gathered around a bonfire, said Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office investigator John L. Murray.

    The three Hutchison family members are expected to testify Monday at a probable cause hearing in West Memphis for Bryan J. McFadden, 27, charged with capital murder for the death of Richard B. Ellison, 35.

    The family and some friends were roasting hotdogs near the foot of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge about 11 that night when a gun was fired during an apparent dispute between two members of their party, Murray said.

    The Hutchisons told investigators they heard a shot, turned and saw McFadden with a .22-caliber pistol in his hand as Ellison lay on the ground.

    Murray said he was alarmed to find the Hutchisons at the crime scene. The family had appeared regularly on local television and in newspapers in March during Echols’s trial.

    Echols, 19, was sentenced to death by lethal injection after juries found him and two other teenagers guilty of the 1993 murders of West Memphis 8-year- olds Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.

    Joe Hutchison and officer Murray both testified at the trial in which prosecutors suggested that a belief in satanism had influenced Echols. Murray testified that Echols had told him after an arrest in May 1992 he was a white witch, but knew of a “satanic cult” that planned to visit West Memphis.

    Memories of the triple-murder caused officers responding to the Sept. 9 shooting to search the river bank for graffiti and occult imagery, Murray said. “When I found out who they were, that’s what I started looking for, ” he said. “I didn’t find anything.”

  • Bradley Lewis

    Catherine Turley, your post was slightly confusing towards the end there…but the beginning was interesting. Are you a legit psychiatrist? If not, please hit yourself with your keyboard. Then remember this: I can play doctor too! Here goes nothin’. Interest in the macabre isn’t a red flag for mental illness; however, discussing your theories concerning some fabricated (by you) mental issues of a man you’ve never personally met is definitely a red flag for YOU NEED A LIFE! (and a medical degree wouldn’t hurt either).

    Speaking of mental issues, Big Red, have you ever been diagnosed? I don’t mean to pry…I just don’t wanna feel too guilty when I recommend that you go plug in your flatware. Maybe a light bulb will come on and clue you into the fact that defaming someone’s family based on your narrow perspective and laughably low reading comprehension of an article published 20 years ago is a bit of a no-no. You made a massive leap there between the publication classifying them as witnesses to your “echols mother caused a man to be murdered” statement. I ask that you, like the first chick, hit yourself with your keyboard (maybe you’ll accidentally hit some of the punctuation keys you seem to be avoiding). And last but not least, why you gotta be so rude?

    For everyone else who posted “GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY,” go check your facts…then check yourselves. Maybe watch more HBO while you’re at it. People like you let your volatility and not-so-stable emotions determine your opinions (and subsequent verbal diarrhea). Eso no es bueno. It would probably be in everyone’s best interest if you just lost the internet and didn’t go looking for it…ever.

    • Stephanie Ronan Crews

      AMEN AND HIGH FIVE!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • Bradley Lewis

        High five back at ya! :-)

    • Trey Sumpin

      “Watch more HBO”
      That’s the problem. If people watched less biased docs and read more case files there would be a lot less ignorance about this case.

      • Bradley Lewis

        I appreciate that we’re on the same side of this argument but I highly doubt Big Red would have taken anything away from the case files other than the pretty color of the paper. Plus…judging by how the court cases went in the first place, its likely the case files are akin to a Harry Potter novel.

        Also, the “watch more HBO” was in reference to the documentaries “Paradise Lost” (1, 2, &3) which were produced by and aired on HBO. They chronicled the case from beginning to end. I don’t remember them being very biased. At least no more biased than one could be after knowing the facts and misconceptions involved. As far as I saw, everyone got their chance to speak…even the Looney Tunes.

      • Lila

        Thank you! Someone that has looked passed the documentaries, and movies that were created FOR the WM3. After reading the actual court case transcripts, then maybe more people will see they are not as innocent as they are made out to be.

        • Bradley Lewis

          Not to be rude…but did you read the right case files? If so, please tell us all the things that were in said files that 1) weren’t represented in the HBO original doc, 2) PROVES beyond reasonable doubt that they’re guilty, and 3) isn’t circumstantial or inadmissible.

          I’ll tell you why I know you can’t: because if the state of Arkansas had the second two…they “WM3″ wouldn’t be free right now.

          Please sniff around your workstation for the smell of large amounts of crap before you hit submit next time. And please look up the word “biased” because, assuming we saw the same program, everyone got a turn to say their piece in the first doc, nobody was playing favorites. And it’s not HBOs fault they have people on their staff who can find y from mx+b and draw a line to logic. That’s why the 2nd and 3rd docs were so biased…and rightfully so.

          Now please look up the word “incorrect”. Because that’s what you are if you really think ALL THOSE PEOPLE from all around the country showed up on the steps of the state capital building and to each court hearing in support of their freedom because HBO told them to through subliminally biased programming. I love HBO but I don’t even give them that much credit.

  • gina mata

    I have seen the documentary and just saw the movie Devils knot. I truly believe that the young men are innocent. The police made mistakes, harrrased a mentally challenged young man, tried to set these young men up. At that time I had 3 kids under the age of 10. I remember the stories and news. The whole case was a joke and the two step dads that they found dna from should be prosecuted, terry hobbs is the guilty one. He will meet his maker one day and karma is a bitch. Leave Damien Echols and the others alone. Let them live their lives in peace

  • Shellie Hirsch

    I watched Devils Knot a couple weeks ago, my husband & I watched the HBO documentaries tonight. We were so upset after they ended & THEY WERE STILL IN PRISON! We are both very relieved now to know that they have been released! I pray that Damien will be able to live the rest of his life happy & that we are all able to see justice served in this case.

  • Viorica Britton

    I honestly don’t understand how anyone with any sort of education or critical thinking skills can watch the documentaries, learn even the most basic facts of the case and come away *still* convinced these young men were guilty of the crimes of which they were convicted. Unless you’re clinging to some sort of agenda yourself, the case against them is whisper-thin and of approximately the same durability as cotton candy in one’s mouth.

  • Katie Homes

    it was the black guy who killed those kids obviously…. and those christians just hated those kids because they had different views. same with the judge and police…fucked up.

  • applemoon

    I live in Salem and had no idea he lived here. I was a teenager when this murder happened and me and my mother watched every documentary about the case. Back in the 90’s if you did listen to Metallic and wore all black you were an outcast especially where they came from. The DNA did not match either of the boys charged. What I have a hard time believing is the DNA didn’t match anyone in the system in the horrific way those angels were murdered that could not be the only murder the perpetrator committed. I’m glad they were freed it’s a shame that they had to grow up in prison.

  • Kelsey Cunningtubby

    I have read every article and watched every documentary, movie, etc.. The whole situation is terrible but when you open your eyes and think about it after watching and reading, how can you still say they are guilty? I am going to be 21 in a few days and I have been studying (for lack of a better word) this since I was 14. At 14 I had absolutely no doubt of their innocence. I cannot fathom spending 18 years in prison, let alone death row, for something I did not do… Then in order to get out, I have to state my innocence while admitting guilt. Completely ridiculous.. Then there are the people who truly get on my nerves.. AKA the ones who say, “If you didnt do it, why are admitting guilt?” Well honey, they had to in order to get out. Obviously if the Arkansas Supreme Court thought they were guilty, they never would have offered the plea. Now, I know the feeling of being judged for your lifestyle, your music, your hair, ethnicity, everything… I am Native American, I have long hair, darker skin, I love metal, I dress in darker clothing the majority of the time. I live in a smaller community in southern Oklahoma where most people are country. I am judged daily and it is not fun. So before you judge someone, get to know them or atleast do some research. It makes me sick to my stomach when I think of the idiocy in the world.

  • RockyMissouri

    Blatty sounds like a pompous creep…a real Puritan… I wish Damian and his wife every success. I can’t imagine how ANYONE is supposed to act after undergoing such a bizarre experience..!! There is no guidebook.. Losing your childhood, everything you have known is altered… How would WE have measured up to withstand that awful challenge….??

  • EarthDonkey

    He was unfairly convicted, prejudiciously, and without evidence. However, he may also be guilty. A supporter for 14 years, I recently followed a link to Jesse’s “Bible Confession” – that’s the document that started my change of opinion.

    • Kris

      I just read Jesse’s confession. If anything, I am now even more convinced that these boys are innocent.

  • JustPeg

    I’m not going to be mean and say that it appears some escaped out of their white jackets and found a keyboard. I won’t designate an excuse for others thought process, like low mental capacity, overactive ignorance or thinking is their 2nd language …pick one!! Some not all are the same crowd that thousands of years ago were shouting “Crucify him Crucify him” Wow some of us haven’t changed a bit. My guess it’s Hobbs the cruel stepfather so I hope his time will come. There were 6 lives taken away that day not just 3. I can’t even put myself in Damien’s shoes or the mothers of those murdered children, the pain is too torturous.
    All good people deserve to live a free and full life…so many don’t :( and the reasons for that is for another time.

  • Kathy Hagan

    After reading a lot of these comments I wonder how an innocent person acts. If you don’t come from a small town in the south you really can’t understand a small town mentality. It’s not like in the city where everyone lives in their own area. Small towns you go to school together the rich kids, the middle class and the poor kids. And believe me if you aren’t like the rest of them you are weird. Damien went from that to death row for 18 years. He had no interaction with people for 10 years. Then he gets out and he’s supposed to be your ideal of normal or he’s guilty. His mental issues as a teenager is a no brainer. He didn’t fit the cookie cutter mold to be like everyone else. Hopefully what he has to say now will look at others that are in prison that shouldn’t be there.

  • Kris

    I find it reprehensible that Chief Inspector Gitchell now holds this position: (His Linked-In profile)

    Gary Gitchell
    Senior Advisor, Safety & Security at Shelby County Schools
    Arlington, Tennessee