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October 3rd, 2011
05:21 PM ET

Looking back at the West Memphis Three: a strong reaction to Piers Morgan's interview

By "Piers Morgan Tonight" associate producer Samantha Hillstrom:

On May 5th, 1993, I was almost 8 years old – the same age Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were when they were brutally murdered in West Memphis, AR. It’s been over 18 years since that day, and six weeks ago, the three men that were convicted of their murders were released from prison.

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were charged with murdering the three boys and spent their entire adulthood behind bars, and for Damien, on death row. Last week, Piers Morgan interviewed Damien and Jason in an emotional and powerful interview – and the response on our Twitter, Facebook and blog has been incredible.

Many reacted strongly, both in support of these men and against. Here is a sampling of what we heard from you:

I just watched your interview with 2 of the West Memphis 3. I’ve seen it 4 times and I keep watching it. Unbelievable stuff.

West Memphis 3: This story is just horrible. I don’t know whether 2 cry for them, or b more pissed over Troy Davis.

After following the West Memphis 3 case for 18+ years, it is surreal to see Damien Echols finally free and talking to Piers Morgan.

Wait, the West Memphis 3 ADMIT TO BEING GUILTY OF MURDER, but they've been freed?

If I’m innocent, I would not plead guilty even if I could clear my name in 3 months. They are guilty.

You supporters should invite them to watch your children if you think they’re innocent.

I, along with so many of you, watched this interview and felt moved afterwards. With the case against Troy Davis a few weeks ago, Amanda Knox's release from prison today and the release of the West Memphis 3, it’s very apparent that the issue of the death penalty and DNA evidence is one on everyone’s mind.

Did you watch? What did you think of Damien and Jason’s story? Share your thoughts below.

-–
» Follow Samantha Hillstrom on Twitter

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Filed under: News
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. AToh

    My major problem with this interview is that Baldwin and Echols should have chosen to grant an interview to someone who is more on their level. Piers Morgan is not that person. Many of his questions landed flat and seemed to confuse Baldwin or Echols.

    Secondly, I have issues with Echols' seeming list of "talking points." He has now made the same statements to 48 Hours, People Magazine and now Piers Morgan. I don't doubt that he has been through the unimaginable in the past 18 years, but there is a piety mixed with bitterness that I find very off-putting. He especially displays coldness to Baldwin and his own wife.

    I am a supporter of the WM3 and believe they are innocent - or at the very least, that there was not enough evidence to prove they committed these crimes. Sometimes, however, I don't think they do themselves any favors. They would serve themselves immensely if they just told the truth. Instead, they tend to gloss over the details of the case and boil it down to "they thought were were Satan worshipers because we liked Metallica." Mr. Morgan asked Damien if he had ever been in trouble with the law before May 1993; he said no, but that is not the case. Mr. Morgan asked what evidence police had against them. Instead of saying, "nothing," or that they wore black or listened to Metallica, it would be much better to confront the facts and set people straight: "A few people testified that we told them we did it; they later admitted they lied in court. A knife was found in the lake behind Jason's house, but it was later proven that it could not have been used in the murders." By glossing over these issues, they give people reason to doubt them. Just tell the truth and set people straight, guys.

    I also found it weird that Jason admitted he and Damien exchanged letters through Damien's sister, until the warden told Jason he was not allowed to do this anymore. For years, Damien said he had no contact with Jason at all. So which is it?

    One last thing: I wish someone would just admit that Jessie Misskelley "confessed" because he was offered a reward. That's more believable than "he's retarded." Especially since we're being told that he is enrolled in community college.

    October 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • as

      I think you are nit picking. Echols seems cold towards Jason and his wife??????? I did not see this at all. The poor man has been in solitary for a decade, I'm sure he's trying to work through that trauma. I saw a man trying to hold it together for this interview. And he hadn't been in trouble with the law before '93. Reading through all the information available on this case (wm3.org, Devil's Knot etc....), Damien Echols was a pretty good kid. They were not glossing over anything, the show is only an hour. All the info about this case is available to the public. There was NO evidence against them. World class experts were brought in and strongly dispute the knife and anything else that was used to convict them. It's all available online. Some supporter you are.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • ChattyCathy

        Exactly,ITA with ya!

        October 5, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
      • DamienChasedAChildWithAnAx

        Damien had LOTS of trouble before 1993. In his psychiatric hospitalization notes, Damien Echols threatened to harm or to threatened to kill
        •     his mother
        •     his father (and eat him)
        •     the younger children in the house 
        •     his girlfriend's father
        •     his girlfriend's mother
        •     the police 
        •     Chased child with ax
        •     Initiated fights at school/aggression toward others
        •     Attempted to claw out schoolmate's eyes
             • Started fires

        http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/gwoods.html

        Testimony by Jason Lance Crosby stated that overheard Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin talking about catching a bum at one of the overpasses and torturing him to death just to see what it felt like.

        October 8, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • GUILTY

      How many times does someone have to confess before we agree they are guilty?

      Misskelley – THREE times (once in front of his own lawyer) and told two others he committed the crimes.
      Echols – told FOUR people he committed the crimes.
      Baldwin – told one person he committed the crimes.

      w m 3 truth c o m

      October 6, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • ChattyCathy

        Dan Stidham, now a state judge, was Jessie Misskelley's lawyer.

        "The best way to describe Mr. Misskelley's capabilities is he is operating at about the level of a 5-year-old child," says Stidham.

        He says it was clear his client knew very little about occult rituals.

        "[Jessie] walked in one day and he hands me this book. On the cover, it had a picture of the devil and [he] said, 'Dan, who is Satin.' Satin," Stidham recalls. "Here's a kid who's supposed to have committed the very first ever satanic ritualistic homicide, yet he didn't know who Satan was."

        At first, Jessie told the police he knew nothing. But after hours of pressure, Jessie finally implicated Damien and Jason, saying, "I saw Damien hit this one boy real bad. Then Jason hit Steve Branch."

        Then, Jessie implicated himself by saying he chased down a boy who ran away.
        "He thought he was helping by adding to the story," says Stidham, "but he turned himself from a witness to an accomplice."
        A lot of what Jessie said was just wrong. For example, he first said the crime took place early in the morning, but the victims were at school all day. Nevertheless, all three teens were charged with murder.

        -------
        Jessie did not know key details of the crime, including the time of the murders, the materials with which the boys were bound, as well as the cause of death. Since he did not know real details, he was fed information by the investigators, which is clear on the tape.-------–

        http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/03/looking-back-at-the-west-memphis-three-a-strong-reaction-to-piers-morgans-interview/?replytocom=35414

        -------------------–
        Why were Jason and Damien arrested in the first place?

        To respond to pressure from the community for a prompt arrest, a large reward was offered for information about the crime. Being young and poor, Damien and Jason were easy targets. A mentally challenged young man, Jessie Misskelley, gave a false confession. His interrogators enticed Jessie with the prospect of reward money and the promise that he would be sent home a free man just as soon as he told them what they wanted to hear.
        -------------
        Jessie thought his dad would get a new truck!

        October 6, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • kma367

      AToh, none of the witnesses who heard Echols and Baldwin confess to the murders has recanted their statements, or said that they lied in court. There was an affidavit from Donna Medford filed in connection with Echols' habeas corpus action in federal court which essentially stated that she didn't take the girls seriously when they first told her what they heard Echols say. Additionally, as to Echols, he's given various versions of events, or lied, depending on how you look at it. At trial, he denied being at the ball field and denied making the statement. After his conviction, he told the folks at WM3.org that the girls reported the date on which he made the statement as one after his arrest on June 3. Recently, he has changed the story (lie) to say that he made the statement, but it was made in response to taunting he was subjected to by others at the softball field.

      It's also never been "proven" that the knife found behind Baldwin's trailer was not used in the murders. Baldwin and Miskelley presented the testimony of several experts at their Rule 37 hearings that opined that the majority of the boys' injuries were the result of post-mortem animal predation. However, none of these experts could agree on a single animal, nor could they explain how mammals would have accessed the bodies in the ditch. In fact, the bodies were found face down in the ditch, yet several of the alleged predation injuries were on the boys' fronts. It would've been impossible for an animal to remove the body from the ditch, inflict injuries and then put it back face down in the ditch. They also didn't explain, once again, how aquatic animals would have accessed the fronts of the boys, which were pushed down into the mud at the bottom of the ditch. The "animal predation" was also not proven because those experts failed to testify at the motions for new trial and there is no court order finding that the "animal predation" theories are more viable than the original theories testified to by Dr. Peretti at trial.

      It's also important to note that the woods in which the boys were found was NOT a remote area in which foreign DNA would be unusual as claimed by the defense. In fact, numerous empty bottles and cans and other trash and debris were photographed at the time the bodies were recovered, a bag of clothing left by a transient was discovered and numerous workers at the Blue Beacon, as well as others, cut through the woods going to and from the areas of the Blue Beacon and Mayfair Apartments.

      Finally, while the defense claimed the DNA of Echols, Baldwin and Miskelley was not excluded from all of the evidence. There were partial DNA profiles on Michael's penile swab and one of the Steve's ligatures from which Echols, Baldwin and Miskelley could not be excluded.

      http://www.downonthefarm.org/wm3hoax/board/index.php/topic,2226.45.html

      October 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • DamienThreatenedToKillAndEatHisFather

      Realize that Damien Echols is on antipsychotic medications which effect his affect. See the pill rolling tremor in his right hand and the stiffness of his right hand? This is tardive dyskinesia. Damien Echols also mentioned how he was having difficulty walking and this is also a side effect of antipsychotic medications. It is more commonly known as the Thorazine Shuffle.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • shimie

        Correction..IImipramine also known as Tofranil is a tricyclic antidepressants. Not to be confused with an anti-psychotic. Research your medications before making such a statement. Further many of the statements attributed to Echols during his hospitalization were actually entered in the chart as Driver/or Echols statement. We now know that Jerry Driver the Juvenile Officer who had it in for Echols is in fact a very bad apple. In 1997 Jerry Driver resigned from the Crittenden County Juvenile Office after an audit revealed $30.000 missing. In 2000 he pled no contest in front of Guess Who? That’s right Judge David Burnett and received 10 years probation and a soft payback of the money at the rate of $241.00 a month. In all 68 checks had been written to or endorsed by Driver, 2 others went to his assistant Steve Jones. Driver also knew the victims…he suspected them of setting fires, was instrumental in finding the bodies and pointing a finger at Echols…. Driver was Echols probation officer and Jones was assigned to Baldwin for stupid teenage charges…..
        So none of Drivers statements are to be believed.... Echols troubled teen behavioral health care chart is riddled with inaccuracy statements attributed to himself when in fact they came out of Driver mouth...Anyone who knows anything about mental health laws knows that civil rights get violated and information from 3rd parties is taken as gospel without being challenged.... the record is tainted.

        February 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • shimie

      AToh stated...
      "He especially displays coldness to Baldwin and his own wife."... How do you expect someone who has been imprisoned for many years and then topped it off with 10 years of solitary confinement to act???? He has to relearn to socialize. His health is deteriorated, at such a young age he has arthritis, vision problems, nutritional, dental issues and he has had a death sentence hanging over his head.
      This interview was done pretty soon after his release. Fast Forward…Now he has gained a normal body weight, does not look so malnourished or pale...he and his wife appear to be bonding fine......... I mean give the guy a break... Secondly you state you find his "piety mixed with bitterness very off-putting". I find your lack of understanding of the possible psychological adaptations these young men need to make to re-enter society short sighted and truly lacking in empathy.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Cathy

        AMEN shimie !!!

        February 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan C

      Ive never cared about anything like this unill now...ive been watching this since I was 18 and I gotta say...I become less impressed with Damien every day I really believe the truth lies with Jason..I'm not saying he is the "mastermind"but he knows what is up for sure. And Terry is def a huge creep he knows what happened. Many people know the truth but they are scared to be investigated or punished for saying anything

      April 7, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rebecca

    I watched the coverage of Troy Davis earlier in the week, and then Mr.Morgans interview with Damien and Jason. I have never been in favor of the death penalthy and feel that people will need to answer for their sins when they meet their creator for reasons just as this. Who are we to judge??? Of course in some cases it is so obvious but even then is is it our place?? In the Middle East some countries still hold public exacutions – if we are going to keep the death penalty why drag it out for 20-30 years why not just behead people every other Friday and stone on the others?? I'll stick with what I know and that is public exacution isn't right.

    October 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Diana

    That was one of Piers best interviews. That was an amazing group of people and they were very interesting. I totally hung on to every word. Hopefully more interviews will be done with them and a book deal definitely for Damien.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. C-Reader

    I would like to see the interview ask harder questions, especially when a lie is told. Damien seemed to be more affectionate toward Jason than to his wife Lori. I wish Jessie would have been there and I have wondered if he would still confess. I wish you would have had the parents Moore or Hobbs in the interview or even a prosecutor or judge. The interview seemed completely slanted. I like interviews that have more substance. Maybe you can try again another time.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • sue

      Jessie couldnt be there, damien is not allowed contact with him.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Cathy

    RE: If I’m innocent, I would not plead guilty even if I could clear my name in 3 months. They are guilty. <----

    You would if you wanted to save an innocent man from being killed for something you know he never did and you were charged with the the same knowing you're innocent,It's the only chance they had....they appealed for yrs but Ark was dirty,biased and had tunnel vision,all these yrs they never once said they're guilty except a fake confession WMPD cooked up. They needed a fast suspect,How can you say they're guilty just because they pled guilty because it's the only choice they had,saying NOT GUILTY changed nothing for 17 yrs so you are way off the top,and that's sickening to me,you are screwing them and WMPD and the system already did and now the state did again by FORCING THEM TO PLEAD GUILTY so they wouldn't suffer backlash/law suits ..........How dare you! People like you are what's wrong with this world now! you would rather have them in prison and Damien dead than to find the real killer,pffffffft anybody with half a brain knows theres no way in hello they did that to those boys.........Babysit,I'd hire them in a heartbeat to watch my Grandkids.....these boys went thru hello and have every right to loathe everything and everyone on this entire earth but they don't,.they used what they had and I'm surprised at how gentle and laid back and polite they are,you are ridiculous!..........JMVOVMFSOABO!

    October 4, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      With all the media attention the WM3 were receiving, I highly doubt the state of AK would have carried out the execution anytime soon. I'm sure Echols and his lawyers knew this. A new trial was inevitable, why not just wait a year to fully exonerate yourself.

      October 7, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • kma367

      Thanks to his attorneys, Echols was at least another 5-8 years from have an execution date set. The State of Arkansas certainly had not set a date between August and December. If they really were innocent and had the irrefutable evidence they've claimed to have for the past 4 years, they would've presented it at the motions for new trial in December, not pled guilty on August 19, 2011.

      October 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Cathy

    Secondly, I have issues with Echols' seeming list of "talking points." He has now made the same statements to 48 Hours, People Magazine and now Piers Morgan. I don't doubt that he has been through the unimaginable in the past 18 years, but there is a piety mixed with bitterness that I find very off-putting. He especially displays coldness to Baldwin and his own wife.
    ----------------–
    He hasn't been around anyone to show emotion too for 17 yrs, We'd all appear cold......Jason and Jessie were around others but Damien wasn't,I'd think he's normal but his life has changed drastically ya know! jmo

    October 4, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • AToh

      I understand that, but he gave an interview for "Time for Truth" while he was still in prison, and he seemed much more eloquent, humble and comfortable.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • morgansghost

        True. He likely was receiving the proper psychiatric medications while incarcerated. I'm not certain about now, and given his mental illnesses he may be unable to respond appropriately if he isn't on his meds since he has been released. Several people who watched this interview who are familiar with mental illness expressed concern about his affected manner and indicated he could attempt suicide again. I watched when it aired again and noticed what they had mentioned appeared to be an accurate description. While Jason indeed seemed concern about Damien, I also noticed he was somewhat frightened by his demeanor and reactions. Lorri may be forced to commit Damien if he refuses mental health treatment.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        Because he was on familiar ground? He was home on deathrow? jmo Everything he knew changed since 93!

        October 5, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        Nobody was behind him to stab him in the back?

        October 5, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Anna Planet

    This is a Tribute I'd really like to watch unlike the Jackson Tribute Concert or the Tribute Fragrances by Joe Jackson and scam-artist Julian Rouas. See the sickening photos of Paris and Prince Jackson posing with Julian Rouas to promote the stinking perfumes that were previously banned by the estate: http://jacksontributefragrances.blogspot.com

    October 4, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. WM3 evidence

    see wm3truth(dot)com for information on the case

    October 4, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Samuel Shult

      See http://www.wm3blackboard.com for information on this case.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. randall jay

    What were the limitations and restrictions placed on Morgan by these two men or those who handle their PR?

    I could go into exhaustive detail about the many lies and deceptions that went unchallenged, but I believe you have been made aware of them. My only question is why did Piers Morgan fail to act like a journalist? If it was indeed due to things being put out of bounds, he at least should have told us.

    CNN has not done itself any favors here. Even supporters realize this was a scripted exchange disguised as an interview.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. vanessa

    damien can clearly be seen wincing and twitching. he once wrote in response to having his body language analysed by an "expert" during a video interview that he often feels overwhelmed and scared by other peoples energies due to being alone so long. I just thought it was interesting. plus, i thought piers was so rude interrupting their (mostly jasons) answers to his questions! and they werent good questiions. theyve been asked those several times its like piers knnows nothing about the case at all. i honestly think damien is kinda cool to everyone. it was jason who reached out andpatted his shoulder when damien talked about suicide. he looked like he was gonna cry but couldnt. he was emotional but not emotional. lorri probably shouldnt of been there but i think they just needed 3 people and jesse dropped out so she filed in. i feel bad for jason . he was pretty much ignored but he seems like hes happy and copping better than damien

    October 4, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • To Vanessa

      Thanks for the reminder about Jessie. You know, I'm a lukewarm supporter/fence sitter and have real problems he didn't appear. It has started me to question a few things I've pushed aside.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Amy

        Vanessa, I couldn't agree more. I have always considered myself a supporter, but Jessie's not showing and some of the answers and behaviors of the two others has made me seriously question if I could have been wrong all these years. Is it possible that we have been snowed? It really scares me that maybe, just maybe I have been playing for the wrong team for all these years.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • sheesh!

        Jessie made the decision to not to appear on the show. He says it himself on his facebook page. He just needs time to get settled. Good gawd!

        October 5, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. lisa

    These boys lost most of their lives because of a corrupt system in Arkansas quick to judge and condemn them for something they couldn't have done just to appease a devastated community-tragic and sad for the 3 victims, yes-but undeniable-these boys were innocent and are now damaged beyond belief and facing a life of uncertainty. I can't believe readers are so concerned with why they aren't answering questions "properly" or reacting a certain way-like they know what the correct way is? They trust no one, with good reason and have been fearful most of their lives-DE is probably still pinching himself-and Jason-he obviously was desperate to get out of prison-I DON'T BLAME HIM-I would have done the same thing!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Barbara Ritchie

    Anyone following this case from the beginning, and listening closely about how they were railroaded, know they are innocent. It sad that the only way they could be released is to plead quilty to something they didn't do. I'll write to the governer of Arkansas that they should be pardoned.

    I live in the Pacific Northwest. I worked with city adolescents for many years. The Goths were often the most sensitive, poetic, and often misunderstood by parents who, like most of Arkansas apparently, thought they worshipped the "devil". Some were pagans, which means they believe in nature.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChattyCathy

      Perfectly Stated! AMEN!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      Really, they weren't all that different, even for AK. I don't buy that they were picked on for their clothes or music tastes. Beatniks, hippies and punks had already blazed a trail for them. In the 80s I was labeled 'alternative,' and I dressed a lot like Echols.

      October 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • ChattyCathy

        Oh really,then how come Steve Jones was on the scene and saw a shoe (roll eyes) in the water and immediately said I knew Damien would kill somebody" Steve Jones should have never been there and he was dirty as hell,read up on that? jmo

        October 7, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
      • James

        Well, that still doesn't mean they were picked on merely because they liked Metallica and wore black clothes. Echols was known to the police because he was nuts. In fact both he and Misskelley had criminal records. If they had been good boys who had never been in trouble with the law and were still suspected, then I would say yes, they were unfairly targeted.

        October 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        James,I am gonna look through it all now,as I'm watching Dr.Murray trial right now but I cannot argue/discuss my case till I do read it....... to be fair,LoL

        OFF TOPIC
        Dr.Murrays statements to the police are being heard right now and gotta see it,bbs

        October 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WM3 Evidence of Guilt

    Many believe they were guilty. They were found guilty the first time by a unanimous jury due to the evidence, confessions and testimony. Make sure you read about both sides of the case, not just supporter's movies, books and interviews. There is a reason they were found guilty once and plead guilty a second time.

    see "Psychological profile of Damien Echols" at wm3truth(dot)com for evidence of his extremely violent behavior and threats and severe mental illness. He threatened to kill himself and his parents, drank bl_od and brutally m_rdered a dog.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChattyCathy

      Which by the way is BS! Sorry! Not being mean but seperate myth from truth also?
      His mother was trying to get him on Disability and people make up stuff for that ok? Like his mother did! jmo

      October 5, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • notthatatall

        Here's where to seperate myth from truth: http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/img/exh500.html. This exhibit was compiled by Echols' defense attorneys and details his history of crime, violence, and extreme mental illness. It was introduced at his sentencing phase in hopes that it would mitigate his guilt for the murder of the three children he killed.

        October 5, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        TY Not,I can't stand it when people don't look for the evidence which there was none to begin with,a lot of people suffer mental illness because of their own parents choices when they're growing up,believe me,I can relate but Pam did lie to get SSI on him and he was a troubled child so bam,framed right there and no money to fight with?
        People need to base it on the real stuff,not myth,Thanks!

        October 5, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
      • James

        WM3 Supporters argue that all evidence is either exaggerated or a lie, that witnesses made things up or remembered things wrong, that Echols was just joking around, that Misskelley is retarded, and that everyone in WM was out to get them. I just don't buy it.

        October 6, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        Thing is,IT WAS!
        also,who could believe 3 kids did all that and left no evidence,ROFL

        October 6, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
      • James

        But Cathy, even if he did make those things up on that form, he definitely had some psychiatric problems. Remember he was hospitalized three times prior to the murders and his own doctor said he feared he would hurt someone.

        This isn't proof of his guilt, but it does show he was capable of the murders.

        October 7, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        He was a child his mom ignored and made choices in life that affected him,Kid's have no choice when their parents make stupid choices and mmmmmmmmm you should see the mess i was born into,I'm not a killer tho,just made me wanna be better once I got the chance,even after he went to prison his mom got a man killed in a bar so see what I'm saying,she didn't want a kid to hold her back at nothing! JMO

        October 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
      • DamienEcholsWroteHeWasHomicidalTwice

        On the application where Damien Echols applied for his social security disability benefits, there are TWO areas where Damien Echols wrote in his own handwriting that he was HOMICIDAL. See it here:

        In two areas and only weeks before the boys were murdered, Damien Echols wrote he was:
        homicidal
        sociopathic
        manic depression
        drug abuse
        suicidal
        schizophrenic
        alcohol abuse

        October 8, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
      • ChattyCathy

        Yea,I know......I am reading up on it now atleast with an open mind,I actually have found a few things tonight I didn't know existed and could have sworn I'd read everything possilbe!
        I knew about the pant's with semen but until tonight I never knew that JM said "he shot off on the pants"
        I also never knew they went and found the bottle JM broke that night!
        Another thing is the statement that Damien made about biting........I do know the boy/boys had bite marks! But I still don't think they are guilty but who knows,Also I never once knew JM said they were tied with shoe laces hand to leg and about the pants being inside out,First time I ever read that confession! Thanks for the debate though,LoL

        October 8, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Shult

      By all means look at both sides. Have a look at the evidence. Examine the arguments. Use your critical thinking skills. Compare the quality and caliber of the discussion among those who side with Todd Moore (father of the murder victim Michael Moore) and those who side with John Mark Byers (father of murder victim Chris Byers). Go to http://www.downonthefarm.org/wm3hoax/board/index.php; spend a day reading. Then go to and spend another day here: http://www.wm3blackboard.com/forum/index.php. Think and reflect. Weigh the evidence.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • upwithsmartpeople

      Exhibit 500 indeed is an insight into the mind of a psychopath.

      While I still don't think there was enough evidence to convict these three, that also doesn't mean they were innocent. In fact, Exhibit 500 shows why the West Memphis Police Department would have been negligent not to have focused on Echols.

      The way to seperate fact from fiction is to go through exhibits such as this one. It may be that something you haven't considered makes sense once the actual truth is made available. Do I think these three did it? Sure. Do I think that was proved at trial? No. And I got here by wading through these transcripts and exhibits. I once was a more typical supporter who thought these three were singled out because of their tastes. As I read through the trial materials, it became crystal clear they all were capable of these murders and more likely than not committed them. That's a far cry from "beyond a reasonable doubt," though.

      October 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      @ChattyCathy That he came from a troubled family makes me think even more that he was capable of the murders. No offense. Not everyone with bad parents turnout criminals or even murderers, but a lot do.

      I've said this already, if you believe he did some of those things... like torture and kill a dog, suck blood from a boy's arm, and talk about having a baby with his girlfriend and sacrificing it, then I don't see why it is such a stretch for him to have killed those three boys. And those stories come from evidence presented by his own defense, he must have agreed with it at one point.

      His mental history is not proof he killed those kids, it just shows he was capable of it.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • ChattyCathy

        James,I am reading up on the confessions now,just started so haven't read enough yet but I will say it got me curious when JM said he broke a liquor bottle under the bridge and then they found it? One other thing is,JM stated that Damien and Jason tied the boys up and if I remember correctly there were 2 sets of shoe strings tied the same way but the 3rd tied differently,so I wonder......If I had been on the case I'd have reached them a tennis shoe in court and had them to tie the strings? jmo

        October 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ChattyCathy

    For God's sake,Jessie asked his own atty who SATAN was? Thats one defining moment huh?
    MY HUSBANDS KILLER GOT 6 MONTHS IN CO JAIL AND IS FREE TODAY BECAUSE THE SYSTEM BOTCHED IT FOR HIS MILLIONAIRE DADDY,they told me if i wanted him in prison to never discuss the case,well geeeee,how did i know thats what they wanted? oops sorry caps,he killed him right in front of our daughter and Grandson so I buy nothing that people say anymore and especially since KC went free,Justice is money and how much money you have,Thats it! jmvho

    October 5, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ChattyCathy

    JAMES,ALL YA HAVE TO DO IS READ THE FACTS? JMHO

    October 6, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenniferrrr

      @ChattyCathy
      agreeeed ^.^

      November 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jennferrrr

      @chattykathy
      agreed ^.^

      November 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. James

    @ChattyCathy The thing is I have read many the facts, and the more I read the more I am convinced of their guilt.

    One thing that convinces me in particular is Misskelley's third confession. I'm sure you've heard the recording. Why would he insist on his guilt with his own lawyer pleading with him not to? What's more, he goes on about that Evan Williams bottle as if he's saying I'm telling the truth.

    The three also have no alibis and Echols was definitely nuts enough to hurt someone.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChattyCathy

      James,sorry but we can agree to disagree,LoL I don't buy it for a second! LoL
      We can still be pals tho right? LoL
      OMGGGGGG,I just noticed my last post in caps,wasn't yelling at you!

      October 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Evidence of guilt

    We can believe the legal evidence showing their guilt, confirmed by the vote of a unanimous jury to convict, with all of the evidence examined by both sides and debated

    or we can believe in a few one sided supporters websites, movies and books, that leave out large amounts of evidence and misrepresent the case. We have several confessions and people hearing the three brag and talk about the murders and the castration.

    Damien Wayne ECHOLS and Charles Jason Baldwin v. STATE of Arkansas CR 94-928 S.W.2d Supreme Court of Arkansas Opinion delivered December 23, 1996

    Echols admitted on cross-examination that he had delved deeply into the occult and was familiar with its practices and where various items that had been found in his room supported the State's theory of motive that the killings were done in a satanic ritual; where an expert in occult killings testified that there was significant evidence of satanic ritual killings; where a detective testified that Echols had made a statement regarding the mutilation of one of the victims that the jury could have reasonably concluded he would not have known about unless he had been involved in some manner; and where Echols's testimony contained additional evidence of guilt....

    Echols admitted on cross-examination in the penalty phase of the trial that he had an altercation with his father in which a knife was involved and the police were called; where he admitted that he was hospitalized that same day and that when his father came to the hospital, "I told him I would eat him alive"; where he admitted that he tried "to claw the eyes out" of a student; and where a psychologist who testified for Echols admitted that Echols had "an all-powerful God-like image of himself," that his parents were concerned with his satanism or devil worship, and that Echols's medical records included notations of statements by Echols pertaining, among other things, to his rage and the drinking of the blood of others....

    Where one witness testified that appellant Baldwin had told him that he had dismembered one of the boys, sucked the blood from his p_nis and scrotum, and put the testicles in his mouth, and where an expert on ritual killings stated that one of the facts that led him to believe that the killings were cult-related was that one of the victims had been castr_ted and had had the blood sucked from his penis, there was sufficient evidence of appellant Baldwin's participation in occult activities, and the trial court correctly allowed the evidence....

    October 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. kma367

    The only way the pleas would have saved Echols' life was if he was guilty and he and his attorneys new that they would not receive new trials, or relief through federal habeas. Hearing on the alleged new evidence were scheduled for December, four months after the plea. Why would they plead guilty rather wait four months and receive new trials? The supporter case for innocence is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. That is why pleas were taken, rather than proving their alleged innocence at the hearings in December, which contrary to claims of some supporters, will not go forward.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sue

      The state offered the plea BECAUSE they knew in a new trial they would be pardoned and can sue the state 60 million dollars. the prosecutor was running for office and couldnt have that embarrassment on him. As for why would they take the plea? Brcause they didnt trust that the corrupt arkansas justice system would do the right thing this time. i wouldnt either. id rather be out of prison no matter what plea.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. ChattyCathy

    Figured I'd post these,someone may need them!

    http://wm3truth.com/crime-scene-or-dump-site/

    http://www.wm3blackboard.com/forum/index.php?topic=2386.0

    http://wm3truth.com/psychological-profile-of-damien-echols/

    October 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Lots of confessions

    Misskelley’s Voluntary Third Confession Transcript – http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/jmfeb.html
    He describes the crimes in detail in front of his lawyer, implicating Echols and Baldwin.

    Misskelley confession to Kim Floresca

    http://wm3.wikia.com/wiki/Kim_Floresca

    Misskelley confession to Buddy Lucas

    http://wm3truth.com/jessie-misskelleys-confession-to-buddy-lucas-may-6-1993/

    Jessie Misskelley’s 6/3/93 confession: myths and facts

    http://wm3truth.com/jessie-misskelleys-confession-myths-and-facts/

    October 8, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • sue

      You forgot to add that his details were all INACCURATE.

      October 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Echols confessions

    Damien Echols’ confession to William Winford Jones – May 1993

    http://wm3truth.com/damien-echols-confession-to-william-winford-jones/

    Damien Echols’ confession to Ken Watkins – May 7, 1993

    http://wm3truth.com/damien-echols-confession-to-ken-watkins-may-7-1993/

    Damien Echols brags at the skating rink – May 1993

    http://wm3truth.com/damien-brags-at-the-skating-rink-may-1993/

    Damien Echols brags at the softball park – late May 1993

    http://wm3truth.com/damien-echols-brags-at-the-softball-park/

    WM3 supporters often claim that the softball girls and Donna Medford later recanted. This is false. Some supporters point to this 2007 affidavit by Donna Medford (scroll down to Exhibit RR) as a recantation. It’s not. Donna Medford in 2007 repeated and affirmed exactly what she said in June 1993 and March 1994.

    October 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Baldwin's confession

    Jason Baldwin’s confession to Michael Carson — Summer 1993
    wm3truth.com/jason-baldwins-confession-to-michael-carson

    In January 1994, sixteen-year-old Michael Carson contacted the Arkansas State Police with information. Carson and Jason Baldwin had both been held at the Craighead County Detention Center in summer 1993, and Carson claimed that Baldwin confessed to him sometime in late July or early August.

    ....However, there are good reasons to consider Michael Carson believable. By the time he came forward, Carson had been released and faced no charges. He had nothing to gain for his testimony. For what it’s worth, he passed a polygraph.

    ....Michael Carson reaffirmed his story in December 1996 and denied ever having met Johnny Preston. “That’s just something somebody has made up. They’re just trying to make me look bad so [Baldwin] can get off. I don’t go around crying about things in front of total strangers.”

    callahan.8k.com/wm3/sun_article_carson.html
    Witness Claiming Reports Are False
    Michael Carson stands by testimony
    Stan Mitchell, Arkansas Sun
    1996-12-00

    October 8, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
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  25. Jennifer

    INNOCENT !

    November 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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  27. Ms. M

    I believe these men are innocent, the only reason they plead guilty instead of waiting for trial was because Echols couldn't stand to be behind bars anymore, Jason wanted to spare Damien anymore torture. They can still clear their names, perhaps present evidence of their innocent to the Supreme Court. Right now they need to enjoy their freedom cause they deserve it!!!

    January 30, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
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  29. Warren

    Very disappointed in Piers not doing a true interview but a scripted dialogue. Echols lied about things as simple as where he lived at that time. Anyone remotely interested in this case please go to wm3truth.com,westmemphisthreefacts.com and google the youtube videos Damien Echols:hex,lies,and videotape and what paradiselost left out.

    Paradise lost 1-3 and West of Memphis (which was produced by Echols and his jailhouse wife) are propaganda films nothing less.

    Sad that Piers did no research,had he done any I sincerely hope he would not have agreed to the limitations of the softball "interview".

    February 20, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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