Court documents reveal new details in the cast of the “West Memphis 3”:
Details are being reported about the much heralded DNA evidence that is supposed to exonerate the West Memphis 3 according to their misguided followers…
New DNA testing by the defense shows that none of the genetic material recovered links Echols, Baldwin, or Misskelley to the crime scene. Instead the defense claims the tests found DNA from Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the murdered boys.
Branch (I’m pretty sure that’s a typo and they meant Hobbs) told Action News 5 he didn’t do it. “I’d have to laugh at that and say there’s something wrong with someone who would think that,” he said.
Hobbs claims a private investigator from the defense team told him one of his hairs was discovered in a knot in one of the shoe laces used to tie up the three eight-year-olds.
“If Michael Moore or Christopher Byers had a piece of my hair on shoes strings, these little boys came to my home and played with our little boy pretty regularly,” Hobbs said.
The DNA results also reveal, according to court documents, that most of the DNA at the crime scene came from the victims, but some of it cannot be connected to the victims or the defendants.
So the DNA evidence I’ve been hearing so much about in the past few months is nothing more than a hair that belonged to the stepfather of one of the murdered boys. Like he said the boys were at his house all the time. I hardly think this exonerates Echols and his lackeys.
To those of you who have been blinded by biased documentaries, half-assed celebrities, and the rest of the hype this does not mean that Echols and Co. were not at the crime scene.
And Terry Hobbs is not the step-father featured in the documentaries. The toothless bastard you’re thinking of is Mark Byers.
To me, Damien Echols is the second coming of Charles Manson. Except Echols succeeded in one area where Manson failed. Echols has a legion of cult-like supporters who blindly follow his every word like it was delivered from God himself as the truth just because you saw some documentary or heard Henry Rollins talk about it. The supporters are nothing more than cultists. They just don’t realize it.
20 thoughts on “West Memphis 3 DNA evidence”
There’s a famous anecdote about a cult whose leader predicted the world was going to end on a certain date. When the world did not end on that date, she claimed that must mean that because they prayed so hard for the world, God spared its destruction. So, rather than become disillusioned at evidence against their position, they interpreted that evidence as proof that they were right all along! Otherwise, if they were wrong, would why their actions have caused God to save the world?
You seem to be following cult-logic yourself at the moment. To think that people are guilty of a crime in which DNA evidence is available on the victims, one would reasonably expect to find DNA from the killers. Here, no DNA was found from the convicted instead, a hair IN THE KNOT of the shoelace TIED BY THE KILLER was found to be from the step-father of a victim. Instead of seeing this as raising serious questions about this case — no DNA from the convicted, but DNA was from at least one other male, perhaps two males, you take this as proof that the convicted are guilty! Fortunately, not even the West Memphis police agrees with your assessment: they have formally re-opened the case.
Your piece is nothing but one logical fallacy after another. Have you heard of the “appeal to ignorance”? If not, you ought to look it up. How about “misplacing the burden of proof”? You should look up that one too if you haven’t heard of it. Yes, even if they find DNA from someone else on the victims, but none from the convicted, you will give an ad hoc justification and say, “Well, maybe the DNA got on there earlier in the day! Maybe the DNA from the convicted just washed off! That’s why it’s not there! Until you can DISPROVE my completely conjectural hypothesis, I say it’s true! They are guilty!”
The greatness of the American system, though, is that the burden of proof is on the accuser to prove that the defendant did it, not on the defendant to refute every hypothetical, unsupported conjecture an accuser can come up with. The fact that you even have to come up with these kinds of guesses as to how the step-father’s hair found its way into the KNOT TIED BY THE KILLER (you fogot to talk about that rather sigificant detail anyway, didn’t you?)shows that the case is weak. In a strong case, you don’t rely on hypotheticals like “the boys must have been at Hobbs’ house that day (after all, the step-father just said they were! An obviously unbiased source!)and one of his hairs must have fallen onto Michael’s shoe lace, and it stayed while the killer removed the shoe lace from the shoe and used it to tie Michal’s wrists or ankles together. All the while, that hair just clung and clung from hours earlier in the day, until it ended up right in the middle of the knot that the killer tied! Is that possible? Yes. Is it probable? Hardly, and certainly not enough to continue to be convinced that the convicted are guilty without re-examining this case. Did I mention that there was no DNA found from the convicted? Because you conveniently did not address that part instead you just compared Damien to Charles Manson and insulted people — real reasonable.
And let’s not forget one of the original problems of the case to begin with: if the victims were brutally attacked in the woods as part of a satanic sacrifice, where is the blood? There’s no blood — nowhere. That means that it all must have just washed away somehow! Probabilty of that? Laughably small. Probability of that site merely being a dumping ground for the injured and brutalized bodies? Based upon the history of previous murder cases, very much higher — even the police believed this until they had to revise this to make the satanic-ritual-in-the-woods theory work.
But the theory never worked, as there were only words to convict the three, no physical evidence or forensic evidence at all. But for you, apparently, the lack of physical evidence is simply proof that they actually did do it. Cult-logic.
You’re reasoning is just as bad as the people who think OJ was framed: “since we cannot prove that Furhman did not plant the glove behind OJ’s house, then he must have done it! Sure we have no evidence that he actually did plant the glove, but it just makes sense: he was a racist cop who told others that he planted evidence in other cases, and so we can just assume that he did the same thing here! Who needs specific, hard evidence to accuse somebody of doing something horrible? Mark Furhman is a horible person, so therefore he must be guilty of everything they say, even if we have no concrete evidence.” We cannot prove that Damien was in the woods that night, but since we cannot prove that Damien was not where he said he was that evening, then he must be lying! After all, he is a horrible person, and if others accuse him of things, then we should just believe it and not ask for any physical evidence to support the accusation. He’s a horrible person, so he must be guilty of any crime he’s accused of.
Is it just a hair? No, actually there’s a lot more DNA than that — that’s just the only fact so far that has come out from the defense and confirmed by the prosecution. But for the sake of argumet, let’s just say, sure, it’s just only a hair. That’s hardly enough to convict the man, right? Well, just keep in mind that this is more physical evidence than what they have against the 3 convicted put together! So if you think one hair is too little physical evidence to make a case, then you should be appalled at the lack of physical evidence against the 3 convicted.
Excellent rebuttal, Mr. (Ms.?) Fish. I had the same bad reaction to this piece that you did, but do not have such a firm grasp on the case details. Trench’s knee-jerk, political hatred of all things associated with Hollywood has blinded him on this one, and he deserved to be called out on it. Good job.
Not that I don’t admire the work you do here, Trench, because I truly do, but comparing Echols to Manson is just plain wrong. Manson was a 33 year old violent career criminal, Echols an 18 year old slacker with a prior shoplifting conviction. Like all of our best predators, Manson was forged in foster homes and in the state juvenile justice system, Echols had a comparatively blissful suburban childhood. This comparison is outrageous and betrays your deep bias in this case.
Thank you for your comments. Actually I think my comparison to Manson is a valid one. A charismatic leader with weak mindless lackeys. The only differences were age and body count.
Probably a more accurate comparison would be Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. A group of suburban outcasts who felt it necessary to take their revenge out on the innocent.
My bias in this case may be deep but they are in most cases. Not only that but I was once actually a WM3 supporter. However after dealing with teen related crimes over the past 7 years I’ve developed a different outlook on this particular case.
I know this is old but I completely agree with you. I also agree with your comparison to Manson in that they both have people that blindly follow them. I also think it’s plausible that the hair was already on him from playing at his friends house.
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Lorilyn, there’s nothing I like more than when someone comments on an older post.
Another comparison that I’ve been making in more recent years is that between Echols and David Koresh.
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regardless of how the facts are portrayed – in a documentary that some people like to shout about as being biased towards the wm3 – they are still facts. there is no evidence linking any of the 3 men sitting in prison to the murders of the 3 children found in that ditch, yet there they sit, still in prison after 14 years. echols is on DEATH ROW, convicted of a crime that nobody could prove he committed. satanic panic, a coerced confession (with embarrassingly laughable discrepancies) from a scared, exhausted young man with an IQ of 72 and the perjurious testimony of a little girl who said she overheard echols confessing (which was subsequently retracted when she admitted to having fabricate the entire story) is what landed these three men in prison.
i am not a cultist for supporting the wm3 i would think that the better argument would be to say that YOU are the cultist for jumping so mightily on the “THEY DID IT” bandwagon with all the other backwoods, hillbilly wackjobs who think they did it based solely on the “evidence” that got them convicted. i am a person who thinks that people still deserve a fair trial in the united states and they are considered innocent until proven guilty. the wm3 did NOT recieve a fair trial and they were by no means PROVEN guilty they were convicted without being proven guilty and _told_ they were guilty. there is no correlation between the two if the burden of proof is not sufficiently met beyond the shadow of a doubt. the burdon of proof was not met. it could NOT be met, because there WAS no proof.
as far as the comparison to charles manson, or even harris and klebold – you’re out of your mind if you really feel that echols is in any way similar to these figures. i don’t care if you were a wm3 supporter and something about teenagers changed your mind you’re generalizing as well as making rediculous comparisons. “the only differences were age and body count”? really? you’re horribly misinformed and clearly somewhat delusional.
i’d like to know what DNA evidence YOU’RE holding on to that would once and for all prove that these three men, without a shadow of a doubt, committed these brutal crimes show me and i’ll believe they’re guilty. until that time, i’m sticking to theory that they’re NOT GUILTY because there was NO evidence. some backwoods cracker of a judge saying they’re guilty doesn’t make up for the fact that he did so with ZERO evidence. it just shows that fear and hatred and ignorance goes a long way in an american courtroom, especially if the accused are in any way at a financial disadvantage.
Actually…Green fibers microscopically similar to a shirt found in Echols’ home and red fibers microscopically similar with a bath robe found in Baldwin’s home were found on the victims.
The defense retested the fibers in 2012 and claim they do not match. However, the people who retested the evidence were paid by the defense, the fibers have decayed over the years and
are now of poor quality, and the original criminalist who examined them has died and cannot defend attacks against her original findings. What appeared to be blue candle wax was found on a book (called Never on a Broomstick) in Echols’
bedroom. A small blue candle was also found on a table in Domini Teer’s bedroom. (Domini Teer was Echols’ girlfriend at the time). Why is this important? Because blue candle wax was found on the shirt of victim Stevie Branch. It was never proven that the waxes matched, but this strange coincidence was mentioned in the prosecution’s closing argument. A knife was found submerged blade down in the pond directly behind Jason Baldwin’s home. Damien’s ex-girlfriend, Deanna Holcomb, testified that the knife was similar to a knife that belonged to Damien. She said Damien’s knife was unique because it had a compass on the end. During the trial, a knife distributor testified that the lake knife had a missing compass. Year after the trials, a veteran West Memphis Three case researcher revisited what had been described as a human bite mark on Stevie Branch’s forehead. The researcher had two forensics experts compare the wound to the missing compass slot on the handle of the lake knife. The forensics experts found that the round slot where the compass had been matched the wound on Branch’s forehead. In addition, the “X” mark in the center of Branch’s forehead wound was similar to the peg in the hole where the compass had been.
The Bloody Necklace
Though never presented to the jury, a necklace belonging to Damien Echols had blood from two DNA sources on it. One source was consistent with his own blood. The second source was consistent with the blood of both victim Stevie Branch and co-defendant Jason Baldwin. The bloody necklace was discovered late in the trial. It was not presented to the jury because doing so would have caused a continuance to give the defence an opportunity to prepare a response. Three Knots The victims were tied with three distinct knots. This pointed to three killers involved in the murders. In the Paradise Lost documentaries you will hear people say that “no blood was found at the crime scene.” Many people have used that to theorize that the murders took place somewhere else and the bodies were later dumped in the ditch (an idea sometimes referred to as “The Man Hole Theory”). It’s a tactic used by the WM3 defense team to attempt to frame “alternative suspects” such as Terry Hobbs. The fact is, Luminol testing in May 1993 revealed significant amounts of blood at the crime scene. Luminol is a chemical that glows when it is exposed to blood, but it was not admissible in court in 1994. The blood revealed by the Luminol clearly shows that the murders occurred exactly where Jessie Misskelley said they did. As one law enforcement official described it, the crime scene “lit up like a Christmas tree” when Luminol was applied. Eyewitnesses also played a role. One of the centerpieces of the case involved the Hollingsworth family who knew Damien and claimed to see him walking near the crime scene, covered in mud, on the night of the murders. The witnesses claim that he was walking with his girlfriend Domini Teer. (Domini would later become the teen mother of Damien’s only child, Seth, who was born shortly after Damien’s arrest). The witnesses were actually relatives of Domini and knew Damien and Domini well. Prosecutors made a convincing argument that Jason Baldwin and Domini had a similar build and hairstyle at the time of the murders and could have been easily confused for one another in the dark. Regardless of who was with Damien, the Hollingsworth family was adamant that they saw Damien walking with someone near the crime scene on the night of the murders. There is no record that that Hollingsworth family has ever recanted this story.
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I agree. Everything you wrote is fact and people still don’t believe it but they’ll blindly believe in their innocence.
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i would think that the better argument would be to say that YOU are the cultist for jumping so mightily on the “THEY DID IT” bandwagon with all the other backwoods, hillbilly wackjobs who think they did it based solely on the “evidence” that got them convicted.
Hatred and ignorance is a two way street.
You just have to love criminals and those who support them.
come on trench, is that the best you’ve got? apparently, it is. there is no evidence, so you don’t have that. there is no DNA, so you don’t have that, either… so hysteria and satanic panic is the route you choose to take, just like all the other lemmings who followed when the prosecutors made their declarations that these three MUST have done it because, well, they wore black and listened to metallica and read anne rice and stephen king novels. god save us all, we’re living in a society where about 80 out of 100 people must be murderers as well if that’s the criteria. i hope nobody drops dead in my neighborhood, because i wear black, i listen to metallica and goodness knows, i read stephen king novels.
where’s the substance? where’s the proof? if you’re going to write something in a reply about “hatred and ignorance”, maybe you should have a better grasp on their definitions because you come off as a hypocrite when pointing fingers at others. i’ll admit i have some hatred, specifically towards those in power who have allowed three *INNOCENT* men to rot in prison for the last 14 years for crimes it was never proven that they committed (and still can’t be proven, incidently), and others who spread and spew their fear-driven bilious vitriol about three people they know nothing about, especially when they have CLEARLY done less research than they’d like others to believe.
but i’m _far_ from ignorant.
and zappacrappa, if i were supporting a criminal, i’d have been writing about the murderers. i wasn’t. in case you missed it, i was writing about damian echols, jessie misskelly and jason baldwin. there’s no proof *whatsoever* that they’re murders – or even criminals. the state of arkansas, and more specifically west memphis just seems to want to run the show their own way instead of subscribing to the notion that the sixth amendment applies to ALL citizens, even the wm3. they sure as hell didn’t recieve a sixth amendment-guaranteed fair trial.
i’m still waiting for an intelligent reply a reply that might have factual basis to it. if you want people to know “the truth” as you seem to think of it, then present something that might change their minds. so far, you’ve got nothing. enough with the mob mentality just present something factual.
Tried…convicted….how’s that for a fact. 😛
I’m such a smartass sometimes…heh heh
tried…convicted…_WITH NO EVIDENCE_.
how’s that for a fact? and FACT it is.
i don’t know that i’d use the word “smart”, but the rest of the descriptor seems about accurate.
now… if only someone would present some EVIDENCE to support their theories that these men actually committed these murders.
i’m suspicious of people who support a legal system that would try and convict not just one but THREE people based on nothing more than ignorance, fear and mob mentality – and unbelievably, sentence one of those men to death for crimes that were NEVER proven to have been committed by them.
WAKE UP. THERE IS _NO EVIDENCE_.
As far as the evidence goes let me quote an old [url=http://crime-spree.blogspot.com/2005/04/why-i-think-west-memphis-3-are-guilty.html]friend of mine[/url]…
Circumstantial Evidence is Okay
Hard evidence, like a videotape of the crime being committed, is like a prefab house that the prosecutors can just move into right away. Circumstantial evidence is a brick. Sure, you can point at a brick and yell, “That’s not a house,” and you’d be right on, Braniac. But you can still build a house with bricks. Let’s lay some, shall we:
Jessie Misskelley’s many confessions
Damien’s pre-arrest hinting that he’d been involved in the murder
The girls who testified that they heard Damien confess
Jason Baldwin’s jailhouse confession
Damien’s mental illness
Secondary fiber evidence
Two types of blood on Damien’s necklace
Jessie’s weeping spells right after the murders
The knife found behind Baldwin’s house
That’s a big pile of bricks. While you might be able to destroy a few of them (I find Baldwin’s “jailhouse confession” to be a little suspect myself), there’s still a lot of evidence pointing to the trio. This is where Occam’s Razor comes into play. You can choose to believe all this evidence is the result of perjurers, corrupt evidence-planting cops, incompetent judges, yokels too dumb to think for themselves, cruel interrogators, coincidence and prejudice. Or you can believe that the West Memphis 3 are guilty. Remember, don’t make assumptions you don’t have to make.
And let’s not forget that I don’t have to prove that Echols and Co. committed the murders. The prosecution already did that and a jury convicted them. The onus is on your group of sheep to prove that they didn’t do it.
And don’t preach to me about wearing black and listening to metal. I was wearing black and listening to metal probably before you were a stain in your daddy’s underwear. I know all about the trials and tribulations of a metalhead in an overtly Christian community. The thing is neither I nor any of my metalhead friends ever killed anybody.
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That’s a big pile of something, but it isn’t bricks. In the earliest police report about the case, investigators wrote that the lack of physical evidence at the scene leads them to believe that this is not the scene where the victims were brutalized, but is instead a disposal site. Based upon nothing specific about the crime or the site itself, however, certain officers concluded that this was the work of Satanists. (Of course, the very nature of the crime itself seems like pure evil – who would brutalize and kill three innocent children except for someone who was completely evil? Then again we know from crime statistics that family members and acquaintances harm and kill children more than anyone else, certainly more than alleged baby-sacrificing Satanic cult groups out there in the woods that no one can actually seem to find. Those Satanists in West Memphis are rather lazy when you think about it – just one crime and they’re all done! Where did all the other members of this murderous group disappear to? They’ve just vanished – almost like they never really existed at all!) On day one, detectives assigned this case number 93-05-0666, changing it from what was actually the next report number: 93-05-0555.
Damien became an immediate suspect not because of any known link between him and the crime, but because a local juvenile probation officer gave police a list of 10 teenagers he personally thought were Satanists – and Damien was at the top of the list. Mental health professionals didn’t share the conclusion about Damien’s Satanism, though they just saw a severely depressed and emotionally disturbed teen who came from a terribly dysfunctional household. He had mental problems. But that doesn’t make someone a murderer. He had no prior history of any violence at all (though he did make threats of violence in fits of rage to his ex-girlfriend and to his father). But if you insist that this is crucial information, fine, but the most you can say, though, is that this could make him an initial suspect – someone worth checking out. Two days after the victims were found, Damien and Jason – why Jason? Because he was Damien’s best friend — began to be questioned by the police, and they voluntarily cooperated 100%, going to the station to be interviewed without lawyers or parents repeatedly, even, in Damien’s case, having his room searched and his personal notebooks taken. After a month of having complete access to our young bloodthirsty Satanists, investigators had zero. But they also had zero on any other leads either, so they kept at it.
Enter the mentally retarded boy. With nothing else to go on, investigators began to ask other teenagers what they knew about Damien and Jason. They asked one teen, Jessie Misskelly, to come to the station, and he voluntarily agreed, stopping on the way even to get his father’s signed permission to do so. He was NOT a suspect when he was brought in. After hours and hours of interrogating this boy, who had an IQ level of someone who is mentally retarded, they not only got him to tell a story about how Damien and Jason committed the crime, but they eventually got him to implicate himself too! What a stroke of fantastic luck: someone you didn’t even think was a suspect at all ends of confessing that he did it! But the confession was riddled with laughably inaccurate details and gave no new accurate details at all.
Who falsely confesses? The most susceptible people are minors and people with mental handicaps. Jessie was both. Do people actually make false confessions? Yes – of the 205 people whose convictions have been overturned since 1989 due to new DNA technology that proves their innocence, 16% of those innocent people had made false confessions, and 2/3 of those people were either minors or mentally retarded. Put them both together, and you get Jessie Misskelly. A trained interrogator who knows how to ratchet up the psychological pressure and the nerves on a suspect, over hours and hours, can sometimes break down the defenses a guilty person, but he can also break down innocent kids and retarded people too.
And this “confession” of the mentally handicapped teenager who voluntarily agreed to be questioned with no help or parents present or legal representation at all is the sole, single, only, piece of evidence they had when they arrested all 3 teens and charged them all with capital murder. All the other stuff you mentioned, all of it dubious, doesn’t appear until much later. Jessie was tried first by himself, and his confession statement was the only evidence against him. Nothing else you mentioned was presented at Jessie’s trial. The jury convicted him because he confessed, and because the average person who isn’t informed about these things has no idea of the prevalence of false confessions and simply cannot believe that anyone would ever do something like that. I wouldn’t. You wouldn’t. But our IQs are dozens of points higher than this kid’s was, and we know the consequences of making a statement like that, and we don’t believe like these people do: that they can straighten it out later after they only get out from under all this vertigo-inducing pressure.
After he was convicted, he made another confession statement in preparation for making a deal with prosecutors to have his life + 40 years prison sentence reduced to only 40 years. But then he backtracked yet again, and he did not take the deal, and he recanted again. And now he sits with his life + 40 years sentence.
The evidence against Jason? Two things. A jailhouse snitch claimed that Jason confessed to him. (Actually, 4 jailhouse snitches came forward in this case eager to testify on the stand in the hopes that the prosecution might offer them a deal, but 3 of them were too un-informed to be even close to believable.) The snitch came from out of nowhere, right in the middle of the trial, six months after he could have met Jason in prison. Oh, of those 205 people freed by DNA? 18% of those were convicted because of informants like this jailbird. And yes, there’s the knife found in the lake of the trailer park where Jason lived. When was this knife found again? Five months after the crime. The knife in no way can be connected to Jason or anyone else, except that it was a knife in the lake five months after the crime. And, believe it or not, but it only took one hour – for one diver – to find the knife in the lake! Wow, they wait five months to search the lake, and then on a whim they decide to give it a shot, and they miraculously find the murder weapon with hardly any time or effort at all! These guys should have run to Vegas immediately after — if they found the knife that was used in that crime five months earlier, their luck is tremendous. Now, you’d think they’d continue searching the lake after this find, right? What else might the Satanists have thrown in there? But for some reason, they just packed up after finding the knife.
What do we have against Damien besides his love for Metallica song lyrics and his interests in Wicca and all things goth? He had a necklace with his blood on it and the blood of another person. He said it was Jason’s blood – they were best friends. No good DNA tests back then, but the blood-type test did show that it was the same type as Jason’s and one of the victims and about 11% of the American population. The prosecution did not even introduce this as evidence. Then we have a little girl who said she was walking by one day and heard Damien say he did it, right there in broad daylight at a softball game. The little girl says she heard no other statement – just that single, solitary statement overheard as she walked by. More shockingly amazing luck! And then finally, one more kid, a young teenager, who said she overheard Damien tell a group of people that he did it. No one else in the group apparently gave a damn though, since no one else came forward in fact, we don’t know who was in that crowd at all, since the girl said she could only identify one other person: Jason. Keep in mind that these young girls came forward AFTER Damien and Jason had already been charged, not before. Their claims had nothing to do with their arrests or charges, though no doubt they did impact the jury. The number one cause for wrongful convictions? 79% are due to faulty eyewitnesses. Here, we don’t even have that – we have ear-witnesses! Children who happened to walking by when they overheard a snippet of conversation in which Damien was confessing right there in public!
My favorite so-called evidence, though, are the fibers. A few pieces of clothes fibers were found on the victims. This can often-times be good evidence, if the fibers are unique in some way, though no one can ever say that a particular thread came from a particular item of clothing. A blue denim fiber is worthless since everyone has blue jeans, but maybe a rare type of fabric or color dye could help, if we can find matching clothes in the criminals’ closet. But these fibers were run-of-the-mill, mass produced fibers that probably could have been found in almost anyone’s home in this area. Investigators, had they been diligent, should have first checked the victims’ own homes to look for possible matches – but then again, why do that: you might find the match and ruin your case that is already hanging by these few threads! So they only searched in the defendant’s homes, and they could not find any clothes from the defendants that could possibly be a match. But Damiens’ sister had a shirt that might match, and Jason’s mom had a bathrobe that was red and cotton, like one of the fibers. So, these incredible travelling fibers made their way from the killers’ relatives clothes, onto the killers’ clothes, and while the killers were killing the kids in the stream, the fibers then landed on the victims during the crime.
Add it all up, and this is pathetically weak. The prosecution was thereby forced to do the same thing OJ’s lawyers did, they did their best to NOT talk about physical evidence and decided to build their case around something emotionally inflammatory. OJ’s lawyers succeeded in getting the jury to not focus on the mountain of evidence against him by instead talking about the racism and corruption of the LAPD – and the jury fell for it. These prosecutors succeeded in getting the jury to not focus on their utter lack of evidence by instead talking only of demons and witches and baby-sacrifices – and the jury fell for it.
And now, finally, we have one single, solitary piece of physical evidence: a hair from a step-father in the knot that bound one victim’s extremities. That’s not much. The kids played at the man’s house a lot – though he was not around the children on the day they were murdered (unless, of course, he murdered them). And it wasn’t just on their clothes – it was in the knot tied by the hands of the killer. Accuse him on that alone? No. But that is certainly more incriminating than any so-called evidence against the three convicted.
Very sorry for such a long post, and I don’t have anything personal against you at all I just think that you are basing your judgment on the wrong things this time. On this particular case for some reason, you seem to prefer hurling insults at people rather than engaging in deliberate analysis.
let me clear a few things upright out of the chute.
i don’t care about your “old friends”, or what they have to say. they’re spouting the same herd-mentality rhetoric that you are, so that’s not a good argument. unless the quote “circumstantial evidence is okay” came from the mouth of a member of the supreme court in direct relation to this case, it’s useless information and nothing more than an opinion. since, in the context you’re presenting it, it comes from an insignificant nobody, that’s what it is: an insignificant opinion.
here’s what the encyclopedia says about “circumstantial evidence”: _“circumstantial evidence is not considered to be proof that something happened but it is often useful as a guide for further investigation.”_ you and i both know that that “further investigation” never occurred. so you’re willing to concede that this case is based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence because you think it’s “okay”? that’s weak.
weak also is the fact that, based on NOTHING, you have decided I’m a child many years your junior and not qualified to speak about such things as wearing black and listening to metal, not to mention the trials and tribulations of a metal head and growing up in an overtly Christian community.
i’ve done my homework – surprise! your bio lists you as 38 years old. i’m willing to give a couple of years in the instance that it hasn’t been updated recently. at any rate, you and i are roughly the same age. we’re definitely of the same generation. I’m 36 years old and i grew up in TEXAS, so don’t preach to me about being a stain on my daddy’s underwear when you were out banging your head in the bible belt. that argument doesn’t hold any water, either. but then again, i should expect no less from someone who takes assumptions and tries to spin them into facts to suit their agenda, such as “based on ‘evidence’ the wm3 are guilty of murder.”
now, on to the other hot mess.
mr. fish couldn’t have said it any better when he said “That’s a big pile of something, but it isn’t bricks.” it doesn’t smell like bricks, either.
i’ll take this line by line.
_Jessie Misskelley’s many confessions_ – COERCED. hours of “confession” that was unrecorded and cannot be substantiated. and lest we forget, his confessions DIDN’T JIVE WITH THE CRIME SCENE OR THE ACTUAL, FORENSIC SEQUENCE OF EVENTS. there was no sodomy. there was no rope. interrogators had to spoon-feed the time of day to him to get the “confession” they needed .i would urge you to read his confession again. left to his own devices, misskelly placed them raping the boys, then tying them up with thick rope in the MORNING. i’ll repeat: COERCED.
_Damien’s pre-arrest hinting that he’d been involved in the murder_ – hinting? he was BLINDSIDED. you obviously don’t have a clue about murder investigations or interrogation tactics, otherwise you’d never have included this amongst your list of “evidence”. i spent 9 years of my life as a interrogation & confession witness at a police department in dallas county as a non-commissioned member of the police department. so I DO have some idea, and a pretty good idea at that.iI’m not claiming to have ever interrogated anyone myself, but i was present on countless occasions to witness both sides of an interrogation and confession and record not only my signature as a witness, but also to make notation of the reaction of the accused as well as the questions from the interrogator and testify to these facts in court. “pre-arrest hinting” is a term that any intelligent member of law enforcement would not only LAUGH at, they’d also recognize it as complete conjecture in a court of law and as such, wouldn’t even consider using it as part of the prosecution unless they had NO OTHER legal legs to stand on, and even then would be hesitant to use such fluff.
_The girls who testified that they heard Damien confess_ – SHE RETRACTED HER OWN STATEMENT AS COMPLETELY FALSE. she said it herself. honestly, I’m surprised that you even included this little fabricated nugget in your laundry list. smells like desperation.
_Jason Baldwin’s jailhouse confession_ – the credibility of michael carson as a witness, to whom jason baldwin supposedly “confessed” was in question even before this “revelation”. in fact, a juvenile detention counselor wouldn’t even corroborate his statements as a) it could never be proven that jason and michael were ever even in the same vicinity of the detention center to allow for this intimate confession, and b) his credibility was just too questionable. chalk this up to around the same caliber as “the girls who testified that they heard damien confess”. funny though, the honorable and completely unbiased (note: laying the sarcasm on pretty thick) judge burnett wouldn’t allow the testimony by the juvenile detention counselor rebutting michael carson’s statement because he felt it would “violate carson’s right to patient-counselor confidentiality.” also, it might have made the confession sound fabricated during the trial. and imagine that!
_Damien’s mental illness_ – he was institutionalized for a time due to mental illness. the social security administration declared him 100% disabled due to this illness. that doesn’t make him a murderer, or even a satanist. he wasn’t criminally insane, he wasn’t psychotic, he wasn’t homicidal. he was depressed and terribly so, and deemed possibly dangerous ONLY to himself while he was hospitalized. he had never exhibited any violent behavior save for some threats against family, but that was all, and again it was only a threat, not a violent act. not enough to convict him as a satan-worshipping ritualistic mass murderer.
_Secondary fiber evidence_ – found to be “microscopically similar”, and that is where that “evidence” comes to a screeching halt. I have some levi’s in my closet. if you do too, then we have microscopically similar fibers. not exactly what I’d call a case breaker. as mara leveritt stated, this microscopically similar fiber evidence was “the sum total of the physical evidence that was presented against the teenagers at their trials.”
_Two types of blood on Damien’s necklace_ – also: a screeching halt. it was never connected with any of the 3 murder victims and is another good example of scraping the bottom of the barrel when the chain of “evidence” started to show signs of weak, crumbling links.
_Shaky alibis_ – please. that’s an insult to the intelligence of rational, thinking people everywhere. i’m not even going to address that other than to say that the police investigators could never even put any of the three in those woods. period.
_Jessie’s weeping spells right after the murders_ – again with the scraping the bottom of the barrel. conjecture and nothing more.
_The knife found behind Baldwin’s house_ – never proven to be the murder weapon, nor was it determined how long it had been in that lake behind their trailer. it’s also important to note that the lake behind jason’s trailer wasn’t the family’s own personal body of water. it was a lake in the center of a trailer park, accessible by all residents of said trailer park. the knife was a mass-produced hunting knife, and if it HAD been the murder weapon, there’s nothing to tie any of the wm3 with having thrown it in the water in the first place. the serrated edge on the knife was “consistent” with the wound patterns on the victims, but it was never PROVEN that this, without a doubt, was the murder weapon. which takes us back to your favorite crime-solver absolute, circumstantial evidence. if your neighbor killed somebody and wanted it to be pinned on you, he might just plant the murder weapon in your backyard. that doesn’t mean that you killed anybody, although by your theories i suppose it does. i would hope, for your sake, that you get a jury of 9 people that were less susceptible to the fabrications of prosecutors on a witch hunt with nothing more than circumstantial evidence to put you away for the rest of your life. from the case archives: police divers searched only a fraction of the large lake in the center of lakeshore estates trailer park used by residents as a spot to fish and equally, it seems, based upon state police diver joel mullins descriptions in court, as a handy place to discard such unwanted items as “rotted tennis shoes, beer cans, broken glass, old mattress, mattress springs that rotted out, lawn chairs, uh – it seemed like an old table, uh – metal sheeting, uh – a bowling ball . . .”
your statement “let’s not forget that i don’t have to prove that echols and co. committed the murders. The prosecution already did that and a jury convicted them”. _WRONG_. the prosecutors didn’t prove anything at all about anybody committing any murders the were able to bamboozle, without direct evidence, 9 people in a jury box into thinking echols & co. were the right scapegoats for this heinous act.
and my “group of sheep”? wrong again. we’re not blindly following anybody those of us that believe the wm3 are innocent are the ones with their eyes open trying to change the public view and the fate of three wrongly accused and convicted innocent men by bringing to light information that somehow seems to have been grossly, blatantly overlooked by members of law enforcement from the local police in west memphis all the way up to the justice on the bench who all can’t seem to swallow their precious pride and admit they were sloppy and desperate, and WRONG. your group of “sheep” are the ones being led by the same old “they did it cause a jury said so” shepherd, basing their judgment on nothing, as i believe i have abundantly laid out. i’m fully aware of where the onus lies – otherwise i’d roll over and shut up about it. that’s not going to happen until the wm3 are released from prison for the crimes they were convicted of but DID NOT COMMIT.
any rationally thinking person with an ounce of common sense can see that the west memphis police department was desperate to hang this crime on SOMEONE. this common sense is bolstered not by having viewed the documentaries alone, not by having read “devil’s knot” alone, or any other cinematic or literary source that might be available – but by having researched the reports, the files, the evidence (or glaring lack thereof), the witness statements, the court records and trial transcripts, and by just putting two and two together and realizing that the numbers… don’t… add… up. this police agency knew it wouldn’t be long before the villagers stormed the castle with torches and pitchforks, and they had to dig up a monster. who better to pose as your monster than these three social outcasts, mental defectives, and SATAN WORSHIPPERS. for pity’s sake, damian’s name was hand-picked off of a list of 10 local “troubled” area youths whom a social worker deemed to have possibly been involved in Satanism based on his clearly vast knowledge of the occult. it has been speculated that damian was most likely the name picked from that list due to the fact that he had been hospitalized for mental illness in the past, a fact that the local law enforcement youth officers were aware of.
face the facts: you’ve got nothing more to go on than the fact that a jury of 9 ordinary, run-of-the-mill people decided “they’re guilty” after having been presented with no evidence to support their guilt. oh sorry – I forgot: they convicted them of CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, but with a lack of any DIRECT evidence. perhaps this direct evidence they’re lacking was the evidence they “misplaced”…
or perhaps the evidence they misplaced would be the evidence that would have unequivocally proven, once and for all, that the wm3 were innocent of any guilt, and pointed the finger at the person or persons who actually committed the murders.
I think that everyone should just relax and dont listen to these idiots, there only reasoning is to rile up all of us reasonable, fact believing people. Facts are facts, and the latest news is so great, that Id rather focus on the positive side and look forward to the day when Damien Jessie and Jason are freed. Lets just leave it up to the EXPERTS. 🙂
I hate Damien Echols and I hope he dies. He is a piece of shit trash hillbilly and he lied.
And? Byers lied too. Do you hate him? Do you wish death on him? ?