I know this story is close to a month old but what can you do?
Anyway, back in February, I wrote about how triple convicted child killer Damien Echols of the West Memphis 3 scribbled onto some pages and produced a book about ‘magick’. Late last month, the New York Times published an article about how Echols is taking his ‘magick’ show on the road and gave Echols’ schtick quite the glowing review. The article was written by a female journalist but the article reads more like a fangirl obsessed love letter to Echols. What is it with Echols’ ability to pull the wool over the eyes of certain female reporters? However, before we get to Echols’ latest venture, let’s get the usual fallacies out of the way.
First, the article claims there was no physical evidence connecting Echols and his band of Merry Men to the murders of 8-year-olds Christopher Byers, Michael Moore, and Stevie Branch. That is untrue as fibers that match clothes owned by Echols were found at the scene. The article also states that witnesses saw Echols somewhere else at the time of the murders but fails to mention the eyewitnesses were discredited on the stand. The article also forgets to mention that there were witnesses who placed Echols near the scene. The article then goes to claim the so-called DNA evidence supported the West Memphis 3’s innocence, except it doesn’t. If it did there would have been an arrest made instead of the three killers taking an Alford plea. And as always, for the record, an Alford plea is a guilty plea.
But back to the matter at hand. Echols will be performing ‘magick’ rituals at various places in front of paying audiences. He talks about how he witnessed angels while on death row and speaks about how his incantations helped him cope in prison. Now, he’s willing to teach his snake oil lessons to anyone willing to buy a ticket. The irony of this is that anyone who believes Echols’ is guilty of child murder is usually accused of being a fundamentalist Christian whose religion is nothing more than a fairy tale. Yet, Echols’ acolytes, or Echolytes, are willing to believe in high ‘magick’. That’s the real stuff and definitely not made up by 9th-grade dropout with the mentality of a 12-year-old goth girl.
Furthermore, it seems more and more like Echols is trying to use his poor persecuted outsider martyr status to start a very cult-like collective. I wonder how much longer it will be before he has his own compound.