This case has no winners, no happy endings and no justice. There certainly wasn’t justice served for those three children who were viciously murdered. There definitely wasn’t justice served for the families who were devastated by the loss of their children. There wasn’t justice served for the Echols, Misskelley or Baldwin families. And you can have the opinion that Damien, Jason and Jessie did this. Most people DO…at first. I did. Kristyn just did. When you watch the first movie of Paradise Lost, you might too. You see three poor kids, you see Damien Echols acting like an arrogant teenager rock star, you see the anger of the families, that Jessie Misskelley gave a confession AND the fact that all three kids were found guilty on all three charges. You look at that and say, “Well they MUST be guilty bc no reasonable person would put someone to death for a crime where there was no evidence.”
Then you watch Paradise Lost 2. Paradise Lost 2, outlines the mistakes made in the original trial, evidence originally missed (such as bite marks found on the bodies, NONE of which match the tooth impressions of the three sitting in prison), the growing movement to overturn this ruling and profiles into other avenues of suspects never pursued. I can’t get into all of it right now but I will be writing more on the subject at a later date. In the meantime, I encourage you to go to the following sites to look up information:
There are more too but everybody loves a good wiki and the wm3 site has more information than you can EVER read in a day so start with that. (Wiki has other pages regarding this too, one on each kid, one on each movie, etc.)
I just wanted to put my impressions down as to why I’m sick to my stomach for forgetting about this while these three sit in jail. I know I’m not going to single-handedly rescue these three from the fates that have been handed down to them. They have a team of people, celebrities and a worldwide movement helping them. It’s just that I saw these movies years ago and saw them as that…movies. Not people…movies. And I don’t even know why the hell I thought of Paradise Lost 1 and 2 again recently but something reminded me, we rented them from Netflix and watching these movies as an adult made me realize that it’s not enough to say, “That’s sad” and move on when I CAN do something to help. I can write blogs, I can write letters, I can send money for commissary or their legal fund, I can tell people. And why might you ask, would I want to help someone on Death Row or who is in Prison for life? Bc that could be any one of us. This is happening IN AMERICA. Three people are in prison for almost half of their lives for a crime that they are not tied to via evidence, DNA, dental impressions, etc, etc, etc. No one can place them at the scene of the crime. They all have alibis. THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE KIDS WHO WERE MURDERED. Their trials were a complete comedy of errors from start to finish. Almost everyone involved in this crime that wasn’t put behind bars has profited in one way or another whether through bribe “rewards” to job promotions, etc. Basically they were made an example out of and in a rush to get someone behind bars lots of different mistakes were made: something called “Satanic Panic” (which you can read up on and you WILL agree was huge in 1993), the bungled investigation of the local police, the leaks to the media, the big money “rewards” for tipsters in a poor community, the fact that these three boys were dirt poor and could not afford things like DNA testing or high-powered attorneys, the list goes on.
I mean Jessie Misskelley was interrogated for TWELVE HOURS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY OR PARENTS PRESENT. How can that happen?! The boy has an IQ of 72. After his trial, in an appeal to the case, his defense attorneys presented a video of them convincing him that he’d committed a robbery in his town. It took them FIFTEEN MINUTES to do it. Fifteen minutes.
Anyway, I’ll say more on this later, but I just…can’t abide this. I’m not saying we shouldn’t forget about the children and the families destroyed in these murders. That is, of course, the entire point. Even if you look at people who look different and have a problem understanding them, I’m sure you CAN look at a case that has NO material evidence, no solid leads, no witnesses, no DNA matches, no NOTHING and wonder why three people have spent half of their lives behind bars. Or at least wonder if maybe there is another explanation. I mean teenage boys don’t do ANYTHING that’s not messy. How can three teenage boys leave a crime scene so clean that it completely stumped trained police officers and investigators. I couldn’t do that.
And surely if that doesn’t grab you, how about the fact that Terry Hobbs, one of the murdered boys (Steven Branch) step fathers’ hair was found in the shoelaces that tied up the boys. OR the fact that his friend’s hair was ALSO found at the scene.
And if that doesn’t strike you as interesting, how about the fact that John Mark Byers (Christopher Byers) step dad gave the producers of Paradise Lost 1 a Christmas Present that was a used foldup hunting knife? Or that blood matching Christopher Byers AND John Mark Byers was found in the fold of the knife?
OR that John Mark Byers has a lengthy criminal and drug past. AND that he admits to being sexually abused in almost exactly the same manner as a child?
OR that Christopher Byers mother and John Mark Byers’ wife, Melissa Byers, died in a suspicious manner not long after. John, at the scene of her death said, “They’re going to try to say that I strangled her but it was an overdose.” Her cause of death remains undetermined. Traces of non-lethal amounts of various prescribed and narcotic drugs found in her system AND physical signs of suffocation with a pillow exist.
I could go on and on (obviously). Do yourself a favor and at least read up on the Wikis of this case. If you go on WM3.org, ALL of the case files, autopsy reports and criminal cases, appeals, etc are on there as well as some letters from Damien Echols on what it is like to live on Death Row. I’ll get into some of that at a later date.
But when you look at all of what I said, you STILL might want to believe they did it. Whether you do or you don’t, still do yourself a favor and rent the movies, read the Wikis and go on wm3.org just to kill some time.
The point is, if this can happen to them, it can most certainly happen to you. AND whoever killed those little boys still walks free for the past 16 years. So either way you look at it, it’s just as easy in this country for you to go to prison for something you did not do as it is for someone to kill your kids and walk off scot-free to do it again.
Oh and a similar murder was committed not far from West Memphis after the three had already been sentenced and turned themselves in. So someone is out there literally getting away with murder as Damien Echols, 34, gets closer and closer to being executed via Lethal Injection. He is only 4 years older than I am, he’s never even seen the internet and only knows about the world what he sees on TV.