Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

DNA could clear 'Satanic' triple murder teenagers
The Guardian ^ | 11/04/07 | Paul Harris

Posted on 11/04/2007 12:37:28 PM PST by 49th

The horrific crime shocked a nation. Three young boys, cub scouts, were tied up, murdered and their naked bodies dumped in a drainage ditch.

As a Deep South community bayed for justice, attention focused on a group of misfit teenagers, heavy metal fans accused of killing the children in a Satanic ritual. The case became a sensation at a time when a 'Satanic panic' over cults was gripping 1990s America. All three were found guilty. Jason Baldwin, then 16, and Jessie Misskelley, 17, got life sentences. Damien Echols, 18, was put on death row, where he remains.

Now evidence, including DNA samples, has emerged to suggest the real killers are still at large and that three innocent men have been behind bars for almost 15 years. 'No reasonable juror would convict... knowing what we know today,' said defence lawyer Dennis Riordan.

The facts were simple enough. The victims - Christopher Byers, Steve Branch and James Moore - were last seen riding their bikes on 5 May, 1993. Their bodies, tied with shoelaces, were discovered a day later near the Arkansas town of West Memphis, close to the Mississippi river. They were only a few miles from home. Police were shocked by the terrible knife wounds and signs of torture and concluded that some sort of cult ritual had occurred. Attention quickly focused on the town misfits. Under pressure, Misskelley confessed to the killings and all three were found guilty.

Now lawyers for Echols have lodged new evidence seeking to prove his innocence. The case against the West Memphis Three appears to have been more about rushed police work and hyped-up paranoia over non-existent Satanism than evidence. The suspects were just unfortunate to be social outcasts and to like rock music.

(Excerpt) Read more at observer.guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arkansas; brutal; damienechols; dna; jasonbaldwin; jessiemisskelley; misconduct; prosecutorial; publiccorruption; satanic; scouting; sick; violent

1 posted on 11/04/2007 12:37:30 PM PST by 49th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 49th

Sounds like a rehash of the evidence presented at the trial and the so-called DNA links sound bogus. The teens liked rock n’ roll, so that’s good enough for me.


2 posted on 11/04/2007 1:07:28 PM PST by Krankor (kROGER)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Krankor

Wow... If I tell you I like rap music, are you going to come after me? ;^)


3 posted on 11/04/2007 1:09:56 PM PST by 49th (this space for rent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 49th

Historically, convicting people on false criminal charges because they’re different or have unusual tastes was a staple of Southern justice.


4 posted on 11/04/2007 1:11:01 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (You can't be serious about national security unless you're serious about border security)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 49th

I saw the documentary film about the murders and watched Damien Echols admiring himself in a handmirror while waiting for the verdict. While hardly admissible as evidence, that was enough to put me in the “guilty” camp.


5 posted on 11/04/2007 1:22:47 PM PST by denydenydeny (Expel the priest and you don't inaugurate the age of reason, you get the witch doctor--Paul Johnson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Krankor

I think you’re in the wrong country.


6 posted on 11/04/2007 1:23:56 PM PST by darkangel82 (And the band played on....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Clintonfatigued

There indeed was a frenzy of “satanic” prosecutions around that time - led by a bunch of unqualified “satanism” experts (usually fundivangelist types) that were able to really control/influence local prosecutors.

There was one murder case in Texas, I believe, where they ended up arresting half the prominent citizens in town on fantastical satanic cult charges before things were finally controlled.


7 posted on 11/04/2007 1:30:33 PM PST by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Krankor
It's more likely they were killed by the folks belonging to the DNA who knew the victims than these random kids. You might be able to explain away the stepdad's DNA entangled in the knot but when you link his alibi to the crime scene as well, something's very wrong with this case.

Justice is blind, not perfect. If fatal errors of judgment were made, they should be corrected and the right parties brought to justice.

8 posted on 11/04/2007 1:30:37 PM PST by newzjunkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 49th

I certainly would.


9 posted on 11/04/2007 1:30:38 PM PST by Dreagon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: denydenydeny

I came away thinking they probably did it. That father of one of the victims is also a bizarre character and if you watch the second documentary it makes it seem like he was involved.


10 posted on 11/04/2007 1:40:07 PM PST by mthom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Krankor

Arkansas, May of 93.........alot going on during that time of Clintons first term in March, April and May of that year.


11 posted on 11/04/2007 1:46:00 PM PST by acoulterfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 49th
Marilyn Manson and Eddie Vedder of the band Pearl Jam have joined the campaign to overturn the verdicts. A film is also being made about the case. Called Devil's Knot, it is being co-produced by Clark Peterson, who made Monster, starring Charlize Theron.

That evidence is good enough for me. Hang'm. If Hollyweird is on somebody's side, then they must be guilty.

Onion Fields; Tookie; Mumia; Sadam; Osama; MadMo... the list keeps growing.

12 posted on 11/04/2007 1:46:29 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (If God didn't want a Lib hanging from every telephone pole, He wouldn't have created so much rope!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey

I seam to recall reading somewhere that the step father was a cop for West Memphis although this article does not mention that fact. Have you read much on this case and if so am I mistaken?


13 posted on 11/04/2007 1:47:21 PM PST by angelsonmyside
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: 49th
As a Deep South community bayed for justice...

I guess that's better than sitting up and begging for justice. Did they bark for joy and wag their tails when the sentences were announced? Apparently southerners are hound dogs to this author.

14 posted on 11/04/2007 1:48:19 PM PST by skr (How majestic is Thy Name, O Lord, and how mighty are Thy Works!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 49th

Typical liberal limey hit piece. The folks in the “deep south” were “braying for justice”, and the “Memphis Three” were being railroaded because they liked rock music.


15 posted on 11/04/2007 1:52:53 PM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist
There indeed was a frenzy of “satanic” prosecutions around that time - led by a bunch of unqualified “satanism” experts (usually fundivangelist types) that were able to really control/influence local prosecutors.

Hopefully this isn't a case of injustice done to some kids who happened to like dressing up like Robert Smith from The Cure. I vaguely remember seeing a documentary about this case from a few years ago that cast a lot of suspicion on the step-father of one victim.
16 posted on 11/04/2007 1:55:39 PM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: 49th

Any reasonable person looking at the evidence should know there innocent.


17 posted on 11/04/2007 2:43:21 PM PST by Iwentsouth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 49th

A couple of things have always bugged me about this case. Jesse Miskelly came from a rough family and has a IQ that borders on mental retardation. The only one of the three involved with the Wiccan relgion was Damien Echols.


18 posted on 11/04/2007 2:55:37 PM PST by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: angelsonmyside

One step Father was a police informer. He is the one who was portrayed as suspicious in the documentary. But the DNA which was found belongs to a different step Father.

Overall, there is a complete lack of physical evidence to convict anyone (IMHO) and it is probably too late now to believe that this case will ever really be solved.


19 posted on 11/04/2007 3:00:35 PM PST by JoeDetweiler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: armymarinemom

“A couple of things have always bugged me about this case. Jesse Miskelly came from a rough family and has a IQ that borders on mental retardation.”

Hardly a surprise aggresive interogation could get such a person to confess.


20 posted on 11/04/2007 3:12:35 PM PST by truth_seeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: angelsonmyside
If I remember the case correctly, the step father was not a police officer. At least not at the time. I've always thought that someone else was involved in the case (step father seemed suspicious) besides these three guys.

Damien Echols, however, is more than just a little weird. He also seemed to enjoy the attention--until he got to prison and became someone's b*tch. He's complained many times about prison rape.

21 posted on 11/04/2007 7:06:13 PM PST by TNdandelion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: skr

LOL I would also point out that technically, we are part of the Mid-South. Not the Deep South. But they are across the pond—what do they know?


22 posted on 11/04/2007 7:07:49 PM PST by TNdandelion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: 49th

We BAYED. Really.


23 posted on 11/04/2007 7:50:15 PM PST by therut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 49th
I remember the mass of "satanic" killings in the 1980s. Much like the "child molestation at day care centers" they were driven by scumbag journalists and blood thirsty morons among the masses without any regard for truth.

So, tell me, is there ANYONE out there who actually believes there was "satanism running amuck" in the 1980s? Did you REALLY believe that Ozzy and Rob Halford were telling good American kids to worship the devil and kill their classmates?

24 posted on 11/04/2007 7:54:55 PM PST by Clemenza (Rudy Giuliani, like Pesto and Seattle, belongs in the scrap heap of '90s Culture)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Krankor
“Sounds like a rehash of the evidence presented at the trial and the so-called DNA links sound bogus. The teens liked rock n’ roll, so that’s good enough for me.”

Actually, most pedophiles don’t like rock music. You sound like a better suspect than they do. Where were you when this happened?

25 posted on 11/05/2007 7:28:42 AM PST by monday
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: 49th

Har! You can tell time is running out for the one on death row - - Euro-scum death-penaly activists and lawyers are starting to crawl out of the woodwork.


26 posted on 11/05/2007 7:38:47 AM PST by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ApplegateRanch
Onion Fields; Tookie; Mumia; Sadam; Osama; MadMo... the list keeps growing.

Don't forget prison poet and author Jack Henry Abbott.

27 posted on 11/05/2007 7:43:40 AM PST by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: acoulterfan

Let’s see. Did the Clintons have any connection with West Memphis, AK ???? Did Billyboy have any ‘connections’ to West Memphis????

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2889/is_50_35/ai_59520662/pg_1


28 posted on 11/05/2007 9:32:02 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (- Attention all planets of the solar Federation--Secret plan codeword: Banana)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: monday
Actually, most pedophiles don’t like rock music. You sound like a better suspect than they do. Where were you when this happened?
Mmmmm. How come you know so much about pedophiles?
29 posted on 11/05/2007 2:47:13 PM PST by Krankor (kROGER)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson