Billy Sinclair on the Alternative Suspects

August 24, 2011

Yesterday I linked to a new article by Billy Sinclair on the WM3 plea/release deal.

Since then I’ve read through Sinclair’s previous writing on the case (all linked in the first paragraph of his new article). He’s a joy to read. Sinclair has a highly refined bullshit detector regarding claims made by both state officials and accused criminals.

His March 2010 article “West Memphis Three on 48 Hours” featured this excellent debunking of the pro-WM3 movement’s dishonest and cruel targetting of alternative suspects.

In their zeal to establish the innocence of the West Memphis Three, supporters for the trio have been shockingly irresponsible in pointing the finger of blame at other people as the probable killers of the three boys. First, there was the possible African-American man who was seen by employees of a local Bojangles’ restaurant on the evening of the crime at the restaurant. The restaurant was located near the bayou in Robin Hood Hills where the bodies of the three boys were found. The black man was reportedly dazed, covered with blood and mud, and went into the ladies restroom. The employees called the police who responded to the call but did not fuly check out the information. The following day the restaurant’s manager called the police a second time when the bodies of the young boys were found, operating on the premise there may be a connection between the two events. This time the police took blood scrapings from the walls of the restaurant’s restroom but it was later carelessly lost or deliberately destroyed. No one knows for sure.

Supporters for the West Memphis Three labeled the bloody African-American man as “Mr. Bojangles”—a moniker reminiscent of the Old South. Contrary to what some of the West Memphis Three supporters believe, I don’t think the local police deliberately destroyed the “Mr. Bojangles” evidence just so they could convict three local white teenagers for this unspeakable crime. If the police even remotely believed the mysterious black Mr. Bojangles was connected with the murder of three white kids, they would have devoted every law enforcement resource in the State of Arkansas to make a case against him (or any black man they could ‘frame” as him).

The next person who became a target of the West Memphis Three supporters’ “red-herring” blame game was Mark Byers, the step-father of Chris Byers. Police took some photographs of the boys’ bodies shortly after they were found. One of these photos indicated a “bite mark” was left on at least one of the victims. This was the conclusion drawn by HBO’s second documentary, Paradise Lost 2. The fact that Mark Byers had all his teeth extracted and replaced with dentures after the murders was enough “evidence” for some of the West Memphis Three supporters to conclude he was either the killer or somehow connected to the murders. And the fact that Mark Byers gave the HBO producers of the first Paradise Lost documentary a pocket knife which was discovered to have a speck of blood on it added to the clamor of his guilt, even though test results on the blood proved inconclusive. And the fact that Byers has some “garden variety” violent episodes in his past (accusations by a former wife that he assaulted her, for example), which are woven into the cultural fabric of the South, added fuel to those who believed he was involved in the murders. It didn’t matter that Byers eventually took and passed a polygraph examination which cleared him of any involvement in the horrible crime, or that he was eliminated as the source of subsequent DNA evidence discovered at the crime scene—some still believe he did it.

And, finally, the West Memphis Three supporters, including the mother of one of the victims (Stevie Branch) pointed the guilt finger at Terry Hobbs. Pam Branch is now estranged from her former husband, Terry Hobbs, and there has been a lot of animosity associated with their estrangement. The basis for the guilt finger being pointed at Hobbs is a strand of hair found in the ligature which bound Michael Moore and proved to be consistent with Hobbs’ hair and another strand of hair found nearby which proved to be consistent with the hair of a friend of Hobbs, David Jacoby. This was enough to make the local police some fourteen years after the crime question Hobbs about the crime and later declared he was not a suspect. Still, Stevie’s mother has concerns about Hobbs’ involvement because after the murders she found a pocketknife belonging to her son in Hobbs’ personal belongings—a knife the boy carried with him everywhere. Hobbs recently told CBS’ 48 Hours host Erin Moriarty that he took the knife from Stevie before the crime because he didn’t want an 8-year-old walking around with it.

Based on what I have read and viewed about the West Memphis Three murders, particularly the latest 48 Hours program, I do not believe one person committed the crime. It would be hard for one person to corral three 8-year-olds and slaughter them with a knife or a blunt instrument and hogtie them in the manner they were found. It’s possible but not likely. That certainly eliminates the “dazed and crazed” Mr. Bojangles who was so messed up he couldn’t even control his own bowel movements. And I don’t believe the step-fathers did it either. Just because Mark Byers got his teeth pulled and replaced with dentures after the murders and may have slapped a former wife certainly does not translate into enough evidence to even suspect he slaughtered three innocent children, one of whom was his own stepson. And Terry Hobbs didn’t do it—and for anyone to believe the two strands of hair found at the crime scene which are consistent with Hobbs’ hair and the hair of one of his friends is sufficient “evidence” of guilt is out of touch with reality and knows very little about forensic evidence.

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy August 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

So the presence of Terry Hobbs’s DNA and his friend’s DNA at the crime scene is insufficient as evidence, but the complete lack of DNA on the victims or at the crime scene from any of the West Memphis Three means… what? This site and others that insist the WM3 are guilty also insist that the complete lack of any DNA from the WM3 does not indicate their innocence, and that just because their DNA wasn’t there doesn’t mean they’re not guilty. These same sites now claim that the presence of DNA from Jacoby and Hobbs does not indicate that they were at the crime scene, as their hairs that were found at the crime scene could have been attached to Stevie Branch’s clothing or shoes.

What are the odds that three teenage boys could torture and murder three children and somehow remove all traces of themselves from the bodies and the crime scene, and yet somehow manage to leave the hairs from Hobbs and Jacoby intact?

It just doesn’t add up, guys. Sorry. It’s not possible.

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wm3truth August 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm

One hair probably from Terry Hobbs was found on a victim’s shoelace. We don’t know which victim’s shoelace it was. Terry Hobbs lived in the same home as his stepson, so the presence of that hair is not surprising. There was nothing to indicate that hair got there during the commission of the crime.

The second hair was found on a tree trunk near the crime scene 2-4 weeks after the bodies were found. DNA testing narrowed the hair to roughly 7% of the population. It “matched” Jacoby, but it also matched a lot of other people. There was nothing to indicate that hair got there during the commission of the crime. That was a well-trafficked area both before and after the murders.

DNA is great evidence *if* the source (hair, blood, etc) is clearly linked to the crime. Hypothetically, I have plenty of my husband’s DNA on my person right now. If I were found dead in a ditch a couple miles from home, they would find my husband’s hair on me somewhere. Would that prove my husband killed me? I sure hope not.

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Steve August 27, 2011 at 4:44 am

One of Hobb’s hairs were actually in the ligature of the shoelaces that tied up one of the boys. It could have came off his stepson. However, what are the chances that the one hair on his stepson actually fell perfectly into the ligature while it was being tied?

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wm3truth August 27, 2011 at 5:03 am

“actually in the ligature of the shoelaces that tied up one of the boys”

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to track down this claim over the last few months. The crime lab listed this piece of evidence as “hair from ligature (Moore)”. There’s nothing to indicate whether it was tied into the knot or just on the shoelace. As far as I can tell, this is another example of WM3 supporters making up facts to fit their thesis.

Good discussion of these hairs at the WM3 Hoax forum:
http://www.downonthefarm.org/wm3hoax/board/index.php/topic,9726.0.html

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Wendy August 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

The hair from Terry Hobbs was wrapped in a knot on the shoelaces used to tie up Michael Moore.

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Wendy August 25, 2011 at 12:23 am

That should have been a reply to wm3truth’s comment, sorry.

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Loki Vinchencio August 25, 2011 at 8:29 am

Wendy should have DNA tattooed on her forehead! seeing as there probly isn`t room for IGNORNANT.

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Beth September 1, 2011 at 5:27 am

If you’re going to attack someone please use the proper spelling in doing so. i.e, “probly” and “ignorNant”. (pet peeve, just sayin.)

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k August 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

I have a feeling somewhere out there in West Memphis is a black man who was attacked by teenagers & never reported it.

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Frank August 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Terry, we don’t know that those shoelaces belonged to Moore, they could have belonged to Branch or Byers. And even if they did belong to him, the hairs could have also been picked up in the Hobbs’ home.

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Frank August 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Oops, Wendy, not Terry. Sorry.

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Ted August 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

In the Bible Confession Misskelley mentions that Echols had a Polaroid of the 3 boys and that they met with a man who resembled Echols. Is there really a photo? Did Echols plan to murder the boys? Who was the man that looked like Echols? Did he instruct them to murder the boys?

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Beth September 1, 2011 at 5:23 am

yeah, good question. What DID happen to the polaroid?

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Frank September 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

Did some research. On a WM3 message board some commenters suggested he made certain things up in his confession to embellish it, but for the most part the confession is accurate.

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Wendy August 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

None of this even comes close to explaining why absolutely ZERO DNA evidence from the three convicted men was found at the crime scene or on the victims. If it’s so easy for Terry Hobbs’s hair to have been transferred to Michael Moore’s body, please explain how the three convicted men were able to completely remove all traces of themselves from the crime scene and the victim’s bodies.

It’s extremely disingenuous to claim that the lack of DNA from the three means nothing, but that the presence of DNA from Hobbs and his buddy also means nothing. You’re essentially telling the world that you think Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. are criminal masterminds if you truly believe that they are guilty of these crimes and that they murdered three young boys in the woods, in the dark, without leaving any DNA evidence from themselves but also leaving DNA from Hobbs and Jacoby intact.

It would take such an incredible suspension of logic and disbelief to consider these men guilty that I can’t help but think this entire operation is a giant trolling effort. If that’s the case, that’s pretty pathetic… of course, the refusal to see the truth here is also pretty pathetic.

Then again, I’m sure there are a lot of McDaniels for Governor supporters here. That would definitely explain a lot.

Ciao, folks. Y’all are fun for a few minutes, but the ignorance on display here is pretty appalling and depressing. I wish you all well, and look forward to seeing some crow being eaten as more information comes out. Reactions to the Q and A with Ellington et al tonight should be VERY interesting, I’d imagine.

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Frank August 26, 2011 at 2:16 am

Wendy, you need to reread the evidence on Hobbs. The hairs found at the crime scene do not conclusively link Hobbbs and Jacoby to the crime scene. The hair that MAY have belong to Hobbs is consistent with 1.5% of the population, and the hair that MAY have been from Jacoby is consistent with 7% of the population. AND remember, there was blood found on a knife belonging to Echols that was consistent with one of the victims, but also Echols and Baldwin.

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Gil August 26, 2011 at 6:25 am

There was also DNA from a unknown black male found; and black man was seen not too far from the crime scene (Bojangles.) A black man covered in blood and mudd.

Mark Beyers could never get his story straight when it came to his actions that night. He claimed he went into the woods with his other stepson and his friends searching for Chris. These boys tell a different story. the reason the police never really investigated Beyers was because he was a Drug Informent and knew too much. The West Memphis police dept was being investigated by the state police for cops stealing drugs from the evidence room.

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Brad August 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Wow! Apparently, there is much more mis-information for me to learn. I thought I had heard it all.

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Eliot Johnson August 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

“It’s extremely disingenuous to claim that the lack of DNA from the three means nothing, but that the presence of DNA from Hobbs and his buddy also means nothing.”

Your grasp of logic is extremely poor. It in no way follows from “lack of DNA evidence is meaningless” that “presence of DNA evidence is meaningful.” In fact, it makes perfect sense to claim that both the lack of and the presence of DNA evidence are equally meaningless in this instance.

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Frank August 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

It’s already been said a few times before, the hairs from Hobbs and Jacoby could have easily been picked up by one of the boys hours or days before the murders. Again, the hairs don’t mean much. And it is troubling that there was no DNA evidence left by the WM3, but remember there a lots of crimes where no DNA evidence linking a suspect could be found.

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Thomas August 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Exactly! And given the fact that the boys were floating around in a water-filled ditch for hours, much possible DNA evidence was probably washed away. It’s amazing how much supporters are trumpeting DNA on this site as if it is the be-all-end-all and excludes all the other damning evidence. We have MULTIPLE confessions, the “500 exhibit” which proves page after page after page that Damien is a nutjob, the Evan Williams bottle that Jessie told Stidham about, Damien’s little animal cruelty escapades (nice skulls bro!), and let’s not forget the fact that ALL THREE PLED GUILTY! It’s like screaming at the top of your lungs to people who have their fingers in their ears and are chanting “NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NOT LISTENING!!!!!!!!!”

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Cupcake12 August 28, 2011 at 2:50 am

Just wanted to say thanks so much for this site. Although I live in AR, I’ve never paid much attention to the specifics of the WM3 case because I just assumed they were guilty. After seeing the unusual plea deal and hearing Dennis Riordan say something like “this proves they didn’t do it, or the state would not have let them out — they KNOW they are innocent” I decided to read up for myself on the case. the first thing I read was the original AR Supreme Court decision affirming Echols’ conviction. That was a shocker and led me next to Exhibit 500. It wasn’t long until I was reading about Jessie Misskelley’s confessions — but who knew there were THREE post conviction statements?? in less than 12 hours of research, I can point to a dozen major lies the WM3 followers preach. There is nothing more compelling than the February 8 statement. I fully believe they are guilty. I accept that there is plenty of reason for disagreement. There certainly were appellate problems. I would debate those things all day. But the WM3 machine is built on nothing but lies and I was very shocked to see how far the truth really is from “WMPD targeted Metallica listening, black tee shirt wearing teens and then the State locked them up on nothing.” what a dangerous and deceptive PR machine they have created.

I appreciate that while you do a great editorial, you also point out where you think the flaws are, and you post a supporters site as a reference. Most importantly, you saya, don’t take my word for it, read for yourself. This is something you will never, EVER hear a supporter say. I have referred many people here to start their research. Keep up the good work.

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John January 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

You are a moron. I can’t figure out that top law enforcement detectives couldn’t “detect” that Jessie was mentally deficient during the 12 hours under their custody during said confession. Would you want your LIFE taken away based upon THAT “Confession”? Also keep in mind that his “confession” was not allowed to be used in the Damien Echols / Jason Baldwin trial.

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Gil August 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

On the main page and in the opening pargraph it is claimed the victims were beaten with sticks wich is not true. The writer claims the boys were sexually assaulted wich is not true.
Every legal expert has said that Jessies confession is false. I am sure they know better than you. He gets too much wrong. He could not even get the time right.It is obvious that the police feed him facts and made him rehearse it before recording. His confession was not entered into evidence against the other two but we now know the jury did consider it so jury misconduct.

If this was the murder site than were is all of the blood? The medical examiner testfied that it would be impossible to commit the murders at that scene under those conditions.
The police claim of a satanic killing was a joke. No evidence of this. There so called expert was a fool. The FBI profile makes no mention of satan worshippers. The only evidence against Jason were items seized from his room; concert t-shirts and posters. Damon’s notebook which included Metallica lyrics as well as his reading list was used against him. So they were picked on because of what they read, listen to and wore.

Mark Beyers told the police to look in the water before the bodies were found. After the bodies were found he told the media details about the victims before the police had released anything. Beyers could never get his story straight about the knife gave to HBO. First he said he had never used it. Than after blood was found on it he claimed he used it to cut up a deer. Than after it said that it was human blood he could not get his story straight. Christopher’s brother and his friends were in the woods that night and the all heard a gunshot. No evidence of any of the WM3 having a gun or access to a gun but we know for a fact that Beyers did. Beyers has a long history of violence especially against children.

I believe either Beyers or Hobbs lured the boys to go with them; brought them to another location were Beyers, Hobbs and another killed them. Than after it was dark they dumped the bodies. Mr Bojangles stumpled on to the 3 men dumping the bodies and was shot.

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Brad August 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm

So now a gun is involved? At what point were shots heard?

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Aaron September 7, 2011 at 3:18 am

Brad, I don’t know if I believe it was related to the murders or not, but shots were actually heard by many around the area that night. I read a couple places on line (sorry, can’t remember or I’d provide a link) that some searchers made statements to hearing shots when they were in or near the edge of the woods. And there is a police log online for that night that details several calls reporting hearing gunfire in the area.

For people wanting to research and form their own opinion, I would suggest starting with http://callahan.8k.com/ . It has a ton of documents posted related to the investigation and trials.

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BradO September 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Aaron, don’t tell me you can’t remember and then point me to callahan8k which in it’s thousands of pages shows no guns or shots fired related to the crime. You are making stuff up. Or parroting the absolute worst supporter nonsense there is. If you want to support, fine, stick with the basics at least.

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Ted September 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

Really? EVERY legal expert has said Miskelly’s confessions are false OR do you mean legal experts the WM3 defense team could find?

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wm3truth September 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

“Every legal expert has said …” is WM3 supporter code for “I watched a movie which said …”

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Zodas August 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm

So DNA evidence of Hobbs and a friend found at the crime scene is insufficient and people that believe DNA evidence are out of touch with reality? You know damn well that if the two hairs found in the ligature were of Echols and Baldwin you would have a headline on your front page in about 150 point type declaring proof!

I mean the only physical evidence that links the 3 to the actual crime scene is a secondary transfer off of one of the kids moms bathrobe…yet that evidence is overwhelming? Bathrobe threads are of a common fabric…not exactly proof.

Im not even a supporter…Echols was obviously a troubled kid and a valid suspect…their alibis were bad, and there are a series of confessions or overheard conversations…but there is reasonable doubt in all of that. You need ACTUAL proof that they were there at the scene, at that time, doing those acts…and it just doesnt exist.

People that are 100% convinced of guilt or innocence are fooling themselves and denying all the things that prove them wrong…selective investigation I guess. Supporters think Echols was of interest cause he like Metallica…but dont read Exhibit 500. Nons claim how they are obviously guilty, say there is a wealth of evidence, call supporters dumb, then link to Callahan…then go back to calling people dumb. Yet the “obvious” guilt and “wealth” of evidence is more assumption and hearsay. Like saying that the girls report of overhearing the conversation at the softball game just HAS to be true…yet the girl has no recollection of the details of the discussion before or after the claim. “BLAH BLAH BLAH I killed them BLAH BLAH BLAH” isnt sufficient…period. Misskelleys confession being 7 hours off isnt sufficient…or him listing specific injuries of the children a month after they were commited and after he was shown crime scene photos…isnt proof.

The kids are sketchy and are assumed innocent because Natalie “Attention Whore” Maines says so…I agree. There is more to the story. Yet to say the proof of their guilt is overwhelming but then to state if anyone sees a family members and his friends DNA being found in the ligatures, as evidence, is out of touch with reality?

You have got be kidding me. That shit might fly in WM3hoax.com, but in actual crime scene investigation…you are just wrong.

No one knows what happened that day, and probably never will…the only thing I have learned over these near 2 decades is that nons and supporters who are 100% convinced are no different than one another. They are “Crime Scene Selective Investigators”.

Prove me wrong that if it was Echols and Baldwin DNA found at the crime scene that you wouldnt flip your lid and explode with PROOF OF GUILT all over this site.

Yet if its DNA that might prove you wrong…just sweep it under the rug as preposterous. Right? No different than the folks who watched Paradise Lost as concrete proof and have no idea what Echols was like a year or two before the murder. No difference at all.

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Frank August 29, 2011 at 1:40 am

If Echols’ and Balwin’s hairs were found at the crime scene that would mean something… they didn’t know the victims. Why would their hairs be there unless they had something to do with the murders.

Hobbs’ and Jacoby’s hairs could have been picked up by one of the boys at the Hobbs’ home hours or days before the murders. Just because their hairs were found at the crime scene, doesn’t mean thy committed the murders.

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Zodas August 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm

No…Im not saying that if there DNA is their that its automatic guilt…but it does supply reasonable doubt when the 3 were convicted on much less actual physical evidence.

My point is that Nons dismiss this as instant folly…supporters go as far as publicly damning Hobbs as the “new” murderer…

…*cough*NATALIEMAINES*cough*.

Its all just knee jerk reaction…especially when 99.999% of the people that frequent these boards arent criminal investigation professionals.

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Zodas August 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I also love how this site is less credible and detailed than a Wiki page on the Backstreet Boys made by a 14 year old.

I was reading “Myths and facts” of Misskelleys confessions for example. You call something a “myth” that benefits your claims…then label something as fact that reinforces your claim…yet…

…no footnotes, no citing, no reference, no quoting, no proof other than this is what some dude thinks who is so convinced of his beliefs that he made a site dedicated to them. Thats hardcore bias with no relevance.

This site should be called “TheWm3truthAsItIsSeenBySomeGuyWhoFindsIt UnimportantToBackUpHisClaimsOrProvideProperHighSchoolGradeCitingOfHis
BoldStatements.com”

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Zodas August 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hey Frank…back this statement up please…

“AND remember, there was blood found on a knife belonging to Echols that was consistent with one of the victims…”

These are the kind of things that are “claimed”…but never proven. Just say it…then its true right?

I actually read on WM3hoax that there was an eyewitness that saw Echols leave Robin Hood Hills just after the murders would have taken place! Wild statements like that are just presented as true.

If that had actually happened, an eyewitness, plus victims blood found on Echols knife…do you actually think people would still be openly debating this case?

I would throw the switch on Echols myself if that were true.

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Frank August 29, 2011 at 1:34 am

Really, all you have to do is Google ‘Echols’ AND ‘necklace’ and you’ll find it. I’m fairly certain it’s mentioned in Paradise Lost too.

Here’s a link to TruTv’s website on the case…
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/memphis/evidence_7.html
Should be the 6th paragraph.

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Zodas August 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Why would I search “blood and necklace” when you said blood on a “knife”?

LOL…small typo.

Anyway…I knew about the necklace already and the evidence on it is as shady as people say Hobbs DNA is…yet…Nons will see the necklace as proof and Hobbs DNA as folly…Supporter will do vice versa.

A small google search gave me this piece of info…surprisingly from WM3hoax.

“Associated Press – September 29, 2008 8:24 PM ET

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) – The state Crime Lab director says that, when Damien Nichols was arrested in 1993 in the killing of 3 8-year-old boys at West Memphis, a necklace he was wearing bore traces of blood whose type matched 1 of the victims. Kermit Channell testified today at a hearing in Jonesboro that the blood type also matched that of Echols and another defendant…

…Channell said two tests were conducted on the blood found on the necklace. He said the first test showed the blood type matched that of Echols. The second test, Channell said, showed the blood type was consistent with those of Baldwin and Branch. On cross examination, Channell said the blood type was also consistent with a large percentage of the population.”

So the blood type on the necklace was consistent with 2 defendants (one of them being the person who wore the necklace), 1 victim, and a large percentage of the population?

So its inconclusive evidence…much in the same way it is with Hobbs DNA.

It might help a person form an opinion…but is no way proof.

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wm3truth August 29, 2011 at 4:42 am

“I actually read on WM3hoax that there was an eyewitness that saw Echols leave Robin Hood Hills just after the murders would have taken place!”

You might be thinking of Narlene Hollingsworth. She told police she saw Echols covered in mud walking along the frontage road near Robin Hood Hills around 9:40 PM the night of the murders.

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

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Frank August 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Zodas See, we’re not making these things up. Do a little research next time.

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Zodas August 30, 2011 at 2:17 am

Ive actually already read all that…I didnt know thats what this guy is even referencing. An eyewitness seeing Damien leave the crime scene is a little different than seeing him and Domini walk down the street in the “area” of the crime scene. I dont condemn this ladies account at all either…it could be true…but…

…after doing a little research…

…that ladies account would imply Domini was a part of the murder or cleanup…yet in Misskelleys famous confessions to Stidham on Feb 8 1994, he never mentions her. She wasnt implied as being at the scene, involved in the murders, or in the cleanup by Misskelley.

Yet people jump to both as proof or evidence when they are in conflict with one another. How exactly does that work?

I also like how that lady comments that she never really knew Damien but what she did know was that he was involved in the devils work and had 666 on his shoes.

Im not a Paradise Lost fan…especially of the 2nd one…but it is interesting to see how some of these people do function in that fashion. Just an observation.

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Johnny3 August 30, 2011 at 1:26 am

What I find to be very interesting is that all these supporters dismiss any evidence that implicate the WM3, but then they try to pin the murders on any other suspect (Byers, Bojangles, etc) based on the most absurd or circumstantial evidence. Black guy bleeding in a bathroom – he must be the murderer. Drunken, slightly abusive and dumb stepfather might’ve lied about a few insignificant facts- he must’ve done it. 3 psychos with no alibis who confess on multiple occasions and have tons of evidence against them – nah, can’t be them. They’re just misunderstood.

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Zodas August 30, 2011 at 2:21 am

Can you give me the “tons of evidence” that phyically places all 3 at the crime scene, commiting those acts, and then covering it up.

Confessions and bad alibis arent evidence…evidence is the thing that proves bad alibis to be false or confessions to be true.

Can you give me the evidence that does that? Oh wait…no…the TONS of evidence.

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Johnny3 August 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I never said “physical” evidence- I said evidence. Circumstantial evidence is still evidence. As far as physical evidence, you have the necklace, the knife, the whiskey bottle, etc. Not the strongest evidence around, but still some physical evidence. As far as evidence in general, I think by now you should know all of that. When you have one or two pieces of circumstantial evidence, a case is hard to make against someone. When you have as much circumstantial evidence as in this case, it becomes very clear.

As fasr as

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Zodas August 31, 2011 at 6:48 pm

The necklace = inconclusive
The Knife = inconclusive
The Whiskey Bottle = inconclusive.

The necklaces blood evidence was all over the place…its been determined to either 2 of the defendants or one of the victims or 7.5% of the population.

The knife is ridiculous…its not known whether it was Baldwins, if it was him that threw it in the lake, or if it was even used in the crime.

The Whiskey Bottle is interesting that it was where he said it would be…but in the end…it doesnt mean anything.

When you add 0+0+0…you still have 0. Just because you have a series of bad circumstancial evidence…it doesnt compile to equal good evidence…or evidence you could convict on.

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Johnny3 August 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I agree with you the the physical evidence on its own isn’t too strong since none of it is that definitive. But the cicrumstantial evidence is not bad – it’s quite the opposite. How can you account for the multiple confessions of Jessie? The troubled background of Damien? How about the fact that the only people that failed the polygraph were Damien and Jessie?

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Britney January 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

You’re right- people NEVER falsely confess to murder. Especially not borderline retarded kids being threatened by a big strong cop. And how do we “account for the troubled background of Damien”?! I hope you’re kidding. God forbid you grew up in a less than perfect home and wore too much black, or youd be the one on death row! His upbringing and goth appearance doesn’t need to be “accounted for”. I guess all kids who are considered different should stand up and explain why right now or be thrown in jail. Are you for real?? Oh god, America really is infested with morons…

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Britney January 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm

By the way, Damien Echols passed his first polygraph a few days after the murder. Thy didn’t start the full-blown witch hunt until a month after that, based on heresay of some asinine, moronic probation officer.

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Zodas September 1, 2011 at 12:47 am

This is a response to the comment below…for some reason it didnt have a reply tag.

I find the circumstancial evidence highly interesting…it does raise eyebrows…but it still means nothing in court.

Confessions with no proof are flawed, its not illegal to be crazy, and polygraphs are not perfect either.

Like I said before…these things are great at forming opinions…but not much else.

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Aaron September 7, 2011 at 3:45 am

Johnny3, I think you are part right. There are a lot of supporters who jump the gun without fully researching and coming up with their own belief. Jumping on a cause because someone they believe in thinks it’s the right decision.

I have been all through Callahan, the two docs, the two books, and several discussion sites, both pro and against. I don’t believe they are guilty.

As far a accusing alternate suspects goes, Mr. Bojangles’ appearance and Byers and Hobbs’ antics pre and post murders may not be enough to convict but it was certainly enough to warrant further investigation. One more thing the West Memphis PD dropped the ball on, at the time.

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Britney January 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Actually, most supporters I have heard are far more intelligent and well read than the people against the wm3. I think people like you who have done their homework are much more common on the innocent side than the guilty side. I’ve heard mostly lynch mob mentality garbage from the guilty side.

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Lisa Williams August 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

There isn’t a ton of Circumstantial evidence. If there was the state of Arkansas would not have let three guilty men walk out of jail if they were in fact actually guilty and rightfully convicted… That would basically make the state of Arkansas party to any reoffense, Thats what nons throw around the i can’t wait for one of them to reoffend…
Honestly. Hang on to any shreds of WM3 guilt. But the truth as admitted several times by Ellington AND others in the state that the prosecution couldn’t win this case a second time, basically that was a one time only guilty verdict that probably wouldn’t have occured in about 80% of the rest of the country.
You have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It was real easy to do with three uneducated teens… Its a lot harder to do with grown men, and mounting evidence against OTHER PEOPLE. I will say this forever I will even tattoo it on my forehead… You find hair from OTHER PEOPLE at the scene… But not the three long haired teenagers? Show me a teenage boy who doesn’t drop dna everywhere, honestly because that one teenage non dna shredder deserves a medal.

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Johnny3 August 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Just because they weren’t willing to prosecute them again doesn’t mean they didn’t do it. They know how hard it would be to convict them now, especially after all this time and ridiculous support from celebrities, etc. Circumstantial evidence is hard to convict people on, especially nowadays when people expect DNA at every crime scene. To say there isn’t A LOT of circumstantial evidence is to be completely foolish or mentally challenged, much like Jessie.

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Britney January 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

What’s ridiculous is the fact that you think a stubborn judicial system would let three men whom they truly believed brutally murdered three children for no reason free. There was no evidence at all pointing to the wm3 and there WAS physical evidence. ALL POINTING TO OTHER SUSPECTS. Open your eyes and read about this case before plastering nonsense everywhere.

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Renee September 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I wonder if all of the big time “supporters” of the WM3 would be willing to let these guys babysit for them some time. Why would Jessie just make up a confession like this? If I did nothing wrong them I am going to scream from the rooftops that I am innocent. I am not happy to hear that these three murderers are walking free!

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Beth September 14, 2011 at 6:25 am

I noticed Vedder wasn’t toting his wife and little girls with him when he was partying it up on the hotel rooftop. I bet he kept them in a safe place away from the boogey man.

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Abigail September 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I am fairly new to the WM3. At the time of the murders I was only 11 yrs old. I stumbled across the documentary, Paradise Lost one night when I couldn’t sleep. As a mother of a 8 yr old son, in the beginning of this film I was overcome with sadness and rage. I immediately was saying out loud how those teenagers deserve everything that the get… However, as the film continued, I began feeling bad for being so quick to assume. I began to question Byers, and felt he had a part. At the conclusion of the first film, I felt undoubtedly those teenage boys were innocent.

I then watched the 2nd documentary. In this film I felt more and more that Byers was definitely suspicious, but I too felt that the film almost was too supportive of the innocence of the WM3. I then began researching this more. I started reading Devil’s Knot, and doing some more research online.

I will not pretend to know all the facts, as obviously… none of us here do. The only person ( or persons ) who know all the facts is whom ever is responsible for the murders. However, in my opinion I do feel that the WM3 are in fact innocent. I feel they were victims of a very corrupt police department, and also a certain Judge. I know that had this crime happened in my town, the police would feel the need to find someone to blame, and become quite desperate.

There are certain comments, or so called facts here that people have stated from what I researched is not true. First being that, Jessie Misskelley Jr. did NOT fail his polygraph. From what I have researched police informed him that he did only to scare him further. The only deceptive part of his polygraph was his reference to not using drugs.

Also, to the person making the comment about the black man at the Bojangle’s Restaurant the night of the murders. First of all, your comment is quite racist if you ask me. I do not believe that they would rather convict a black man of this crime. The police I feel had it out for Echol’s. The idea of the murders being satanic was more appealing to the police, as during this time satanic cults were quite a trend throughout the states. Also, West Memphis seems to be quite a god fearing town. I feel they would much rather pin this to satan, than racist old school issues.

Again, these are only my opinions. and some so called “facts” that I have researched. It is not my intention to offend anyone. I have not used the names of anyone that I disagreed with. However, I will now say that Gil in my opinion shares my conclusion with placing Byers and Hobbs responsible ( and I will feel this way until in my eyes they are both proven innocent, yes I said innocent not guilty) and I really feel that the conclusion with what may have happened to the black man is correct. I said from the beginning that maybe Byers had forced the man to take part in helping him, but what Gil said seems even more probable…. although, maybe Byers shot the man only after he had already forced him to help dispose of the bodies.

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wm3truth September 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

You cracked the case. Boy do I feel dumb now.

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Beth September 14, 2011 at 6:37 am

Shoot dang hell fire! It was that derned ol Byers and that there ol black guy. I sure done gone wasted a whole mess of my time readin’ on a bunch of ol words and stuff. Boy howdy and hee hee he hee hee haw saaalute!

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Johnny3 September 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm

The three had no alibis. Misskelley confessed three separate times. Baldwin told someone else he committed the crimes. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene. He bragged about the murder to two other teenagers, stating he killed the three boys. This was presented as evidence at the trial. Echols also had a history of psychiatric treatment. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood.

Fibers on the murdered victims’ clothing were found to microscopically similar to things in the Baldwin and Echols homes. The serrated wound patterns on the three victims that were consistent with, and could have been caused by, a knife found in a lake behind appellant Baldwin’s parents’ residence.

Echols’ stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. A funeral register found in his room with hand-drawn pentagrams and upside-down crosses. Echols’ journal contained morbid images and references to dead children. But I guess you’re right – they must be innocent.

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Abigail September 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I was only stating my opinion. I never said I was right, or wrong. Just that this is my opinion. As we all are entitled to our own opinions, I respect yours. However, as I continue to learn as much as I can about this, I suppose all I ask of you is how do you explain all the flaws with the investigation? Do you feel there was nothing corrupt with the way things came about? How convenient that the blood sample from the Bojangles Restaurant came to be “lost”, that the police and prosecutors became frantic for evidence as the trial came closer for Echol’s and Baldwin to now decide to search a lake behind Baldwin’s home. This was supposedly kept quiet from the media, but how is it that the media was there to take a picture as the diver came out of the water holding the knife after only an hour of searching?

I am not denying that Echol’s was/is a different individual. However, that does not make him a murderer. Also, you need to further research the individual who claimed that Jason Baldwin admitted the crimes to him. I know what you are referring to, and how you find that as creditable towards him being guilty is beyond me.

I did however find Jessie Misskelley’s confession to Dan Stidham quite intriguing. I had numerous questions as to why if this was the truth did he still decline to testify? After further research, and as I have said before, I or NO ONE on here, knows all the facts, that prosecutors ( as said by Misskelley later on ) had threatened him with comments made about what would happen to his then girlfriend. I have nothing further to add for now. I will continue learning as much as possible on this case. I have taken quite an interest in cases where the at one time guilty, are later revealed as innocent. I do realize that as for now the WM3 are still seen as guilty to some extent, but I do believe this will soon change with upcoming trials.

I thank everyone for their opinions. Even if you are being a bit snarky, I love debating, and discussing. But, until I feel I know all I can know about this case, I will keep my opinions to myself…. well at least off of this discussion board.

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Beth September 16, 2011 at 5:35 am

Why wasn’t the semen tested that was found on the boys pants? Or was it?

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wm3truth September 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

It was discussed at trial here:

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

The stain was too small & degraded to determine conclusively that it was semen, much less get a DNA profile.

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speculate January 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

hey. maybe all 6 of them did it. the wm3 byers hobbs and bojangles. mwhahaha.

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John January 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

You are a moron!

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John January 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Just to clarify, I am referring to the author of this site.
Thank you

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C-Note December 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

I just watched all three doc’s back to back – and it’s still a whodunnit without a reveal.
I took it all in and actually no evidence to convict anyone – but a seething indictment of media and hysteria power. Somebody did it and somebody will blame sombody Who shot JR – was it a dream? keep voting idiots into office

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justmeagain August 19, 2013 at 1:51 am

What a douchesite….. really? The real murderer is out there.. probably has killed other children by now and this douchebag site wants to continue to debate the innocence of WM3 when clearly the evidence did not support the conviction of the DA would not have re-opened and re-negotiated their sentence. Go do something productive dumbfk….

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Joule June 17, 2014 at 1:40 am

I can’t find anything conclusive on either side of this case, except the bite marks. But because the bodies weren’t properly examined, the bite marks can’t be confirmed. It seems more likely, however, that HBO’s documentarians jumped to conclusions by reconstructing the police investigation from the courtroom. One thing that wasn’t made public until the first documentary was damn near done was Damien’s obsession with sucking blood. We shouldn’t ignore the fact that his own defense turned against him after the second testimony, and played the guilt by association card. Nor should we neglect the whole reason the occult satan worshipping narrative was played by the prosecution. The mental health records hadn’t been released.

And reconsider the forced testimony. Might he have been more afraid, hypothetically, of Damien than the police? You people have no idea that these people are innocent or guilty.

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Joule June 17, 2014 at 2:58 am

No physical evidence, and nothing else to go on but…you fit the profile, pal — nobody really knows who dunnit. One of the defense attorneys remarked that the scene had so little physical evidence or trace of its murderers that it’s like a canvas that you could fit any even semi-psychotic profile to it. Because the crime scene was handled so poorly, the whole thing is just lost forever. We’ll never have evidence on whoever did it. It should’ve been a mistrial.

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