In early February 1993, three months before the murders, Damien Echols applied for Social Security disability benefits, claiming that mental illness left him unable to work. The application form required him to list hospitalizations and diagnoses. Here’s what Echols wrote down:
Someone else filled in the hospital name and address, but that’s Damien Echols’ own handwriting under “Reason for Hospitalization”.
Altogether now supporters: “He was only joking!”
(For true case junkies, this is from page 125 of Exhibit 500.)