Jailhouse letters of Damien Echols

The psychiatric records for Damien Echols collected in Exhibit 500 cover the period from spring 1992 to May 5, 1993. The Damien Echols profile in this site’s case history section likewise ends on the day of the murders. But what about after the murders? After the arrests?

No psych records from that period are publicly available, as far as I know. The Callahan case archive does contain a collection of letters from Damien Echols to Glori Shettles, written in jail while he awaited trial. (Shettles was an employee of Inquisitor, Incorporated, the private investigation firm owned by Ron Lax working for the Echols defense.) The centerpiece is a long letter dated August 27, 1993, spanning pages 7-13, 15-16. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Echols’ mindset after his arrest.

Well, now I’m sitting in jail waiting for my trial. So I thought I would write my life story or as much of it as I can remember. I remember bits and pieces of my early childhood but not all. I will put the parts I can remember in spots where they seem appropriate. I always knew I was different from all other children. I could always tell that my thought process was different. I always thought other children were crazy or stupid. I was always content just to watch people. The things that they did sometimes just kept me amazed for hours. Even all the way up until now, I still like to just watch people. I knew ever since I was really young that I was destined for greatness. At first I thought maybe I was an alien. I don’t know why it just seemed natural. I had a very sad and deppresing childhood. I was always sad for no apparent reason. I cried constantly. I was always scared of everything. I tried to follow every rule exactly. When I would do something that didn’t turn out exactly right I would be horrified. Sometimes I would be so upset I would make myself sick. I was always sick with something or other. I was always completely serious and thought everyone else was better than me. I would never stand up for myself. No one paid a lot of attention to things I said because they would all just say oh, that’s just Michael be nice to him, he has problems. They acted like I didn’t know what they meant or something. Even my mother thought that sometimes. I remember when I was very young one night I woke up and there was someone in my bed. It scared me so bad I couldn’t even move. When I snapped out of it, I jumped out of bed and ran to my mother’s room. I told her and she went to my room and looked. She said there was nobody there. She said there was no way someone could have gotten in without her knowing it. I still wouldn’t go back to bed so she got mad and made me sit on the sofa and just stare at the wall. Finally I agreed to go back to bed because I didn’t want her to get any more angry. I didn’t go to sleep all night. I just laid in bed scared stiff. I can remember one night when I was a little older and I woke up to see a man standing in my room. It paralyzed me. I wouldn’t even blink because I knew as soon as I opened my eyes he would be right in my face. I guess later I must have passed out because the next thing I knew it was the next morning. Anyway as you can probably figure no one believed me. These things always happened at night. For awhile I thought people may be right. But I changed my mind one night when there was an old man in my room. I thought if I just ignored him he would go away. But when I looked again he was right in front of me. He licked my hand and said “Does that feel like a dream to you?” He talked for awhile of things that aren’t important yet. Anyway. I have been in three “mental health hospitals” (hell) and later finally fell in love and found out I was a father. I finally thought my life was going to change for the good. Things were finally starting to look better. Then one night while sitting at home watching T.V. the police came and arrested me for something I did not do. I listened for the first time to the sound of my surroundings. I saw the truth for the first time. I opened my eyes to see a discovery. I was the God of the New Eon, the Beast of the Apocalypse. Everyone saw it before me. I was the last to know. Now I know these idiots can never touch me. I will not stop until they have all paid for this. I did absolutely nothing. Now I’ve decided to prove myself to everyone. I will slay myself. But I will be back, I will rise again in three days, just like the first God. Only my message won’t be of peace. It will be of war. It will be a time when everyone must pay for their mistakes. It will be the Armageddon. Well, the first thing that comes to mind to talk about is when my mom and dad got divorced. I guess I should have been sad but I wasn’t. At the time I really didn’t even really care. Me and my mother and sister moved in with my grandparents. My father came to visit for awhile but then he just disapeared. I didn’t really care about that either. Then my mother started seeing a man named Jack Echols. He was really nice at first untill him and my mother got married. Then he changed. He got very, very angry over the smallest things. I think he hated me. I could not stand him. I hated him more than anything on this Earth. No matter how I tried, it was like I could never get away from him. Around this time my grandfather died. I guess that’s another time I should have been sad, but I wasn’t. Me and him were never really close. I think he hated me also. I didn’t care. I never could get along with him. He was an asshole. Jack always made me go to church every fucking sunday. I hated it there, every one stared at me like I was some kind of freak. Some times I expected them to throw peanuts. Everyone knew I didn’t belong there. They all called me Jack’s boy. I was not his boy and I hated to be called that. He was a sorry cheap bastard. He always bought shitty little car and waited untill they completely broke down to find another one. I never could figure out how he could be a christian and still hate me. Now I have finnaly figured it out. Just now. I can finnally understand. It’s because of the same reason all christians hate me, the reason they put me here. Because they hate me because God hates me. Because he knows I can beat him so he tries to kill me. Every chance he gets. They all wear their little mask and pretend their good people and are here to help. Unmask, Unmask …. and the Red Death held sway over all. She finnally divorced him when she found out he had been abusing my sister. Around this time I got put in the hospital. By the time I got out my mother and real father got back together. We moved straight to Portland, Oregon. I became really depressed and suicidal. They put me in another hospital. Wheneve I got cut I came back to Arkansas where I fell in love and found out I was a father. It was the happiest I had ever been in my life. Then this shit happened. They don’t understand. They can’t beat me and God still tried everything he can to kill me but he can’t. Death can’t stop me. I would be only the third person in history to raise from the dead. Lazarus, Jesus Christ, Damien. I will prove it very soon. Afterwards I will come to power and nothing will stop me. I wrote all this down because it is easier than trying to tell people who wouldn’t believe it anyway. They will all believe it very soon. Unmask, Unmask …. And the Red Death held sway over all. Now they take their medicine. They’ll take it and they’ll like it, the stupid little shits, or they’ll have their brains bashed the fuck out. The fucking idiots, they think we’re out to get them all. They peek through the cracks in the doors and act superior. They think we want them all. Well they’ll take their medicine now. They think I don’t know they’re watching me. They think I don’t know about the spies and bugs. I do goddamn it. Believe me I’ll know. I’ve got spies too. I can end all of you anytime now, you stupid fucks. I can see physical changes happening in my body. I can tell it’s getting ready. The abonations have already begun to be spit forth from the Earth. I have seen some of them. I will become one soon. I will be the king of freaks. I see a perfect explosion, God’s amunition dump going up in the flames of righteousness, Satan storming heaven, his artillery captain a fiercely grinning fool with red flayed cheeks, Damien by name, never to be Michael Hutchison again. The end is here. Kiss your ass goodbye. People could see if they would open their eyes and see. There are many similarities in the First and now the Second Coming. Jesus was imprisoned and executed for nothing. People even accused him of being Satanic. When he was praying for a man and the people said he cast out devils because he was the prince of devils. Look people, it’s time to pay up. Now is the Judgement. I am the Judge.

If you notice any mistakes in my transcription, please point them out in the comment thread.

35 thoughts on “Jailhouse letters of Damien Echols”

  1. The centerpiece, eh? The bookends are interesting as well, beginning with an undated “letter to the family” in which he’s begging for a doctor for a “meltdown” and ending (near it) on page 22 where he mentions “that medicine,” whereas throughout Exhibit 500 and police interviews, he refers to his medication by name.

    Just to add to your picture.

  2. ECHOLS: “I don’t know why it just seemed natural. I had a very sad and deppresing childhood. I was always sad for no apparent reason. I cried constantly. I was always scared of everything. I tried to follow every rule exactly. When I would do something that didn’t turn out exactly right I would be horrified. Sometimes I would be so upset I would make myself sick. I was always sick with something or other. I was always completely serious and thought everyone else was better than me. I would never stand up for myself. No one paid a lot of attention to things I said because they would all just say oh, that’s just Michael be nice…”
    This is so familiar to me and probably many other moms. I have a seven year old who was just recently diagnosed with OCD with Anxiety. The things described in the above paragraph sound so much like my child. He had to be taken out of class so much this past year for not understanding that sometimes you can’t get all the answers right. He got less than a happy face 1 time in 3 years (for not going past a problem on a test and crying) and he came home and grounded himself. When I told him he couldn’t ground himself, it only made things worse. Echols was a child who needed help at an early age and the signs were missed.; What he became as a teen and now as an adult is a product of missed opportuntiy when he was a child for counseling and medication. I’m not surprised either, all these years later, as until now every daycare worker and teacher we have had has told me not to worry, my child was just sensitive and would outgrow it. As far as meds…the pyschologist, pyschiatrist and our family doctor have already told me we are treating symptoms, but that there is yet to be a cure. Does anyone know at what age DE started getting pyschological treatment?

  3. if you check out jason baldwin’s facebook page you will see that he has proudly posted his grade report from community college. he has a 3.62 average. he only took three classes: bio, environment and music. guess he’s proud to be somewhat average.
    too bad he was stupid enough to include his home address on the top of the report tempting some of us to send our greetings….

    1. hmm that sounds like a threat which you should be turned in for. guess i will report it and hopefully he can work on getting a restraining order on you. funny you are an adult and feel the need to resort to these kinds of threats and ideas. you should feel ashamed of yourself. the poor guy is finally released and trying to make something out of himself and you are trying to make a mockery of it? sad

  4. Interesting? Not so much, but an update from the WM news station…Pam Hicks wants the PD to release all the evidence concerning Stevie Branch from the evidence files. I thought it was curious considering there is still a chance to exonerate the WM3. She doesn”t think they are guilty, but she wants the things that haven’t been lost to be released for her. [Can’t say that I wouldn’t want my childs’ (friendship bracelet she spoke about) personal belongings, but I don’t see why she wants these things if the evidence can truely exonerate DE JM and Baldwin. To watch check out Fox 13 Memphis…and I have to get a life outside of the news. right?…

    1. Pam Hicks doesn’t want the stuff released.

      “I do want to know that it has not been contaminated if
      they need it, if something [were] to come out of this,” said
      Hicks. “I definitely don’t want to touch it. I just want to
      have a peace of mind and ease of knowing that they still
      have it.”

      […]

      Hicks initially became concerned because
      somehow her son’s autopsy photos hit the
      internet and were for sale. She says she
      doesn’t want see anything like that happen
      again.

      wreg.com/2012/06/22/mother-of-stevie-branch-victim-sues-city-police/

      1. Yes, you’re right. I saw a news story this morning where she will (or maybe already has?) get to look and see that all the evidence is still there. I think there was a press conference at nine this morning, I saw on the news station which you have linked. I forgot to watch.

  5. I don’t know, Jane. There seems to be some weird politic-king going on there. A careful read of Ellington’s words and it begins to look like BS. He says he is willing to let her see “some” of the evidence when there appears to be a statute involved regarding physical evidence over which a court will have to rule.

    I’m not sure there is one straightforward angle to any of it.

    1. Donna,
      I read the link you posted on the other page for D Klebold’s journal, and the pages posted above for Echols; maybe you can help me see where the simalarities are. Klebold was obviously angry and disturbed and made no attempt to hide his plans to massacre as many people as possible before killing himself. The whole of Echols writings show a teen who insist he has been falsely accused and a quickly diminishing grasp with reality.(which he tells his family is happening) I’m missing something apparently, because outside of both being teens, one who obviously committed murder and one convicted with mental health issues it ends. Apples and tomatoes are both red and round-I can sometimes trick my three year old by sight, but he has sense to look for more than that. Show me what you see that I don’t. Please don’t post another link. Tell me in your words what makes these two the same.

  6. I’ve always knew these 3 mongrols were guilty. I was stunned when they let them go. At least they are 3 convicted child killers and that will never go off their record. I’ve heard some things about 2 of them. I guess Jason is attending college. Jessie is so poor and having finacial problems,people are actuall trying to get people to donate him money. Now as far as the ring leader,Danien. He seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Personally,I think he’s in hiding. Damien is one person I would like to know where he lives. I don’t want him in my backyard. I think,maybe,if I found our his address,I just go pay him a visit. Whether he gets hut bad or dies,is up to whoever might find him. Is there any knowledge as to where he lives. I’, going back to find out about the 2 that have thier places known,and display them here. Keep up the good work.

    1. I found where Jason Baldwin is going to college and his address : South Seattle Community College ~ Jason Charles Baldwin : [### address deleted by wm3truth editor – please no posting people’s personal info here ###]. He seems to be proud of his 3.2 in general biology ,4.0 in energy resourses (whatever that is) ans finally 3.7 in begining piano…ha !. Drop him a “nice ” letter. As for Jessie he has no job or money and wants donations. HA ! His PO Bosx is Jessie Misskelly jr. [### address deleted by wm3truth editor ###]. Drop him a “nice” note. As for the ring leader Damien,he seems to be in hiding. I can’t find any info. on where he is living since he got unjustly released from prison.

      1. Damien made a strange statement to the police during his interegation. He stated to the detectives that he would tell them everything,if he could only talk to his mother first. He talked to his mother in private,and came back in to the interegation room and said “I’m not saying anything” the detective said “so,you’re not going to tell us anything? and the only person you have told is your psycologist?” He stated “yes” . I think his mother talked him out of confessing,and she knows ALOT more about what really happened. She knows the truth. Which,eventually landed him in prison,where he should be now. I’d really like to talk to his mother and him both. If anyone knows the whereabouts of either,please let us know.

        1. Uh. Probably don’t make public threats on people’s lives. Might be a smart move. Just a pointer.

          Perhaps take some time to actually, oh, I don’t know, read through the evidence and details of the case? Personally, I’m neutral but becoming more convinced of the WM3’s innocence the more I read, but I do support the existence of this site as a source of well-researched facts and tolerance of differing opinions.

          You do not seem to be using the site as it was intended.

          Read for yourself. And probably don’t make threats. The only person who should be worried about that is you.

    2. wow what a horrible thing to say. you need to be reported and turned in. you say you believe he is a murderer, which he is not, but from the sound of your threatening messege, it looks like you may be a murderer yourself

  7. Greg Williams you sound like a very ignorant tool. After seeing the new evidence and seeing all these old witness’s saying they lied on the stand how in the world do you think these guys are guilty? I have studied this case inside and out and there’s ZERO evidence pointing at these 3 guys. You really think a half a retard teen and two other stupid teens could commit this crime and leave no evidence behind? I just don’t understand looking at everything now how some people can actually think these guys are still guilty?!?! You actually think if there was anyway the state thought for 1 second these guys were really guilty they would let them out? Even two of the parents victims now think they’re innocent but you don’t? What a joke. Oh and Echols lives in NYC and is far from being in hiding!! Thank god he is far away from red necks in west memphis ark!

    1. Yes I think teens all hung up into Aleister Crowley, a black magician who supported human sacrifice is very capable of a wicked crime. It’s called demon possession by anyone above the age of accountability. Combine that with a shoddy police investigation and there ya go.

      1. That’s such nonsense. Aleister Crowley himself was a madman, but his works are considered pretty mainstream. I went to high school at a private college and later to a top university, both in big cities, and I can tell you with confidence that there were plenty of students at both schools who were into Crowley’s work. It is pretty fascinating stuff. If daughters of conservative politicians and college students studying law and medicine can read up on Crowley without automatically slaughtering people afterwards, then I’m sure a teenage boy can too.

        I also watch Game of Thrones avidly. Does that mean I’m into prostitution, rape, murder and war?

  8. Read much Mike? Apparently not. Were you more educated about this case, you’d know they were guilty, just like they PLEAD. Just because Johny Depp and Eddie Vedder want to jump on the dum-ass wagon, doesn’t mean we all bought into it. Nobody else killed those kids. Do some research and give it a chance. You’ll eventually see the light.

    1. Do YOU read much Julie? I am very educated on the case and there is absolutely no evide.ce against them besides coerced confessions and desperate jailhouse letters written out of fear and after the relentless abuse they all suffered. You people are idiots.

    2. I feel like, had YOU done any research, you’d realise everything you just wrote is wrong, except the bit about Depp and Vedder being dumbasses.

  9. Well the WM3 are free now, and the fact the state court forced them to plead no contest in order for them to be released and so the state won’t have to explain themselves or be subject to civil or criminal lawsuits is proof positive the state knew they were innocent. Disgusting. All the while the killer or killers are free, most likely to kill again and again.

  10. I may not know EVERYTHING about this case. I’ll gladly admit to having seen the HBO films, reading Damien’s new book, and looking into the Internet for more information from different sources of information to make a more informed decision. The funny thing to me about everything on this site is that the “anti-WM3” side seems to use nothing but fallicies and allusions to information that they know, but never say what that is. This letter seems like the letter of a dumb scared kid with some mental issues who’s been isolated a bit too long. As for Baldwin and his 3.6 GPA at community college, what was your GPA after not finishing HS and being in prison for 19 years. Give the guy a break, he’s just getting his footing in the outside world, I think a 3.6 is impressive all things considered. When it comes to these threats, that’s just sad. Guilty or not, it’s nobody’s place to impose vigilante “justice”. I’d just really like to hear this “evidence”, don’t just talk about some nebulous information that you know, share it, because this letter isn’t evidence of anything in my mind or any other rational, educated person.

  11. I’ve done A LOT of research on this case. I initially came to the conclusion that the 3 were actually guilty, even after watching the Paradise Lost documentaries. I read “The Blood of Innocents” about the case, went online and looked at the case files, watched interviews, watched a body language expert give her thoughts on Damien, came onto this site. And after putting it all together, realized, that these 3 boys are indeed INNOCENT.

  12. It’s funny how someone with extra time on their hands can deem these 3 innocent individuals guilty, but EXPERTS in their fields of work all agree that they really are innocent. Blows my mind

    1. It doesn’t take much to blow your mind, then. Criminal profiling, interpreting body language, etc. are extremely subjective and experts have a tendency to support whoever is paying them. The fact that some criminal profilers and body language experts believe they are innocent doesn’t mean much.

  13. anyone who has really studied this case for as many years as i have,and with any common sense will see the west memphis 3 are innocent convicted from corrupt police.

  14. Not trying to get into a heated debate here. Just giving my two cents, the I’m out.

    Who flipping cares!? I have done much research on this case, as most of you have. I’m not sure if they are innocent or not. The only people that know are the three themselves. They are the ones that have to live with whatever happend for the rest of their lives. So, who are we to judge?

    I find most of the facts (or, distorted facts) of this case interesting. Although, I’ve never allowed myself to form an opinion. Just take in what’s out there, and see what happens. I wish them well in their endeavors. But, if they are, in fact guilty, I’m confident, we will never know.

    I find that the only person capable of committing such an act (out of the three) is, Damien. He’s weird, extremely outspoken, and arrogant. IMHO. Jessie doesn’t seem smart enough to pull it off. Jason seems to nice. But, then again, crazier things have happend.

    Just my opinion.

    Whatever happend with the guys that shipped off to Cali days after the murders? Weren’t they interviewed? Failed lie detectors? One had something to say, then recanted? Am I dreaming, or did that happen?

    1. Whatever happend with the guys that shipped off to Cali days after the murders? Weren’t they interviewed? Failed lie detectors? One had something to say, then recanted? Am I dreaming, or did that happen?

      Look for page “Alternative Suspect: Christopher Morgan” in the sidebar.

  15. Batshit insane.

    It takes a special kind of psychotic sociopath to do what Damien Echols did in 1993.

    Run of the mill redneck yokels do not fit the psychological profile, but DE does.

    The murder groupies about face from one run of the mill redneck yokel stepdad (with an airtight alibi) from 1993 to 2010 to another run of the mill redneck yokel stepdad (with an airtight alibi) without missing a beat is the most intellectual dishonest attempt to frame someone I’ve ever witnessed.

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