Annals of WM3 Supporter Creepiness: The 2003 Art Show

In September 2003, a Los Angeles art gallery hosted a two-week show entitled “Cruel and Unusual: An Exhibition To Benefit the West Memphis Three”. Marilyn Manson, Exene Cervenka and Shepard Fairey were among the artists. Winona Ryder hosted the opening party, where Jello Biafra gave a spoken-word performance and Mara Leveritt signed copies of her book.

LA Weekly ran a long feature article by Stephen Lemons about the exhibition and the movement. The web version no longer displays photos of the artworks, but you can still read the gushing descriptions. For example:

Two thousand miles west, in an especially funky little cranny of Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights, artist Emmeric James Konrad is hard at work on a giant crucifix in the studio of his townhouse apartment. Actually, the crucifix is still mostly in his mind and in his sketchbook: stark black-and-white images of three murdered 8-year-olds that will form the head and arms of a colossal 8-by-10-foot cross.

“I’ve already told them I want an entire wall,” says Konrad, excitedly. “I’m going to spray-paint a black outline around it. In the center will be the dead kid with the bite marks, on the bottom will be the stepfather, and below him will be the initials of the three kids, a line of red going through them, with the stepdad’s initials below. You know, like a gangbanger’s tags.”

Konrad’s creepy conception incorporates three famous photos of Christopher Byers, Stevie Branch and Michael Moore, as they were in life before their bodies were pulled from the muddy water of a drainage ditch running through a spooky patch of woods known as the Robin Hood Hills in West Memphis, Arkansas. They were found there May 6, 1993, a day after they had been reported missing, naked and tied ankle to wrist with their own shoelaces, like deer after the kill. The “stepfather” Konrad refers to is John Mark Byers, known to the viewers of the award-winning HBO documentaries Paradise Lost: The Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations as the belligerent, mullet-headed oaf whose comic self-incriminations are lost on the Keystone Kops at the West Memphis Police Department.

Creepy is right. Creepier than the Lord of the Rings/West Memphis Three crossover fan fiction? Tough call. Both are breathtaking in their way.

Nearly every major alt-weekly has run a pro-WM3 feature at some point. This one is par for the course — dripping with righteous indignation, but totally devoid of skepticism or fact-checking toward the official “Free the West Memphis 3” story.

The art show and LA Weekly puff piece date from the 1996-2007 period, when WM3 supporters and gullible journalists were absolutely 100% positive that John Mark Byers was the real killer. This was based in part on the bogus “human bitemark” evidence hyped in Paradise Lost 2. Four years later, the whole movement switched to accusing Terry Hobbs as the real killer. He’s a belligerent, mullet-headed oaf too, so it’s cool! Did any of the supporters/journalists who accused Byers ever look back and think, “hmmm, Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2 and and The Devil’s Knot were dead wrong about Byers being the real killer … is it possible they were dead wrong about anything else?”

And what about the sucker who bought Emmeric James Konrad’s masterpiece? Did she ask for her money back? Or did Konrad come by and update the work with Terry Hobbs’s photo and initials?

27 thoughts on “Annals of WM3 Supporter Creepiness: The 2003 Art Show”

  1. This is ridiculous. I have just finished all 8 pages of this and whether you believe one way or the other, it should be ever so obvious that people need martyrs, and will say anything to create them. These guys weren’t convicted because they wore friggin black and listened to heavy metal. We in the slow moving south are not that stupid. The lack of an alibi, the repeated lies, the confessions, 1st, 2nd and third persons are all contributing factors to the verdicts handed to them. Echols helped himself none at all on the stand, and Baldwin sat through the whole trial like a kid ashamed that he got caught peeing on the playground. Disceptive and dishonest behavior may not prove guilt, but as a juror it creates a strong reaction. Most people do associate one with the other. It’s human nature. (I love that the article tried to evoke sympathy that in his cell he couldn’t even listen to classical music or talk to anyone or change the channel when in a couple paragraphs before Echols had complained about the t.v. and all the people around him being schizo and violent.) I hate this whole case right now and I don’t like myself because I can’t stop reading it in hopes that one day I will trip over the answer and solve hunger in Africa all the same day. Disgusting article.

    1. Right on, Red! Encyclopedia Dramatica’s where it’s at, take that, Keese! The most enlightening portion of ED is this gem:

      “Surprisingly most of the defense claims came up after they had already been convicted making it all the more reason why you should hire a jew lawyer and not some white trash retard that keeps a Tom Clancy book with him in the trial.”

      Speaking of ED, Red can teach us all a thing or two, I’m sure.

      1. Wow, this is the most ignorant shit I’ve read in awhile.

        Just want to point out in regards to this comment “…all the more reason why you should hire a jew lawyer and not some white trash retard…” – The WM3 had PUBLIC DEFENDERS, as they were poor and could not afford to hire a “jew lawyer”.

  2. This is the first comment I have made about this West Memphis Case of the three victim and the three boys that were convicted and now area out on Alford Plea. I refer to it as the WM6 or I have. I am happy I have found your blog as I too was made aware of this by HBO’s 1st Documentary several years back Paradise Lost. After doing some research, I have found your site and I was able to locate the significant amount of detailed evidence. In addition, after finding your site, I am definitely more educated on the subject.

    I am from a Police Family of a City in the South and first off I can say there were some missed interviews that I would have thought paramount. This may be that I have not located these interviews or maybe they do not exist.

    After my brief review of some of the evidence that is now public. I do have some questions in which I am having a tough time locating. Does anyone have the estimated time of deaths. This should be able to be determined within a few hours of actual death. I noticed one blogger (words not documents) stating time of death was between 1am and 5am. Can this be true. I realize the boys may have had the heinous crimes done to them and left for dead and maybe they did die in this time frame. I was just wondering if there was in fact a factual document that had time of death. Also, does anyone know of an actual interview _ an it may be she has no memory due to age) but is there in depth interview of Amanda Hobbs and or Jacoby’s 5 year old child at the time. I don’t see these interviews. This might be in front of my face and discussed at length on a forum so please forgive me if it is, as after finding this site, I started to educate myself out of curiosity and to make sure I did not jump to any conclusions without having the fact that are public.

    Thank you again for this site!


    1. Time of Death:

      Original Medical Examiner, Frank Peretti, Echols/Baldwin trial:
      Peretti: Well, based on what I know, it would be um – as a very, broad range – between 1 and — 1AM and – you know, 5-7 in the morning.

      Ford: 1AM to 5AM Thursday, May the 6th.

      Peretti: Yes.

      Brent Turvey:
      Time of Death, agreed:

      Amanda Hobbs was 4 years old at the time, so she wasn’t interviewed.

      Hope that helps.

    2. Time of Death

      Original Medical Examiner, Frank Peretti, Echols/Baldwin trial:

      Peretti: Well, based on what I know, it would be um – as a
      very, broad range – between 1 and — 1AM and – you know,
      5-7 in the morning.

      Ford: 1AM to 5AM Thursday, May the 6th.

      Peretti: Yes.

      Brent Turvey*
      Time of Death, agreed:

      Amanda Hobbs was 4 years old at the time, so she wasn’t interviewed.

      Hope that helps.

  3. KKH:
    David does a great job maintaining this site and allows all opinions, I loved when I found it also.

    Brent Turvey is in the documents section of Calahans and gave the time frame you are mentioning I believe. It has been mentioned here in the past, and as Keese pointed out then the report is very hard to read. It is extremely graphic.
    *This is not an autopsy report. As for the children, Amanda Hobbs has made statements recently although I don’t remember reading that they were interviewed then. Pam Hicks reported the things that Amanda had told her. (If I am wrong someone let me know)

      1. Wait, he wasn’t considered a suspect at this time. He wasn’t even under arrest, technically he could stand up and walk home at anytime if he wanted to. If he wanted to speak to his mother all he had to do was ask. I think people watch too many movies/tv shows, its not like the detectives were water boarding and torturing damien and he was pleading to speak with his mother the whole time. Why did he fail 5 crucial questions on the polygraph?

        1. Sure he could stand up and walk out at any time. Yeah, right. Ever been in that seat. You don’t just feel as though you can get up and walk out. He also could have refused the polygraph, but it doesn’t really matter. Anything you do makes you look suspicious. As far as speaking with his mother, I am sure she told him to shut his mouth. As his rights cleary state, anything he says can be used against him. I’d do the same thing. He was, by the way, considered a ‘suspect’ due to the juvenile officer saying when the bodies were found “looks like Damien finally…” Well, I don’t remember the whole quote, but you can find it somewhere out there.

  4. Whole debates are had about polygraphs in general, but I think in this case, it was far too heavily relied on and maybe even used for confirmation bias.

    Known child molestor and creep of creeps, JKM, also showed deception on some answers. Interestingly, when he failed (for example) :

    Q. #3: Do you know what was used to tie up those three boys?
    A: “No”

    Police later allowed him to explain:
    “In the post test interview, the subject said he thinks shoe laces
    were used to tie the boys because logic tells him that the killer
    would use something already there.”

    He failed this:
    Q. #9: Do you know who killed those three boys?
    A: “No”

    Explained it with this:
    “He also said he thinks the father of Steve Branch killed the boys.”

    And that was good enough for police. If I recall correctly, not even his alibi was ever confirmed and it was really weak anyway. It is interesting to note and clarify, JKM was not showing deception on what he “thought” might have happened; he was showing deception on what he “knew.”

    The point is, this is just one example. I think either the polygraph results are either even less reliable than generally so, or the truth turns into a complicated conspiracy.

  5. I don’t know, I mean when you put together the fact that the polygraph showed deception to Damien answering “no” to “were you in robin hood hills wednesday night” and “did you kill any of the 3 boys” and THEN once he found out the detectives saw possible deception in his statements he began to not deny the murders (he didn’t necessarily admit, but he stopped denying it like he was before the polygraph)…maybe he was confused as to how he could’ve failed a polygraph to something that he knew absolutely nothing about(kind of like if he failed a polygraph about the murders of JFK). Maybe that just totally through him for a loop, but I mean, wouldn’t most people say things like “that’s impossible” “you’re kidding, right” “can I take another one” “I was with so-and-so that night, please call them right now”…instead, he stops denying his involvement and says “I’ll tell you everything, just let me speak to my mother first”…If he really wanted to speak to his mom, why not just say “Can I please speak with my mother?” Just an odd series of events.

  6. I can’t believe these guys are free. Oh so now if you are a teen Satanist that wears black you can’t possibly be guilty of murder. This guy witchcrafted his way out of jail, even using a woman to get his craft on. Shame to the judicial branch!! He is a snake in the grass. I am disgusted.

  7. Found something interesting.Was looking at Damien Echols on Twitter on august the 31st.He clearly has a fascination with the moon,the full moon in particular.Just for the funn off it,I decided to look if there was a full moon on may the 6th 1993.Guess?There was .I know that it doesn’t proove anything.But it strikes me as odd.Wished I never looked at paradise lost,can’t get Damien Echols out of my head(like many of you).The more I read about this case ,the more I’m not sure if he did it or not.Like now there’s new fiber evidence.

  8. Thank you for your work on this very good website. This case is a classic example of how dumbed-down and reliant on vapid pop culture for truth contemporary American society is. It also shows how corrupt, craven and morally depraved Hollywood and the American entertainment media are. I almost threw up this weekend when I saw Damien Echols’ new book prominently displayed at my local Barnes & Noble, with a picture of him on the cover with this phony self-righteous smirk. I can’t begin to imagine how the victims’ families feel. Anyone with good sense who truly takes the time to study the FACTS as so well displayed on this site, and look past all the nonsense, will know the truth – that the State of Arkansas let three murderers out of jail.

    And that seems to be a fact forgotten by their supporters: they are CONVICTED MURDERERS. Their convictions were not reversed by the legal system, the system that deals in FACTS rather than public opinion. The only reason they are free is that a gutless political pandering prosecutor decided letting them go was a great way to score points with the electorate. An electorate duped by the baseless proclamations of empty-headed celebrities.

    A fact that

    1. Their convictions were not reversed because that would leave the state wide open to receive a MASSIVE lawsuit, paying out probably million.

      Also, most of the families believe them to be innocent and are upset that the state isn’t finding the ACTUAL killers.

      1. “Also, most of the families believe them to be innocent and are upset that the state isn’t finding the ACTUAL killers.”

        Not true.

        One of the six surviving parents, John Mark Byers, believes them to be innocent. One parent, Pam Hobbs, goes back and forth. Four parents — Todd Moore, Dana Moore, Terry Hobbs and Steve Branch Sr — have never wavered in their belief that the WM3 are guilty.

  9. People disgust me these were someone’s children that were cruelly and unfairly robbed of their life for you to benefit from this in the name of art is repulsive. I hate that you have turned these innocent children’s senseless deaths into an art show attraction, all you are truly showing is that humanity has dropped so far into the depths of depravity that there may be nothing left to salvage at all. I don’t find this amusing, entertaining or means to express my artistic side. I don’t believe that the MW3 are guilty I know it, they pled guilty and being guilty is a byproduct of that action one can only hope that the perpetrators of this heinous act will come to know justice and I believe that they will.

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