Hamish McKenzie on West of Memphis

At The Atlantic: The Unsettling Recklessness of Peter Jackson’s ‘West of Memphis’ by Hamish McKenzie.

McKenzie criticizes the film for its hypocritical and reckless treatment of Terry Hobbs. So far, so good. This level of skepticism places McKenzie in the top 1% of mainstream journalists covering this case.

Ultimately I find the article aggravating, however. McKenzie wrote a pretty good piece (PDF) about the West Memphis Three for the South China Morning Post in 2011. In that piece, he at least considered the possibility that the WM3 were guilty and mentioned some of the evidence missing from the Paradise Lost films. In the Atlantic piece, however, McKenzie states that the WM3 were victims of “injustice” but have now been “exonerated”. To be fair, his opening line states that the WM3 were “convicted, perhaps wrongly” — and pro-WM3 commenters jump down his throat for that tiny sacrilege — but overall the piece takes for granted that the WM3 were innocent and railroaded on flimsy evidence.

Is there some journalistic taboo against mentioning the overwhelming evidence of the WM3’s guilt? Even if a journalist is not 100% convinced of the WM3’s guilt, wouldn’t a balanced “on the one hand, on the other hand” approach call for mentioning Jessie Misskelley’s multiple confessions and questioning why all the documentaries exclude them?

52 thoughts on “Hamish McKenzie on West of Memphis”

  1. Look for the real killers/s of those poor boys. Admit that one tragedy was followed by another. The materials on this site have only convinced me about how flimsy the original evidence was. Moreover, there is such and vicious character assassination against those youth (at the time of the murders) that it only reinforces how much bias existed during the first trial.

    1. John Does
      First trial lol There was no 2nd trail .The WM3 refused the offer for a 2nd trial and opt to take a plea. If it was such flimsy evidence why not clear their name. They were so close to the goal line. A retrial they said they wanted so much? They would have been set up for life with the millions they claimed they could have been able to sue the state . Why not just wait a few months for a new trial if it was such flimsy evidence? One of the biggest lie was it would take years LMAO. Another lie that Jason took so long on deciding to take the deal. His lawyer was busy with another case and took so long. They were all nervous and Echols and his team were mad. The deal had a time limit and why get nervous if it fell through . They had so much great evidence that proved their innocence (so they tell the public) . The state had no chance to win the case (so the WM3 say) The truth was not the new evidence would have given them a new trial but a juror that was in questioned.

      1. How bout railing against someone who is REALLY guilty despite the support of bleedingheart celebs… i.e. Mumia copkiller abu Jamal.

        Why would WM3 not take the second trial?

        Well…based on their previous experience with the “justice” system, would ANY sane person take the chance.to be railroaded again. Most people who still think Damien and Co. Are guilty are in denial. Everyone strongly wants to believe the courts work, because contemplating the alternative i.e. the truth, that scores of innocents are imprisoned, and yes, sometimes.executed is just to terrible, and causes the cognitive.dissonance.of having to admit that “the greatest country in the world” while undoubtedly a true stateent, does NOT make us.perfect. Wish I.had cites handy but a cursory search will reveal some cases.where prosecutors were so blinded by the desire for.conviction that they insisted on the huilt of the acccused, AFTER INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE surfaced that it was PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE that the accused was guilty. One prosecutor said” the accused rapist was convicted fair and square in a court of.law” totally ignoring the fact the conviction was overturned because of another man confessing and being convicted on DNA evidence. Apparently he wanted two convictions on his record so bad he avidly wished to imprison an innocent man. He basocally admitted that he did not care if a suspect was giilty, as long as he could convince a jury he was.

    1. WoM point of view is that Terry Hobbs is sympathetic and innocent?

      Then, who do they imply did it, if not the WM3?

  2. Yes, all three were selected solely because they wore black and listened to heavy metal right? And then Miskelley confessed due to coercion right? So it was simply coincidence that all 3 had zero alibis, 2 of which were shredded at trial, and Baldwins attorney didnt even attempt to present one right? And Misskelley confessed including after being sentenced to life in prison with absolutely nothing to gain again, and again, and again, and again because…….ummmm, not sure on that one. You guys are an advertisers dream, gleefully gobbling up lie after lie while smiling and asking for more, otherwise referred to as morons.

  3. McKenzie is trying to have it both ways on the “guilt” issue due to peer pressure. He obviously or likely doesn’t know the three were not “exonerated” nor likely ever to be.

  4. WoM almost seemed like it was created as a nice pat on the back for Hollywood, celebrities and the media for all of their hard work in getting these convicted men released from prison.

    I did not learn anything that I did not already know about the case and I find it funny that Jackson spent millions on producing almost and exact replica of Paradise Lost 3.

    I also find it ironic that WM3 groupies have presumed Hobbs guilty thanks to this current trend in media sensationalism.

    Was this not the ideals that WM3 supporters claimed put innocent young men behind bars?

    Why would we want to subject yet another person to this same sort or litmus test?

    It baffles me and reeks of hypocrisy.

    1. Michael don’t worry it is backfiring in their faces. The more lies the less believable they are. They are looking like fools with that new film. Turtle eats one but just nibbles on the other with just bite-marks no ripping of the skin. Yep that was a ferocious turtles during their feeding time. The new witness sound like liars and when they added Jennifer Bearden it made people that didn’t know the case curious on what was her statement so they will look it up. Opps she really wasn’t the best Alibi to pick to clear Echols and Jason. Wow there is exhibit 500 for everyone to see. They should have just left it with the PL films. They are idiots and just sink themselves and made themselves look like liars. People are not that dumb to think someone comes out after 19 years and tells the police they saw the children before they went missing. The whole town helps out with telling where the children were last seem but the victim’s friends. Who played with them wait to tell they seen them that day 19 years ago? The supporters even got to be thinking in the back of their head that doesn’t sound right. Nice touch to the movie putting Amanda stoned making accusations. The most she came up with her father beat her with a belt. Sorry a lot of children were hit with belts before the time out period. Only the stars in Hollywood that is too afraid of going against Peter Jackson come away from the film saying it was brilliant. People like movie stars and critics make their money off of producers. It would be like telling your boss you’re an idiot.

  5. The millions that Jackson spent producing a “replica” of Paradise Lost 3, actually produced the Terry Hobbs DNA evidence that, like it or think it’s irrelevent, set in motion the events that got the WM3 out of prison. I hardly think Jackson is disappointed with the outcome. The film itself was not as well made as Paradise Lost 3, hence its lack of Oscar nomination.

    I also would just like to take a moment and remind everyone of how this whole thing started, because it’s easy to forget. Three boys were found murdered, and someone, that very day, said, “This looks Satanic. I think it was Damien Echols.” Think about that while you stroke your fair-minded egos.

    1. someone, that very day, said, “This looks Satanic. I think it was Damien Echols.”

      I’ve heard this story too. There’s no evidence it happened.

      1. Really that is all they had? Then I think they would have picked Murray Farris and had him on trial.
        He just came out and said “Hey I practice white magic but we don’t harm anyone. ” Noticed one of the statements were taken out of the files were he gives a list of names. “It couldn’t be that Damien had violent behavior and because he was a juvenile his records couldn’t be released at the time or his medical records were private at the time. I betting that was a big reason they picked up Echols had him as a suspect is because he made violent threats and had a mental problems such as sucking blood from another inmate and made threats to cut his parents throats and eat them and thought he was talking to a spirit named rose . I am thinking that is why he was a suspect that they really looked into not just witchcraft. Deanna ‘s name was thrown out there more than Echols .

      2. I wouldn’t care even if it was true.

        There is a big difference in looking at the local violent sociopaths as possible suspects and framing 3 kids for murder.

        Joey, I would like to take a moment to remind you this whole thing started when three children were murdered, most likely, by the group of child sociopaths you support.

  6. One of the most popular misconceptions is that the West Memphis Police Department focused almost exclusively on the defendants. The defense used this theme arguing that the police had “Damien Echols tunnel vision”. In reality, (something most supporters are only minimally interested in) 90 suspects were looked at. Many had a far worse background and appearance than the three who were convicted. WMPD pulled the arrest reports on everyone arrested in WMPH for the prior 3 years on sex charges. ALL WERE CHECKED OUT.

    1. Outside of family members, Damien Echols was the very first person they questioned though. Now, was this done for good reason or not is the debate. Most tend to believe he was targeted for being a weird teen that was known to dable in other religions/cult like lifestyles. There were also many rumors floating around about him. However, I tend to believe that the juvenile officers/WMPD HAD to know about his stints at psychological hospitals(not necesarily his behaviors while he was there), his past school records, criminal history, different residences in other states(and why he went and left these residents), and the fact that he was on full disability from the government and receiving checks for mental illnesses.

      1. “Outside of family members, Damien Echols was the very first person they questioned though.”

        One of the first, but not the first. I assume you mean questioned as possible suspects here. Police questioned Paul Champagne on the morning of May 7, and Gary Chadwick sometime that day. Lt. Hester first questioned Samuel Beasley and Mikael Williams that afternoon too during canvassing.

    2. Scott,

      Your point is worth emphasizing. Anyone who reads the voluminous case file on the Callahan site cannot help noticing how many tips, witness interviews, witness statements and other investigative records, having nothing whatsoever to do with the three defendants, made their way into the files but led to dead ends. It is quite clear that the West Memphis investigators considered everybody and anybody a suspect.

      What turned this case around was Misskelly’s confession. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed — no dispute about that — but he told police a number of details about the suspects that hadn’t been publicized. Some say otherwise, but I spend a great deal of time reading press reports preceding the date of Misskelly’s confession and found absolutely nothing about the details he reported — which boy was cut (and on which side of his face), which boy had his penis cut, which boy was not cut or molested. Misskelly got all this right, and he did not read about in the papers or watch it on TV.

      As for alibis, no defendant has an obligation to offer one (I’d be hard-pressed to prove where I was much of the time). But when someone does — as Echols did and Misskelly did — it’s certainly appropriate for authorities to check out those alibis. They did. Echols’ alibi “morphed” over time, but even if one just sticks to what he claimed at trial — that he talked to four girls on the telephone — Bearden, George, Teer and Cliett — that night — he comes up without any support for that alibi. The girls admit having talked to Echols that night, but all of them place the times at before 5:30 or after 9:00 — not much help to Echols. And Bearden claims she talked to Echols that afternoon when she called Jason’s house, even though Echols swore he was at home at that time, miles from Jason’s trailer. (As for Jessie’s “went wrestling” alibi, anyone who’s read the trial testimony about that, or the June 10 declaration of the wrestling rink owner, cannot take that “alibi” seriously.)

      While one certainly can argue they weren’t proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt — that possibility exists — they certainly were proven guilty very close to beyond a reasonable doubt, at the very least.

      And as for the accusations against Byers, and later Hobbs — please. I find it very difficult to believe that anyone takes them seriously, especially when they’re offered up by the very same people who complain about baseless charges being leveled against the three convicted defendants.

  7. You’re right, sorry, I meant questioned as a possible suspect. The questioning of Damien Echols definitely wasn’t in the protocol canvassing of the neighborhood. They specifically sought him out. There’s only a couple of things that will still occasionally push me a little to questioning these guys guilt or not(I’m currently about 85% sure the WM3 are guilty). 1.) The fact that Damien was pretty much the lead focus makes you think that since investigators are human they can get a little tunnel vision when investigating cases(I get that Damien was FAR from the only suspect, but we don’t have much evidence on the man hours they spent on each suspect). 2.) The saga of Terry Hobbs is very very sketchy(however, aside from his almost rock solid alibi, Mark Byers was too) 3.) What happened to the 5 missing pieces of clothes? Why would the WM3 take these and not submerge them with the others?

  8. You guys need to give the WM3 a break! These guys have served a lot of years in jail already.
    And Damien is really cool these days. Eddie Veder supports him.

    So even if he did it..hes still a cool dude.

    The other two guys are a bit gay though. Especially the one who has down syndrome.

  9. one very convincing argument i still sometimes forget is:

    If Misskelley FALSELY confessed to murder and made the whole story up along the way….what were the odds that both Echols and Baldwin had NO alibi to contradict this confession.

    it just doesn’t happen.

    1. Frank,

      I agree with your conclusion. No defendant has an obligation to give an alibi (and Jason chose not to try). But if a defendant chooses to, the prosecution has every right to check it out, and juries expect corroboration. Echols’ alibi changed over time, and the final version he gave at trial (that he’d talked with four named girls on the phone that evening) got no support from the four girls themselves. None was called as a witness, and declarations given by each of them leave a huge time gap — 5:30 PM to 9 PM — during which Echols’ whereabouts were unaccounted for.

      Perhaps most amusing, and largely ignored, is the statement made by Echols’ father in the first Paradise Lost movie: “Our son is innocent, and we intend to prove it.” The father wasn’t even called as a witness to support Damien’s alibi (that he was home the whole evening) or for any other purpose. Had he been called, the prosecution probably would have pointed out that his own wife said he’d packed up every item he owned in the trailer and moved out the night before the murder, going to live with his mother. Despite this, when he gave his statement to the police, he claimed he was home all day on the day of the murder, apparently having forgotten that he and his wife had separated the night before and he’d moved out to go live with his mother. Presumably these slight “inconsistencies” in his story are the reason Damien’s lawyers chose not to call him at trial. So much for his vow.

  10. LMAO Michael don’t worry it is backfiring in their faces. The more lies the less believable they are. They are looking like fools with that new film. Turtle eats one but just nibbles on the other with just bite-marks no ripping of the skin. Yep that was a ferocious turtles during their feeding time. The new witness sound like liars and when they added Jennifer Bearden it made people that didn’t know the case curious on what was her statement so they will look it up. Opps she really wasn’t the best Alibi to pick to clear Echols and Jason. Wow there is exhibit 500 for everyone to see. They should have just left it with the PL films. They are idiots and just sink themselves and made themselves look like liars. People are not that dumb to think someone comes out after 19 years and tells the police they saw the children before they went missing. The whole town helps out with telling where the children were last seem but the victim’s friends. Who played with them wait to tell they seen them that day 19 years ago? The supporters even got to be thinking in the back of their head that doesn’t sound right. Nice touch to the movie putting Amanda stoned making accusations. The most she came up with her father beat her with a belt. Sorry a lot of children were hit with belts before the time out period. Only the stars in Hollywood that is too afraid of going against Peter Jackson come away from the film saying it was brilliant. People like movie stars and critics make their money off of producers. It would be like telling your boss you’re an idiot.

  11. I wonder what the WM3 will say next ? They are starting to looking like Casey Anthony now . Lets change are story and change our lies . Who is next on there list of suspects(hit list ) ? Casey didnt even change her story this much .

  12. Wow. I guess you don’t have to have too much going on upstairs to use a computer. It’s amazing that so many people feel these defendants should have been obligated to prove their innocence.

      1. Are you REALLY that ignorant? Ever hear of the constitution? How bout innocent until proven guilty? According to the laws of this great country, the prosecutor must prove guilt. Otherwise if the accused was obligated to prove his innocence, the cops could find any randomperson who was home alone when a crime occurred, and thay woumd automatically be convicted for having no alibi to somehow “prove their innocence”. You get it now?

        1. Wait – my question was in regards to their appeals, not their trial; I apologize for not making that clear. You are absolutely correct in that the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty before it can deprive him of his freedom and/or life. And that’s the way it should be.

          Once convicted however, the burden of proof now falls on the defendants to either prove that the judge made errors or evidence not available at trial (like DNA) would have resulted in a different outcome. The WM3 has failed to do this in a court of law.

          This is why I feel the burden of proof is on the WM3 to prove their innocence.

  13. Re: Alford Plea
    A lot has been made about whether taking the Alford plea shows either innocence or guilt. My understanding in taking an Alford plea is that the individual admits that the prosecution has sufficent evidence to support the reasonable probability of a conviction. It certainly does not mean that person is innocent.

    1. Dale,

      You’re correct about the Alford plea. It certainly doesn’t mean the defendant was innocent.

      That said, I don’t blame Echols or any of the others for taking that deal. After 18 years in prison, I’d probably have taken that deal too. At that point, I’d have stopped holding out for some declaration of my “innocence” and would take whatever deal would get me out of prison.

      Though it’s hard not to conclude all three were guilty, I’m not terribly upset with the outcome. They did spend 18 years in prison, after all. While Echols’ effort to cast himself as a wronged “rock star” is a bit annoying, who really cares in the end? And that will end soon, as few people will choose to pay attention to any of them after a while. They’ll all find it rather difficult to earn a living, which is as it should be. (One thing for certain: Damien Echols will find it rather difficult to get hired to babysit anyone’s young children.)

  14. Thank god misskelley was stupid enough to confess, otherwise you would never have worked out who the murderers were. The investigators were consuming heavy drugs as far as i can see.

    1. It seems to be standard operating procedure for both sides to claim the investigators screwed up. I can’t say that I agree. Some portions of witness interrogations could have been handled better, but that’s nearly always the case, and I came away thinking they’d done a pretty good job. I’m a lawyer myself (though not a criminal lawyer), and was quite impressed with Fogleman and Davis. Mixed reviews on the defense lawyers, though I think most of us can agree that Stidham (Misskelly’s first attorney) was probably wise to have concluded that his talents lie somewhere other than in the legal profession — glad to see he’s not in that line of work any more.

  15. The Alford plea requires the Defendant to acknowledge that there is sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict them without actually admitting guilt. The plea is used when a Defendant is advised by their attorney that it may be in their best interests to enter a plea due to the strength of evidence against them and likely outcome of the case. Given those considerations a Defendant may decide that pleading guilty as part of a plea deal to a lesser offense or in exchange for a particular sentence is a better option than going to trial on a more serious offense. In layman’s terms, it is a way for the Defendant to say “I didn’t do it, but a jury will probably find me guilty anyway so I am admitting guilt as part of this plea deal because it will provide me with a better outcome than going to trial.” As part of the plea, the Court must find that there is a factual basis for the plea. In other words, that the State does in fact have sufficient evidence to support a conviction. The Defendant in an Alford Please or any plea for that matter will stipulate to the factual basis. Otherwise, the Court must reject the plea and allow the trial to proceed.

    The purpose of the Alford Plea is to ensure that a Defendant isn’t pleading guilty to something based on something other than the facts. Thus if a Defendant were to dispute the facts when entering the plea, the plea cannot proceed because the Court cannot allow a person who maintains innocence to plead guilty. So the Defendant doesn’t get to assert innocence. Instead, they concede there is sufficient evidence to convict them but are permitted to claim that they are entering the plea because it is in their best interests instead of because they are in fact guilty. They do actually plead guilty but with the caveat that they do so only because they believe it is in their best interests to do so based on the likely outcome of a trial. It’s sort of a way of saying “let’s skip the trial where I plead not guilty because they are going to find me guilty anyway and let me plead guilty to something else that has a less harsh consequence to me than maintaining my innocence and losing at trial.”

    The Defendant is advised that they will be treated as guilty despite the Alford Plea. It is similar to a no contest plea with the exception that the Defendant goes on the record as entering the plea because they consider it in their best interests to do so as an alternative to the consequences of a conviction for the original charge, whereas a no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt or innocence but rather a statement that the Defendant isn’t challenging the charge. A person pleading no contest is also considered guilty.

    So in this case, the WM3 with the required advice of counsel concluded that it was better to take the deal than risk another guilty verdict at trial.

    Procedurally, I do have questions as to whether an Alford Plea was appropriate after a conviction was already obtained but not vacated. The judge would have to first grant the new trial which has the effect of vacating the convictions. Was a new trial in fact granted or was there simply a hearing scheduled to decide whether a new trial should be granted?

  16. All u people have only watched paradise lost and think you know the case, but…you DON’T KNOW SHIT. I’m telling u fuck the paradise lost propaganda shit and look into the real facts of the case and you will see that they are guilty. Jesse admitted it which fuck false confessions..i don’t care if I was questioned for 2 days straight I’m not going to admit something I didnt do, and he confessed a couple times as did damien…. the “glad to be known in the future as west Memphis boogeyman”. There’s tons of evidence that I don’t have time typing out, I found my self thinking they might not be guilty after watching paradise lost but I looked at transscripts and everything else and came to conclusion without a doubt they are guilty. Telling you I feel bad for mark Byers but he for one got sucked into the paradise lost shit for reasons nobody knows about. 1st because mark Byers is a person that if everyone is telling him something over and over then he will start believeing, 2nd reason is that the attention is directed off him towards Hobbs which I know Byers didn’t do it but still didn’t want to be a suspect. And 3rd and most important reason is cause Byers is a lonely man after his kid and wife are gone he has nobody else and finds friends and something to do in the day with free west memphis group. No doubt If paradise lost showed the guilty side of west Memphis three as well as the innocent side that they just Tryed to show the whole film then they’d be in jail right now still and wouldn’t of had all that money to pay those old farts to say animals did it when the kids were under water the whole time where animals wouldn’t have gotten to him…Paradise lost…DEBUNKED.

    1. You just said ” I feel bad for mark Byers , because he is the type of person if somebody tells him something over and over again he starts believing it ”
      Yet you can not see that a mentally challenged seventeen year old boy would be oh so much more susceptible to suggestion especially from an authority figure that is seemingly holding you captive.
      You are not being very unbiased.

      1. Again, with the comment ” they were under water where animals could not have gotten them ” you show, an absolute refusal to think critically, there are plenty of under water predators, I know, I feed my tiny turtle crickets and he is vicious with them.
        The large alligator turtles and plenty of fish will eat most of a human carcass. I have seen bodies pulled out of rivers where they are unrecognizable due to aquatic predation.

    2. I thought the films showed the trial and the non evidence in the case, I would like to know which evidence of guilt do you think they did not include ?
      Is there evidence of guilt that was not entered into trial ?
      Please elucidate….

  17. Firstly let me just say I studied Psychology, Criminal Psychology, and Criminal Justice. I remember watching PL a long time ago when I was a kid but had not really seen it since. I have however seen PL 3. Other than that, I had seen an interview with Echlos on Anderson a couple months ago just by coincidence. Of which I undoubtedly grew a little interested in the case. Being intrigued I read up on and watched quite a few videos and old news clips. Read over the court transcripts and looked over the evidence. I also looked at the old layout of the town and crime scene. I watched interviews with all three suspects, family members of the victims, witnesses etc. then and now.
    So heres my two cents! And its purely objective. Albeit I was not there. I was not working on the case. I have no vested interest in any direction! So I did not study the case in depth.
    With that being said, everyone has their own opinion and most are based on pretty much just what they have watched on TV. Very few have delved into the facts. With the exception of people involved directly. so…
    Firstly, the evidence. The evidence was very circumstantial. They just did not have anything to really tie the suspects to being with the kids or at the crime scene. Just that simple. As for the confession, false confessions happen all the time! Trust me I have seen it a thousand times. Especially with the mentally challenged. If you probe somebody hard enough using the tactics most officers use you’d be surprised what you end up with. That is why we have our Miranda rights. Its a golden rule amongst defense attorneys to always remain silent until an attorney is present. Miranda v. Arizona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning). I Had that beat into my head at a lecture I attended for defense attorneys at Harvard Law. I am not a defense attorney however. Which brings me to my next point. The area I studied which is criminal behavior!
    I am short on time so I will focus on my main points. I will not go into detail about each decision because it would entail teaching you psychology and what we learn about truth telling. Here’s one thing (url) I can point you to in the realm of things were taught http://www.ted.com/talks/pamela_meyer_how_to_spot_a_liar.html
    Just trust me when I say that my conclusion is objective and based on what I have learned.
    What I noticed about the three suspects in all the things I have read and watched, past and present. I will start with Jason, in everything I have seen i.e. interviews, I am about 99% sure he is innocent. As for Jessie, as tied to my earlier points, I wanted to see if their was anything I could garner from observing him. To which I concluded he was highly susceptible to coercion. As far as his guilt, from gathered information I am about 95% sure of his innocence. Damien was quite different from the other two. It was harder to tell exactly what he was all about. I could sense some degree of mental instability. More so in earlier interviews than recent ones. It was hard to find the facts regarding his past in relation to violent or criminal behavior. In the end I wasnt able to gather enough information to really nail down a definitive conclusion. But, suffice it say that I am 85% sure of his innocence. Its just highly unlikely that, given the data, an unbiased neutral court setting would have convicted them today.

    In conclusion their is always some degree of subjective doubt one maintains and for good reason. But, the statistics say that in most murder cases involving childern under the age of 12 years, family or close friends are usually involved. That would definitely be were I would start my search. The law of parsimony (Ockhams Razor) comes into play as well. Ask yourself whats more likely?
    Unfortunately I am out of time. I hope what I have said helps in some way, but people will always formulate their own opinions.

    Vaya con Dios

  18. What a bunch of crap. ‘ Trust me, false confessions happen all the time!’ How many false confessions have implicated co-defendants? Not bloody many, I bet. That is altogether another thing.

    1. I think that you would have to put yourself in the position of the accused. If you were on trial for murder with no evidence of you doing it and got convicted and sentenced to death, how would you feel? I don’t think there is enough evidence to convict anyone beyond a reasonable doubt. After reading and watching material on this case I can’t see how a jury can convict someone beyond a reasonable doubt. I would have to agree with anonymos. My being in the criminal justice field we are taught, from studing thousands of cases in the past, that a family member or a friend of the family is usually the person that commits a crime like this.

    2. Most false confessions implicate other defendants, because most false confessions are expertly driven by the police for the sole purpose of getting a person to implicate others they may think are involved. The whole trick, and it is a trick , and one that is taught to coerce and point a interviewee in the direction you want them to go.
      It works like this when you assume two or three people are involved the objective would be to assertain which has the weaker constitution, in this case it was undoubtedly Jesse Misskelly, who was highly susceptible to suggestion, you would then get him to give a confession that states that ” yeah the other two were there ” once you have that confession you then build the case for the other two based on that. Exactly the way that they DID do. You convict the confessee , and then bolster the case of the other two with the conviction based on the confession.

  19. Yes, false confessions happen. But four confessions over months, implicating co-defendants all without an alibi. One being seen at the seen of the crime. With a missing trench coat, other circumstantial evidence (necklace) and documented psychiatric evidence of a clear psychopath. This crime fits the teenage thrill kill to a tee. It is a textbook example of one.

    But I am also a huge believer in the concept of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. I cannot tell you how many cases I have thought were not even close to surpassing that threshold where the jury came back with a guilty verdict. I am aware of dozens of cases where the defendant was most likely innocent, and for various reasons the jury convicts them. This case the WM3 are NOT most likely innocent. They are almost certainly guilty. But a million dollar high profile defense with some evidence excluded…..yes, I think it is very possible they could have met the concept of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in front of a jury.

    Oddly enough the WM3 didn’t take that chance to clear their names even though someone like I, someone convinced of their guilt, thinks they had a very good chance of getting off.

    Makes you wonder….

    1. They did not take that chance because Damian’s health made it very possible that he would not make it to that point, besides after so many years I can see how that close to freedom it became unbearable o wait one more day.

  20. I have been on many sites where this case is open for discussion. And in some of those discussions one comment that I have noticed that is amazing to me that a person could come to the conclusion that they do about is the comment “If they are so innocent y would they take this plea deal instead of waiting for a New trial”. Or ” If they were innocent there is no way they would confess to be guilty even in an Alford plea”. 2 things are incredible about these comments. One is that given the history of the case, the 3 men being convicted with almost no evidence, and yes I did read the articles in this website and Callahan, and then being in prison for 18 years and filed appeal after appeal and having them denied by the same judge who wasn’t about to admit that he was wrong, taking all that into consideration, yes they were going to receive a New trial based on New evidence, but that could have taken years. Could have been put off for years, leaving them in prison even longer. And being out of prison would be better for the 3 overall and still allow them to do whatever they could to bring new light to the case. The second thing is, it’s INCREDIBLE to me that some people have turned this Alford plea into “well they wouldn’t have pleaded guilty if they were innocent”. How about this, the is no way in any circumstances that 3 convicted child killers, one of which is on death row, would be set free if the authorities firmly believed that there was still enough evidence against them. It would not happen! How do some people not see that?! I do not understand that at all. Its also INCREDIBLE that there r still people so blinded by this case and believing that these men committed these crimes that they cannot see truth. No matter how much it is brought out.

  21. Not sure if I’ll get a response, since there hasn’t been much activity here in a while…
    First off, I’m not in any way a WM3 supporter, I’ve always believed they are guilty as hell.
    I just watched West of Memphis, yes is it a biased opinion piece that leaves much of the events/evidence out, and paints a one sided picture of events. I particularly disliked the end of the film, Damien and his groupie wife ride off into the sunset living happily ever after, but what about the children who are dead? Or even the other two who were supposedly wrongly convicted?? Do Peter Jackson and friends only acknowledge Damien for some reason? Would they have gone through all of this effort if he wasn’t in the equation and it was only Jason and Jesse? Weird.

    My reason for this post, however, is to ask a few questions that came up for me when I watched the film, just to shed some light…

    The 3 kids rode their bikes up to the pipe, then left there bikes on the bank and walked across, into the wooded area. They followed one of the trails into the wooded area, going towards the Blue Beacon truck wash side. coming from the Mayfair apartments side.
    According to Jesse in a number of his confessions, he and the two others hid when the kids approached on foot, then jumped out and ambushed them, starting the assault immediately. Jesse says he doesn’t know what they did with the bikes in his statement, he had left. Fair enough. He also mentioned that they had entered into the wooded area from the service road somewhere, not sure where exactly he said this was…
    I’m confused as to how they knew that the kids had bikes at all? It doesn’t sound like they took any time to talk to them before the assault started. And Jesse made it clear in his statements that no one at any time during the assaults had left to move the bikes, or even had mentioned anything about bikes.
    If by some fluke they had learned that the kids had rode over to the pipe on bikes, why the heck would they be crossing through the wooded area, away from the crime scene, towards a residential area. where they are risking being seen by whomever may be out and about, to throw the bikes into the water?
    It doesn’t seem like it was in any way necessary for them to do this, and would actually be detrimental to them more that helpful in concealing the crime. They would then have to either exit the area going towards the houses, where there were supposedly people looking for the kids, or they would have to make a quick run back the way they came and out of the area from the service road? Any ideas?

    Also, Jesse was asked during one of his confessions why the kids were out there, and he said that they had a club house…any info. on how he knew this? where was it in conjunction to the crime scene? Did Damien or Jesse go to the club house when they were going into the woods? Did they know about it too? Did the police follow up with this at all?

    Thanks a bunch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *