Monday, September 17, 2007

The West Memphis 3 Inspires a Cold Case File Episode

COLD CASE Episode Inspired by WM3 Story will air on Sept. 23rd.

Three young boys were reported missing in West Memphis, AR in May 1993 and shortly after their bodies were found, the press, with help from the police department, jumped on the bandwagon and inspired what became one of the most well-known witch hunts since the Salem Witch Trials.

With evidence consisting only of a "confession"( that very evening recanted), from Jesse Misskelley, JR, a mentally handicapped teen, given after being held and questioned for 12 consecuative hours without aid of council or parental consent, Misskelly, and acquaintances, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin, were arrested, tried, and convicted.

The case bothered me greatly from the get-go. My heart ached when I first heard the news about the missing boys and ached even more when their bodies were found and it was later announced that the suspects were teens, which to me meant they were also children.

Over the past 14 years, I've kept up with news about the West Memphis 3 and very shortly after the investigation and trial information became available, I read it all, and I came to believe that the murderer or murderers of those 3, 8 yr. old boys was never found. DNA evidence was finally completed this summer and no DNA from any of the West Memphis 3 was found and this, even without the other BS that went on during the trial, makes me feel even more certain that our Justice system has screwed up big time.

Read all about it here, or read all the other information to be found online, and tell me what you think.


TRISHA said...

Two other GREAT sources of information are "Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost: Revelations" (HBO documentaries) and "Devil's Knot" by Mara Leveritt. I also really enjoyed reading "Almost Home" by Damien Echols (he's the one scheduled to die for these murders). Thanks, Mom, for mentioning this case. These three need all the support they can get. The Judicial system let these men down in the worst way possible.

PEA said...

Wow that is certainly quite a case. From what I read, DNA of the step father was found on the rope that the boys had been tied up with...that's quite an interesting discovery in itself! We've had a few cases here in Canada where a guy having been in prison for 15 odd years was suddenly found innocent because of new DNA it happens. Hopefully these 3 men will get a new trial..a fair one this time! xox

Anonymous said...

I believe most anyone, whether mentally challenged or not, would break under that kind of 12 hour pressure. I don't understand how they got away with questioning Jessie without an attorney present. How horrible to have to live in prison if not guilty!


cassie-b said...

I guess we would all like to think that innocent people are never convicted and imprisoned.

I guess that's just not always true.

Phyllis said...

I love Cold Case Files!
I cannot even imagine having the police knock on my door and take me in for questionong and find me guilty of a crime I have not done! How frightening!
I can see that the police were probably sickened and blinded by insanity by the crime and finding the 3 8 year olds, I think they were probably too close to the crime to be the ones doing the questioning. Those poor boys! There were 6 victims in that crime!

TRISHA said...

I firmly believe the police were under so much pressure to solve the case, that they focused on only these three men and disregarded all other leads (including a bloody man in the Bojangles restaurant...the blood samples were "lost" and never sent to the crime lab). Also, the West Memphis police department was under investigation by the State police at the time of the murders and refused all help from the State police with the investigation. Sadly, the Arkansas justice system does not want to admit to mistakes, and has upheld all three convictions. Damien Echols is now starting his federal appeals.

T*mmy said...

I enjoy the "Cold Case" show and have marked my calender so I'll catch that episode!
:) your new digs ;)

Mary Lou said...

DAYAM's just SEPTEMBER not Halloween! but then maybe I was out of it longer than I thought!

Cindra said...

Isn't it awful that the system sometimes wants an answer regardless of whether it is the right one or not? And then of course there is O.J.
You have a new look? Trouble brewing or is it a look for a scary, stormy Halloween? You strike me much more as the sunshine type.

Anonymous said...

I always felt that the Beyer's guy had something to do with it.

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