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  1. #1
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    Echols' occult motives

    I'm carrying a couple quotes over from the [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211742"]Common Ground[/ame] thread since this is a disputed issue. To start:

    Quote Originally Posted by Compassionate Reader View Post
    if Griffis was the prosecution's best option, IMO, that speaks volumes about the Satanic/occult motive, doesn't it?
    No, even if Griffis had got up on the stand and shook his arms like a chicken while barking like a dog, that would've had no bearing on Echols' motives in committing the murders. That said, Echols was by far a better witness regarding his occult influenced motives than Griffs was, though of course Echols spoke in third person when referring to who committed the murders. Notably:

    22 Q. Question number 11, "How do you think the person
    23 feels that did this?" The answer was, "Probably makes
    24 them feel good, gives them power." Now, I guess
    25 Officer Ridge said that, too?
    2817

    1 A. No, I used common sense on that. If someone was
    2 doing it, then they must have wanted to. And if they
    3 were doing something they wanted to, it must have made
    4 them happy. I don't think they were doing it because
    5 someone forced them to or because they didn't want to.
    6 Q. So in your mind the person that killed these three
    7 kids, it is common sense that killing three
    8 eight-year-olds would make you feel good?
    9 A. Whoever did it, it must have.
    10 Q. Okay. And it gives them power. That's also
    11 another common sense perspective from you?
    12 A. Pretty much.
    13 Q. Now, when you say, "gives them power," is that
    14 based on what you have read in these books?
    15 A. No, it had nothing to do with that, just the crime
    16 itself.
    17 Q. Killing three eight-year-olds gives you power. I
    18 don't understand that. Explain that to me.
    19 A. They probably thought, well, that they were like
    20 overcoming other humans or something.
    ...

    23 Q. Now, Officer Ridge has that when you were asked
    24 these questions that you say, "It was a thrill kill."
    25 Is that your words?
    2819

    1 A. He asked me what did I think could be the possible
    2 motivation.
    3 Q. Okay. And you indicated a thrill kill, is that
    4 right?
    5 A. Right.
    6 Q. Or a satanic act?
    7 A. Right.
    ...

    16 Q. It also states that Damien stated that the younger
    17 of the victims would be more innocent and in turn more
    18 power would be given the person doing the killing.
    19 A. Right.
    20 Q. Did you say that?
    21 A. Yes.
    22 Q. Those are your words?
    23 A. Uh-huh.
    Granted, the prosecution couldn't predict what Echols would say, and hence were left to find a witness on their own, and Griffis was apparently the best they could do. Furthermore, Exhibit 500 and Echols' letters to Gloria Shettles speak volumes regarding Echols occult motives, but of coarse neither of those were available to the prosecution for the trial, so the they were left to make due with what they could get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs G Norris View Post
    I actually think what was done in this case in regards to Damien's beliefs was religious discrimination
    If some KKK type were on trial for murdering a black person, would you consider it religious discrimination to call witness to testify regarding religious beliefs such as supposed "curse of Cain"?

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_and_mark_of_Cain"]Curse and mark of Cain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    I contend that ideology is often a notable factor in motives, be such ideologies secular or otherwise. To consider some ideologies off-limits when addressing the issue of motive, simply because they are religious in nature, would be unequal treatment under the law.
    The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself." Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, James Legge translation

    Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation

  2. #2
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    This is an interesting side of the debate on, but I really don't think there actually was much of a motive in this case .. I think Damien at the time was interested in alternative religions, just as he seems to be now.

    IMO there was no planning here, whatsoever. The 3 older boys were drinking in the woods and by chance the three younger boys entered the area, and then the attack began, sort of like an act of bullying with Damien and Jason each outdoing the other which tragically leads to the murder of all three.

    I think there's a difference between someone in a 'hate gang' for instance going out and seeking a target for their misguided rage, or perhaps setting upon someone they were already felt a racist hatred for, and this crime .. however I understand the parallel of vulnerable victims.

    I'm sure there was a feeling of power and dominance gained simply by being able to commit the act, and by doing it in front of others. I also think that's part of the reason Damien talked about it afterwards, it added to his cache for want of a better word, or so he thought.

    He may have even tried to frame the act in his own mind to give it deeper meaning for his own benefit, but I really don't believe this crime had much sense to it at all, in the same way I don't believe school shootings make much sense. I view them similarly.

    Having said that, I can see Damien adding value and power to the act post crime, especially in discussions with Jason.
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  3. #3
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    So Damien ahead of time planning this as a satanic ritual, or any overt acts of satanism occurring during the crime, I think not. Damien reconstructing the crime afterwards to fit in with ideas of satanism in an attempt to give it some value - at least to himself, well that is a possibility ..
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  4. #4
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    I don't imagine Echols planned and carried out any sort of ritual, nor did the prosecution ever argue as much. Rather, I agree with what the prosecution actually did argue, that Echols' interest in gaining power though occult means inspired him to attack and murder the boys. I don't suppose to know if he set out to kill them from the start either, or perhaps he only set out to dominate them and maybe drink some of their blood but then things got out of hand. As for him later bragging about having committed the murders, I doubt he thought he gained any power through that, but rather thought himself so powerful as to imagine he was unstoppable. After all, in his post-arrest letters to Gloria Shettles he does go on at length about his belief that he will rise from the dead and become Satan's lieutenant in the battle of Armageddon and such. A person with such beliefs can't rightly expect to worry that bragging about the murders might get him caught, and as Echols explained a trial:

    Q. When he put in there, regarding whoever committed these crimes, "Probably thinks it is funny and that he won't get caught and won't care one way or the other if he did." Did you say that?

    A. Yes.

    Q. The officer didn't make that up, did he?

    A. No, I said that.

    Q. You told the officer -- was that -- you told him you thought the person who did it would think it was funny?

    A. Yes.

    Q. And would not care one way or the other if he got caught?

    A. Probably not.
    Last edited by kyleb; 06-15-2013 at 03:55 AM.
    The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself." Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, James Legge translation

    Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation

  5. #5
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    So do you think DE actually believed that killing the boys gave him power? Or do you think as I do that killing made him FEEL powerful?
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  6. #6
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    I hold no beliefs in any sort of mumbo jumbo. Rather, I figure the only power Echols has he gained through duping Berlinger and Sinofsky into being convinced he was innocent before they ever even got a chance to see the evidence which was presented against the three at the trials, and of course from all the people who've been duped in turn from those meager beginnings. Echols on the other hand has long been drawn to the idea of gaining power through occult means, so of course I figure he believes the murders gave him power, in much the way an Individual Progress Note on him less than five months before the murders records in part:


    Focus of today’s session is spent talking with Damien about his feelings of death. He brought with him to session a poem that he had written during the past week. The theme of this poem centered around death and power. Damien explained that he obtains his power by drinking blood of others. He typically drinks the blood of a sexual partner or of a ruling partner. This is achieved by biting or cutting. He states “it makes me feel like a God”. Damien describes drinking blood as giving him more power and strength. He remembers doing this as far back as age 10. He does not remember where he learned to do this.

    Damien believes that there is no God. He feels that society believes there is a God because society is weak. He wants very much to be all powerful. He wants very much to be in total control. We discussed how some of this is related to his experiences as a child. He acknowledges that some of this is related to his childhood abuse trauma issues but he feels that it is who he is now.

    Damien relates that a spirit is now living with him. The spirit was put inside him last year. He indicates that a month ago the spirit decided to become part of him and he to become part of the spirit. This is reportedly a spirit of a woman who was killed by her husband. When questioned about how he feels with this spirit or what the difference is, Damien is able to relate that he feels stronger and more powerful with this spirit. He has not seen the spirit but does hear the spirit. In addition, he also reports conversations with demons and other spirits. This is achieved through rituals. He denies that he is satanic, seeing himself more as being involved in demonology.
    So yeah, given someone who "wants very much to be all powerful" and believes that being possessed by the spirit of a murdered woman gives him power and drinking blood makes him "feel like a God”, who also believes he communicates with demons and such through rituals: would such a person also believe that murdering young boys also gives him power? It would be absurd to suggest otherwise.
    Last edited by kyleb; 06-15-2013 at 04:47 AM.
    The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself." Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, James Legge translation

    Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation

  7. #7
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    Well since he still believes in the power of the occult, if we use Reiki as an example, or the ability of the life force to pass between humans however it is described, it comes down to a similar belief really. Hmmm ..
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  8. #8
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    This is an excellent thread. Please post more!

  9. #9
    Yes,I agree what an excellent thread.It describes perfectly and accurately the mindset of people that prosecuted Damien in the first place.Keep on posting .

  10. #10
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    I certainly do share prosecutors Davis and Fogleman's mindset to the extent that they respected the need to examine the evidence of motive along with that of means an opportunity to properly determine who committed the murders. That's said Claudicici, I hope you might take a moment to listen to a song which I doubt Davis or Fogleman would appreciate in the slightest, but which I'm quite fond of myself, and which goes along way in expressing my mindset towards those who are so fond of Echols:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTgKRCXybSM"]A Perfect Circle - Judith - YouTube[/ame]
    The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself." Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, James Legge translation

    Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation


  11. #11
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    I do not believe the boys knew they were going to kill that day, it was a crime of opportunity IMO. So I just can't go as far as 'motive' here. He had engulfed himself in beliefs of the occult at the time, but if he had any real beliefs they were hardly formalised at that stage .. I really think he was adopting things at the time for the sake of an 'otherworldly image' one which he still cultivates.
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  12. #12
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    One doesn't take opportunity without motive, regardless of how little planning might be involved. Furthermore, very few people will take any opportunity to attack three young boys, let alone murder children. Those who do have very dark motives, occult and/or otherwise.
    The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself." Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, James Legge translation

    Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation

  13. #13
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    I think Damien is basically a psychopath as he himself describes it, all the satanic props and actions were and still are superficial. His religious views are a real mixture, basically I would class the lot as 'occult' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occult and really in the end about him being much more 'special' than other mere humans.
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  14. #14
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    Reiki: [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki"]Reiki - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Reiki (霊気?, /ˈreɪkiː/) is a spiritual practice[1] developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, which has since been adapted by various teachers of varying traditions. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional medical bodies.[2] Through the use of this technique, practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of qi (Japanese: ki) through the palms, which they believe allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium.[3]
    Neither the state nor the defense team are saints, and there is usually plenty of incompetence to go around on both sides of the courtroom.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs G Norris View Post
    I think Damien is basically a psychopath as he himself describes it, all the satanic props and actions were and still are superficial.
    What are psychopaths but those with the darkest of motives, and what symbolism or ritual isn't superficial?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs G Norris View Post
    in the end about him being much more 'special' than other mere humans.
    Would you argue otherwise of those who insist they've been saved by L. Ron Hubbard, or Jesus for that matter?
    The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself." Confucius, The Doctrine of the Mean, James Legge translation

    Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation

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