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  1. #1
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    Christopher Byers as primary victim...

    I'd like to look at the possibility that Christopher Byers was the primary target of this crime, and the other boys were 'collateral damage', ie, witnesses who just happened to be there when the killer got his chance.

    Do you think CB was the primary victim?

    How does the evidence support this idea, or negate it?

    I'm pondering it, as he was the one with the most physical damage. He was also, as reports have stated, having some fairly serious behavioural issues, which could have contributed to motive.

    But if rage against this boy was the motive, why wait til he was in the company of not one, but TWO little friends before attacking? This suggests to me there was no pre-med, if it was indeed a crime of rage. Was it, then, an immediate situation between victims and killer that escalated past the point of anger and into murder?

    Who would have cause to build that much rage against Christopher Byers? Had he had trouble with any of the neighbours/neighbourhood kids/immediate locals in the days and weeks prior to the crime?

    I'm thinking, if this was all about rage, he must have royally p'd somebody off -- had he vandalised something, annoyed the heck out of a neighbour, bullied somebody else's kid? How thoroughly was that angle explored, and were there any obvious stand-out local people who'd had issues with CB prior?

    Please do NOT assume I'm victim-bashing or victim-blaming here, I'll be most annoyed if that is raised, as it isn't at all the case.

    The fact is, CB -did- have behavioural issues, this is known, and to me it seems very possible a person with anger problems could have lost control to the point of not caring that there were three kids to deal with.
    _____________
    Everything I have posted at this website, past or present, represents my opinion or my understanding of events based on facts that are publicly available.

  2. #2
    IMO, the reason that this crime was long-mistaken to contain a sexual element was primarily because of the degloving of CB. If the defense experts that testified at the last Rule 37 hearing are correct (and I think that they are), the degloving was done by animals. Then, looking at injuries other than the degloving, SB was the victim with the most severe injuries and was, therefore, the primary target.

    However, CB was more injured than MM. So, we need to explore why this would be the case. One theory is that CB had a crush on SB's sister, Amanda. There's also anecdotal evidence indicating that TH sexually abused Amanda. Maybe he saw CB as a rival. I know that sounds sick, but anyone who killed three eight-year-old boys is sick to some extent, IMO.

    I'm still of the opinion that both CB and MM were killed because they witnessed Hobbs' attack on his step son. However, Hobbs could have been angry with CB over the Amanda situation. One thing is for sure. Neither Damien, Jason or Jessie had any problems with Christopher, Michael or Steven. In fact, they didn't even know the victims!

    One other theory to mention is that the boys came upon something that they weren't supposed to see. What that was is debatable - maybe a drug deal, maybe gay sex, maybe something else. This theory, IMO, doesn't adequately explain CB as the primary victim. It does explain SB as the primary victim. I have never heard a theory with MM as the primary victim, and IMO the evidence doesn't support such.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausgirl View Post
    Who would have cause to build that much rage against Christopher Byers?
    The mutilation of Christopher Byers isn't necessarily evidence of rage against him, only inflicted on him. As for who would do such a thing, see Misskelley's first confession:


    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, now when it’s going on, when it’s taking place, you under. . . you saw somebody with a knife. Who had a knife?

    *A60 MISSKELLEY: Jason

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Jason had a knife. What did he cut with the knife? What did you see him cut or who did you see him cut?

    *A61 MISSKELLEY: I saw him cut one of the little boys

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, where did he cut him at?

    *A62 MISSKELLEY: He was cutting him in the face.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Cutting in the face. Alright, another boy was cut I understand, where was he cut at?

    *A63 MISSKELLEY: At the bottom

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: On his bottom? Was he face down when he was cutting on him, or

    *A64 MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

    DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Now you’re talking about bottom, do you mean right here?

    *A65 MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

    DETECTIVE GITCHELL: In his groin area?

    *A66 MISSKELLEY: (No audio register)

    DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Okay

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Do you know what his penis is?

    *A67 MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm, that’s where he was cut at.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: That’s where he was cut.

    DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Which boy was that?

    *A68 MISSKELLEY: That right there.

    DETECTIVE GITCHELL: You’re talking about the Byers boy again?

    *A69 MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

    DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Okay

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Are you sure that he was the one that was cut?

    *A70 MISSKELLEY: That’s the one that I seen them cutting on.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, you know what penis is?

    *A71 MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, is that where he was cutting?

    *A72 MISSKELLEY: That’s where I seen them going down at, and he was on his back. I seen them going down right there real close to his penis and stuff and I saw some blood and that’s when I took off.
    And then there's Misskelley's lawyer's notes from the confession to him a week latter which were read at an appeal hearing:

    Paragraph 10: “After Jason screwed blonde boy in the mouth, he screwed him in the butt. After he screwed him in the butt, he cut off blonde-headed boy’s penis.”
    Granted, mention of blonde suggests Stevie Branch, but that could either be an error in Stidham's notes or Misskelley's recollection, while the identification of Baldwin as the one who inflicted the genital mutilation remains consistent. And Misskelley was still confessing to his lawyer a few months later, a few weeks after having plead not guilty at the pretrial hearings, though he didn't go into detail on the genital mutilation there. Then there's the incident report regarding Misskelley's confession to the sheriffs who brought him back to the prison after his conviction:

    At one point, Jessie said that Jason had a “bucktype locking knife” and “cut it all off and threw it in the weeds” saying the boy was alive and tied at this point and that he was surprised blood did not get on him because blood went everywhere and he was about a “car length” away.
    And a few days later Misskelley confessed to his lawyer yet again:

    MISSKELLEY: After I seen Jason cut that one on his left side of his face. I didn't know he's going to get killed until I saw him get on top of - one of them boys and cut him completely.

    STIDHAM: What do you mean cut him completely.

    MISSKELLEY: He cut his penis off and -

    STIDHAM: Is that the first time you realized -?

    (Page 50)


    MISSKELLEY: That's when I realized that, you know, they're going kill these boys.
    And about two weeks after that Misskelley confessed to the prosecution, against the recommendation of his lawyers:

    B-And did Jason have anything in his hands at that point?

    M-He had a knife.

    B-And was he actually hitting him with his knife or his fist?

    M-Well, the blade was opened.

    B-Could you, see was he cutting the boy?

    M-No, it looked like he was swinging the knife at his legs.

    B-Could you, did you ever see one of the boys get cut with the knife?

    M-After he got through I noticed what he had done.

    B-What did you see?

    M-I saw the boy that was missing everything.

    B-If you would, when you saw that describe to me what you saw Jason do and what you saw happened?

    M-Well, when he was doing that I seen blood fly.
    Of course there's many who dismiss all those confessions as false, suggesting the prosecutors wanted Misskelley to lie on the stand against Baldwin and Echols, but that's not how he described the situation in a telephone call with his lawyer a few days after that last documented confession:

    MISSKELLEY: They told me yesterday, the prosecutors told me, they said if it ain't true, Jessie, don't say it. You know, that's what he told me. He said if it ain't true about you, Damien, or Jason, don't say it.

    CROW: Okay.

    MISSKELLEY: He said we need to know the truth. That's all we're asking, just to know the truth.
    Crow apparently wasn't interested in the truth though, and the same goes for many others.
    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

  4. #4
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    I have wondered myself whether TH could have got angry at CB with regards to Amanda. I think I've read that on the day of the disappearance CB was watching TV with Amanda and so have considered that maybe something triggered TH off. It could have been something insignificant, but someone with a temper could have blown it out of all proportion. That's if TH was there at the same time, though, as I don't know that for sure.

  5. #5
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    Sorry if this is off topic...

    Jessie says it was a locking blade buck knife....yet the knife presented in court as possibly being the murder weapon is a survival knife that is not self locking.Well,which is it?

    Hmmm,what am I missing here?

  6. #6
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    The survival knife was presented at trial as being consistent with multiple wounds on the victims, but not any fatal wounds, and hence not rightly even a murder weapon, let alone the murder weapon. The murder weapon in the case of Stevie Branch and Michael Moore was quite obviously not a knife at all, but rather the water in creek, as they died of drowning. As for Christopher Byers who died of multiple injuries before being submerged it the creek, the worst of those injuries being the mutilation of his genitals, it was the defense who presented a knife as possibly being the weapon responsible for that in an attempt to scapegoat Mark Byers as the real killer, a deception that turned into a decade and a half witch hunt against Byers which some are apparently still falling for, including whoever made this video:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1qlTYYlAWU"]John Mark Byers and the kershaw knife - YouTube[/ame]

    Granted, Mark Byers' knife obviously wasn't used to mutilate his son, but it was identified as consistent with those wounds and others, and it is consistent with the knife Misskelley described Baldwin as having used to mutilate Christopher Byers. As for the consistency between the Echols' survival knife and other wounds, part 4 of this article provides details on that.
    Last edited by kyleb; 11-10-2013 at 01:25 PM.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausgirl View Post
    I'd like to look at the possibility that Christopher Byers was the primary target of this crime, and the other boys were 'collateral damage', ie, witnesses who just happened to be there when the killer got his chance.

    Do you think CB was the primary victim?

    How does the evidence support this idea, or negate it?

    I'm pondering it, as he was the one with the most physical damage. He was also, as reports have stated, having some fairly serious behavioural issues, which could have contributed to motive.
    But if rage against this boy was the motive, why wait til he was in the company of not one, but TWO little friends before attacking? This suggests to me there was no pre-med, if it was indeed a crime of rage. Was it, then, an immediate situation between victims and killer that escalated past the point of anger and into murder?

    Who would have cause to build that much rage against Christopher Byers? Had he had trouble with any of the neighbours/neighbourhood kids/immediate locals in the days and weeks prior to the crime?

    I'm thinking, if this was all about rage, he must have royally p'd somebody off -- had he vandalised something, annoyed the heck out of a neighbour, bullied somebody else's kid? How thoroughly was that angle explored, and were there any obvious stand-out local people who'd had issues with CB prior?

    Please do NOT assume I'm victim-bashing or victim-blaming here, I'll be most annoyed if that is raised, as it isn't at all the case.

    The fact is, CB -did- have behavioural issues, this is known, and to me it seems very possible a person with anger problems could have lost control to the point of not caring that there were three kids to deal with.
    It's just a theory and nothing more, so it's subject to change, but my first thought is that Hobbs is pissed off that Stevie is being a pain in his a#$ by not coming home when he was supposed to and ruining his night. He's blown off looking for Stevie but now that Stevie still isn't home, he's even more pissed that he has to go out looking for him. He's already about to explode and probably planning on giving Stevie a beating at home for not coming home when he comes across the boys. When he finds them, he starts laying into Stevie and if Christopher has such behavioral issues, he may have said something to Hobbs in defense of his friend and this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Hobbs' temper explodes and he does something that can't be taken back.

    I've seen enough of Hobbs' demeanor to know that I'd be concerned about saying anything confrontational to him. He's shown the ability and willingness to try to kill another. Obviously, exactly what happened is all speculation, but that's the thoughts going through my head at this point.

  8. #8
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    Christopher was also in a bad mood with his own stepfather at the time. He'd been punished earlier that day and told a neighbour that he was running away from home. In that state of mind, I could see many children giving cheek where they normally wouldn't, even to a friend's parent.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by reedus23 View Post
    It's just a theory and nothing more, so it's subject to change, but my first thought is that Hobbs is pissed off that Stevie is being a pain in his a#$ by not coming home when he was supposed to and ruining his night. He's blown off looking for Stevie but now that Stevie still isn't home, he's even more pissed that he has to go out looking for him. He's already about to explode and probably planning on giving Stevie a beating at home for not coming home when he comes across the boys. When he finds them, he starts laying into Stevie and if Christopher has such behavioral issues, he may have said something to Hobbs in defense of his friend and this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Hobbs' temper explodes and he does something that can't be taken back.

    I've seen enough of Hobbs' demeanor to know that I'd be concerned about saying anything confrontational to him. He's shown the ability and willingness to try to kill another. Obviously, exactly what happened is all speculation, but that's the thoughts going through my head at this point.
    Probably kicked his toe on the way out to. That always gets ya angry.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyleb View Post
    The survival knife was presented at trial as being consistent with multiple wounds on the victims, but not any fatal wounds, and hence not rightly even a murder weapon, let alone the murder weapon. The murder weapon in the case of Stevie Branch and Michael Moore was quite obviously not a knife at all, but rather the water in creek, as they died of drowning. As for Christopher Byers who died of multiple injuries before being submerged it the creek, the worst of those injuries being the mutilation of his genitals, it was the defense who presented a knife as possibly being the weapon responsible for that in an attempt to scapegoat Mark Byers as the real killer, a deception that turned into a decade and a half witch hunt against Byers which some are apparently still falling for, including whoever made this video:

    John Mark Byers and the kershaw knife - YouTube

    Granted, Mark Byers' knife obviously wasn't used to mutilate his son, but it was identified as consistent with those wounds and others, and it is consistent with the knife Misskelley described Baldwin as having used to mutilate Christopher Byers. As for the consistency between the Echols' survival knife and other wounds, part 4 of this article provides details on that.

    I realize the mistake I made in saying a murder weapon as opposed to a possible knife used at the crime scene.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunaticFringe View Post
    I realize the mistake I made in saying a murder weapon as opposed to a possible knife used at the crime scene.
    I knew what you meant. Wasn't going to nitpick though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunaticFringe View Post
    Sorry if this is off topic...

    Jessie says it was a locking blade buck knife....yet the knife presented in court as possibly being the murder weapon is a survival knife that is not self locking.Well,which is it?

    Hmmm,what am I missing here?
    Everything Misskelley said, Is to me trash. He did not know important details and made others up.


    I think that there was a reason someone wanted them dead, And I always felt like it was triggered by an event.

    Im curious about how often the boys played in that spot?

    There was a Cold Case episode that kind of followed this case. It was of course fiction but the premise was that the boy angered his step father and so he killed him and the others because they were witnesses.

    I know it is fiction but in a way it always made sense to me. I don't believe that the WM3 have any guilt in this crime.
    Atticus Finch: “You never really understand a person . . . until you consider things from his point of view.” To Kill A Mockingbird

    All my posts are my opinion only.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunaticFringe View Post
    I realize the mistake I made in saying a murder weapon as opposed to a possible knife used at the crime scene.
    But do you realize mistake in assuming there could only be one knife involved in the murders?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScarlettScarpetta View Post
    Everything Misskelley said, Is to me trash.
    Sure, and for some people everything Neil Armstrong said is trash, that's just how positions of misplaced faith work.
    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

  14. #14
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    If Neil Armstrong's statements of the events of the moon landing didn't correspond to the actual evidence available then yes, it would be trash-able.

  15. #15
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    If Armstrong was anything close to the half-wit Misskelley is then his accounts would've surely had some notable inconsistencies too, but imagining otherwise just another part of how positions of misplaced faith work.
    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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