Damien Echols Psychiatric History & Treatment

Discussion in 'West Memphis III' started by Mrs G Norris, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Mrs G Norris

    Mrs G Norris #JeSuisUrsa

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    There are a few questions related to DE's psychiatric history and treatment on Death Row so I thought I'd start a thread to discuss it here ..
     
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  3. Mrs G Norris

    Mrs G Norris #JeSuisUrsa

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    Bringing this over from the Common Ground thread ...
     
  4. Mrs G Norris

    Mrs G Norris #JeSuisUrsa

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    I asked previously if DE received any psychiatric treatment in jail .. I understand he did not ..

    http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/gwoods.html

    Is this right .. is there any more recent information?
     
  5. gheckso

    gheckso New Member

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    To be honest I don't see why they would, after all, he was a dead man walking. JMO
     
  6. Mrs G Norris

    Mrs G Norris #JeSuisUrsa

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    I think they do, since drugs are often administered to prisoners on death row one would assume a psychiatrist would need to be involved?
     
  7. gheckso

    gheckso New Member

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    I guess I might be overly cynical. If the state was to spend money on a psychiatrist then they may think it priority to treat prisoners that will return to population, Is death row even considered part of the correction system? and to what ends?
     
  8. EntreNous

    EntreNous New Member

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    any physician can write a script for sedatives, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds. no psychiatrist needed for that. not even the infirmary doc really. all is needed is for the doc to look at the inmate file, and send a nurse to administer the drug. earlier on in his incarceration, '96 there is an interview with DE in which he is bears all the characteristics of being under some type of sedation. with no psychiatric evaluation, as is recorded, they could have sincerely been playing with fire considering his previous records from the mental health facility. if we are to believe the notes and assessments made by the mental facility staff were, in fact, accurate he would be in a highly delicate mental state. the prison authorities likely didn't care since as gheckso so rightly phrased it, he was a dead man walking. for me the proof in the pudding of DE's stable mental state is he didn't go over the edge. here's that clip i mentioned... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOuEo1ouDOk
     
  9. kyleb

    kyleb New Member

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    He was clearly way out in the deep end when he wrote his letters to Glori Shettles. Some notable excerpts:

     
  10. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    profoundly disturbing
     
  11. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    I just wonder what kind of letters I would write if I had been in Damien's situation at his age at the time. The early letters (prior to the murders) were possibly an attempt to get SSI checks, also possibly aided by a well-intentioned counselor. (Of course, since this would have been highly unethical behavior, no one will ever admit to it.) Anything said or written post-conviction or even during the trial could possibly be colored by his frustration and/or fear at the time. Again, I wonder how any teenager or adult would react if falsely accused/convicted of such horrific crimes. I'd like to think that I wouldn't be bitter, but I just don't know.

    I say the above because I have been told during my teaching careers on numerous occasions and by different counselors that, occasionally, for well-intentioned purposes, mental health professionals have exaggerated and even sometimes falsified reports in order to make a patient eligible for SSI. Also, sometimes, the mental health professionals have coached the patient as to how to answer questions, etc. for the same purpose. I can't say that I approve of such actions, but I do understand the reasoning behind them. So, far be it from me to judge such people.
     
  12. reedus23

    reedus23 New Member

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    All of those things are possible. On a more general note, I have always wondered if I could have found myself in the exact same predicament as the WM3. I got into fights as a teen. It also would not be surprising to find the following lyrics written in a notebook or somewhere:

    He's the wolf screaming lonely in the night
    Blood stain the stage
    Tear in your eye
    Tempted by his lie
    Knife in your back
    He's rage

    Razor to the knife
    Lonely is our lives
    Heads spinnin' round and round
    Seasons of wither
    Stand and deliver
    Strong and laugh and come on

    Shout shout shout
    Shout at the devil
    Shout shout shout

    I suppose I would have been as good of a suspect as many if I lived in West Memphis at the time. Tough discerning between adolescent acting out and something more serious IMHO.
     
  13. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    The fact that my son, who is one month younger than Damien and who wore those black heavy metal T-shirts to school every day, could have been in Damien's shoes (and, on a much-less critical level, was - being falsely accused of theft because he was seen in the area and had long hair and wore a black shirt even there was no description of the thief) is one of the reasons that I became interested in this case. It's really amazing what personal knowledge and experience can do for one's understanding!

    BTW, do I recognize the Crue above?
     
  14. kyleb

    kyleb New Member

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    Some obviously consider Echols' ravings perfectly understandable.

    I wondered that about myself for awhile, when I'd only read a the Wikipedia article and various sources cited in it, watched West of Memphis, and googled around to find various other mainstream accounts. Then I came across the actual details of Echols' criminal and psychological history which proved I'd been flagrantly mislead.

    What about your youth, did you ever do anything along the lines of:

    • threaten to kill people, inlcuding cutting someone to peices and burry them in your girlfriend's front yard, murder and eat your father, slit your mother's throat?
    • prompt your parrents ever express fear of what you might do to them and their other children?
    • get aresseted for terroristic threatening, put on probation, and sent to a detention center for such offenses?
    • set fire to your classroom?
    • torture and multiate animals, including beating, disimboling, and stomping a Great Dane to death and then come back with battery acid to burn its hair and skin off?
    • engaged in mutiple physical confrontations with peers, including one in which you attempted to gouge someone's eye out?
    • assuallt people to drink their blood?
    • profess a beleif that drinking blood gives you power, and that you communicate with demons through rituals?
    • claim to be ihabited by the spirt of a murdered woman, and claim that state of possession makes you feel stronger and more powerful?
    Unless your answer to most of those questions is yes, you were never in a position to be considered a potential suspect in such murders.
     
  15. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    In my dealings over the years with teenagers, I have had more than a few make many similar statements to those posted above as being made by Damien. I have also heard teens say things to each other in order to shock or gross out the other person. I understand the psyche of a person like Damien at eighteen, often saying shocking or disturbing things to adults just to see what reaction he will get.

    What some people don't realize is that, when one lives in abject poverty, as Damien did, it is a form of amusement to say these types of things. I know that sounds bizarre to most of us, but it is the way things are for many in poverty - seeking entertainment wherever and however they can, so long as the actions are legal. Some in poverty do resort to crime, often robbery, in order to survive, but most simply rely on their own wits and imagination to provide them entertainment.

    I have attended several seminars about poverty and how people living in poverty think and act, as most of my teaching experience was spent in "inner city" schools where poverty was the status quo. Although I can see how those not familiar with the effects and realities of poverty would be extremely disturbed by Damien's statements, my specialized knowledge and experience has taught me to realize that these types of statements are often a cry for help - a desperate attempt to get out of the poverty in which the person making the statements finds himself/herself. Damien apparently has a very active imagination and a high intelligence because he made many such statements throughout his youth.

    As I said before, I believe that at least some of these statements were made in an attempt to exaggerate his condition so he would be eligible for SSI. The teachers used to call this the student's "crazy check." We could always tell when the family needed more money because a normally calm and respectful student would "act out" in class until they were reported to the authorities. This "report" is what Mama needed in order to get another check. Sad, but true.

    Now, I'm sure some here will question my statements. That's fine. However, as I've said repeatedly, I have witnessed these things personally and no one can refute my personal experiences, anecdotal though they may be. They were real, and they accurately depict the realities of teenagers living in poverty. That was Damien's problem - that and possibly a bit of bipolar disorder, which was improperly treated, exacerbating it. That is my explanation of the infamous "Exhibit 500" and all its various stories, conversations, reports, etc.
     
  16. Venom

    Venom New Member

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    I don't know how to quote Pensfan's post about DE's mental health evaluations. Curious as to what Pensfan makes of it? To me, I sense a little crazy going on. But it seems that the crazy was just turned off like a switch and poof normal now. Interesting.
     
  17. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    Yes, it is, isn't it?
     
  18. reedus23

    reedus23 New Member

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    :rockon: Yes you do. And yes, I heard the word satanist and devil worshiping thrown around from time to time because of listening to them, which couldn't be further from the truth. Went to a Catholic high school, attended mass regularly and performed service projects in the inner city. A Crue fan? Yes. A satanist or devil worshiper? No.
     
  19. Hez

    Hez Active Member

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    I think it was Tommy Lee who said, when they were accused of satanism, "It's Shout at the Devil. Not Shout with the Devil." :rockon:
     
  20. reedus23

    reedus23 New Member

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    I think I'll just do what Jessie should have done and just not answer those. :floorlaugh: Seriously though, there were enough things that could have been spun in a way to make things sound much worse than they were.
     
  21. reedus23

    reedus23 New Member

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    So true about the shock value. I knew a kid in high school who would say things that were shocking, but that's the only reason he'd say it, for the shock value, not because he intended to follow through with any of it. It was a way of getting people to leave him alone because if people thought he was half nuts, they wouldn't bother him, so he fed into it to let them believe it. It's much like when I'm on the phone yelling at someone on the other side of the phone. One would think I'm pissed to hear me but walk into my office and you would see I had a smile on my face and was probably typing on websleuths as I was yelling. It was for effect and to get a message across.
     

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