What, for each of you, was the 'entry point'

Discussion in 'West Memphis III' started by EntreNous, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. EntreNous

    EntreNous New Member

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    Originally Posted by Miranda! View Post
    What, for each of you, was the 'entry point' for your interest in this partidular case? and when?

    i find this a most interesting question and thought i'd take it to a new thread so that everyone can share. hopefully this will give us all a better understand of why we feel the way we do on the case.

    may 6, 1993 was my little boy's 10th birthday. when the news broke of stevie branch, michael moore and christopher byers' deaths it both hurt and frightened me to my core. when i was a child, a little girl in my home of Nashville was murdered. her name was marcia trimble. it's a case i will never forget.
    when i heard the news about the robin hood hills murders i was both reminded of that horrible feeling i had as a child as well as the fears a mother has for her children. looking into the eyes of my own little boy, i found myself hugging him a little tighter and more often as i tried to push the image of what these poor, sweet boys went through out of my mind.
    having experienced the satanic panic too close to home back in 1989, (Bobby and Christi Baskin are my husband's cousins), i knew the satan worshipping ritual murder theory was complete bunk.
    i've kept up with the case for the last 20 years.
     
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    Regular reader here, but I don't think I've ever posted.
    It's one of those cases that really polarises opinions and as a genuine fence sitter here I'm happier observing and absorbing rather than jumping into battle for one corner or the other.
    TBH it's not a case that I was even aware of until the last year when another poster referred to it in response to something in an unrelated thread that I was posting on.

    But yeah, this one does suck you in. The whole thing just leaves a very bad taste for me.

    What I do know though and why this one won't let me go, is that however you look at it 3 little boys are dead and their killer(s) are walking around free while innocent people have had their lives torn apart.
    And IMO the handling of the evidence and trials was so shoddy that either 3 guilty men are now out there due to enough gaping holes being left for public outcry and pressure to culminate in the Alford Pleas or 3 innocent men have had years of their lives taken away from them.
    . . . troubling on so many levels . . .
     
  4. Miranda!

    Miranda! New Member

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    I saw the trailer for PL1 on what had been the Hallmark Channel (or the name it had before it became that). It so appalled me that I decided NOT to watch as, I thought, it must have been resolved by then... Plus that fact that all the characters seemed so alien to me and very unappealing.

    Then one of those 'fluke' things; I fell asleep watching TV and slowly woke up some time later and had started watching and could not just switch off and go back to sleep. A week later came part 2 and then, for the third week, PL2 Revelations - which I was sure was going to be the 'real' end of the case.

    As I had a lot of time on my hands due to poor health and was bed bound I searched the net. The original supporter board on and Callaghans were all read - archived threads too. Mara Leveritt's book was ordered and read and then the DVD's too as I tried to put everything together and make some sense of it all.

    I have not doubts what so ever that a travesty of justice occurred. So very many things were wrong with the case and the way things were done - right through to the arrest warrents, the Judge, the Prosecutor's ducking and diving and leaving the prominent role to his side kick.

    Mara Leveritt's book was good except she did not manage as thorough an investigation of all the other family members.

    EVERYONE in this case seems to investigate in a suspect driven approach rather than an evidence led one. This is what causes such a polarised set of attitudes now. We all know the judicial system can get things wrong sometimes. An honourable one will admit it and try to rectify. Crittendon County are not and did not - they all dug their heels in and hoped the movement would die out. Fat chance!!
     
  5. Graznik

    Graznik New Member

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    Back when all of this happened I was no more than a kid myself. Much too concerned with TMNT and scraping my knees up in as many ways as possible. So it never entered my conciousness until some time in the mid/early 2000's, via the likes of Eddie Vedder and Henry Rollins. At that time I didn't really pay much attention to it. I kind of just though "Yeah right they're gonna convict three teens of murder cause they look different. YEAH. RIGHT. Of course they're guilty".

    However, at the beginning of the year when West of Memphis started to gain attention as well as Echols' "Life after death" it re-entered my mind when a blogger linked to it. She, and not some famous person, spoke passionately about it and it made me want to look in to it further.
    I started by just googling for information and came across sites such as Jivepuppi and WM3truth. Read up a bit on them, made sure I got both sides and then decided to watch the famous Paradise Lost triology.

    At that point I was certain that something wasn't right. Something really really really wasn't right about all of this. At the very least the trial was fundamentally flawed. I still hadn't made up my mind about the guilt, or lack thereof, of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley though. But I kind of got that same realisation that I've heard others mention - "that could've been me".

    What happened then however was Callahans. That changed everything for me. Actually reading the so called confessions and the trial transcripts made me certain that the three that were sent to prison were not guilty. And then came the horrible notion that whoever did this have been walking free all this time...

    Since then I've spent endless nights on Callahans as well as reading every forum available, active or archived. I believe that justice will be served. Cause whatever this is, in whatever way you look at it, it sure ain't justice.
     
  6. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    I didn't own my own computer until around 1999-2000, so I first read about this crime in the news and whatever crime books I was reading at the time. There wasn't really a huge furore about it over here, so I kind of forgot about it until I had the internet and started reading forums.

    Like Sarah, I was (and still am) undecided, and as the arguing got pretty vicious on all the various sites concerning the RHH murders, I opted to keep the heck out of it. I feel WS is a good place for non-hysterical discussions, though, and since the 3 have been released I feel the arguing has dropped to a level I can tolerate, so that's why I started posting here not long ago.

    What draws me in is that the crime is, in my mind, 'unsolved', and there's a chance it will be so forever, thanks to the Arkansas legal system. It just burns me up.
     
  7. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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    I remember the coverage on the case when it came out. It was all so scary... Devil worshippers mutilated 3 little boys and killed them..

    I saw the first movie and it made me wonder, Then the second..And I started looking for information online, Looking at the case and it all fell apart for me.

    I knew they did not do this. I don't like miscarriages of justice. I am of the opinion it is better for a guilty man to go free than an innocent man be convicted.
     
  8. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Sadly what connects all these puzzles is that ther

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    The day it happened..from the very beginning..before any idea of the "WM3" even existed..

    **Please forgive the limitations that come w/my posting via mobile ATM**
     
  9. UdbCrzy2

    UdbCrzy2 New Member

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    I saw it in the news just like many other crimes I've read about in the news. This particular case has became somewhat of a circus as many high profile murder cases are.
     
  10. kyleb

    kyleb New Member

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    As I explained the other thread I first started looking into this case back in March, when someone linked the Wiki article on the case as a canard in a discussion on Reddit. From the Wiki page I read many of the linked articles and quite a bit on Jivepuppi and googled around a bit but was unable to find the other side of the story, and went to watch West of Memphis hopping that it was documentary which would present and objective overview of the body of evidence, But since that obviously wasn't the case I kept digging, found WM3Truth and a few other places that gave the other side of the story, and shortly later wound up registering here at Websleuths in the hopes people here could further inform me.

    On a side note, I did watch the first couple of minutes of the original PL one night around a decade ago when I was flipping through a cable guide out of boredom and came across an ambiguous description of it which left me the impression that it was a horror flick. Of course I realized that wasn't the case as soon as the movie started, but figured a murder documentary could be interesting as well, particularly one made by people who share my taste in music, so I kept watching. But as soon as they demonstrated their disregard for the victims by gratuitously flashing video of the children's naked corpses across the screen I figured they weren't the people to be learning about the case from. So I promptly put all that in the back of my mind and moved on to finding something else to do, and it wasn't until a few weeks after I started familiarizing myself with the body of evidence and watched it argued around throughout all the movies that I recalled my prior experience with the first PL.
     
  11. LordYAM

    LordYAM Former Member

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    I saw a cold case episode based on it then checked out Wikipedia. I stumbled upon the blog of trench renyolds who's a none and other non websites. They seemed legit but a part of me felt they weren't being wholly objective. I searched around was mixed than came here. Looking at the debates and arguments asw ell as the facts on sites like jivepuppi ultimately convinced me they were innocent and that while Damien Echols probably would have been found guilty of some other crime he wasn't a killer. In general the nons tended to be more hysterical more dishonest and more willing to fudge facts stretch logic or make excuses, but overall the supporters made more sense in their arguments. That's what ultimately convinced me
     
  12. Userid

    Userid Well-Known Member

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    To answer the question quite simply, it was Paradise Lost (1) on HBO. I saw it right when it came out -- I was only a few years older than the boys themselves. I watched late at night one night; I don't even know how I ended up watching it, as I was quite young to be interested in documentaries at that time, but I remember watching it from beginning to end. I remember being terrified, but I couldn't turn it off. When it ended, it just stayed with me.
     
  13. missy_g

    missy_g New Member

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    A friend was explaining to me these documentaries she saw on HBO one night. I didn't really think anything of it but for some reason the name, West Memphis 3 stuck with me. I never really had internet access but the few times that I did, I would look things up. Then, all the supporters were blaming John Mark Byers for the crime.

    A few years later, I decided to watch the PL docs on youtube. I watched them in 2 minute increments until I watched them both in full. The whole JMB thing never really sat right with me. Even though he acted...neurotic in a way...I didn't think it was him. I thought he was showboating and was just reacting to the press and that he was being blamed.

    Anyway I didn't really look into it anymore until a few years ago I decided to look into it again. I came to websleuths to see if the case was mentioned here. It was funny because I had been a member of websleuths for a long time but never looked into the WM3 case...I don't know how I could have missed it since it has it's own forum...but I did. One snowy day I sat in my bedroom and watched the PL documentaries again and looked at all the evidence I could within that time period. There is SO much information on callahans etc. that it can't all be looked at in one day. I saw the name Terry Hobbs mentioned here and I started to look into him and I decided that he seemed like a better suspect than JMB and even in some cases, the WM3.

    I don't know if a lot of you know but I am a huge fence sitter. Yes I do tend to lean to the 3 not being guilty but I still don't know. The thing that makes me kind of think they might be guilty is that Damien is SO cocky. He claims that he was a cocky kid who was happy to be in the spotlight and IMO he STILL wants to be in the spotlight. He comes off like he has a temper and I don't know if that's because he was inprisoned for a crime he didn't commit and he's PISSED OR that is just how he is all the time....probably a bit of both. Also it seems like Jessie just goes with whatever they say and has no idea what the hell is going on most of the time. The celebrity that goes along with this case is just ridiculous and I'm tired of seeing Damien portrayed as a rock star. He has taken nothing from this case but fame.

    I think Jason has taken a lot from this case. He is starting to study law and help other wrongfully convicted people. I don't think he had anything to do with this at all, and was just dragged into it because of Damien. I know they were best friends, but I think Jason has more sense than to kill 3 young boys.

    Anyway I'm really rambling. I'm sorry if I came off as a WM3 basher as that wasn't really my intent, just some opinions that bother me about the 3. Like I said, I'm a fence sitter and my mind changes a lot. I'd really like to see a non biased documentary or even a Non documentary so they can explain their side of the case without just saying that the jury convicted the 3 so they must be guilty.
     
  14. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    missy_g, you just said a lot of what's going on my head, re this case. Especially about Echols.. and Baldwin too. Jessie, I think, has more going on upstairs than people give him credit for, and he's not off my list, personally speaking.. Anyways, thanks for that post, it's nice to find others think as oneself does, sometimes.
     
  15. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    :clap: Indeed it is.
    I'd honestly thought that I was the only fence-sitter interested in this case, and knowing that there are others has really made me reconsider my passive stance of just reading instead of posting :)


    :loveyou: HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL !!!
     
  16. missy_g

    missy_g New Member

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    I just read a lot (when I can...I don't have time to read callahans in it's entirety...maybe if it was a book but staring at a computer screen really makes my entire body hurt...LOL)...I try to be as unbiased as I can. I like to listen to BOTH sides and that's why I get so irritated when one side attacks the other. No one is stupid for asking questions and no one is a liar for disagreeing.

    I have seen a lot of LIES/rumors in this case. One I recently came across was that Damien confessed to the WMPD but there was no transcript or recording. I mentioned this in the other thread.

    With the complexity of this case, it's really hard for me to make up my mind. I think that's why it's still popular with so many people...there is so much information and misinformation it can make your head spin! I just can't believe how harsh people can be to others who don't disagree. I have looked into the John Benet Ramsey case as well as Darlie Routier and and I have never seen people bash each other like they do in this case.
     
  17. I Must Break You

    I Must Break You New Member

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    About the same here. When Paradise Lost first aired. I was 15 at the time I believe and really just watched it because I really loved Metallica then and their music was in it, so that initially piqued my interest. Followed it on and off over the years, read Devil's Knot and watched the other Paradise Lost movies and would read Callahans and Jive Puppy on the internet from time to time.
     
  18. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    My son, who is about one month younger than Damien, introduced me to the case. He saw the original PL documentary on HBO and begged me to watch it with him. At the time, he was a heavy-metal-listening, black-T-shirt-wearing, rebellious teenager, like so many others. We had been trying to get him to expand his school wardrobe to include something beside heavy metal T-shirts to no avail. I originally used the documentary to point out what can happen to someone who wears that wardrobe. Justified or not, too often people are judged on their appearance. My son pointed out the obvious - that it's wrong to judge someone based on their wardrobe. I agreed, but pointed out that, unfortunately, many people do so. That was my initial interest in the case.

    At that time, I was still teaching high school (which, BTW, is why my initial reaction to the documentary was that the three were innocent, having taught many Damiens, Jasons and Jessies in my 25-year career and recognizing the "types" of teens in each of these young men). So, my actual investigation of the case was a bit haphazard initially. First, I read Blood of the Innocents which I recognized immediately as a "tabloid" treatment of the case. (I should add that, being from the South, I recognized the "kangaroo court" on exhibit as well as the small town mentality also prevalent). Then, when Mara Leveritt's well-researched book, Devil's Knot, came out, I read it with growing disbelief. I was more than ever convinced of the innocence of the three. At some point, I had joined the original EZ board (now a YUKU board) about the case but rarely posted. (In case no one knows it, being a teacher is not a six-hour-a-day, nine-months-a-year job. It is very time consuming - if done correctly!)

    When I retired in 2009, I began more diligent studying of the case. I read many Internet sites and began participating in discussion boards. I watched every TV show I could find about the case. I read extensively at Callahan's and later at jivepuppi. I read Damien's first book, Almost Home, and later his second book, Life After Death. I was both happy and sad when the three were freed, and I intend to continue doing whatever I can to see true justice prevail in this case as it hasn't yet.
     
  19. Miranda!

    Miranda! New Member

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    The way that Jason Baldwin has 'grown' as a result of his prison time is staggering and laudable.

    To be fair about Echols, he was a surly, self-centred and troubled teen with a narcisistic bent. He was also a bright kid who was never adequately stretched at school, hence his displacement behaviour, it came out of sheer boredom I imagine. His family did their best but were troubled too. He then got convicted and had no chance in hell to learn how to interact with others and, more importantly, how not to. Effectively his social skills were severely stunted and rather than getting books to stretch his mind academically, he tended to get books that catered to his reading taste as of when he went in.

    So, emerging thoroughly institutionalised, with all the celebrity fanfare just re-inforced his self perception and absorbtion. He never really stood a chance and never took advantage of the chances he might have had. But then, he did not even realise that there were chances.

    His 'image' which he created, of the wearing black etc was a massive form of protection...just as being a smewhat cocky loud mouth. That does not mean he was a murderer!

    Like rock-stars, ironically, he is surrounded by people who affirm what he does and says - 'yes' men. So his development is still, sadly, somewhat stunted.

    Up until the Alford Pleas most supporters thought that their desire for justice was matched by the three's desire for it too. Getting out with that plea deal was a major game changer and, whilst I can see why he wanted out and understand it, it has made the fight for justice for all the parties far harder.

    Just maybe, when his 'pulling' power on the talk circuit starts reducing, he will get involved in the fight again. Until then he is too busy living a life he never even dreamt of before he was charged.
     
  20. Compassionate Reader

    Compassionate Reader New Member

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    <respectfully snipped>

    Above is one of the most truthful assessments of Damien's "mental problems" that I have ever seen! Damien's odd behavior is something that I have seen in many teens - some poor and some rich. The cause of that behavior is often misrepresented, but I think the above-quoted portion of a post encapsulates the crux of the issue. The question is, "How do we, as a society, prevent such occurrences from happening?" IOW, how do we keep the teens challenged and involved with positive activities so they don't become belligerent and "act out" as Damien (and many others like him) did? I know it's not the intent of this board to answer that question, but, as a retired educator, it is a question that truly troubles me and has for many years. Just a little food for thought.
     
  21. C_G

    C_G New Member

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    For me it was when Paradise Lost debuted.

    I lived in the pnw in 1993 when the crime occurred I saw stuff in the papers but it did not strike me as nothing more than the tragedy it was/is.

    When PL hit HBO a couple yrs later I was in Bama and after the doc I thought the three were guilty. Over the years since I am not so sure. They could still be guilty or they could have been railroaded.

    Like many on this section of the board I have seen the footage, done my own amateur research and have formulated my own opinions.

    For my own pov I am on the fence. I think that the police were desperate to find someone that would ease the tension and put the poor parents at ease. I feel the police were lacking evidence and suspects and jumped on the bandwagon of a person that fit the cult theory. Did they convict the right ppl? Could they have been more open minded and pursue other avenues? Did the three commit the crime?

    imo the police botched the investigation which may have ended up excluding some other viable suspects and other routes.

    I think that the Alford plea was a disservice to to the community. They decided to save 60mil and lost face. Now that the deal is done there is little probability that the right answers will now be asked. As far as Arkansas is concerned the case is closed. So many unanswered questions may never be answered. imo the three should have been tried again with all evidence on the table.
     

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