A more recent denial by Damien Echols, was that he didn’t live in West Memphis at the time of the murders. Echols and his supporters claimed that he lived in the City of Marion, which neighbors West Memphis. At the time of his arrest he lived at this trailer…
It’s location? 2706 South Grove located in Broadway Trailer Park, which resides in… West Memphis.
During an interview with CNN’s Larry King Echols stated the following:
KING: Did you live in the vicinity where they lived?
ECHOLS: Well, I lived — I didn’t actually live in West Memphis. I lived in a small town right outside of West Memphis called Marion. So it was within, I don’t know, I’d say about a 10, 15 mile area.
So, despite how Echols tried to remove himself from West Memphis, he did in fact reside there. This then made his statements a blatant lie.
In another interview from 2010 he’d have this exchange with the interviewer:
Interviewer: Let’s go back to 1993, had you, that area, that Robin hills area, was that an area you were familiar with or had ever been in?
Damien: No, it’s actually–um, most people always call us the West Memphis Three, but we actually weren’t from West Memphis, we were from um, a small town right outside of West Memphis called Marion, which almost no one knows where is. And, um, being that West Memphis is the closest thing to Marion um, it’s just sorta people look at it as almost being the same place. Uh, And all of the dealings we had were with West Memphis Police Department. So… West Memphis wasn’t a place that I went to um, a great deal of time you know? I went to school in Marion. Um, I lived in Marion. So, I didn’t really go to West Memphis a lot… at all.
Interviewer: So where these murders took place that was not an area–
Damien: No, because that would have been a residential area, uh-uh-uh, a wooded area close to a residential area. You know there weren’t any um– if I went to West Memphis it would have been to do something like say go to Wal-Mart, you know? Go to the grocery store, something like that. So it wouldn’t have been a residential area anyway…
Here he again continues with the lie that he lived in Marion, and not only says he didn’t live there, but was unfamiliar with Robin Hood Hills, and suggests that he barely spent any time in West Memphis.
The film Paradise Lost also inadvertently placed Echols not only in West Memphis, but near Robin Hood Hills.
A quote from the scene in question:
“Reverend Tommy Stacy’s church is down the street from where the bodies were found. One year ago, Damien Echols told the church’s youth minister he had a pact with the devil, and he was going to hell.”
It then shows an interview with Stacy.
“I do know that my youth director talked to Damien extensively at a revival that we had, and he told him that he could not be saved, that he could not give his heart to Jesus. My youth director then tried to get him to take a Bible, and he made the statement that he could not take a Bible, because if he did, the rest of ’em would get him.”
The map clearly shows that the Second Baptist Church is not only in West Memphis, but near the crime scene.
When pressed in court, Echols admitted to walking around West Memphis with his friend Jason.
A: We like to walk around a lot just with no place particular in mind. Just start out walking and walk around all day.
Q: Did you walk quite a bit around West Memphis, then?
A: Yes, I did.
He further was pressed and admitted walking through the neighborhood where the victims lived 2-3 times a week.
Q. Now, yesterday I asked you some general questions about, you had indicated that you and Jason quite frequently walked around areas of West Memphis?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. I want to direct your attention on this diagram — in fact, let me circle it. This area right in here which would be, I believe, east of — is that 14th?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. It is east of 14th Street and south of the service road and the interstate. In that particular neighborhood, Market Street, Goodwin, in there, did you and Jason frequently walk and roam in that area, the same neighborhood where the three victims lived?
A. I think by looking at the map I would have had to.
Q. How often?
A. Probably in that area maybe twice a week.
Q. For how long a period?
A. A few years.
Q. How many?
A. Probably at least two years.
Q. All right. And that, when you told us yesterday that you hadn’t been over in that area, the residential area near Robin Hood Hills, were you just not thinking of that particular area?
A. No, when you said “neighborhood,” I just didn’t know what you are talking about, what that neighborhood is.
Q. But when I specified that particular area, the neighborhood that I circled, you were there two or three times a week?
A. Probably an average of two to three times a week.
Q. And what would the purpose be over there? Would you all just being walking around the neighborhood?
A. I had to walk through there to get from my house to Jason’s house. I would have to walk through there to get from my house to Domini’s house or anywhere in Marion.
Q. Okay. Where were you living at the time?
A. At the time I was arrested, Broadway Trailer Park.
Q. Okay. Well, when you were walking over here — this is the interstate, didn’t you — where, if you could, show me where you lived?
A. Right here (indicating), somewhere along in there.
Q. So you lived south of Broadway?
Q. And what time period was that? When did you quit living south of Broadway?
A. When I was arrested.
Q. Okay. And your only reason to walk through here would be to go to and from Jason’s residence?
Q. And that’s the path you would take, you and Jason would take a path through here and over there?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And that would be two or three times a week?
A. On an average.
Q. Did you have anybody else in that neighborhood that you visited or that you went over and were at their house or anything of that nature?
A. Probably, there is several people in Lakeshore.
Q. Not in Lakeshore, in the neighborhood we circled.
A. No, but I had to go through there to get to Lakeshore.
Furthermore one of his co-defendants also placed him walking around West Memphis.
“…Damien he don’t stay in one place long, he always walk around, he always go to West Memphis…he goes to West Memphis a lot…and he walks around.”
From his book “Almost Home“, pages 7-8.
“A couple of strange incidents occurred during this period of my life, both which I remember vividly, but neither of which I can explain. The first happened while still living in the Mayfair apartments.
One evening as dusk approached my mother told me not to leave the walkway right in front of our apartment door. Being the unlearned heathen that I was, I beat it the moment she was out of sight. I ran around to the very back of the complex where a huge mound of sand was located, and proceeded to dig a hole with my bare hands. This was one of my favorite activities, in which I invested a huge amount of time as a child. I looked up from my digging some time later only to realize it was completely dark. I could see the streetlights on in the distance, and the night was deathly silent. No Crickets chirping, people talking, or cars driving by. Nothing but silence that comes once the movies is over and the screen goes blank. Knowing that I was now officially in trouble, I dusted myself off and started to make my way back to our apartment.
As I walked home I had to pass a place where two sections of the building came together to form a corner. The last time I had noticed this corner the apartment there was empty. Now it was dark, but the front door was open.
There was no trace of any light and the inside of the apartment was as void of illumination as some sort of vacuum. Standing in the doorway, propped against the frame with his arms folded across his chest was a man in black pants and no shirt. He had black, shoulder length hair and wore a shit-eating grin. “where you goin’, boy?” he asked in a way that said he was amused, but didn’t really expect an answer. I said nothing, just stood looking up at him. “Your mamma’s looking for you. You know you’re going to get a whipping.”
After a moment longer I continued on my way. When I encountered my mother, she had a switch in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I did indeed receive a whipping.
I never thought about this incident again, up until a day or so before I was arrested and put on trial for murder. I was eighteen years old, and the cops had been harassing me non-stop for weeks. My mother asked me one day after lunch, “Why don’t you take your shirt off and go in the back yard so I can take pictures? That way, if the cops beat you we’ll have some before and after photos.” Nodding my head, I made a trip to the bathroom where I took my shirt off. When I looked into the mirror over the sink, it hit me that I looked exactly like the man I’d seen all those years before in the dark apartment. Mirrors have always made me a little uneasy for some reason and this incident did nothing to change that.
The other bit of bizarre happenstance took place after we had moved from Mayfair and into a small trailer in the countryside. I slept in a tiny bedroom at the very end of the hallway. There were no windows, and only one way into or out of this bedroom. Fire exits? We don’t need no stinkin’ fire exits.
Late one night something woke me up. It wasn’t a noise, as the entire place was deathly silent. I rolled over and found myself face to face with a strange woman who appeared to be fast asleep in my bed. I was paralyzed with fright. So scared that I couldn’t move, couldn’t scream, couldn’t do0 anything. All I could do was stare at this sleeping woman, my eyes bulging in terror.
When the fear gave way to self-preservation I jumped from the bed and fled to my parents’ room, wailing like a fire engine. My mother and father bolted straight out of bed to the sound of me screaming, “There’s someone in my room!” My mother gave my father a scared look, but he was already on his way down the hall.
There was no woman found, and no way that anyone could have gotten past my parents’ room to leave. There was no window to crawl out of and no back door to flee through. My Parents pointed out these facts to me numerous times over the subsequent weeks, but I still couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a time. I never slept the whole night through until after we moved, which we fortunately did very soon.”
Damien placed him and his family living at the Mayfair Apartments, which are located right next to the crime scene. The playground area goes right behind to the area where the pipe bridge is located.
The apartment complex can even be viewed from the crime scene.
He lived right behind Robin Hood Hills.
His step dad Jack Echols would also state this in a declaration.
“There were other times when Damien had so much energy he did not know what to do. He got really excited and kind of hyper and he always walked at these times. Damien walked to some of the parks in the area, to some of his friends houses, and across town…”
Damien hungout at parks in the area according to his step dad.
Damien would also list the “woods” and “park” as places he frequented in the community.
One of Damien’s friends, Heather Cliett took the police to Robin Hood on May 10th, 1993, stating that she had seen the victims playing there before.
PICKED HEATHER CLIETT UP FROM EAST JR. HIGH – WENT TO THE DEAD END OF GOODWIN – SHE TOOK ME TO A PLACE THAT THE KIDS CALL DEVILS DEN WHERE SHE HAS SEEN ALL 3 VICTIMS ON SEVERAL OCCASSIONS RIDING THEIR BIKES. TOOK A FEW PICTURES – RETURNED HER TO SCHOOL @ 10:30 A.M.
Damien’s friends had been to Robin Hood, and had even seen the victims before.
Chris Littrell another one of Damien’s friends would admit during an interview that both he, and Murray Farris had been to Robin hood before.
Tabitha Hollingsworth in her initial statement to police had also placed Damien and Jason as often hanging out at Robin Hood Hills.
DABBS: What do you think about Damian?
TABETHA: I think he’s a devil worshiper, I don’t like him.
DABBS: How do you know that he’s a deveil worshiper?
TABETHA: He makes signs on the street and all of that, and he’ go back under the bridge and makes of the devil.
DABBS: Has he ever tried to talk you into joining with him?
TABETHA: Ugh, ugh, cause I don’t go around him.
DABBS: What about Dominic?
DABBS: Does Dominic know that he’s a devil worshiper?
DABBS: What does she have to say about it?
TABETHA: She doesn’t say nothing about, I guess she don’t care.
DABBS: She doesn’t care, do you know a Justin?
DABBS: I mean a Jason?
DABBS: What’s his name?
TABETHA: I don’t know his last name, I know where he lives though.
DABBS: Is he friends with Damian?
DABBS: And Dominic?
TABETHA: Yep, very good friends, they walk around with each other all the time.
DABBS: Does he know Damian?
DABBS: Does he try to get into it too?
TABETHA: As for as I know, yeah
DABBS: Do they ever act real strange or do anything out of t way?
TABETHA: They act strange all the time
DABBS: All the time? Have you ever known of anything that, you ever seen them together up, you say they camp out on this ditch here?
TABETHA: Yeah, they go back there to the river all the time.
DABBS: Have you ever heard anybody else talk about them?
During a questionnaire conducted by police on May 9, 1993, a series of questions would be asked. The list of questions appears below.
The following is a list of answers to these questions given by Damien and Jason.
The answer to Question #21 was simply “Yes”.
The evidence shows that it seems highly unlikely that he wasn’t familiar with the area, and the crime scene. He not only lived in West Memphis, but often walked the neighborhood where the victims lived, and likely spent time in Robin Hood Hills with his friends.