On May 7th, 1993, Lt. James Sudbury and Juvenile Officer Steve Jones interviewed Damien Echols the day after the victims’ bodies were discovered. It was during this visit that Steve Jones would later allege he saw something suspicious. This account is documented in the book, “The Blood of Innocents,” by Guy Reel, Marc Perrusquia, and Bartholomew Sullivan.
“The Blood of Innocents,” page 95:
By the door sat Damien’s black combat boots beside a pair of tennis shoes. Both were caked in mud, the juvenile officer later would recall.
Later in the book, Damien Echols himself is asked about Steve Jones allegation in a death row interview.
Inside the trailer, Jones said he saw a pair of tennis shoes and Echols’ black boots, all caked in mud–again, information that never came out at the trials.
“What am I, a dang fool?” Echols said, when told of Jones’ contention. “The tennis shoes did have mud on them, the boots did not. I kept the boots in perfect condition because they were always what I wore when I went out. The tennis shoes I didn’t care anything about, when it was raining or something like that I would wear them out to keep from messing my boots up.”
Echols acknowledged in the interview that Steve Jones did in-fact see a pair of tennis shoes with mud caked on them, but disputed Jones’ assertion that his boots had mud on them as well, arguing that Jones was only half right.
John Douglas, a famous FBI Criminal Profiler hired by Lord of the Rings Director, Peter Jackson, stated as follows in the documentary, “West of Memphis”:
“To do what he did to the children, hide the clothing, and hide the children–he got in the water, he got muddy.”
On a final note, on the night of the murders two other items of information stick out. The first is a sighting of muddy footprints all over the bridge entering the crime scene. The killer had tossed the victim’s bikes off the bridge and into the water shortly after the murders.
David Jacoby and Terry Hobbs searched around the Pipe Bridge on May 5th, shortly before it got dark out that night. According to Jacoby in his interview with police, he noticed muddy footprints all over the pipe and assumed they must have been from the missing victims.
Jacoby: At one point we got to ah ditch I remember seeing some foot prints going down I know it was bicycle tire prints going down in the ditch, and then we got up to ah there was a pipe that crossed the ditch got up to walk across that pipe and there was some muddy footprints on the pipe. And uh that I can remember that I just don’t remember I thank we went on across the pipe and walked on threw you know down along the ditch bank and threw more woods.
Jacoby later in his statement again described the prints that he saw on the bridge…
Jacoby: I thank uh we all kinda of walked down toward the edge of the water it was a little grassy then all of a sudden it was just muddy uh I don’t thank none of us really got in the mud. I remember myself when I seen it I walked down towards it I didn’t step in the mud and I seen I thank it was tire tracks I’m pretty sure it was and I told the rest of em it look like they took their bikes threw the ditch right here but you could look to the other side and didn’t see nothing coming out and I thought maybe they backed up so we Walked to where we could git to that I was wanting to say it was a black pipe going across there and there was you know foot prints from the mud on there so you know I assumed they had crossed it there and it really never dawn on me how they got their bikes across unless they carried it and they were all little kids so, I mean there was a West Memphis Police Officer there when we got in the woods and you know I told him this. I mean I don’t where it went to but it was kind of frantic that night but…
Late in the night on May 5, 1993, Narlene Hollingsworth and her family were driving along the busy service road that passed along the side of Robin Hood Hills, when they spotted two individuals walking just past Robin Hood and in the direction of Lakeshore Trailer Park. According to Narlene Hollingsworth, one of them was Damien Echols, and in addition there was a second person with him, who had long hair and a black t-shirt and jeans on, which Narlene had thought was her niece Domini Teer. And according to her, these two people looked wet and muddy.
Re-capping, Criminal Profiler, John Douglas stated that the killer should be wet and muddy, because he would have had to have gotten into the ditch with the victims. David Jacoby in turn saw muddy shoe prints all over the bridge leading into the crime scene, and the killer would have had to have walked on that bridge at some point on May 5th in order to dispose of the victims’ bikes. And later on May 5th, Narlene Hollingsworth spotted Damien Echols in muddy clothing walking around near Robin Hood Hills. Steve Jones also stated that on May 7th, when the police interviewed Damien, that he had a pair of caked muddy shoes and muddy boots sitting in his trailer.