Jessie’s June 3, 1993 Confession

Click here to read the entire transcript of Jessie’s confession.

Click here to read Jessie’s follow-up interview.

Click here to read a follow-up statement Jessie gave to his lawyer about the confession.

According to Jessie Misskelley’s June 3, 1993 confession, on the day of the crime, after he had gotten off of work and during the middle portion of the day, he(Jessie Misskelley), and his two friends, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin met up near Lakeshore Trailer Park, where Jason Baldwin lived. It was from there that they walked along the busy service road, to Robin Hood Hills.

In this portion of the confession, Jessie is specifically asked whose car they drove in, to which Jessie corrects Det. Gary Gitchell, saying that they didn’t drive to the crime scene, they walked there:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay.

MISSKELLEY: I went with them and then I

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Now, were you in a car? Whose car were you all in?

MISSKELLEY: We walked

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: You all walked?

MISSKELLEY: Right, we walked and then uh,

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Where did you go?

MISSKELLEY: We went up to the Robin Hood

DETECTIVE RIDGE: You went to the Robin Hood, explain to me where those woods are.

MISSKELLEY: By uh, Blue Beacon Truck Wash.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Just a little patch of woods

MISSKELLEY: A little patch of woods

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Behind Blue Beacon?

MISSKELLEY: Behind it, right back there behind it.

(The service road in front of Robin Hood Hills.)

(Robin Hood Hills, a wooded area nextdoor to Blue Beacon Truck Wash.)

According to Jessie, the victims left their bikes near where they entered the woods, suggesting the pipe bridge, and it was from there, that Damien lured the boys across the bridge.

MISSKELLEY: They, they laid their bikes down when they come out to the, I mean, when they hollered for them to come, come out there, they

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Where did they lay their bikes down at, that’s what I’m asking?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t know where they laid their bikes down at, cause I was, I was behind Damien and nem, way, way behind them.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay

MISSKELLEY: When they hollered, when they seen them boys

DETECTIVE RIDGE: The little boys came on over? 

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.


(Where Jessie said the victims encountered their killers.)

(Where Jessie states the victims left their bikes.)

From the criminal profile of John Douglas:

“It is my opinion the victims came into the woods of Robin Hood Hills by the most common method and that was by crossing the wood and pipe make-shift bridge. It is inconceivable that they carried their bikes across this very narrow width bridge. It is inconceivable that they carried their bikes across this very narrow width bridge. Nor is there any evidence they entered Robin Hood Hills at another location or were killed somewhere else and disposed of in Robin Hood Hills. It required much balance crossing the bridge and the chances of falling off the bridge while carrying their bicycles was high. It is my opinion the victims left their bicycles hidden in the tall grass and weeds before they each walked across the pipe bridge.”

(The bikes pulled from the water next to the bridge.)

Going back to Jessie’s same statement from the June 3, 1993 confession, he specifically states that Damien called out to the boys, which caused them to come over:

MISSKELLEY: They, they laid their bikes down when they come out to the, I mean, when they hollered for them to come, come out there, they

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Where did they lay their bikes down at, that’s what I’m asking?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t know where they laid their bikes down at, cause I was, I was behind Damien and nem, way, way behind them.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay

MISSKELLEY: When they hollered, when they seen them boys

DETECTIVE RIDGE: The little boys came on over? 

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

Notice, he says the boys came “out there,” after they “laid their bikes down.” Then when he’s asked by Bryn Ridge if that’s what he means, Jessie agrees.

Just from this statement alone, Jessie knew that the boys laid their bikes down before crossing the pipe bridge, and described them being lured across by Damien Echols, and according to John Douglas, the victims would have left their bikes near the entrance to Robin Hood Hills, at the pipe bridge.

So, what Jessie stated was all very similar to what actually happened.

Damien himself also made this statement to the police on May 10, 1993, in which he suggested that the killer lured the victims:

DAMIEN STATED THAT HE FIGURED THAT THE KILLER KNEW THE KIDS WENT INTO THE WOODS AND EVEN ASKED THEM TO COME OUT TO THE WOODS. HE STATED THAT THE BOYS WERE NOT BIG, NOT SMART, AND THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN EASY TO CONTROL.

Police report of Damien Echols’ May 10, 1993 interview.

 

Damien testifying at trial in regards to this matter:

Q. You also said and told Officer Ridge, is it not
correct that you told him that the killer knew the kids
went out there, knew the kids and asked the kids to
meet them out there? Is that what you told him?

A. He asked me was that possible, and I said, “Yes.”

Q. So once again, are you saying that you didn’t say
this, that he just threw out the idea there and you
just agreed to it?

A. Right.

Q. And if he says something different, that would be,
he would be lying about it, right? You are the one
telling the truth?

A. I wouldn’t put it past him.

Q. Did you also tell him that they would be not big —
speaking of the three eight-year-olds that were
murdered — they would be not big, not smart, and easy
to control?

A. Right.

 

So, according to Jessie, at the pipe bridge, Damien calls out to the victims and lures the boys across and into Devil’s Den, where the bodies were later recovered by police.

(From the bridge into Devil’s Den.)

(Path leading down into Devil’s Den.)

Once inside Devil’s Den the boys were grabbed by the three teenagers and attacked on a ditch bank, which was located next to three trees that were growing together.

Jessie described it as follows:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: So, there is like a tall bank, were you, where were you at on that bank?

MISSKELLEY: I was up there, I was standing up there on the top.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, where were they at?

MISSKELLEY: They was at the bottom.

(Path leading down to the ditch bank below.)

It was here, on this ditch bank where the crime occurred.


(Investigators standing on the ditch bank where the boys were attacked.)

Jessie during the confession described a vicious beating that they gave to all three of the victims on this ditch bank, though Jessie kept trying to down play his own involvement, saying he just stood by and watched while his friends did everything, occasionally slipping up such as in this example:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, when did they take their clothes off?

MISSKELLEY: Right after I, they beat up all three of them, beat them up real bad

Notice, Jessie first starts to say that he beat up the victims, using the word, “I,” then catches himself and says “they.

Below he describes the beating, pointing out which victims for the detectives using a photo from a newspaper:

MISSKELLEY: When I was there, I saw Damien hit this one, hit this one boy real bad, and then uh, and then he started screwing them and stuff and then uh,

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, you got in front of you a picture, that was taken out of the newspaper I believe, it’s got three boys and these are the three boys that were killed on that date in Robin Hood Woods, okay. Which one of those three boys is it you say Damien hit? The third picture (Jessie seems to be affirming this in the background), which will be

MISSKELLEY: Michael Moore

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: This boy right here,

MISSKELLEY: Yeah,

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Alright, that’s uh the Byers boy, 

MISSKELLEY: Christopher

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: That’s who you are pointing at?

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm. 

DETECTIVE RIDGE: If you read the captions, the grisly slain from left, 8 year old Michael Moore, Steven Branch and Christopher Byers. (Jessie seems to be echoing these names as Ridge speaks). Okay, so you saw Damien strike Chris Byers in the head?

MISSKELLEY: Right

DETECTIVE RIDGE: What did he hit him with?

MISSKELLEY: He hit him with his fist and bruised him all up real bad, and then um Jason turned around and hit Steve Branch

(Newspaper photo of the victims used for identification by Jessie.)

The victims were all in-fact beaten severely. Chris Byers had bruises and there were injuries all over his body and the bodies of Stevie Branch and Michael Moore.

Upon questioning, Jessie also admitted they used sticks to beat the victims, but only claimed that Damien used one to beat the boys:

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Did you ever use, did anyone use a stick and hit the boys with?

MISSKELLEY: Damien had kind of a big old stick when he hit that first one, after he hit him with his fist and knocked him down and then he got him a big old stick and hit him.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: What did the stick look like, I mean was it like a, a, a big log like that or is it, is it a stick?

MISSKELLEY: It, I would say it was about that, about that big around, I would say about that long.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Okay

DETECTIVE RIDGE: About the size of a baseball bat, maybe just a little bit bigger around?

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm. That’s about right.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: That’s what you’re describing with your hands, right?

MISSKELLEY: Right

In fact a large baseball bat like stick was found right next to Michael Moore’s body with a shirt from one of the victims wrapped around it by his killer.

This stick was labeled in evidence as E-139 and matched the description of the weapon Jessie alleged was used.

There was however a second stick recovered at the crime scene which was also strange. It had portions missing like someone had handled it, and it was found next to the bodies of Christopher Byers and Stevie Branch.

This stick was labeled as E-17, and matched up to some of the injuries inflicted on Michael Moore, Stevie Branch, and Christopher Byers.

In a statement following his June 3, 1993 confession, Jessie described the stick Damien used differently, giving a description that matched to E-17:

STIDHAM: Okay. You remember there being a stick out there that day in the creek? One that was kind of long and skinny looked like a maybe a broom handle? But it wasn’t a broom handle it was a stick that maybe the bark –

JESSIE: I don’t – I – never seen one.

STIDHAM: – stripped off of it?

JESSIE: I don’t remember seeing one. I remember Damien carried a one, a stick, a lot. He carried a stick a lot.

STIDHAM: What did it look like?

JESSIE: It was grooved in the handles and stuff, you know, carved like.

STIDHAM: Carved? Let just try and draw a picture of it here. I don’t – You don’t see a pencil in here anywhere do you?

JESSIE: On the desk.

STIDHAM: Well, imagine a broomstick, uh, you know a broom stick is obviously made out of something mechanical – a wood lathe. This is kind of a long, skinny stick, and then there’s places where the bark has been peeled off. And it’s like stripes. Does that sound familiar?

JESSIE: Uh-huh. Yeah. I’d say it’s about – good bit longer than that.

STIDHAM: You’re saying Damien carried that around a lot?

JESSIE: Yeah, he carried it around a lot – (inaudible)

 

(E-17 along with E-138 and E-139, which were the two other sticks recovered by the police.)

Jessie in another statement given after his conviction, told the prosecution, that he and Damien had attacked the victims with sticks, thus explaining why Jessie told his lawyer that Damien used E-17 to strike the victims, yet described Damien as using E-139. In reality it was Jessie who used E-139, the large baseball bat like weapon, but in his June 3, 1993 statement he was trying to shift all the blame onto Jason and Damien.

From Jessie’s February 17, 1994 statement, in which he discusses the sticks with Prosecutor, Brant Davis.

DAVIS: Ok. Were they, at some point did they get hit with anything besides your fist?

MISSKELLEY: Stick.

DAVIS: Who hit’m with a stick?

MISSKELLEY: Damien, I hit, I hit one of’m with a stick…

Now, getting back to Jessie’s June 3, 1993 statement, in which Jessie stated that the first victim that got struck really bad, was Christopher Byers:

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: This boy right here,

MISSKELLEY: Yeah,

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Alright, that’s uh the Byers boy, 

MISSKELLEY: Christopher

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: That’s who you are pointing at?

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm. 

DETECTIVE RIDGE: If you read the captions, the grisly slain from left, 8 year old Michael Moore, Steven Branch and Christopher Byers. (Jessie seems to be echoing these names as Ridge speaks). Okay, so you saw Damien strike Chris Byers in the head?

Jessie stated that it was Christopher Byers who first got struck in the head with a stick by Damien, which he described for his lawyer as being E-17, the thin stick that was missing bark on it:

MISSKELLEY: Damien had kind of a big old stick when he hit that first one, after he hit him with his fist and knocked him down and then he got him a big old stick and hit him.

Byers did in-fact have a head injury that was consistent with E-17 on the top of his head.

The Byers head injury.

Click here to read more about the stick injuries and evidence.

Going back to Jessie’s confession, he stated that the victims weren’t even tied up until later on, when the victims were all about to be tossed into the ditch, saying that they were just beaten very badly and held down by their killers:

MISSKELLEY: They beat them up so bad so they can’t hardly move. They hadn’t tied, had their hands tied down and he just sit on them.

There was in-fact numerous amounts of evidence on the bodies of both Chris Byers and Stevie Branch that they had been restrained prior to being tied up.

Found on Christopher’s thigh were several bruises:

Bruises on Christopher’s thigh.

Another photo of Christopher’s bruises.

Located on Christopher’s mouth were also fingernail marks from where someone had tried to cover his mouth:

The fingernail marks.

Located on the body of Stevie Branch was an odd mark on his thigh, consistent with the stick known as E-17 being held down across his thigh.

Stevie’s thigh injury.

After being beaten, Jason and Damien had started stripping Christopher Byers and Stevie Branch, while Jessie was attacking Michael Moore.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, when did they take their clothes off?

MISSKELLEY: Right after I, they beat up all three of them, beat them up real bad

Jessie said then that after Branch and Byers were beaten and stripped, that Jason and Damien began cutting them with a single knife:

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?

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?

MISSKELLEY: I saw him cut one of the little boys

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

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?

MISSKELLEY: At the bottom

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

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm. 

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

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: In his groin area?

MISSKELLEY: (No audio register) 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Okay

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Do you know what his penis is?

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

DETECTIVE RIDGE: That’s where he was cut.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Which boy was that?

MISSKELLEY: That right there.

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

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Okay

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

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

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, you know what penis is?

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

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

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.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Was uh, were you all close to the creek at that point?

MISSKELLEY: Yes sir

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Where, where was the little boy actually at?

MISSKELLEY: He was close by

 

(Location where Chris Byers and Stevie Branch were cut up.)

The fact that Jessie also picked out Jason Baldwin as the one who had the knife was interesting, because one would expect, that if you were going to falsely confess to watching Damien and Jason commit the murders, that it would be Damien, the guy who’s the supposed leader here to have used the knife.

Yet, it was Jason Baldwin, who had a knife hidden in the lake behind his trailer.

(Jason’s knife recovered from the lake behind his trailer.)

Click here to read about Jason and the lake knife.

Click here to read more about the knife injuries to the victims.

Jessie further described the murder weapon to his lawyer, months before the police ever recovered it behind Jason’s trailer, saying that he hadn’t seen it before, but thought it might have been a folding knife, but then describes it as very large, with a blade over 6 inches long, and the knife being even longer when you counted the handle.

Here his lawyer, Dan Stidham asks him about the knife:

STIDHAM: About 4 or 5 inches, the whole knife

JESSIE: Oh, probably about that long. (Indicating)

STIDHAM: How long was the blade?

JESSIE: Not counting the ends of it, I would say the blade was about something like that. (Indicating)

STIDHAM: Six inches or so?

JESSIE: Without counting the whole thing.

Jessie was wrong on it being a folding knife, but right on the length and description of the blade.

Jessie also provided more details of the castration to his lawyer following his confession to the police:

STIDHAM: Was there a lot of blood there on the ground?

JESSIE: I don’t know –

STIDHAM: – out there where they were hitting them with sticks and stuff?

JESSIE: Yeah, there was a lot of blood.

STIDHAM: A little bit or a whole lot or …?

JESSIE: I’d say a lot.

STIDHAM: Okay. And that was at the low bank of the creek –

JESSIE: Uh-huh. (Affirmatively indicating)

STIDHAM: – which would be on this side going toward Blue Beacon?

JESSIE: Right.

STIDHAM: That’s where actually all the hitting and cutting took place?

JESSIE: Yeah.

STIDHAM: Then where the little boy was when Jason cut him? Was he laying on the ground there? Or –

JESSIE: He was laying on the ground there. Can’t remember whereabouts, not unless if I was there to see it I could say whereabouts.

STIDHAM: Okay. And when he cut his thing off you don’t know what happened to it, did you see him throw it?

JESSIE: I seen him sling his arm that way. (Indicating)

STIDHAM: Was it towards the creek or towards that way, or?

JESSIE: Towards, like, the woods and stuff.

STIDHAM: So he didn’t throw it like toward the creek?

JESSIE: Huh-uh. (Negatively indicating)
 

Jessie had also been able to pick out which two victims had been mutilated with a knife and which parts on them had been cut, which was all factual. Jessie even knew Jason had the murder weapon.

So, after witnessing Chris Byers getting castrated, Michael Moore had gotten free, with Jessie stating that he(Jessie) had to chase him down, because he was starting to get away.

MISSKELLEY: Then the other one took off, Michael uh Moore took off running, so I chased him and grabbed him and held him, til they got there and then I left.

Jessie, in his June 3rd statement kept trying to say to the police that he did not participate, and that he just handed off Moore to his buddies, Jason and Damien and then left, but continued to keep adding additional details. Upon questioning by police, he suggested that when Moore was caught, that they were at a second location, seeming to suggest a different ditch bank located on the other side of the water.

Jessie noticably said he, “held him, til they got there,” indicating that he was in a different location than Jason and Damien.

In this exchange, Jessie seems to further describe the second ditch bank:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Can you describe to me what in those woods, what’s the location where you were?

MISSKELLEY: Uh,

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Is there a path that you go down?

MISSKELLEY: Uh, down a little path

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, where does that path go to?

MISSKELLEY: It leads out there close to the uh field, close to the interstate.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay

MISSKELLEY: That’s where I was at.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright.

MISSKELLEY: I was close by the interstate.

(Second ditch bank shown on the left side of the photo. Other bank is on the right, behind the three trees in the middle of the photo.)

(The second ditch bank.)

This second ditch bank was right next to a path out of the woods, which led into a field directly next to the service road.

(The path out of the woods.)

During questioning on this subject, Det. Ridge seems to get Jessie confused on where Michael Moore was fleeing to exactly:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: When he hits the first boy and then Jason hits another boy, and one takes off running, 

MISSKELLEY: And the other takes. . .

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Where does he run to?

MISSKELLEY: That one, he runs out, going out the, out the park and I chased him and grabbed him and brought him back.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Which way does he go, I mean, does he go on back towards where the houses are

MISSKELLEY: He goes on back. . .

DETECTIVE RIDGE: He’s going to Blue Beacon, is he going out towards the fields,

MISSKELLEY: He’s going. . .

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Where’s he running to?

Jessie then responds during this line of questioning that Moore was running back to his house:

MISSKELLEY: Towards the houses.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Towards the houses?

But from the context it becomes obvious that Jessie is just saying where he assumed Moore was trying to go, not where he chased him.

Jessie had actually chased him across the ditch, but consistently tried to deny that he went into the water to kill the boys, but also kept slipping up on that matter.

Here, in this example, Jessie states that when he left the crime scene his clothes were wet and muddy:

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Did you have some blood on your clothes?

MISSKELLEY: I didn’t have no blood on them, I wasn’t, I didn’t get close to them.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Were your clothes wet still?

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm, they were damp.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Muddy?

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

Yet in this example, he states that he did get into the ditch, but… prior to when the victims showed up:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, the night you were in these woods, uh had you all been in the water?

MISSKELLEY: Yeah, we’ve been in the water, we were in it that night, playing around in it.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: You were playing around in the water? Alright, what were you doing in the water?

MISSKELLEY: Just

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Besides just playing, the little boys, had they been in the water? Did they get into the water with you all?

MISSKELLEY: No, they didn’t get into the water with us

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, what were you doing in the water?

MISSKELLEY: We were just sitting there, throwing stuff at each other.

It was obvious that Jessie had gotten muddy from the crime, not because he had been “playing” in the water with his pals.

Criminal Profiler, John Douglas,  discussing the murders 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.”

Jessie Had traveled across the ditch shown below.

(Sgt. Mike Allen trying to cross the ditch without stepping in the water.)

Luminol reactions further found blood on this ditch bank in three different spots.

(Moore’s body shown as number 6 on the diagram.)

Of these spots, one location, was where the police set Moore’s body after they pulled him from the ditch.

(Middle location is where the police set Moore’s body.)

Of the two remaining spots, one location on that ditch bank remained of interest, where it appeared to show that a bloodbath took place. A pooling or collection of blood determined to measure roughly 3ft in diameter was located, which was about the size of a child. This was likely the site of Moore’s murder, as his dead body was found in the water right in front of this ditch bank.

(Luminol photo of the questioned location, showing blood all over this location.)

Further Moore’s body was located 27ft away from the bodies of Christopher Byers and Stevie Branch, which is shown in diagrams from the crime scene and in crime scene notes.

(Police diagram of the crime scene showing the locations of the bodies.)

From the crime scene notes, it states, that body #2 was located 27ft away from that of body #1(Michael Moore).

The exact quote from the notes:

#2 Body 27’ South of #1 Body

Link to the crime scene notes.

What Jessie had described, his chasing of Michael Moore to prevent him from escaping, had explained why Moore was on the other ditch bank, and why his body was found 27ft away from the location where his friends were murdered.

And according to Jessie, after Moore tried to escape, they beat him and stripped him as well, then decided to tie up all three of the victims to make sure they couldn’t get away.

The portion of Jessie’s confession where he states that the boys were all already beaten unconscious when they were tied up:

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: I’ve got a feeling here, you’re not quite telling me everything, now we’re, you know we’re recording everything, so this is very, very important to tell us the entire truth. If you were there the whole time, then tell us that you were there the whole time, don’t leave anything out. This is very, very important, now just tell us the truth.

MISSKELLEY: I was there until they tied them up and then that’s when I left, after they tied them up, I left.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: But, you saw them cutting on the boys,

MISSKELLEY: I saw them cutting on them, and then they, they

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: So, what else, what else left is there, after that?

MISSKELLEY: Then they laid the knife down beside them and I saw them tying them up and then that’s when I left.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Were the boys conscience (sic) or were they

MISSKELLEY: They were unconscious then

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Unconscious

 

Jessie lastly said that before he left the crime scene, that Jason and Damien pulled the victims into the water, where they drowned.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Did you ever see the boys in the water?

MISSKELLEY: (unintelligible, yawn?) Uh, yep, down by the water.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Alright, how did the boys get in the water?

MISSKELLEY: They um, pulled pulled them in there, to the water.

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Alright, when you say they who, who is it that pulled them into the water?

MISSKELLEY: Jason and uh, Damien.

Notice, Gitchell did not ask if the boys were pulled into the water, just if he had seen the boys in the water. And Jessie indicates that they were pulled in.

Following this, Jessie fled the crime scene, leaving out the path near where Moore was killed, and out to the service road. It was at this time that he fled the crime scene and walked home.

(Route out of the woods and to the service road.)

(Route back toward Jessie’s home.)

Following this confession, where Jessie insisted to police that he was only a witness in the murders and had only helped chase down one victim, Jessie’s father went on the news and also stated that his son was only a witness to the murders.

Transcript from the interview, which aired on June 7, 1993:

Misskelley Sr. : “I don’t believe he did it. ’cause he–

Reporter : “Do you think he might have been with them when they did it?”

Misskelley Sr. : “Yeah he could have been with ’em. But he did not have anything to do with it, I don’t believe.”

Link to the news clip:

Jessie Misskelley Sr. stating that Jessie witnessed the murders.

In Jessie’s June 3, 1993 police confession, which led to his arrest and the arrests of Jason and Damien, Jessie knew these key facts:

  1. Jessie named two suspects in the murders, who had no alibis, and was able to name specifically which one of those suspects had the murder weapon.
  2. Jessie knew the location of the murders and said he and his two accomplices walked to the crime scene, which was just as he said, next to Blue Beacon Truck Wash.
  3. Jessie knew where the victims left their bikes.
  4. Jessie knew the victims were lured into a wooded area.
  5. Jessie knew the victims were beaten until they couldn’t move.
  6. Jessie knew that Chris Byers and Stevie Branch were mutilated with a knife, and was even able to describe which victims had which injuries and where those injuries were.
  7. Jessie knew the victims were beaten with sticks.
  8. Jessie knew that Michael Moore had tried to run away.
  9. Jessie knew that the victims were all naked and unconscious when they were tied up.
  10. Jessie knew that the bodies were dragged into the ditch.

Jessie maintained his confession for at least 3 months with his lawyer, Dan Stidham, even discussing with him taking a guilty plea in exchange of a lighter sentence.

STIDHAM: Okay. I’m going to leave it on. Uh, you realize that I’m taping this conversation? Okay? Uh, he called and said that if you’d be willing to testify and help with the case that he would, uh, recommend that you get life in prison with the possibility of getting paroled. He would waive the death penalty, you wouldn’t have to worry about the jury giving you a death sentence, and you wouldn’t have to worry about staying in prison without the possibility of parole. He said that he would let you basically be sentenced to first degree murder, uh, and give you life with the possibility of getting paroled some day. Now. Let me explain to you, basically what that means. Life in prison means that the governor can commute your sentence to a specific number of years. I doubt seriously, Jessie, if any governor in the state would ever do that considering the nature of the crime and those little boys’ bodies, and those parents of those little boys are going to be screaming at the governor not to do that, so, basically, life in prison could mean the same thing as life in prison without parole. We’ve got to make a decision here pretty quick about what we’re going to do, cause if we’re not going to take their offer, then we need to start getting a defense ready. (pause) How do you feel about the life? Doesn’t get to the first degree murder and getting life in prison with the possibility of getting out someday, because if the jury gets mad at those pictures they could give you life without parole or even the death sentence. Do you understand the difference?

JESSIE: Yeah.

STIDHAM: I told the prosecutor that, uh, I would prefer that you plead guilty and get a certain number of years, that way you know exactly someday when you’re going to get out. You can calculate it and say, I got to do this much time and this is my release date. And, he said he wasn’t interested doing that. He said I can recommend life, but I can’t recommend a certain number of years. I told him that I didn’t think you’d be interested in life because I don’t think the governor would ever commute it. But that’s your decision and not mine and I can’t make it for you, all I’ll do is lay out the options for you.

JESSIE: I – I – I don’t want to do too much time. You know, I don’t want to be lying to an attorney.

STIDHAM: Well.

JESSIE: You know I understand how, about what you’re saying.

STIDHAM: Do you understand that this is a very, very serious situation? There’s those little boys here are dead, one of which was mutilated, and that a jury is going to take that very serious, do you understand that?

JESSIE: Uh-huh. (Affirmatively indicating)

STIDHAM: Do you also understand that if the prosecutor makes a recommendation of a certain number of years, that it’s probably going to be a lot of years, it’s not going to be five, ten years, it’s probably going to be more like forty.

JESSIE: Yeah, I understand.

STIDHAM: Now, if you got a 40-year sentence, you wouldn’t serve 40 years, you would serve probably half – 20 years. You’re 18 now and in 20 years you’ll be 38, but at least you’ll be getting out someday. Cause the chance even on a 40 year sentence that you may only serve l0 years. But if you go down there, keep your nose clean and don’t get into any trouble you can get out. See, we’re not talking about just going for a week or two or a month or two or a year or two, we’re talking about a lot of years here, Jessie, and, you know, if the prosecutor comes back and says uh – I don’t know that he will, he may not make another offer – he said life in prison was his best offer, take it or leave it. Uh, but if he comes back and says it’ll be 40 years, or 50 years, would you be willing to consider that?

JESSIE: I don’t want to spend, you know, almost all my life in jail. You know, in prison.

STIDHAM: I don’t want you to either. You know, on a 40 year sentence you might serve 12 years, 15 years, uh, you know that’s a long time, but at least you’re going to get out. If it goes the other way and that jury, I’m telling you Jessie, that jury may…(end of tape.)

STIDHAM: Jessie, the tape ran out. It’s now 11:37. The tape ran out and the last part of our conversation didn’t get recorded. We had talked about we think the prosecutor has made this offer of life without – life with the chance of getting parole, and let me plead first degree murder. You indicated to me that you wouldn’t be willing to consider that – somewhere in the regular 50-year sentence knowing that you would have to serve all of that, of course, is that correct?

JESSIE: Yes.

STIDHAM: So, when you say 25 or 20 or 25 years, that’d be the equivalent of a 40 or 50 year sentence. You understand that, right. Under the current guidelines, under a
Class Y felony you’d have to serve half of your sentence before you’re eligible for parole. So, on a 30 years sentence you’re looking at 15 years, on a 40-year sentence you’re looking at 20 years, and on a 50-year sentence you’re looking at 25. Do you understand that?

JESSIE: (inaudible)

STIDHAM: So, what you’re saying then is that you want me to tell the prosecutor you’re not interested in the life sentence, but you would be interested in a number of years sentence, and you would be willing to consider somewhere around 40 to 50 years? That’s what you’re saying?

JESSIE: Right.

STIDHAM: Okay. So that – that’s what I’m going to do then, is I’m going to tell the prosecutor that we’re not interested in his offer, and, uh, we’ll go from there. Okay? I’m going to talk to your dad, and I’m going to get him back up to talk to you and the three of us will sit down and talk about this, and, because if we don’t get a deal made we’re going to have to start getting ready for trial. You’re doing real good. You’re not talking to anybody and you haven’t been talking to anybody in here have you? About the case? Don’t do it, it’s just, you need to maintain your silence, don’t talk to anybody about the case but me and Mr. Crow, and right now, under the circumstances, things seem to be going pretty well. The confession is what’s hurting us right now. And we’ll get back with the prosecutor and talk to him and when I hear from him back I’ll get your dad up here and the three of us will sit down and talk about it some more, okay?

JESSIE: All right. 

 

Click here to read more about the events that led up to Jessie’s confession.

Click here to read about other events in the month before Jessie confessed.

Click here to read about corroborating evidence Jessie provided after his conviction.

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Lee Rush and Jessie’s Crying Fits

(Lee Rush during an interview in the documentary Paradise Lost.)

On the early hours of June 4th, shortly after police arrested Jessie Misskelley Jr., three officers enforcing a search warrant of Jessie’s trailer, sat down and talked with Jessie Misskelley Sr., and his live in girlfriend, Lee Rush while they waited for crime scene investigators to arrive.

During the course of talking with the officers, Rush stated, “I knew that something was wrong, a few nights ago little Jessie was in his room crying so loud and sobbing so hard that it woke me up, I went in and asked him what was wrong? His reply was that his girl friend was moving to Florida.”

http://callahan.mysite.com/images/report_06-07-93.jpg

A few moments later, Rush again repeated her statements, saying Jessie had recently over the course of several nights had mysterious crying fits and waking nightmares. And every time she walked into Jessie Jr.’s room and asked him what was wrong, he repeated that he was upset over how his girlfriend Susie Brewer might move away to Florida.

“She told us it happened a number of times, and that she could not believe his girlfriends’ moving would cause that kind of hysterical behavior, but that little Jessie had been acting strange.”

http://callahan.mysite.com/wm3/cdabbs.html

 

Immediately during an interview for the documentary Paradise Lost, while being filmed sitting in the living room of their trailer, Jessie Misskelley Sr. and his girlfriend, Lee Rush openly argued about Jessie’s guilt, as Rush repeatedly seems to question Jessie’s innocence.

Lee Rush: “We don’t know what the truth is, but when it really gets down to brass tax. His daddy and I are gonna look him square in the eyes and say ‘son did you do this? D-were you even there?’ That’s when we will believe.”

Jessie Sr.: “Well, if he told me he did it, which I don’t believe he did, but if he told me he did it, he’d have to do his time. Suffer the consequences.”

Lee Rush: “If he admits to this he would be strictly on his own, we wouldn’t even send him a dollar for a pack of cigarettes.”

Jessie Sr.: “No, no, you’re wrong there.

Lee Rush: “Yes we would.”

Jessie Sr.: “No I would. He’s my son! I’ll send him money, but he will have to do his time.”

Lee Rush: “I wouldn’t give him a nickle.”

Jessie Sr.: “He’s my son.”

Lee Rush: “Now We could be talking about-“

Jessie Sr.: “He’s my flesh and blood!”

Lee Rush: “We could be talking about my son.”

Jessie Sr.: “Well…

Lee Rush: “If my son did something that horrible that, I wouldn’t give him a nickle, let him suffer.”

Jessie Sr.: “You can’t turn your blood away.”

Lee Rush: “I don’t know how you say you could and we’re gonna have a problem over this.”

Jessie Sr.: “But I know how it is being up in jail without having anything.”

Lee Rush: “Well that’s beside the point, if he, if he’s guilty, if he’s guilty of doing this to these little boys, no!

Jessie Sr.: “But he’s not.”

Lee Rush: “Well, I’m saying he’s not too, but if he happens to be, if it’s proven, no! forget it, no, no.”

Jessie Sr.: “But I don’t believe he did it. I’ll never believe he did it.”

Shortly after this filmed incident, the relationship with Jessie Misskelley Sr. and Lee Rush came to an end.

Jessie Misskelley: THE TRACY LAXTON INCIDENT

On May 15, 1993, Jessie Misskelley, and his older friend David Sims, who was 22-years-old at the time, and his younger friend, Dennis Carter, who was 15, had called the police from a bowling Alley stating they had seen three little boys, who were around 8 or 9 years old fleeing from a man near some train tracks. When the police arrived, they pointed the finger at a man named Tracy Laxton, saying that Laxton not only had tried to lure three little boys into the woods just moments prior, but had approached them as well, offering to let them drink in his camp in the near-by woods.

Ultimately Laxton was investigated and cleared, but the people who implicated him in the murders was shocking.

From the report:

Upon seeing officers, they came up & stated that they were walking on railroad tracks & had just bought something to drink at (indecipherable) and three white males who were (indecipherable) walking on tracks. Saw them & started running (indecipherable). Above described #1, #2 & #3 stated that as they got up on the tracks behind Goodyear they observed a W/M with reddish/blond hair come out of the woods and started trying to talk to them he said his name was Tracy & that he was from Mississippi & that his car had broken down at a church in Mississippi, Subject #1, #2 & #3 stated that the guy asked if they wanted to come over to his camp & drink some beer, #1, #2 & 3 stated they got scared because of the recent murders of the white males & that they ran to the phone in front of Howards Donuts & called the Police, then walked to the bowling alley. See Attached Subject Descriptions on #1, #2, #3

(The police report filed on May 15, 1993.)

(The police report filed on May 15, 1993.)

Following his confession to police, Dennis Carter, who had taken part in accusing Laxton, expressed that he wasn’t surprised that Jessie was arrested for the murders.

“Dennis states that he was not really surprised when he heard that Jesse was arrested for the homicide. States that he was always nice to him but it didn’t really surprise him that he was involved. States that Jesse never mentioned the murders to him.”

Link to transcribed notes of interview with Dennis Carter

David Sims, the other participant in the Laxton accusations also said the following about the events on May 15th:

“Jessie Misskelley never said anything about knowing about the murders, except the night we were at the police dept & he said (Jessie) that he thought Damien & Jason did the murders.”

(July 16, 1993 statement by David Sims discussing the Laxton incident.)

Sims further told the police that Jessie was “scared of Damien.”

(Excerpt from David Sims’ July 16, 1993 statement to police.)

The three 8-year-old boys that Jessie Misskelley and his two friends, David Sims and Dennis Carter had claimed they saw fleeing from Laxton were never found.

It was this incident that directed police to Jessie Misskelley on June 3, 1993 and the eventual confession to the murders of Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers.

Reluctant Witness: Buddy Lucas

21055067_10212379689038860_9017466338912084821_o(Recent photo of Buddy Lucas)

 

Buddy Sydney Lucas was perhaps one of the strongest witnesses in the case against the WM3, yet, for the most part he’s fallen off the face of the earth and remained silent on who killed Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers. But in 1993 and 1994, that would all be a different story…

During Jessie Misskelley’s confession to police on June 3, 1993, he informed investigators that he had given away the shoes he wore on the night of the murders to his friend Buddy Lucas:

 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Ok. So you had a white t-shirt with a basketball design on it? (22 second pause) Ok, uh, what about shoes. What kind of shoes did you have on?

 

MISSKELLEY: White and blue Adidas.

 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: White and blue?

 

MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: And who has those shoes now?

 

MISSKELLEY: Buddy Lucas.

 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: And how old is Buddy?

 

MISSKELLEY: He’s about 18 or 19.

 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Why, why does he have your shoes?

 

MISSKELLEY: We went, we was coming home one day and it was raining and he didn’t have nothing else to wear so he put on one of my shoes.

 

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Ok, and where does he live at?

 

MISSKELLEY: In Lakeshore.

A few days later, on June 10th, Officer Bryn Ridge visited Buddy Lucas and his mother, May Hudson at their trailer in Lakeshore Trailer Park.

b_lucas_photo                          (Photo of Buddy Lucas from 1993.)

During contact with the police, Buddy told Ridge a story that several months earlier, himself(Buddy Lucas), Jessie Misskelley, and another boy, Billy McGee had driven around on a 4-wheeler in some mud,  that afterwords his shoes were caked in mud, so Jessie gave him a pair of shoes to wear home. However Buddy alleged this occurred 4 months prior, making the incident take place well before the murders. This statement was then written down in a report by Buddy’s mother, May Hudson, and the police then took possession from Buddy a pair of blue and white Adidas shoes, which Buddy said were the ones that Jessie gave him. These shoes also happened to match the description of the shoes, in Jessie’s confession.

 

lucas_b_statement (June 10, 1993 Statement by Buddy Lucas.)

But this would not be the last contact with Buddy Lucas…

The next contact with police was on September 8, 1993, in which police asked him about his taking part in a violent assault committed by Jessie Misskelley and some other teens. The incident involved Jessie beating up a teenager with Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols, as well as other boys such as Buddy Lucas. The teen who was beaten up was John Perschke, who eye witnesses said Jessie threatened with a knife, pushing it toward Perschke’s throat and asking him, “would you like to be dead?”

Lucas told police that he did not participate in the incident, but had watched it from afar, saying he saw Jessie and about 6 other people there threaten John Perschke, and that he did in fact see Jessie press a knife to John’s throat.

lucas_b_statement2(September 8, 1993 statement by Buddy Lucas.)

The next time the police spoke to Buddy was on October 14, 1993. The reason Buddy was picked up was the result of a tip from his own uncle, who later gave a statement months later, on January 3, 1994, saying that his uncle, Eddie Wilson had heard from some people, that Buddy was telling people from his work details of the crime. Eddie then confronted Buddy on this, and Lucas allegedly admitted to his uncle that Jessie Misskelley had given him a pair of shoes which had blood on them.

 

wilson_a_and_e_report(Report on the statement from Buddy’s Uncle Eddie Wilson.)

Following this information, the police picked up Buddy from his work, and took him down to the police station and took a taped interview from him. It was during this interview, Buddy admitted new and crucial information about the shoes. Lucas had also told the police that the reason he had not told them the truth before, was due to being scared the police might arrest him too.

RIDGE – OKAY, SO YOU DIDN’T COME TO THE POLICE EITHER? 

 

LUCAS – UH-UH 

 

RIDGE – WHY DID YOU NOT COME TO THE POLICE? 

 

LUCAS – I WAS AFRAID THAT YOU ALL WOULD LOCK ME UP FOR IT, I DIDN’T HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT 

Lucas also expressed his fear that if if he had told the police, that he was worried someone might try to kill him as well, after-all, Jessie had told him he had killed the boys with his friends Jason and Damien, and he himself personally witnessed Jessie put a knife to John Perschke’s throat:

RIDGE – WERE YOU JUST SCARED OF US OR SCARED YOU WERE HURTING JESSIE, WHAT WERE YOU SCARED OF? 

 

LUCAS – THE REASON I DIDN’T COME UH, THEN BEFORE HE TOLD YOU ALL EVERYTHING, BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID IF I DID THAT HE WOULD HAVE SOMEBODY HURT ME 

 

RIDGE – YOU WERE AFRAID JESSIE WOULD HAVE SOMEBODY TO HURT YOU? 

 

LUCAS – YES SIR, HE KNOWS ALOT OF PEOPLE, THAT I DON’T KNOW 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – I’M AFRAID HE WOULD HAVE SOME BODY HURT ME AND EVERYTHING 

It was then according to Lucas, that he revealed to police, that on May 6th, the day after the murders, he and Jessie were hanging out at Jessie’s trailer, and it was during this time that Jessie gave Lucas a pair of shoes to wear, saying he did not want to see them again. Jessie had also broken down crying and confessed to the murders, stating that he, Jason, and Damien had hurt some boys and were in trouble. Accordingly, Jessie told Buddy that he wanted to tell the police about the crime, and thus turn his friends in, but didn’t know how to do so without also going to jail for his part in the murders.

LUCAS – WE WAS UH, WAS TALKING ABOUT GOING OVER UH, BOBBY DOLLARS WIFE’S HOUSE TO GET MY HAIR CUT, BECAUSE SHE CUT LITTLE HAIR NOW AND THEN 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – SO I WAS GOING TO GO OVER THERE, SO I SAID LETS GO OVER SEE ABOUT GETTING HER TO CUT MY HAIR, WE WENT OVER THERE, SHE CUT MY HAIR, HE SIT THERE AND PLAYED THE NINTENDO WITH HER LITTLE BOYS 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – AND EVERYTHING, CAUSE HE USED TO, HE CLEANED UP HER HOUSE, WATCHES HER KIDS FOR HER, SO WE LEFT WE WENT BACK TO HIS HOUSE, I STARTED, I TOLD HIM, MAN, UH, THANKS FOR GOING OVER UH, BOBBY’S WIFE’S WITH ME AND EVERYTHING TO GET MY HAIR CUT, I GOING TO HOWLER AT YOU LATER, HE SAID NO MAN I GOT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING, AND EVERYTHING AND HE WAS BREAKING OUT IN A SWEAT 

 

RIDGE – YOU SAID SOMETHING ABOUT HIS EYES WHEN WE TALKED EARLIER WHAT WAS IT ABOUT HIS EYES 

 

LUCAS – THEY… THEY HAD WATER DROPPING FROM THEM 

 

RIDGE – HE HAD BEEN CRYING? 

 

LUCAS – UH-HUH SOMETHING LIKE THAT 

 

RIDGE – THAT’S JUST WHAT YOU THOUGHT? 

 

LUCAS – UH-HUH 

 

RIDGE – DID HE TELL YOU HE HAD BEEN CRYING? 

 

LUCAS – UH-UH 

 

RIDGE – OKAY, SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HE TELLS YOU HE HAS TO TELL YOU SOMETHING? 

 

LUCAS – SO WE SIT THERE, SIT THERE, AND I SAID, HE SAID MAN ME JASON AND DAMIEN WE WENT WALKING LAST NIGHT IN THE TOWN OF WEST MEMPHIS, I SAID WHY DIDN’T YOU ALL COME BY AND GET ME? WE WILL WE UH, WE WERE IN A HURRY AND EVERYTHING GO UP THERE AND COME BACK HOME. I SAID ALRIGHT I UNDERSTAND (INAUDIBLE) NOW SINCE I FOUND OUT I’M KINDA GLAD HE DIDN’T COME BY AND GET ME 

RIDGE – OKAY, WHAT DID HE TELL YOU HE DO? 

 

LUCAS – WE…. HE TOLD ME THAT UH, THAT HE GOT IN A FIGHT, THAT’S WHAT HE TOLD ME AT FIRST 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – I SAID DAMIEN AND JASON THEY HELPED YOU? HE SAID UM-YEA AND EVERYTHING SO I SAID WELL DID YOU ALL HURT ANYBODY? AND HE SAID YEA, I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS THOSE 8 YEAR OLD KIDS OR ANYTHING, SO I TURN AROUND AND COME TO FOUND OUT THAT JASON HE WAS WITH JASON AND DAMIEN WHEN THEY SACRIFICED THEM LITTLE KIDS. I WAS COME AND TELL YOU ALL 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – AND HE SAID NO I’LL DO IT 

 

RIDGE – SO HE TELLS YOU HE WILL COME TO THE POLICE 

 

LUCAS: UH-HUH, AND ALRIGHT THAT WEEKEND I CAME BACK OVER AT MY MOM’S AND EVERYTHING 

 

RIDGE – UH-HUH 

 

LUCAS – I READ ABOUT IT IN THE PAPER AND EVERYTHING AND COME TO FOUND OUT HE DID FRONT HIS SELF THAT HE DID DO IT CAUSE HE TOLD ME HE WOULD 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – AND EVERYTHING 

 

RIDGE – DID YOU CALL HIM? 

 

LUCAS – UH? 

 

RIDGE – WHEN YOU READ THING IN THE PAPER DID YOU CALL JESSIE OR TALK TO HIM AGAIN? 

 

LUCAS – UH-UH, CAUSE HE WAS ALREADY LOCKED UP WHEN I HEARD ABOUT IT, IN THE PAPER 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – AND EVERYTHING, CAUSE IT HAD THEIR PICTURE ON THE FRONT PAGE 

 

RIDGE – OKAY, THURSDAY MORNING AFTER THIS WEDNESDAY YOU WENT TO HIS HOUSE 

 

LUCAS – UH-HUH 

 

RIDGE – HE TELLS YOU HE’S IN SOME TROUBLE? 

 

LUCAS – UH-HUH 

 

RIDGE – AND WHAT DID HE TELL YOU HE WAS IN TROUBLE OVER? 

 

LUCAS – THAT HE REALLY, HE SAID UM, WE HURT, UH…. UH WE HURT A COUPLE OF BOYS, THAT JASON AND DAMIEN KILLED 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – COUPLE, I SAID WAS YOU INVOLVED? HE SAID YEA, I SAID WHAT DID YOU DO? I FINALLY GOT IT TALKED OUT OF HIM WHAT DID HE DO, HE SAID I HIT UH, A COUPLE IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD 

 

RIDGE – OKAY, AND 

 

LUCAS – AND EVERYTHING TO KEEP THEM FROM RUNNING AND EVERYTHING 

 

RIDGE – AND THAT’S WHAT HE TOLD YOU? 

 

LUCAS – YES SIR 

 

RIDGE – AND THIS IS ON THURSDAY MORNING? 

 

LUCAS – UH-HUH 

 

RIDGE – OKAY. 

 

LUCAS – THE TWO SHOES HE GAVE ME, AND EVERYTHING 

 

RIDGE – DID HE GIVE YOU SOME SHOES ON THAT THURSDAY MORNING? 

 

LUCAS – UH-HUH 

 

RIDGE – OKAY, AND DESCRIBE TO ME HOW HE GAVE YOU THOSE SHOES? 

 

LUCAS – HE… HE PICKED UP AND STARTED TO HAND THEM TO ME. ALL THE SUDDENLY HE DROPPED THEM, AND BROKE OUT IN SWEAT, CRYING EVERYTHING ELSE, HE SAID MAN TAKE THOSE SHOES I DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM NO MORE, I SAID YOUR SURE? AND EVERYTHING, I DON’T REMEMBER SEEING THOSE SHOES AT HIS HOUSE, HE SAID, I SAID ARE THEY YOURS? HE SAID YEA. SO I SAID, HE SAID TAKE THEM I DON;T WANT TO SEE THEM NO MORE, I SAID ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT ME TO TAKE THEM? AND HE SAID YEA, AND EVERYTHING SO THERE WASN’T NOTHING ON THE SHOES AND EVERYTHING SO TURN AROUND HE GOING, I GOT THE SHOES I WENT HOME AND EVERYTHING 

 

RIDGE – AFTER YOU GOT THE SHOES DID HE SAY, WHAT DID HE SAY EXACTLY TO YOU ABOUT THOSE SHOES? 

 

LUCAS – THAT HE DIDN’T WANT TO SEE THEM ANYMORE AND 

 

RIDGE – OKAY 

 

LUCAS – AND EVERYTHING HE DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM SHOES 

Immediately following his taped interview, Lucas was administered a polygraph. It was during this polygraph interview, that Lucas suddenly began to recant the statement he just gave moments before. He was now claiming that none of the events he described had happened.

lucas_b_poly(Polygraph report on Buddy Lucas, showing he failed when he denied his prior statements were true.)

After being confronted with the fact that the polygraph detected deception in his answers now denying that he knew anything about the crime, Lucas admitted he was trying to take back his statement, because he was scared of what might happen to himself or his family if he agreed to testify against Jessie Misskelley.

After the polygraph Lucas spoke with Deputy Prosecutor, John Fogleman and told him he had tried to recant, because he was scared that Jessie’s friends, Dennis Carter and Dino Perfetti might try to harm him or his family if he testified. He then provided the police with another pair of shoes and agreed to give them the shoes he was wearing, so they could investigate him as a possible suspect since he had now stated he had knowledge of the crime which he tried to hide from investigators.

Shortly after this, a defense investigator, working for Damien Echols, by the name of Ron Lax had approached Buddy Lucas and his family. Lucas had made contradictory statements, first saying that Jessie had given him the shoes before the murders, then admitted to lying to police and even to having knowledge of the murders. It was after this meeting with Lax, that Lucas suddenly stopped cooperating with police and began looking for alibi witnesses to try and alibi himself for the night of the murders.

It was Deputy Prosecutor, John Folgleman’s opinion, that Ron Lax had scared Lucas into refusing to testify, which Lucas seemed to agree with during a taped phone call between Fogleman and Lucas and his mother May Hudson. During the call, Buddy insists his uncle is lying, and says he became scared when Detective Bill Durham, who had been giving him the polygraph had confronted him when he failed the polygraph and was shown to be lying:

Fogleman: Nobody’s saying that you were involved in the murders, Buddy 

 

Buddy: I didn’t want to be brought up in it and I don’t — Mr. John, I won’t go to court on Damien and Jason 

 

Fogleman: And you’re not going to be asked to go to court, Buddy. But did Ron Lax tell you that you were going to be brought up in the middle of it? 

 

Buddy: No. Uh uh. I just thought that I didn’t want to be brought up in it, and he said that — 

 

Fogleman: Buddy, you’ve been listening on the other end, right? And you know what I told your mom about — 

 

Mary: No, he just got on 

 

Fogleman: You just got on? 

 

Buddy: uh huh 

 

Fogleman: Well tell your momma what you told Eddie Wilson about the bloody tennis shoes 

 

Buddy: I didn’t say nothing to Eddie Wilson 

 

Fogleman: Now Buddy. Why would Eddie tell the police that you did? 

 

Buddy: I didn’t say nothing to Eddie. I didn’t even say anything to Eddie. 

 

Fogleman: Well I’m not talking about lately. I’m talking about some time ago. 

 

Mary: Did you tell Eddie and Amy and everything that Jessie gave you a pair of bloody tennis shoes? 

 

Buddy: nuh uh. I told him that uh when I went hunting with Uncle Ronny that pair of shoes I gave little Eddie 

 

Mary: uh huh 

 

Buddy: and he asked me where that stain come from and I told him when me and Ronny went hunting. And he asked Uncle Ronny and Uncle Ronny told him yeah 

 

Fogleman: Well, Buddy, why do you think if that’s all you told him then why would Eddie go to the police with that? 

 

Buddy: Because he thought I had something to do with it. that’s when they kicked me out. 

 

Fogleman: They kicked you out of the house because they thought you had something to do with it? 

 

Buddy: Yes sir, cause they kept on jumping down my throat and I told them look just get off my back cause I don’t know nothing about it. And I left. They kept jumping down my throat. I told them look I don’t know nothing about it. 

 

Fogleman: Buddy, and listen, it’s all over with and nobody thinks you had anything to do with murdering those boys. Nobody does. But — 

 

Buddy: My family didn’t believe that 

 

Fogleman: (laughs) 

 

Mary: Nobody didn’t think you did 

 

Fogleman: But nobody thinks that you had anything to do with it Buddy. And all I’m trying — all that’s over with. You’re not gonna be called to testify. You know Jessie’s trial is over with — 

 

Buddy: You all won’t bother me no more, will you? 

 

Fogleman: No, we’re not going to bother you Buddy. We just want to know the truth about it because you know these people are telling us things and this investigator this Lax guy is going around getting all kinds of witnesses to change their stories. And I never had — I’ve been doing this for over ten years and I’ve never had one witness change their story. Once they tell the police, I’ve never had them do it and we’ve had at least three in this case do it. And I’m just trying to find out what in the world is going on. 

 

Buddy: I know they hollered at me Mr. John and that ain’t no lie 

 

Fogleman: well 

 

Buddy: That Durham guy 

 

Fogleman: Yeah well if he did he shouldn’t have done that but why — 

 

Buddy: Mr. John I was scared, crying, didn’t know what to do. I figured they was gonna throw me in jail. And I ain’t never been locked up in my life.

 

Fogleman: Well and you’re not gonna be locked up. You know I’m just wanting to know you know like Eddie and Amy Wilson they called the police and said that he had heard – he said that he had heard that you’d been talking around your job saying that you had something to do with it. And he said — wait, let me finish — he said that he went down and confronted you about it and that you said naw I didn’t have anything to do with it and I hadn’t been saying that but he did Jessie did give me these bloody tennis shoes. 

 

Buddy: nuh uh 

 

Mary: The shoes that Jessie gave Buddy Mr. John the police dept got them when they first comed and questioned Buddy 

Buddy: The blue and white adidas ones – the only pair of shoes Jessie gave me Mr. John 

 

Fogleman: Well and another thing that confused me about that Buddy is that you know you’d said that you’d gotten those shoes from Jessie like way back in Feb? 

 

Buddy: yuh huh 

 

Fogleman: Well you know when Jessie told the police about what happened he says that the shoes that he was wearing that day were white and blue adidas and that he gave them to you. And then when the police come and talk to you the first time you give them a pair of white and blue adidas 

 

Mary: yeah 

 

Buddy: uh huh 

 

Fogleman: Now why in the world would Jessie say you know pull out of the sky a pair of white and blue adidas that he had had given to you three months before? 

 

Buddy: Try to cover up for the real shoes 

 

Fogleman: Well and well, is Jessie that smart? To try to cover up for the real shoes? 

 

Buddy: I just guessed that I mean — we was all four-wheel riding 

 

Fogleman: even if — 

 

Buddy: uh huh and he gave me shoes back in February to wear home cause I got mine wet and muddy 

 

Fogleman: Ok. Well Buddy, even if he did give you some bloody shoes that wouldn’t mean that you were in trouble or that somehow that would mean that you were guilty of anything 

 

Buddy: I just don’t want to be brought up in it 

 

Fogleman: Well, you’re not going to be but I just want to find out the truth. I mean I can give you my word you’re not going to be called as a witness. And you know me and your momma knows me, and I’ve never steered you all wrong. 

 

Buddy: But Mr. John I wanted to tell you about with him hollering at me 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Buddy: But I was just scared and stuff. my mom told me she said you can tell Mr. John and Mr. John would take of it 

 

Fogleman: Kind of hurt my feelings when you wouldn’t talk to me and then I get a call from a lawyer and 

 

Buddy: But I was scared though. He was hollering at me. I didn’t know what to do, I thought he was going to throw me in jail 

 

Mary: What I decided that was me about the lawyer Mr. John 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Mary: And everything. Because I was I mean if Buddy had to go to court 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Mary: And I walked into that courtroom and Buddy told me that man screamed and hollered at him I would grab that man 

 

Fogleman: well 

 

Mary: I believe in the law 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Mary: and I believe in everything right and I think that you do too 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Mary: I mean we’re taxpayers we pay 

 

Fogleman: Sure, that’s right 

 

Mary: And he’s supposed to do right. if you don’t, get out of the system 

 

Fogleman: mm hmmm. Yep. Well I can’t argue with what you’re saying. It’s just I just wanted you Mary to understand that the police just didn’t dream this up but that they had some basis for talking to Buddy about where these shoes came from some more 

 

Mary: that’s what I tried to tell Buddy. I said somebody had to be talking. 

 

Buddy: but Mr. John 

 

Fogleman: yes sir 

 

Buddy: You can ask my family. You can’t believe little Eddie in nothing. I swear you cannot believe — 

 

Fogleman: who? 

 

Buddy: You can ask any part of my family. You cannot believe little Eddie and Amy. 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Buddy: Eddie Wilson 

 

Mary: and Mr. John about little Eddie and Amy 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Mary: You oughta check their brother’s record. Chris. 

 

Fogleman: uh huh 

 

Mary: and everything. Little Eddie’s not so bad. Little Eddie’s pretty good, but it’s his wife and the crowds he moves around with 

 

Fogleman: uh huh. Well Buddy and again you’re not going to be brought up into anything but what we’re trying to find out. What we really believe — even though this investigator was being nice to you when he talks to you, we think that he’s doing more than just talking. And you know maybe suggesting some things about us that aren’t true. 

 

Buddy: I know he didn’t, Mr. John, I swear he did not bribe me 

 

Fogleman: oh no I’m not suggesting he bribed you. I didn’t say anything about anyone paying — did I say anything about anyone paying any money? 

 

Buddy: nuh uh 

 

Fogleman: no I didn’t and I didn’t mean that. But I mean there are ways that people do things like for instance suggesting that or you know if you [?] that could get you in trouble. And saying something like that. Did he ever say anything like that? 

 

Buddy: uh uh. But bout them shoes, you cannot believe little Eddie and Amy. I mean if you check on those records and people they hang around with I mean 

 

Fogleman: Buddy I — you know I told you before you know that that’s over with 

 

Buddy: uh huh 

 

Fogleman: You know that only mattered in Jessie’s trial 

 

Buddy: uh huh 

 

Fogleman: ok? 

 

Buddy: uh huh 

 

Fogleman: That’s all that mattered, was in Jessie’s trial. Jessie’s trial’s over with 

 

Buddy: yes sir 

 

Fogleman: So you don’t have to worry about that, ok? 

 

Buddy: Alright. You ain’t mad at me, Mr. John? 

 

Fogleman: I’m not mad at you, Buddy 

And just like that, Buddy Lucas accused his own family members of lying against him, suggested that he might for some reason be arrested for his involvement in the crime, and lawyered up rather than testify to what he knew.

Despite his statements to police, that Jessie Misskelley did the murders and was trying to implicate Jason and Damien without going to prison himself, supporters of the West Memphis Three sometimes parade around Buddy Lucas as if he had participated in the murders, instead alleging that Lucas committed the murders with LG Hollingsworth, a friend of Damien Echols and related to Echols’ girlfriend Domini Teer, and that the two committed the murders with Stevie Branch’s step-dad Terry Hobbs and his friend David Jacoby.

From a news story from March 13, 2013 in which the accusation first emerged:

An attorney for one of the victim’s mother dropped the bombshell in court today that she believes her ex-husband Terry Hobbs took part in the killings.

The hearing was to allow the victim’s parents to see all the evidence in the case.

During the hearing the attorney filed a motion and brief with the court.

In the court document the attorney said new witnesses shed new light on what may have happened to the three West Memphis boys on May 5th 1993.

“The truth is right here,” Mark Byers said.

Byers’ son was one of three boys murdered.

He believes the truth of what happened to his son Christopher, Steve Branch and Michael Moore is in an affidavit from a man named Bennie Guy.

Guy claims there were four people involved in the murders and two of them confessed to him.

He said Buddy Lucas confided in him nearly a year after the murders.

“I asked what did you do? He then said, me L G Hollingsworth and two men, we was there with them boys. We did it.”

He said he didn’t tell anyone because he “didn’t want the boy to get into trouble for something i could not believe he had done.”

Link to story

So, which is it with Buddy Lucas? Was he a witness against the WM3 or a suspect in the crime, or both? Supporters of the WM3 will always dismiss Lucas as a witness when it comes to Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, but consistently prop him up as a suspect in the murders whenever it fits their agenda of saying that someone else did it.

Was Eddie Wilson lying?

Why did Buddy fail the polygraph?

Why did Buddy make the statement to police about Jessie’s confession?

Why did he mention to police that Jessie hit some of the victims to stop them from running away?Jessie had told the police that he had to chase down Michael Moore to prevent him from running away, the statement is shocking then that Lucas would make a similar statement.

And what of those shoes? Isn’t it odd that Buddy immediately turns over a pair of blue and white Adidas shoes after Jessie tells the police on the night of the murders he was wearing a pair of blue and white Adidas?

 

Damien Echols and DNA

00damien_and_domini

(Damien Echols in the days following the murders wearing an axe necklace.)

Of the most significant allegations made by the defense and supporters of the West Memphis three was the claim that no DNA evidence was ever recovered that connected any of the convicted men to the crime. This allegation however is dubious and wholey inaccurate as one can easily see when they discover that DNA located at the crime scene and even on evidence recovered from a necklace belonging to Damien Echols had connected Mr. Echols to the murders.

THE LIGATURE DNA—

(WARNING! Link contains cropped image of autopsy photo depicting the ligatures of Stevie Branch.WARNING!)

The ligatures used to bind Stevie Branch.

DNA testing conducted years after the murders while the West Memphis Three were incarcerated revealed three DNA mixtures recovered the bodies of Stevie Branch and Michael Moore. One of these samples was located on the ligatures used to bind Stevie Branch at the crime scene. This DNA revealed a mixture of DNA, meaning there was DNA present from two different individuals on these bindings.

exhibit_p_12

(The DNA findings from the ligatures, indicating three different numbers present on the D5s818 Locus.)

exhibit_v_12

(DNA profiles for the West Memphis Three and the victims in the case.)

As seen in the images above, the numbers listed under D5s818 on the ligatures for Stevie Branch are 10,11,12. Normally there would only be two numbers present as seen in the second image showing the DNA profiles for the victims and the West Memphis Three, but here there is three numbers, indicating the presence of a second person’s DNA. In addition under the Locus for D13s317 are the numbers are 8,11.

Now, Stevie Branch’s profile for the D5s818 is only 10, 12. So that means the number 11 must be more than likely part of the profile from the second party who left their DNA on the ligature used to bind Stevie, and more than likely shared one of the same numbers as Stevie; either 10 or 12. And of the DNA profiles of the victims and the West Memphis Three, the only ones that could fit for D5s818 would be either Damien Echols or Jessie Misskelley, who both had 11,12 which would fit with the DNA mixture on the ligatures for Stevie Branch. However Misskelley’s profile for D13s317 does not correspond to the DNA, which is 8,11. This leaves Damien Echols as a better candidate for being the individual who’s DNA is mixed with Stevie Branch’s on the ligatures in question. So, whoever deposited the DNA on the ligatures just so happened to share a similar DNA profile to Damien Echols.

This item of evidence is often disregarded, because there was evidence of contamination present, which has been used by supporters of the West Memphis Three to suggest that any subsequent DNA recovered had to be from the real killer, and therefore any physical evidence against Damien Echols was not to be believed.

 

THE EVIDENCE OF CONTAMINATION–

(Autopsy photo shows someone,handling Stevie Branch’s genitals without any gloves on. The penile swab taken from Stevie’s genitals, subsequently didn’t match any known suspects.)

The DNA profile for Stevie’s penile swab, revealed a profile that did not match to either Stevie, nor to any of the suspects. As can be seen, the numbers listed for D168539 are 8 and 11.

Examining the DNA profiles for all, it shows above, that Stevie’s numbers were 9,12, so the recovered sample, 8,11 is not from him. And none of the DNA samples from either the victims nor the suspects, had an 8 for D168639, so that means someone else left this sample, and the above autopsy photo shows what appears to be Dr. Peretti not wearing gloves when he was doing the autopsy photos of Stevie’s genital region at the same exact location as the penile swab.

 


Lastly another penile swab, this time taken from Michael Moore, may have been the result of contamination. The numbers again showed a mixture, this time for D5s818, and of this mixture it showed likely Michael Moore’s DNA and an unknown second individual’s DNA. Looking at the suspect DNA samples, none of them are consistent with the mixture of 9,12,13, which is not surprising considering that no gloves were worn when Stevie’s genitals were handled for the purpose of documenting injuries at the location. It’s therefore likely that the same may be true in the case of the DNA pulled from Moore’s genitals.

A response from the prosecution in this matter was that the bodies had sat over night in a ditch, submerged in water, and thus, any usable DNA from the killer had likely washed away. And with this in mind, the three DNA mixtures recovered from the bodies of Stevie Branch and Michael Moore were in question as likely contamination, particularly in light of the photo of someone’s bare hand touching Stevie’s genitals.

The fact of the matter was that the DNA pulled from the genital swabs was compromised during autopsy, likely by Dr. Frank Peretti, who had performed the autopsy.

THE AXE NECKLACE DNA—

ascl_03-11-94_submission

(Crime Lab document detailing an investigation into dark spots located on Damien’s necklace, which later was proven to be blood.)

ascl_03_14_94

(Another document discussing the discovery of blood on Damien’s necklace.)

Damien Necklace

According to documents and video from the early 90’s, specs of blood were discovered on a necklace that had been worn by Damien Echols. The blood was too small at that time for exact DNA testing to be performed, but once again found a DNA mixture composited from blood from two different people on this necklace. DNA results revealed that one of the individuals who bled onto the necklace was Damien Echols, the chief suspect in the murders of the three victims. But DNA on the second individual was less clear as there was less blood. Tests determined that it either belonged to Stevie Branch, the victim who’s ligatures had DNA that could have been from Damien Echols, or the other possibility being Damien’s alleged accomplice Jason Baldwin.

To go further into this matter, there existed evidence that the necklace at one time belonged to Jason Baldwin, having most likely been given to him by a girlfriend prior to the murders. It is also known that both Damien and Jason wore this necklace as indicated in the below photo, which depicts Jason Baldwin wearing it.

States_exhibit_99

In addition, Jason had several drawings in his room at the time of his arrest.

jb_journal_graded_paper

(Homework assignment belonging to Jason Baldwin with drawings in the corner.)

drawings3

(Drawing of the axe necklace located on the above home work assignment.)

The question becomes, if one were to believe the blood on the necklace was Jason Baldwin’s, why was he bleeding on it? And why was there blood of Damien also? Could it be because they were killing three little boys and had they themselves been injured in the commission of the crime?

But the real more shocking scenario in this matter is the more likely probability that this DNA is that of Stevie Branch, the victim who Jessie Misskelley alleged in his confessions that Damien was most responsible for attacking and murdering.

Both matters are discussed in a deleted scene from the documentary Paradise Lost, in which the film makers for reasons unknown felt the incriminating evidence should be left out of the film.

The Bloody Necklace

 

Conclusions—

These two DNA items act as physical corroborating evidence to the involvement of Damien Echols in the murder of Stevie Branch. The ligatures revealed a DNA mixture containing DNA from Stevie Branch and a second individual. This mixture as the documentation revealed was consistent with Damien Echols. Further, blood on a necklace worn by Damien and shown to be worn by him in the days and weeks after the murders, turned out to contain blood from two different people; Echols and a second individual. Testing demonstrated that it was very possible that the DNA of the second individual was that of Stevie Branch. Confessions by Jessie Misskelley also implicated Damien Echols as the killer of Stevie Branch.

The very fact that Echols could not be eliminated from the DNA mixture found on the ligatures would be corroborating evidence of the statements made by Jessie Misskelley, and per Jessie’s statements, Damien Echols had tied up Stevie Branch, therefore it would make sense that Damien’s DNA would be present there if he were guilty of the crime… of which DNA happened to be located on the ligatures which matched back to… Damien Echols just as Jessie Misskelley had stated in his confessions.

Going back to the necklace, if Damien was guilty the very fact that blood was located  on an item of clothing belonging to him (the necklace) would be yet another strong corroborating item of guilt. It’s difficult to explain away blood from both himself and a second individual in an innocent manner that does not point to guilt in the homicides. And if Damien was the one who killed Stevie Branch, as Jessie Misskelley had stated, then not only would Damien’s DNA be on the ligatures but  there would exist evidence, such as blood which would be upon his person, and it was. And if Damien was the person who killed Stevie Branch, then the blood would then be that of Stevie Branch… DNA testing showed that of the victims, the blood was consistent with that of Stevie Branch, further corroborating Jessie’s confession. IN BOTH INSTANCES of Damien Echols and DNA connecting him to the crime it always seemed to connect him to the murder of Stevie Branch. A coincidence? Very unlikely.

The Location of the Murders

Facts suggesting that the boys were killed on both ditch banks:

1. The Clothing

From the crime scene notes:

Near #1 Body – 3 – pair of Jeans were located.
[the word “Boy” is crossed out] Cub Scout – Blue / Yellow
Cap Located.
also three pairs of tennis Shoes located by #1 Body.
Left Shoe – Tennis (CUGA – Shoe) – Black / Purple Shoe /
Black lace is still there.
Rest of the tennis Shoes located do not have shoe strings in
them.
Cub Scouts of america Shirt Located in Creek Close to Body
#1
– 1 Pair of Jeans found is a Rustler Brand – 7 – Slim Turned
inside Out.
Cub Scout Shirt – Size 8
1-Pair of Nientendo Super Mario Underwear – Located Size 6
Located Close to Body #1
1 – Under Shirt – Blk / White – White designs – turned
inside out
Located Close to #1 Body
1 – Size 8 – Coast Highway Brand – Stripped Shirt –
Surfboard design – turned inside out.
Located Close to Body #1

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

The clothing was all mainly found near Michael Moore’s body which was right in front of a ditch bank located on the other side of the water.

(The ditch bank near where Moore’s body was located.)

crime_scene_17

(The general location of where Moore’s body was recovered from the ditch.)

crime_scene_41

This could suggest that Moore had been on the near-by ditch bank with his killer prior to death.

 

2. The Location of the Bodies

Moore’s body was found near a ditch bank, referred to often as the “slicked off” ditch bank.

(Another photo of the “slicked off” ditch bank.)

3ftblood

(A diagram of the crime scene made by police.)

lum07

Moore died from drowning. If he died of drowning, his body had to have been located near-by the ditch prior to it’s being placed into the water, because he was beaten and tied up prior to being placed into the water. This fact would suggest, much like the location of the clothing being by his body, that the slicked off ditch bank was where his body was prior to being placed into the water.

Moore’s body was found 27ft away from the bodies of his friends.

The notes citing the distance:

#2 Body 27’ South of #1 Body
#3 Body 32’ South of Body #1
4’2” – is the Width of the [the word “Stream” is crossed
out] Creek Where body #1 Was found.

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

dictated by Lieutenant Diane Hester:
Body #2 was found 27 feet south of body #1
Body #3 was found approximately 32 feet south of body #1
The width of the stream where body #1 was found is 4 feet 3 inches – 2 inches, 3 inches? 4 feet – correction, 4 feet 2 inches – and what? The width is consistant to where the other – body #2 and body #3 were found also.

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

The bodies of Chris and Stevie were located next to a different ditch bank, which was nearer to the path you would take to enter and exit the crime scene.

(Location of the bodies of Chris Byers and Stevie Branch.)

 

crime_scene_42

 

(The near-by trail located near the bodies of Byers and Branch.)

1174420_10201179770727902_477197288_n

If Moore was being attacked and murdered near Chris and Stevie, then he likely should have been found near the same ditch bank then as Chris and Stevie. However Moore was found near the slicked off ditch bank.

The bodies of Chris and Stevie were found 27ft away from Moore and were in front of a different ditch bank. Stevie, much like Moore had died of drowning. If he drowned, he had to have been subdued near-by to where his body was found, and the likely location then for that would be the ditch bank which was near to the bodies.

3. The Fact that Two of the Victims Drowned

This can’t be emphasized enough, that if two of the victims drowned their bodies had to have sat tied up near-by to wherever their bodies were found. It seems unlikely that the killer was going to just arbitrarily carry Moore’s body 27ft away from his friends for no apparent reason what so ever, when it would have been simpler for them to place the body near to where Chris and Stevie were found.

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

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

4. The Location of the Luminol

Luminol reactions were located on both sides of the ditch, located on both ditch banks.

(Locations of luminol reactions as shown in police diagrams.)

lum07

lum02

lum06

However photos were only taken from one ditch bank, likely because the bodies had been placed on the ditch banks by police near to where the bodies were located in the water and could have resulted from this and not from the crime. Lighting conditions were also cited for not photographing those locations.

Only two spots were ever really looked at as possibly being crime related from the murder itself. And these two spots were located on the slicked off ditch bank.

In total there were three spots that registered for luminol reactions on the slicked off ditch bank. The first spot, described as a “V” shaped pattern was looked at at one point as a possible spot that Chris Byers could have initially been castrated.

(Photo of the “V” pattern.)

V7

The second spot was where Michael Moore’s body had been set by police.

(Photo of this location.)

Moore1

And the third spot was a large spot, said to be 3ft in diameter by police.

bloodbath7

They were concerned from the apparent heavy blood loss that this was where one of the bodies sat during the commission of the crime and was not from the police setting Moore’s body on the ditch bank.

(Location of the three luminol reactions)

ditchbankreference2

Notes on the luminol:

Photo #1 was shot at a point 7’0” from the mark on the large oak tree, where the paint
spot had been sprayed as a reference point to measure from, this was in a straight line
between the huge oak and the other tree that had another paint spot on it for a second
reference point. This area had a spot that illuminated
to the naked eye that appeared to be about three feet in diameter indicating a heavy blood
area.

Photo #2 is an area of illumination that is directly over the spot where victim number 1
was lain upon the bank when he was pulled from the water. This spot is 3’8” from the
spot on the large oak tree in a direct line between that spot and location the body was
found in the water.

Photo #3 was taken on a root of the oak tree with the reference spot, the root is 6’0”
from the reference point in a straight line from that point heading straight into the water.
The fluoresced area in front of this large root indicated an area that was down sloping
toward the water, the illuminate spot formed a ‘V’ like shape!

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

As to the “V” pattern, it could have been caused by clothing from the victims being set on the ditch bank.

(Photo of victim clothing sitting in spot where luminol reaction was made.)

BLOWEDUP

But the third spot, the one that is 3ft in diameter can’t really be explained away. The spot could possibly either be blood from Chris Byers or Michael Moore. And given that Byers’ body was found near a different ditch bank and Moore’s body found near the slicked off ditch bank, it would seem more likely that this spot was related to Moore’s murder, and thus more likely his blood and not Chris Byers’.

This luminol reaction would again suggest that Moore’s body sat near-by on the ditch bank prior to being placed into the water.

CONCLUSION:

(Photo showing both ditch banks. The slicked off ditch bank is on the left side and the Branch and Byers one located on the right, behind the three trees in the middle of the photo.)

crime_scene_53

It would seem to be the simplest solution to the situation that Moore was beaten and tied up on the slicked off ditch bank, and that most likely the blood present there was from his murder.

Second the next most logical solution is that Chris Byers and Stevie Branch were murdered on the ditch bank where their bodies were set by the investigators who recovered the bodies.

A third conclusion is that this does not discredit any argument of blood on the slicked off ditch bank or even blood on any of the ditch banks. The reason being, is that the blood on the slicked off ditch bank would have more likely been as a result of the head injuries to Moore and not of a possible castration of Chris Byers. While Chirs Byers certainly can’t be eliminated as a source for the blood on the slicked off ditch bank, it would seem less likely. And as to the other ditch bank, while luminol reactions were detected on it, no photos were ever taken of the location. Additionally the spot was trampled on by investigators and was muddy and the bodies were soon set on it by investigaters and visible blood could have been left by the still bleeding bodies after they were recovered. The whole argument then on the blood then becomes moot, at least as to the castration of Byers and visible blood, since it was something that was not really documented as to the second ditch bank and because the bank had been compromised by investigators walking on it and laying the bodies on it.

The Phone Call Girls

Months following the arrests of the West Memphis Three, a group of girls often referred to in the case files by the nickname, “The Phone Call Girls”, stated that they could alibi Damien Echols. On the night of May 5, 1993, Heather Cliett; Holly George, and Jennifer Bearden would all place a series of phone calls and struggle through-out the day to get a hold of Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols.

It would begin on June 7, 1993, just days after Damien and his accomplices were arrested, with Heather Cliett reporting that she had tried to call her boyfriend, Jason Baldwin that day around 4:30 or 5:00 PM, but failed to reach him. She stated that she tried again around 6:00, but that the phone was busy. She stated that she didn’t get to see him again until that Friday, May 7, 1993, when she alleged she only said “Hi,” to him, then spoke to him on that Saturday when he told her that during the time that he was missing, he had gone to mow his uncle’s lawn.

(Heather Cliett’s June 7, 1993 police report.)

Heather had further told the police that at the time of the murders, during the period in which Jason was unaccounted for, that Jason was with Damien. She further stated that she knew this, because she called Damien that night, but could not reach Damien until 10:30 PM.

(Heather Cliett’s June 7, 1993 police report.)

The next day, she gave a handwritten account, stating that her, and Holly George had been on the phone with Damien at 9:00 that night. In this handwritten account, she changed the time that the phone calls with Damien took place, from 10:30 PM, to 9:00 PM. She originally just the day before on June 7th, said that she spoke to Damien at 10:30. She also said that the phone call involved the two girls talking with Damien about him leaving his pregnant girlfriend, Domini Teer for Jennifer Bearden, another girl who Heather knew. Cliett also stated that the next day, when she spoke to Holly, that she informed her that at the that Damien was unaccounted for, that he had been out walking the neighborhood.

(Heather Cliett’s June 8, 1993 handwritten account of May 5, 6, and 7th.)

And yet another undated report Heather from the same time period stated that she spoke with Damien sometime between 10:00 and 10:30.

In the same undated statement, Heather states that Holly told her at the skating rink two days after the murders, that Damien might have been walking around Ingram BLVD, a road that connects directly to the Service Road.

The full undated statement.

(Map showing Ingram Blvd.)

On September 10th, a few months after Heather gave her account to police, Holly George gave her’s, saying that on the day in question, Holly claimed she called Damien initially around 3:30 PM, and that later that night, Jennifer Bearden had spoken to Damien, a fact which contradicted Heather’s June 8th statement to police, in which she said that Holly and Heather spoke to Damien.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
TRIPLE HOMICIDE
BYERS/BRANCH/MOORE

ON 091093, I DETECTIVE B. RIDGE WENT TO THE RESIDENCE OF HOLLIE GEORGE IN BARTLETT, TENNESSE. I HAD FOUND THAT HOLLIE HAD BEEN ON THE TELEPHONE WITH DAMIEN ECHOLS ON THE DAY OF THE ABOVE NOTED HOMICIDE. IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT SHE HAD TALKED WITH DAMIEN ON THE TELEPHONE AT ABOUT 3:30 PM. SHE REPORTED THAT SHE HAD KNOWN DAMIEN FOR ABOUT A WEEK PRIOR TO THE TELEPHONE CALL. SHE INFORMED ME THAT SHE WAS AWARE OF JENNIFER BEARDEN HAVING CALLED DAMIEN AND TALKED WITH HIM DURING PERIODS OF TIME ON THAT SAME DAY. HOLLIE ALSO STATED THAT SHE HAD CALLED JASON ON THE SAME DAY. A TAPED INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED AS TO THE FACTS THAT SHE RELAYED TO ME WITH HER MOTHER BEING PRESENT ALONG WITH DETECTIVE BILL DURHAM, AND THE FIANCE OF HOLLIES’S MOTHER.

DETECTIVE B. RIDGE
WEST MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT

September 10, 1993 police report on Holly George.

According to Heather Cliett’s April 24, 2008 Affidavit, she admitted that she had lied to the police when she told them that Holly George had spoken to police on May 5, 1993, because she was covering for her friend Jennifer Bearden, who had wanted to date Damien. Bearden’s mother had a curfew on her phone use, and she was not supposed to be on it after 9:30 PM, nor would they have wanted their then 13-year-old daughter to date then then 18-year-old Damien Echols. This information explained the changing of the time of the phone call with Damien from 10:30 to 9:00, as well as why Holly had said that Jennifer spoke to Damien that night:

“My memory is that Holly George was not on the three-way call that I arranged. I did not really like Holly at that point, and I would have been much more comfortable talking to Jason, Jennifer and Damien. I believe that I told the police that Holly George was with me on the phone with Damien and Jason on the night the three young boys went missing in May of 1993. I was not on the phone with Holly that night. The reason that I did not tell the truth to the police was that Jennifer Bearden was my best friend at the time, and she had asked me not to tell the police that she had been on the calls with Jason and Damien. Jennifer told me that she was worried about what her mother would do if she found out that Jennifer’s name had come up as being on the calls. So after the police asked me to name who was on the calls, I gave them Holly’s name instead of Jennifer’s.”

Cliett further related in the 2008 Affidavit:

“I recall being on the phone with Jason and Damien the night the three boys disappeared. It was late at night and I was in bed acting as though I was asleep. My recollection was that I was on the phone with one or both of them until 12:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. That would have been the early morning hours of May 6, 1993, which was the day on which I found out that Chris Byers had been found dead.

“My memory was that during at least some of the phone conversation Jennifer Bearden had been connected by my three-way calling system, and that she talked to Damien Echols. I used to view Jennifer Bearden as Damien’s other girlfriend. I was aware that Damien was going out with Domini Teer at the time.

“After the killings happened, I had a number of contacts with the investigating police officers. I told them about having been on the phone with Jason and Damien that night. My memory is that the police were not really interested in my account of the phone calls. I also explained to them that I was on the phone very late that night, and that I had used a pillow to hide the fact that I was on the phone from my mother who used to look in on me from time to time in my bedroom. “

Heather Cliett, 2008 Affidavit.

Jennifer Bearden in a statement also taken on September 10, 1993 would claim to remember talking to both Damien and Jason several times on May 5th:

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
TRIPLE HOMICIDE
BYERS/BRANCH/MOORE

ON 091093, I MET WITH JENNIFER BEARDEN AT HER RESIDENCE IN BARTLETT, TENNESSEE. THE INTERVIEW WAS A RESULT OF HAVING OBTAINED INFORMATION THAT SHE HAD BEEN ON THE PHONE WITH DAMIEN ON THE DAY OF THE HOMICIDE. SHE INFORMED ME OF SEVERAL TIMES WHEN SHE HAD BEEN ON THE PHONE WITH DAMIEN AND JASON DURING THE AFTERNOON AFTER SCHOOL AND UNTIL ABOUT 9:30 PM ON THE EVENING OF 050593. SHE GAVE A TAPED STATEMENT OF THE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED ON THAT EVENING.

Jennifer Bearden police report.

She first placed herself and Holly on the phone with Damien in a three way call that day, at some time after she got home from school. Then according to her, Holly hung-up and the three stopped talking. So, Jennifer called Damien back separately, and the two talked a bit more.

Jennifer: We weren’t talking about much we were just talking about you know if we were going to the skating rink this weekend, that weekend, and um, and Holly had to get off the phone, because her mom needed to use it. And um, I said Damien I’ll call you right back, she said, he said okay, and so he hang up, and um call, and I called him back. And we talked for a little bit, and he goes can you call me back, I’m going to Jason’s, he said call me in about 30 minutes, and I said okay. I called him back in about 30 minutes at Jason’s.

Ridge: And about what time was that call you made to Jason’s?

Jennifer: Between, it had to be some where in between 4:15 and 5, something like that 5, 5:30.

Ridge: Who answered the phone at Jason’s?

Jennifer: Jason.

Ridge: And did you talk to Damien?

Jennifer: Yeah, I talked to Jason about 5 minutes and the (inaudible) with Damien and he really wasn’t talking, because they were playing video games with his little brother Matt.

This statement explained why Heather Cliett could not reach Jason when she called, because he and Damien were hanging out at Jason’s trailer and had been on the phone with Jennifer Bearden.  Bearden further said that she called Damien at Jason’s trailer about a half hour later, and spoke with him:

 

Jennifer: He said him and Jason were going to go some where, him and Jason were going some where and that he um, wanted me to call him later at his house around 8 and I said okay.

Ridge: Okay, did he say where he was going to go?

Jennifer: No.

So, she claimed that he told her to call him back at around 8:00 PM, then spoke to him later that night at 9:20, which contradicted Heather Cliett’s account of getting Damien on the phone at 10:30:

Ridge: At 9:20 you get Damien on the telephone and he tells you that he and Jason had been some where?

Jennifer: Um Um (yes)

Ridge: Okay, you didn’t know where? Did you ever ask him where he had been that night?

Jennifer: I said something about it, but you know I really didn’t… didn’t really care. Cause they go places together all the time you know.

Years later in a 2004 affidavit, Bearden said the following about the time of the calls:

“I understand that I told officers that I called Damien back at around 9:20 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., so I explained that I called him no later than 9:30 p.m. But my belief is that the phone call lasted past 9:30 p.m. I was supposed to have been in bed by 10:00 p.m. I was concerned that if my mother learned that I had been on the phone past 9:30 p.m., she would have thought I had not been obeying her, or conducting myself as she would have expected.”

She had changed the time for her phone call, because she didn’t want to get in trouble with her mother.

In the same affidavit she’s vague on times, not mentioning the time as 8:00 PM for when she first called. Instead she just says it was 9:00 PM. Does that mean she first tried to call him at 9 and not 8?

“I recall making a call to Damien’s house that night, May 5, 1993. I believe the call was made around 9:00 p.m. This was the night before the announcement of the killings of the three young boys. The first time I called I got a busy signal. The phone at Damien’s house did not have call-waiting. I called again and Damien’s grandmother answered. She told me that Damien was not home yet.

At some point later on I called again and I got Damien on the phone. I believe I stayed on the phone with him from about a half hour. My impression is that this call began at around 9:30 p.m. and ended around 10:00 p.m.”

Link to 2004 Jennifer Bearden Affidavit.

Did this mean that she called an hour later like she said in her police interview?

Jennifer: He said him and Jason were going to go some where, him and Jason were going some where and that he um, wanted me to call him later at his house around 8 and I said okay

Ridge: Okay, and when you called back about 8

Jennifer: His Grandmother said he wasn’t there, and I was suppose to call back around 9. and I called back around 9:20, 9:30 and I talk to him for a little bit, but then I had to get off the phone, because I wasn’t suppose to be on the phone after 9:30.

A few years following her 2004 Affidavit, she testified during Jason’s Rule 37, appeals hearing, stating that she lied about the time so she wouldn’t get in trouble with her mother.

Q] Okay. And what time would you normally go to bed or did your mom make you get off the phone?

A] I was supposed to be off the phone by 9:30 and in bed by 10:00.

During this hearing, she also changed the time frame in which her original call with Damien occurred, placing it at some time between 3:15-3:45, which conformed with Holly George’s original account. After that she called Damien at Jason’s trailer at some time after 5:00:

A] Uh, I would have had to give him time to get there, so I believe it was probably around 4:30, 5:00.

Q] What do you remember about that call?

A] Uh, I called, Jason answered, uh, I think I spoke to him for just a moment and then I spoke to Damien, uh, I got a little aggravated because he was playing video games with Matt and they weren’t really talking.

On September 10th, 1993, the same day the police spoke with Jennifer Bearden, Damien’s sister, Michelle Echols also provided an account of the phone calls to Deputy Prosecutor, John Fogleman.

In this new account, she said Jennifer Bearden spoke to Damien on the phone, but not Heather Cliett, the girl who first reported the May 5th phone calls to police in the first place. Instead she said it was Holly George, the girl that both Heather and Jennifer had lied to police about being on the phone at 10:30 in order to cover for Jennifer. But in the statement, Michelle also clarified that she had never met either Holly or Jennifer before, which may or may not explain why she says Holly was on the phone instead of Heather.

According to Michelle Echols, following the three way phone call with Jennifer Bearden and Heather Cliett, Damien then called Jason Baldwin that night, and then after that he apparently called his girlfriend, Domini Teer and got into a loud argument that could be heard from outside of the room as Damien yelled at the person on the other end of the phone.

Another interesting item to note about Michelle Echols’ statement concerning the calls is she claims they happened some time around 8:00 and then lasted until around 9:30 or 10:00, which was around the time frame that Jennifer Bearden and Damien’s defense investigator Ron Lax had wanted the phone call between Bearden and Damien to have taken place, because it would help alibi Damien.

Michelle’s statement:

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. WHO’S HOLLY?

MICHELLE – HOLLY IS THIS, I’VE NEVER SEEN JENNIFER OR HOLLY. THEY’RE JUST GIRLS THAT HE MET AT THE SKATING RINK.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. AND UH, YOU KNOW HOLLY’S LAST NAME?

MICHELLE – HOLLY GEORGE.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. DO YOU KNOW WHERE SHE LIVES?

MICHELLE – I KNOW SHE LIVES IN BARTLETT.

FOGLEMAN – HAS DAMIEN EVER BEEN OVER TO HER HOUSE TO SEE HER?

MICHELLE – NO.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. UM, HOW LONG DID HE TALK TO HOLLY”?

MICHELLE – I’S SAY APPROXIMATELY 30 MINUTES.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. WHO DID HE TALK TO AFTER HE TALKED TO HOLLY?

MICHELLE – JENNIFER.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. UM, DO YOU KNOW HO LONG HE TALKED TO JENNIFER?

MICHELLE – UH, NO, NOT EXACTLY, I DON’T.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. AFTER HE TALKED TO JENNIFER, WHO DID HE TALK TO?

MICHELLE – JASON.

FOGLEMAN – TO WHO?

MICHELLE – JASON.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. WHAT TIME WAS IT WHEN HE TALKED TO JASON?

MICHELLE – UM, AROUND 9:30, 10:00. SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

FOGLEMAN – WHO DID HE TALK TO AFTER JASON?

MICHELLE – DOMINI.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY. HOW LONG DID HE TALK TO HER?

MICHELLE – AROUND 20 MINUTES. THEY HAD AN ARGUMENT THAT NIGHT.

FOGLEMAN – DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE ARGUMENT WAS ABOUT?

MICHELLE – NO, HE WAS IN THE BEDROOM. IN MY MOM AND DAD’S BEDROOM, AND SO…..

FOGLEMAN – HOW DO YOU KNOW HE HAD AN ARGUMENT?

MICHELLE – BECAUSE MOM WENT BACK THERE AND UM, HE GOT KIND OF LOUD AND WE COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS SAYING. AND MAMA WENT BACK THERE AND SHE MADE HIM GET OFF THE PHONE BECAUSE HE WAS ARGUING WITH HER. AND SHE DIDN’T WANT HIM ARGUING SO SHE MADE HIM GET OFF THE PHONE.

FOGLEMAN – OKAY, HE NEVER DID TELL YOU WHAT HE WAS ARGUING ABOUT.

MICHELLE – HE NEVER TALKED TO ME ABOUT THINGS LIKE THAT.

 

Full interview with Michelle Echols.

Getting back to Holly George, Holly insisted that she only spoke with Damien once that night, and never talked with anyone else, which corroborates Heather’s 2008 Affidavit statement, in which she said she lied to cover for Jennifer. George stated that she spoke with Damien earlier in the day and was later told by Jennifer Bearden she(Bearden) called Damien back at 9:00 PM, but Jennifer couldn’t reach him by phone, which may also help explain Michelle Echols’ accounts of the time of the phone calls:

RIDGE: SINCE THAT TIME HAVE YOU FOUND OUT ANYBODY ELSE THAT TALKED TO DAMIEN ON THE TELEPHONE THAT DAY?

HOLLY: NO, BESIDES JENNIFER BEARDEN AND

RIDGE: SHE HAD TOLD YOU SHE CALLED HIM AFTER

HOLLY: AFTER I HAD TALKED TO HIM AND HER EARLIER

RIDGE: OK DO YOU KNOW WHEN SHE CALLED HIM?

HOLLY: LIKE RIGHT AFTER I GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH HER AND THEY TALKED FOR A WHILE AND THEN THEY HANG UP (ILLEGIBLE) JENNIFER HAD TO GET OFF THE PHONE AND THEN SHE CALLED BACK LIKE AT 9 O’CLOCK OR SO

RIDGE: SHE CALLED BACK AT ABOUT 9?

HOLLY: (INAUDIBLE)

RIDGE: DID SHE TELL YOU WHAT THEY TALKED ABOUT?

HOLLY: UN UN (NO)

RIDGE: OKAY, DID SHE SAY THAT SHE HAD TRIED TO CALL HIM THAT EVENING AND COULDN’T GET HIM?

HOLLY: SHE SAID SHE TRIED ONCE COULDN’T GET A HOLD OF HIM BECAUSE NOBODY ANSWERED

RIDGE: ABOUT WHAT TIME WAS THAT DO YOU KNOW?

HOLLY: UN UN (NO) I FORGOT

RIDGE: BUT SHE TOLD YOU ABOUT IT OKAY, UM, DO YOU REMEMBER TALKING WITH HEATHER CLIETT THAT DAY?

HOLLY: THAT DAY NO

 

According to Heather Cliett, she lied when she stated that her and Holly were on the phone with Damien that night, and Holly said she had no recollection of being on the phone with Heather and Damien.

Further during the Rule 37 Hearing, Jennifer stated that Holly and Heather would never be on the phone together:

A] Heather Cliett, uh, she was, uh, lived in West Memphis, uh, she was intersted in Jason during that time we were friends.

Q] And was Heather also involved in some of the phone calls, in the three-way phone calls?

A] Uh, no, I believe I spoke with Heather myself, you know, on a three-way call. But she was never on the phone with Holly and I. Holly and Heather did not get along.

Q] Holly and Heather didn’t get along, but Heather and you were good friends?

A] Yes.

 

Holly stated years later, that she no longer even remembered the specifics of the night in question, just that she thought that she spoke with Jason and Damien on May 5, 1993 at some time:

“I remember that during the investigation of the West Memphis murder case, I was asked questions by police officers regarding my memory of phone calls that involved Damien and Jason.

I also have a memory of talking on the phone with Damien and Jason in May of 1993, and during the days surrounding the discovery of the bodies of the three young boys who were killed in West Memphis in May of 1993. I have no independent recollection of the exact time of specific phone calls or who may have initiated them.”

Affidavit of Holly George

The events of that night, really boiled down to Heather’s version of events, which had her and Jennifer Bearden speaking with Damien possibly as late as 10:30 that night.

Heather’s account stands as the most credible and had been the first and freshest account of that day, and as such might have been the real version of that night, and not Jennifer’s account as both girls were trying to lie to cover for Bearden’s bed time. Heather also stated that “Hollie” in her handwritten statement to police, had told her that during the time in which Damien was missing, he was out “walking around.”

(Heather Cliett’s June 8, 1993 handwritten account.)

She also thought he was walking maybe around Ingram Blvd, which connects to the service road.

(Undated statement by Heather Cliett.)

But as we know from Heather’s 2008 Affidavit, she lied to police about who really spoke to Damien, meaning that the “Hollie,” who told her that Damien was out “waling around,” was actually Jennifer Bearden.

The defense had at one point considered calling Bearden as a witness at trial, but had apparently decided against it as she never testified, most likely due to that her statement contradicted Heather’s earlier account.

beardenbearden2(Order for Jennifer Bearden to testify at trial.)

And according to Bearden she lied about the times so she wouldn’t get in trouble for being on the phone after 9:30, and said that Damien told her that he had been out with Jason Baldwin during the time that she was trying to reach him by phone:

Ridge: At 9:20 you get Damien on the telephone and he tells you that he and Jason had been some where?

Jennifer: Um Um (yes)

Ridge: Okay, you didn’t know where? Did you ever ask him where he had been that night?

Jennifer: I said something about it, but you know I really didn’t… didn’t really care. Cause they go places together all the time you know.

 

And Heather Cliett stated that this phone call took place at 10:30, well after the murders had occurred, and an hour after Narlene Hollingsworth would claim to have seen Damien near the crime scene.

(Heather Cliett’s June 7, 1993 police report.)

According to all the early facts of the case, Heather Cliett and Jennifer Bearden spoke to Damien on May 5th, 1993 at 10:30 PM. And according to Heather Cliett, she had only just said “Hi,” to Jason when she next saw him at the skating rink, on May 7, 1993.

(Heather Cliett’s June 7, 1993 police report.)

However, by the account of Brandy Wilson, Heather was sitting with Jason and Damien, when Damien is alleged to have bragged about murdering the boys.

The skating rink confessions of Damien Echols.

Heather had also witnessed Damien confess to the murders at a softball game she was at in late May, 1993.

“I was playing in a softball game on the day that Damien Echols showed up with Jason and some kids in the crowd at the game started shouting at Damien. They were saying things to him about having killed kids, and he was saying things back to people in the crowd. It was typical of Damien, and it was clear to me that he was calling attention to himself. Since I knew I had been on the phone with him on the night of the killings, I did not believe that he had anything to do with the situation.”

Damien’s softball game confession.

And following this 10:30 three way phone call with Heather Cliett and Jennifer Bearden, Michelle Echols stated that Damien had a phone call with Jason Baldwin and Domini Teer, and that during the time he was supposedly on the phone with Teer, Damien become loud and angry, but nobody knew what he was getting angry over, because he was in his parents’ bedroom with the door shut.

And yet another person alleged a phone call occurred that night between Damien and Jason.

Jessie Misskelley alleged that about an hour after he got home on the night of the murders he received a phone call from Jason Baldwin, and during this phone call he could hear Damien speaking in the background getting really excited and worried.

From Jessie’s June 3, 1993 confession to police:

DETECTIVE RIDGE: When he called you on the phone, did he say that he had just got in?

MISSKELLEY: He, he, he did, he called me, when he first got, called me, he said, how come I, how come I left, and said, I couldn’t stand it, I had to do something else.

DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay. 

MISSKELLEY: And then Damien. . .

DETECTIVE RIDGE: You couldn’t stand it.

MISSKELLEY: And then Damien, I heard Damien in the background saying we done it, we done it, what we going to do now, what if somebody saw us?