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?

 

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A Question of DNA

The narrative goes as this: Three men claiming to be wrongfully convicted have DNA tests run on the evidence in their case. The evidence doesn’t match to any of the them, but a single hair matched to a step-father of one of the victims is located. So this must mean these men are innocent? Not true, the answer is surprisingly not as simple as it would seem, and far more complicated. Despite that it has been all too often claimed that the DNA testings proved them innocent, it didn’t actually exclude them.

The natural question one may ask is, how it is that it didn’t exclude them? To answer this question, it first must be understood the situation at the crime scene, and how evidence was collected. The bodies had been submerged in the water, destroying precious DNA and blood evidence that may have been located at the scene. A possible semen stain which had been located on the pants of one victim, was more or less ruined from being in the water over night. This would make it much harder to find any physical evidence, as the submersion of the bodies, naturally washed away evidence.

Kermit Channell testified to the effects of water when it comes to physical evidence.

Fogleman: Alright. And um – in regard to these pants and all the other items that you examined, what effect if any does uh – an item of evidence being in water have on your ability to find items?

Channell: Uh – being uh – wet, especially being say, submerged in the water, or even being dirty or soiled has a very detrimental effect on any type of biological materials that you might find. Being in the water can make it virtually impossible at times to identify any type of material.

Fogleman: Okay. And uh – does cold water as opposed to hot water have any particular effect on blood in particular?

Channell: I believe with uh – there are some studies with one versus the other, but uh – regardless of water temperature, still it will deteriorate the sample.

Next one must consider how the bodies were recovered.

0states_exhibit_34_crop

When the victims were recovered, the police had to enter the ditch where the bodies were located, and rifle around in the water, digging out clothing, as well as touching the bodies. This cross contaminated them, introducing hair and fibers to the scene which hadn’t previously been there before, which is surprisingly all too common in criminal investigations.

In the book “Bodies We’ve Buried” by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch, it’s remarked upon, some of the items investigators accidentally introduce to the scene. One of which is even cigarette butts.

“…as much as 30 percent of all cigarette butts found at crime scenes are not left by the perpatrator, as one might assume, but by someone who actually processed the scene. It’s a little disconcerting to think that so much time and money is wasted on a potential suspect, only to find out that “suspect” is the chief officer.”

The book also states the following…

“If you ask any CSI what the biggest problem they face in the field is, they will almost always say crime scene contamination. Contamination of the scene can not only mislead the investigation, it can also be a defense attorney’s dream come true.”

0states_exhibit_38_crop

One can see from the photos that they waded around in the water.

0States_Exhibit_37A_crop

The clothing would then be collected and set on the nearby ditch bank picking up anything that may have been there as well.

jeans_on_branch_full_picture_small_size

Here one can actually see items floating around in the water unrelated to the crime, further contaminating evidence.

crime_scene_51

There had been garbage and debris through-out. A simple fact was that there had been hair and fibers at the scene which may not have been from the killer(s).

Adding to this, anything from the home of the victims had additionally been introduced to the crime scene. Hair and fibers from their home environment could have been stuck to their clothing that day, further complicating the matter.

Now according to Lisa Sakevicius in her courtroom testimony, Stevie Branch was tied with two different shoe laces.

20 Q. On Exhibit 81 — if you would refer to that exhibit.
21 A. That is from Steve Branch.
22 Q. What were your findings as to the knots on Exhibit 81?
23 A. Examination of the ligatures revealed a black shoestring on
24 the right side tied in three half hitches with an extra loop
25 around the leg to a single half hitch with a figure eight around
1509

1 the right wrist. The left side consisted of a white shoestring
2 tied in three half hitches around the wrist to three half
3 hitches around the leg.
4 Q. So on the left side on the wrist you had three half
5 hitches?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And on the ankle you had three half hitches?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. On the right side on the leg you had three half hitches
10 with what?
11 A. An extra loop around the right leg.
12 Q. On the wrist you had?
13 A. A figure eight.
14 Q. With one half hitch. Is that right?
15 A. Yes, sir.

Now, the hair connected to Terry was located on a shoe lace used to bind Michael Moore, but as seen by the above testimony, Stevie was tied up with two different laces. This means that the lace used to bind Michael could have been Stevie’s. All this means then, is that the DNA test only proves that Terry Hobbs had been in the same home as Stevie, since he was his Step-Dad. It doesn’t actually connect him to the crime. And even if it were Michael’s shoe lace it would still be the same, since both boys were best friends, and often played in each other’s houses. All that can be really said about the hair is that it’s secondary transfer, and was likely brought to the scene by the victims. The defense also in an attempt to further push Hobbs as a suspect, tried to claim that a hair found on a tree stump belonged to Terry’s friend David Jacoby. This hair would match to over 7% of the population, and be found 2 full weeks after the bodies had been recovered. This meant that the hair could have come from anywhere, and belonged to dozens of people, including investigators, searchers, and family and friends of the victims, who had been to the scene since the crime had occurred.

Next, it should be considered that DNA was a new thing at the time, and evidence wasn’t collected as well back in 1993, as it would be today. Even in this age of the “CSI effect”, expectations are far too high, when it comes to evidence. Today, it can still be difficult to find the offender’s DNA. A prime example would be the Noura Jackson case. Jackson had murdered her mother in 2005. At the scene despite blood being everywhere and the fact that Noura cut herself during the crime, not a single speck of her blood or DNA was located that could prove she killed her mother. There was DNA found, but it didn’t match Noura. There was also a hair, which again didn’t seem to match Noura. There was also no blood in Noura’s car. She had seemingly lucked out and left no real physical evidence to tie her to the crime. What ended up proving that she was the killer, was the fact that she was caught on surveillance tape buying first aid products in the middle of the night, to treat a fresh cut on her hand which was even still bleeding in the video.

http://murderpedia.org/female.J/j/jackson-noura.htm

So, even today, DNA can be tough to link to a suspect.

For years there was confusion over the DNA results in the Boston Strangler case, with a recent DNA test proving that Albert DeSalvo was in fact the Strangler, where as a past DNA test had concluded that he wasn’t the Strangler.

This is from an old article on the case.

Thursday, 6 December, 2001, 23:23 GMT
DNA doubts over Boston Strangler
A forensic investigation has cast doubts over whether the man who confessed to being the Boston Strangler actually was the infamous 1960s serial killer, and raised the possibility that the real murderer could still at large.

DNA evidence found on one of the 11 women killed by the Boston Strangler does not match that of Albert DeSalvo, who had confessed to murdering the women between 1962 and 1964.

James Starrs, professor of forensic science at George Washington University, told a news conference that DNA evidence could not associate DeSalvo with the murder of 19-year-old Mary Sullivan – believed to be the Boston Strangler’s last victim.

DeSalvo said he was the killer while serving a life sentence on unrelated crimes. He later recanted, but was knifed to death in 1973 before any charges could be brought.

Sullivan’s body was exhumed last year and DeSalvo’s a few weeks ago as part of the efforts by both their families to find out who was responsible for the murders.

The women were all sexually assaulted before being strangled.

Professor Starrs said an examination of a semen-like substance on her body did not match DeSalvo’s DNA.

“I’m not saying it exonerates Albert DeSalvo but it’s strongly indicative of the fact that he was not the rape-murderer of Mary Sullivan,” Professor Starrs said.

Mary Sullivan’s nephew, Casey Sherman, asked Professor Starrs to investigate the case, after learning of his involvement in other high-profile identification cases like the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, and the outlaw Jesse James.

“If DeSalvo didn’t kill Mary Sullivan, which he confessed to, he didn’t kill any of these women. And the real killers of these women…are still out there and they need to be brought to justice, ” Mr Sherman said.

The latest development may force the police to reopen one of America’s grizzliest crime chapters.

The killer of DeSalvo himself was never caught, and the official aim of the new investigation is to uncover the murderer’s identity.

But DeSalvo’s relatives hope the tests will also clear him of the serial murders.

Money motive

The DeSalvo and Sullivan families believe DeSalvo confessed to the crimes in the hope of securing lucrative book and film deals.

Dan Sharp, the lawyer representing the DeSalvo family, has pointed to large discrepancies between every DeSalvo confession and every crime scene.

Last year, the Massachusetts Attorney-General reopened the investigation into the case.

But the two families have accused the department of stalling in order to avoid examination of how prosecutors came to accept DeSalvo’s confession in the first place.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1696552.stm

There would also be two books put out proclaiming that DeSalvo was not the Boston Strangler, criticizing both the confessions, and the physical evidence.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Boston-Stranglers-Susan-Kelly/dp/0786014660/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376414856&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Boston+Stranglers

http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Mary-Hunt-Boston-Strangler/dp/155553578X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376414898&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Rose+for+Mary

A quote on the matter from the book Body in Question” By Brian Innes.

This excerpt is found on page 211.

“In December 2001, DNA analysis of semen stains from the underwear of the Strangler’s victims raised doubts about the killer’s identity, but there is no question that further similar killings did not occur following DeSalvo’s confinement. Commented one pathologist, “Not finding someone’s DNA at a crime scene doesn’t mean they weren’t there.”

The statement that just because someone’s DNA wasn’t found, didn’t mean they weren’t there, would prove accurate. As a new DNA test who show that DeSalvo was the Strangler.

Now, this is from a more recent article.

“The discrepancy between the 2001 results and today’s announced match might come down to the different samples analyzed by the different labs. “What [the 2013 investigators] have are slides from the crime scene that have semen on them, presumably from the perpetrator,” says Foran, whereas his team examined samples taken from Sullivan’s exhumed corpse. “One thing that confuses me is why they didn’t test those 15 years ago, because they could have. And we certainly did ask for them back then.” Add that to the long, long list of questions about the Boston Strangler case that might never get answered.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/07/11/albert_desalvo_mary_sullivan_new_evidence_in_boston_strangler_case_contradicts.html

Another article.

DNA tests on the remains of a man who once claimed to be the “Boston Strangler” confirm he killed the woman believed to be the serial killer’s last victim, authorities said Friday.

Lab techs were able to match DNA taken from the body of 19-year-old Mary Sullivan, who was raped and murdered 50 years ago, to that of suspected killer Albert DeSalvo — who many believe was responsible for the slew of deaths that terrorized Boston in the 1960s.

DeSalvo admitted to killing Sullivan and 10 other women in the Boston area between 1962 and 1964, but later recanted. He wound up in Walpole prison on other charges. He was later killed there by another inmate.

Authorities said recently that new technology allowed them to test DNA from the scene of Sullivan’s death and get a match with DeSalvo that excluded 99.9 percent of suspects. Investigators unearthed his remains a week ago to confirm.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dna-confirms-albert-desalvo-link-boston-strangler-killing-mary-sullivan-authorities-article-1.1403536#ixzz2bs6XpDPA

Now over the years the defense team had tried to claim that a hair found at the crime scene from a black man was proof that their clients were innocent. They coupled this together with a sighting of a black man at a Bojangles restaurant. This was a black homeless man who had blood on him, and used the women’s restroom on the night of the murder. The man seemed disoriented and washed up in the bathroom, before leaving.

When this suspect failed, they tried to blame one of the step-parents. First they accused John Mark Byers, the Step-Father of Christopher Byers. Years later during a bitter divorce Pam Hicks, the wife of Terry Hobbs would accuse him of having molested their daughter in order to win custody of her. When this accusation failed she tried to claim that Hobbs was the real killer of her son. These accusations originated from a rumor created by her sisters, after the murders, and seemed based on their dislike for their brother in-law. The defense team soon seized on this, and pointed out how they had a hair that matched to him at the crime scene. In truth however there were countless hairs, probably several just from family members. DNA testing couldn’t even match some of the evidence at the scene to the victims, despite that they had to have been the source of some of it.

With all this background information laid out, let’s get into the documents pertaining to the DNA. Now this link shows the DNA profiles of both the victims and the WM3.

http://callahan.8k.com/images2/writ_exhibits/Exhibit_V_12.jpg

Next you have the document here from Bode, which demonstrates which items had mixtures. The items are the combined ligatures from Stevie (34AB) and Michael’s penile swab (5D).

Now here, It tells where on the charts to look for these mixtures. The locus here is D5S818.

http://callahan.8k.com/images2/writ_exhibits/Exhibit_P_12.jpg

From the information shown here pertaining to the ligature, the results on that locus are 10, 11, and 12. The results are in the fifth column. Now here should only be two numbers, but instead it’s three.

The DNA from the ligatures is compelling, in that possible tissue had been recovered from two other ligatures. This tissue, could have been left by the killer(s), and gotten there as they tied the victims. It was found though that this possible tissue they recovered was far too small, and decomposed to get DNA from.

Michael DeGuglielmo would testify to that fact at trial.

23 Q. What were the results on this Q4 and Q39, the possible
24 tissue from ligatures?
25 A. In those particular items we were not able to detect any
1546

1 DNA from the isolation. When we initially begin a test, the
2 first thing that we do is to go through whatever the material is
3 — if it is tissue or blood — and to remove the DNA from it so
4 we can work with it.
5 Initially we go through and we quantitate that to determine
6 how much DNA is present if it’s there. We were not able to
7 recover and detect any DNA from those two items, and
8 subsequently the testing yielded no results as well.
9 Q. What are the reasons for the inability to get DNA from
10 these possible tissue specimens?
11 A. It can be one of several things. First of all, tissue
12 specimens even more so than bloodstains or seminal stains tend
13 to degrade, in other words, decompose and break down. The
14 reason for that — ah, fluids that make stains dry and when they
15 dry, they are fairly well preserved and they can last for a
16 longer period of time. But tissue or any biological material
17 that is not preserved in some way will break down.
18 Tissue specimens that you’re going to analyze generally are
19 best if they are frozen because that prevents them from
20 decomposing. When that decomposition occurs, the DNA breaks
21 apart and becomes in very small pieces so it is very difficult
22 if not impossible to test it.
23 The other possibility is these were very small samples, and
24 there may have been too little there to have recovered from for
25 the testing anyway.
1547

1 Q. So despite your best efforts you were unable to get any DNA
2 from those items.
3 A. That’s right.

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

So, the killer(s) could have left DNA on the ligatures from handling them. This tissue was found on the bindings of Chris Byers, and Michael Moore, but this DNA was from the bindings on Stevie Branch, and could therefore have been left on his ligature, just as the tissue had been left on the others.

Moving on to the next item.

http://callahan.8k.com/images2/writ_exhibits/Exhibit_P_08.jpg

On the swab the numbers are 9, 12, and 13. The results are found in the second column. Again there should only be two numbers.

http://callahan.8k.com/images2/writ_exhibits/Exhibit_P_09.jpg

Now going back to the chart that lists the DNA profiles of all victims, and the others tested, on the D5S818 locus you have:

Echols is 11,12
Miskelley is 11,12
Baldwin is 9,9
Moore is 9,13
Branch is 10,12
Byers is 11,12

The ligatures’ results for that locus read 10, 11, and 12.

This means for that locus, alleles could be present from Echols, Branch, Misskelley, and, or,  Byers.

From the same ligature, the results for D3S1358 match only Steve out of the six people.

Also from the same ligature, on the locus D13S317, the results read 8 and 11.

Both Branch and Echols have the same results on their known samples for this locus.

On Micheal’s penile swab, the results for the D5S818 locus are 9,12,13 .

Looking at the chart that lists the DNA profiles of all victims and the WM3 as relates to the D5S818 locus it reads as follows:

Echols is 11,12
Misekelley is 11,12
Baldwin is 9,9
Moore is 9,13
Branch is 10,12
Byers is 11,12

All parties have either a 9, 12, or 13 at this locus, so no one can be excluded.

So, as can be seen, the men were not absolutely cleared of this crime by DNA.

They were also further linked to this crime through DNA located on a necklace belonging to Damien Echols. Blood was found on it that matched to Echols, along with blood from either Stevie Branch or Jason Baldwin. The testing at the time couldn’t say for sure if the blood was Stevie’s or Jason’s, and because of this testing all of the blood samples are used up, and impossible to re-run.

This testing is discussed in this deleted scene from Paradise Lost.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKnGYZfuBBQ

Axe

What follows are excerpts from a letter by Barry Scheck.

Michael M. Baden, M.D., director of the Medicological Investigations Unit of the New York State Police, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary indicated that ‘in less than 10% of murders, the criminal leaves DNA evidence behind.'”

“James Christy, director of the Future Explorations Unit of the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Unit was quoted as saying that “only about 1% of criminal cases introduce DNA evidence.”

“Nonetheless, there is no rigorous study I know of that establishes whether there is a higher percentage.”

Barry Scheck – Letter to the Commission | Maryland Citizens Against State Executions

http://www.mdcase.org/node/132

Part of an article on DNA in criminal cases.

“At criminal trials, there is always talk about doubt, reasonable doubt. But in recent years, with the rise of DNA technology and other forensic evidence techniques, many Americans have a growing sense of confidence, if not certainty, that we’re locking up the guilty and freeing the innocent. The backbone of modern justice, it seems, is not a judge in a long, black robe, presiding over a courtroom, but a forensic analyst in a crisp, white coat, laboring over a microscope. In science we trust.

A 2006 survey of more than 1,000 Michigan jurors found that nearly half of the jurors expected to see some sort of scientific evidence in every criminal trial. Nearly 75 percent expected to see scientific evidence presented in murder trials. And still another study, published just this year, found that people trusted such evidence almost blindly. In this study, a random sample of 1,201 potential jurors in California said they considered scientific evidence, like DNA and fingerprints, to be far more reliable than the testimony of police officers, eyewitnesses, or even the victims themselves.

Prosecutors call it the CSI effect, suggesting that fictional television shows, like the long-running “CSI,” helped convince science-wary Americans to believe in the power of forensics. But the facts haven’t hurt, either. At trial, when possible, prosecutors are always keen on

calling forensic experts to testify — even when no forensic evidence has been found. Failure to do so, prosecutors say, would almost surely sink their chances of winning a conviction.

But does forensic evidence really matter as much as we believe? New research suggests no, arguing that we have overrated the role that it plays in the arrest and prosecution of American criminals.

A study, reviewing 400 murder cases in five jurisdictions, found that the presence of forensic evidence had very little impact on whether an arrest would be made, charges would be filed, or a conviction would be handed down in court.

A mere 13.5 percent of the murder cases reviewed actually had physical evidence that linked the suspect to the crime scene or victim. The conviction rate in those cases was only slightly higher than the rate among all other cases in the sample. And for the most part, the hard, scientific evidence celebrated by crime dramas simply did not surface. According to the research, investigators found some kind of biological evidence 38 percent of the time, latent fingerprints 28 percent of the time, and DNA in just 4.5 percent of homicides.”

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/11/07/the_case_against_evidence/

In a letter from Bode Laboratories, they identify these two locations as possible DNA mixtures. It also mentions a allele, that doesn’t match either the victims or the convicted found on Stevie’s genitals. It’s unknown how this got there, or it’s significance. One could suggest it could have gotten there from moving or handling the bodies, as they were transported from the ditch and crime scene by investigators.

http://callahan.8k.com/images3/bode_letter.jpg

Both of the mixtures mentioned in this letter are in locations, that it would be expected DNA from the WM3 to be located. The DNA was located on Stevie’s ligatures, and on Michael Moore’s genitals. In the past, there had even been possible tissue pulled from the other ligatures, but the tissue had likely decayed, making it unusable. With that in mind though a mixture at this location, could suggest this was the killer(s) DNA. While not major DNA, it doesn’t exclude the WM3 as having contributed it. And this DNA could very likely be from whoever tied the ligatures.

What this all means is that the men convicted of this crime cannot be claimed to be proven innocent through DNA, due to the DNA evidence recovered from the victims does not exclude them. Blood located on a necklace belonging to Echols may also have been from one of the victims, seeming to further implicate the men convicted. And when one considers that DNA is only found in a small percentage of murders, despite a widespread notion that the offender should always leave behind DNA, it seems to further weaken the claim that DNA proved them innocent.