In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.—who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three—were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was marked by tampered evidence, false testimony, and public hysteria.... read more
Following this story from the HBO days of Paradise lost, I couldn't help but want to read Life after Death to get the scoop from Damien on what really happened . I don't know after reading his account and the gross mistreatment he received over the years for a crime that I (maybe) still... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Following this story from the HBO days of Paradise lost, I couldn't help but want to read Life after Death to get the scoop from Damien on what really happened . I don't know after reading his account and the gross mistreatment he received over the years for a crime that I (maybe) still believe he did not commit, that I understand any better than I did back in the HBO days. My best guess after reading his diary and entries of him trying to put the story together is that he was a psychologically challenged if not mentally ill juv/adolescent that played into the hands of incompetent cops partly due to his darkness, trench coats, oddball behavior and reputation that he either couldn't help or enjoyed. He ended up creating a role for himself that he couldn't get out of and ended up in jail for a crime that needed closure and he was the most likely candidate. STILL it highlights our broken criminal justice system and is a cry for help for anyone being charged with a crime in Arkansas (and who knows elsewhere) just because you are crazy or odd or eccentric or koo koo for coacoa puffs, you needn't spend your life on death row for a crime you did not commit.
I would be interested in Life after death II when Damien has had a chance to really transform his experience into something meaningful. He is obviously challenged with depression and an adjustment disorder at the very least, who wouldn't be after his ordeal, but it seems from his own account that he suffered from mental illness before the incident as well and was institutionalized several times as a juvenile that still he cannot find a reason for even though records indicate it was for violent behavior and attacks on other people with a very sadistic overtone, something he may have forgotten or was not able to recall. It doesn't seem like he omitted it on purpose, anyone can find out these records, but rather that he just didn't have a grasp on how he got institutionalized due to his distortion of being a victim his entire life and seeing the world the way HE is rather than how IT is.
HOW and WHY he was locked up is a shame, THAT he was locked up was probably best for everyone.
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