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West Memphis 3 /// Discussion /// Part 2

2024-05-08 | 🔗

West Memphis 3 /// Discussion 

Part 2 of 2 



Join Nic & The Captain in the Garage for a riveting and energy filled discussion about the West Memphis 3 case.  This case and True Crime story continues to be one of the more debated cases of the 20th century, even after more than 30 years has passed.  Why can’t we as a collective community move on from this case?  Is it because the case manages to creep its way back into the headlines, over and over again?  Or, is it because at the end of the day we are all afraid that we may never know the truth about what happened in Robin Hood Hills, on May 5th, 1993?  We are still seeking justice for Steve Branch, Michael Moore, Christopher Byers, and their families.  


Beer of the Week - Meloncholy by the good folks at Tactical Brewing Co.

Garage Grade - 3 and a half bottle cap out of 5 


Recommended Reading - A Harvest of Innocence; the untold story of the West Memphis Three murder case by Dan Stidham 


Follow True Crime Garage on X @TrueCrimeGarage / Follow Nic on X @TCGNIC / Follow The Captain on X @TCGCaptain 


Listen to True Crime Garage Off The Record.  Now available on Apple Podcast Subscriptions and to everyone everywhere on Patreon.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
There are lots of people you might want to share a VRBO with, but the host isn't one of them. When you book a VRBO, the host doesn't stay with you. So the only people you'll share the space with are your people. VRBO Private Vacation Rentals. Relax. You booked a VRBO. Damian Eccles and Jason Baldwin, Jesse Miss Kelly, who-- West Memphis 3. They were just eight years old. Steven Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers. Found murdered, hogtied and naked in a drainage ditch in West Memphis.
- A lot of this, and we've heard this time and time again with persons that even offer up a false confession to police that they just, they're... Hey, there's so much pressure from these guys for me to say that I did it that eventually I just gave in and said I did it because I thought, well, they're to figure out eventually that I didn't do it even though I said I did. And you wonder given the mindset of an 18-year-old of a... 16 year old and a 17 year old. Look, I wish I was smarter today. Today, especially in my behavior, than I was when I was 16, 17, and 18 years old. CB; Correct. RM; It's not a far shot. Stretch for me to believe that maybe all three of them, or at least individually, that some of these guys thought, Well, this will all get sorted out at some point.
They're going to realize I didn't do this. - Yeah, but there's no excuse for trying to taunt the-- I'm not saying that they should do that, but I'm saying... Guess what I'm saying is if they're innocent, I don't condone that kind of behavior, but I don't know that a lot of these things, a lot of these things don't sway me. Strongly whether they're innocent or guilty. - No, no, and that's the problem. - It's like the turtle thing, right? Like the animal predation. With like, and they go on like the different sources, they go on to all kinds of different animals. And it's very likely that that is animal predation. And I'll have some. That will be angry with me and go, Nick look at the science, of course it's animal predation. But the reason why I don't dive too deep into that aspect of this crime is if a turtle is
Responsible or some other kind of animal was responsible for some of the injuries post-mortem on these boys. That does not tell me who killed them. It doesn't tell me who killed him other than the only thing that it is suggestive of is that the confession. That they got, that it was a satanic crime, and that one would expect them to be sexually mutilated like that. To add a New York told the West Memphis PD that it's not a satanic crock. That's the only Thing that's suggestive of. It doesn't tell you who killed these boys. Yeah, but this crime is different because it's not like the Joel Dando case, right? Jill Dando was shot on the front steps of her house and that's it. This crime had levels to it. There was some form of sexual assault. There was. - Which again though, that's another detail in this case that is persons have.
Varying opinions of, and some of them are very strong opinions. - Well, what I'm saying is there's-- In the sense of like-- - No, I mean the sexual assault. The sexual assault aspect of this. Ten so-called experts on this case and ask them if the boys or One or all three were sexually assaulted, you would get a different answer. - Well, and I think we would have a better answer if they weren't submerged in water for 15 hours, or more than 15 hours. There's levels to this. Cause what do we know? We know that there were killed in the woods. Now you have to question where they Lord there, where they did. Did they just happen to go into the woods and stumble upon. The individual that they shouldn't or multiple individuals. You can make all these arguments about what markings were done. By animals, but I believe that there were some markings done and law enforcement believes this and a lot of experts believe some of the
Brutal nature of this crime took place before they were put into water and took place by the hands of a human and not animals. - Of course. Have the way the clothes were placed into the water, wrapped around On, on, on sticks that that took some level of intelligence. Binding, the fact that they're not bound right to left, they're bound right to right, left to left, does that mean something? Some of the items of clothing missing from the scene. Does that mean anything? Is that suggestive that they were killed elsewhere and then discarded of here, or does that suggest that... The killer took some of these items with them and they were killed near where they have been. Yeah. The knots suggest more than one perpetrator. Okay, so again, as a--
more of a ritualistic thing for one of the murderers or less for the other. Ones. I mean, I think this is such gray area that it's hard for an expert to say definitively that this is some ritualistic killing or not. I mean, this case is bothers the shit out of me. - Well, and I'm glad, I shouldn't say that I'm glad that it does, but I think that makes you-- A very normal human being. Like I don't know that, I don't know how anybody could not be bothered by this case. - And I think it's just, I mean, again, there's arrogance throughout this case. I mean, people that think that they're 100% Listen, sometimes they stand on this hill of arrogance and it's just knocking off. A little bit of an open mind that you possibly are wrong. And it's so frustrating now because with the--
stating that Damien Echols can test evidence, which is really strange because if you go back to the Alford Plead, the Alford Plead basically states that You're going to leave this case alone. You admitted that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict you of this crime. You get to maintain your innocence, but after that, you have to leave this alone. Drives me insane because everybody can sit there and say, well, they're innocent and proof that they're innocent. Is now Damien Echols is trying to fight the court to test new items. They're not new items. And I would say it would be some form of evidence that he's innocent. If Damien Echols would arguing, test whatever you want to, and do it on your own.
Your dime because that's the other thing that people don't understand in this case. That Damien Echols and his team want to do it on their dime. Are the ones that get the results. So then they're the ones that get to relay the results to the public and to the courts. And that's what happened back in, I think it was 2000. 11. And we talked about this on the, off the record, and then I'll jump off my soapbox. That we were arguing on off the record was you were stating that Damien Echols could have been state. And so instead of waiting a few months because he was going to get another trial, that's actually not true. And there's
Multiple reasons why that's not true. And there's multiple reasons why the Damien echoes and his team knew it wasn't true because one in 2000, I believe it was 2006, Arkansas stopped all executions and their, their process of executing prisoners was under. View, they didn't cross their T's and dot their I's until like 2017. So during the time that. He was trying to get out and was offering up an Alfred plea to the state, there was no chance that the state would have a better place to live. State would have killed him because they weren't killing anybody because the whole process was under review. And then on top of that, his. And when you have things in the court system, they don't kill you when you have appeals. And processes going on in the court. So this whole narrative that they spun of, well, I had to take this plea deal.
Because they're going to try to kill him. It's just a false narrative all the way around. - Well, okay, so I will have a rebuttal here because you're saying something that I said was. Untrue. No, I'm saying it was untrue by Damien Echols. Team and by the West Memphis three team, they were making this argument that, well, we would have liked to keep fighting and Because their whole thing was we got enough evidence that proves that it was one of the stepfathers. And we're going to prove that to you in a couple months. But instead of waiting to try to prove that they ended up taking this plea deal and the, the excuse that they gave the public and the excuse that they gave their supporters or what.
While Damien was, he could have been killed by the state. - I mean, his original execution date was set for 2000. So that has already, he was already beyond that date, which complicates things for the person that's sitting on death row, once you're past that date. - Yeah, but again. You would know if you're on death row and you know that in 2006, that they suspended all executions. And that it was under review. And it was under review at the time that you took this plea deal. You can't sit there and use that as an excuse because Ann, his appeals weren't exhausted yet. - But what, I don't understand what the point is. What does that mean? What does any of that mean?
Like the, well, I think it's kind of bullshit. There's two. Yeah, but listen, there's two kinds of people that want to get out of prison, innocent people and guilty people. Okay. So I don't know that that proves anything either, either way to me. - I think it's a situation that people have to understand in this case, is that the way... Whether you think they're innocent or whether you think they're guilty, the way people spend things. And again. Don't don't you believe that the way their teams spun this web was he's in grave danger of. In prison, so we have to take this deal. But if they were so sure that this evidence was going to point to the actual murderer, why would you pack your tents up and go home? - Well, it was 13 months away, I believe.
I believe it was that long. But again, I think the problem is-- - I mean, we both know from plenty of experience that the wheels of justice, they move, but they move very slowly. - Very slowly. - Right, and these, again, they had already spent 18 years in prison, and I mean, that's where I leave that portion of the case to me. And I don't mean our discussion. I love for the sake of discussion. It's a good discussion. But for me internally, when I think and review this case at who may have been the most successful, Done it and I'm glad you're angry. You should be angry because the way that I see it, this case is, yes, it's been adjudicated, but it's an unsolved case. And I believe that we sit here over for 30 years later, not knowing who the real killer or killers of these little boys, little tiny boys is. And that angers me as well. So I like the-
Discussion, but for me internally, I've always left this as there are two kinds of people that want to be out of prison, and those persons are both innocent and guilty. People. Everybody wants to be out of prison. This was the, I'll spin it a different way. Because maybe that's what Eccles Camp was saying, but one thing I do know about this Alford plea, it was an all or nothing deal. It was all three of you except for you're not getting the deal. And so when you look at it from Miss Kelly's situation and you look at it from Baldwin's situation, even if it let's One of them didn't want to go along with it. So Jason Baldwin's the best example, right? Because by accepting this Alfred play… He has the least out of the three to gain and the most to lose. Yet he accepts it.
And a large part of that was, well, these two other guys, they already accepted it. And I don't... To be the one that stops this from happening. He did earlier that I felt let down by some of the individuals that have covered this case. I dive into this case the more I'm let down by the people that are presenting the information. I'm let down by the criminal justice system. I'm also let down and maybe it's wrong, but I feel. Like I'm let down by the West Memphis three, because they're also the ones that said, Hey, let us out. Cause we'll, we'll fight and we'll, we'll figure this. Out and some people could say, well, dummy, that's what Damien Echols is trying to do. And I, my response to them would be like, dummy, that's not what's happening. Yeah, but Damian Echol-
and Jason Baldwin and Jesse Miss Kelly, they don't solve crimes. They don't, you know. I mean like that's the same sad conversation that I have to have sometimes with family members of victims for porch light or even for true crime garage. This, they'll contact me. A month or two later and go, What's going on? I was really hoping that Porchlight would solve this. I was really hoping that True Crime Garage would light a fire under the detective's asses and they would really get to work on this case. Sad conversation that I have to have with that grieving mother of the victim, uh, who Crying on the other end of the phone or that I'm holding their hand across the table as they sob. Conversation is I have to tell them, porch light as good and as much as we try, we don't solve crimes. Garage, we do not solve crimes. The only persons with the power to absolutely solve
of the crime and make an arrest are law enforcement. - No, I understand that, but you're also not calling these people up. And telling them that you're going to solve the crime. You're not calling these people up and saying, hey, if you do X, Y, and Z. For me this week, 'cause I'm gonna be-- - Right, but it does, again, but it wouldn't matter if I said that or not. It's not the case at the end of the day. As far as the Eccles situation goes with the person that I don't think that has let you down is Judge Laser, who has has been the one who has decided that yes, we will allow. - Testing, yeah. the state State will allow Eccles in his camp to test this evidence. The reason why it has to be paid for on the private end is because, again, something we've said a dozen times today. As far as the state of Arkansas is concerned, the case is adjudicated. They're not going to pay to test anything.
Judge Lazer has made the determination that Eccles and his camp can pay for it. The reason being is that I can't walk in there to any judge. In Arkansas and say, you know what? I'm I represent the porch light project. I represent true crime garage. We're here to set the record straight. We just want to help these poor people. Is going to be a very long time. Can be involved in the defense. - Right, and essentially it's also the state is saying that you can only test it, that what they were. Originally saying is, well, if you were in jail and you were found guilty and you're in jail, we'll let you test it. And Damien Echols, I applaud.
Him for saying, Hey, look, you found me guilty of this crime. I should still have the right to test this, this evidence if it could point to my innocence. And so that is the fight that he's putting on. My argument to him would be, why not test everything? And we have a pair of pants that we think that there's some semen, possible semen on the pants. Oh, that should be the number one thing that people are screaming at the top of the mountains to test because. That could actually get us some answers. If you have a victim that has a. Wolf semen stain on their pants. We should test that there. They want to test ligatures and things. That have already been tested and have already resulted in no result in saying, well, maybe we'll get a different result
And maybe they will, but I still don't think that's going to solve anything because if you have so much, you got contamination at the crime scene, you have contamination. They thought this evidence was lost and we're going to believe that this evidence was not contaminated in any way. I don't even go down that road because then the next step to that is going, Well, don't even test it. Right? Like I'm with you. I have suspicions that the evidence is probably contaminated. But I also wouldn't go, Well, don't test it. And so do I have high hopes for this new developing Story, new developing angle of this long, ongoing 31 year old story. No, I don't have high hopes for it. What you're saying that from the Eccles angle, it looks like they took the easy, cheap way out. And I'm not going to lie to you. I would love…
It would do me some favors internally if they would have rode the storm out and they got to the hearings to present. This other evidence, new evidence, whatever you want to call it, if they would have rode the storm out, whether it was two months, three months, or three months, it would have 13 months or what have you. It would be better for Nick Edwards of True Crime Garage if they did that. Again, and I'm not trying to use the walk a mile in their shoes excuse, because I don't think it's an excuse. I think that I don't, I can't have a great opinion on them taking the easy way out. This. Guys are innocent. Let's cut our losses now and let them out before we have to compensate.
All three of them for spending over 18 years of their lives in prison. - It's been deeper than that. It's the judge, if they would've waited a year, it probably would've been a different judge, and that judge would've never allowed the Alford Plead, period. I knew that. And then people make an argument that the judge only allowed this Alfred plead because they were gonna be reelected or needed the publicity or whatever it is. But I think that's my frustration in this case. Particularly is the amount of lying from both sides, law enforcement, the defense, these three individuals that were convicted of the crime, the amount of lying that they've done. And it just goes back to that. We have three victims that aren't gonna get just.
And their families are not going to get justice. It drives me absolutely insane. - It was Judge Burnett that kept a-- hold on this case for so many years and it was only until he released and relinquished that Power in that authority over this case that they were able to start having these much more civilized talks of right coming to some kind of result and he'd harp on this is, but they stated, we have all this DNA evidence and we can prove their innocence and we have a suspect. Now, however many years later, what, 13 years later, they're saying, Mom, we don't think it's that guy. We think it's a different person now. So the things that they... You know, this narrative that these poor little teenage boys were just These poor little teenage boys. Is thrown under the bus and railroaded. I just don't think that's true.
A true narrative of the story. I think that's the narrative that people want to present. That's just not true. That doesn't mean that they are guilty of these murders. - But I think that's open to interpretation. I think that many people are gonna have varying opinions on. That part of the case because you have somebody like me who I do think that they were in fact railroaded. I sit here and I go well if Vicki Hutchinson would not have lied to police... Are these guys firmly on the radar in the way that they ended up being? I also wonder had they not drug this confession out of a 17 year old boy with a argumentatively 72 IQ, this bad confession out of this kid that And uh...
Would they have even made these arrests? I, I, I it's like, it's like this domino effect of one bad thing. Happening after another that leads to a conviction of three different individuals. And remember we talked about this when we covered it the first time. If Jesse Miss Kelly's confession… Gets completely tossed out. Do you convict Eccles and Baldwin? And then on top of that... Had Baldwin's attorney been smart enough and made the right moves, those two wouldn't have been in At the same time altogether. And if I'm Baldwin's attorney, I'm doing everything that I possibly can to get his trial to go before Eccles because it's kind of... Like a tag along situation, like, oh, if Eccles is guilty, then Baldwin has to be guilty based off of the confession and that they're best friends and that they're on trial together. Like it gets very complicated very quickly.
Again, the narrative is that the police interrogate. This kid and got a confession. And that's part of the story, but what about the other four confessions that weren't interrogated? And people that think that these police officers just went down this. Path with blinders on every time that boy wanted to confess they were there asking questions Recording it and trying to get to the bottom of what really happened that day But the flip of that would be every time he's offered a deal to testify against Baldwin and Coggin Echols, he does not. He turns it down. You see what I mean? Like, I get what you're saying, and I get, like, the other confessions trouble me too.
Innocent of me to believe that 100%, it would be so much easier if he never had all these other confessions, that being Miss Kelly. But it's, again, when offers… Deal. And this happened on at least two occasions. He's offered a deal to testify against them for a reduced sentence. And so to... To me it's like, well, when it mattered the most, he wasn't willing to do it. No matter where you are in the world, Vrbo knows questions can pop up. That's why Vrbo offers 24/7 live support that quickly connects you with a real person, anytime and anywhere. Vrbo private vacation rentals. Relax, you book to Vrbo.
- Guilty will always point to the fact that they pled guilty, essentially, to get out of prison. And I'd argue that I don't think that's, again, innocent people want out of prison just as bad as guilty people want out of prison. I think your point is very valid on that. One of the problems I have, and one of the reasons why this is a red light case is because we don't have just one confession by Jesse Mascali. We have five, but we have confessions depending on. If you want to believe them or not, we have confessions by all three suspects. I don't think the okay. Jesse, miss Kelly. Didn't confess. I don't think that was the nail. The coffin, and I don't know if you were able to ever review the notes.
That the jury made and they would make a list of pros and cons. One of the number one things that they thought pointed to the guilt of Damien Eccles and Jason Baldwin was the confession of Michael Carson, which, which he later. Recanted. Yeah. And that's again, every little point, whether you think they're innocent or guilty, you can start arguing these points like people that. Think that they're innocent say, well, well, Michael Carson, that's a bullshit. Confession because he's a jailhouse snitch. And I always thought he was a jailhouse snitch. So I was like, wait, well, this confes-- That's bullshit, right? He's he, he had something to gain from this. Okay. Down the rabbit hole. Let's look into Michael Carson and you go, okay, Michael Carson was not in prison at the time that he went to police. He did not get any deal from law enforcement who was actually.
Of prison, sitting there watching on the news, them talking about the West Memphis three. And he told his dad, Hey, I was impressed. With Jason Baldwin and he told me what happened. He told his father the details and his father said, We got to go to law enforcement. He said, I don't want to. He goes, No, we need to go. and then they... Took a polygraph test. And again, you're going to have arguments on whether a polygraph tests were good or bad, but he passed the polygraph test. And so they put them on the stand. And then people can sit there and dissect. His movements and whether he's nervous or not. And then there's the argument later that if you think they're innocent, you go, well, Michael Carson recanted his statement. Vince from everything I read, he has apologized to Jason Baldwin and his.
Hey, I was on a lot of drugs back then, but nowhere have I heard him say the statements that he made at court weren't true. And again, but there was, there was. Million points of this case. And that's why I just hate it so much. Like I, I, Dive into this case so much, and I have to remind myself, this is not the case we're working on for next week, but it's those three. Three boys, Christopher Byers, Michael Moore, Stevie branch. And it's just like. And I know there's going to be a bunch of people that are listening right now that go, Wow, the captain thinks they're guilty. No, I don't. No, I wish I knew. I wish I could stand on a hill of arrogance. And ignorance and just tell you, I think they're guilty, or I think they're innocent, but I can't. And I'm bothered by Damien Echols. I think he has...
This idea that he can manipulate people and lie, and I think he lied on the stand. I think there's evidence of that in the doc. Documentaries, I think he constantly lies to people to get attention. I think that That's who he is. I think he wants to be larger than life. I think we made him larger than life and I think he's a liar. If he murdered these boys or not though and I'd love to get to the bottom of it. The way that the testing could get to the bottom of it is, again, I preface this by saying, like I said earlier, in like a... Said on Off The Record. I don't have high hopes. I'm usually a glass half full kind of guy. I'm not incredibly optimistic about this new developing portion of this ongoing story. But where it could, I'll be glass half full for a while. I'll try to examine it from a different angle.
There are, to this day, 31 years later, and in fact, actually some of this information is older than that, there are other unsolved child murders in that area. That if this evidence were to align with any evidence in any of those cases, well that would be pretty powerful. Right, or if it was an individual that wasn't supposed to be there at that time and it wasn't one of these three boys, it wasn't one of the step-parents. Christina Marie Pipkin was last seen May 4th, and notice some of the dates on this stuff. May 4th, 1991 in Hickory Ridge. She was nine years old. She disappeared while selling jewelry door to door for a school fundraiser. Her body was found five days later in a ditch.
Five miles outside of town, she had apparently drowned and police say she drowned, her death is the result of foul play. May 21st, 1992. Geneva Smith, age 13, reported missing. To catch a school bus and was never seen alive again. June 1st, 1992, her badly decomposed body was found in the St. Francis River. The body was in such poor condition that a cause of death cannot be determined. Being investigated as a homicide and has been since June of 1992. October of 1992, Jardina Jones Cross goes missing on the 13th. Her body is found the next day. And I'll see you in the next video.
Mysterious unsolved child murders in this immediate area going on at the time. Now these are four different counties, but they are all neighboring counties. They're all connected. And so if the evidence comes back and says something to suggest that one of these other crimes is tied to the murder of these three boys, that could be something powerful. The other thing too, and this is a bit of a even more of a leap, I want to be clear that it would be a leap, right, if that were to be the case. But trying to be glass-hatched. A fool here a little bit. We talk about problems with this case. Go back to Chris Morgan and Brian Holland, who left West Memphis together for Oceanside, California 10th. So four days after the bodies of the boys were discovered. They're picked up May 17th. They
Examination administered by the California police. So a whole different entity, a whole different law enforcement agency are administering this polygraph exam. And I don't want anybody getting confused. Out there. We have pointed out time and time again the problems, the pros and cons with the polygraph exam. So don't think that we're living Dying and breathing, that these are, that polygraph exams are the end all be all of homicide investigations. They're not. - Sysa Barometer. The reason why I'm bringing up the polygraph examination of these two boys who were picked up in California who just so happened to be leave West Memphis Is after the bodies are discovered is that according to the California police, they tell the West Memphis PD, look, These guys, we gave them a test and they showed signs of deception. Denied involvement in the murders of those three boys. Now the flip of that is they give West Memphis PD
Jesse Miss Kelly a polygraph examination, he shows signs of deception in their opinion, and their response to that Is he's lying his ass off, let's grill him until he confesses. Meanwhile, they don't bother to make a second phone call about Christopher Morgan or Brian Holland out in California. Oh, weird that you have those two. Well, I thought those were the boys that they eventually got to confess out in California. And then that wasn't allowed in the trial. They weren't allowed. To hear that confession. - Exactly, it was barred, and they were not allowed to use that evidence at trial. Because of course the defense is gonna put that up if they're worth their weight. I don't know if you will allow me just to wrap up my thoughts on this. Five minutes, less than five minutes. I think this case is so difficult, but I think if you're only watching.
Paradise loss, if you're only reading and watching certain things that, that point to the fact that they're innocent, you're not doing your due diligence. I think there's individual. Like William Ramsey, Roberta Glass, Burn After Reading, Gary Mead. And Lisa O'Brien that have made some very valid points and some of these individuals, I believe, are experts on this case. If my knowledge of this case is a two out of a 10 or three out of a 10, some of these individuals have a lot more extensive knowledge of this case and I think if you're on the fence or if you think they're innocent or guilty, I think these are individuals worth looking into some of their thoughts and some of the--
that they have presented to the public. Again, the genes with possible semen stains on them, that needs to be tested. I don't know if Damien Echols is responsible for this crime or not, but I know that an individual named Aleister Crowley was brought up at his trial. And Aleister Crowley, in my opinion, is a horrible pile of shit. He also talks in his book, Magic, about the sacrificing of a child Power of a god and the best age to kill a child is it would be a male child at the age of eight. at the trial, Damien Echols claims that he.
He knows nothing about him, even though he's writing his name down on pieces of paper and has no clue about him. Well, just a year ago on a podcast, Damien Echols said two individuals that he's never met that have really influenced his life or were mentors to him were Aleister Crowley and Joel. My problem with comments like this and also if you watch a lot of Damien Eccles interviews my biggest with them is, Okay, even if you're innocent of the crime, where's the sympathy? Where's the empathy for the victims?
Understand that if you're innocent of these crimes, that you're also a victim, but you got lucky. You got people that believed in you. You had millions of people that came and donated money to try to fight your case. You had celebrities come out of the woodworks, and when he is interviewed, he doesn't state the victim's names, the true victims. Names. Christopher Byers, Michael Moore, and Stevie Branch. Those boys were eight years old. They lost everything. You lost some years. Maybe you lost rose petal glasses that you could look at the world through. You lost something too, if you're innocent, but why don't we ever speak of their names? Why, why don't we ever show empathy for their families and. Also, it's okay to say, Hey, I was a dickhead kid and I just thought they're gonna end up.
Getting the right guy one day. And those actions of my past I feel bad for, and I need to make amends for, because the taunting of the family, that's just not acceptable. Or the laughing about the Crimes. I understand you're 18 years old and you're naive and you're underdeveloped and under educated, but I just can't get past some of that stuff. I just think, and then to know that this individual that, okay. If you're innocent of the crime, then Alistair Crowley has nothing to do with these murders. But. You know, if you're this, if he's one of your mentors, you know, that he has made the statement that killing an eight year old boy brings you power. You just keep that stuff out of your, out of your fucking mouth because it's disrespectful. Full and you know, the boys were killed on a full moon. And so then you have a whole chapter in your book about the power.
Of moon water. I just think that stuff like that where it's like, I don't know. There's people that think they're guilty that says Damien Ackles is just Hunting everybody. And I don't know if he is or isn't, but it's like, that's why my opinion of him is not highly. Because if he's innocent, he's a victim as well. Like you said, maybe I should walk a mile in his shoes and maybe I'd feel differently, but I think if I was wrongfully convicted of these crimes, I would not only try to tell my story, but try to tell the victim's stories as well. Like I said earlier, I'm not going to fault anybody for being angry or frustrated in this
Case. If you don't get angered or frustrated one way or another, or every which way, which I think you and I are frustrated every which way, then I don't think you have a pulse about this case. And so again, I'll be glass half full and say that I hope that this evidence do something and at the very least maybe or even more so, not just in this case but some of the other cases that we've just mentioned. I hate to see other child victim cases still to this day being unsanitary. And we're talking about cases that were 91, 92, and 93. And it's, it's, you know, they're.
Parents are passing away without getting any answers or any real answers in the West Memphis Three case, in my opinion. But I will go a different route and say that the major issue I have with this case is the West Memphis Police Department. Handling of this case. I have seen agencies across the years that we've covered so many cases, over 700 episodes, and I've seen a case handled every which way possible. I've seen agencies do a job that I think is absolutely brilliant in some very difficult cases. And I've seen other agencies that have done a horrible, lazy, dumbass job. And I sit here and of course, look, I'm not.
Trying to be on my high horse here, but I sit here all these years later and several hundred miles away and I review this case and I cannot for a second get over the piss poor job that I think that the West Memphis. Police department did in this case. And like I said earlier in our conversation here today, Captain, is I think this thing was flubbed up from the very beginning. I think that they screwed it up. I, I. Do like that they called the FBI. We know that they called the FBI based off of a conversation between John Douglas and, and Ken Land. By the way, I know we'll have a different recommendation for this week for the reading, but remember Back in the day, we recommended Ken Lanning's book, Love, Bombs, and Molestors. He's an absolute expert in his field. I recommend that book every which way to Sunday. I appreciate that they call. New York City, where they dropped the ball was they should have got a large.
Agency with better and more resources than they possessed at the time to take over this case. Like Delphi, Indiana, it would have been like if the Delphi, the local Delphi police would have said we're going to head up this investigation. We don't want the sheriff's department involved. We don't want the state police involved. We don't want the FBI involved. And Mara Leverett points out in The Devil's Knot, and she doesn't accuse them of this. It's a little implied that her opinion may be because they were under suspicion of not Things on the up and up in West Memphis that that's why that they refuse to call in a larger, bigger, better agency that may have done a better job. There's certainly... Suspicion of them confiscating evidence in other cases. We're talking about guns, money, and drugs. And then turning around and selling them or distributing them amongst their personnel. And that was the suspension.
Mission at the time and that's why it was believed back in 1993 that they would not allow another agency in here. And I think just the quick comparison of the… Christopher Morgan Brian Holland situation in comparison to the Jesse Miss Kelly situation it would make anybody go, wait a second, this, this was the same scenario and you treated both of them completely different. - Well the reason why it's not the same scenario, not to nitpick, but Jesse Miss Kelly came to you. You came, you went and got this. Great, sorry you didn't, you know, I'm glad you didn't have to jump in your car and do actual, do any real work. Like, I mean, come on, like you're being, your whole outfit is being paid by taxpayers to solve this case. And to see that they treated one guy who the test said was lying completely different,
To how they treated another guy or two where the same test told them that they were lying. Is something that I'll never be able to get over. And then take it a step further, local newspapers This was actually local to Memphis Tennessee. The commercial appeal is the big newspaper in this region after Miss Kelly Arrested, they print his confession in the newspaper. On June 7th, June and seven. 1993. A kid who's 17 years old with no parental note, no prayer. In the room, no lawyer in the room, confesses to a crime. Like I don't even need to argue the IQ of this guy. He's 17 years old. He's got nobody, no representation. He gives a confession that they know is not true because the first confession says that he saw the boys Killed around noon and his confession clearly states that the three victims and
Baldwin all skipped school that day. That's how this all went down at noon. No, we have the attendance records of all four of those students from two different schools. Saying those four students were in school at noon and of course we know that there were several 30 eyewitnesses that see these boys after school at 5, 5.30, 5.45, up to 6.30pm. The police. There is no way that the commercial appeal Without getting it from the West Memphis Police Department. What, what the hell? If this is your Bible, if you are going to convict these three, you've arrested these three, if you're going to convict them,
This is your Bible, right? And we know that based off of, there's not a whole lot of great stuff as far as coverage goes about the case and the facts of the case in Paradise Lost. All three of those documentaries, if you would, if you want to call it that, I like to refer to it more as. They're chronicling what happened. If they were to shoot those documentaries today, it would be filled with all kinds of information. We've seen how documentaries in true crime are handled today as opposed to-- - It would have been a eight-part series, a 10-part series. - Those were very, well, if, and you know,
Again, there's varying opinions out there, but in my opinion, had they got it right, there would be no reason to have more than one documentary in this situation. But there is no way that the Commercial Appeal gets their hands on this confession to print in the June 7th, 1993, newspaper without getting it from local law enforcement. And then guess what you've just done? You've tainted your jury pool throughout the entire region of that area. This newspaper goes out to every county that one can think of. You can get your hands on it. It's in three different parts, three different segments throughout that day's newspaper, where you are reading the details of his confession that all, by the way, include things like them eating dogs.
All kinds of other things that we know in fact were not true. And what did the Commercial Appeal do? They copyrighted that article. Newspapers don't do that. You know what that's suggestive to me? You copyright that article in a story and information that you clearly could have only received from the police department. That tells me you paid for it. Somebody got handed an envelope of money and somebody handed off an envelope with a confession in it and it got printed in the paper for everybody and their cousins. To read. And then you went to all those people and you said, you know what, let's find 12 members, 12 peers of this individual and let them sit and decide the fate of this kid. And not just that kid, but two other individuals as well.
Two others later. And so it's maybe on another off the record we'll go through some of those other newspaper articles, but it's a troubling case and I think unfortunately for the rest of our days, Captain, it's always going to remain a troubling case. But at the end of the day, this world let down and continues to let down. Buyers Michael Moore and Stevie Branch. And I'm sorry for that. And I hope that one day the world will make it right. We can never bring them back, but maybe we can at least get them justice in the end. And until we do that, we have all failed them. - I want to thank everybody for joining us here in the garage. If you need more True Crime Garage for your ear balls,
Patreon on Patreon or subscribe to the show on Apple podcast kernel do - We recommend reading for the beautiful listeners. - This week, we are very happy to be recommending A Harvest of Innocence, The Untold Story of the West Memphis Three Murder Case by Dan Stidham and Tom McCarthy. This is attorney Dan Stidham's, now an honorable judge, Dan Stidham, down in Arkansas. This is Mr. Sidham's story regarding his involvement in the West Memphis 3 murder case. Attorney Dan Sidham breaks his self-imposed 30-year silence to expose details only he knows about the infamous West Memphis 3 murders. Exposing what happened will allow him to close the door on a case that has tormented him for years.
West Memphis 3 murder case which captured the world's attention in the 1990s to such an extent that it remains one of the most discussed true crime stories even today. Now regardless... If you believe that the West Memphis Three are guilty or innocent or especially if you cannot make up your mind, this is a must read in my humble garage of peace. Maybe it's just my fascination with this case, but I could not put this book down. And anytime that I am reading something about any of the persons involved in this case, I'm always taking notes. So if it's new Or expanded information to me, I make a note. I made 97 notes while reading Dan Stidham's book. The Harvest of Innocence, you can find that great title. And many more recommendations on our truecrimegarage.com recommended page.
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Transcript generated on 2024-05-08.