Three 8-year-old boys vanished from their West Memphis neighborhood one sunny afternoon. A day later their mangled, nude bodies are found in a drainage ditch. Police and prosecutors believe the killings are related to the occult. Three teens are arrested one month later. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. are convictedAward-winning journalist George Jared takes readers inside one of the most famous criminal cases in U.S. legal history. Witches in West Memphis gives a comprehensive insiders’ view into the West Memphis Three case. No author, documentary filmmaker, or journalist has had more access in this case. Jared recounts his firsthand court coverage, interviews with witnesses, research, and other information he gathered in the case. Interviews include one on Death Row with Damien Echols, interviews with Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr., and interviews with other suspects, including Terry Hobbs. He’s been credited in numerous documentaries including Paradise Lost III: Purgatory and the New York Times best seller Life After Death.Witches graphically recounts how three Boy Scouts – Stephen “Stevie” Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers – rode their bikes after school on a bright afternoon. Their bodies are found in a wooded area near their homes the next day. The manner of death and the way they were bound, ankle to wrist, made authorities think Satanists might have sacrificed the children. No real evidence tied the teens to the crime, but an error-riddled confession by Misskelley was the proof used to seal the verdicts in the case. As time passed, overwhelming scientific evidence was discovered. Witnesses changed their statements. New suspects rose to the surface. WITCHES IN WEST MEMPHIS: The West Memphis Three and Another False Confession-George Jared
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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of course, we'll go right into the lawn, progressive casualty, insurance company, affiliates and other insurers discount not available in all states or situations. You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the authors that have written about them. Gacy Bundy Dahmer the night Stalker Dgk every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers in true crime, history, true murder, with your host journalist and author Dan Zupansky good evening,
thirty eight year old boys vanish from there, W Memphis neighborhood one sunny afternoon a day later their mangled nude bodies are found in a drainage, ditch police and prosecutors, but is the killings are related to the occult. Three teens arrested one month later: Damien Echols, Jason, Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Junior are convicted, award winning journalist. George Jared takes readers inside one of the most famous criminal cases in us. Legal history, which is in West Memphis, gives a comprehensive insider's view into the West Memphis three case. No author documentary, filmmaker journalists, has had more access, in this case Jenner recounts his first. And court coverage interviews with witnesses, research and other information he gathered in the case interviews include one on day
Throw with Damien Echols interviews with Jason, Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Junior and interviews with other suspects, including Terry Hobbs, he's been credited in numerous documentaries, including Paradise lost three. Purgatory in the New York Times, bestseller life after death, which is graphically recounts, how three boy Scouts Stephen Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers, rode their bikes after school on a bright aft. Noon. Their bodies were found in a wooded area near their homes, the next day, the manner death and the way they were bound ankle to wrist made authorities. Think Satanist might have sacrificed the children, no real evidence, tide, the teens to the crime, but an error, rated riddled confession by Miss Kelly was the proof used to seal the verdict,
in the case as time passed, overwhelming scientific evidence was discovered, witnesses change their statements. New suspects rose to the surface. The book tour featuring this evening is which is in West Memphis, the West Memphis three and another false confession. With my guest journalist and author George Jerrod welcome back to the program, and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, George
Hi and thanks for having me thank you very much for returning back for the first program in two thousand and eighteen welcome back. Thank you very much. Let's get right into this because, as to murder fans know, we've we've looked at this case again it it warrants looking at it many many times, and I'm glad we you're back on today to look at this even closer than we have in the two previous times that we've examined this case. Let's talk about there is you talk about the the entire case because you had you had this talk with a credible access? Let's talk about where you were when this crime occurred. Let's talk about that before we do
we talk about how this case you came back into it or it came back into your life back in two thousand and eight. So let's talk about how where you were and what you were doing and who you were working for at the time when this case broke. I was actually a teenager when the case broke back in nineteen. Ninety three, I had just moved Arkansa from the West Coast yeah and I heard about it through news reports, it's kind of funny. My parents still have a bunch of vhs tapes. You know people used to record like the the news or other things- and I was actually in my dad's shop one day actually just a couple years ago, and it's still a bunch of those tapes and we were going through and I notice one table from around like it was. You know they had dates on him and actually have a copy of the news release that the night that the
the guys were arrested on the local news in Jonesboro Arkansa, because we just moved there and we weren't really familiar with you know. Different they're like times when news would come on and what not. So I was a teenager heard about it. A few people around me. Everybody was scared. You know at first, you know because nobody knew who killed these three kids. But then you know time happen. I'll, be honest with you. I basically forgot about it I watched the documentary. Paradise LAS, probably around one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. I do They were saying it in a local, video store and for the most part I just kind of forgot about it. I was actually add a softball game and in two thousand and eight I was working, don't roll son. Is it as a journalist, and I get a call from one of my bosses and uhm. The boss asked me if I could cover hearing for the West Memphis three and
so, I said sure no problem? I got off the phone. I looked at a buddy that we see with me. I said: have you ever heard the West Memphis three. And so he he didn't really know either. So I went and started doing a little bit of research an you know. Slowly, but surely it came back to me with the story was well the next day I go into court dentist reared in who is Damien, Echols attorney at the time he pretty famous guy. You know he had represented very bonds in the Balco steroids case is based in say, Francisco. He was in court was a short hearing, nothing much to it, and the iranic thing for me was, as I was like the fourth guy on the totem pole, to even cover that one hearing we had. We had two cops and courts beat reporters and then there back up. Well, we had a couple of capital murder Capen, going on at the time. And then we also had one of our reporters got summoned to a civil court and so so so there was no
I was the was before list, so I went ahead and covered it well in the inner months between that hearing and series of hearings that began in November of two thousand and eight. We lost a couple of report, rivers and they naturally win this W Memphis three came outside one whole hearing, obviously with the expert in the office on it now so I see I started covering the hearings and he was really interesting to me because when I came into it when I walked in the door November, when they had they start a week long session. I didn't go into it
making that these guys were in a set. I just assumed that the prosecutors and the police about the right. You know most the time, police and prosecutors do good work thanks all cases and I put the right people in prison, and so when I walked in the court that they'll like okay, I was pretty open minded, I would say actually noble minded, but I was definitely not. It was going to be swayed by would take real arguments to sway me. I get to the best way to put it, and so, as I'm sitting in court- and I mean these hearings took for ever, I day lasted a couple of years. What they're called they're called rule? Thirty seven hearing and basically in these hearings, what was allowed in the judge allowed just about basically any argument that the defense can make. These guys were were innocent. He basically said: ok, I'm gonna. Let you make it now. I don't think it would have mattered what they would have argued. I'm pretty sure judgment was going to decide
almost done, no circumstance that they were. You know, I'm not going to be. He was gonna hold convictions, no matter what, but it's really interesting because they brought in a slew of high profile explodes who testified in the case, a and you know the first thing that people will say is well. These were defense paid, you know witnesses, and that is true. In some instances some of these guys were paid, but some of them or not- and they all came to the same. You know reversal conclusions and what you know and there's just some. You know like I'm, not I'm a pretty pragmatic person, I'm pretty pragmatic when it comes to journalism, and there were just some details about the crime that didn't make sense me from the very beginning, even when I thought they were guilty in is actually small things and one of those small things that never made sense to me was within twenty four hours of the
murders they were already interviewing, Damien Echols as a suspect and the reason that was farming to me or sounds an alarm bell is because I've covered a lot of capital, murder cases, and this is kind of how it goes. If you take person a person b that person a shoots person being a bunch of people, see him, do it then immediately personating suspect, right or in person a if there's some overwhelming piece of evidence like his gun is at the crime scene, his wallet or if person a goes into a police station ticket faster than they would be a pro, I suspect. So in this case you have any of those three elements one day after and so and then you know this what what happened? That? What happens? If you don't have those elements, if you're going to have to do you know you have to do good, Detective work. You know you're going to have to analyze evidence you have to interview witnesses, so the fact that they at home dim an ankle. So early was kinda. It was just
Natalie the words especially, which is weird. It didn't make any sense to me. So, just from a you know covering these types of things perspective, so I sit in court. They bring in. You know to start bringing in all the these experts one of the guys they brought him with a guy named doctor, Richard Super and Doctor Suberin is the forensic Oden colleges down in Miami Dade, County Florida and his work. What made hit his claim to fame is that he would be on oncologist who actually help to identify TED Bundy's victims back in the late nineteen seventies through his bite, bite mark evidence, and so when I came in by the case, he's also a and I hate to use these cliche terms, but he is a world renowned expert in had a fine bodies have been dating like in water. You know back water creatures. Could you know, for the guests? Are
alligators and everything else, so he is a real expert in. Dealing with? Bodies have been savaged by animals in water, and so he came in and he spent a day and he told the judge. Look these boys were not. You know they were were not that with a knife. He said, there's no bone, piercing injuries to the body, and if you ever see the night that we use prosecutors claim we used in these crimes It's a it's. A the blade is very long. It's like a Rambo style night and I've seen and I've been working for, and there is no way if you had that knife and you were going to savage three kids the way the the way these guys were alleged to have done. You were going to add one of them you're not just going to sit there and scrape them with a little life. I mean because that's all they had to have very superficial wounds like that and, of course, Richard Simmons explanation, for it was very simple. These are aquatic creatures, clawing at the body that
they died post more than he said, there's very little blood and end course ahead. All the autopsy photos up the screen, and they were going through it. You know very dramatically, and you know Even a layman. Like me, I could look at and go ok yeah, but if I'm a knife wielding killer, I'm going to stab the victims, I'm not I'm, not gonna sit there and scrape on I'm not even really causing injury. So his testimony is very interesting to me. I interviewed him later. You know he told me flat out. He said in forty years of working or thirty years, whatever it was, it worked in criminal cases. He was only craziest cases he had ever seen in his car, and then another guy that testified with a doctor, Michael Botton and, of course Dr Bhatt in was the chief medical member for the city of New York for eleven years, he's you'll see him on tv. Quite a bit easier commentator, something evenly, the major catastrophe e like of an airplane, goes down or something who come in and talk.
You know for music, pathology and all that kind of thing and so and he's also written. I think episodes of csi and things like that so he's very well respected, well known one of the most respected forensic path ologist in the world, and he probably in more detail. You know he went in and you know they these autopsy autopsy pictures, you know there was a a lot of the wounds were triangular in shape, and he said this was very simple, because these were total by and of course, the prosecutors in this hearing just jumped all over and you can't prove they're ready totals in the creek so in one instance they brought a John Mark Byers. You know, one of the stepfather is actually one of the stepfathers who was who was accused of do you know killing the boys at one point, I brought him to the stand in the daily asked him. You know basically one or two question: you know what this place where the bodies were found. What was it called this
Pacific Place in Robin Hood Hills? What was it called? And he said it was called Turtle Hill, because there was a bunch of turtles that congregated right next to that drainage, ditch on that hill, all the kids called fat and so come. It was also interesting too, because Doctor Frank Peretti, who is the state medical examiner in Arkansas, he had told Paul Ford back before the original trial started and here's the thing about Peretti
he actually he actually raises terrapins a hobby. So he raised his turtles and he even told he told Paul Ford. Oh, he allegedly told Paul Ford that he thought that a lot of the wounds on the victim's at that time before the first trial even started caused by turtles. Now when he took the stand during these rule. Thirty, seven hearings: ok Paul full, took the stand during these rule. Thirty seven hearings and testified for that fact. He said Doctor Peretti did tell me this, but they didn't think it was significant at the time and so but the doctor pretty to get on the stand out. I will I will clarify that he denied that he ever told all orders, but, as I told my editor, when I went back to the office, I
but here's the problem with the two statements. First Pulse board is an attorney. If he got on the stand and lied about a conversation that he had under oath, he could lose his law license. Doctor Freddy can get on the stand and lie about it and he loses nothing because it's just a conversation to him. So when you look at well. Each of them was risking in that circumstance. You know again, you know we don't know for sure if it happened or not, but obviously I would probably tend to think that the person who has the most to lose would be the person who's not lying so anyway. So doctor Boden, he testified very an again I interviewed him to very nice. Man very well, respected, well educated. He told me he said: there's no way. These three guys did this crime. The way that Prosser says is simply impossible. He said that night was not used to do any of these things
and so then I also brought another God. I'm Doctor Warner spent and I guess he felt like a grandfather or into Conchologist and he testified to the same pretty much the same thing. He said that the three boys he thought that all three of them drowned in the creek he here and like other friend to cut all just has no explanation as to why Christopher tires is yeah organs were pale. You know we're we're what happened all of what nobody can ever figure out. You know what this boy blue out where all the blood went, because it was no blood recovered from the state. You know that's also a common misconception that I'm cross through the years. You know that is that they did find blood, but that is not true. Right makes what they did some luminol testing weeks after the bodies were found and they found freight some chemicals out there, but they were never able to find any, but they could bring into a court of law and so with all the scientific evidence piling up. I'm not a woman named doctor, Janice I'll hold, and
she's based in Minneapolis MN. She is a A4 most pediatric forensic pathologist. Car testimony was really really interesting to Maine, because the the other three testified about the wounds to the bodies and that made sense to me to a certain degree which she testified to really strikes at the heart of the case, because everybody always talks about Jesse, Misskelley Junior, giving three hundred and four hundred and five hundred and six hundred confessions and I've heard everyone I recorded, I played a mall in court and the thing about it is the one thing he's consistent about his confession. He always said that the boys were sodomized. He says they were right and so to me, that's a big detail because, like in the first session. He got a bunch of things wrong and everybody knows this story. You know that he MIS identified that I'm in the place and he missed identified which boys were which and he
You even even tell that they were tied with around you like that they were bound with ropes and all this, and that we know all the details with interesting to me about doctor off opens testimony. Issue said that the boys were not sexually assaulted and in this very graphic, but you know they they they put up three bowl, while not pictures of the boy name, that's as in the core, and He systematically went through and said, look there's no damage, there's no bruising to any of their anus at all, there's, no there's no seams.
Present and none of them had an std, those are the three tests that you use to determine. If somebody has been sodomized sexually assaulted- and she said she said it's impossible. She said if she said, because even the prosecution point Aster she is it possible to sodomize the child will leave no evidence of it and she said yes, it's possible, she said, but it is. She said that it would be virtually impossible to do it to two or three of them. She said: there's no way that can happen. She said if there were multiple partners, multiple victims, she said they simply impossible. There would be some evidence that it happened and so that right there, an even doctor Peretti when he testified later in the hearing, admitted the same thing. He said, while he left the impression with the jurors in original trials that they were sexually assaulted. He definitively said during the hearing. Without those the presence of any of those things, then they probably weren't sexually assaulted. So that was a big key for Maine. You know, because for his confession to be true
honest. You know, confessions were supposed to get clarity to cross. You know police officer walks into a room, there's a there's, a murder victim here. There's a lamp knocked over here. The bed is in a certain position. You know, and then they're they're, trying to put all these clues together to figure out exactly what happened and when it happened and usually when somebody comes in and confesses to murder like that they say. Well, the reason the lamp was knocked up. It was because of this the reason that the debt was in this position was because of that in Jesse's confession. He just he just creates a bunch of more questions. I mean it's almost like his first cup confessions, just were kind of like they were fitting's square peg into a round hole of what they do, but then, with the advent of modern DNA and all this other stuff, you know and also just better forensic pathology. You know we've really advanced in the last twenty years in our interpretations and how we interpret evidence and how we analyze it and use it in court. So I think that these guys are very lucky.
That they that this happened when it did- and you know- and I I tell people this all the time you know I- I listened to the scientific stuff like war. It was very impressive to me, but still I still clung I'd like okay, because I literally have cover cases where people have walks Capri they committed the but there wasn't one scintilla of evidence that the of the police prosecutors to generate to get a conviction and So let me ask the question. George. Let me let me get a question in here: George thanks for X. Let's not ask the question because well, let me ask this question. What we have to talk about is if you've gone
to these this hearing in two thousand and eight and all this information comes out. But when you do talk about at the very beginning of your book, that we clearly not spoken about is how this all came to be with J Jessie Misskelley is confession, and you also talk about, Victoria Hutchinson and her son Aaron so all of the
formation, it went into first targeting Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. So what happens? Is it again, like you say, you're, just a teenager when this happens, but in this all of this other evidence comes out. The West Memphis three is a phenomena once you see the documentaries in the films that they come out, they beat the the case. Changes. The the entire focus of the nation looks at this case because they see the confession and they see the coverage that was allowed. Somehow this Judge Burnett and authorities, defense, attorneys and families. Allow, thankfully there's you say: Damien Echols said that saved his life, that coverage and this phenomena the support that came
afterwards, but very interestingly, some of the stuff that that you go through is exactly how the police detective. You talk about detective Meeks and you talk about how exactly they did focus on Damien Echols and how they use this confession in the very beginning that it was so weak. This confession, as you say, that he had the time wrong and details very significant, like rope rather than shoelaces that they have to go to the authorities. So, as you do tell us about how they went to the Ortiz initially and couldn't get an arrest warrant and what they were told and what they did and tell us about Victoria Hutchison and her. And her son's role in this early in the investigation. Well, what happened was? Is they brought Jesse in on June? Third, they brought him in around one thousand o'clock in the morning and he spent four
hours would detect. Is they only recorded? You know a few minutes of it tored the very end, and basically, what they did is a coerced him into giving a confession, and I use the term confession very loosely because if you ever, the thing that changed for me in this case was when I had an attorney asked me. If I had ever read his confession, the first one that's right and I hadn't I had not- and I was like ok so I went back to my actual- is an attorney's girlfriend containment from Philadelphia to go to one of these hearings on their vacation and so that night I went back to my office. I read the confession. I could not believe it. I was stunned because all the details of wrong- and so when they were able to elicit this confession from Jeff.
See back on June. Third, one thousand nine hundred and ninety three. They took it to a magistrate to get warrants, to arrest, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley. The magistrate read it over and was like now we can't you can't arrest anybody, because all these details are wrong. Will they bring Jack back to the police station and they record another nine one thousand and twelve minutes or whatever, and then he cleans up some of those details, and so then it enough to where they can go and arrest all these three guys. So his confession was so bad to begin with, they couldn't even issue arrest warrants so and how Victoria Hutchison ties into this Victoria. Hudson, when the three boys who died, she had a son named Aaron, who is friends with the three and he claimed that he had actually watched the murders take place, and so the police interviewed him multiple times, and
Tommy told a different story at Phantom full story, but for weeks and weeks and weeks the police were convinced that he knew something. Well, they just kept talking to him and then eventually they got to the point where they realize that he didn't know anything. Well there, this time they were still trying to get Damien Echols, and so what they did is they got Victoria Hutchinson, Aaron's mother. They got her to lure him over to her her house and they had placed a bugging device in the house and what they told her to do was to put books like, say, tannic. You know, like her, not say tannic, but just like a cult related books out and start talking to about it. Try to get him to talk about this stuff. Well, Vicki told the police that that mean came over and she said within ten minutes. She could tell he had nothing to do with this crime that he was just a scared. Kid there's no way he had anything to do with it. Well, the police told her that wasn't good enough. They needed to tie him to the occult
The ironic thing was: is that Vicki, her son here and a lot of times was babysat by Jessie Misskelley June, and that's another little element of a lot of people don't realize is that Jason and Damien with friends. They were not friends with Jeff, they know and they didn't hang out with, and then it now and and so that's. How does it kind of creeps into this picture? Is you know the police are chronically pick the kids up in this trailer park, trying to interview them trying to get. You know just trying to find some lead, so you know they they sweep up Jesse and here's the thing he was at Victoria Hutchinson's House the morning that they went and got him the day he confessed, and the reason that's interesting is is because they had that bugging device. Underneath the house and Vicki Hutchison told me this to my face. She was that they really thought that Jesse was a killer involved in these three murders. Why would they let him stay in my house with my son? Why? Wouldn't they tell me to keep my son away from him and I said that's a good point and so
when the police, when they talked to her, they said that about this this whole meeting with Damian. She said they told her that they thought she was lying and then she goes. We've got the audio from that device. You guys put in my house. So what is it and they said? Well, it was incomprehensible. We can't hear it can hear anything, so they finally tell her. You know she's facing a credit card fraud charge and you know basically she's she's. She claims that she was threatened, and so then she had to make up a story about going to if they Tanic Espot with Eckles and Miss Kelly and here's the thing I've interviewed her face to face before she told me to my face that she lied. She testified at Jesse's trial that she had attended this thing and on the juror notebooks afterwards. You know
the jurors? Were writing down? You know compelling reasons to convict one of their most her testimony so to say that she had no impact on this case. Is I've heard that said, two is ludicrous because part of the part of this sensationalism about this satanic panic that happened around here was was because of testimony like hers and she directly testified to it, and so she totally sorry where it, let's we're forgetting to say, though, that is not that she's innocent to this or the police. So innocent in this is that this stems from his probation officer, Steven Jones of Belief and his body. So tell us a little bit about that, because that's very interesting where this came from as well. Yeah, I'm his uh, Jerry Driver and Steven Jones, were, I don't think it is appropriate. I think it was like a
postal worker, who had worked with at cold right, I knew of him and then they they both knew of them and they were. They were dead, convinced that there was a hand up cropping of satanic worship among the youth them. But Memphis during this time. They thought that this was a real phenomenon and that they were going to start sacrificing. You have been sacrificing animals, they thought there gonna start sacrificing children and, of course, Damian. He inhale admit to you. He was very troubled at the time when he was eighteen years old and you know he dropped out of high school, and and then you know he had been diagnosed with various. You know mental disorders at the time, and so he would meet with these guys and he would say things to them. Like you know, yeah I'm gonna have kids going to sacrifice it. You know, and of course he told me when he was on death row in two thousand and ten. When I interviewed him, he told he said taking you seriously, I didn't realize I was too stupid to understand what was the gravity
what was going on and so when they find the bodies. You know these two guys are the first day literally on the ditch banker like Damien Echols Business, he is involved, trust me, and so that's. What led, I believe, is lieutenant suburb areas, the first one who went to Heckles house pretty. How about that the next day and either Jerry driver Steven Jobs, yet believable Steven Jones was with him. They went straight to Eccles House
took a picture of him wearing a Portland trail, Blazers, NBA, basketball, team, t shirt and from that point on, he was a suspect. It was all based on what these guys were telling people, and there was no evidence, no evidence at all that this even happened, so they honed in on him early based on someone's opinion, not a fact that they gleaned from the crime scene. You also. Maybe you can tell us how this works as well, because they take this a speculative information from Jones and driver. You say, but then they find. Then it seems like there planting ideas you describe how this confession actually went down. So if these ask the question- and he doesn't know the answer, tell
what this process was, that you found what made basically like that. I would ask the question like what let's say out: when did you meet in Town Board and, yes, he would say: well, we it was early in the morning eight nine o'clock in the morning and that's it okay, ok, will it keep going with them here there we go was at eight or was it ten and he know yeah. I mean the next answers like yeah. Or and then they say? Well, maybe it's closer to noon and he would they sure, and so basically, what was happening, is he was move, they were just moving the dial for Jesse. They were just steering him in the right direction. They were leading him and again you know if anybody you
in this business. You know in in in journalism or in the police. Detective business I mean you you get along for so you know that once somebody's giving you a confession, they're going to sit you down and they're going to give you details that you did not have it's going to be clear because the person who did it knows how it happened. They don't have to be confused because they were there and the problem. Yes, he is. He is very confused the whole time and here's the thing. Yes, he was in court for a lot of these hearing. This I was a symbolic, so I got to interact with both of them quite a bit and I'm telling you that when you need Jesse, you are meeting a person of extreme low intelligence and I don't say that to be mean It would be a little bit in anyway, but he is. He is very he his whole life when he was in school, his entire academic career. What little of it there was? He had a history of not being able to comprehend
things in school. You know he has a low iq he's easily manipulated, and it's quite obvious I mean he was in court. You know his a defense attorney danced in the original defense attorney, told Maine. You know several years ago that you know Jeff he didn't even realize that he was actually isn't it early. He thought that his own attorney and defense attorney. He was a cop even realize the difference between a cop and a defense attorney, and so he said it was really hard dealing with them and then told me straight up. He said that kid he said: there's no way he was at that crime scene. He said: he didn't know anything of it. The only reason that his confessions got better overtime is because he went to the trial, he got more details and he said
Jesse legitimately thought at some point. They were just going to finally figure out that he had nothing to do with it and they were just going to let him go and then finally, he figured out that wasn't going to happen and that's why he didn't testify at the Echols Baldwin trial and I'll. Give you another interesting little nugget. That's not talked about Alot Vicki Hutchinson. She didn't testify at the Eccles Baldwins trial either because she was hopped up on draw, and need the brought tears at the time being that she would be a liability. It's you were, you know, brought into court, and so so they put her in a whole huge. She told me that they put her in a hotel in Memphis, is over just stay away. Why would you have it if you had a legitimate with, you could say that Dany Ackles, what and a satanic hell spot in Pool Arkansas how in the world and that person not make it to the state.
You also have them taking that information in their initial theory that there was this site Nick Ritual, and you get that from again. You, you discredit this expert as he has been discredited. His name is Griffin, so tell us a little yeah but his non background and then what exactly he does say and then what I was going to get you to say is it? How does this is info Nation and their theory about Satanism and this expert Witness Griffin that information. How does that tie in? Do you think with the first especially version and the second version of the confession in terms of those elements where Miss Kelly is talking about. You know the emasculating, the one of the boys and stuff like that, tell us how you think that that information in that speculation is incorporated into those confess,
Well, Dale Group is I mean he is, I mean, he's a fraud. I mean there's no other way to say it how this guy was ever no sworn in as an expert witness and it is beyond unconscionable, I mean this guy has no credentials at all. He he got his. He was a police officer in Ohio. And he decided that he was going to become an expert expert on the occult? For some reason, I can't remember his two thousand and twenty or dateline or some actually pretty respectable news program, decided to put him on as an expert at one point, because they they just they couldn't find one around the country. I think it is in the late 80s because there were none. Nobody was an expert in Kolter Satanism or practices of Satanism, because there was no need to be. You know from a law enforcement perspective, but then in late 80s like
talked about before that say: tannic Tannic started setting in your kids started. You know, reading Stephen King and dressing like golf and listening to Metallica, which all that stuff pretty normal today, but but back then it was like. Oh man, what's going on? What are you you know, and so this guy somehow because he was on one show or two shows how to became an expert. The backstory is that he actually does. He call himself doctor they'll, go we actually got his you know diploma from a diploma mill in California. Maybe just send the money in a kind of a diploma, so we took no classes, he has no. He has no expertise in this area, and so he was on the stand and he you know he was just like all sorts of just crazy facts. You know about the date you know, may fifth, having certain brown our meeting, our oral preference for
Satan worshippers and that number three, the three victims in the three killers. You know that there was all this was all symbiotic. You know any also talk about three. You know like the boy what about you give a young child, you know and and back the vice. You know, because you know Chris for Well, as you know, emasculated during all this interesting in going back to the forensic pathology part of that, though, there is one interesting note about the emasculation of that. I found interesting he, okay, if you were going to there, should it if someone's going to cut that part of his body all with a knife. You would expect there to be a bone piercing wound somewhere in that in that in the corner there is not ours. So the theory that you know that this was take that that the emasculation of
heard postmortem by a turtle or another aquatic creature makes a lot more sense just into scientific standpoint, so that anyway, today Griffis he he made all these wild claims on this and- and I can't even believe a responsible juror would have taken this guy seriously, I mean, but they did, and I this is a funny thing- Dan, it's it's now that spot after the fact you know this with the motor. You know that they created you know opening closing arguments. They bring this clown on under the standard to testify. Okay, so they make all of the This argument that this is the say tannic killing. Now, when you talk to him, oh no, that wasn't the motive, that's what they say now. Oh, no, that wasn't a motive that was just one possible join. You guys, based your entire case on this, on this fool and a bunch of things that he said, because of course you know since since then he's right.
In all sorts of conspiracy theories about nine hundred and eleven all sorts of stuff? That's just it just he's just a wack job. So anyway, but yeah. That's pretty much how that went down again, Victor Hutchison, if she who such A She could provide a critical link. You know right after Griffis testifies, you would put her on the stand and say: ok. Well, he just said that has all the hallmarks of the say: tannic killing now tell it tell us about you attending this s, file with apples, hey and then it happened because she didn't attend one, because it was all why, when you talk about dna advances in the mid two thousand and by two thousand and eight again what
you'll say the prosecutors say the attorney general say about dna advances and the tests, and you talk about hairs, found two hairs found and who it points to two different people and I'll talk. I'll. Ask you about what you make of a hobby anyway. We'll talk about these two people in the hairs that are associated with them. Tell us about the dna advances and what it says that the courts, if anything well it like you, said the mid two thousand, you know DNA. I got a whole lot better and it was you know. I always tell people there. There's the there's a moment when I was greatly suspicious, he got it didn't do it, but then I was driving home one night. It was raining really hard and there was a moment I was almost definitively sure and it's because of this around the country. There are not
the website three or not, unique. There are lots of cases out there where people are in prison, but you know people on the outside think that they might be innocent in the cloud and some of them are and so on into. Sing phenomenon happened, started happening in the mid 2000s. This dna, testing out a whole lot better. Well, if you're innocent, you obviously want more. Do you want more dna testing right, sure, man that has everything and so that the end, but let's set let but here's the other side of the coin. Let's say people presume you're guilty or innocent, but you did Do it guess what you don't want? You don't want people testing today right so interesting phenomenon start around the country. When this happen you know, there's a whole bunch of people who wanted a whole bunch. People didn't now the interesting thing about the West Memphis three date is when they started doing this fine mitochondrial dna testing on some of these hairs another, other biological specimens that were found at the crime scene. You know, we think about the three guys,
as a unit but they're really not legally there three separate people, they have three separate defense teams and here's the thing: what drove the West Memphis three is people all thought these. These three guys were innocent of this crime, but if I'm an attorney now when they go to submit the paperwork to get these DNS has done. You gotta remember one thing: if Jesse, let's say, let's just say interacting, maybe Jesse did have something to do with the murders. Maybe he was there, maybe equals involving or not. Maybe he was there and took part in it. So an attorney had to fit Ackles in Baldwin down if they look if we agree that this testing and then Jesse Jesse confessed to this court. Is it possible his beard? Was there? Maybe I mean most people would think not, but I I I have to take the
attorney would have taken those guys into a room. Someone said: look: if we do this, you know you're going to have to be dead. Sure the other two were there, because it won't matter from a legal standpoint if they find their dna at the crime scene, but from a public perception standpoint, it's like Jesse, the United found there. They're, going to think that all three of you were there. You see when you see what I'm getting at Dan yeah and so for me when I was driving home one night when they all three unilaterally didn't care said test test test test test. You know that was all these that test. Everything and I thought. Ok, you know you because you're jumping even further than just yourself, because- and so when I heard that I was like ok yeah, these guys, it's more likely areas and they test every biological specimen was collected, the crime scene and none of them tested positive for the three men who are in prison for those crimes. Now,
In a hair that are in a ligature that bound Michael Moore, they found a hair and they tested that, there in the hair. Actually it was very fit the dna profile for Terry Hobbs, who is Stevie branches, step that at the time- and that was interesting. It's not condemning, obviously, because you know, if I can transfer happens you now, those kids ran a beach, others houses, it's very possible that he just picked up my hair. What with me made it more interesting now was next to the tree, stump where the bodies were dumped it another hair it it belong to a guy named David, you cope, the Kobe is Hobb Alibi, witness and your Kobe swears up and down. He was not with Terry Hobbs when the murders occurred so to have a
step. Father's hair ended alibi when the dna, both at the crime scene. That's a very I mean you know about that. If I'm a police up, I'm a detective and I'm you know, because when a kid disappears, it's almost a yep yep yep, yes, it is, it will tell you, is that parent that has done something the killer apparent, respect her, and so then the three, the for the national suspect in the case should from the beginning of her, just because of statistics and Terry Hobbs was never even interviewed during the original investigation, which is mind blowing to Maine, yeah and he not only was he not, he was not interviewed, he was the custodial parent of Stevie Branch. When the boy disappeared, his wife was at work, and so right there I mean I just I don't understand one of the classes
dream. Is that ok will give us just give him outline what happened that afternoon? You know where we get that were you doing, and so none of that happened and PAM Hobbs told me to my face, but she didn't find out. Her son was missing until nine hundred and thirty. When he came to pick her up, he walked past. Her went to pay phone and called station reported missing. She goes out to the car, not knowing all this and sees her daughter, ' and then she says, Amanda Working Brother and she goes oh he's missing, Mama and so so he had no idea up until nine hundred and thirty at night, while the other two kids have been reported missing hours earlier,
In Dana, more John Mark Byers and their families and friends were out in the neighborhood looking for them. You know around eight, eight hundred and thirty at night, so it's very suspicious. You know, and I've told people this you know, there's been a lot of people have Kasteni towards Terry has bigger than he had something to do with these murders. It would still be difficult to convict him in a corner law. However, there still, you would still have to have more evidence, but you can make a way better case against him. Then you could the West Memphis three for sure. You talk about some of the things that Hobbes is said, and he is tried to say that he was with John Byers, at a certain time, tell us about this and what buyer says what hub says about that. Well, what's interesting is that that Terry Hobbs was never on anybody's radar till two thousand and seven when the day
They came out well, Natalie Maines the lead singer from the Dixie Chicks she um. She was but she's big, W Memphis tree supporter. She donated money to 'cause. Well, she had a rally at capitol steps in little rock, and during that rally she said that you know hey, you know the police and so you need to go after the real W Memphis three killer, Terry Wayne, hops. Well, Terry Hobbs decided he was going to sue her in federal court. Well, that was the worst mistake he's ever made and he told me miss. He told me this because and what that did. Is it opened him up to discovery where they could bring? Men then say: ok, because here's the thing the first time
have any lawsuit a you have to prove each sheet. Anyway, you have to prove that she lied that she's making a false statement. Well right, then you know what he would do, so it open them up. Well, the problem is, you can go on Youtube and look at some of the interviews. He he forgets details about what happened and I've heard people make so make use of them. Centered on your stepson, get on the after. He gets murdered your government. For every single detail will happen that after doing the rest of your life, ok, that's just that's just that's just common, you know said, and so You get on there and look at these competing stories that he's told, and so the long and the short of it is during this process. They interview John Mark Byers, because Terry claimed that he was with John Mark BAR some data more well John. My bars alarm Bell for him he's like many many,
no I've interviewed John about this. There is no, he was not with me. He was not with us. We did not see Terry Hobbs, he says I did not even know Terry Hobbs at night, I'm at Terry Hobbs later and then the economy came friends for a little while, and so that was the first one. He and he signed a sworn affidavit saying. He was not with me that night and Terry was very adamant with John. They talked about it. He said. No, don't you remember. I was with you when he goes you work, and so so that was alarming. Will then, then John Byers had a really bizarre conversation with him. They just started talking about. Like you know, you know, like maybe the person who killed the three kids with like like a druggie, drugged out of their mind and he just went in and it was an accident.
Didn't mean to do it- and you know john- was telling telling the story he goes yeah. He goes that's exactly right. He said that person wouldn't be a monster, would be like it'll be in a drunk driver. You just you, didn't, get drunk and need to three people just happened, and so, when John was going through the story with him and he's like that, he he told me he said I couldn't believe he was saying this stuff is like after this person not be a monster. What are you talking about so at that point then course, John Mark Byers, very publicly turned on Terry and said: look this guy obviously had something to do with my my son's murder and his son's murder, because there's no way you know he would what we keep trying to convince all, not that he was with us looking for them when he was not, and he would never. You know tell a story where the guy that did it, but it was kinda like a drunk driver, not a monster. You know so that'll that'll came out that lawsuit
and it's also ironic too, because at the end of lawsuit, the federal judge in the case actually ordered Terry Hobbs to pay Natalie made twenty thousand dollars to cover her legal fees so which Terry Hobbs didn't. I mean you know, but that wasn't even the point of the exercise you like and Natalie Maines has told me that they were thrilled with it. Never has decided to do this because it opened him up finally interview him and they can get these competing stories
about where he was at what he was doing. He was interacting with because that's the thing is Terry Hobbs tells one story on this side and everybody else tells us different story over here. You talk about two that that out of the three victims, it's very interesting that his step son was the one that was more well. You could tell us how it was more assaulted and there was a belt buckle. Baby tell us a little about what you conclude or what you you speculate about this one. You know one thing about it and I saw a lot of these autopsy pictures and they were gruesome, to say the least um the The one thing I notice- and this was even before I had even gone through all the process of thinking these guys were guilty or innocent
not like sitting in the courtroom and they and they're, showing all these autopsy pictures of the three victims upset. When I started showing Stevie's it, he was just he was more damage, so I Does he had this wound to his face? It was like a gash in it to me as I'm looking at as I was looking at it. I was thinking, that's exactly when a belt buckle would look like if it went across somebody's face, and this had not to do with thinking that Terry Hobbs did it or Ackles did or whoever. I was just looking at the picture going that woman was caused by a belt buckle. You can just you, can just see it on his face and you know, and he was really badly beaten, and you know, like Michael Moore had some you know.
Here are a major confusion to the head of I'm using the right medical term there and basically the way it was described in court was this kid was just knocked out and then thrown in the ditch, and then he drowned because he was unconscious, and so he was. He had a few superficial, scrapes and wounds like probably from being drug through the woods to the creek. You know something like that and then Christopher Byers had defensive wounds to his hands. According to the autopsy reports so he thought back and so to me. I was sitting here. No one. Ok, now I'll cover a lot of crimes, there's always a motive in the crime and the the fulcrum of motivation in this crime was Stevie Branch. He was the one beating the most. He was the one that was attacked the most. So that's when you know you start looking at the things you know in his orbit. You know: we've got a step that you know of violence that dad who hasn't
the criminal history. You know an actually has a history of beating. In tormenting that kid I mean I've heard that from PAM Hobbs, his sister I've heard that from Hobbs herself she said she told me one time: was literally like he hated him when speaking about Terry with Stevie, and he said he would never call him like she. She would. We're calling by his name. He would just column the boy or the step son, and so it was almost like an attempt to dehumanize them. You know, and So anyway, I thought it was, you know pretty interesting. You know looking at those those pictures, I'm trying to determine the motivation of the person who is doing it it it's pretty obvious. The problem is: is that the emasculation of Christopher Byers? That's when everybody their head. You know there. Everybody went to him because it must have been something with him, but then, when you come to the reasonable conclusion that at- probably happened as a result. Turtle, proof, nation or animal predation, postmortem.
You know and that's very common uh. You know you know, people will try to refute that and uh sitting here going? You know I'm not much of a hunter, but I've been out in the woods before you come across the dead animal. What's the first thing that you'll see missing its generals, you know because other animals, that's the first thing to go for specially dogs canines. So and there were you know, wild coyotes. In that area too, I mean very possible wild code. He decided She wanted for a while and- and I hate to say things like that, but but that's just the facts of the case so yeah. I think that if you look at the autopsy photos for sure Stevie Branch, definitely the most viciously attacked and the three did you say: don't don't you write about Someone involved in this case is a judge Burnett actually raising turtles he talks about that, actually raise it. It was
doctor, ready all right off the out. Yes, yes, I want to mention a forgot to mention at that time. If you add that, but you don't make any other statements that Peretti, who was adamant about his position, despite the other three expert, testimony a test expert witness testifying that there was this animal predation- and it was proof of that now than there were certainly was no proof of sexual assault. You also talk about. I want you to mention what that already was raising turtles. So in that, to infer that he should have known better, but also there was this intimation or more than that about forced oral sex. So tell us a little bit about that and how they came to that conclusion and how was refuted.
Okay, that's actually pretty interesting, I guess to start with yes, Doctor Peretti raises her friends or he claimed to raise their hands when he testified in court and, like I said earlier, he is alleged to have told Paul for Jason, Baldwin original defense attorney even before the original trial, that you thought some of the wounds, the current dental recruiter war definitely total predation marks me anything and he was, but he said the same thing to call for it here. This is what interesting Dan is because, like witnesses come until court they testified they go out so and they never hear what other witnesses testify. Well, Paul Ford came in in two thousand and eight and says yes, Doctor Peretti told me back in nineteen. Ninety three There were a lot of triangular wounds on the body and these triangular ones will probably caused by turtles. Predating on the bodies. So then he.
That will then a year later, you know doctor spin, doctor, Baden and Doctor super and take the stand and they say the exact same thing. That hall, Lord said Dr Frank, Peretti, told him almost fifteen years before that. So it's interesting to me because I'm sitting there, you know they weren't in the courtroom to hear it's not like they can just be coordinating all this stuff up so and and, like I said in Paul, Ford, has no motivation to do that because he can, with those walleyes over something like that, so he wouldn't lie about it in you know, as far as
doctor Pereira. He he talks a lot about raising these turtles and how much you like doing it, so he should he should have known now. The second part of your question is very interesting because in the original trials Doctor Peretti never definitively said the boys were sexually assaulted, because obviously the the three tenants that we talked about previously were not met, but he left the impression on the jury that they could have been by making some statements, similar to what, like you said, there was a bruise to one of the boys ears and he made the statement in court that that could be a sign or school late. And the problem is, is there is
ever been a documented cirque instant, where a bruise to in here like that in where the bruise was and how it was, how the manner of the brewers, but that would lead the that that was a bank because of the force circumstance and so Doctor Peretti back in. I want to say it was two thousand and seven baby actually met with some of these forensic pathologists at testified and some other ones that were consulting on the case. They all met and they went over all their findings and he readily hinted he. You know, you know he that he, he wasn't sure where he got that determination. That was one thing that the forensic pathologist, the others, that when they were very, very keen about with this, you know force thing in this this burrs, because they never heard of anything like that and
and doctor op open on the stand said that already told them during this meeting that he would get back to them. He would come out, he would give them. He would show them exactly where he came up with all this stuff and he would get back to them. Well, she said in this was two years after the fact when she was on the stand. She said that that never happened. You never came back and told them where he found an issue. That is not even a matter of like like for like the court, because You know forensic pathologist or scientists and their generally interested in other pathology done performed by others, and so it kind of one those things they were just interested in it really wasn't saying they wanted to know about it. What he never was able to prove we got it. He never said where he got this information from so once again, can you know let you know drop, there's that one road you know that must be must mean that these boys were forced to do something. They don't want to do an, but once again not valid.
In any type of science. The authorities maintain our position that these that they the guys, whether they have dna or not, and so obviously they're not going to regard at any new information or they wouldn't consider a new information when it's considered regarding Terry Hobbs or anyone else, uh tell us how the what that necessitates this outer, please
is a guilty plea. Tell us about this, our plea and a little bit about again what I thought was very interesting when you talk about Jessie Misskelley in the first. After the for this trial of Echols and Baldwin, he would not testify. He would not testify sweet created a problem for a little bit for them prosecute to work early at that trial. But you say that also that that Baldwin was not as interested as Ackles with this offer. Please so tell us about that. Yeah is there in the first trials. They were pretty convinced that that, yes, he would have to testify to get a conviction, article, the ball one.
You can, when you're watching Paradise lost the first one. You know you know the prosecutors tell tell families of the victims of without him. He shot course. I walked out because somehow some way that confession was brought into the jury room after the after the the trial portion was over and they were in the you know when they were considering the case in jury room. You know, there's a lot of allegations of juror misconduct. And that it was actually brought into the jury room, so they got the benefit of the process, get the benefit of the confession. Without the deficit of having to to cited did it on the stand, because here's the thing the reason that debt he didn't testify. If you get to this point, he was totally Rick were can't recanting his compassion. He said that the
It was coerced by police and that he would not take the stand and it got to a point where he was so erratic anyway. Allows people have told me that the prosecutors wouldn't put him on the stand because of the simple thing they would see how erratic he was, and they would know that this whole thing was a sham, and so they kept him off the stand, but they were able to get the benefit of it because with brought into the jury room, so yeah at. Yes, he did testify and here's the other thing people don't realize. A lot of Jason Baldwin was offered a sweetheart deal if he would testify against whom the claim trial he was offered, I think, seven or eight years, if he would just have to buy it and he would be out of prison and he flatly told him no and the reason he said he told them. That was because he didn't do it. He knew Damien had nothing to do with it. He said,
define railroad and we're going to have a day in court so anyway. So when the Alford plea comes down, Patrick Banker and the attorney attorney general to Time Dustin Mcdaniel there their college or their law school, buddies and bank. I was working with you know the West Memphis three defense teams and you know, doesn't It was getting ready to run for governor, and you know- and there was this lesson- three cases just been hanging over the state for a long time it just it's been a blight and so they met and they started talking about and offered plea- and this is like a no contest plea- were dependent walks into court and says: hey, I'm I'm innocent of this crime, but it is possible to
they could have the evidence to convict me out of it yep you now, if they, if they decided to so they give me offered forty on August, the August nineteenth two thousand one as well before that Baldwin. Once again. Thank you. He said he would spend another year to imprison eating Kerr and fight a fight in court because he hears it. This is what was going to happen. This is the reason why I bank, at and doesn't again you got together. They got together with Prosecutors got Alec and that's why they came to this the out, because that there was going to be a new judge in the case. Judge David laser that same year, two thousand Levin in December. They were going to have an evidentiary hearing. All this stuff going to be considered. He was going to order a new trial. There is no doubt about it and even the prosecutors admitted to all of this and they were going to be exonerated, and then they were going to turn around and sue the state of Arkansa for millions of dollars, and so this was just saving.
Please move by everybody involved. They wanted to stop them from being able to do this say they wanted to hear Another problem was once they were exonerated in court, then they would have to reopen the investigation into the case and actually find out who actually did this, so they don't want to go through all that rigamarole war. They decided it's time to put a stamp on this. Let's get this thing over with, so they made the deal course Ackles, and this Kelly were on board from the board. Go Jason took him about a week or two he's like several at least he I you know. I don't want to do this, I'm fight, but then one attorney told him he said. Look your friend is on death row. He they could start executing at that point. They haven't executed anybody in six years but they could start executing people again and he would be in line to be executed, so you need to make a decision to help save his life and so and that's exactly what happened. You know Jay.
I agree to the deal and then there and then those guys they walked free. You talk about the support to raise money for this and the people involved, and you talk about people like Johnny, Depp and Eddie Vedder, and then the secret person, the bigger supporters that you find out later, is Peter Jackson from Lord of the Rings fame. You were out this support rally and you did have like we mentioned the credible access you had. You spoke to everyone. You met at that time. Laurie Ackles as well tell us a little bit about your experience, speaking to everybody involved and then how things it's sort of yeah just tell us a little bit about that and what your treatment was. My some of the people that were in
at least in the support of West Memphis three- and that was usually treated me pretty. Well, I you know something I always did. Is I always kind of kept a little bit of separation. You know, like you know, any better would come into down. You know the lead singer for Pearl JAM. Those paradise lost documentary filmmaker's, you know Joe and Bruce they would come into town. You know then of course they were a little bit different, 'cause they're kind of more. Like me, no more trying to get a story out, I need to have, I did a couple of times nice guy I mean, but I was. I was trying to keep that like a professional. I even with Laurie. Are I like her personally? You know, but you know I always try to keep it straight. You know I wrote it Well, sorry that she didn't like I mean she told me flat out. She didn't like him, and- and I was fine with that- you know because
that's what you do is journalist. You know you don't get everybody and you probably got your job the right way and what what did you do? Not it? What did you? What did you like? I just it's something that she didn't care for, and this was several years ago some of the like the phraseology I would use like every now and then I would use the word child killers, And down you know, and- and you know, and I I get it I mean in- and I understand what that would upset somebody, especially if you think they're not but the problem is even at that time. This was before they were released. All right. You know you can open. You have to use. You know at that time. They were pictures of a crime and no matter my own personal belief in it. I still had to be a journalist, an write it out and not the other thing. I always love when people say you know, journalists can Richard are listed, never biased, and while a lot of going you can eat it. There is not biased the journalist, it's not a biased, to speak the truth when when you find it to accept and that
you know any good journalists to do that, I mean I should we hire you or whoever else should not face just because you know we, we filed a true contrary to what we believe. We should change our mind. You know there are two sides to every story, but you know sometimes one store. One side is right, the other side wrong. You know, and so anyway, that's the way I kind of approached it and I mean I saw Lori and Dany and then Johnny Depp in April in Little Rock, actually ran into him. Quite literally, they had a rally to stop the 8x, that we're going to happen in Arkansas in the to came down for the rally or three of them, and they were I was literally at the capitol steps. There was media everywhere thousand at least a thousand protesters out there and I look over next to it's there. The three of them are just standing. There, with a couple bodyguards nobody doing
talking to them in anyway. So I just walked right over. There show cans with them. Lord gave me a hug, ask him they were doing and then course the media throng it's come running over soon, as they saw me there and then, of course went right and reporter mode you know I was standing right next to Damian. I started interviewing him, you know and getting all the software back in Arkansas and all this other stuff and so yeah yeah. I you know, there's there's a lot of famous people connected to this. You know at Berg did of West of Memphis. Documentary with her the download on she came. She came to
Those were all one saturday and but yeah. No, I keep it straight up. I tell people all the time. You know you know I've. I've asked questions the presidents and stuff like that. So it's no. I don't get the stars of eyes. When I see somebody like that, I guess you talk about your conversations with Jason, Baldwin and Damien Echols and first will talk about the conversations you had with Jason Baldwin, which Partic clearly interesting that you people just assume that the treatment in jail was brutal, but I've never heard any details of the treatment of the West Memphis 3in prison Utah. You spoke with Jason Baldwin. He told he told you some frightening things tell us. Why He said to you about his treatment in jail, how it again and how it changed as perception changed about their guilt, but still what he injured in prison.
Well, we first got there I mean like when he walked in the door first day. He said he started here in the catcalls, an you know. I can tell you this and everybody listening to this a lot of things here about prison, their apps, which were you know, there's a lot of sexual slavery to go down there and and he he, he told me that he would be here. He was not going to submit to sexual slavery, just what I'm gonna do it, and so he fought back and he got beat up so bad many times. He said he thought he was gonna die, we've broken bones, but he would not. He would not yield to their demands in prison and eventually we got the point. Jade was not a big guy, you know he's he's he's, then the small, but by all accounts is a pretty tough guy and
get to a point where they respected him? You know they're going to keep messing with him because they knew he was going to fight every time, and so they they started respecting him and then, as the details of the case became more known, then I realized that he was an innocent guy there, meaning they local guys, not it. So it was very shocking to them to see a guy. You know you know work as hard as he did. He took. College classes ended up getting. GT in there. You know even when he got out he had it, had a lot of college credit, so he's going on and went to school. I don't know for sure if he's still on this path, but he told me at one point: he wanted to become a lawyer. And so anyway, so they gained a lot of respect for him Damien. He start a lot of controversy when I heard him when he was on death row in two thousand, He had written me a letter.
And invited me to come down interview, and so I decided to do it and while We were in the middle of our conversation. He told me that he thought that that being a being here by pressing our job, like a magnet for homosexuals, which is exactly talk to me and I said what do you mean? He goes because these guys all they'll just take me to room and they'll just right. And he goes I don't even fight back and I was like really and so you know I was like wow. I mean you know, this is pretty incendiary stuff, and so before I wrote the story, I called his attorneys, I'm like hey. He told me this stuff and I'm even talking. I believe I can talk to Lori about it and they didn't really want him to go into all that, but he did- and I I wrote story about it- and I guess it caused a lot of trouble down there at the prison and all sorts of stuff. So but yeah he told me he said he wouldn't even fight back. You know they
just take him into a room and do torture him into all sorts of stuff to him so yeah for it's a brutal place. I mean I recommend anybody going. Yeah you it was. It was pretty shocking to hear that these guards were, he said, were worse than the inmates and he was gang raped by inmates as well, so beatings and gang reacts, and I'm just a horrible time that he had. Are you also talk about? Did he spoke to you about his early life and, and was it a profound moment in court? Was his mother showed up in court in a wheelchair and but didn't leave with him at the end of it tell us what he said about his his his background and the shame tell us about that. You know he grew up in the impoverished. You know Arkansas Delta, I mean, if you've never been at, if you've never been in the delta. It's one of
worst places in the United States of America. Arkansas' are really funny and interesting state. You know you've got Nw Arkansa, which is probably one of the richest places in the world. You know it's the like the Walmart, all the heirs to the Walmart fortune Dillard's Tyson Food, all these mega companies that it always surprises me that a small state like Arkansas just keeps producing so you've got all that and and the northwest sector will win in the you know, Easter Arkansas you've got. You know just abject poverty around the Mississippi River and he vividly describe that in his autobiography that he wrote about it life after death. He he grew up poor. He grew up in work arc, seeded, no laws and we were going to eat his mom They did many many different men and some very odd in bizarre circumstances and he hated,
step dad which, ironically enough jackals, but he ended up taking his last May and because actually has a lot to the original name is actually Michael. How, but, but anyway, yeah he grew up in in in, poverty and the only thing that he could do the reason why he, you know he wears a long trenchcoat. It acted. He acted bizarrely at school. He did it for attention. And he told me that, and it was no and he did it for attention. He also did it because some people wouldn't to on it let leave alone and Adam, so he that that's why he said and bizarre things and thoughts and bizarre thoughts at the time. So that's where he grew up in a west. Memphis is crime rental package you to
through there the you know the average median income. There is probably twenty five thousand dollars below the national average there's a very high amount of transient population and goes through their. You know I forty and I fifty five. You know I Fifty five connects ten and then basically, the Mexico comes all the way through the United States. It needs at West Memphis with I forty, which connects the West Coast to the east coast through the southern route. So lot of goods get move through there a lot of drugs. A lot of violence lot a lot of poor people and he grew up in the middle of all. You do have some conclusions and I will get into all of them- will get save that for people to read for themselves but tell us what you felt about the crime itself, who we didn't mention.
It's people are aware of the mysterious black man it to do. Jingles restaurant tell us more about that person of interest in what you think. His importance is to this case and give us a little bit of of what you thought happened and who, who might have done it. You know it's it's so mind blowing to me that you can have an officer, Regina Meeks. She gets the call. The night the boys disappear. John Mark Byers and Dana more report, their son's missing to her. Within minutes of getting this report, will make me an out within an hour getting this report. She is called to the Bojangles restaurant, which is in the vicinity in that restaurant. A cup at some witnesses, saw a black man stumble into the women's restroom. He defecated on the poor. He he's covered in blood, he
cakes at an industrial toilet paper, roll and just press it up to the moon, and it believes all the way to the center core of this huge toilet roll is Jay, Taking things into a toilet, trying to flush them down and people see him doing this, and so they tell the manager the manager calls the police. She comes to the Bojangles restaurant and take some report through the drive thru. She doesn't even bother go in the bathroom. Will they go in and clean up this whole mess. Now this restaurant is located about a half a mile from where the bodies are dumped and if you were, if you were, if you were coming, if you were coming out of Robin Hood Hills that you were headed in that direction or if you were headed, excuse me there's a trying to give way to describe it,
not a trail, but it kind of like at the top of the it's like a ridge, there's a ridge that you can walk along to get out of Robin Hood Hills. That will lead you directly to the parking lot of the Bojangles restaurant. So it would be a very reasonable rap to take if you were there, and so she doesn't collect any evidence that Clean up the bathroom will, the next day Brian Ridge. Uh one of the officers who was working W Memphis three case and also testified at the rule. Thirty seven here he's he goes in there and they do find some blood on a wall and then collect and they put it in a bag. He loses it now why all this is important is because of this. They found a hair at the crime scene that belongs to a black man that could never identify who this man's hair.
Wise if they had the blood flake that was found on the wall, they could dna test the two hundred and then they would know get that person was at the crime scene or not, and if they read the crime scene, then they would probably have played some role in the three boys being murdered. Right but because they lost their lives, will never. So what do you speculate this black man's role in in this is so I mean of all the information that this seems to be just another. Unknown puzzle doesn't yeah it's unknown and I mean anything I would say be speculative, but I'm now mind I I you know, I know how these things work. If someone, if something happened to those three kids that that the black guy- probably you know there, there have been where there were reports of gunshots in the in the woods that night in that vicinity near the may
build apartments which are not far from Robin Hood Hills. It actually a body there. It abutted the woods there, and so So in my mind, if I'm just going to play this out, logically, the the black guy was probably a helper trying to hell dump the bodies- and you know in first rule of it. Fascination. You always get rid of the assassins right and this guy had helped him an help, dump these bodies, and so so they were dumping and whoever he was helping to surround shot it. You know and keep him quiet an what to do. Can you go to the police know? I mean he just helped dump all these three bodies. You know in a creek, and I know I don't hate to use. You know the racial component of it too, but you're talking about you know, one thousand, nine hundred and ninety three in the S black man, white kids die. I mean
yeah? If, if someone was involved in that, you know they're not going to be leaning, it so he's not going to the police for any reason, so I I just can't believe that these two things can happen so, close to each other and there not be a relationship, especially when you find a black hair at the crime scene, and it's also I've been told. I don't know This is the fact I've been told that it was actually the best biological specimen that they found at the state. What do you think about Hobbs as,
And the idea that he had someone else to help them and, of course the obvious inferences this day could be what this Jacob be. Claims doesn't help Hobbes at all, because he's one of the persons that says listen. I had to intervene and stop this guy from beating Little Stevie at one time. So tell us what you think about Hobbes and Jay could be well. I here's the thing, and this is for anybody who wants to talk about secondary here transfer. I think it's very interesting, Terry Hobbs, the day of the murders he claimed that he did not see Stevie at all that day. He said I didn't say
he says that at around five hundred and thirty or he actually came home from work around three hundred and thirty four at that point, Steve is already on the neighborhood playing with his friends. Well then, he takes PAM to work when he comes back from that he goes over to Jacobi's house and they start playing riffs to the song pretty, and he said he was there till about six and then he leaves- and your Kobe has confirmed that what's interesting to me- and I think if, if I had to bet money, I don't think you Kobe was with him when it. I don't think your Kobe took part in in the car. I I think that when they talk about their dinner here terms or that other pair once again here here, France will remember Kerry was playing guitar with them just a few minutes before the boy disappeared, so that here could have definitely been ever
all of that now the Kobe swears up and down he did not, if not with Terry Hobbs, is sore signed, sworn affidavit that he wasn't with them. He refused all that so, and I tell people you know. I definitely think Terry Hobbs is a is a big time suspect in this case for sure I said you know, could you could you say definitively? He did it. I can't because I wasn't there and they're still not yeah. I I have to see a prosecutor put this all together and see what it look like in a courtroom. Then I go ok yeah. That probably makes said, but definitely a lot more happy lot of evidence. I mean he fits the profile of the kind person who could do this? I mean the FBI at the opera said that you know he claimed he was that didn't see the three boys that day
three women who are on their way to church at six hundred and thirty. That night came forward and test. It didn't testify, but gave sworn affidavits in two thousand and nine that they saw him that night motioning the three boys up to the house, or at least one of them and the three boys went up to the house, and so you know what you're going to have to do is Terry Hobbs, telling the truth about this or those three women who are on their way to church. Why would they lie? I mean that's the question: what's the motivation did David Jacobi? Is he lying or stereo is John Mark Bars lying or is Terry Hop line. Is you know all these different competing statements that have been made, and that's just that doesn't include the dna that doesn't include the possible alleged abuse, is against the kid this is just you know when you're telling two hundred and three hundred and four hundred and five hundred different stories and everybody else is saying: no, that's wrong. You gotta problem. You also you gotta put in the mix here like the prosecutor that
to conveniently find has, like you say, has an epiphany and then goes and looks behind Baldwin's home into Lake Lakanen within minutes with a with a camera crew right there to court everything finds this weapon, but you also have you have the idea that, to the like you say, Hobbes doesn't have an alibi for a certain amount of time in his behavior is is suspicious. Why was he not questioned? that's what I was trying to tie in with this prosecutor that says yeah this any. Then everything is fitting the way he has theorized how come this? It is anybody answer the question: why was he'd never questioned? and why is he now not a credible suspect whatsoever The reason he's not incredible suspect now and I've asked this question many times, and this is the same answer I get each time he they have three convictions. In this case,
and you know, they're not going to waste anymore time and resources on the case until they get some some new evidence and so to the officials in Arkansa in this case is closed. It's over. They just want to forget about it, which is a shame I mean for many obvious reason now as far as him never being questioned. Originally, no one can answer that, because all John Mark wires was interviewed. Todd Moore, Michael Moore's, dad was interviewing. He wasn't even if he was verifiably, not even in the state of art, when, when the murders happened, that a state either a truck driver, and so all these people were interviewed, the Hobbs was not, and this only came about because he tried to sue Natalie night, and so you know all the all his competing stories about where he was at and what he was doing and he's given several an you know and I've I've talked to Terry. You know several times uhm you know, and he
You know he constantly. You know there, for he was definitely worried you know that they were going to like. He told me one time that his daughter Amanda? He was definitely worried that, because she was talking to some of the film crew than eighty Burke from what the medicine I wanted to put her under hypnosis, and he told me he was deathly afraid that she would go They conjure some they're going to conjure something memory into her head that she had witnessed him. Beating her son are getting her her her brother to death and his friends, and so he was scared to death of that, and I was like well we'll see what happens you know, Mcdonald's and save when you say that though, but anyway yeah, you know, and it I mean if I was a prosecutor, I mean I don't understand why you would at least if, if you're a detective, you know why. Why would you
put this all together and then ask for a prosecutor file a charge. I mean there's there's more than enough here. You know it's uh amazing, is what you just told me sounds very similar to when he has a story that seems very incriminating and this one where he says, listen, I'm very worried about my daughter being under hypnosis and then come up conjuring up an image of me beating the kids to death. I mean it sounds almost the same. It sounds eraly. Incriminating. Yeah I mean it, it sounds a lot like when he was telling John Mark Byers a story about them, not be the person who did it not being a monster you know that's right exactly. I mean it's. It's kind of the similar kind of brain pattern and the other. The other thing that you asked about the
yeah the knife behind Jason Baldwin's lake, the lake behind Jason, little ones house. That is ok. I talked to reporter one time and who there when this whole thing out of what happened was the lead. Your listeners know what happened was is the month after the official rats they still haven't, found the night. They had this theory that these boys, which were had or hacked up with the night, and so they were looking for not they're trying to find a weapon. They knew they needed. One juries liked: it's the murder weapon. You know I won
see what you used to kill. Somebody with I mean I was in court one time and the guy had used like a candle holder. I'm sorry across that the woman who killed her family had donated to a church and he beat her to death so that he was a transient and that cross I'll, never forget singing court. It just sat there. So having the knife is a big deal. You know they want the knife, so John Vogan his prosecutor. He has a Tiffany one day. He decides that they need to go and they need to look behind Jason Baldwin Taltos, an industrial leg. He said I'll bet the knife is there, so they go out there. They look and within thirty minutes they find a knife if that Rambo sound, like that was seen in court
and the the the the spacious thing about it was. Can I talk to reporters who they're a reporter who, by the way believe these guys are, are in meet at a time when the store was told me believe they were guilty? Who told me that was kind of weird, because it was almost like they were told where to stand when the divers came out of the water, so they can get the best picture of the life and and here's the the other part of that. That's just weird prosecutors, prosecute cases, police and detectives investigate cases, okay, very odd, for a prosecutor to interject himself in the investigation phase of the case like that, it's just the right sort of issues in the police. I could see if he thought that you know he's going to call the police chief, but it was just a weird like what okay, the white in the police chiefs say: hey. We
need to go check that lake out behind his behind the trailer house for evidence, so it was just really weird. Yeah certainly certainly convenient. I want to thank you and George for coming on and talking about, which is in West Memphis, the West Memphis three and another false confession: it's been very enjoyable thank very much George for those that might want to look at other work or do you have a facebook page website, tell us about that, I do I'm just go. I'm on Amazon, you go to Barnes and noble snag. One of my books also has also like to just plug this in there to the last chapter of the book is about another false confession case. That happened almost two years to the day after the three guys are released from prison. That's in the same judicial district, because the prosecutor in case told me he did
leaving false confessions. Two years to the day is seventeen year old, Mentale, end engine guy and then Christopher Sal confessed to the murder of an eleven year old girl named Jessica Williams, who disappeared in twenty thirteen in the town called Gosnell, which is about an hour's drive from W Memphis. They found her body in a drainage ditch today, after she disappeared and within twenty four hours, her neighbor confessed to her murder, even got a detail or two of it right and he sat in jail for eight months waiting for his trial. The only problem was, he didn't, kill her and what saved him was they found one sperm cell on her body, one they dna tested it and it didn't belong to him, and so I include, that is the last chapter of the book. Just because you know everybody believes in you know. Anybody who believes they're guilty believe Jesse that he didn't falsely confess when the same judicial district, same prosecutor,
fifty miles from where this whole thing happened. The same exact thing happened two years later, almost to the day it it's almost unbelievable, and so I included that chapter in there just so people understand that this does happen to have a golf time. Happens everywhere, and you can check me out author George Jerrod on Facebook. I've got Instagram message to be on there and all where, where you want to communicate with me, I'm more than happy to do well. Thank you very much, George Jared speaking about which is in West Memphis hope to speak to you again soon good night. Thank
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-19.