**The first part of my rant:
On May 5th, 1993, three 8 year old boys came home from school and went outside to ride their bicycles together. Later in the evening when they didn’t come home a search was conducted. Their naked and bound bodies were pulled from a creek in a wooded area near their homes the following afternoon.
From minute one, the police fumbled this case. Crucial evidence at the site was missed or contaminated by the police department. Investigators were allowed to wander the crime scene with no regard to preserve evidence. Most of the evidence that was gathered was later lost or thrown away by the police.
From the beginning, in spite of absolutely NO evidence and NO understanding of Satanism, the police chief decided that the killings were so horrific that they must have been the result of a Satanic ritual.
The lack of evidence due to the incompetence of the police and the inadequate investigations of *suspects, kept the police from making any headway in the case. The public outcry for a suspect grew. The only way the police could save face would be to make an arrest, so they went for the only thing left - the Chief’s pulled-from-his-ass belief that kids were killed by Devil Worshipers.
*A muddy, bloody man used a restaurant restroom the day of the murder but the initial police investigation went no deeper than the cops driving through the drive up window. Hours later they finally entered the bloody bathroom only to contaminate it with the mud and grass they carried on their shoes from the murder site. The blood samples taken from the bathroom were lost.
In a town filled with southern Baptists and born again Christians, two teenagers stuck out like sore thumbs. Damien Echols, a Wiccan who wore black clothing and seemed a little odd, and Jason Baldwin, a shy teen who liked to wear t-shirts with pictures of heavy metal bands. The police needed scapegoats and found them in these two teenagers.
A local woman was enticed by the $30,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the murders. After learning the Satanic direction the case was taking, she had her 8 year old son tell the police a story about seeing the murders. His story changed directions a half a dozen times including stories about Damien (after his mother learned that the police were suspecting Damien - because of the Satanic twist and his odd appearance). To help back the story, the woman had another teen, Jessie Misskelley who is borderline mentally retarded, tell police that he witnessed Damien murder the boys.
The police took Jessie in for questioning, without a lawyer, and interviewed him for 12 hours. Less than an hour was recorded by police. What was recorded shows blatant coercion by the police on the many erroneous statements made by Jessie. They more or less put words in his mouth to finally get the facts correct. They also used gruesome photos of the murdered boys as well as a baseball bat (although it isn’t clear how or if it was used, but it was present) to get a confession.
After 11+ hours, metally disabled and without legal representation, Jessie finally confessed and implicated Damien and Jason in the murder.
Travesty after travesty in the justice system, including shoddy investigation, inadequate public defenders, a refusal to try Jason and Damien separately, disallowance of evidence including proof that Jason attended school during the time of the murders, allowed testimony of Satanic “expert” (his “expert” title comes from an online course he took from home), a COMPLETE lack of physical evidence linking the three teens to the murders, massive amounts of uninvestigated evidence that points to Mark Byers, the stepdad of one of the murdered boys (for instance - soon after it was ruled out that the bite marks on one of the victim did NOT match any of the three accused, Mark Byers had all of his teeth pulled).
To make a long story short, three teenagers, two sentenced to life in prison (Jason and Jessie) and one on death row on his last stay of execution have been rotting behind bars (not to mention the confession of another deathrow inmate to continuous rape and battery to Damien) are there because the police needed a scapegoat.
They are there because they looked and acted different than everyone else in the town. Because they like Metallica and Pink Floyd. Because they write dark poetry. Because one practices Wicca - an interesting statement made by Damien during his trial is that those who accuse him of Satanic murder are the people who believe in Satan. As a Wiccan, he does not believe in Satan. Because one was coerced by the police into a confession. Because the cops were feeling pressure and a woman got greedy for $30,000.
They are not there due to ANY physical evidence, whatsoever.
Rant Part II -
You stupid, incompetent FUCKS! How can you sleep at night!
Chief Gitchell, who instead of taking blame for his failure to adequately secure a murder scene and subsequently ruining and losing all evidence and in an attempt to save face felt no remorse at picking the most likely scapegoat.
Byrn Ridge, who along with Gitchell knowingly coerced a mentally retarded teen into saying what you needed him to say. What about the evidence you admittedly lost? Evidence that would have cleared the teens?
Judge Burnett, for allowing asinine testimony from self proclaimed “exports”. By being too fucking stupid to realize the importance of trying Damien and Jason separately. For disallowing the testimony by experts on forensic odontology and pathology in regards to the bite marks. You, yourself, decided that the wounds were NOT bite marks even after you admitted on record that you had never even heard of forensic odontology, and disallowed that testimony that might have cleared the boys.
To the town of West Memphis, Arkansas, for going out for blood for the sake of blood and not for the sake of justice. For letting emotions and false rumors drive you to a sense of satisfaction knowing that someone is behind bars. For throwing rocks and cursing Henry Rollins during his fundraising tour and for being too caught up in your blind hate and stupidity to realize that this money will be used to clear these boys (we hope), or to confirm their guilt and (again, hopefully) place the guilt elsewhere (I have my ideas where it should be placed).
And for the last part of my rant and the real reason for this thread:
I understand that we all have causes, that we can’t protest or raise funds for every single cause out there, and that so many people are still unaware of this case. That’s understood.
Fuck you to the apathetic assholes who don’t give a shit that the murderer of three little boys may still be walking free. That unless DNA and other testing can be funded, justice may never be served, or depending on the results, justice verified.
Fuck you to those who roll their eyes and look at us like we are some equivalent to Charlie’s family when we handed out fliers again this past weekend.
And a BIG fuck you to those who see nothing wrong with a possibly innocent man being put to death within the next year for the incompetence of the police and a town lynch mob and who had the audacity :rolleyes: to look different. Time is quickly running out.
To those who don’t give a shit how the case turns out as long as they are sitting happily in the sweet confined safely of their own homes.
Eat my ass for not caring.
With rancid ketchup.