The West Memphis Three: Where Are They Now?


It was a case that shocked the nation. On May 5, 1993, three little boys from West Memphis, Arkansas, went out for a bike ride with a promise to their parents that they would be home for dinner. Somewhere along the way, the kids were murdered and thrown into a secluded, wooded area known to locals as Robin Hood Hills.

Steve (Stevie) Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore, all second-graders at West Memphis’ Weaver Elementary School, had been hogtied with their own shoelaces, sexually mutilated, beaten, and left for dead.

With pressure on their backs to find the culprits, Arkansas authorities arrested three local “outcast” teenagers, known around town for wearing black and listening to heavy metal. At the time, Damien Echols, 18, Jason Baldwin, 16, and Jessie Misskelley, 17, fit the description authorities were looking for.

All three teens were convicted of the murders and ordered to serve life in prison, except for Echols, who was sentenced to death.

Yet, the majority of evidence was circumstantial, dating back to Echols’ troubled childhood that consisted of violence and psychiatric treatment. When juvenile officer Jim Jones heard about the murders, he went directly to Echols for questioning. Jones had no evidence to prove Echols was involved, but he had heard his name frequently from fellow juvenile officer Jerry Driver, who had run-ins in the past with the teen.

Furthermore, no DNA from the suspects was found on the children or anywhere around the crime scene. On the other hand, mtDNA from a strand of hair that could possibly belong to Terry Hobbs, Stevie Branch’s stepfather, was found in one of the bindings used to tie up Michael Moore.

Some evidence, however, circumstantial or not, simply can’t be ignored. A teen girl confessed that she overheard Echols at a softball game in May 1993, describing how he murdered three young boys. Furthermore, Misskelley confessed to the murders not once, but several times on different occasions. Misskelley’s defense attorney stated that his client was slow and mentally incapacitated, and simply told the police what they wanted to hear.

From day one, the teens professed their innocence, and as their cases gained popularity, HBO filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky took an interest in their story and decided to make several documentaries that chronicled the events.

The first documentary, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, garnered so much attention from the public that two additional films, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, were made. The films resulted in worldwide support for all three guys. They became coined as the West Memphis Three (WM3).

Celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder, and The Dixie Chicks took a strong interest in the case and fought to get the WM3 freed. Later on, Amy Berg would make a documentary on the case called West of Memphis.

Although there’s still a copious amount of support for the guys, there are some people who believe that the WM3 are indeed guilty, and that the films left out a lot of vital evidence found in the case files. Regardless, in 2011, after nearly 18 years of incarceration, the WM3 were released.

Before officials would let them go, all three men had to agree to take a deal known as the Alford Plea, which mandates that the state of Arkansas admits to no wrongdoing while allowing the WM3 to plead innocent, yet still remain guilty on court files. This is something Baldwin wasn’t willing to take at first, but after mulling over Echol’s death sentence, he accepted the deal, because, as he put it, “[they’re] trying to kill Damien.”

So where are the WM3 now?

Damien Echols

Upon release, Damien Echols, the centerpiece of the Paradise Lost documentaries, moved to New York with his wife Lorri Davis, a former landscape architect who wrote him in prison after seeing the first documentary. After living in the Tribeca section of NYC for several years, the couple bought a home in Salem, Massachusetts. He’s now a successful artist and author who travels the nation promoting his work. Several of his art pieces are on display at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

While explaining his art to the Los Angeles Times, Echols said, “My artwork is the same as a practicing Catholic would use a rosary, or a Muslim would use a prayer rug. Things that are set apart from daily life … sacred objects.”

In January 2016, Echols spoke out on the Steven Avery case. The Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer details the death of 25-year-old Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, resident Teresa Halbach. It also chronicles the events that led up to Avery’s arrest. Avery is currently serving a life sentence for Halbach’s murder. Similar to the massive response to the WM3 documentaries, Making a Murderer resulted in mixed responses from the public. While some viewers gave an outpour of support, others felt he was guilty.

After viewing the film, Echols admitted in an article published on A.V. Club that he experienced a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He indicated that wrongful imprisonment continues to happen and will continue to do so until the justice system is held to a higher standard: “People have told me over and over that my story is unique, the circumstances of my case—the injustice to the real victims, their families, to the West Memphis Three—made for a perfect storm, never to be seen again. But lightning does strike twice, and many more times after that—my story and Steven’s are only two in the vast, impenetrable legal landscape.”

Jason Baldwin

Jason Baldwin, the youngest, most baby-faced of the WM3, moved to Seattle in 2011 at the urging of Eddie Vedder. He fell in love with the area and had his own home there within five months.

Baldwin is now married, and helped with the 2014 book, Dark Spell: Surviving the Sentence. Written by Mara Leveritt, author of the acclaimed book Devil’s Knot, Baldwin reportedly provides a first-hand account of what is was like to be shackled and thrown into prison at the age of 16.

Baldwin is also the executive producer of the 2014 film Devil’s Knot, starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. The film is based off Leveritt’s book with the same title, and although Baldwin was thrilled to take part in the film, it created a rift between him and Echols.

Apparently, according to Echols, the film didn’t portray the events accurately, but Baldwin continued on with the project, despite Echols’ objections, claiming some people would rather see a movie about the case instead of documentaries: “Not everyone watches documentaries and there are many people out there who have never heard about this case.”

Baldwin stayed in the limelight for a few years after his release, spreading awareness about wrongful convictions and sharing photos on his social media account. He also created a Kickstarter campaign which raised $30,000 for a memoir he promises to release.

Yet, since late 2014, there hasn’t been much public action from Baldwin. He stopped posting on his social media accounts and hasn’t given any public interviews. In one of his last interviews, however, he said he hoped to attend law school and utilize his own experiences to help others who’ve been wrongfully convicted.

Jessie Misskelley

Jessie Misskelley returned home to West Memphis after his release, the only one out of the WM3 who decided to stay in the area. He also opted to stay out of spotlight, so he remains an enigma in many aspects.

In 2013, Misskelley’s father, Jessie Misskelley, Sr., spoke on his behalf after his son shied away from local reporters. Misskelley Sr. said that his son was living with a girlfriend and was working at a construction site until he got laid off. When questioned why his son wouldn’t talk to the media, Misskelley Sr. replied,

“Because y’all are the ones that sent him to the pen.”

Regardless of whether they hide from the spotlight or embrace it, the WM3 story isn’t easily forgotten. Until someone confesses or evidence can, beyond a reasonable doubt, show who murdered those three boys, the case will remain shrouded in mystery.

Photo: Police Handout

  • Shannon

    I’ve always felt that Miskelly & Baldwin are 100% innocent but for some reason Echols has always given me misgivings . And even more so now that I read he so freely backs Steven Avery..that guy is GUILTY

    • Carolyn Dawson

      I’m not sure where you get that he “backs Steven Avery”. In everything I have read he really only discusses the “wrongful imprisonment” that they both went through. I have not seen anything where he claims to believe Avery is guilty or innocent. If it exists, please provide a reference.

      • Jaime Myerton

        Well…..he says that “all evidence suggests” that Avery was framed. He doesn’t outright say he backs him, but he seems to insinuate it.

      • Pastor Troy

        The fact he states Wrongfully convicted kinda makes me think hes leaning towards avery being innocent, its not rocket science.

        • iamdavebowers

          Avery is in the unique position that he may have been both wrongfully and rightfully convicted of horrible crimes.

          • DarthYan

            not necessarily. The cops from mantiowac were involved in finding key evidence when they had no business there; the prosecution’s theory is also impossible (there was no blood in the garage and if avery used bleach dna would be destroyed); other people on the property were just as violent (Scott Tadych had a history of assaulting women, as did earl and charles avery)

          • Ian Shannon

            What’s very odd is that they got 2 convictions with 2 different versions of events.

            Dassey got convicted on a different version of the murder to Avery.

            That’s a massive red flag that one of those convictions isn’t sound

        • Katie

          Keep in mind that Steven Avery was wrongfully imprisoned for rape before being jailed for the murder of Teresa Halbach. If Echols is mentioning Avery’s false imprisonment, the rape case is probably what he is referring to because Avery was falsely imprisoned for that.

    • guest

      You seem ignorant.

    • DarthYan

      Maybe. Maybe not. At the very least the documentary made a good case that the cops illegally planted evidence. Manitowoc officers weren’t supposed to be involved…..yet they were. they had everything to loose

      • Vicky O’Dell

        If it is true that the evidence was placed than he should be set free just because of that wheather gulity or not. It is there problem for being unjust.

        • DarthYan

          exactly. The anthony porter case is another; he was probably guilty but one of the juror members had been at the victim’s funeral meaning guilty or not porter was robbed of a fair trial.

    • human2011

      If you are wrongly locked for 18 years, then let’s see whom you will support: wrongful imprisonment or quick hurried justice

    • Azrael Abyss

      If you actually read the court transcripts, the police files, and any additional info available via public record requests, you’d realize Avery is NOT guilty.

    • Vicky O’Dell

      Reason why Echols feels the way he does is because he faced death three times, feeling that he was forgoten about also. Put your feet in his shoes for one week. Tell me if you can believe the Justice Sysytem. Look at the case with Hillary Clinton. If it were anyone else, they would be in prison for life. Martha Stewart spent 5 years.

      • DarthYan

        hilrod is shady but I’ll take her over the donald. Donald’s a monster. Hillary is no slimier than other politicians

        • Vicky O’Dell

          She is more than shady she is a criminal. Who will lie, cheat, murder yes murder for a vote. If given a choice between her and a snake I would vote for the snake for you know a snake will bite you, Hillary is evil and has no humanity in her blood, all she thinks of is herself. Mainstream Media has twisted Trumps Speechs, and these new tells are just that tells bought and paid for by George Soros Hillary Clinton and others who will lose their leadership when Trump is elected.

          • DarthYan

            Donald may have raped people (he boasted about groping and be allowed to get away with it.) Trump called for the CP5 to be put to death and even when it turned out to be Matias Reyes he refused to apologize. Hillary has experience. Also George Soros is hardly some boogeyman

          • Vicky O’Dell

            You didn’t hear the conversation. He was telling of how movie stars( Girls) react to him and other men in his statue when advances are in play.

          • DarthYan

            no i heard it. He said he could get away with groping them because he’s a celebrity. He also hang out with the pedophile bill clinton hung out with

          • Vicky O’Dell

            By hert email links Dems are going to set him (TRUMP)up because of that guy being a creepy. (PEDOPHILE) Trump never went to LOYLTA ISLAND Bill Flew 26 times. I will try finding the email links for you to read.

          • DarthYan

            Trump was seen with the guy many times; he’s been accused of rape multiple times

          • Vicky O’Dell


          • Vicky O’Dell

            This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. All you guys who believe the Demograts they have been doing this since the begaining of the two parties. The best History lesson to view on the subjust is “HILLARY’S AMERICA” you may think this movie is all abouty the Clintons it is not. This movies explans the History of the two parties. GOP and DMC. Please research this topic so you may be informed, of their ways and maniliputions of how they will use people just for your vote.

          • DarthYan

            Trump called for the central park 5 to be put to death and long after Reyes alone was proven to be the one he refused to concede he was wrong. Trump’s a monster.

    • DeLisa Chambers

      I do believe it is possible that Miskelly and Baldwin may be innocent, but I am uncertain. However, I certainly agree with you about Echols. His psychiatric record is very telling as it shows that he was very disturbed and had sadistic/homicidal tendencies. The boys were murdered approximately two months after Echols was released from a mental institution. Due to the nature of the crimes, I definitely suspect that Damien was involved. Because there were three victims, I don’t believe he acted alone. Some random killer just does not make sense here.That wooded area was a hangout for both the victims and suspects. The killers had to be familiar with the area and also get great pleasure in torturing and mutilating others. Both of those fit Echols for sure. The finger being pointed at two men associated with two of the victims doesn’t convince me to see it differently. If someone else committed this crime, I believe it is very unlikely that the killers would have taken the time to torture and mutilate the victims. Too bad the justice system could not have the technology back then that we do today in the area of forensics.

  • Scottie Carpenter

    Everybody knows it was Terry Hobbs that killed those 3 boys but the sate of arkansas refuses to persue it because that would mean they would have to admit they were wrong.

    • Denise Rae Groce

      I thought that too.

    • Pongo

      The state can’t pursue Hobbs because the WM3 plead guilty to the crime in 2011.
      For almost 2 decades, they and their lawyers petitioned the state to reopen the case and give them new trials.
      The moment a new hearing was granted, the WM3 entered an Alford Plea which is essentially a guilty plea.

      With lazy, sloppy and often dishonest journalism like we have in this article, it’s no wonder people are confused.

      • Jaime Myerton

        It seems to me like you just have some sort of vendetta against Damien Echols. Just because the state isn’t pursuing the case doesn’t mean investigators and attorneys aren’t still looking into other evidence. And again, I see nothing one-sided about an article that clearly shows bits of information from both sides. This makes me think you were a part of a shoddy investigation team who destroyed a crime scene because of inadequate training or just plain laziness, and then decided to pin it on three boys who the cops thought wouldn’t amount to anything or mean anything because they were poor.

        • Pongo

          I don’t have a vendetta against him. I just have no use for a convicted child killer. I used to believe they were innocent, but the more I learned about the case, I found that things were not as simple as I’d been lead to believe.

          • Jaime Myerton

            While I agree that the case isn’t as simple as the documentaries make them seem, I don’t personally see anything wrong or slanted here. I’ve kept up with this case since the 90s and read most things published about them, and this is one of the few stories I’ve read since they’ve been released that actually shows snippets of both sides–evidence in their favor and evidence against them. I personally think all three are innocent, but I am always open to seeing more information that helps prove their guilt. Aside from wm3 truth, I rarely see anything posted that shows more of the side of their guilt.

          • DarthYan

            I’ve entertained that, but the fact that all the confessions got key details wrong (The wounds had no wood marks brain fragments and the sticks allegedly used to beat them had no brain fragments, that Jessie blatantly misdescribed the area, that the officers blatantly led the poor kid.) makes me to think they didn’t do it.

          • Missjune75

            Which confession? Jessie Misskelley confessed multiple times AFTER convicted and once with his hand on a Bible and against the advice of his lawyer who begged him not to mess up his chances of an appeal. He admitted to changing key details in the first confession in order to mess with the police. However, when debating the case I throw out the first confessions and present the other key evidence against them. No alibis, fabric matches, knife found in lake behind Baldwin matching the wounds. Not to mention they had a 20 million dollars defense fund and they had to pled guilty via an Alford. They could not exonerate themselves and have spent zero time since release searching for the real killer. The hair matches 4.5 million people hardly

          • DarthYan

            If the bible confession wasn’t inconsistent I’d believe it.

            Also, no the hair matches only a small set of people with hobbs line. wHen the hair that has a high chance of being david’s is thrown in…..hobbs killed the kids

          • DarthYan

            the problem is that the confessions ARE ALL FALSE. none of them hold up they all get key details wrong…the police did manipulate the poor kd

          • DarthYan

            also no if anything NONE of the details were correct except those ALREADY KNOWN OR RUMORED the DNA stats mean it had to have been someone in Hobb’s family line IN WM that night, the fibers were common walmart fibers, the knife failed to match the wounds… this point only people who are either lying or stupid believe they’re guilty

          • iamdavebowers

            You have misunderstood the DNA findings. What you are saying is false. It could be Hobbs but is not definitely part of his line. That’s wrong and you should take that back.

          • DarthYan

            not really. It was from his line. Same with David Jacoby

          • iamdavebowers

            I think you are oversimplifying the data to the point it’s misleading. I’m not a DNA (or mtDNA) expert but I believe this to be a roughly accurate layman’s roundup.

            1) The DNA used for Hobbs was collected from cigarettes and a q-tip from outside his house. Not all the q-top and cigarette butts were consistent within themselves. Meaning multiple smokers and multiple suspects, of which we aren’t sure any of them are him. You can infer the DNA was his, but you can not be certain you’re even testing with his in the first instance. That’s not a good foundation to start on.

            2) When you say “his line” you need to be more specific. It sounds like you’re saying someone with the surname Hobbs (paternal lineage) had to have done it. Firstly it’s mtDNA that is passed on maternally. So it could be anyone who has shared the same maternal lineage. Which leads us to…

            3) Depending on what they were able to analyze (there are 3 types of analysis) this could be anyone with shared maternal relatives for 50-100, 700, or 1200 years. IF it was either of the latter two, that makes it relatively useless. Since the reports are that it matches 7 – 10% of the population (depending on the source), that probably means it’s not the 50-100 years version.

            To make matters worse, that area shares a pretty shallow gene pool, so there’s a lot of people who would share a relative going back 700 years.

            4) The mtDNA analysis were a close match to the cigarette (that may not be him), but not a perfect match. Reducing the level of confidence again.

            5) Even in the event the hair matched a piece of DNA we 100% knew was Hobbs, the kids played at his house so could be secondary transfer.

            To sum up, the hair in the ligature that could potentially match 1/10th of the population didn’t quite match a cigarette butt from outside of Hobbs’ house. You’d struggle to put a legal case round that.

            My opinion is Hobbs is a very very good suspect for this crime and deserves to be thoroughly investigated. But I don’t think you can lock anyone up on the “DNA evidence” and no one should definitively declare “Hobbs’ hair was found on the victim”, which I see far too frequently.

          • DarthYan

            the hair was found in michael moose’s laces. What’s more, David Jacoby’s hair was also found that night.

          • iamdavebowers

            A hair was found on MM’s laces. To obtain Hobbs’ DNA to test it against they went to his house and rooted around outside to find things that may have his DNA on it. They found cigarette butts and q-tip. They obtained no DNA directly from him, so they have no idea if it was his.

            Hardly fantastic detective work.

            Again you say ‘David Jacoby’s hair’ when it is ‘consistent’ with him. You can not declare it to be his.. The same issues apply as with Hobbs’ DNA – They were not exact matches.

          • Shelly

            They arrest 3 young lads because they dressed different and sentenced them to life and death over what evidence? Just GOSSIP word of mouth false statements but they do have DNA in that knot, terry hobbs hair! People saying ” 11% DNA isn’t strong enough to hold in court” well gossip mangaged to sentence Damien to death! TRIAL terry hobbs even do a lie detector just to see the results! He lost his temper that day and killed stevie and then killed the other 2 boys! A hair just dosnt appear in a fixed knot, those little boys were stripped and beaten, their laces pulled out of their trainers in the mud and wet how would a hair cling on to a lace and then get tied in a knot? Terry’s hair fell out as he was hog tying them boys, TRIAL HOBBS!!!!!!!

          • iamdavebowers

            1) It has never been proven to be Terry Hobbs’ hair.
            2) Jessie confessed 4/5 times.
            3) Damien told the young girls he did it (he was probably joking)
            4) There were eye witnesses who put them in the area.

            Now, not all of that evidence is still valid, but at the time it hadn’t been debunked. There was far more of a case presented to the jury than people would like to let on.

            Was it enough to convict? If it was me being tried, I’d hope not. But still, they had people putting them in the area and two of them saying they were involved. That’s a decent case right there.

          • Shelly

            So it’s ok for them to get sentenced because a little girl said she heard them admit it? Is that the kind of world we live in, all the adult statements/witnesses retracted their statements! People thought they were freaks, sainten worshippers they blamed them if they saw them or not, a witness also saw terry hobbs call all 3 boys to follow him and that’s the last time they were seen alive but nothing was done about that! Something isn’t right that he hasn’t been put on the stand! WHY can’t they just trial him they do have enough evidence and a witness statement also stevies mum found his pocket knife in Terry’s work box and she new that Stevie had it on him that day..

          • iamdavebowers

            As I said, I’d hope I wouldn’t be convicted for that. But, again, you only state one item. They weren’t solely convicted on one girl. Jessie was pleading guilty for a long time before he retracted. He even plead guilty to his own lawyers, against their advice. That’s quite powerful evidence.

            As for Hobbs. Yes, he’s a good suspect. But to definitively say it was his DNA is wrong. The DNA that they tested the hair against was from trash they found outside Hobbs’ house. Plus it didn’t fully match. Plus even a direct match (which it wasn’t) would only tie it down to 1/10th of the US population.

            While the WM3 probably shouldn’t have been convicted, you definitely can’t lock Hobbs up for that.

          • Shelly

            Jessie couldn’t pick out who Michael Moore was for a start the police pointed him out then he confirmed.. his statements and confessions are blown out the window he has a mind of a child, he’s a liability in the whole case. Surely you can’t take his statements into consideration because if you do your more of a fool than the courts who sentenced the three lads in the first place, he couldn’t tell you the times of the murders, what boys were even there or how they were killed, many witnesses said the police bullied them into a statement, so that why they decided to pick misskelley because he was slow minded they could put the words straight into his mouth for eg: “what were they tied with?” Kelly says “ropes” police say “ropes, their shoe laces” Kelly then says “yeah their shoe laces”.. Kelly can’t be used as anything in this case surely he changes his mind like the weather and can’t actually say for himself what happened, can you not see that even tho it’s not “full” DNA on Hobbs they still have 11% chance it was his hair, stevie branches mum says about stevies pocket knife, the neighbour says she saw terry shout all three boys to follow him and the man terry was with for those couple of hours his DNA was also found at the crime scene!

          • iamdavebowers

            Look, I don’t know if Jessie’s confessions were real or false. But you can’t argue “he has mind of a child”, then argue when he says “rope” instead of “shoe lace”. He can’t be stupid yet 100% articulate. To a child tying someone up with a shoelace could very well equate to a rope.

            There was also the fact he was able to direct the police to a Whiskey bottle near the crime that he said would prove he was there.

            Damien under interrogation practically admitted it when he said he’d tell them everything if he was able to speak to his mother.

            Are these both 100% fake confessions of kids under interrogation. Very possibly. Are they real? Maybe.

            And if you’re going to use the ‘documentaries’ as proof, do we lock up Byers too? Since they spent a couple of films trying to pin it on him?

            The honest truth is this, a case was put against the WM3 and it worked in court, the documentaries put together a case against Byers and it worked in the court of public opinion (despite it being complete slander), the documentaries then put together a case Hobbs, and the public are currently on this train.

            Unfortunately, short of a death bed confession we’ll never know for certain if any of the above are guilty.

          • Shelly

            I was saying by him saying “rope” and the police saying “shoe laces” they put that in his mouth to reply “yeah shoe laces” also there is a big difference to someone pulling out rope to tie the children up to someone pulling their laces from their own shoes and then tying them up, there’s a huge difference to notice. “They were tied up with rope” Kelly said… he would of said some where in his statements I’m sure as it would of been a big thing to of seen is Damien taking the boys shoes off then taking out their laces to then tie them up with it…
            at he end of the day they were sentenced to life and death…. but what I’m trying to get at is why not trail Hobbs, even if it was only 11%, they were 3 teenage lads who have probably been in them woods 10000 times drinking, setting camp fires and telling stories for one of them to throw a bottle into a bush.. but come on 2 fully grown men, one step father of a murdered child, he frequently beat and maybe sexual Abused him and hi sister his DNA was found and Jacobys was.. I’m not blaming Hobbs I can’t because I wasn’t there, but god look into the ACTUAL facts and evidence they should trial Hobbs!! As for byres as I said they were trying to and succeeded in planting it on them “freaks that dressed in black” when asked about the making of “devil knot” Hobbs said “Reece Witherspoon yeah I’m happy she’s playing my wife I wouldn’t mind that” why would that even come to mind when a film about your step childs death is being produced.. stevie confined in his aunt how much terry abused him and then his sister TRIAL HOBBS is what i say the law is wrong in that county if this was the Uk HOBBS would be tried fair and square it’s just a shame we don’t have the leatheal injection

          • DarthYan

            he was handicapped at least. That made him malleable.

          • Vicky O’Dell

            Watch or read “THE INTERROGATION OF MICHAEL CROWN” 13 year old boy was so confused in what the Officers had said that he doughted his own sanity. He was made to believe he killed his own sister.

          • Adam W Hurst

            It worked because of satanic panic and christian fundamentalists feeling the need to do gods work. Lock people up the right way not by inflaming the passions of the gullible to get what you want.

          • DarthYan

            jacoby’s hair makes it more plausible. David never knew them and he WAS with Terry that fatal night all those years ago

          • DarthYan

            the witnesses weren’t valid; The Teer family thought it was DOMINI and the other person wasn’t suer who it was. So they may not have seen anyone. The people putting them there weren’t credible in any way

          • DarthYan

            the confessions were all false (Jessie didn’t describe the injuries or the scene right at all in any of them); the eyewitnesses were dubious at best (two of the people in the car couldn’t see, the third thought it was domini rather than jason). Hobbs is enough of a monster he could have done it (he sexually assaulted Mildred for reporting his abuse)

          • More action/ less talk

            Absouletly wrong. Jessie in fact was in another town at a wrestling match but that was not even brought up. They were framed. Because they were so young they just trusted the Police.

          • revengeofzodlovesmaude

            the witnesses all lied….

          • Adam W Hurst

            The jury? You mean the guy that was dead set on conviction? The guy that presented the miskelly confession to the jury even after it was ruled inadmissible? If you’re going to lock someone up do it the right way.

          • DarthYan

            and no the hair matches less. And there’s the jacoby hair. Nons don’t look at facts They take small circumstantial horseshit and blow it out of proportion

          • revengeofzodlovesmaude


          • Steven1l2

            I agree Missjune. I believe those boys did it just like OJ did it.

    • kelly zaninovich

      exactly, Terry Hobbs is the one, even his ex wife and the mother of one of the victims has said so.

      • Vicky O’Dell

        Yes because of the little guys knife was found in a place where it should not have been.

      • Chris Kavanagh

        Hobbs has been exonerated, conclusively. On the other hand, Misskelly confessed at least 6 times to the murders. Not to mention, there were others who claimed Echols told them firsthand he murdered those kids. .

        So spare me the “alternative theories”, because the Police had the right people to begin with.

        • Joseph Cole

          Ur an idiot !!1

        • Javetch Berg


        • DarthYan

          No he hasn’t. He has no alibi for that night and was a vicious monster who beat his first family and tried to rape his neighbor

          Jessie confesses because he was mentally and thought that his own lawyers were working with the state at first. Later they convinced him he could see daddy and Susie again if he cooperated. The “confessions” were horseshit

          • Christy Rollman


        • aces

          This doesn’t seem to be the kind of crime teenagers would commit. Kill one kid, maybe. Three? No way. I have an easier time believing the confessions were coerced than the possibility they were killed by kids. Also, teenagers would leave a mess of evidence, especially Misskelly.

          • conniecqu

            Actually they did leave a mess of evidence. Misskelley told the police that they were all drunk that night on evan williams whiskey, and he told them exactly where he had left the broken bottle. When the police went back they found a broken bottle of evan williams whiskey exactly where Misskelley had said. Damien left blue candle wax from a candle in his room on one of the boys. They found fibers of Misskelly’s mothers bathrobe, just as he said. And it goes on and on from there. All three of the teenagers were deeply troubled, no not because they listened to heavy metal music or enjoyed ‘witchcraft’, but because they showed obvious signs of mental illness and lack of empathy. A man who was in prison with Misskelley even wrote a letter begging the courts not to release Misskelley, who is in the strange habit of bragging to everyone he talks to about the details of the gruesome murders. You need to remember that all psychopathic killers are teenagers at some point. Of course normal teenagers wouldn’t kill three children, but we’re not talking about normal teenagers. We’re talking about the kind of teenagers who grow up to become serial killers– you can’t judge them they way you would other children.

            The criminal justice system is far from perfect and there are people who are wrongfully convicted, but if you actually look at the real case evidence it’s painfully obvious the west memphis three killed those boys, and it’s frankly disgusting and disrespectful to anyone who has ever lost a child to a murderer that they were released from prison. I just hope they don’t decide to kill again.

        • You were there, I take it.

    • Shana Morgan

      The motive is ridiculous tho.. they were spying on them smoking pot? So he decided to hog tie and torture them? That makes zero sense to me. That is an extremely poverty stricken neighborhood with a full blown white trash if you will community. I’m pretty sure smoking pot is not that big of a deal. I’m sure they have seen much worse. People over there drink , smoke and do drugs like it’s the normal thing to do. If he did it, that was not the reason.

    • human2011

      There is a hair strand which matched Hobbs but also 11% humans. I’ve read the account of this case in the book “Morgue”. The case against the three boys were so flimsy. And all the witnesses recanted their stories later, including the waitress and the cellmate. Seriously a miscarriage of justice. To top it all, they plead guilty thus stopping further investigations.
      Just disgusting

      • Cindy Miles

        What about the guy known as Mr bojangles

        • More action/ less talk

          No one checked him out. He just disappeared into the night. Another report said he was dead.

      • Vicky O’Dell

        They had bribed witnesses, and told them what to say. For instance the lady who said her and Damon went to a Witch gathering. She also decribs what had occured. They had her do it to keep herself out of jail. So to me they knew these guys were not the killer or killers. I somehow think the man who came inside the Resterant. with mud up to his knees and blood all over his hand was given a large amount of dope either to kill the boys or to cover up someones dirty deeds.

    • Seamonkey

      As Damien has said, we shouldn’t decide that Byers or Hobbes are guilty without a fair investigation and trial. Otherwise we’re simply repeating our mistakes. I absolutely agree. First it was the WM3, then Byers and now Hobbes. We need a proper investigation for these families and it will never happen. Unless it becomes like the Central Park 5 case and the perpetrator(s) confesses! But like those who still say the CP5 are guilty they’ll always be people who say the WM3 are.

      • Vicky O’Dell

        I do feel that Mark Byers loves his boy. While Terrie was jealous for the realationship between mother and son.

    • Karen Noble

      Hi, I just wanted to say I’m greatful that the guys are released because I never in my heart and soul believed they done this. I agree with you 100% about Terry Hobbs. I have prayed that these guys would be able to be free and now they have.

    • J_Robit

      So what, then? Hobbs is just walking around, and will continue to do so, without any investigation or trial??????

    • Nancy Lockhart

      have they do DNA on the knife that belonged to little Stevie Hobbs ,terry Hobbs had in his belongings after his wife gave it to that investigator , their are still more pieces to this puzzle that has not been done or examined , these boys need justice

  • Pongo

    This article isn’t exactly accurate. But that’s pretty much par for the course.
    There once was a time when I believed the WM3 to be innocent. These days I’m not so sure. And slanted, half true articles like this one don’t help things either.

    • Jaime Myerton

      I don’t see a slant at all. They gave both sides, and it is true—there was no DNA found and there was hair from Hobbs found. They also mentioned the girl that testified she heard Echols saying he killed those boys. But this doesn’t seem to be a story about whether they are innocent or guilty, but more so where they are today and what they are up to.

      • nelz666

        There wasnt a hair of Hobbs found. Just a hair that could have matched Hobbs, with an accuracy of 89%. With that said, what you fools dont understand is that it could have been secondary transfer from Hobbs cause Steve Branch lived with Hobbs and his mother.

        • Jaime Myerton

          I get that it was a possible match, but since it was mtDNA with a probable match to Hobbs, there is no doubt in my mind that it was his. I am not accusing him of murdering those kids, but I am saying that that was his hair and since this is the best we have so far, it’s really a matter of opinion. You can think all day long it wasn’t his, while I will think it is.

        • Azrael Abyss

          Except that the hair was conveniently found in the knot of one of the hog ties.

    • Scorpiochic

      There is no slant. If you think prosecutors would, for no reason, decide to release 3 convicted child killers that they honestly believe are guilty , you’re clearly not thinking straight.

      They were in prison for life, and Echols was on death row! The state had no reason to change the status quo. But… they did. Why? Because they knew they messed up.

      Prosecutors wanted to save face and the guys wanted to go home. I’d go home too and fight from there, rather than risk death in prison.

      • iamdavebowers

        Prosecutors didn’t let them go. A new judge with little understanding of the case came under immense media pressure and let them go once they pleaded guilty. The prosecutors didn’t change their minds.

        • Vicky O’Dell

          The judge who heard the case before coulkd had wade in, and didn’t. .

    • DarthYan

      the alford plea was a compromise hammered out. The state would have lost at trial, so they agreed to save face

    • Vicky O’Dell

      If the evidence was false and or made up just for the purpose to have a conviction, that make a duty justice system, No conviction should be allowed.

  • Jeanna Kammerdiener

    Arkansas also made the boys sign off on any lawsuit before releasing them.

    • Pongo

      Terms of their plea agreement.

  • Jennifer lindsey

    I don’t understand why investigators are so comfortable with taking false confessions and going knowing that the killer is still out there and they can slept at night. What do they gain by taking false confessions so you can get held as a hero one minute and then disgraced as pathetic police officer on another

    • Gloria

      Because they don’t believe the confessions are false.

      They believe they know this person did it and simply don’t have the physical evidence to prove it, so they coerce them into “telling the truth.”

      • Vicky O’Dell


    • Vicky O’Dell

      I agree. Look at the case Jon Benee Ramsey and look how the Ramsey’s were treated.

  • Shana Morgan

    I live in San Diego,ca. I just recently watch Lost in Paradise for the first time. As I was watching it I thought, this sounds just like the case that happened to 2 little boys here . I Google the case (there is not alot of publicity at all on this case BTW) it happened 3 months before the Memphis case. Almost the exact same situation, boys were riding their bikes, disappeared and were found naked, hog tied, human bite marks in the face and genitals mutilated. The killer who they found years later from DNA evidence Scott Erkersine, had a violent history of rape and murder in California and Florida. He was in Prison for kidnap and rape when the DNA made a hit. He traveled alot using a vehicle. I only saw 1 blog where people were questioning the relation of these 2 cases. He killed the boys in San Diego March 1993, then May 1993 the same thing happened and hasn’t happened since. I am very curious about this , but I think some people are right, they aren’t going to further any investigations because then they will be sued for unwromgful imprisonment. CRAZY!

    • Vicky O’Dell

      Your right.

    • DarthYan

      heads up. Damian DID have some issues but it was overblown. Jessie confessed ut tthey were horseshoe

  • Puppy Bonz

    Why would they confess ?

    • DarthYan

      because jessie was dumb and the prosecutors tricked him into thinking he would benefit even if he didn’t

      • Vicky O’Dell

        Manipulated is more like it!

    • Seamonkey

      Actually Jesse has a low IQ, not dumb. They told him if he’d make a statement saying Damien was leader and killer then he could go home to his dad and girlfriend-after holding him for many hours and without parents or lawyer present that sounded great to him. He was easily coerced because of his mental incompetence.

      • iamdavebowers

        False confessions certainly exist, but not everything a defendant later says was a “false confession” are “false confessions” either.

        Take for example Jay Wilds from the Serial case. He most certainly made up a lot of his confession. He even later admitted to the lies. However he did so to minimize his participation. Not because it didn’t happen.

        Jessie may have made it all up. Five times. With a hand on the bible. Against the continued recommendation by his defense not to keep confessing. It may be all completely false.

        Or it could be because he’d rather agree to what the cops put to him than provide what really happened. Because it could be more incriminating or painful to tell.

        The truth is we’ll unlikely never know for sure.

  • Vicky O’Dell

    You know as well as I do, these are not stupid people (D.A, judge, and the investigator’s) They knew these guys were innocent. Accountability is due. They should have to face some kind of justice towards their misconduct.

    • DarthYan

      they knew’d they’d bee beaten

  • Vicky O’Dell

    I feel Terri Hobbs paid the Black man with Crack Cocaine to dump the bodies of the children. After he murdered them. He was seen with bloody hands and clothes, at a fast food store. If that man could be traced and found you would find out the truth.

  • Tracy Mcfayden

    have just watched paradise lost 3 what I can’t unerstand I why after around four appeal’s was a new judge not asked for its obvious to me that judge Burnett was not going to admit he was wrong. When a child is killed the police always look to the family first why was it not done? And as for arresting a kid and his friends just because he dresses in black ( like a goth) is laughable I meen can you imagine how many kids would be locked up now fr crimes they didn’t do. I believe Terry Hobbs had something to do with it but he will take to the grave what he knows. I hope they where well compensated for all the years lost to them ( i know money won’t give them their yrs back) and I wish them all luck in the years ahead.

    • Seamonkey

      Tracey, the judge couldn’t be replaced because AK has the ridiculous law that the judge who hears the original trial is the one who decides if they made a mistake or deny the appeal.

      As Damien said, this type of miscarriage of justice isn’t rare. Check out the documentaries, all available on Netflix or Amazon. “The Central Park 5”, whose false confessions were coerced the night of victim’s rape and beating with no evidence linking the kids to the crime. Police and prosecutors received no blame even though they knew DNA evidence exonerated the teens. They each served their full sentence (wouldn’t admit guilt to be paroled) before the real rapist confessed after meeting one of the teens at Rikers (yes, in Rikers at 16) and “seeing the suffering in his eyes”. These kids, aged 14-16, were so hated that New Yorkers, the most vocal being Trump, demanded they be “fried” even though no murder was committed! The real rapist went on to rape and kill a pregnant lady when he could’ve been brought to justice sooner. I ask why their innocence wasn’t covered as much by media as their “guilt”. “David and Me” tells the story of 2 teens who also were coerced into false confessions for car jacking, kidnapping and murder. This one more tragic because Willie Suckley, one of the teens, died in prison at 32. David McCallum was thankfully released after 28 years after his verdict was vacated. The victim’s family is now left with no answers to who killed Nathan. “The Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story” is also about a wrongful conviction. Because of bad police work and prosecutorial misconduct another woman was raped and murdered while prosectors locked up the wrong man, the victim’s husband! Michael spent 25 years in prison before his verdict was vacated. Though holding no anger towards the prosector or judge they were however both found guilty of misconduct and punished for their blatantly unlawful treatment of Michael. That’s a rarity. These cases aren’t exceptional. The system is broken. What are citizens doing to demand change?

      I’ve lived in Memphis my whole life and kept up with this story not believing devil worshipping was rampant not just through out America but across our bridge. (Remember all those Satan worshipping day care providers in the ’80’s?) An FBI study later proved me right. But small, southern towns and cities are exactly the kind to spread rumors, lies and ignorance. I think it was the juvenile probation officers who started these rumors against the WM3 to begin with. I’ve watched all 3 documentaries and read all the books both pro and con. No one who has truly studied this case can claim these teens were guilty. Jerry Driver is where this fiasco started. I wish prosecution could start with him. Just because their plea said they couldn’t sue doesn’t mean those who perpetrated this grave injustice can’t be punished. The families of those 3 young boys deserve answers they’ll likely never receive now.

    • Kelly Sundy

      I am friends with Jessie Misskelly and he was given $50,000 in royalties from the documentaries and that was all he is unable to work due to the publicity of this case as well as he is now and will always be considered a felon and a child killer even though it is not true. Even though he was released a lot of people still believe he is guilty and make it impossible for him to get work in this area. You might ask why does he stay to that I say because this and prison are all he knows. His father is here and that is all he has in this world.

      • Vicky O’Dell

        That is so sad!! There has to be accountibility for the justice system. For them to do someones life like this the same should be done to them that is criminal what they =had done to the three.

      • Alexis Ferrera

        His father seemed so sweet. My heart goes to them as it goes to the familes of those 3 little babies.

  • naynay

    I agree with the one comment on Damien fighting for Avery creep. He may have been wrongfully accused of one crime. But anyone who can torture a animal is evil and probably guilty of more than we will ever know….

    • Seamonkey

      His comment was probably based more on his emotional reaction to “what of he’s innocent as well”. Many think Avery is innocent because they don’t get both sides first. He also said he didn’t like people saying Byer or Hobbes were guilty without a fair investigation and trial. That’s a men who is truly siding on caution when declaring someone guilty.

  • Puto1

    I saw this on HBO when it first came out and I always thought they were innocent..and now everyone that knows about the case see’s that Terry Hobbs is the one who killed the three boy’s, the only DNA that was found was a hair of his on one of the victims was his and his wife said that it was him..and all of the victims recanted their stories expecially the cellmate..this was a very disgusting injustice and the Alfred plea deal. They dont want to admit Terry is guilty because they framed the three WM3 boys…

  • Becca Lee

    I have just seen the hbo documentary and quite frankly it’s sickening. The level of depravity their ‘justice” system was willing to go to–to convict these three young boys. It’s disgusting. These poor kids. SIX lives were destroyed in this crime, not just the three babies that died, but these three boys as well. 18 years of their lives was ripped from them. I personally believe that the mindset of the people in this town is the direct result of poverty and malignant religious indoctrination and corruption. These were witch burners, but much more dangerous. HOW many others were convicted and killed (death penalty) due to this sick system. I could have been a suspect…I loved Metallica, I loved death metal, I wore dark clothing, I knew about the occult and magick…does that mean I’m a murderer. NO. Terry Hobbs should have been prime suspect number 1, but these police grazed over the facts to confirm these boys did this. Blame it on satanism…how disgusting.

  • george420b

    And Terry Hobbs is still walking free?

    • iamdavebowers

      While he may well have done it (family members are always highly suspect) you can’t lock someone up for finding a hair that matches 10% of the population.

      Would you want to be locked up on such evidence?

  • sadly the State of Arkansas forced the guys to take the Alfrod plea which closed the case for them and guaranteed that the real killer went free.

    • iamdavebowers

      Nobody was forced to take the plea. Baldwin didn’t even want to. Echols made him.

  • Killian Courtney

    You would never let three child murders out of jail unless you knew they were innocent. You use the Alford plee to restrict their ability to sue and bankrupt the county, causing everyone to lose their jobs.

  • Shelly

    This case upsets me to think no one actually knows what Happend in those woods except those 3 little boys who were horribly murdered!
    There was no actual DNA to point The 3 lads to the crime except statements that were changed so many times over the years!
    It seems like the court just wanted to sentence the lads, as it was such a big case with a lot of media attention!
    I’ve watched the films and documentaries and no one seemed to know what they were actually doing! All of misskellies statements were like he was under a trance, the police were putting the words into his mouth

    I look at the 3 accused now and I can’t see them doing such disgusting things to 3 little boys…

    Terry Hobbs just gives me the chills, he’s a disgusting man, his eyes are just filled with pure evil, I can say hand on my heart I think he’s the one they should of put on trial and can’t understand how nothing has come about him having a trail? They arrest 3 young lads because they dressed different and sentenced them to life and death over what evidence? Just GOSSIP but they do have DNA in that knot, terry hobbs hair! People saying ” 11% DNA isn’t strong enough to hold in court” well gossip mangaged to sentence Damien to death! TRIAL terry hobbs even do a lie detector just to see the results! He lost his temper that day and killed stevie and then killed the other 2 boys! A hair just dosnt appear in a fixed knot, those little boys were stripped and beaten, their laces pulled out of their trainers in the mud and wet how would a hair cling on to a lace and then get tied in a knot? Terry’s hair fell out as he was hog tying them boys, TRIAL HOBBS!!!!!!!

  • Shelly

    This case upsets me to think no one actually knows what Happend in those woods except those 3 little boys who were horribly murdered!
    There was no actual DNA to point The 3 lads to the crime except statements that were changed so many times over the years!
    It seems like the court just wanted to sentence the lads, as it was such a big case with a lot of media attention!
    I’ve watched the films and documentaries and no one seemed to know what they were actually doing! All of misskellies statements were like he was under a trance, the police were putting the words into his mouth

    I look at the 3 accused now and I can’t see them doing such disgusting things to 3 little boys…

    Terry Hobbs just gives me the chills, he’s a disgusting man, his eyes are just filled with pure evil, I can say hand on my heart I think he’s the one they should of put on trial and can’t understand how nothing has come about him having a trail? They arrest 3 young lads because they dressed different and sentenced them to life and death over what evidence? Just GOSSIP but they do have DNA in that knot, terry hobbs hair! People saying ” 11% DNA isn’t strong enough to hold in court” well gossip mangaged to sentence Damien to death! TRIAL terry hobbs even do a lie detector just to see the results! He lost his temper that day and killed stevie and then killed the other 2 boys! A hair just dosnt appear in a fixed knot, those little boys were stripped and beaten, their laces pulled out of their trainers in the mud and wet how would a hair cling on to a lace and then get tied in a knot? Terry’s hair fell out as he was hog tying them boys, TRIAL HOBBS!!!!!!!

  • revengeofzodlovesmaude

    It was easy for me to decide- there was no motive. NO evidence, no ties to the boys other than bogus untrustworthy witnesses. Reading about the case, its easy to see Hobbs as the killer. If investigators had searched his home the following days, they’d likely have found the evidence.

  • Daniel Way

    Is Terry Hobbs still alive?

  • Hannah Corcoran

    Jason Baldwin spoke to my class at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington today- he’s in good health and spirits and his wife is a delight. He told us that after so many years of the finger pointed at him, he won’t accuse anyone of the crime without good evidence and a fair trial. Glad he could talk to us

  • Shelly

    Hang terry HOBBS the baby killer

  • Megan M Mulligan

    What about the African American hair they found at the crime scene? Why has that still not been tested? I mean they literally saw a man go to a restroom covered in blood and did nothing with that?!!!

  • Walter Lauinger

    The only FACT in this case is three dead eight year old boys. God will have to sort it out. RIPx3

  • Donde Moore

    I believe it was Terry Hobbs that murder the boys, but I don’t believe he did it alone!

  • Pro Putin

    I believe that it was at least two teenagers from the neighboring apartment complex that committed the murders.

  • Roz K

    Hobbs displays some earmarks of a narcissistic psychopath. There were also some displays of lying. None of this proves anything but it sure casts a shadow over him.

  • Kimberley Sue Burrow

    Well all the boys had been to the Hobbs house that day.. this story is so incredibly heartbreaking and on the final judgement day God will meat out their punishment

  • Kimberley Sue Burrow

    If we start making accusations against ppl we are no better than the reporters, police the justice system and the majority of the town

  • Tony Kayoumi

    Imho Damien is most definitely guilty. Jessie had a part. I am not sure about the other one. Now they’re rich and famous just like Damien wanted.

  • Chris Kavanagh

    Misskelly confessed at least 6 times, yet his father claims it’s reporters who “put my boy in the pen!?” No Mr Misskelly, your son put himself in the Pen, no one else.

  • Pat Jackson

    Hobbs is an absolute 100% NUTJOB. He loves the publicity x is CRAP ‘actor’. & Chris Kavanage, u are an IDIOT. Poor Misskelly is mentally challenged,he would have admitted to being the wizard of Oz if the cops had told him to.

  • Rick Barker

    Jessie was in a different town night of, and was witnessed to be in a different town night of. No DNA at all tied any of those boys to the murder. The Jessie confessions was from a mentally challenged kid who just wanted to please everyone and wanted the attention. All of the witnesses were chorused or just plain lied. This case was about as weak sauce as it comes.


    As to LEVELS OF EVIL it’s hard to beat child murder, but the State of Arkansas is a big contender for FIRST PLACE— as is the US government via no FBI investigation. Why weren’t cops, D.A. and the judge put on trail for allowing the real murder to escape via the big-frame-up they pulled on three vulnerable teens?

  • aces

    Are there any examples of teenagers killing this many kids like this? Murder in this manner is pretty intense and it doesn’t seem like teenagers usually have the stomach for it. Guns, sure, but knives? Tying people up?

  • Adan Salinas

    What about the black guy at the bojangles restaurant with blood on him they never followed it up and the evidence was lost. Police screwed up wanted and open and shut case. They were not qualified for this case.