Posted in books | music on September 14, 2012

Damien Echols

The New York Public Library is presenting a talk between freed West Memphis Three's Damien Echols and Henry Rollins on November 7 at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum (5th Ave / 42nd St). Tickets are on sale now.

As you probably know, Echols was the supposed "ringleader" of the WM3 who were incarcerated for 18 years (Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Jason Baldwin had life sentences) for the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, AK. After years of growing pressure from public support groups -- due in no small part to the Paradise Lost documentaries -- all three were released last August through a plea deal.

If you've never seen the Paradise Lost films, they remain gripping accounts of blatant injustice despite now knowing the outcome. The third film was released on DVD in August and all three are highly recommended. Meanwhile, Echols has just written a book on his experiences titled Life After Death which will be released on September 18.

This event comes just after Henry Rollins post-election residency at Joe's Pub. It's part of the "Live from the NYPL" 2012 season that also includes Pete Townsend talking with Paul Holdengräber on October 8, David Byrne discussing his new book How Music Works on December 5 (both sold out), and more. Full list is here.

---

      

Comments (56)

Lin5anity lives.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:18 PM

Oh. My. God.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:19 PM

Don't feel too bad about what happened, West Memphis Three. We're all getting fucked in the ass now. Welcome back to the American dream.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:23 PM

From the AP story the day they plead guilty:

"In upholding Echols' conviction in 1996, the state Supreme Court noted that two people testified Echols bragged about the killings, an eyewitness put Echols at the scene, fibers similar to the boys' clothing were found in Echols' home, a knife was found in a pond behind Baldwin's home, Echols' interest in the occult and his telling police that he understood the boys had been mutilated before officers had released such details."

Just because a rock star gets behind a case doesn't mean the person isn't guilty.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:27 PM

^ No way! Dude hangs out with Johnny Depp now. Johnny's way too cool to hang out with a murderer of children imo.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:33 PM

The "West Memphis Three" and the "New Jersey Four" are meeting tonight to debate whether it's worse to get charged with a violent crime you DIDN'T commit, or a violent crime you DID commit.

8pm, NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Tickets $165

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:44 PM

Hey guys, what's going on Friday?

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:47 PM

West Memphis Three > New Jersey Four > Chicago Seven

Quantitatively.

QED, mothafuckas.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 3:54 PM

Muito banaca! Deve ser um livro muito bom!

Posted by Camisetas personalizadas | September 14, 2012 4:13 PM

3:27 is being willfully ignorant about the case and is likely a police fanboy. They were clearly innocent. I won't go into breaking down why that evidence was all crap - anyone can wiki this.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:15 PM

4:15, not true, not ANYONE: WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO LIVE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN AND ALSO ARE DEAD?????

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:19 PM

4:15 is Damien Echols attorney. Damien did that shit.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:22 PM

BV COMMENTERS CRACKED THE CASE, Y'AAL!! Now lemmi do one:

New Jersey Four:

Guiltytheytotallydidit!

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:25 PM

^ U MAD BRUH?

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:31 PM

"u mad?" is just the best!

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:32 PM

^ YEA U MAD

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:34 PM

^U JELLY?

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:36 PM

^WELL, WHAT KIND OF CONDIMENT ARE YOU?

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:38 PM

R.I.P. comment thread

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:45 PM

4:15: "They were clearly innocent"

Yes, and after all the movies and the celebrities and the notoriety of the case. You know what they did? THEY PLEAD GUILTY.

Fucking idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:45 PM

I like mustard, myself. Is that what I am?


R.I.P.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:45 PM

R.I.P. Fucking idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:46 PM

So sad. R.I.P., whatever everyone's talking about.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:49 PM

R.I.P. everyone's talking about.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:51 PM

4:45 do you like mustard in exclusion of mayo, or can they coexist vis-a-vis your sandwich tastes? I'm curious.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:52 PM

vegan = no mayo

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 4:59 PM

Can you be a vegan and eat ONLY mayo?

If so, I love you I love you I love you.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:04 PM

No, eggs.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:06 PM

I am aware of the albumin content in mayo, I just thought that maybe if you doubled down, then you wouldn't anger NatureGod or whatever stupid thing vegans are obviously terrified of angering.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:10 PM

@3:27 and @4:45 clearly have zero knowledge about the facts of the case.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:12 PM

Anon 4:45

They plead guilty because it was the quickest way out of jail.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:13 PM

5:10, we'll all be vegans soon. You might as well go ahead and get used to it now.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:14 PM

^JUST THE FACTS, 3:27 AND 4:45!

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:14 PM

After weeks of negotiations on August 19, 2011, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley were released from prison as part of an Alford plea deal, a rare legal mechanism in which "no contest" pleas are entered but innocence is nevertheless maintained. An Alford plea concedes that prosecutors have sufficient evidence to secure a conviction but reserves the right to assert innocence. Stephen Braga, a prominent attorney with Ropes & Gray who took up Echols’s defense on a pro bono basis beginning in 2009, negotiated the plea agreement with prosecutors.[51] Under the deal, Judge David Laser vacated the previous convictions, including the capital murder convictions for Echols and Baldwin, and ordered a new trial. Each man then entered an Alford plea to lesser charges of first and second degree murder while verbally stating their innocence. Judge Laser then sentenced them to time served, a total of 18 years and 78 days, and they were given a Suspended Imposition of Sentence for 10 years.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:37 PM

In short, they NEVER pleaded guilty. That took 35 seconds.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:42 PM

tl;dr: "DURRRRRR I'M TOO STUPID TO NOT BE FRAMED FOR MER-DER"

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 5:42 PM

yea, look up Alford Plea Deal you scags. they never pled guilty, they pled 'no contest.' and they were offered that plea deal because literally everyone in the fucking world knows they're innocent. even the supreme court of AK.

the supreme court couldn't declare them innocent, because then Echols and co. would have grounds to sue AK and the Supreme Court for gross amounts of money. hence the alford plea deal = "we'll let you out of jail now, if you don't sue us."

not the first time it's happened, read a book.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 6:14 PM

You realize that the Supreme Court doesn't get sued, right?

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 6:58 PM

^ The hell they don't.

Posted by Anonymous | September 14, 2012 7:42 PM

The West Memphis Three were found guilty by a unanimous jury the first time and plead guilty last year instead of waiting for a trial. Misskelley (one of the 3) confessed FIVE times, three times to the detectives, once to the police and once to his own lawyer. All of the West Memphis three had failed alibis. Read alternative sources about the case. Don't believe the one sided movies.

Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2012 1:24 AM

Echols had a history of threats of violence, violence, psychiatric treatment and psychotic behavior. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents? and stating he liked to drink blood. See court documents exhibit 500 for evidence of this. Echols' stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. Echols' journal contained morbid images and references to dead children.

Police took a necklace from Echols when he was arrested. An outside crime lab later found blood from two distinct DNA sources on the necklace. One source was consistent with Echols himself. The second source was consistent with both victim Steven Branch and co-defendant Jason Baldwin (one of the 3). A car load of people saw Echols in muddy? clothes near the crime scene. Echols went around bragging he committed the crimes to at least three different people after the crimes were committed.

Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2012 1:27 AM

"The WM3 defense team has been well-funded by numerous celebrities who were misinformed by the biased "Paradise Lost” documentaries. These one-sided films left out nearly all of the evidence that demonstrated the guilt of the WM3. They caused thousands of people to support the release of the convicted child killers with a very limited understanding of the actual facts? of the case." Todd Moore (father of one of the murdered children)

Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2012 1:30 AM

so your sources are one of the dead kid's dads (possibly the most biased source you could find) and the description of a moody emo teenager who did shit for attention. and the source in favor of innocence is a supreme court ruling and extensive evidence.

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 11:29 AM

No, my sources are court case documents and mainstream media articles. Echols was not a "moody emo teenager." He was psychotic, violent and threatened himself and others with violence. If you want evidence of this, go to callahan 8k and read exhibit 500 from the courts about Echols' records or go to wm3truth com for a synopsis of this.

There are two sides to this case. Only one is presented in the biased movies.

Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2012 1:51 PM

In 2007, Pamela Hobbs, the mother of victim Stevie Branch, joined those who have publicly questioned the verdicts, calling for a reopening of the verdicts and further investigation of the evidence.[61] In late 2007, John Mark Byers also announced that he now believes that Echols, Misskelley, and Baldwin are innocent.[62] "I had made the comment if it were ever proven the three were innocent, I'd be the first to lead the charge for their freedom," said Byers. "Every opportunity that I have to voice that the West Memphis Three are innocent and the evidence and proof prove [sic] they're innocent."

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 4:31 PM

(John Mark Byers, the adoptive father of victim Christopher Byers)

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 4:32 PM

@151 there are two sides to every argument. luckily we have the supreme court to serve as impartial referee, so you still lose. sorry you don't get to see emo boy imprisoned for no reason.

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 5:30 PM

Hey, at least Rollins is gonna be there!

Posted by Anonymous | September 15, 2012 5:48 PM

iPods

Posted by Anonymous | September 16, 2012 5:54 AM

No, we all lose when three guilty murders get to walk free. Last year, they plead guilty and have probation for ten years.

"Our cherished eight-year-old son, Michael, was brutally murdered on May 5, 1993 by Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin. Misskelley was tried and convicted in 1994. Baldwin and Echols were convicted by a separate jury later that year. All three entered Alford pleas to our son’s murder August 19, 2011. They are now, as they have been for the past 17 years, guilty as a matter of law. They have been guilty as a matter of fact since the moment water flooded Michael’s lungs after he was beaten, stripped, hogtied, and then discarded into a stream to drown." Todd and Diana Moore

Posted by anonymous | September 17, 2012 12:13 AM

This happened in Arkansas [AR] NOT Alaska [AK] lol

Posted by Anonymous | September 19, 2012 2:19 PM

People in New York actually pay to hear this crap?

Posted by StupidIsAsStupidDoes | October 20, 2012 2:07 PM

This has been very helpful.
waxing ny and waxing nyc,body waxing nyc

Posted by jaspreet | November 16, 2012 10:34 PM

Buy from ebay, the worlds largest and most trusted auction site. Pay with paypal and eliminate any security issues with your credit card.

Posted by Michal | February 24, 2013 5:30 PM

wow west memphis rules.

Posted by jordon | July 22, 2013 1:14 PM

Leave a Comment