In 1993, three innocent young kids were found raped, naked, and murdered in the mud of local woodland at Robin Hood Hills in West Memphis, Arkansas.
They were all American boys – 8-year-old Michael Moore, Steven Branch, and Christopher Byers. All proud members of the Boy Scouts with the world ahead of them but their lives were cut short in the most horrible way that anyone could ever imagine.
After getting together to go play and have fun in the local woods, the boys were instead abducted, tied up, beaten, raped, tortured, and then killed in what can be described as a “Satanic ritual sacrifice.”
According to the Encycopledia of Arkansas:
“The state of the boys’ bodies quickly inspired rumors that a satanic cult was responsible. The crime scene’s location in the woods, the nudity, the positioning of the boys’ bodies, and especially the castration caused concern about Satanism amongst the locals, and amongst the police as well.
Within days of the murders, Gary Gitchell, the chief inspector, informed the public that the police were considering a number of possible explanations for the murders, one of which was cult activity.
Throughout the investigation, the cult theory overshadowed more traditional theories, such as the speculation that the murders were committed by someone who knew the boys.”
At the time of the killings, a local teenager from a nearby trailer park named Damien Echols quickly became a prime suspect. The main reason why police zeroed in on Echols was his criminal record, extensive mental health history, and his interest in the occult.
You see, Echols was a felon and his probation officer who knew his dark history had alerted homicide detectives about his tendency for violence, and his involvement in Satanism, black magick, and the fact that he had threatened to murder people in the past – including his own step mother.
Echols was not your average heavy metal tshirt wearing teenager.
He was a Satanist who was a convicted criminal who had a long history of dark occult and blood ritualistic behavior.
According to police and mental health records, Damien Echols had made a pact with his girlfriend to sacrifice their first born baby in a death ritual and that he liked to drink human blood as well.
When he was arrested, police investigators discovered a plethora of evidence of Echols occult and Satanic activities with various writings, drawings, and his own and other people’s damning statements.
For example, Echols had a ringed binder in his possession at his home that he made called the “Book of Shadows” with Satanic drawings such as these:
As I mentioned, there has been a lot written about the case from both perspectives so I won’t go into too much detail here other than summarizing the key points that I believe are the most important to prove that Damien Echols was and is a Satanist on the fringe.
It is important to note that one of the main suspects, Jessie Misskelley had confessed not once, not twice, but several times to law enforcement and he even placed his right hand on the bible admitting the killings. Later he would also confess to his lawyer. Hell, even his own father and family believed he was guilty.
The police then investigated into his background and what he was doing on the night of the murders. An eyewitness had seen Echols with another person in the very same neighborhood the boys were found dead covered in mud.
Damien along with two of his friends, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, were then questioned and arrested for the crimes and they would forever be known in Cult murder lore as “The West Memphis Three (3).”
Misskelley had quickly confessed to detectives about his involvement giving them intimate details of the crime scene such as being hogtied and having chased down one of the boys who almost got away, and he also implicated Baldwin and Echols as his accomplices.
He had told investigators;
“Then they tied them up, tied their hands up,” parts of which were tape recorded. After describing sodomizing and other violence, he went on: “And I saw it and turned around and looked, and then I took off running. I went home, then they called me and asked me, ‘How come I didn’t stay? I told them, I just couldn’t.’”
Misskelley later recanted, and defense lawyers said the then-17-year-old got several parts of the story wrong.
But that was not the only evidence and there were also other statements made to police that prove that The West Memphis 3 were violent teens who also practiced Satanic rituals.
For example, one of Jessee Miskelleys’ friends, Dennis Carter was interviewed by Lt. D. Hester at the request of Dennis Carter 6/9/93 completed @ 2:45 – 4:15 p.m.
According to the police report, Carter told police that he has known and been friends with Misskelley all of his life.
The last time he saw Jesse was the day before he was arrested. He claimed that he did not know Damien or Jason. However, he knew who they were but was not friends with either of them.
One of their mutual friends, Rick told Dennis about some Devil worshipers that would meet in a place called Stone Henge in the woods where they would cut a dog’s head off and would eat the meat from the leg. Rick said that Damien was the leader.
Dennis told investigators that about 6 months prior, Jesse told him that Damien was a Devil worshiper and that he ate the right leg of dogs and said that this happened in the woods located behind Elite lamp.
He also said to the police that Jesse liked to fight and a lot of times he would even start it. About 2 months prior to the crimes, Jesse was fighting a boy named Eric in Lakeshore when this girl named Tiffany (13) Eric’s girlfriend — went over to try and stop him — states Jesse turned around and hit her as hard as he could in the ear with his fist. Dennis stated that Jesse had to go to Juvenile Court over that.
Dennis said there was a little girl in the mobile home park who was 5 or 6 yrs old who was throwing rocks — one accidentally hit Jesse — Jesse chased the little girl and threw a rock and hit her in the head. The little girl was crying and Jesse was laughing.
He also stated to police that Jesse drank a lot and smoked pot when he could get it — thinks the guys name is Josh 17 yrs old and lives in Highland Trailer Park. States that he also saw Jesse sniffing gas about 20 times. Also saw Jesse take mini thins — bought them at Delta in Marion — got high from those.”
Damien Echols would fail a polygraph test and his alibis would be ripped to shreds. He even admitted on the stand that his timeline kept changing to try to fit the facts.
We know that after a short trial, the jury convicted the three teenagers of the crimes in 1994 based on the evidence put forth by the prosecution with the most damning being the actual confessions from two of the killers.
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.
Since the deaths of the three boys, there have been countless articles, books, and even Hollywood films detailing some of the facts about the case and legal battles. What I have found in my own research is that there are two different camps of people who have taken opposite sides on this matter.
One camp still adamantly believes that Damien Echols and his accomplices are guilty and the other camp believes that they were innocent teens who were wrongly convicted simply because they loved heavy metal and wore Metallica t-shirts.
The camp who believes he is guilty is still very active online. Many people have started personal websites, wrote books, and have active Facebook Groups where they are still covering this case and keeping a watchful eye on who Echols who they feel is a serious threat to society.
The other camp who professes his innocence rely on the simple defense asserting that the killings were part of a Satanic Panic by over zealous Christians and Prosecuters, inspired many authors and film makers to document the case, and led to a movement of powerful people and Hollywood stars who believed that the Memphis 3 had been wrongly convicted.
These people with the help of Hollywood star power and millions of dollars would end up helping the three convicts released from prison. Their supporters would include, “Lord of the Rings” director, Peter Jackson, who donated millions of dollars and “actors” like Johnny Depp, Natlie Maines of the “Dixie Chicks,” and Eddie Vedder of “Pearl Jam.”
It has been estimated that they contributed approximately $20 million to help defend the convicted child killers by dragging out the appeals process, which eventually would secure their release from prison in 2011.
One of the main reasons I feel compelled to report on this case is because Damien Echols is now openly claiming to be a Satanist who used black magick and what he had coined as ‘High Magick” to get off Death Row for the murders of 3 innocent boys.
Also, the fact that the West Memphis Three had received millions of dollars for their defense fund from a bunch of celebrities and got a lot of media attention from Hollywood.
All because some people had characterized their prosecution as the result of a Satanic Panic and overzealous law enforcement who busted three local teens just because they were into heavy metal and wore Metallica t-shirts.
On August 19, 2011, after serving 18 years of Death Row, the convicted child killers – Echols and his co-defendants in the case, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., entered Alford pleas. An Alford plea is a no contest plea where the accused claims their innocence, but pleads guilty anyway to get a deal offered by prosecutors instead of risking a trial.
During the hearings, after years of investigation and millions of dollars spent by the Memphis 3, the defense attorneys, nor the defendants did not present any exonerating evidence to prove their innocence during the Alford Plea hearings.
Despite there being no evidence proving their innocence, the three men admitted their guilt in the crimes, Arkansas Judge David Laser accepted the pleas and released the men for time served with 10-year suspended sentences.
But the facts are that there is more to the story than Hollywood and the West Memphis 3 would like you to falsely believe. This story of child rape, torture, and murder and celebrities raising millions to release three convicted criminals is a perfect example of why I believe that the U.S. has devolved from our original ethos of Brothery Love and justice and liberty for all into the “Satanic State of America.”
In researching the case, I discovered that this outcast rage would be the main marketing calling card for West Memphis Three and their 3 Hollywood made movies which would convince many people around the world that they were just different – outcasts like you and me.
In fact, this is how they continue to convince people that they are innocent through these films and the many articles written by lazy journalists who consume Echol’s narrative hook, line, and sinker just because they saw the movie or read some article.
What people need to understand about this case are the facts that the people who backed up Damien Echols and the producers who made the films failed to include many facts, details and evidence that would have revealed a much different side of the case than they wanted to portray to their audience.
An audience they knew most likely would not do their own research so they included only the facts they wanted to put in the film to control the narrative in order to gain support and money for Echols’ cause.
And you know what?
Almost every person I have researched who believes the West Memphis Three are innocent based their beliefs mainly from watching the Damien Echols directed movies. Including one of his biggest supporters and who he calls his Brother, Johnny Depp.
They even have matching secret demon and talisman tattoos on their chests to signify their occult bonds.
Marilyn Manson calls them “The West Hollywood Three” which is a pun on the name West Memphis Three. A name that was given to Echols and his two convicted child pals in the rape and torture of 3 boys in Memphis, Tennessee.
USA Today reports on Depp’s statements about the matching tattoos;
“The man Johnny Depp helped release from Arkansas’ death row has become like a brother to him, right down to getting matching tattoos.
“We have some,” Depp said Saturday as he touched a tattoo on the right side of his chest.
“This one Damien designed. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and it means quite a lot to me,” Depp told The Associated Press before the premiere of the documentary, “West of Memphis,” about Damien Echols and his two co-defendants.
Echols said whenever he and Depp get together, they often end up in a tattoo parlor. Depp said it’s about “celebrating the moment.”
A fact that you need to know is that Damien Echols was the executive director of the films which played a huge part in securing his release.
This meant that he had the final say in what information will be presented in the film and what they will not be shown to the public.
When I discovered that Echols was the executive director, I immediately thought “How many convicts would love to receive millions of dollars for their defense and to direct a movie to secure their release telling the public about only the details of the crime that they would like them to believe?”
In my opinion, that is a lot of magical power to hand to a convicted child raping killer who is on Death Row. In fact, this has never happened in the history of our justice system.
As the author, Gary Meece points out in his book, Blood on Black: The Case Against the West Memphis 3 Killers, which is unlike the other books and documentaries about these crimes because he actually uses real court case files. Meece wrote:
“The murders were thrill kills, according to Echols himself. But they were much more than that. Police were struck by the ritualistic aspects. Local dabblers in the occult immediately came under suspicion.
Under questioning, Echols, already acknowledged as a witch, flaunted his knowledge of the occult, his theories of how the killings could have “magickal” implications and his insights into how the killer would think and feel.
He demonstrated special knowledge about the case beyond the little publicly known. He gave out signals that he was a prime suspect; a series of witnesses further implicated him. A confession broke open the case.”
All these facts were mysteriously left out of the movie script… I wonder why?
What is also left out of the film is over 500 pages of mental health records saying things like Echols was prone to extreme acts of violence, liked to drink human blood and threatened to kill and eat people like his own father.
These 500 pages are known in the West Memphis Three case filed as “Exhibit 500.”
It includes most of the hospitalization and mental health records of Damien Echols as a teenager while he lived in Arkansas and Oregon and also his application for disability. Yes, he applied for disability due to his inability to function as a normal person due to his severe mental health issues and thus keep a job.
It is a large collection of mental health status records, psychological testing, dozens of damaging notes by mental health doctors and nurses and also includes statements from Jerry Driver, Damien’s parole officer.
Here is a small example of some pertinent facts you should know about Damien Echols before the murders.
* Made a suicide pact with Deanna Holcomb.
* Self-mutilation (cutting and burning).
* History of drug abuse.
Violent threats or ideation
* Threatened harm to or threatened life of Pamela Echols (mother).
* Threatened harm to or threatened life of Joe Hutchison (father).
* Threatened harm to or threatened life of father of Deanna Holcomb (girlfriend).
* Threats/terroristic threatening, others.
* Murderous ideation.
Violent acts and attempted acts of aggression.
* Chased child with ax.
* Initiates fights at school/aggression toward others.
* Attempted to claw out schoolmate’s eyes.
* Started fires.
* Witchcraft interest and practice.
* Satanism, occultism or devil worship.
* Possessed by a spirit or demon.
* Drank blood of peers (voluntary or involuntary).
* Claimed to be a vampire.
* Planned to have baby and sacrifice it.
* Wrote disturbing, dark, or occult (or satanic) poetry.
* Made occult (or satanic) drawings.
Damien Echol’s long history of family dysfunction, mental health issues, violence, and sexual abuse were the main themes that can be found in the Exhibit 500 documents and in later witness statements taken after his arrest.
In these records, Echols had said to various psychiatrists and therapists that he had no feelings for his family and that he hated both his step-father and biological father and that he did not like his sister because “she want(ed) to be like him and that bothers him a lot.”
His mother said Damien’s biological father may have been physically abusive and once threatened to break Damien’s arm. His stepfather was accused of being sexually abusive, and possessive toward his mother, and was “mentally abusive” to his step-children.
An interesting note is that Damien is not his birth name. He was born Michael Wayne Echols and he changed his name as a teenager from Michael to Damien. Damien said both in trial and to a social worker in 1992, that he was the reason behind the name change.
He claimed that he had been interested in Catholicism at the time and admired Father Damien, who tended to lepers on Molokai. But many people allege that he took the name himself after the boy in The Omen who was really a demon.
Damien’s first stay at a mental hospital was at the Charter Hospital in Little Rock after threatening to commit suicide after being arrested for burglary, sexual misconduct, and breaking and entering involving an incident with his then girlfriend and her parents. Damien was sent to the hospital after expressing plans to commit suicide in the detention facility.
From the numerous reports compiled there, we can start to see a more complete version of Damien’s mental health and occult history.
Damien said that he had been suspended from school seven times for setting fires. He also mentioned a fight with a classmate over a girl, where he almost gouged out his eyes. The classmate was questioned and the incident was found to be true. There was a time when Damien chased a child with an axe, but Echols would later deny the event happened.
The hospital staff confirmed that he had a history of physical aggression and felt that his peers at school taunted him. They observed Echols daily, and took a lot of notes referring to him as being “depressed” and “withdrawn”, with a “flat affect”. He told the hospital that he had burned himself with lighters, and huffed gas and paint
Echol’s mother expressed concern to the hospital about her son’s “anger and rage”. His MMPI evaluation (which begins on page 199) also made note of Damien’s apparent “impulsive hostility” and how he may “feel justified in treating others in an unprincipled matter” due to perceived wrongs.
The mental health staff noted that he may have been suffering from paranoia and auditory hallucinations, due to sniffing the air and giving “inappropriate smiles.” The MMPI evaluation diagnosed him with depressive disorder, bipolar, and paranoid schizophrenia. Echols claimed at his trial that he was on medication for manic depressive behavior, though what was prescribed to him (Tofranil) is actually an anti-depressant and is known to make manic behavior worst.
In 1992, while incarcerated at the Craighead County Detention Center in September of 1992, after it was found that he drank the blood that came from a peer, he was transferred to the Charter Hospital of Little Rock for observation.
Details about the incident are contradicted by Echols who claimed that the person had allowed him to suck blood from his neck but the incident report from the Juvenile Detention Center said that Damien had sucked blood from a peer’s arm without warning.
In an interview on September 15, 1992, a social worker claimed that Echols discussed his devil-worshippingiefs in vampirism. The social worker also claimed that Damien was giggling and smiling at inappropriate moments, during this interview.
The initial evaluation also stated that his peers at the detention center were afraid of him and that he showed poor judgment and had little insight into his illness. They also noted that Damien seemed cooperative but drew occult symbols, which concerned them.
In early 1993, Echols attended more counseling when he claimed to his therapist that his “parents were constantly fighting” and that he had “tried to ignore it but eventually started fighting back.”
During the evaluation, he made various disturbing statements that proved that he was a hardcore Satanist who performed blood rituals.
Echols said to the therapist that he wanted to “go where the monsters go when I die” and that he “hated the human race.” He talked often about his beliefs in witchcraft, but claimed that he was not part of a cult. Echols said that he drank blood to feel power, though it had to come from a sexual or ruling partner.
He said that he had a spirit living inside of him and communicated with demons through rituals and admitted that due to his anger, he blew up sometimes and wanted to hurt other people.
Shortly after he was released from the hospital, Echols applied for SSI disability benefits.
As I had mentioned, the West Memphis Three case had got a lot of attention from Hollywood because some people had wrongly characterized their prosecution as the result of a Satanic Panic and overzealous law enforcement who busted Echols and two other teens just because they were into heavy metal and wore Metallica t-shirts.
A movie was made that was funded by people such as Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, and Marilyn Manson and directed by Damien Echols himself. In my opinion, that is a lot of magical power and money to hand to a convicted child-raping killing Satanist who is on Death Row.
As you can witness for yourself with the multiple confessions of one of the murderers and the facts documented in Echols mental health records via Exhibit 500, Damien was a hardcore Satanist with a lust for violence and liked to consume human blood.
He was not part of some local cult or organized Satanic sect, but like most people who commit crimes like this, he suffered from family problems, mental health and drug issues. He had a tendency for violence and a taste for human blood.
Fast forward to today and you will find Damien Echols free as a bird and happy as a Satanic clam.
Echols sells books on “High Magick” and demon sigils in his online store that he claims helped him get out of prison and you know what, I believe him 100%.
He is writing books teaching kids and adults on his popular Youtube channel. Dark wisdom that he dispenses to anyone and everyone showing the very magic that he used to escape from Death Row for the rape, torture, and murder of three boys that he “allegedly did not commit.”
In addition to his books, Youtube and Twitter, he also receives thousands of dollars a month on Patreon.
But let me remind you that he and his accomplices pleaded guilty to the crimes on two occasions.
They were never proved to be innocent or exonerated for the rape and murder of the three innocent boys.
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.