PARADISE LOST: CONFESSIONS, WEST OF MEMPHIS

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For those unfamiliar with the case of the so-called West Memphis Three, here’s a chronology of events.

And here’s a short history of my interest in the case:

1) On May 5, 1993, the day the three cub scouts were brutally murdered, hogtied and tossed into a watery ditch, I was tanning all day by the family pool. That night, I heartily quaffed a few carafes of fine wine at a bacchanal and had carnal knowledge with a bevy of delightfully delectable divotchka’s. I know this because that’s what I did every day and night back then.

2) My girlfriend and I saw Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills in 1996. On the drive home we discussed the case for a few minutes. Both of us were undecided as to the guilt or innocence of the soon-to-be called WM3. After having a pleasant dinner at Chi-Chi’s Mexican restaurant, we repaired to her parent’s house and made mad passionate love. Employing several devastating sexual techniques, which I’ve copyrighted, patented and trademarked, I effortlessly brought the two of us to simultaneous orgasm, then rolled over and dozed off as she droned on about the sanctity of our love or some such thing. By then I’d forgotten all about the case. In fact, I don’t think I gave it another thought until…

3) …Paradise Lost 2: Revelations came out in 2000. I saw it by myself. On the drive home I discussed the case with myself for a few minutes and concluded that I was still undecided as to the WM3’s (and Byers’) guilt or innocence. That night I had dinner by myself, went to bed by myself, and cried myself to sleep thinking about my ex-girlfriend. I didn’t give the case another thought until…

4) …2011, when the WM3 took the Alford plea and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory came out. This turn of events piqued my interest in the case like never before, but still not enough to make me actively research it.

5) In late 2012 I moved to Dollars, Taxes with my two cats, Iggy and Tara. People think I’m bragging when I say I live with two females, but it’s totally true. I just don’t mention that I have to scoop their poop. Around this time I started following Damien “I believe in Magick” Echols on Twitter. To my surprise, he answered (and “favorited”) a few of my tweets, though not the one in which I informed him that the Moon was just a lifeless rock forever orbiting senselessly around the Earth.

6) I saw West of Memphis on January 27, 2013. (Later that night, I watched an unrelated documentary called Machete Maidens Unleashed! But never mind about that. That’s a completely different story.) If you’re looking for an objective analysis of the case, you won’t find it in West of Memphis, a blatantly one-sided advocacy piece which aims to prove the trio’s innocence once and for all while pointing an accusing finger at Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of victim Stevie Branch.

7) Still harboring doubts about the purported innocence of the WM3, I googled “the WM3 are guilty” and found highly researched sites like wm3truth.com forcefully arguing against the WM3. More importantly, I discovered an exhaustive archive of case documents and trial transcripts at callahan.8k.com. And so, for the first time, I found myself researching the case in earnest.

8) From there, I decided to write a series of posts, each one focusing on a key aspect of the case, using a “what West of Memphis tells you/what West of Memphis doesn’t tell you” approach. First topic: Jessie’s confession(s).

Note: The first ten people to comment on this post will not receive a complimentary X tattoo on his or her derrière, courtesy of Damien “I’m not a tattoo artist” Echols.

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Jessie’s confession(s)

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(Oops, now I really gone and done it.)

What West of Memphis tells you: Misskelley’s June 3, 1993 confession was coerced and false.

What West of Memphis doesn’t tell you: Misskelley confessed numerous times, both before and after his conviction.

On June 3, 1993, Jessie Lloyd Misskelley Jr., affectionately known as Little Jessie or Lil Jessie or Lil J, confessed for the first time, implicating Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin in the process. You can read the transcript of the confession here and/or listen to the recording of it here.

The problem is that the confession is riddled with inaccuracies, full of details that contradict the known facts of the case. For example, Misskelley initially claims he was at Robin Hood Hills on the morning of May 5, 1993 even though the murders occurred sometime after 6:30 PM that evening:

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: What time did you get there?
MISSKELLEY: I got there about 9.
DETECTIVE GITCHELL: In the morning?
MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.
DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Of Wednesday morning?
MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.

Only after police prompting does Misskelley get the timeline correct:

DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Just sit there. Jessie, uh, when when you got with the with the boys and with Jason and Baldwin when you three were in the woods and then the little boys come up, about what time was it? When the boys came up to the woods?
MISSKELLEY: I would say it was about it was about five or six, five or six.
DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Now, did you have your watch on at the time?
MISSKELLEY: Un-uh.
DETECTIVE GITCHELL: You didn’t have your watch on?
MISSKELLEY: Un-uh.
DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Uh, alright you told me earlier around seven or eight or, which time is it?
MISSKELLEY: It was seven or eight.
DETECTIVE GITCHELL: Are are you sh-
MISSKELLEY: I remember it was starting to get dark.

How do we account for this whopping time discrepancy? Was Misskelley *misleading* the cops or were the cops *leading* Misskelley?

But that’s just one of many discrepancies. Misskelley also claims that the boys were tied up with rope (they were tied with shoelaces); that only their hands were tied up (they were hogtied); that Christopher Byers was choked to death with a stick (he was beaten and, possibly, castrated); and that the boys were sodomized (the autopsy showed no evidence of anal penetration). Supporters contend that these and other inaccuracies prove that Misskelley never stepped foot in those woods, that he was pressured by overzealous cops into giving a false confession.

Non-supporters, on the other hand, contend that Misskelley voluntarily confessed but tried to downplay his involvement at the same time. I find this problematic. Downplaying his involvement is one thing. Forgetting details is another. Intentionally misleading cops with obviously bogus details in a supposedly voluntary confession is something else entirely. Why didn’t Jessie downplay his involvement without including the gross inaccuracies? Why provide details that both he and the cops know to be untrue? Take the time discrepancy. If guilty, Jessie knows, and he knows the cops know, that the murders occurred in the evening. There’s no point in lying about that since both parties know the facts. He might try to fudge some details the cops weren’t certain about, for example by saying that he never struck the boys or that he left the crime scene early, but saying the murders occurred in the morning, which he and the cops both know is a barefaced lie, makes no sense. Why not say, 1) he was there at 7 PM, 2) he chased down Michael Moore and brought him back to Damien and Jason, 3) he watched Damien and Jason brutally beat and murder the boys, hogtie them with their own shoelaces, and throw them in the water, and 3) he left. That way, he confesses, gets the facts right, and downplays his involvement. Deliberately adding erroneous details to throw off the cops is gratuitous. Why would he do that? Why purposely make a voluntary confession appear false?

Perhaps Jessie never intended to confess. Perhaps he slipped up by admitting to chasing down Michael Moore. Perhaps after making this blunder he tried to limit the damage by intentionally lying. In other words, he bumbled his way into confessing and then tried to bumble his way out of it, only to get himself hopelessly entangled in a web of truths, half-truths, and outright falsehoods. Perhaps.

Either way, it seems supporters have Occam’s razor on their side: Jessie got the details wrong simply because he wasn’t there. But maybe things aren’t that simple. After all, Misskelley didn’t confess just this once. He confessed at least six times - to the cops, to the prosecutors, and even to his own attorneys. Of course, if that first confession is false then the rest of them must be too - unless somehow he was innocent on June 3, 1993 but guilty later. Still, Misskelley’s serial confessions surely must give supporters pause. Has there ever been a case, anywhere, at any time, in the entire history of the judicial system, in which a wrongfully tried and convicted person so repeatedly confessed?

On June 11, 1993, a few days after confessing to police, and again on August 19, 1993, a few months before his trial, Misskelley confessed to his defense attorneys, Dan Stidham and Greg Crow. Coercion was not a factor in these confessions, so why did Jessie make them? According to Stidham, Jessie didn’t know what a defense lawyer was - he thought Stidham and Crow were working for the cops! I find this incredible, especially since Jessie and his father were, shall we say, no strangers to the criminal justice system.

More believable is that Stidham initially wanted to make a plea deal with prosecutors - and Jessie just went along with the plan. That was Stidham’s strategy until late September, 1993, when a private investigator working for Echols’ defense team convinced Stidham the confession was false, prompting a change in strategy: plead not guilty and argue that the cops coerced Jessie into confessing. And Jessie? Yep, he just went along with the change of plan.

Just how compliant is Lil J?

Breaking News: Jessie Misskelley admits to being the second gunman.

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FBI officials confirmed today that Lil Jessie Misskelley, the dumbass of the WM trio, has admitted to his involvement in the assassination of JFK. That Misskelley was born 12 years after the event in question is, officials concede, a mildly troubling discrepancy. Nevertheless, they insist that Lil J’s confession is fundamentally truthful. The following conversation took place between the FBI and Misskelley on 4-1-13:

FBI: Jessie, let’s go straight to that day - November 22, 1963. What happened on the grassy knoll?

Jessie: I ain’t never been on no glassy knoll.

FBI: Admit it, knucklehead! You’re the second shooter. Just confess and we’ll go easy on you. Now tell us what happened.

Jessie: When I was there, I saw Oswald shoot that man…

FBI: President Kennedy?

Jessie: Right. Then he started screwin’ him and stuff. And then I left.

FBI: Quit downplaying your involvement. Tell us the truth!

Jessie: The truth is, me and Oswald done it.

FBI: You shot Kennedy from the grassy knoll?

Jessie: Yeah, Oswald done shot him from that there book suppository building, then I done blowed his brains out from that there glassy knoll. Then I left.

FBI: What time were you there?

Jessie: To my knowledge, I’m gonna say midnight.

FBI: And when you say midnight, you mean noon, right?

Jessie: Right, I was there at noon.

FBI: What weapon did you use?

Jessie: Ah…I done blowed his brains out with a high-powered pea shooter.

FBI: And when you say pea shooter, you mean Carcano rifle, right?

Jessie: I’m gonna say, right.

FBI: Just how stupid are you?

Jessie: To my knowledge, I’m gonna say borderline retarded.

FBI: There’s no borderline about it, Lil Jessie Misskelley, no borderline about it at all.

[Note: Actually, it might not be so easy to pressure Jessie into confessing. Check out the December 10, 1993 statement Jessie made to Stidham and defense witness Dr. William Wilkins, in which Stidham and Wilkins try unsuccessfully to coerce Jessie into confessing to a bogus robbery.]

The false confession defense failed at trial: on February 4, 1994 Jessie was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years without the possibility of patrol. No sooner had Lil J stepped foot out of the courthouse than he was at it again, confessing anew to the cops, this time to deputies transporting him to prison. Here’s the incident report.

Of all Jessie’s confessions this one seems the most difficult to explain away. Supporters contend that the post-conviction confessions were motivated by Jessie’s desire for a reduced sentence in exchange for testifying against Damien and Jason at their upcoming trial. But exactly when did prosecutors first approach Jessie about such a deal? Was it, ahem, between the time his sentence was read and when he stepped into the car transporting him to prison? Did prosecutors catch him in the hall on his way out the courthouse doors? Or did the feeble-minded Misskelley have enough sense to start angling for a reduced sentence before prosecutors approached him about it. (Maybe he’s savvier than his borderline retarded reputation would suggest - after all, the incident report says that “Jessie claims he has felt sorry for what has happened and talks as if he wants to testify against the other boys so they will not go free and to help himself.”) Whatever the case, Jessie returned to his original admission of guilt. And he did so, as far as I can tell, of his own volition. Nobody is coercing him to confess. Nobody has broached the possibility of a reduced sentence. Yet there he is, blabbing nonstop to deputies about his participation in the murders all the way from the courthouse to the prison. The question is, why?

We might also ask why Jessie confessed again a few days later, on February 8, 1994, in a private tape-recorded conversation with Stidham. Prosecutors got wind of Jessie’s patrol car confession and went to the prison with Stidham to talk to Jessie about it. Once there, Stidham insisted on talking to his client alone. Not only that, he had Jessie make the statement with his hand on a Bible. Here’s the opening exchange:

STIDHAM: Okay. Jessie, a few minutes ago I asked you about making some statements to the officers when they transported you from Piggott to Pine Bluff. You told me that you had told them some stuff. Is that Correct?

MISSKELLEY: Yes, sir.

STIDHAM: And at first you told me that you were just making it up, that you were lying to them, and then you placed your hand on the Bible and told me that you were there when these boys got killed.

MISSKELLEY: Yes, sir.

STIDHAM: Uh, what’s the truth, Jessie? I want to know the truth.

MISSKELLEY: The truth is, me and Jason and Damien done it.

STIDHAM: You were there when the boys were killed?

MISSKELLEY: Yes, sir.

STIDHAM: Now, what’s going to be very important is for you to tell me why it was that you have been maintaining that you weren’t there all this time?

MISSKELLEY: I was scared.

STIDHAM: What were you scared of?

MISSKELLEY: I always lied and I hadn’t ever put my hand on the Bible and swore. Nobody didn’t tell me to do that. If they would have told me that at first, I would have done it. Nobody told me to put my hand on the Bible.

STIDHAM: Okay. So basically, you’ve been lying to me and Mr. Crow for the past seven, or so months - about not being there when in fact you were there?

MISSKELLEY: Yes, sir.

So, at first Jessie told Stidham he’d lied to the deputies. Then he put his hand on a Bible and confessed. Hmmm. Given that Jessie was born and raised in the Bible belt, could it be that the Good Book holds some totemic power over Lil J’s feeble mind, compelling him to tell the truth? About 45 minutes later Stidham emerged from the room visibly upset and muttering “What am I going to do now?” Yep, Lil J had gone and done confessed again.

Of course, just because Jessie had his hand on a Bible doesn’t mean he was telling the truth. Indeed, although Misskelley’s Bible confession aligns more closely than before with the facts of the case, perhaps because he incorporated details gleaned from his trial into the story, some of what he says still lacks the ring of authenticity, particularly references to an enigmatic, unnamed man in black who presided over satanic cult meetings Jessie allegedly attended with Damien and Jason.

STIDHAM: What’s he look like?

MISSKELLEY: He’s tall, got black hair. He looks just like Damien.

STIDHAM: Mustache, beard?

MISSKELLEY: Mustache and a beard.

STIDHAM: He had a mustache and a beard?

MISSKELLEY: Uh-huh, at that time he did.

STIDHAM: How can he look like Damien, Damien doesn’t have a mustache and a beard?

MISSKELLEY: When he shaves it he looks like Damien.

Aha, the black-clad mystery man with no name is the spitting image of Damien - except for, ya know, the mustache and beard. Only when clean shaven does the shadowy nameless one resemble Damien, doncha know? A satanic cult leader who looks just like Damien, eh? Hmmm, could he be…oh, I don’t know - SATAN!

But wait, his name starts with an “M”:

MISSKELLEY: Murphy - no. I can’t remember. I can’t think of his name.

STIDHAM: Murray?

MISSKELLEY: It started with a M.

Perhaps he’s…oh, I don’t know - Mephistopheles!

STIDHAM: Murray Farris?

MISSKELLEY: Uh -

Aha, Murray Farris just might fit the description. Cult leader - check. Name starts with “M” - check. Wore a mustache and beard - check.

STIDHAM: Do you know who Murray Farris is?

MISSKELLEY: Huh-uh. (Negatively indicating) I hadn’t never saw - I hadn’t ever heard that name.

Damn! The mystery continues. According to Jessie, Damien did Mr. Nōnàmé’s bidding. When Nōnàmé told Damien to do something, such as kill a dog or hurt a kid, by God Damien did it.

MISSKELLEY: No, he told Damien what to do - he always told Damien what to do.

STIDHAM: What did he tell Damien to do?

MISSKELLEY: He tells Damien, you know, go kill a dog, or - hurt a kid or something, and he’d do it.

Is Lil J’s hand still on that Bible? This sounds like horseshit. Damien strikes me as a guy who does nobody’s bidding but his own - unless, of course, that nobody happens to be - SATAN!

The Bible confession has its share of howlers. To wit:

STIDHAM: Who was carrying the beer?

MISSKELLEY: Damien.

STIDHAM: And he was carrying a stick in one hand and the beer in the other?

MISSKELLEY: Well, it was Jason. (inaudible)

STIDHAM: The beer?

MISSKELLEY: Uh-huh.

Wow, that beer sure changed hands quickly. First it was in Damien’s hand. Then - presto chango! - it was in Jason’s. I wonder how many beers they drank before the boys arrived. Didn’t they toss the cans away? Apparently not. The WM3 might be murderers, but at least they’re not litterers. No doubt after beating, raping, murdering, hogtying, and submerging the boys, they did the right thing by picking up and recycling their empty beer cans.

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STIDHAM: Did Damien and Jason get in the water?

MISSKELLEY: No.

STIDHAM: Damien and Jason get in the water?

MISSKELLEY: Yeah. Damien.

Damien and Jason didn’t get in the water…but Damien did. In the first confession both of them got in the water and took turns giving each other underwater blowjobs. One wonders: Did Damien give himself an underwater blowjob?

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STIDHAM: Let’s start from the point where you guys were walking on this trail off of the service road by Blue Beacon, what happens?

MISSKELLEY: What do you mean?

STIDHAM: I want you to tell me where ya’ll walked to and what you did. I don’t want to ask you whether you did this or this. I want you to tell me what happened?

MISSKELLEY: I still don’t understand.

Jessie’s asked “what happened?” and he says he doesn’t understand the question. What’s not to understand? Is Jessie incapable of telling the story without leading questions?

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STIDHAM: What was the boy wearing that you went and got and brought back?

MISSKELLEY: Uh - to my knowledge, I’m going to say, the one - I don’t know their names, you know, to my knowledge, the one that was wearing, uh, like a boy scout uniform. I don’t know, you know, that’s to my knowledge. That’s what one of them was wearing, I don’t know which boy.

Say what? Is it so hard to say “he was wearing a boy scout uniform” without sputtering and stammering incoherently? And, uh, I don’t know, but, I’m going to say, ah, to my knowledge…didn’t Jessie specifically identify the boy as Michael Moore in the first confession?

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STIDHAM: Okay, let’s start at right now, let’s go from, ya’ll are sitting there by this pipe drinking?

MISSKELLEY: Uh-huh. (Affirmatively indicating)

STIDHAM: Then what happened?

MISSKELLEY: We hear some noise, me and Jason hid and Damien just sit there, and we hollered for Damien, you know - not real loud, but lightly, and Damien hid. Then that’s when them three little boys came out.

They hollered. Not loudly, mind you, but lightly. They, ahem, lightly hollered. In other words, they whispered - the opposite of hollering.

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STIDHAM: Well, what happened after everybody started hitting on the kids?

MISSKELLEY: Um, uh, Damien choked - I don’t remember which one.

STIDHAM: Now you know, you heard during the trial that the medical examiner said none of the boys were choked.

MISSKELLEY: He didn’t choke him - “choke choked.” Just, you know, just say like just hold their head and choked, not hard enough, just holding him.

In Lil J’s world, hollering isn’t really hollering and choking isn’t really choking. He didn’t choke choke him, he just kinda, ya know, choked him, but not in a hard way. By the way, what happened to the “big old stick” he used to choke the boy to death in the first confession?

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STIDHAM: How deep was the water that the boys got thrown into?

MISSKELLEY: I’m going to say deep, real deep.

STIDHAM: Over their heads - over your head?

MISSKELLEY: Yeah.

This statement would be absurd were Jessie not roughly the size of a hobbit.

Jessie also seems mighty confused about the topography of the woods and the surrounding area:

STIDHAM: Make an X where the dog track was.

MISSKELLEY: Dog track?

STIDHAM: Uh-huh. ‘Cause I’m going to write Boys Blue Beacon beside it. Now tell me where the Dog Track is?

MISSKELLEY: The Dog Track?

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STIDHAM: Okay. Now where does the interstate run?

MISSKELLEY: Interstate?

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STIDHAM: Where did you put a bridge at?

MISSKELLEY: The bridge?

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STIDHAM: Draw me the creek now.

MISSKELLEY: Creek?

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STIDHAM: Where’s this 76 Truck Stop?

MISSKELLEY: 76?

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STIDHAM: Okay, are there smaller pipes beside the bigger pipe?

MISSKELLEY: Uh - to my knowledge I don’t really know.

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STIDHAM: There’s the X. Now tell me where Blue Beacon is from that X.

MISSKELLEY: From that X?

STIDHAM: Okay. Make an “X,” a green “X” for me.

MISSKELLEY: Make a X?

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STIDHAM: Okay. You said over there in (inaudible)?

MISSKELLEY: I’m not too good with my - my -

STIDHAM: I’m going to make a X right here.

MISSKELLEY: I’m not too good with my - whatever you call it.

Great news! Stidham and Misskelley have taken their comedy routine on the road. For tickets to the duo’s next show, in which by popular demand they’ll perform their classic routine “Where does the X go?”, please call 1-800-CON-FESS.

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Still, the Bible confession contains the single most incriminating detail in all of Jessie’s confessions. Jessie says he was drinking Evan Williams whiskey on the evening of the murders and smashed the bottle under an overpass on his way home. Sure enough, Stidham and the prosecutors looked for and found just such a whiskey bottle under an overpass in the area, which seems to corroborate his story with actual physical evidence. Hold on a minute while I don my supporter hat. I see two possibilities: 1) Jessie made up the story about the whiskey bottle, and the fact that one was found under an overpass in the vicinity of the crime scene was a coincidence. If you drive under enough overpasses in the area chances are good you’ll find one, 2) Jessie indeed smashed a bottle under the overpass, but did so at another time and knew it would be there. Now let me doff the hat. Neither explanation is particularly compelling, so unless a supporter can come up with a better one, I’m placing the Evan Williams whiskey bottle on the “guilty” side of the ledger. By no means does this prove Jessie was involved in the murders. But it is…interesting.

On February 17, 1994, in defiance of the advice of his counsel, Jessie gave his final documented confession, twice stating that he was going ahead with the statement because “I want something done about it.” With Damien and Jason’s trial looming, Jessie was being pulled in two conflicting directions: prosecutors were dangling the possibility of a reduced sentence in front of him in exchange for testifying against Damien and Jason, while his defense lawyers were claiming new evidence could win him a new trial if he’d just stop confessing for a minute and start proclaiming his innocence instead. At the same time, Jessie’s father, affectionately known as Big Jessie or Big J or J Biggie, was urging Lil Jessie to listen to his lawyers. (If nothing else, it may be said of Lil J that he loves his Big Daddy J.) In the end, Jessie opted not to testify, recanted his confession(s), and has maintained his innocence to this day (though unsubstantiated rumors circulated in Arkansas for years about confessions to prison counselors). Apparently, he didn’t “want something done about it” quite badly enough.

So, why didn’t Jessie testify? Is he really innocent? Did Stidham coerce him into recanting? Did Jessie decide not to betray his partners in crime? Did Big Jessie threaten to ground him if he did? Was Lil Jessie simply too petrified to take the stand? Who knows, but I suspect he weighed the pros and cons of testifying and ended up doing what he thought was to his advantage. If so, I wonder why Damien and Jason still defend him. Why don’t they denounce him? After all, he not only (falsely?) implicated them in the first place, he probably would have thrown them under the bus had he thought it in his best interest to do so. Were I Damien, guilty or not, I’d kick his ass, if not sacrifice him to the Prince of Darkness.

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The following is an imaginary whispered conversation between Lil J and Damien “spawn of Satan” Echols during a photo shoot:

Damien (whispering): Hey dumbass, so how many times have you confessed now?

Jessie (whispering): To my knowledge, I’m gonna say I gone and done confessed ‘bout 100 times. And then I left.

Damien: Confess again and I’ll make you my next sacrificial offering to the Evil One. Understand, knucklehead?

Jessie: Yes, Master Damien.

Damien: So, shit for brains, why did you confess to the cops that first time?

Jessie: I just said what they wanted me to say. I told them I wasn’t there but they wouldn’t listen. They just kept on hollering at me and egging it on, saying I was there, but I wasn’t. After they kept egging it on, I figured in my head, well, they ain’t gonna stop until I say what they want to hear, so I finally said, okay, I was there and I done it, but I wasn’t and I didn’t.

Damien: Why did you confess to Stidham before your trial? Did your defense attorney coerce you into confessing too, dimwit?

Jessie:  To my knowledge, I don’t know. He raised his voice real loud. Then he hollered at me. Then he egged it on. Then I stood up and balled my fist. Then I left. To my knowledge.

Damien: Were you trying to get a plea deal, dumbbell?

Jessie: I don’t deal with no pleas. I tell about what I know. And I don’t tell about what I don’t know.  If I don’t know nothing, I don’t tell nothing. If I don’t know something, I don’t tell something. If I know nothing, I don’t tell something. If I know something, I don’t tell nothing. To my knowledge, that’s what I’m gonna say.

Damien: Later on, did Stidham coerce you into recanting, nitwit?

Jessie: I just said what he wanted me to say. I told him we was there, and we done it, but he wouldn’t listen. He just kept on hollering at me and egging it on, saying I wasn’t there, but I was.  After he kept egging it on, I figured in my head, well, he ain’t gonna stop until I say what he wants to hear, so I finally said, okay, I wasn’t there and I didn’t do it, but I was and I did.

Damien: Shhh! Keep your damn voice down, muttonhead! You just confessed again, numbskull!

Jessie: We didn’t have nothing to do with it. We don’t know nothing about it. We didn’t do nothing to those boys. We never committed no murder. We ain’t never been to no Robin Hood Hills. I didn’t chase down no boy. And I didn’t bring no boy back to you. And you didn’t kill nobody I didn’t bring back neither.

Damien: Shut the fuck up, you imbecile!

Jessie: Hollering people make me mad. Better not egg it on. I’ll pull a ball bat and I’ll pull a knife and I’ll pull a gun on you if you holler at me and egg it on and make me mad.

Damien: So nincompoop, why did you confess to the deputies transporting you to prison?

Jessie: To my knowledge, I didn’t say nothing to no deputies. Them deputies was lying ‘cause they don’t like me, ‘cause my name is Jessie Misskelley just like my Big Daddy. They don’t like Big Jessie and they don’t like Little Jessie neither. They was trying to send me up the river like they done to my Big Daddy.

Damien: Hey blockhead, you had just been convicted. They weren’t trying to send you up the river, they were taking you up the river.

Jessie: They said I confessed to what we done, but I didn’t say nothing about what we didn’t do, ‘cause I never talk to no deputies who say I done something when I didn’t do nothing.

Damien: Why did you confess to Stidham with your hand on the Bible, you ignoramus? You can’t deny that.

Jessie: I don’t deny nothing. I don’t deny nothing but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. Nobody never told me to put my hand on no Bible and swear to God to tell the truth about nothing, the whole nothing, and nothing but the truth about nothing. Or something. To my knowledge. The truth is, I don’t know nothing about nothing or nobody no more. And then I left.

Damien: Why did you confess to the prosecutors, against the advice of your counsel? Were you going to testify against me and Jason in exchange for a reduced sentence? Why didn’t you go through with it?

Jessie: The bottom line is this, my friend: I once was a pawn of the State, a cog in the wheels of injustice, a hapless victim caught in the labyrinthine mechanisms of an endemically corrupt system, a tragic figure trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare from which there was no escape. Then I left.

13 Responses to “PARADISE LOST: CONFESSIONS, WEST OF MEMPHIS”

  1. Wow this had me dying laughing LOL. I actually think they’re innocent but there is some things that bother me about this case. Echol’s seems to lie every time he opens his mouth. So the question is do you think there innocent, author of this post?

  2. Oh sorry, just saw your name. Do you think they’re innocent Matt Viola?

  3. Misskelley didn’t actually describe Baldwin and Echols giving each other blowjobs, that’s just something people have read into this exchange:

    RIDGE: were you all having sex?
    JESSIE: No, I wasn’t
    RIDGE: You weren’t?
    JESSIE: No
    RIDGE: Damian and Jason having sex?
    JESSIE: They took turns going up under the water
    RIDGE: Going up under the water, what were they doing up under the water?
    JESSIE: They were sitting so far away, they were in the water, I would say about five to ten seconds, then come up and then the other one would go down

    While Ridge asked about sex, what Misskelley described doesn’t corroborate as much, and Ridge apparently didn’t take it to do so as he simply responded “Okay, so they were just messing around in the water” and moved on. I suspect the myth of the aquatical blowjobs was simply dreamed up by those who are intent on disregarding Misskelley’s confessions and unwittingly accepted as fact by others, much like the notions that Misskelley only confessed after a far longer interrogation than actually occurred.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I’m agonostic. But I’m leaning toward Aaron “nobody knows what happened but me” Hutcheson. That kid’s suspicious.

    Mat

  5. Hi Kyleb,

    As much as I’d like to believe that Misskelley isn’t implying what he seems to be implying, if only to get the horrific image of D&J trading perfectly timed and choreographed underwater blowjobs out of my head, I’m haunted by what Misskelley told defense witness Dr. William Wilkins:

    WILKINS: Now, you said at one point that Damien and Jason were ducking, jumping down under the water?
    MISSKELLEY: No, I told them that Damien and Jason was sitting in the water. I was sitting on one side.
    WILKINS: Uh—huh.
    MISSKELLEY: I said they had a, they took their pants off but they had shorts underneath, and I said Damien, one of them would go down and get their hair wet, not even seconds, then they come up. Then the other one went under.
    WILKINS: In this water that was, that was a foot deep?
    MISSKELLEY: Might have been over a foot deep.
    WILKINS: Okay. And they are sitting in the water a foot and a half deep; okay? And you could see their undershorts and all that, too?
    MISSKELLEY: Uh—huh. (Affirmatively indicating.)
    WILKINS: But they were sitting down?
    MISSKELLEY: Sitting down.
    WILKINS: Then they would bend over and put their head in the water?
    MISSKELLEY: They, they done like this.
    WILKINS: Can you sit down and bend your head over and put, dunk any ways?
    MISSKELLEY: No.
    WILKINS: But that’s what they were doing?
    MISSKELLEY: That’s what I told them.
    STIDHAM: Why did you tell them that?
    MISSKELLEY: Huh?
    STIDHAM: Why did you tell them that?
    MISSKELLEY: After, after they told me that they seen Damien and Jason have sex together, and…
    WILKINS: …and so, so did you tell them they were having sex there, too, or they were having hard-ons, or whatever?
    MISSKELLEY: Yeah, I told, after they told me they, uh, they seen Damien and Jason have sex, then that’s why I said that Damien go up under the water and then Jason, and then…
    WILKINS: Were they, were they giving each other blow jobs, is that what you’re saying?
    MISSKELLEY: Yeah, and then I, I, you know, they said they seen them having sex, and then I told them that I seen them.

    But the blowjob issue, as much as I’d like to discuss it with you at length, is neither here nor there. The point I was making had nothing to do with blowjobs. It had to do with who, if anyone, was in the water – or, more precisely, who Jessie claims was in or not in the water. That’s where the discrepancies lie.

    In his June 3, 1993 confession Jessie says all three of them were in the water:

    RIDGE: Okay, the night you were in the woods, uh had you all been in the water?
    JESSIE: Yeah, we’ve been in the water, we were in it that night, playing around in it.
    RIDGE: You were playing around in the water? Alright, what were you doing in the water?
    MISSKELLEY: Just
    RIDGE: Besides just playing, the little boys, had they been in the water?
    Did they get into the water with you all?
    MISSKELLEY: No, they didn’t get into the water with us.
    RIDGE: Okay, what were you doing in the water?
    MISSKELLEY: We were just sitting there, throwing stuff at each other.

    Stidham’s notes from his June 11, 1993 interview with Misskelley say “the three teens were in the water.”

    (Meanwhile, in the December 10, 1993 interview with Wilkins, Jessie says he told the cops that only Damien and Jason got in the water.)

    The incident report filed after Jessie’s police car confession states: “After all meeting on the road, the three boys walked to the woods and were sitting in the water with Jason and Damien “going under,” Jessie said he could not go under because of his ear problem.”

    However, the story completely changes in the Bible confession. At first Jessie says none of them was in the water (hence, thankfully, no underwater blowjobs):

    STIDHAM: Were you guys in the water?
    MISSKELLEY: I don’t get in water ‘cause I can’t - I can’t get my ears wet, I ain’t getting in no water.
    STIDHAM: Did Damien and Jason get in the water?
    MISSKELLEY: No.
    STIDHAM: How come you told the police that you were in the water and they were going under water and sucking each other?
    MISSKELLEY: I didn’t tell him that. I just told him they went under the water - I didn’t know what they was doing. But they - they - they never went in the water.

    Then, literally seconds later, Jessie’s story changes again:

    STIDHAM: Damien and Jason get in the water?
    MISSKELLEY: Yeah. Damien.

    Oh, okay, so Damien got in the water after all. But not Jason. And certainly not Jessie, what with his ear problems and all.

    Happily, the issue doesn’t come up in the final documented confession, or who knows, Jessie might have said he, Damien, and Jason were performing synchronized swimming with Hobbs, Jacoby, and Mark Byers when the doomed boys rode up on their bikes.

    Misskelley scarcely misses a permutation. Let’s see if we can sort out who was in and who was out of the water. Was it all three of them? none of them? just Damien and Jason? just Damien?

    I can see it now. Damien strips down to his magickal underoos and cannonballs into the contaminated water.

    Damien: Woo-hoo! C’mon, dive in guys! The water’s magickally refreshing.

    Jason: Nah, I’ll just be over here whittling on this big old stick with my trusty serrated knife.

    Jessie: Ain’t no way I’m getting’ in water that deep. I gots ear problems. I’ll just be over here drinking from my Evan Williams whiskey bottle.

    Damien: Fine. Whatever.

    Not having taken his anti-depressant meds that morning, Damien was crushed by this rejection. To console himself he lit some incense, recited an incantation to the Dark Lord, cast an evil spell on his friends, and went diving for hidden treasure. You never know where you might find quartz crystals or Tibetan sand.

    That’s when the three boys rode up on their bikes.

    Damien: Hey boys! Wanna play Marco Polo?

    Boys: Sure mister!

    Damien: Great! Take all your clothes off and jump in!

    The boys stripped off their Cub Scout uniforms and gleefully jumped in with Damien, who proudly showed them the pentagram tattoo on his chest. Then Jessie decided to join the fun. Not realizing the water was only a foot deep, he dove in head-first and suffered a concussion, which shrank his IQ to an all-time low of 27. Jason felt left out, so he too got naked and jumped in. And so the WM6 joyfully frolicked together in the polluted water.

    That’s when Hobbs, Jacoby, Byers, Buddy Lucas, and L.G. Hollingsworth showed up.

    Stevie Branch: Hi Dad!

    Hobbs: Hey son! Whatcha doin’?

    Stevie: We’re playing naked Marco Polo! Wanna play!

    Hobbs: Hell yes, we want to play! Woo-hoo!

    And so Hobbs and the guys stripped and jumped in the water. And all was right with the world.

    That’s when the crazed gang of devil-worshipping snapping turtles showed up. The fun was over. The horror began.

    Not to be continued…

    Mat

  6. Mat,

    When I said “I suspect the myth of the aquatical blowjobs was simply dreamed up by those who are intent on disregarding Misskelley’s confessions” I was referring to Stidham, Lax, Wilkins, and Ofshe among those who have taken up their mantra since then. Yes Misskelley told Wilkins that he told the cops that Baldwin and Echols had sex, but that’s when he was going along with the notion that his confession was false, and he made a lot of inaccurate statements regarding what happened during his first recorded confession throughout his interviews with Wilkins and Ofshe, and more in denying his confessions since then.

    As for inconsistencies in details of the murders between Misskelley’s many confessions such as who was in the water, given Misskelley’s cognitive issues and him apparently having been drunk and stoned at the time of the murders, it would a miracle if he had kept every insignificant detail consistent across the many months those various confessions, who was in the water before the boys arrived, how the boys were tied, and arguably even what time the murders occurred. Nitpicking inconsistencies in Misskelley’s many confessions doesn’t rightly to anything to dispel all the evidence which corroborates his implicating of himself along with Baldwin and Echols in the murders.

  7. Kyleb,

    Before the first recorded confession, Jessie told Ridge that “Jason & Damien are having sex with each other.” During the recorded confession Jessie seemingly implies that D&J were blowing each other. Later, he confirms it to Wilkins. Not sure why this is such a contentious issue for you.

    But, again, whether Jessie was or was not implying that D&J were buffing each other’s helmets is beside the point. I think he was; you don’t. But who cares one way or the other? It’s not as though the false confession theory hinges on the blowjob issue. Imagine Wilkins pounding his fist on the table and victoriously declaring, “Aha! Look at that. Jessie said Damien and Jason were fellating each other. That proves it. The confession is false!” I’m pretty sure the FC theory is based on more troubling matters, like, say, Jessie’s apparently bogus assertion that D&J anally raped two of the boys.

    I agree that we can’t expect Misskelley to keep every insignificant detail straight throughout his confessions, and, yes, I was doing a bit of nitpicking* (only because it’s so damn fun pointing out the howlers in Lil J’s statements), but I also addressed the *significant* inconsistencies which can’t be dismissed simply by pointing to Misskelley’s stupidity or drunkenness. In case you missed the rest of my post, it’s up there

    *For the record, I don’t consider calling attention to the glaringly obvious “water discrepancies” nitpicking.

    Mat

  8. Mat,

    Yes, Ridge’s notes show Misskelley said Baldwin and Echols were having sex, but they also show that came before any mention that Baldwin and Echols committed murders and further before Misskelley admitted too his own involvement, so that obviously wasn’t a description of what happens at the murder scene but rather a general statement about Baldwin and Echols’ relationship. That probably played some part in prompting Ridge to ask if they were having sex there just prior to the boys arriving at the scene, but I went back checked the audio I noticed the transcript I quoted is incomplete. Misskelley actually started his response to Ridge’s “what were they doing up under the water?” with “I don’t know.” Given that, what he told Wilkins is apparently his first and only documented claim of the blowjobs and it contradicts what he’d said about the matter of the two being in the water during initial confession rather than confirms it.

    That said, I’ve not suggested the false confession hypothesis was based the notion that Misskelley implied Baldwin and Echols engaged in some farcical aquatic blowjob ritual, but rather that the notion likely came about from those who’d previously embraced the hypothesis for other reasons engaging in confirmation bias. As for the rest of your post, I didn’t miss it and plan to address other points in it, but I prefer to take discussions one issue at a time and consider the difference between what Misskelley actually said and what some have taken him to have inferred as of critical importance to the topic as a whole. Surely you can respect that?

  9. Kyleb,

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, were you all having sex?
    MISSKELLEY: No. I wasn’t

    Notice how Misskelley adds “I wasn’t” to his answer, implying, perhaps, that someone was having sex. Listen to his inflections in the recording. He says, “No.” [Pause] Then, “I wasn’t” with the emphasis on “I.” (http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/audio.html - Part 2 around the 5 minute mark.) Am I inferring that? Yes.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: You weren’t?
    MISSKELLEY: No.

    Misskelley flatly denies he was having sex.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Was Damien and Jason having sex?
    MISSKELLEY: They, they take turns going up under the water.

    He does not deny D&J were. At the very least he’s leaving open the possibility they were engaging in sexual activity.

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Going under the water, what were they doing up under the water?
    MISSKELLEY: I don’t know. They, they’s sitting so far away, they, they’s go for the water sitting, about, I would say about five to ten seconds, then come up and then the other one would go down.

    He doesn’t affirm that they were blowing each other, but throughout the exchange he seems to be implying that they were – or, at least, that they might have been. Am I inferring that? Yes. And with good reason, given that earlier he told Ridge that D&J were having sex with each other.

    Let’s move on from this, shall we? It’s getting tedious. I routinely close the comments section of posts to reduce the amount of spam I receive, so if you’ve got something else to say, you’d better hop to it.

    Mat

  10. Well then, on to the issue of details in Misskelley’s confessions which aren’t corroborated by other evidence. As for no abrasions on the rectums to indicate rape, perhaps there was what looked like rape from Misskelley’s angle but without penetration, or perhaps there was penetration using a water based lubricant which washed away in the creek. Given the fact that boys were hogtied naked along with the castration and degloving, such possibilities are hardly a stretch of the imagination. As for the brown rope tying just the hands, perhaps at least one boys had been tied that way one point but later replaced with shoelaces, perhaps even tied to this tree. As for Christopher Byers not having died of asphyxiation, perhaps he was choked unconscious but not to death. Not finding evidence to corroborate a such claims doesn’t rightly prove them false, it just leaves them unsubstantiated.

    Also, there’s a couple of articles regarding the issue of false confessions and Ofshe’s claims of such in particular which I recommend for the sake of perspective. The guilty and the “innocent’: An examination of alleged cases of wrongful conviction from false confessions addresses Misskelley’s case along with other claims of false confessions by Ofshe, and The Facade of Scientific Documentation: A Case Study of Richard Ofshe’s Analysis of the Paul Ingram Case goes into more detail regarding another case addressed in the other article. While most of that isn’t directly related to the case, it all does well to demonstrate how nitpicking at inconsistencies and imagining absence of evidence is evidence of absence can mislead one into beveling legitimate confessions are false.

  11. Kyleb!

    Kyleb says: “As for the brown rope tying just the hands, perhaps at least one boys had been tied that way one point but later replaced with shoelaces…”

    Fact: The bodies were found tied up with shoelaces.

    Fact: Misskelley makes no mention of shoelaces in his first confession. Instead, he asserts that rope was used to bind them.

    Fact: On June 11, 1993, Misskelley told Stidham the boys had been tied up with shoelaces. No mention of rope.

    Fact: Jessie told the patrol car deputies that he “lied about the time and the rope to trick the police and to see if they were lying.”

    Fact: Jessie either lied about the rope or he lied about lying about the rope. You can’t have it both ways. One way or the other, Jessie lied. The question is, why?

    Fact: In the Bible confession Jessie says, again, that he lied about the rope. “I made it up.”

    Fact: In his final documented confession, Jessie yet again admits he lied about the rope. “I made that up. Tried to get off, you know get’m off track.”

    A half-baked idea you’ve yanked out of the dark recesses of your ass: One boy was, perhaps, tied up with rope, then untied, and finally re-tied with shoelaces.

    Kyleb says: “As for Christopher Byers not having died of asphyxiation, perhaps he was choked unconscious but not to death.”

    Now you’re pulling groundless speculation out of Ridge’s nether regions:

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: How was he actually killed?
    MISSKELLEY: He did, he choked him real bad like.
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Choked him? Okay, what was he choking him with?
    MISSKELLEY: His hands, like a, like a stick, he had a big old stick, and he’s kind of holding it over his neck.
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, so he was choking him to the point where he actually went unconscious, so at that point, you felt like he was dead?
    MISSKELLEY: Yeah

    If Byers had been choked “real bad like” by a “big old stick” to the point of unconsciousness we should reasonably expect to see evidence of such in the form of hemorrhaging, bruising, contusions, petechiae, muscle injury, cartilage damage, etc. The medical examiner found no such evidence. According to the autopsy report, the neck was “unremarkable” except for “a few scattered abrasions.”

    “NECK: Examination of the soft tissues of the neck, including strap muscles, thyroid gland and large vessels, revealed no abnormalities. The hyoid bone and larynx were intact and showed no evidence of fracture or hemorrhage.”

    Here’s Peretti’s trial testimony:

    Stidham: Was there any indication that any of the victims were choked?

    Peretti: There were no – although there was some abrasions or scrapes on the neck region, there was no evidence of any type of strangulation.”

    Stidham: Doctor Peretti, if you were told that one of the victims was choked – specifically, victim Byers was chocked with a big old stick – would you expect to find some evidence – abrasions, bruising, a line of demarcation – something indicating chocking?

    Peretti: I would expect to find a pattern of injuries on the neck and underlying neck muscles.”

    Stidham: Did you find any such patterns?

    Peretti: No.

    Stidham: Did you find any such patterns on the victim Byers specifically?

    Peretti: No.

    Stidham: Was there any abrasions or injury to the strap muscles of the neck?

    Peretti: No

    Stidham: Were there any fractures of the larynx or the [hyoid bone]?

    Peretti: No.

    Stidham: Would you expect to find those had a victim been choked?

    Peretti: You may not find fractures of the hyoid bone because in young children it is difficult to fracture it, but I would expect to find hemorrhage.

    Stidham: So does there appear to be any evidence of sodomy or chocking on any of these victims?

    Peretti: No

    But wait, there’s more:

    STIDHAM: Well, what happened after everybody started hitting on the kids?
    MISSKELLEY: Um, uh, Damien choked - I don’t remember which one.
    STIDHAM: Now you know, you heard during the trial that the medical examiner said none of the boys were choked.
    MISSKELLEY: He didn’t choke him - “choke choked.” Just, you know, just say like just hold their head and choked, not hard enough, just holding him.

    Oops, look at that: Turns out Byers wasn’t choked after all. Jessie goes from saying “he choked him real bad” to “he didn’t choke him…not hard enough, just holding him” – which flies in the face of the crackpot notion that Byers was choked unconscious. If I didn’t know better I’d swear Lil J is changing his story to fit the facts. But surely he wouldn’t do that. Something must have caused Byers to lose consciousness. Perhaps the poor kid fainted from Damien’s sulfuric underarm B.O.

    Yeah, I know, there I go again – nitpicking at insignificant inconsistencies.

    Kyleb says: “As for no abrasions on the rectums to indicate rape…perhaps there was penetration using a water based lubricant which washed away in the creek.”

    Perhaps, Kyleb, perhaps. I hear Astroglide is the lubricant of choice among devil-worshipping, blood-guzzling, anal-raping pedophiles. Doubtless the bottle was left over from the previous night’s orgiastic esbat.

    Damien: Jason, any Astroglide left? This Cub is tight.

    Jason: Nope. Satan hogged it all at last night’s esbat. All I’ve got is K-Y jelly.

    Damien: What? Goddammit! Why didn’t you buy some at Wal-Mart? You know my lubricant of choice is Astroglide!

    Jason: Just kiddin’, dude! Here ya go.

    Damien: Woo-hoo! You had me going there for a minute, you sly dog you. Dad was really going hog wild in the carnal fleshpots last night, wasn’t he?

    Jason: Oh man, I thought he was gonna break that virgin Girl Scout in two!

    Damien: I know! Wanna break these Cub Scouts in two?

    Jason: Does Metallica rock?

    Damien: Then slather it on and let’s rock these prepubescent asses!

    Jason: Woo-hoo! And the best part: it’s a water based lubricant so it will wash away after we dump these Scouts in the water!

    Strange that Misskelley makes no mention of D&J lubing their cocks. You’d think such an eye-popping detail would have been brought up at some point in Jessie’s innumerable confessions. But…perhaps Jessie didn’t have the right angle. Or…perhaps D&J kept themselves permanently lubricated in case Cub Scouts ripe for the plucking crossed their path. Or…perhaps…Jessie acted as D&J’s fluffer and just felt too mortified to admit it.

    Kyleb says: “perhaps there was what looked like rape from Misskelley’s angle but without penetration”

    Ah, yes, the “dry hump” theory, first proposed, I believe, at wm3truth.com.

    First Confession:

    MISSKELLEY: They, Jason stuck his in one of them’s mouth and Damien was screwing one of them up the ass and stuff.

    MISSKELLEY: Jason was screwing him while Damien stuck his in his mouth and got a blow job.

    MISSKELLEY: Damien raped the Myers by hisself and and Jason and Damien raped uh the Branch.

    Notes from the June 11 confession to Stidham:

    “Damien went to Boy Scout, pulled his pants down and screwed him in the ass.”

    “After Jason screwed blonde boy in the mouth, he screwed him in the butt.”

    Notes from Patrol car confession:

    Jessie advised two of the boys were raped from behind before and after they were tied up and that Damien and Jason were taking turns with the two boys.

    Jessie was asked how the boys were kept under control while being raped and not tied yet and he stated “They were like puppies, when you whoop a puppy and tell it to stay, it will.”

    Bible Confession:

    MISSKELLEY: Then Damien stuck - stuck his penis from - behind one of them little boys - I don’t remember which one - but he didn’t stick it all the way in, he just - just - he just stuck it in and pulled it out. That’s it.

    STIDHAM: Raping?
    MISSKELLEY: No.

    MISSKELLEY: He just stuck it up there and just pulled it out and that it - he stick it all the way in or nothing.
    STIDHAM: How do you know that?
    MISSKELLEY: I was sitting there.
    STIDHAM: You seen him do it?
    MISSKELLEY: Right.

    STIDHAM: Did you see Damien or Jason actually stick their penis in one of the little boys‘ butts?
    MISSKELLEY: Going to it. I don’t know if they stuck it in all the way or what, but I seen them, you know, as far as I couldn’t see no more.
    STIDHAM: Did Damien ever get his penis inside the little boy?
    MISSKELLEY: I couldn’t say.
    STIDHAM: You just don’t know?
    MISSKELLEY: I just don’t know, period.
    STIDHAM: Did Jason ever do that to any little boy?
    MISSKELLEY: Not that I seen, he didn’t.

    Final confession:

    DAVIS: Ok. Now what did Jas, what did you see Jason and Damen do to the other two?
    MISSKELLEY: Well Damien screw one of’m.
    DAVIS: When your saying he going screw him, what did you see him do?
    MISSKELLEY: Well he was gonna stick his penis in that little boys behind.
    DAVIS: Ok. Alright.
    MISSKELLEY: As far as I am concerned he did.
    DAVIS: When you say he was going to, what did you see Damien do and what happened between him and that little boy as far as that goes ?
    MISSKELLEY: I don’t understand what….
    DAVIS: Ok. You said that he was going to screw the little or stick his penis in his behind. What did you see Damien do?
    MISSKELLEY: They didn’t do it, he was going to it, then they didn’t.

    Notice the shift in Lil J’s statements? In the first confession, Jessie unequivocally maintains that D&J “screwed them up the ass”, almost as if he had an unobstructed front row seat. But over time he starts equivocating about what he saw. His Bible confession account is vague and ambiguous, even incoherent. (Good luck parsing this: “Going to it. I don’t know if they stuck it in all the way or what, but I seen them, you know, as far as I couldn’t see no more.”) Jessie’s equivocation reaches new extremes in his last confession, first affirming and then denying rape virtually in the same breath. His final word on the subject is in fact a complete denial of rape – “He didn’t do it, he was going to do it, then he didn’t.”

    Is his equivocation the result of hearing Peretti say none of the boys had been sodomized? Is he changing his story to fit the facts…again? Nah, that couldn’t be it. Perhaps the dry hump theory explains Jessie’s mounting confusion over what actually happened. It’s possible. But I’ve got a different theory: The moonlight reflecting off Damien’s preternaturally pale ass momentarily blinded Lil J.

    Kyleb says: “Not finding evidence to corroborate a such claims doesn’t rightly prove them false, it just leaves them unsubstantiated.”

    This I agree with. Then again, I’m not arguing that the confession is false.

    Note: This exchange is sidetracking me from my current focus (Exhibit 500), so unless I find what you say next worth responding to, this is my last word on the subject for now. Step it up, boy.

    Mat

  12. Mat said:Jessie either lied about the rope or he lied about lying about the rope. You can’t have it both ways. One way or the other, Jessie lied. The question is, why?

    I’m not trying to have it both ways, but rather simply pointing out the fact that it could be either, and I’m in no position to answer the question of which let alone why.

    Mat said:Strange that Misskelley makes no mention of D&J lubing their cocks.

    No stranger than Misskelley making no mention of Echols’ survival knife which was obviously used n the murders, and certainly not stranger than people not noticing a person in a gorilla suit dancing through the room. Not that I’m claiming to know the rape happened let alone that lubrication was used, just noting that such possibilities can’t rightly be ruled out, and such speculation is based on the all evidence which does corroborate Misskelley’s confessions, both that which he mentioned and otherwise.

    Mat said:Is his equivocation the result of hearing Peretti say none of the boys had been sodomized?

    Peretti said he didn’t find evidence to corroborate sodomy, or strangulation for that matter, but he didn’t claim absence of evidence is evidence of absence. However, particularly given how Stidham and crew look such leaps in logic and nitpicked at inconsistencies to argue the initial confession was false, yeah perhaps Misskelley felt compelled to change his story to better conform with what is substantiated by the evidence, hence the backing off on the strangulation and rape among other variations throughout Misskelley’s confessions.

    Mat said:I’m not arguing that the confession is false.

    Any chance you’d explain what is motivating your arguments here?

  13. Kyleb!

    Kyleb says: “I’m not trying to have it both ways, but rather simply pointing out the fact that it could be either, and I’m in no position to answer the question of which let alone why.”

    Too bad, because it’s precisely Lil J’s lies that need ‘splainin’.

    Kyleb says: “No stranger than Misskelley making no mention of Echols’ survival knife…”

    It is mighty strange that Lil J mistook a 9” fixed-bladed serrated survival knife for a run-of-the-mill 6” folding knife. Stranger still, suited gorillas notwithstanding, is that he might have overlooked it altogether, especially considering he specifically states Damien didn’t use a knife.

    First confession:

    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Alright, you’re describing a knife that would be about 6 inches long, is that right?
    MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: And, what kind of blade did it have on it?
    MISSKELLEY: Mm, like a regular, just a regular knife blade
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Was it a knife that you fold up, or was it a, like a hunting knife?
    MISSKELLEY: It was
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Just one piece
    MISSKELLEY: Just a fold up knife
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: It was a folding knife?
    MISSKELLEY: Mm-hmm.
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Okay, uh. Does Damien have a knife?
    MISSKELLEY: No
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: He doesn’t have one, he didn’t have one that night?
    MISSKELLEY: He didn’t have one that night
    DETECTIVE RIDGE: Did he borrow yours?
    MISSKELLEY: No, he didn’t borrow mine.

    August 19 confession to Stidham:

    STIDHAM: What did the knife look like? You told me once before but I want to make sure I understand.
    JESSIE: It’s like a - like a Buck - pocketknife - Buck knife.
    STIDHAM: Folds?
    JESSIE: Yeah.

    Patrol car confession:

    At one point, Jessie said that Jason had a “buck-type locking knife…

    Last confession:

    DAVIS: What, who, who’s knife was it?
    MISSKELLEY: Jason’s.
    DAVIS: What did it look like?
    MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember. He keeps all kinds of knifes, I can’t remember. All I know is it’s a lock blade.
    DAVIS: When you say a lock-blade, one that folds out and locks?
    MISSKELLEY: Yea.

    Amazingly, Jessie actually remains consistent on this point throughout his confessions. But, yes, it’s possible that Jessie mistook one for the other, or that two knives were used and Jessie simply overlooked one. It’s also possible he’s just lying.

    Kyleb says: “…which was obviously used in the murders…”

    Well, perhaps not that obvious:

    http://s174.photobucket.com/user/paidfersumbitch/media/LakeKnifeScratchesComp.jpg.html

    http://s174.photobucket.com/user/paidfersumbitch/media/Theorycomp6.png.html

    http://s174.photobucket.com/user/paidfersumbitch/media/TrowelComp.jpg.html

    http://s174.photobucket.com/user/paidfersumbitch/media/Trowelmarks.jpg.html

    Peretti didn’t think it was that obvious:

    Ford: Is that your opinion based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty that in your opinion that injury was caused by a serrated knife?

    Peretti: Well, it may be caused - it may be caused by another instrument also. But it has the appearance - you know, of the distance. If you look at it there is a pattern to it, but it may be caused by another object also.

    Even wmtruth.com doesn’t consider the “Lake Knife” the murder weapon:

    “The “lake knife” presented by the prosecution at trial may or may not have been the murder knife. I suspect not.”

    At the risk of being accused of appealing to authority, Dr. Werner Spitz doesn’t think it is either:

    “None of the injuries were caused during life, and none were caused by a serrated knife, or any knife for that matter. These are not sharp injuries that have characteristics, and those characteristics are not identifiable or synonymous with a knife or any other sharp force type injury. . . I couldn’t understand what this issue was all about because it was so obvious that these are animal product.”

    Of course, Spitz, a renowned expert in the field, could be wrong. Could Kyleb be wrong? No, no way.

    Cute video, though. Certainly more high-tech than a grapefruit.

    Kyleb says: “Peretti said he didn’t find evidence to corroborate sodomy, or strangulation for that matter, but he didn’t claim absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”

    But he did claim absence of hemorrhaging (evidence) is evidence of the absence of choking, which not only proves that Byers wasn’t choked unconscious (or to death), but also that Lil J lied (yet again). But never mind that, because you’re not in a position to answer why.

    Kyleb says: “However, particularly given how Stidham and crew look such leaps in logic and nitpicked at inconsistencies to argue the initial confession was false, yeah perhaps Misskelley felt compelled to change his story to better conform with what is substantiated by the evidence, hence the backing off on the strangulation and rape among other variations throughout Misskelley’s confessions.”

    Translation: Lil J lied.

    Thanks for dropping by, Kyleb. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a debate to moderate between Cinatas Cinap and Retro P. Pus. They’ll be tangling over Exhibit 500. Look for it here in a week or two! Ta-ta.

    Mat