Citizens of Salem beware!
A murderous fiend with an insatiable thirst for blood resides in your midst. His name is Damien Echols, aka the West Memphis Boogeyman. Spawned from an unholy union of Arkansas trailer skank and Satan, Damien is half white trash, half dark lord - in other words, unpure, adulterated evil. Be on the lookout for an inky-haired, raven-eyed mutant with tattoos and talons wearing noir leather and Goth goggles, listening to death metal and Zen chimes, clutching an inverted pentagram in one hand and waving a magick wand in the other, munching raw gristle from the leg bone of a dog carcass, oozing malodorous fumes of sulfur, twittering a steady stream of inspirational fortune cookie platitudes out of one side of his mouth and quoting Aleister Crowley out of the other, and bragging about murdering and mutilating scores of prepubescent cub scouts. If you see someone matching this description, run for your ever-lovin’ lives!
If perchance you find yourself trapped in his malignant presence, say while standing in line at the local supermarket, for God’s sake do not look at him. You’ll feel his vacant, soulless eyes peering at you from behind those ultra-cool shades, inviting you, urging you to look in his direction, but you must resist the impulse lest you be transfixed in his fatal gaze. If he’s standing in line behind you, face forward and do not look back. If he’s standing in front of you, turn around and proceed backward to the checkout counter. Many a poor soul has paid the ultimate price for mistakenly thinking it safe to look at Damien just because he’s sporting snazzy Ray-Bans. Do not make that same mistake. You see, my friends, his hip sunspecs are specially equipped with a motorized rotating psychedelic hypnosis spiral, one glance at which instantly puts you into a deep and everlasting trance, rendering you forever powerless to resist his every command. The hypnosis spiral is one of Damien’s favorite secret weapons against pesky interviewers. If an interviewer is on the verge of asking him a challenging case question, such as why none of his alibi witnesses can cover him between the crucial hours of 6:30-9:00pm on the evening of the murders, Damien simply activates the hypnosis spiral and telepathically programs the spellbound interviewer to ask him only soft questions.
Like other wand-wielding wizards, Damien exudes magickal charisma. But hear this: Resist his devilish charms or be indoctrinated into his cult of death and compelled to do his evil bidding with the rest of his legion of murder groupies. To embrace Damien is to embrace the abyss. An abyss bejeweled by twinkly crystals and perfumed with myrrh-scented incense. Watch out! His soft-spoken, Zen-like demeanor masks a diseased mind hell-bent on death and destruction. Make no mistake, while masquerading as the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice to the outside world, Damien is secretly concocting magick potions, casting evil spells and, worst of all, hatching diabolical plans within the confines of his Reiki center, which is nothing but a front for his foul and nefarious activities.
Public Service Announcement: A Reiki session with Damien is an appointment with death. If not physical death, then certainly spiritual death. His promise to re-channel your energy flow for just $130 is a pretext for getting you alone for an hour so he muck around with your chi, drain your lifeblood, sap your élan vital, and swallow your eternal soul.
Take heed, Damien plans to make your town his personal slaughterhouse, so for the love of God and all that’s holy, lock your doors and hide the women and chillun. Tonight he’s on the prowl, his elongated fingernails sharpened to fine points, lurking unseen and skulking unheard, perhaps hiding tightly coiled behind a bush ready to spring at unsuspecting passersby, or creeping with malice aforethought just outside your back door, or, one shudders to think, lying in wait under your chillun’s beds itching to tell them their final bedtime story.
Never venture outside after dark lest you run afoul of Demon Damien and his devilish disciples. Should you find it necessary to leave the relative safety of your home, stay the fuck out of the woods, especially during the full moon, for Damien’s out there, presiding over orgiastic esbats from the stroke of midnight to the witching hour, when he and his maniacal minions stomp, skin, and devour puppy dogs, commune with vile denizens of the netherworld, place hexes upon your town, and sacrifice nubile young virgins to the King of Hell.
Speaking of nubile young virgins, Damien would like nothing better than to defile, debauch and deflower your teenage daughter, so if she thinks he’s hot, you must act quickly to protect her hymenal membrane. Purchase a chastity belt posthaste and strap it on her securely until she gets over this foolish and fatal adolescent crush. (A more extreme option is genital mutilation. Given Damien’s penchant for mutilating the genitalia of young’uns, this is probably your daughter’s fate anyway, so you might as well do it yourself before he gets his talons on her.) If she expresses a desire for a tattoo of, say, an inverted pentagram or, heaven forbid, the dreaded “X”, well, I’m afraid it can mean only one thing: she’s possessed by a dangerously erect incubus from the bowels of Hades. Contact an exorcist immediately, or before ya know it she’ll be sucking cock in Hell.
Dearest Salemites, I beseech you: heed my warning before it’s too late. You and your loved ones are in great peril! The West Memphis Boogeyman has put down stakes and set up shop in your town, intent on making a new name for himself: the Salem Hobgoblin or the Witch City Bugaboo. Endowed with powers dark and magickal, Damien’s ability to rend entire communities asunder is unrivalled in the annals of arch villainy. Only an evil wizard of the highest order could rape, torture, castrate, mutilate, murder, and urinate into the mouths of your chillun without leaving a trace of inculpatory evidence. No fingerprints. No broken fingernails/talons. No hoofed footprints. Not a strand of freaky long black hair. Not a drip of vampiric blood. Not a drop of warlockian urine. Not a drib of demonic jism. Nothing. Almost as if he’d never been there. Oh…but he was there alright. And he’ll brag about it later at your local tarot card store.
(If all this weren’t bad enough, Damien also happens to be a twittering cliché-generator cruelly infecting your town with a never-ending onslaught of witless platitudes, vacuous maxims, would-be epigrams, and hackneyed sayings.)
Good people of Salem, do not say you weren’t warned.
The above letter, penned by one Cinatas Cinap, reflects the “Satanic panic” that gripped the nation during the 80s and early 90s, a dark period in American history, to be known henceforth as the Antichrist Zeitgeist, which climaxed in the great Beelzebub hubbub of ‘93. I refer, of course, to the notorious case of the West Memphis 3, the central figure of which, Damien Echols, is now considered the primary if not sole source of the panic then sweeping the nation. Virtually every “satanic” incident in the country from the moment of his birth until 1993 has been directly traced back to the creaky front door of his dilapidated trailer home. Ya see, Damien is to Satan what Jesus is to God: his dutiful son. But whereas God sent Jesus to suffer for our sins, Satan sent Damien to make us suffer for the hell of it. Damien is the Antichrist, possessed of a soul vile enough to make Old Scratch beam with fatherly pride. (If you doubt me, consider that the name Damien Echols is an anagram for Demon Chi Sale. Coincidence? Surely not! His very name implies that he’s a walking, talking, tweeting advertisement for demon chi. What a marketing opportunity for the Hermetic Reiki Center! Don’t be shy! Step right up! Get your genu-ine white trash demon chi here!) If Damien had his druthers in ‘93, he would have lain waste first to West Memphis, then to the country, and finally to the entire world, setting the stage for Dad to ascend from Hell and take dominion over the earth, bringing the dastardly father/son duo one step closer to their ultimate goal: triumphantly storming the gates of heaven and wresting control of the universe from God Almighty. Such would have been our tragic fate were it not for the heroic efforts of demon-hound juvie officer Jerry Driver; occult expert and mail order PhD Dale Griffis; Detective Gary “this case goes to 11″ Gitchell; then-Judge, now-Senator David Burnett; and then-Prosecutor, now-Judge John “there’s not a soul in there” Fogleman. Let us now give thanks to these courageous saviors of humanity.
Oh, shut up, non-supporter! Hater, be gone! Saviors of humanity? Ha! More like saviors of human-inanity! For the record, the above was also written by the cretinoid Cinatas Cinap, a zealot trying to co-opt this blog with alarmist non-supporter bullshit. But I won’t let him! My name is Retro P. Pus and I’m here to set the record straight about Mr. Echols. Damien Echols is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life. All the more tragic, then, that he was railroaded by a bunch of Bible belt bumpkins bent on burning him at the stake just because the poor kid wore black, listened to Metallica, and read Stephen King books. (Okay, so maybe Damien tried to enucleate a schoolmate. Big deal! Who hasn’t? He was just going through what scientists have identified as the “Heavy Metal” stage of adolescent development. All teenage boys go through it as a rite of passage to adulthood. It’s no biggie. Besides, although Damien admits to attacking the boy, he denies trying to claw out his eyes. Let’s move on, people!) In the end, Mr. Echols not only survived the most egregious miscarriage of justice in the history of the universe, he emerged from it, miraculously, not just a better man, but the best man in the history of mankind, a noble, wise, saintly, magickal, multi-talented prince among men who now just wants to get on with his life, a life destined not just for greatness but one destined to be nothing less than the greatest life in the history of existence.
I assure you, Mr. Echols is just here to help, not just himself, or you, but everyone and everything in the universe and beyond. There’s no reason to fear him. He wants to rearrange your chi, not your face. He wants to X you, not hex you. He wants with you to harmonize, not with his fingernails to gouge out your eyes. So please, I beseech you, exonerate him, don’t abominate him. C’mon, let’s hear it! Exoneration, not abomination! Exoneration, not abomination! Exoneration, not abomination!
Retro P. Pus, Esq. (aka Ret R. Oppusa)
P.S. Damien Echols is also an anagram for ID Chosen Male - so there!
Yeah, well, Damien Echols is also an anagram for has demon lice. And his wife, Lorri, might like to know that Damien Wayne Echols is an anagram for wed one slay machine. Take that, supporter!
P.S. Don’t salute him, electrocute him! The solution is electrocution! The solution is electrocution! The solution is electrocution!
What West of Memphis tells you: Damien was the victim of a modern day witch hunt because of how he looked (scary), what he listened to (devil music), and what he read (horror).
What West of Memphis doesn’t tell you: Exhibit 500 exists.
What is Exhibit 500? It’s a compilation of Damien’s psychiatric records, introduced by his lawyers during the sentencing phase of his trial in a last-ditch effort to keep him off death row, which shows, among other things, that Echols was placed in a psychiatric hospital three times in the year leading up to the murders. In other words, Exhibit 500 is what gives non-supporters a sizable boner and what supporters would rather not discuss.
By no means does Exhibit 500 prove Damien murdered those boys, but it does provide insight into his mental state around the time of the murders. For example, in early 1993, just months before the murders, Damien described himself as sociopathic, suicidal, and homicidal. (Note: Damien described himself thus on an application for Social Security disability benefits, so it’s possible he was exaggerating the severity of his condition in order to receive said benefits.) That West of Memphis fails to mention, let alone address, some of the jaw-dropping material in Exhibit 500 betrays the bias and, perhaps, dishonesty of its makers. On the other hand, alarmist non-supporters are being equally disingenuous when they indiscriminately cite material from Exhibit 500 as though every word therein were incontrovertible fact.
Next post, I’ll examine some of the material in Exhibit 500, hopefully with a bit more objectivity than the likes of Messrs. Cinap and Pus.
Al A. Vomit