When a group becomes too big or its leadership becomes corrupt a schism is inevitable. The supporters of the West Memphis 3 are just finding this out.
On the one hand you have 44-year-old Lorri Davis, the wife of Damien Echols who married him 8 years ago while in jail probably after getting moist from watching the ‘documentaries’. She’s basically in charge of all the donations given in the name of the West Memphis 3.
A new splinter group has arisen calling itself the West Memphis 3 Innocence Project and they claim that Davis has not been forthcoming about how the funds are being spent.
Let’s hear from West Memphis 3 Innocence Project president Kelly Duda.
“Isn’t it a clear conflict of interest for a spouse of one of the WM3 to have what appears to be ultimate control over funding that is intended for all three young men?” asks the new Web site that seeks donations of its own on behalf of the three defendants.
West Memphis 3 Innocence Project president Kelly Duda said he likes Davis and applauds her efforts but said she’s given no public accounting of her fund-raising efforts. Among concerns, Duda said when he and associates contributed money, they didn’t receive receipts.
“People have been asking these questions for a long time. The house of cards is crumbling,” Duda, a Little Rock filmmaker, said Wednesday. “Donors have a right to know where their money is going and how it’s being spent. That’s not happening.”
In rebuttal let’s hear from Ms. Davis’ and her publicist?
“They are all happy with the way the money is being spent,” Davis said. Indeed, Echols’ San Francisco lawyer, Dennis Riordan, said he had no misgivings about Davis’ fund-raising.
“It’s all accounted for,” Riordon said. Suggestions to the contrary by the new organization are “absolutely false,” he said.
Davis’ New York publicist, Alice Leeds, dismissed the new group’s assertions, saying her client’s devotion to the case has left her with a mound of bills. “Right now, she’s about $40,000 in debt,” Leeds said.
Leeds also questioned the motives of two people affiliated with the new organization — board member Mara Leveritt, who wrote a book, “Devil’s Knot,” about the West Memphis murders; and Paragould, Ark., lawyer Dan Stidham, Misskelley’s original attorney. Stidham consulted with the new organization before becoming a full-time judge this month and has often been paid expenses for speaking to groups about the case.
“These individuals have been making their names and money … by using this case for years,” Leeds said. “It is about self-interest.”
I think that can be said for everybody involved. Once the case became a cause celebre it became profitable.
I think this is the beginning if the end for the West Memphis 3 movement. Remember kids a house divided against itself can not stand.