This is an interview that the Boston Globe did with triple convicted child murderer Damien Echols. In it, he talks about how he’s found solace living in the teenage goth girl inspired fantasy camp of Salem, Massachusetts. That’s no knock on Salem but you know that’s the real reason he’s there.
Anyway, this interview was conducted around the time that Echols’ so-called documentary West of Memphis was being screened in Salem. The article is so rife with Echols’ bullshit I just couldn’t let it slide. I’m going to be taking some select quotes from the article but please feel free to read the whole article yourself at the link above.
“It isn’t fun for me to talk over and over about the worst thing in my life,” says Echols, 38, who moved to Salem with his wife, Lorri Davis, last September, barely a year after his release from Arkansas’ Varner Supermax prison. “You don’t even get a chance to heal because you are constantly ripping wounds back open. I look forward to not talking about it.”
Nice turn of phrase there Mikey. I’m sure that your continued public speakings are not ripping the wounds open of the families of the victims. Except they’re still mourning the brutal loss of their loved ones while you play the persecution card in Salem.
“The only two places I’d want to live were Salem and New York City,” he says. “Due to its history, Salem’s like a mecca for people in any form of alternative spirituality.”
You mean Salem is a Mecca for people with the mindset of a 12-year-old goth girl. Essex County, where Salem sits is 78% Catholic and 11% Protestant. I wouldn’t exactly call that a Mecca. If things don’t work out in Salem I’m sure he’ll play the Christian persecution card again instead of the fact that he’s a child killer.
Echols, who sports tattooed arms, long dark hair, and a soft-spoken intensity, says he hopes to open a meditation center in Salem and maybe a tattoo parlor. His dark eyes are often hidden behind sunglasses he wears due to damage from light deprivation after 10 years in solitary confinement.
Meditation center and tattoo parlor, so you can train your cultists and then mark them at $200 a pop with an ‘X’? You may even out-Koresh Koresh. And your light deprivation excuse is bullshit. You want to avoid eye contact with the people who know you’re guilty and you want to try to look like a rock star while doing it. If the light deprivation thing was true we’d be able to identify all ex-cons by the fact that they wear sunglasses indoors. In reality that’s how we identify lying douchebags.
“For the first two or three years when I was in prison, I was pissed off all the time about everything. From the moment my eyes opened in the morning it was like, ‘I should not be here. These people have no right to do this to me.’ ”
Except for the fact that you were rightly convicted and those convictions were upheld by the Arkansas Supreme Court. They actually have the right.
Echols and his supporters already understood the power of a documentary. HBO’s “Paradise Lost” trilogy first focused public attention on the case. But that was not an investigative documentary. “West of Memphis” attempts to discredit much of the expert testimony in the trial and presents new witnesses and information that casts suspicion on Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the murdered boys.
Except it doesn’t. It’s all based on hearsay of criminals and the supposed DNA evidence which doesn’t implicate Terry Hobbs at all. The DNA evidence could match Terry Hobbs along with 4.5 million other people who fit that particular DNA profile.
As part of their nationwide promotion of the film, Echols and Davis participated in discussions following two sold-out screenings of “West of Memphis” at the recent Salem Film Fest. The crowd was supportive, treating the couple like neighbors and friends (“You two are adorable!” said one man during their Q&A).
Notice no mention of Mike Blatty’s tribute to victim Michael Moore mentioned.
But a message posted on the festival website by a man claiming to be Todd Moore, father of victim Michael Moore, is a reminder of the past, even as admirers ask to take his picture with their cellphones. “How shameful for anyone to support this monster that brutally murdered my son and his friends,” the message says.
It wasn’t someone claiming to be Todd Moore, it was Todd Moore. He also had his letter published in the Salem News.
Echols dismisses it.
“I spent nearly two decades in a building with murderers and rapists. I’m not concerned with what someone says on the Internet,” he says.
Yeah, that’s not true at all.
Echols says he knows that exoneration for Baldwin, for Misskelley, or for himself, is unlikely.
“I’m not naïve to think it’s going to happen just because of this movie,” he says. “It’s going to be a long, hard, bitter fight.”
Echols knows he’s not going to be exonerated because he knows that he did it and he can’t play the outcast messiah if he’s not the martyr.