I received an e-mail not too long ago about a person who was featured on this site many years ago. The person in question committed a crime as a teen but was charged as an adult and was sentenced to prison time. Unfortunately, they weren’t sentenced to much prison time and they are now out of prison. This person is now the legal age to own a gun and they live in a gun friendly state. Back to the e-mail.
The e-mail I received was from someone who claimed that the person in question committed an armed crime against them. The matter is said to have been investigated by police but no arrest has ever come from it. Unfortunately, without a public record of arrest there’s not much that I can do about as far as making it public knowledge however, I did a little digging. I went to the Facebook of the person in question and it’s very pro 2nd-Amendment and anti-government. That’s their prerogative and all but I have yet to meet anyone that pro-gun without owning one. If memory serves me correctly people convicted of felonies in this country, no matter which state, are ineligible to own firearms for the rest of their lives. As far as I know the conviction has not been expunged.
So my question to you dear reader is this, what can be done at this point to ensure the safety of the community around this former felon who is possibly in possession of firearms?
I received the following e-mail from Tim. Tim says…
Hey Trench – I enjoy reading your blog but thought I’d point out an error in your terminology.
You commonly refer to men attracted to teenage girls as ‘pedophiles’ when this is not the case. Attraction to teenage girls is considered ‘hebophilia’ which actually is not considered a mental disorder, as it is biologically normal to be attracted to post-pubescent individuals.
We as a society have chosen to infantilize teenagers when it comes to sex but treat them as adults when they commit crimes. It seems a little out of whack to me. Thoughts?
I checked the archives because I could have sworn I got this e-mail before. I guess it’s because this is an argument I’ve heard before.
First off, you may want to learn the terminology yourself of the various concepts you’re discussing. A brief Google search would show you that hebephilia, which is what I believe you’re trying to spell, is the sexual attraction to early pubescent girls ages 11 to 14. Ephebophilia is the adult sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents ages 15-19. This what I believe you’re actually trying to defend. The problem with these terms, along with the term pedophilia, is that all three indicate the sexual desire of children, hence why the term pedophile is often used interchangeably. Whether you consider it ‘biologically normal’ is irrelevant since having sex with minors is illegal in all 50 states.
When you say that we ‘infantilize teenagers when it comes to sex but treat them as adults when they commit crimes’ you’re comparing apples to oranges. Crime, especially murder, has clear lines that everyone knows. Murder is wrong, you will be arrested and you will go to jail. Sex is drastically more complicated than that. Children, of either sex, who are exposed to sexual activity or content at too young of age can end up having unhealthy or abnormal idea about sex. Predators know this and use this naiveté to prey upon their victims.
It seems like your e-mail can be summed up with a phrase that a multitude of predators have used when they say that ‘age is just a number.’
I received the following e-mail from Jason. Jason says…
We are so convinced that Terry Hobbs is innocent? Furthermore, what has led you to believe that WM3 is guilty? People have recanted their comments, Jesse Misskelley was found to have an alibi, as were Damian Echols and Jason Baldwin. Jesse Misskelley’s confession was found to be coerced with many of the details fed to him by the police. Your comments are not compelling at all. I’m really thinking that you’re either Terry Hobbs himself or you’re getting pay rolled by him to create this blog.
Congratulations. This may just be the most factually incorrect e-mail ever written. First off is “We are so convinced that Terry Hobbs is innocent?” even a sentence? I mean it looks like a question but kind of makes a statement. That’s new levels of bad grammar right there.
Secondly no one has recanted their story, please provide documentation that says otherwise.
None of the three had any alibis or else their alibis would have been called to testify.
Jessie Misskelley wouldn’t stop confessing even after his own conviction.
Or maybe Terry Hobbs is bankrolling me because he’s got all that money from his book and movie deals, oh wait, that’s Damien Echols who has that. He’s never one to turn away any payday that he makes off of tragedy.
It seems like somebody just watched the movies for the first time.
Normally I would have dismissed this as just being from another chalupa. (Side note: Thrice convicted child killer Damien Echols refers to his fans as chupacabras so I call them chalupas which I’ve been told is an insult to chalupas but I digress.) But before I clicked on the delete icon I curiously clicked on this person’s Tumblr name. Now I’m not going to divulge the account in question because I don’t want to invite harassment on someone who is obviously a confused child.
Turns out this girl was not just a fan of Echols but also Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes, Columbine cowards Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and non-repentant school shooter T.J. Lane. I was greeted by animated gifs of school shooters while a lot of the posts were doe eyed tributes to Damian Echols. This girl feels about mass murderers like most girls would gush on about their favorite music group or celebrity.
What you’re doing is not normal, not even by counter-culture standards. It is an indication of a deeper-rooted mental illness and you should get help. I’m telling you this because it’s obvious your parent(s) either don’t know or don’t care or both. If this kind of activity carries into adulthood you could end up being one of those women who end up marrying death row inmates, also not normal by any standard. Not to mention that by idolizing these mass killers you’re enabling future killers.
Be an individual, don’t let yourself be defined by a Tumblr hashtag.
Today I was closing a paid e-mail account that I’ve used for the past 12 years. FastMail if you’re curious, I highly recommend it. It can do all the things G-Mail can without the specter of Google hanging over you. Right now it’s just not financially feasible for me, but I digress.
While I was cleaning out the account I came across some e-mails that I had saved from my previous e-mail account at Yahoo. These e-mails were from 1999, April of 1999 to be precise. If you’re not familiar with what happened then and what happened to me you can catch up on the About page.
Now this is in no way meant to imply what I went through was anywhere near the amount of tragedy and loss of what the victims and their families and friends went through. I just thought it would be an interesting story to share.
Anyway, it seems that I saved some of the e-mails that I received from journalists and those not deserving of the title. This was back before I even started blogging and I was not used to being thrust into any kind of spotlight. I’m not posting their names so the mutants don’t give them any grief.
This first one was from a writer at TIME magazine…
Subject: Trenhcoat Mafia?
Hi, my name is [redacted]. I’m a reporter at Time magazine, and I’m writing a story this week about the school shooting outside of Denver. Some students have said that the shooters are members of something called the Trenchcoat Mafia. Can you tell me what that is? It could well be a local group, but I found your site and thought I would “summon” you for an answer. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Feel free to e-mail me, or call 212-[redacted]. Thanks much.
Now we know how wrong that information was. I never did call him.
This next one was from a guy at the New York Post. He sent this after I had posted the disclaimer that my website at the time had nothing to do with the shootings…
I realize I stumbled onto your site because I’m doing a story for the New York Post about kids who are into Goth and Gothic characters.
I understand that you are not in any way involved in the shooting in Colorado, but I do have some questions for you:
In your new home page, you wrote, “Yes I have problems. But instead of acting out violently I write.” What do you mean by that? What kind of problems? Are these “problems” shared by other people in your school? Are there people you know who consider themselves outcasts because they feel excluded from the traditional school cliques (athletes, science geeks, cheerleader types, brains, etc)?
Why “dark poetry,” as you call it? What attracts you to these types of lyrics?
Please, if you get a chance, email me back with your phone number and I’ll call you to discuss this further.
Thanks for your time.
NY POST REPORTER
At least he had more tact than the guy from TIME but still off base as it turned out that goths weren’t involved in the shooting either. I also like how he assumed I was school age. I’ll admit that my writing back then was pretty juvenile but there was also a stereotype back then that only kids knew how to use the internet, but it was probably my writing.
I actually responded to this one…
Actually I’m a 30-year-old man from the east coast. I have the same problems as everyone else. Money. Job stress. Family problems.
I call it dark poetry because it’s not very positive. I’ve always been a negative person. Everyone has a violent side in them, but those who choose to act on it have even bigger problems. Mentally and emotionally.
Thanks for checking with me first. Unlike The Washington Post who automatically assumed I was part of that organization.
Yeah, I was still pretty bitter at the Washington Post at the time and you have to remember I was suffering from severe depression and was not being treated for it at the time. However as John Astin once said, “I’m feeling much better now.” I eventually did do some interviews with the Post but it was about MySpace stuff if I remember correctly and it wasn’t with that particular ‘reporter’. I believe his actual title was ‘style editor’ back then, whatever the hell that means.
The next one was from a Canadian reporter. I don’t recall what his questions were to me. I guess they’ve been lost to the ages but I felt his response to me was special enough for me to save for 15 years.
Thank you for the disclaimer. It’s important for a reporter to know whether he or she is on the right – or wrong – track when researching a story. And when one media outlet errs, the mistake is easily compounded because we sometimes rely on each other for leads. Hang in there.
The Windsor Star
Now that I think about it he may not have even asked me a question. He may have just been thanking me for not sending him on a wild goose chase that so many other news agencies pursued in the days following the tragedy. The Canadian media has always treated me well and fairly. They’re much better than the American media but they are hampered by law in what they can report when it comes to crime stories, but I’m digressing again.
That’s all I’ve got from back then. All the hate mail I received I deleted but I regret doing that now, except for the goatse one. If you don’t know what that is you’re better off not knowing. Oh, I still have the one from the Washington Post guy but I’ve discussed that one to death.
In a strange coincidence the paid e-mail account I mentioned before was due to expire this coming Sunday, April the 20th.
Received another lovely e-mail singing my virtues…
To “trench” You are a embellishing, twisted person who has a sick fascination with child related crimes. You are a known distortionist who many people hate. You are the leader of a sick colte. You are the biggest troll of them all and I have nothing but the worst wishes for you. I hope you burn in hell with the real monsters and they take advantage of you. Enjoy the pitiful thing you call a life you hypocritical douchebag.
What is a colte and how do you know if one is sick? Do you have to shoot it at that point? Oh, he meant a cult. Yeah, I don’t get the comparison either. It’s not like I force people to read my site.
Also this is just another ploy in the pedo-defenders bag of tricks, accusing someone who frowns on the practice of pedophiles of being a pedophile. I believe that’s called the “I know you are but what am I” axiom. Since they’re so preoccupied with the thoughts of children they begin to act like them.
While I may be going to hell my conscience will be clear knowing that I didn’t get there by being a kiddie toucher.
I know I might sound like a “mutant”, but I personally don’t feel like disrespecting dead people (even if they are bad) very kind. Why do you spend so much time mocking someone that’s already dead and defenseless?
It’s not just the dead ones, I mock and disrespect the school shooters that lived too. And the reason I do it is because they’re deserving of disrespect and mockery. From Kip Kinkel to Adam Lanza they are losers who couldn’t overcome their own inadequacies without resorting to violence. Do you know who else is dead and defenseless? Their victims.
It’s been a while since I got some mutant mail. Back in the day I used to get hate mail from the Columbine mutants on an almost weekly basis. As the years have gone by the number of e-mails I’ve gotten from them have dwindled. I like to think that it’s because they’ve either grown up, ended up in prison or got the psychiatric help they so desperately needed.
I cannot believe that you would call Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold ‘demon spawn’, ‘coward of a son’, ‘scumbag’ and stating that these two teenagers are simply just ‘Two cowardly scumbags killed 13 people because they were egotistical selfish spoiled punks.’
That is where you are wrong, sir.
These two teenagers were bullied since they started school! The only people they killed were complete ‘scumbags’ to the both of them. Yet, you are being a bully, insulting two dead kids, being utterly rude and disrespectful not only to the dead but, to their family!
The only people that were killed were the people who bullied them senseless, even when they were nice or silent. Now, you tell me, if you were bullied since you could remember, wouldn’t you want revenge? Not only would you be vengeful, but you would also make fun of them on your blog!
It’s also pretty bad karma to make fun of the dead and be a complete douche to them and their family.
So, please, the next time you write one of your pitiful posts, think twice and be respectful.
~ Cara the Columbiner
This e-mail would be hysterical if it wasn’t so pathetic. The fact that I’m being accused of being wrong in an e-mail so full of false assumptions and myths is comical to say the least.
First of they are demon spawn, cowards and egotistical selfish spoiled punks. If they weren’t they wouldn’t have committed mass murder for the oh so egregious crime of being ‘excluded’.
Secondly the people they killed were not their so-called bullies. I don’t know where you got that idea but the majority if not all of their victims had no actual connection to either of the cowardly scumbags Harris and Klebold. Not to mention there is no concrete evidence that they were bullied but were the bullies themselves.
Actually I was bullied from the time I entered school until the time I graduated high school but I got over it. Anybody who harbors on the bullying they received in school once they get out is weak and have let the bullies win. But again Harris and Klebold weren’t bullied.
Lastly you say it’s bad karma to make fun of the dead. That’s the most comical thing of all from your e-mail. I think the karma scales weigh heavily more in my favor since it’s even worse karma to kill 13 people over nothing. That’s why your heroes keep the flames of hell burning yellow with their cowardice.
One year ago today is when the convicted child killers known as the West Memphis 3 were wrongly released from prison. There have been several articles out this week about what they’re doing now. It seems Echols is the only one who is doing well for himself. Not surprising since the WM3 movement was all about him anyway. As always Baldwin and Misskelley were just means to an end. But I digress.
What i wanted to talk about was this article from The Commercial appeal which didn’t delve into the tabloid like reporting that other outlets have engaged in. In a brief piece that also included the local Humane Society offering free vaccinations for pets they mentioned that the West Memphis 1 West Memphis 3 in true OJ fashion are still looking for the ‘real killer’
Lonnie Soury, a spokesman for former Arkansas death row inmate Damien Echols and former inmates Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., released a statement Thursday. He said investigators are still investigating the 1993 murders of 8-year-olds Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers. They’re offering a $200,000 reward and a tip line: 501-256-1775.
This isn’t a reward. It’s a bounty for falsified testimony to frame an innocent man in my opinion.
Speaking of finding the real killers how is that going along. I’m guessing Echols has looked all over New Zealand, his book tour stops, and the set of his co-produced movie. Maybe Echols and OJ Simpson can have a real killers world tour.
It also seems that CNN ran an interview recently between Piers Morgan and Echols and Baldwin. I don’t know if it’s a recent interview but I did receive a couple of e-mails on it.
The first one is from an Oregon district attorney…
Thank you for offering some sober objective commentary on this horrible case.
I am a prosecutor who teaches capital litigation across the country. I became aware of this case in 1995 only because I was trying an un-related murder where the female defendant used Richard Ofshe to claim she had been coerced into a false confession. Like the WM3 the jury did not buy it and I read the WM3 transcripts in preparation for my trial (State vs. Linda Stangel).
I am watching Piers Morgan claiming that an Alford plea is “extremely rare.: That is a lie. I see dozens every year if not more, just in my county.
I don’t need to tell you that the WM3 are guilty in the eyes of the law, can never sue the cops and have to answer “yes” if asked if they are guilty of murder.
I found it interesting that Jesse, who they now tag as “retarded” – a phrase never used outside capital litigation, “declined to appear” on CNN and that paragon of journalistic ethics (that’s a joke – he’s implicated in the phone hacking scandals in Britain)
My website details several other high-profile cases where prosecutors and victims families succumb to what I term “prosecutorial fatigue” – exhaustion over trying cases over and over (I have tried one sociopath 3 times in 20 years and four times juries have sentenced him to death) But I understand why a victim’s family sometimes says “no more.”
I am revolted by the Hollywood glitterati’s adoption of some cases like the WM3 and the MSM’s totally uncritical examination of the truth.
A play called “The Exonerated” features six people once on death row (five are free, one is in prison for an identical homicide for the one for which he was acquitted. But two, Sonia “Sonny” Jacobs and Kerry Max Cook, both entered no contest and Alford plea to Murder 2 to get out of prison.
I note CNN is highlighting another killer, Robert Blake, tomorrow. Who speaks for these little boys? What have the WM3 done to uncover “the real killers?”
Co-chair. media Committee, National DA’s Association
Vice-Chair, American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
The other one is from a reader named Nina…
Hi Mr. Reynolds,
After watching a nauseating interview on CNN last night by Piers Morgan, interviewing 2 of the 3 murderers of those 3 eight year old boys,I felt such an overwhelming need to hear someone say they felt these guys were guilty. It took a while, but finally and gratefully so,I came upon your article stating that you believed they were guilty, and WHY you believed it.
Your piece on this should be passed out around the globe and given to all the bleeding hearts, who had nothing better to do than to fight the cause of these 3 lying, murdering, monsters. Once circulated, it should land on the forehead of Piers Morgan, who sat across from Damien Echols and said he couldn’t understand how such a smart, good, person could be convicted of such a crime. (Something to that effect.)
It was disgusting! They are con artists and have played the public, and they are free. The only thing we all can hope for, is that they violate their probation and wind up back in prison for the rest of their lives.
I couldn’t end this letter to you without the mention of the pathetic woman who decided to make Echols time easier by writing to him, moving near him, and marrying him. She is a desperate insecure woman who did this just so she can know where “Her Man” is all the time. HA!..and I can hardly wait for him to cheat on her, at the very least.
GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!!
And before you even start with the accusations at the letter writers neither of them are from the south.
As I’ve said before while the group-think on the internet may be that the WM3 are innocent if the internet was the real world weed would be legal, Ron Paul would be President and Firefly would still be on the air.
When you remove the emotion and propaganda logic dictates that Echols and his lackeys are guilty.
I received the following e-mails from a kid. I know this because the word kid was used in their e-mail address. They’re from another supporter of the West Memphis 3. Or again as they should be referred to Damien Echols and the other two guys.
I am gothic too, killing dogs and animals does not meen anything …. I meen it is just an animal !! I like blood and goor , and i like learning about murderers…… But when i read about this one it made me puke ….. How could someone kill such innocent , adorable … Little boys…. I am poor and live i a runned down area … But i still feel compasion for these poor little boys…. My heart goes out to the victims families … But you cant charge people for the way they look or dress…. If anyone talks to me like that … They will get beat up …. I love black and rock n roll and heavy metal … Their is nothing wrong with that … I love the way i am ….. R.i.p christopher , steven , and michael …. You are never forgotten !!
You have a problem …. Stop hating on damien …. He did not do anything …. The people who really murdered these boys should be found and killed….. I like his hair and who cares if he killed an animal ? To me it doesnt matter ….. I love the color black and heavy metal … Doesnt meen i would kill someone ….. These little boys did not diserve this … This story made me puke and it made me sick to hear about what happend to them … Damien did nothing wrong , neither did jason , or jessie , i feel sorry for the accused … They dont diserve this … Just as much as those poor boys didnt diserve to be murdered is such a heartless manner …. R.i.p stevie , christopher , and michael …. We love you boys and we will always miss you !! R.i.p
Originally I was going to rip this kid a new one. I mean it’s obviously they’re an unsupervised minor on the information superhighway about to get plowed into by the tractor-trailer of truth that is Trench Reynolds. Then I thought about it. This kid can’t really help it. They’re just young and ignorant. So I would please ask that in the comments be polite to this lost child.
Anyway I’m going to address the kid directly. Kid, can I call you Kid? Listen Kid, I think it’s great that you actually have sympathy for the victims of this horrendous crime. A lot of your adult counterparts are more concerned with the well-being of Echols rather than having concern about the victims. That is commendable on your part.
I’m going to guess that you’re no older than 15. I mean this in the nicest way but you don’t know anything at that age. Don’t take it personally, no one does that age. Hell, I was an idiot at that age. You have no idea how the real world works.
You obviously just recently found out about this case either through the Paradise Lost movies or maybe on some music message board someone pointed you in the direction of the WM3 website. As I’ve said though you have a lot to learn about how the real world works.
First of all animal abuse is a horrific crime. A lot of people consider their pets to be a part of their family. Would you say it was just an animal if it was one that you loved? I doubt you would. Not to mention that people who become serial killers in a lot of cases started out as animal killers. Echols killed a Great Dane by repeatedly stomping on its head. These are not the actions of a rational human being.
Secondly this case had nothing to do with listening to metal and wearing black. When I was younger I wore all black and listened to metal. Now I’m in my 40s and I still listen top metal and wear all black. Instead of a concert shirt it’s now a dress shirt and tie. Instead of having long hair I have it cut short to the point where it stands up on its own. People seem to find that more intimidating than some kid wearing a Slipknot t-shirt. This case had everything to do with the fact that Echols thought he was evil incarnate and wanted to commit the most horrific crime that he could think of. The triple murder of children was a crime of opportunity that fell into his requirements. Their convictions were repeatedly upheld even by the Arkansas State Supreme Court. If this was a case of some rednecks railroading a couple of metal kids it would have been discovered. Besides the fact that Misskelley made multiple confessions even after his own conviction.
Do yourself a favor. Get an education and learn how to make decisions for yourself and not just follow the herd because it tugs at your heartstrings.