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“West Memphis Three” survivor will get “Lord of the Rings” holiday

HollywoodNews.com: The West Memphis Three got a thunderous and rapturous standing ovation last night at the New York Film Festival premiere of “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.” It was quite an evening for them, with celebrities like singer Paul Simon, and actress-activist-producer Trudie Styler there to support them. Earlier in the day, Damien Echols said at HBO’s press conference that his biggest adjustment to life outside prison after 17 years was walking. “I’m used to walking in chains,” he said. “I fell down a lot the first few days.”

Now Echols, who’s left Arkansas for good, heads to New Zealand with his girlfriend for two months. They will be hosted by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson, who took an interest in the case and helped fund the defense along with rock stars Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, and actor Johnny Depp among others.

Jackson’s involvement has been a double edged sword. While his generosity made a lot of the legal wrangling possible, he’s also caused some problems for “Paradise Lost” filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Jackson has been funding a documentary by Amy Berg, who came into the West Memphis Three saga after the first two “Paradise Lost” films were made and heaped with awards. Since Berg arrived in Arkansas, sources say, she’s done a lot to undercut the “Paradise Lost,” which will undoubtedly be up for an Oscar. It also premieres on HBO in January.

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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  • October 11, 2011 | Permalink |

    Many people believe the 3 were guilty as charged.

    All of this is documented information from legal documents and the mainstream media.

    Misskelley confessed three separate times, once with his lawyer present. Misskelley also told two other people about the crime before he was arrested. Baldwin told someone else he committed the crimes. Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene. He bragged about the murder to two other teenagers, stating he killed the three boys. Echols is reported to have either told or bragged about the crime to four people before he was arrested. Echols also had a history of psychiatric treatment. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood.

    Fibers on the murdered victims’ clothing were found to microscopically similar to things in the Baldwin and Echols homes. The serrated wound patterns on the three victims that were consistent with, and could have been caused by, a knife found in a lake behind appellant Baldwin’s parents’ residence.

    Echols’ stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. A funeral register found in his room with hand-drawn pentagrams and upside-down crosses. Echols’ journal contained morbid images and references to dead children.

  • October 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    Wow! Does Lorri (Damien’s wife) know about Damien’s “girlfriend” that Damien is going to New Zealand with? 🙂

  • October 12, 2011 | Permalink |

    Yes! Many people do in fact believe that the West Memphis Three are guilty as charged. Many people also believe that evolution is a myth, the world is flat, pedophilia is okay, and the plaid goes well with stripes. We call these people “wrong.”

    Yes, Jessie gave multiple statements (more than 3, actually) that alternately implicated himself, Damien, and Jason – he also gave many that didn’t. What’s RELEVANT is that, even when being lead around like a little pony and fed details, he never once was able to give a single statement that aligned with the known forensics or facts of the crime. But to listen to those who wear stripes with plaid pants (etc), the only statements that were true were those in which he claimed to have witnessed the crime – his denials were false and his utter, pathetic inability to give a consistent statement is irrelevant.

    Yes – fibers were found on the victims that were “microscopically similar” to Jason. That means that – my oh my – two people bought blue robes at Wal-Mart. What those who profess guilt don’t like mentioning on this topic is that Jason sought to have the fibers tested using 2009 technology – which would go far beyond the “microscopically similar” label that the State showed back in 1994. And…uh, ooops – the State fought that motion and fought it hard.

    And Damien’s weirdness / goth persona as evidence, well, just typing that gives it more respect than it deserves.

    Anyone interested can click on my name above and read up on the evidence – and participate in discussions. The link from the “plaid and stripes” man goes to a website which (surprise surprise) does not contain debate or discussion or debunking of theories – it’s a “read only” website.

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