On May 6, 1993 three eight-year-old boys, Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael
Moore were discovered mutilated and murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas, the local media
said the killer’s had been arrested. The police said Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason
Baldwin were the ones responsible for the murders. A local female who was at the police station
for writing bad checks told police she would help them implicate Damien by concealing a tape
recorder and recording their conversation. When she was unable to get Damien to talk about his
part in the murders she had her son inform police he was in Robin Hood Hills the day of the
murders. The boy’s tales became increasingly embellished and ultimately the police thought the
boy did not know anything. Jessie endured 12 hours of questioning, without a lawyer or his
father’s permission. Later Jessie recanted his confession, but it was too late, Jessie Misskelley,
Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols were all arrested, that evening, on June 3, 1993, and
convicted of murder in early 1994.
The boys were discovered bound together with their own shoe strings in a "hog-tie"
manner, in a wooded area called Robin Hood Hills. After the case had been investigated, the
West Memphis Police said on the news that they had found the murderers, pointing fingers at
Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin. Three teenagers who were different from
the norm in West Memphis it was easy for them to be accused.
The West Memphis Police had no previous experience with murders, so they permitted
possible evidence to be ruined at the site where the bodies were found. Bodies were taken out of
the water before the arrival of coroner and placed them on the bank in the sun destroying
important evidence concerning time of death, i.e. body temperature, rigor mortis, etc. Instead of
removing the bodies, the creek bed should have been emptied leaving the bodies where they