Witch Trail Murders

800 Words4 Pages
It was a normal day after school for many families on May 5th, 1993. The sunlight was still out as the sounds of far away cars roared through the wind. The giggles of nearby school children drifted through and faded within the quiet neighborhood of West Memphis. To the surprise of many the tranquility of this small town in Arkansas would soon be lost and a force so strong would shake America. As the sun began to lower and prepare for the next day, three little boys never made it back home for dinner that night. Eight-year old Steven Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers were brutally murdered with no explanation, no trace and no justice. Three teenagers were arrested and convicted for their murders based on the counts of Witch Craft.…show more content…
The suspects were 16 year old Jason Baldwin, 17 year old Jessie Misskelley Jr., and reported ring leader Damien Echols. Baldwin and Echols were close friends, but were merely acquaintances with Misskelley. Echols was known to suffer from serious mental illness and Misskelley has a poor IQ. All three boys came from fairly disadvantaged families. Prior to that the book opens up with stating another possible suspect. An African-American man walked into a local Bojangles severely bloodied and disoriented. Although blood samples were later submitted to testing. The West Memphis Police never followed this lead. Other possible suspects were Brian Holland and Chris Morgan. Both men had left to Oceanside, California just a few days after the discovery of the bodies. In Oceanside, both indicated deception when it came to involvement of the murders. Morgan later confessed being involved. The West Memphis failed to follow this lead as well. Nevertheless, the police fixated on Damien Echols because of his supposed involvement with cult activity. Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was interrogated for 12 hours with no parent and only a small part of this interrogation was filmed. Misskelley confessed about the murders. Echols and Baldwin were arrested not long after. Echols and Baldwin were tried together and Misskelley was tried separately. Misskelley 's defense argued that police coercion had a great deal
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