02-10-12 COME ON, MAN! GIVE ME SOMETHING REAL!
That’s the suggestion Reese gave me recently concerning one of my previous posts about Damien Echols and the West Memphis Three case.
Sorry, Reese, no can do. Short of a conscience-stricken, deathbed confession by Echols or one of the other two, we will never know who killed those three Cub Scouts on May 3, 1993 in West Memphis, Arkansas. All any of us can do now is examine the information in the public record to form our opinions. I have done that, as much as possible without devoting my life to the case. I have expressed my opinions with what I believe are rational, logical, and, yes, factual arguments. I’m sure most West Memphis Three supporters have done essentially the same thing.
I believe the entire “innocence” arguments Damien Echols has put forward is constructed like a “house of cards.” He is a liar, and the fresh air of freedom has not cured his insatiable appetite for lying. Last month he gave an interview to Reuters reporter Zorianna Kit in Park City, Utah where he was promoting the latest “documentary” about the West Memphis Three case at the Sundance Film Festival. This one produced by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson—and if Echols had significant hand in its production, the documentary will have about as much reality as the “Lord of the Rings.”
In the simplistic Q/A interview with Reuters, the following exchange occurred:
A. Well they say you get one hour out, but basically I was in a super maximum security prison. So that means if for the hour out, they take you out of your cell and put you in another cell. So I wasn’t outside at all in somewhere between 8 to 10 years.
Q. Any health issues as a result of that?
A. I’m slowly recovering due to better nutrition now, being able to get proper exercise and fresh air and things like that. But one of the things that was really damaged was my eyesight due to the fact of not having any natural light and not being able to see anything at a distance. It caused tremendous damage to my eyes.
Q. Are you getting any care now?
A. Since I’ve been out we’ve been seeing doctors and dentists and trying to get me back to semi-normal. I had a lot of nerve damage in my teeth just from being beaten by prison guards. There’s almost no dental care in prison. They don’t do crowns or root canals or anything like that if you’re in pain, either you live in pain or let ‘em pull your teeth out.
The problem with most reporters is they have no frame of reference about life in prison. When I was on the inside, inmates had a saying about reporters, “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” That’s exactly what Echols did to Kit. He did not once tell the reporter what physical disorder he had incurred because of his imprisonment. He did say his eyes had been “really damaged” but he didn’t describe any specific problem diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. He also said he suffered from “nerve damage” in his teeth because he had been “beaten by prison guards.” Echols implies the beatings by the prison guards were a regular occurrence.
Let me say this: prison guards do beat inmates but rarely are those beatings inflicted because guards just want to beat an inmate. Most physical confrontations between prison guards/inmates are triggered by an event, generally precipitated by the inmate. For example, the inmate refusing to exit his cell, throwing urine or feces on the guard, spitting on the guard, refusing to obey a direct order, etc. Echols implies to Kit, as he has done many times in other interviews, that guards beat him just because he was “Damien Echols.” The self-indulgence, the self-absorption of this guy is mind-boggling!
So, Reese, I can’t give you “something real” except that Damien Echols is a lying S.O.B. The prison experience is bad enough on its own merits, but when you add the dynamic of a self-absorbed inmate like Echols portraying himself as a victim of injustice, you will find those “Cool Hand Luke” horror stories—like being raped and beaten by death row guards. For example, Echols told Jonesboro Sun reporter George Jared in a 2010 interview that he had been raped by prison guard. Yet in the Reuters interview he stressed the point that he was in a “super maximum security prison” with extremely restricted movements. So how did the rapes occur?
Jared did not ask Echols who committed the rapes just as Kit did not ask him which guards beat him. He’s a free man now. No fear of retaliation. Name the guards, give us specific dates, how it happened, etc. Don’t hide behind the generalized claims about prison brutality to garner public sympathy. Why hasn’t he reported this alleged physical and sexual abuse to the Civil rights division of the United States Justice Department who has the power and authority to investigate alleged civil rights violations in the prison setting.
Echols’s “ace in the hole” is public gullibility and the need of celebrities to have a “cause” to fight for to plug the drain of the famed out lives.
I suggest that Lorianna Kit carry her behind down to West Memphis, Arkansas, and visit the graves of those three Cub Scouts. They are the victims here—not Echols’s “damaged” eyesight and teeth.
So, in the final analysis, Reese, about the only “real” thing I can give you is that Damien Echols has a remarkable ability to “baffle with bullshit,” including you.