ECHOLS’S “LIFE AFTER DEATH” by Billy Sinclair, 11-14-12


The title of West Memphis Three celebre Damien Echols’s recently released memoir, Life After Death, is offensive, to say the least. He not only participated in but instigated the torture-murders of three helpless 8-year-old Boy Scouts in West Memphis, Arkansas on May 5, 1993. That, I believe. We don’t know what kind of “life after death” little Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore experienced, but we can imagine, although not comprehend, the pain, fear and horror they endured in the final moments of their lives here on earth. The lives of three boys cut short by a deranged, mentally disturbed minister of the “evil, dark side” and his two yokel disciples.

And now this confessed child murderer with his self-penned memoir wants us to believe that West Memphis law enforcement and prosecution officials framed him and his two dimwit cohorts for killing Stevie, Chris, and Michael. Echols’s so-called “near death experience” was the eighteen years he spent in the Arkansas prison system, most of which were spent on the state’s death row. As Commercial Appeal reporter, Mike Perrusquia, reported on the newspaper’s website on October 7, 2012, Echols’s “tell all” memoir didn’t tell the public very much about his violent mental history. That’s significant because Echols’s mental health history before the three boys were killed was more severe and violent than those of Jared Loughner and James Holmes before they went on their shooting/killing sprees. Let’s review Echols’s mental health history before May 1993: a history chronicled in the Commercial Appeal and a number of other sources (here and here):

Echols was hospitalized in mental health facilities in Arkansas and Oregon.

He had an admitted history of violence and extreme aggression toward others, including attacks on school classmates with an attempt to scratch out the eyes of one classmate.

He believed that he had to be temporarily removed from society to protect himself and others. He had a history of self-mutilation, including burning himself with lighters and cutting himself with knives.

He was a substance abuser: huffing gas and paint, both of which destroy millions of brain cells with each huff; using speed; smoking marijuana; sniffing glue, and consuming alcohol.

He was paranoid, perhaps schizophrenic. He believed in the occult and communicated with the “dark forces” (demons and spirits). He stated he worshipped the devil and that he believed he was a vampire. He even admitted to “sucking the blood out of a peer’s neck.”

He had emotional fits of anger and rage and uncontrollable impulsive hostility. His solution during these periods was “to hurt someone” or do “strange things.” He craved power and loved to demean others in his pursuit of it.  He had a vengeful streak that focused on “getting even” for real or imagined wrongs done to him.

His mental and emotional problems were so severe that his mother believed he was “crazy.”

He lacked empathy for others. He believed people fell into two categories:  sheep and wolves. And the sheep existed to feed the wolves, and he had an insatiable desire to be “pack leader” of the wolves. He reportedly killed and disemboweled a dog. He said he attempted suicide because he believed he could come back to life from the dark side. He thought a lot about life after death, saying he wanted to “go where the monsters go.  He had continuous thoughts of hurting other people, including a desire to cut his own mother’s throat and threats to harm his father while the father was in an emergency room. He stated he wanted to eat them alive. He threatened to kill a girlfriend’s father and a police officer.

His parents believed he was a danger to two other children in their home. 

He believed he had psychic powers through witchcraft and could steal energy from other peoples’ minds.

He had grandiose, narcissist beliefs: he would influence the world and no one would ever forget his name. These beliefs were bolstered by a psychotic need to be “all powerful;” to be in “total control.”

The Social Security Administration determined he was 100 percent disabled due to “mental impairment.”

Echols’s was, and remains, a “sick puppy.” Given this mental health history, it is understandable why he did not address it in his memoir. He has constantly complained, both during and after his incarceration, about the lack of medical treatment in prison. Clearly, if the Arkansas prison system did not address his medical problems, it certainly did not remotely about his mental health problems. Deranged, disturbed, and psychotic behavior does not cure itself—and this would be especially true in Echols’s case because he not only convinced himself but his legion of supporters that he is the victim, not the three boys who were murdered and tortured by a sick mind like the one Echols’s has. I suspect that much of the torture and pre-death damage done to those three boys was committed by Baldwin and Misskelley under Echols’s direction. The wolf pack leader probably did some horrific things once the little sheep were neutralized—but it was the power to direct the kill, not the actual kill, that satisfied his psychotic need to have absolute power of life over death.

One can reasonably conclude Echols is as mentally disturbed today as he was when arrested and convicted. Nothing has changed except his physical locale. In time, the celebrity will disappear, relationships will deteriorate, and the money will dissipate. What else will he have to offer the community of man? More paganism, the spread of occult “supernatural” powers, and Gothic persona? One can only hope that there is a “life after death” with an attendant Heaven and Hell because the Devil would welcome Echols’s presence among the dark forces. But that’s not a good thing for him: the Devil does not even like child killers either. And even if there is only pointless oblivion after death, at least the world will be spared of anymore of Damien Echols’s bullshit and the excuses of his supporters.



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