Despite being over six feet tall and muscular, Dahmer never responded to bullying. During the psychological evaluation in preparation for his trial, he recalled an event where he was hit on the back of the neck with a billy club, a blackjack or a fist (he recalled the weapon differently in separate interviews).
“I was up visiting a friend’s, and was walking back home in the evening, and saw these three seniors, seniors in high school approaching. I just had a feeling that something was going to happen, and sure enough, one of them just took out a billy club and whacked me on the back of the neck. For no reason. Didn’t say anything, just hit somebody. And I ran.”
Classmate John Backderf later stated that he often wondered why Dahmer never fought back, but expressed that he was fearful of being in his way if Dahmer ever “snapped”.
Oh Tumblr, you have no idea..
Three years ago today, Jessie Misskelley, Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols agreed to sign an Alford Plea, a deal allowing them to walk out of prison providing that they agreed to plead guilty to the murder of three young boys. Although still maintaining their innocence, an agreement was signed that legally stated that the Arkansas state police had located, arrested and tried the murderers of Chris Byers, Michael Moore and Stevie Branch.
Damien, Jason and Jessie were held in prison for over eighteen years despite maintaining their innocence and fighting for justice for the three boys murdered. Upon legally admitting to the murders, the men were freed. Arkansas called that justice. Would a state so convinced that these men murdered three eight year old boys allow them to go free? The Alford plea provented any compensation from being made to the second trio of victims of the West Memphis Three case.
In the twenty and a half years since the murders, supporters and defenders of the three have donated money, support and time to the case, and in doing so have unearthed several examples of wrongdoing in their convictions. As well as testing forensic evidence collected at the scene which was never admitted into court during the trials, they have funded appeal after appeal, and paid the majoroty of legal fees which would eventually result in the trio’s release.
Despite the effort of the thousands of worldwide supporters and legal teams, none of the appeals got past the courts. The only way for these men to be released, would be to legally brand themselves child murderers.
Jason Baldwin didn’t want to take the Alford plea. He decided that he would rather die in prison than admit to a crime that he did not commit. The poor health of his best friend, Damien, was the only reason he took the plea.
Damien had been beaten so severely by guards over his years in prison, he had nerve damage in his mouth. He had been caged in his cell for so long that his eyes coundn’t focus past a couple of feet.
Upon leaving prison and returning back home to West Memphis, Jessie Misskelley almost became homeless. With no education and a criminal record, he struggled to find a job. Had the musician and long time supporter Eddie Vedder not offered to pay his rent, he would have been homeless.
These men left prison with nothing.
Jessie Misskelley still lives in Arkansas with his father, Big Jessie. He babysits he children of the boy he used to babysit before prison.
Damien Echols holds classes and demonstrations based on magick and his spiritual beliefs, the same thing that got him through prison.
Jason Baldwin is attending law school, hoping to free others that have been wrongfully convicted.
There has been no justice for these men, nor for Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, Chris Byers or their families. Any attempt to take the new forensic evidence to court, or to get the three exonerated, is down to supporters and their donations.
You can make a donation at wm3.org, even specifying exactly what you want your money to go towards. Please consider donating to help bring the real killer(s) to justice, and set these innocent men free.
Write to the state of Arkansas. Write to the president. Write to the individuals involved in the case. Write to their support teams. Connect with each other. This case isn’t over.
For Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin.
For Michael Moore, Chris Byers and Stevie Branch.
Forever trusting who we are - and nothing else matters
Tonight I will make a gigantic soppy text post regarding the anniversary.
Consider yourselves warned.
Workers dig for evidence in the woods near the Bath, Ohio, childhood home of confessed serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer on August. 14, 1991.