Report finds Dutch religious abused ‘tens of thousands’ of girls, The Real West Memphis Three, Father speaks out against documentary
March 14, 2013 Comments Off on Report finds Dutch religious abused ‘tens of thousands’ of girls, The Real West Memphis Three, Father speaks out against documentary
– Report finds Dutch religious abused ‘tens of thousands’ of girls
– Letter: Father speaks out against documentary “West of Memphis”
– The Real West Memphis Three http://www.westmemphisthreefacts.com
FACT – JESSIE MISSKELLEY CONFESSED NUMEROUS TIMES
– Letter: Documentary screening criticized
Report finds Dutch religious abused ‘tens of thousands’ of girls
Catholic Church offers apology to victims after report published
is unlikely to be established more accurately
Peter Cluskey Mon, Mar 11, 2013
The report, published yesterday, brought an immediate apology from the Catholic Church, which said that not only had the victims been blameless, but they had been entitled to live and study safely in the homes and schools where much of the abuse took place.
In a statement last night, the church said the victims were entitled to apologies from the bishops and superiors of the religious orders who had failed to protect them. It also said there should be a period of “recognition and healing” in tandem with financial compensation.
The 1,100-page first report of the Deetman commission – chaired by former Dutch education minister Wim Deetman – shocked the Netherlands last year when it revealed that 800 Catholic priests and monks abused as many as 20,000 children in their care between 1945 and 1985.
It said the abuse took place in boarding schools, children’s homes and orphanages, but was not openly acknowledged by the church authorities because of their “culture of silence” and determination “not to hang out their dirty washing”. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/report-finds-dutch-religious-abused-tens-of-thousands-of-girls-1.1322599
March 8, 2013 Letter: Father speaks out against documentary
The Salem News To the editor:
CinemaSalem will host the documentary “West of Memphis” today as part of the Salem Film Fest. The executive producer of this very deceptive film is Damien Echols, one of the so-called “West Memphis Three” and the man convicted of murdering my son and his two best friends in 1993. A jury sentenced Echols to death for his crime in 1994. However, a new prosecutor inherited the case in 2011. He was overwhelmed by the WM3 all-star defense team and celebrity supporters and allowed Echols and co-convicts Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to enter guilty pleas yet walk free with time served. This amounted to only 18 years for the savage triple homicide of three innocent 8-year-old boys.
The Salem Film Fest and CinemaSalem should be ashamed of themselves for supporting a convicted child murderer. In the eyes of the law, he is a child killer. It is shameful for anyone to support this monster. I urge the residents of Salem to boycott this film….
Todd Moore http://www.salemnews.com/opinion/x1503764565/Father-speaks-out-against-documentary
The Real West Memphis Three
Chris Byers, Michael Moore, and Stevie Branch….
On May 5th, 1993 three eight year old boys were murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were arrested, tried and convicted of killing Michael Moore, Stevie Branch, and Chris Byers. There are many important facts left out of the documentaries, books, and most media coverage about the West Memphis Three (WM3) case.
Here are just a few:
FACT – JESSIE MISSKELLEY CONFESSED NUMEROUS TIMES:
The Paradise Lost and West of Memphis documentaries completely leave out the fact Jessie Misskelley confessed to the murders numerous times both before and after he was convicted….. http://www.westmemphisthreefacts.com
March 8, 2013
Letter: Documentary screening criticized
The Salem News
To the editor:
CinemaSalem screens the film “West of Memphis” tonight as a part of its annual documentary film series. Mr. Todd Moore, the father of Michael Moore, one of three 8-year-olds that Salem resident Damien Echols has pleaded guilty to murdering, posted a comment on the festival’s blog site protesting their presentation of the film. http://www.salemnews.com/opinion/x1503764577/Letter-Documentary-screening-criticized
February 26, 2012 Comments Off on Dad says Oscar-nominated film glorifies convicts
Dad says Oscar-nominated film glorifies convicts
Sunday, February 26, 2012
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Todd Moore isn’t sure whether he’ll watch the Oscars this weekend, when a documentary about the murder of his son and two other Cub Scouts could win an Academy Award.
Moore and his ex-wife, Diana, believe “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” glorifies the three men convicted in the Arkansas boys’ deaths and asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to bar it from consideration for an Oscar.
The academy refused, saying the film met the basic eligibility requirements and was being viewed and evaluated by members.
“It would not be possible for the Academy — its leadership, executives, or administration — to insert itself into this process without risking the integrity of this longstanding procedure and of the awards themselves,” wrote Rob Epstein, who chairs the Documentary Branch Executive Committee, in the letter dated Dec. 13. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter this week.
Epstein thanked the family for writing with such candor and said he could only begin to imagine the anguish they’ve suffered.
“I would not trivialize your pain by asking for your understanding, but I do hope this has clarified the organization’s role in the Awards process,” he wrote.
The film, directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, is the third in a series of HBO documentaries about the killings of Michael Moore, Stevie Branch and Christopher Byers in West Memphis. The three men convicted in their 1993 deaths, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, entered a plea deal last year that cut their prison term to time served and let them still claim innocence.
January 26, 2012 Comments Off on Letters from the parents of the child victims – West Memphis Three
Letter to AMPAS from victims’ parents
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature this morning. In response, four parents whose children were murdered by Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley wrote an open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences January 24, 2012
….We are the parents and step-parent of Michael Moore and Stevie Branch, Jr. On May 5, 1993, our sons, along with their friend Christopher Byers, were brutally murdered. Three teenage boys, now men, were convicted of the crime: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley. An HBO documentary film crew came to our town, West Memphis, Arkansas, to chronicle the aftermath of these murders and the trials of our sons’ killers. That film, Paradise Lost, was followed by two sequels – Paradise Lost II: Revelations and Paradise Lost III: Purgatory. We are writing to the Academy now to express our sadness, disappointment, and outrage over the decision to nominate the latest film, Purgatory, for an Academy Award in the documentary film category.
Despite the spin and controversy fabricated by defense attorneys, documentary filmmakers, and celebrities, certain aspects of the past 18 years are irrefutable. Three precious eight-year-old boys went for a bicycle ride on May 5, 1993, and never came home. They were murdered in a most vicious and horrifying manner. Jessie Misskelley has admitted to taking part in these terrible crimes three times on record and at least three additional times off the record
….While we were grieving for our children, the HBO film crew assured us that they only chronicled the events as they unfolded, and that they believed the defendants to be guilty. They earned our trust, and then they violated it. Director Joe Berlinger aptly referred to himself as a “storyteller first, a journalist second…” an accurate description given the fable he has conjured. Berlinger decided within “five minutes” of meeting Damien Echols that he was innocent and immediately set out upon a mission to prove it, truth and facts be damned. The fabricated innocence of the defendants made for a better “documentary” than the truth that these three teenagers killed our children for nothing more than a sick thrill.
….Directors Berlinger and Sinofsky lied to grieving parents. They have callously accused not one, but two, grieving parents of their own sons’ murders. They manipulated viewers into believing that these trials were a witchhunt, showing only very carefully selected snippets of trial testimony. The trials of our sons’ murderers lasted twenty-two days. Despite having over 140 hours of footage in their possession, Berlinger and Sinofsky ultimately showed viewers less than one hour of trial footage and led viewers to the false conclusion that there was no evidence produced that the three defendants were guilty. They neglected to include virtually all of the evidence against the defendants, regardless of the fact that two juries and the Arkansas Supreme Court deemed that sufficient evidence of their guilt existed. http://wm3truth.com/2012/01/letter-to-ampas-from-victims-parents/
Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow morning (24 Jan 2012), and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is a frontrunner for a Best Documentary Feature nomination.
Todd and Dana Moore, parents of murder victim Michael Moore, wrote a public letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences urging them not to honor Paradise Lost 3.
….We are horrified to learn that a documentary that glorifies Michael’s killers, Paradise Lost III: Purgatory, is among 15 documentaries being considered for an Academy Award. Because of public pressure that exploded due to gross misrepresentations of fact in two previous documentaries, Michael’s killers were unjustly able to enter into a plea agreement, were released from prison, and now pose additional threats to society. This third documentary further insulted the families of these three boys and may lead to further injustice. We implore the Academy not to reward our child’s killers and the directors who have profited from one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated under the guise of a “documentary film.”
….Consider what happened to John Mark Byers. He was Christopher Byers’ adoptive father. Confrontations between Mr. Byers and Echols’ supporters at hearings were staged. Of course, Berlinger and Sinofsky were there to film these episodes. Berlinger and Sinofsky would transport Mr. Byers to the hearings and wire him for sound beforehand. Furthermore, Berlinger and Sinofsky maneuvered Mr. Byers and Echols’ supporters in order to film the anticipated confrontations. Later, after the cameras were packed away, Mr. Byers acted like a different person. Instead of being belligerent, he was affable. When asked about his change in demeanor, Mr. Byers stated that he was supposed to act that way when the cameras were present. Mr. Byers was quoted as saying he received $500 per hour for “exclusive interviews.” http://wm3truth.com/2012/01/oscar-nomination-for-paradise-lost-3/
August 20, 2011 Comments Off on Deal Frees ‘West Memphis Three’ in Arkansas
Deal Frees ‘West Memphis Three’ in Arkansas By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON August 19, 2011
JONESBORO, Ark. — The end, if it can be called that, came all of a sudden. After nearly two decades in prison for the murder of three young boys, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., commonly known as the West Memphis Three, stood up in a courtroom here on Friday, proclaimed their innocence even as they pleaded guilty, and, minutes later, walked out as free men….
Under the terms of a deal reached with prosecutors, Mr. Echols, Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Misskelley leave as men who maintain their innocence yet who pleaded guilty to murder, as men whom the state still consider to be child killers but whom the state deemed safe enough to set free.
Last November, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that there was enough evidence to call a hearing to determine whether to have a new trial. The hearing was scheduled for this coming December.
But it was less than three weeks ago that lawyers representing Mr. Echols began working on a deal to offer to prosecutors that would free the men.
Under the seemingly contradictory deal, Judge David Laser vacated the previous convictions, including the capital murder convictions for Mr. Echols and Mr. Baldwin. After doing so, he ordered a new trial, something the prosecutors agreed to if the men would enter so-called Alford guilty pleas. These pleas allow people to maintain their innocence and admit frankly that they are pleading guilty because they consider it in their best interest.
The three men did just that, standing in court and quietly proclaiming their innocence but at the same time pleading guilty to charges of first- and second-degree murder. The judge then sentenced them to 18 years and 78 days, the amount of time they had served, and also levied a suspended sentence of 10 years.
The prosecuting attorney, Scott Ellington, said in an interview that the state still considered the men guilty and that, new DNA findings notwithstanding, he knew of no current suspects.
“We don’t think that there is anybody else,” Mr. Ellington said, declaring the case closed.
Asked how he could free murderers if he believed they were guilty, he acknowledged that the three men would likely be acquitted if a new trial were held, given the prominent lawyers now representing them, the fact that evidence has decayed or disappeared over time and the death or change of heart of several original witnesses. He also expressed concern that if the men were exonerated at trial, they could sue the state, possibly for millions of dollars.
“I believe that with all the circumstances that were facing the state in this case, this resolution is one that is palatable and I think that after a period of time it will be acceptable to the public as the right thing,” Mr. Ellington said.
‘West Memphis Three’ — Convicted Of Killing Boy Scouts — Free After Serving 17 Years In Prison by David Lohr 8/19/11
After serving 17 years behind bars for the brutal murder of three children in eastern Arkansas, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin — dubbed the “West Memphis Three” — have been released from prison.
“They will be free men … on suspended sentence,” prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington told reporters during a Friday press conference.
“Only time will tell as to whether this was the right decision.”
All three men had been imprisoned since 1994, when they were convicted of killing three 8-year-old boys: Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers.
Prosecutors alleged the trio killed the children in Robin Hood Hills on the morning of May 6, 1993, as part of a satanic ritual. According to police, the boys’ bodies were mutilated and left in a ditch. Each had been hogtied with his own shoelaces.
At the time of their arrests, Baldwin was 16. Misskelley was 17, and Echols was 18.
Echols was sentenced to death, Misskelley was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years, and Baldwin was sentenced to life.
DNA testing was not available at the time of the defendants’ trials. In 2007, it was found that DNA collected at the crime scene did not match that belonging to any of the three men. In November 2010, the state Supreme Court ruled that all three could present new evidence in court.
A new court date had been set for December, but on Thursday Judge David Laser ordered all three men transported to Jonesboro for today’s surprise hearing. In a brief statement released to the press, Laser only said that the hearing was to “take up certain matters pertaining to the cases” of the three defendants.
Experts believe both sides have entered into a complex legal agreement, in which the three men have entered into so-called Alford pleas.
“The plea means that you maintain your innocence but you believe there is a substantial likelihood that a jury will find you guilty so you are pleading guilty per State v. Alford,” Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney and legal analyst, told The Huffington Post. “The effect of the corresponding finding of guilt by the court is the same as with a straight guilty plea.”….
West Memphis 3 confession, witness corroboration and physical evidence
September 3, 2010 Comments Off on West Memphis 3 Follow-Up – Larry King Live – September 2, 2010
West Memphis 3 Follow-Up – Larry King Live – September 2, 2010
During last nights show on the “West Memphis 3,” we shared statements from Diana Moore, mother of murder victim Michael Moore, and the Arkansas Attorney General, whose office will defend the conviction of Damien Echols before the Arkansas Supreme Court later this month.
Statement from Diana Moore, mother of murder victim Michael Moore:
In 1993, all I wanted was justice for Michael, Christopher, and Stevie, and closure for myself, and my family. 17 years later, still no justice, or closure.
Since the convictions, the media has made it a point to make this case all about the convicted. I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that three innocent 8 year old children were brutally murdered, and these three men were convicted on the evidence presented to 24 , (in total), juror members that voted unanimously to convict.
Not one of the celebrities interviewed in this program has ever bothered to personally read the case file at West Memphis PD, or speak to anyone involved in prosecuting this case.
My little boy died that day. I’m his mother, and wish to say that the public remains ignorant about what happened in court primarily as a result of the Paradise Lost films, and the writing of Mara Leveritt. My voice is small compared to theirs, but I believe more relevant. They weren’t there during the trials, and they didn’t lose anybody. I lost almost everything, and not a day goes by that I don’t mourn for Michael. The public should think about that before casting their lot in with Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines….
(Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines replied to this statement.)
Statement from Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel:
Our office knows that there are concerns about this case, but be assured that we take the utmost care in handling the appeals of death sentences handed down by Arkansas jurors. Though some celebrities have brought more attention to this case than to the dozens of other pending death-row appeals in this state, every one is an extremely serious matter.
We are committed to fairness and justice not just for the three inmates, but also for the three little boys who didn’t live to see middle school.