THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
On june third of the year 1993, three teenagers were arrested for the murder of three eight-year old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The bodies were found in a ditch, naked and hogtied with their own shoe laces. Two of them were drowned, the third one was beat-up to death. Brutal, rabid, grotesque murders in the land of Jesus Christ & Betty Blue… The devil is among us.
It soon appeared the arrest of these three outcast teenagers was more the consequence of their taste in heavy-metal music, black clothes and horror literature than any single consistent piece of evidence. No serious proofs were implicating Jessie, Damien & Jason. Everything was based on a forced confession, fake testimonies and rampant paranoia. Satanic Ritual Murder. These three words were on every lips. Any evidence which could have helped to find the real killer(s) were either lost or destroyed. It was the infamous Salem Witch Trials, a couple of centuries later, in a town where you find a church at every street corner. The trial was documented in the astonishing documentary film “Paradise Lost” which brought the story to the world. Originally assigned to document the case of three blood-thirsty Satan worshippers it didn’t take long to the directors to realize something was going horribly wrong. No need to expand on the flaws of this case, the film is doing quite a good job at showing the stupidity and incompetence of the local authorities as well as the blind rage of a community in shock.
In this poor, small, religious town, people get drunk, pop pills and praise Jesus. Actually, 2 of the 3 parents’ victims were alcoholic, drug addicts and violent biggots… Who knows what can happen when a child abuser redneck brute is high on meth, bible in one hand, belt in the other? Two of the teenagers were sentenced to prison for life, the third one was sent on death row. But thanks to the documentary, the “Free The West Memphis Three” movement was born and money was raised to support their quest for truth and justice. After 18 years spent in prison for a crime they didn’t commit, they were finally fred at the most absurd condition of pleading guilty. The state of Arkansas will definitely never admit they got it all wrong. So if the West Memphis Three are now walking free, their names haven’t been cleared, justice hasn’t been done. A murderer is still out there and, surprise, surprise, it looks like the most recent DNA test is pointing on one of the kid’s parent… The case is not closed, far from it.
But enough for spoilers. If you haven’t seen the documentary, please watch it. This is a fascinating, revolting, horrifying descent into human stupidity.
This mix is my soundtrack of the West Memphis Three story. It’s focused on the religious fanaticism, the drugs, the teenage depression… It contains a lot of samples from the movie “Paradise Lost” and other media coverage of the case.
I didn’t want to include elements of their recent release but rather emphasize on the dark, obscure corners of the soul which have rarely found a more striking illustration than in this unique, chilling story.
This is also my personal homage to Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley Jr., Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, Christopher Byers and all the supporters of the West Memphis Three worldwide.
Hope you’ll enjoy it.
Learn more about the West Memphis Three.
Watch below the trailer of the documentary Paradise Lost: