Interview: One Minute w/ Damien
Article ID: 6351
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,353
Times Read: 21,816
Author: Peg Aloi [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 9th. 1997
Times Viewed: 21,816
The following interview was conducted between Damien Echols and Rick Staton in May, 1996. It serves only as a basic source of information and is enclosed merely to better acquaint you with Damien Echols. Your interest is appreciated.
RICK: Please state your age, date of birth, and full legal name with an explanation as to why you changed it. Some people seem to be intimidated by the suggested link to "that movie, " hence the connection to the so-called "ritual slayings." Were you a fan of "The Omen" films?
DAMIEN: I am 21 years old, my birthdate was December 11, 1974. My full name is Damien Wayne Echols. My name was changed to Echols when I was adopted and I chose the name Damien because of Father Damien the priest who spent his life in the Hawaiian islands taking care of lepers. No, I was not a fan of "The Omen" movies; l found them to be quite boring.
RlCK: How long have you known Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. ? Please list any and all incidents of unlawful activity with these people.
DAMIEN: Jason Baldwin has been my best friend for the past six or seven years. I have only met Jessie Misskelley a few times; we were on speaking terms but were not really "friends" because I never truly knew him. The present situation is the only brush with the law that I have been involved in with either person.
RICK: If you have any theories about the actual killer(s) of Christopher Byers, Steve Branch, and Michael Moore, please elaborate.
DAMIEN: 1 have no doubt that the actual killer is John Mark Byers. He had the knife with his son's blood on it not to mention the fact that he could never keep his alibi straight. It was also proven in court that whoever killed those children had the skill of a surgeon and Byers was a jewel cutter. There was also testimony that his knife could have made the wounds on the children because the blade was consistent with the cut pattern.
RICK: Please offer your opinion of how "small-town mentality" and/or "poor man's justice" figured in to your conviction.
DAMIEN: People assumed that I was guilty and had made up their minds beforehand, simply based on my taste in clothes, music, etc. In a larger city, I would never have even been noticed but I happened to be in a small, conservative, traditional town where I was looked at as a 'freak.'
RICK: Do you have any faith in our present system of justice? Do you look forward to the HBO documentary, "Paradise Lost: The Robin Hood Hills Child Murders" (ed. note: the actual title is "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills"), and its potential to shed new light on the case?
DAMIEN: I have absolutely no faith in the justice system. My faith is placed in the hope that people will realize that they are about to execute an innocent man. I'm extremely optimistic about the HBO documentary. It has already helped a tremendous amount; I have been steadily gaining support since it was previewed in several cities.
RICK: Please list what you consider to be the three greatest misconceptions about you as suggested by the media.
DAMIEN: The first would be the belief that I am a Satanist. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Satanist. I am a Wiccan and anyone familiar with our religion knows that we would never harm a child. The second is that I am only interested in things of a "dark sided" nature. I don't deny that I love a good scary book or movie as much as the next guy but I'm as normal and human as anyone else. I have other interests besides horror. The third is that the media portrayed me as "cold, " "uncaring, " or "unfeeling." I have the same emotions as you. I laugh, I cry, I love and I fear, just like everyone else. But I was in a very stressful situation; I was confused and frightened and I was being accused of things I did not do. I was trying to stay as calm as possible but that doesn't mean I wasn't feeling anything.
RICK: Did you ever "confess" or admit-jokingly or otherwise-to committing the murders of these three boys?
DAMIEN: No, and it would have been impossible for me to have done what they testified because police records show that I was already in jail during the time frame brought up in that testimony.
RICK: What's your opinion of the Arkansas Department of Corrections?
DAMIEN: It's the most corrupt place I've ever seen; everything involves politics. I have just finished up a lawsuit with them concerning their abuse against me. I've witnessed the abuse of many other inmates since I've been here also but they get away with it because no one cares about these men. They are society's rejects so they have no- where to turn for help.
RICK: What would you do if you were released immediately? Would you pursue a career of any kind?
DAMIEN: I would love to travel and meet in person all the people who have offered their love and support. As far as a career, I would love to eventually own a secondhand bookstore. I love to read and it would be pretty peaceful. I just want to do something calm and quiet; I've had enough "excitement" to last a long, long time.
RICK: Have you many friends that believe in your innocence? Considering how the media made you look, are you sensing that some correspondents are only after a "brush with celebrity?"
DAMIEN: Everyone I have become friends with believes in my innocence. I can usually weed out those who only want a "brush with celebrity." It's very upsetting to me when I hear from people who don't really care one way or another and just want an autograph or something like that. it's extremely depressing.
RICK: Why were you so "cocky" or defiant during the whole trial phase? It's believed by many to be a major factor in your conviction.
DAMIEN: Because I knew that no matter what everyone else believed or thought, I knew I was innocent. I knew the truth and I refused to allow anyone to degrade me for something l knew wasn't true. The public opinion didn't matter to me because I knew the truth. It wouldn't have mattered how I acted because the public had already convicted me before the trial even started.
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Other Articles: Peg Aloi has posted 99 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Peg Aloi... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).