'48 Hours Mystery': Johnny Depp says three convicted killers are '1,000% innocent'

It’s rare for Johnny Depp to show up on TV since… well, since 21 Jump Street. Read the full post.

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  • theresa

    Ive been following this case since seeing the HBO film. Ive learned alot from a website WM3 FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE and youtube. I believe they certainly deserve a new/fair trial.

  • K

    This is so insane to me..the entire case is like really shady. I read they stored what evidence they didn’t misplace in paper grocery sacks. I want to watch the documentary now.

  • Junior

    What I cannot comprehend is how the judicial system allows the same judge who was in charge of the original murder trial to be in charge of the susequent requests for a retrial. If he granted the defense motions for a retrial, this would mean he would be admitting “defeat” and that errors were made at the murder trial he oversaw. And there is no way in hell he’d ever admit that or allow it. So why does he get to continue being allowed to be the judge who is hearing the requests for a retrial? Doesn’t anyone else see the miscarriage of justice in this? There’s no way he can be objective about this because he’s going to care more about protecting his reputation and the conviction that was a result of his murder trial, as opposed to him wanting to admit mistakes were made and finding the truth. There are 3 innocent men in jail, and instead of trying to right the wrongs that were done, this judge’s narcissism may eventually result in the death of the death row inmate unless someone with integrity steps in and has a completely objective and new judge hear the upcoming (and third!) request for a retrial!

    • Angel2480

      Junior, what they failed to mention in the show last night was that not only did the same judge hear the requests for new trials, he CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT TO HEAR THE REQUESTS!! When does THAT happen? Also, Jesse “confessed” after hours and hours of questioning in which the cameras were turned off several times and he was a minor with no parent or legal counsel present. There were problems from the beginning with this dog and pony show and everybody knows it.

      • Donna

        Jesse is also has the IQ of someone that is mildly retarded. He was pressured and led through much of the interogation. I can not believe that the same judge keeps hearing the case. That is the one of the biggest problems right there. Many of the officials made their career on this case. They don’t want to admit mistakes. It was a witch hunt from the very beginning and I can not believe that there has not been at least a retrial.

  • junierizzle

    This is bull sh*t.

    I have faith in GOd that they will be set free.

    • CatBoreal

      Faith in “God(TM)” is what put them in jail in the first place. The fact that these boys weren’t “good Christians” is in part what drove the whole prosecution.

  • Andy

    I have been following this case for many years due in large part to the documentaries and I am extremely grateful to Johnny Depp for taking an interest in this. This is a perfect example of how the power of celebrity can be used for good. I don’t think the WM3 will ever get a shot at justice until the case is removed from Judge Burnett’s claws. I urge everyone who follows this case to tell your friends, family members, coworkers, anyone at all about this case. It just blows my mind that all these compelling facts keep getting ignored. It disgusts me to no end.

  • Dana

    I just watched and have always tried to find the HBO show but to no avail these guys were railroaded pure and simple give them a new trial please let justice be done for these three 8 year olds and for these 3 young men

    • Linda

      Everyone should write HBO and request they run “Paradise Lost” again. When the movie airs, the mw3.org site is always flooded with new supporters who can’t believe this injustice was carried out. Seriously — everyone should request HBO re-run the documentary. Time really IS running out :(

      • Ted

        you mean WM3.org

    • Donna

      You can find it on Blockbuster online, the mail service through them. It is worth joining just to rent it. There are acutally 2 documenteries that HBO made on this case. You can probably try netflix too.

    • Lisa

      You can watch both documentaries on YouTube. The first one starts here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5witm15yck And the second part starts here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5witm15yck

  • jack francis

    Oh , he ‘ s a lawyer now .

  • TVWatcher

    I grew up in Memphis, TN, and remember when this happened. The newspapers basically made it clear that the West Memphis Three did it. It wasn’t until the documentary came out I had doubts about their guilt. Then I worked in West Memphis for a year and locals told me they didn’t think the West Memphis Three were guilty. It’s like everyone thinks it except for the police, who can’t admit they’re wrong.

    • Linda

      This case didn’t happen in Memphis, Tennessee. The murders happened and the trials took place in West Memphis, Arkansas.

      • elaine

        West Memphis, Arkansas is right across the Mississippi River from Memphis, TN (hence WEST Memphis). The “investigation” and trials were all over the Memphis news, so Memphians were very aware of the case. I remember it clearly, and it was obviously a big media circus / witch hunt.

      • logic

        Linda, you are a twit.

  • KC

    How can Johnny Depp “Know” that they’re 1000 percent not guilty? No one can know that, unless they did the crime. SOMEONE killed those poor boys.

    • FreeThe 3

      SOMEONE may well have been the guy who witnesses saw going into the bathroom of a Bojangle’s chicken restaurant, ONE MILE from the creek site where the bodies were found. The man was incoherent, and COVERED IN MUD AND BLOOD. West Memphis Police ‘lost’ the evidence–scrapings of mud and blood from the bathroom walls. Ooops. 16 years later–here we are. NEW TRIAL NOW!

      • WHAT???

        wHAT??? sO jOHHNY DID IT CAUSE HE knows THE 3 DIDN’T!!!!!!!!!

  • Rosemarie

    I hope this trial can be re-opened. Thank you Johnny Depp for speaking out. Ther are many more cases lik this. How many trials would there be if the boys belonged to the Judge, Sheriff, or the DA.? I don’t understand the delay when the Byers support the boys and so many people know Terri Hobbs as a lier.

  • m1

    I think they should take a good look at Steve’s stepfather, Terry Hogg.

  • michael

    Why didn’t 48 hours give us some more background on Damien Echols? Why didn’t 48 hours bring up Damien Echols serious mental instability? Damien Echols once threatened to kill and eat his father, that is a fact. Damien Echols once threatened to kill a police officer, that is a fact. Damien Echols is on permanent disability, due to his mental illness, that is a fact. This information is well documented in both police records, and hospital records.
    Why didnt 48 hours bring up Jesse’s SECOND confession? Jesse confessed a second time, with his LAWYER present. That is a fact.

    • FreeThe 3

      Because that kind of crap is why they didn’t get a fair trial the first time. Wow. So big deal, Damien was a mixed up kid who wore black clothes and didn’t get along with his father. Those are not sufficient reasons to believe he committed this crime. Did you you know that Damien Nichols chose the name Damien because it was the name of a Catholic priest who misistered to a leper colony in Hawaii in the 1800′s? Yup–has nothing to do with satan worship at all. Bet you didn’t know that. Did you know that the knife found in a lake behind Jason Baldwin’s parent’s house DID NOT MATCH ANY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE ON THE BODIES AT ALL,but was enetered into the court documents as evidence against sthe accused? Did you know about the man seen one mile from the crime scene covered in mud and blood? He sure as heck wan’t Damien Nichols. How about those facts, Michael? Oh–here is a link to Jessie Miskelley’s so called “first confession” (it was also taped–but the tape is stopped and started NUMEROUS times throughout-gee how convenient?) with notations explaning blatant inaccuracies, and illustrating how Jessie was led to make the false statement: http://www.dpdlaw.com/JessieFirstStatement.htm
      I don’t think we really need to read more than that to see that this case needs re-opening. NOW.

      • michael

        You may refer to Damien Echols medical and police records as crap, but I question his character. I also question why none of his past history is ever brought up by the West Memphis 3 official website, or why his past history was not brought up in the 48 Hour interview with Erin Moriarty.People say Damien Echols was just a kid who wore black and listened to heavy metal music, but there is much more to it. Damien Echols has SERIOUS mental heath issues. Serious enough to put him on permanent disability. And again why wasn’t Jesse’s second confession ever brought up in the 48 Hour interview? Jesse confessed a second time with his lawyer present. But 48 Hours conveniently didn’t mention that fact.

      • PERRY MASON

        Maybe they didn’t do it but it is not as cut and dried as you think. A lot of people including the police, jury, judge and appeals courts seem to think they did it. Oh, but Johhny says they didn’t. Set them free. Where is the alibi? Tell us about what kind of boys they were. Then shut up.

      • Conan

        Just the fact that you say “Maybe they didn’t do it” is reason enough for a retrial, as it goes against the law of Guilty Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, particularly when the death penalty is involved.

    • Linda

      What difference does it make if Damien was a mentally unstable 17 year-old at the time these murders were committed? Bottom line: nothing, absolutely NOTHING, ties him, Jason or Jessie to the murders. Better questions: why didn’t the cops canvass the neighborhood after the boys were reported missing? Why didn’t the cops interrogate the parents? (This is COMMON PROCEDURE when a child goes missing). Why did the cops listen to a mail-order “expert” and go solely by his assumptions? Why wasn’t Jessie Miskelly allowed a parent or lawyer when he was interrogated? My god, there are TONS of questions that need to be asked, but discussing the mental stability of a boy against whom there is NO evidence of involvement is NOT one of them.

      • michael

        Jesse Misskelley confessed a second time, with his lawyer present. FACT

      • Sue1

        Jesse Misskelley’s IQ was reported to be 72. It is more than likely that he continued to say what he thought the police wanted to hear, and both confessions were inconsistent with the facts.

      • Conan

        Yes, he gave a second “confession’. One that was full of inaccuracies when compared to the crime scene. And he also recanted his confession and refused to testify against the others.

    • Conan

      Did you watch the show? They tried to interview the people who would have said those exact things. No one involved in the arrest and prosecution would talk to 48 Hours about it. Gee, I wonder why….perhaps because they know they’d be asked questions about all of their mistakes and the shoddy evidence, and they’d never be able to give credible answers that supported their ineptitude.

  • Ted

    FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE!!

  • Donna

    Johnny Depp is just an actor and yes he can have an opinion about the innocence of The Memphis Three, but for him and other very liberal-minded celebrities to be fighting to free those men is out-of-bounds. For three young boys to be killed at once it had to be more than one person involved and those teenage boys didn’t seem too concerned in fighting for their innocense then. The fact that the little boys were drowned washed away the DNA evidence.The one suspect says he ran after the one boy which makes sense that a least one of those 8 years olds tried to get away from their killers.Did those suspects take a lie-detector test? Police do not usually arrest people for absolutely nothing. The mystery man that came into the public bathroom with mud and blood on him could have been a hunter, there are plenty of them in the South. I think that woman that married the ring-leader of the three is very strange.

    • Junior

      You said that the water washed away the DNA evidence. If this were true, then ANY and ALL DNA evidence would have been washed away. Yet they found plenty of DNA on the boys, just none of it belonged to the 3 suspects. None of it. The water doesn’t just selectively choose which DNA to keep and which to wash away. None of the DNA found belongs to the 3 teenagers and it all points to other people. This warrants a retrial at the very least.

      • michael

        Why did 48 hours never once, bring up the past history of Damien Echols? Why didnt they bring up his mental illness, the fact that he is on permanent disability due to his illness? Why didnt 48 hours let the world know that Damien Echols threatened to kill and eat his father? Why didnt 48 hours let the world know that Damien Echols once threatened to kill a police officer?

      • Conan

        @ Michael – Because the story was about the fact that no evidence supports the court’s ruling that he was guilty. Was he the only person in that town on disability? If someone else was on disability or didn’t get along with their father or didn’t like cops, does that make them a suspect? If you seriously think those facts are more telling than the fact that no evidence ties them to the murders, but evidence does tie someone ELSE to the crime??? This is exactly the same kind of presumptuous thinking that led them to be arrested on no evidence in the first place.

      • PERRY MASON

        Yes it does. Dads hair may have been caught on a thread or collar. Whatever parts didn’t brush up against something may have been spared. They found very little DNA. Where were the genitals found???

    • FreeThe 3

      There is so much wrong here–I don’t know where to begin. Sigh. Here goes: 1)Yes,they tried to prove their innocence ‘then’, but were convicted anyway, AND with no real evidence.
      2)The may still DNA evidence, even if a person is drowned, especially as the boys clothes were found on the bank of the creek and according to the ‘cofession’ that was falsely dragged from Jessie Miskelley (who is mentally challenged, to put it kindly)if events had played out as he described them, there should have been TONS of DNA evidence to link the WM3 to the bodies.THERE WAS NONE. Absolutely NONE. The only DNA evidence potentially linking anyone to the crime is a hair found in one of the knots of the shoelaces tying the boys–and the hair belonged to one of the boys stepfathers–not to the accused.
      3)You say ‘Police do not usually arrest people for absolutely nothing.” Perhaps the word USUALLY says it all. In this instance–they got it wrong. It’s not the first time–nor will it be the last.
      4)If the large incoherent black man seen stumbling around incoherently, covered in mud and blood, was a hunter, as you suggest, why would he enter a restaurant restroom to clean up? Where was the carcass of whatever he had ‘hunted’? I think it (they) may have been in a creek bed about mile away—tied up with their own shoelaces.
      5) That you can call Damien (I assume you are referring to him–since he’s been married while incarcerated) the ‘[ringleader]‘, it’s fairly obvious you have made up your closed little mind and wouldn’t believe in his innocence if the ‘Bojangles’…ahem..hunter (as you call him) came out and made a public confession on CNN.

    • Vikki Sixx

      What about those of us who aren’t famous and aren’t even liberal but are fighting to free these wrongfully imprisoned men? You’re blind and biased if you think it is just a liberal cause. It’s a human cause. NO one should be imprisoned based on the cases that the police had against the WM3. They were not given their right to fair trial and should be given one immediately.

      • PERRY MASON

        Yeah and if only all “innocent” people who were good people had celebrities fighting fo them. Sigh.

    • Conan

      So your saying that if I were a conservative, it’d be natural for me to support the upholding of the conviction despite numerous errors by the police and the fact that there is zero evidence to tie the 3 of them to the murder??? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You’re a moron. Being a liberal has nothing to do with anything here. You’re basically saying that it’s out of bounds for them to speak up about this simply BECAUSE they’re liberals. Wow….Why do you hate freedom of speech so much? I’m sure there are plenty of countries where you can go to live where you don’t have to worry about having those freedoms. If you’re an American, you obviously hate what the freedoms we have here, so feel free to leave. “Police do not usually arrest people for absolutely nothing.” – Very true, which is why this case is so screwed up, since they did exactly that with zero evidence…”I think that woman that married the ring-leader of the three is very strange.” – Not strange at all if he is indeed innocent, as even the parents of the victim now believe. Just because an inept prosecution team called him the ring-leader doesn’t mean he was the ring-leader of anything.

  • michael

    Again it is simple to say Damien was a mixed up kid who didn’t get along with his father. But there is much more to it than that. Damien Echols spent time in a mental hospital, and was given full disability. Damien Echols has SERIOUS mental issues. Damien Echols was/is a very sick man. Does that make him a murderer? NO. But Lets face the facts, when 48 Hours wants you to believe that he was just a kid who wore black and listened to heavy metal music, then 48 hours isn’t giving all the facts.

    • FreeThe 3

      Michael, it’s not relevent. Damien NEVER cofessed to anything having to do with these three lttle boys. Jessie Miskelley (who is very obviously cognitively challenged)was lead into making a false (riddled with impossible and totally inacurate details–when compared with irrefutable factual evidence gathered at the scene where the bodies were found) confession about himself and the others without having any legal representation and under suspicious circumstances. He also recanted the confession immediatly upon being released from the interrogation room where it was made. Yes, Damien spent time in a mental institution. So have many other people. Someone on the jury may have been diagnosed with mental health problems. So? It doesn’t have any real bearing on this travesty of justice.

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