Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

West Memphis Three Petition for New Trial

Damien Echols


In an interview with Crime Library, Echols maintained that he was the subject of special attention and abuse by his guards.

Damien Echols
Damien Echols

"There's a general level of abuse that exists here all the time," he said. "But then, there are particular guards who hate—hate—to see any attention shown to this case whatsoever. Those are the ones who apply extra pressure just to show me I'm not special."

Echols said that things started getting especially bad about a month before it ordered the evidentiary hearing, when the Supreme Court allowed the oral arguments in his case to be live-streamed on the Internet. He believes that some of his jailers watched the proceedings.

"After it was over, four or five guards came into my cell and trashed it," Echols said. "They took all of my books, my journals, my personal writings and sketches. They threw family photos on the floor and walked on them. They just seemed kind of pissed off. Sullen.

"They never said why they were doing it. They don't tell me anything. To these people, I'm not even human. They don't owe me an explanation. I remember one did say, 'We're going to help you do a little house-cleaning.'

"It seemed to me they were gathering as much stuff as they could," he said, "to look through at their leisure—or to be used by the attorney general. All I know is I'll never get it back."


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