The Nightmare Of The West Memphis Three

877 words - 4 pages

In his article, “The Nightmare of the West Memphis Three”, Rich explores how the people of Memphis drew horrific conclusions about people based on the lifestyle they chose to practice. The article highlights the trials and tribulations faced by the accused three young teenagers. Rich does this by citing the popular documentary series “Paradise Lost” which is an in depth analysis into the lives of the accused, the victims’ families and members of the community. This paper outlines how the belief system of that time superseded the inconclusive evidence, which ultimately led to an unfair trial. By “othering” and “marginalizing” those three teens, the society and police created a scenario that aligned with their belief system at the time. Lastly, this paper highlights the influence of the media and celebrity in changing the course for these boys.
The satanic cult panic in part contributed to the conviction of Misskelley, Echols and Baldwin. Baldwin himself describes this assumption; “I can see where they might think I was in a cult,” he said, in that 1993 interview, “because I wear Metallica T-shirts.” (Rich, 2013). The article goes on to explain that the crime happened at the end of the five-year satanic panic period that had plagued American popular culture. These boys did not dress like other teens; they did not listen to the same music. Metal music especially music from bands like Metallica were frowned upon because of their expletive lyrics. When the public established that the boys were different from them, they developed stories that would align with their beliefs. The article establishes that after several weeks of investigation and no clear leads, “rumors of satanic involvement assumed greater urgency” (Rich, 2013) By doing this West Memphis ostracized and marginalized the boys. Like Bertillion’s exhibit and anthropometry measurements, (LaFleur, November 25 2013) people used so-called “facts” to make assumptions that were questionable. It went even further when classmates began to testify that they heard them boasting of the killings and saw them with the boys on the night of their murder.
Another crucial point mentioned in the article is the power of perception and how media can often times influence perception. “One of the most powerful lessons of these films is how easily our opinions about a crime can be influenced by the manner in which information is presented to us” (Rich, 2013). An example used is that of Hobbs. Rich mentions that throughout the first film Hobbs appeared “dazed” and “ruined” over the death of his son. When they show the same footage in the third film, he looks like a man who is trying to hide...

Find Another Essay On The Nightmare of the West Memphis Three

west memphis three Essay

651 words - 3 pages Paradise Lost is the first of three documentaries chronicling the story of the West Memphis Three (Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelly) and the allegations made against them regarding the mutilations and murders of Christopher Byers, Michael Moore and Steven Branch. The film gives an insight into the investigation of the case with a great deal of detail using crime scene footage, court hearings and interviews. Though it may be

A Comparison of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and "The West Memphis Three"

873 words - 3 pages Unjust Justice Systems;A comparison of the West Memphis Three and The CrucibleImagine sitting at home one night and having police officers show up at your hose and arrest you for a crime you had no idea was committed. Three teenage boys in West Memphis, Arkansas and over thirty-nine characters in The Crucible went through exactly that. The West memphis three is the trial of three teenage boys who were charged with killing two eight-year-old oys

The West Memphis 3 Murders

850 words - 4 pages The West Memphis 3, were three teenagers who were accused of the brutal murder of 3 eight-year old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The boys were believed to have been killed as part of a satanic ritual. By the next day, the police had already found their first suspect Damien Echols and were questioning him. Echols was considered a suspect because of his interest in the Wicca religion and officers investigating the case both thought that the

The Nightmare of Prohibition

1675 words - 7 pages , therefore reducing the rates of crime, death rates and poverty (Poholek, 2). However, some of the United States' communities had already prepared for Prohibition. In the three months before the Eighteenth Amendment became effective, liquor worth half a million dollars was stolen from Government warehouses. Prohibition was actually a backlash because it actually mad breaking the law a common event for people, because people would bootleg and make

The Nightmare

1006 words - 4 pages turn around to start running again there was a hugecliff in front of me. I lost my balance and fell right off the edge. I felt myself falling inthe air looking down at what I might hit. Just then I woke up in my bed with sweatdripping from my head and realized it was all just a nightmare.

The Nightmare

4485 words - 18 pages . Kai believes to have developed the perfect plan. And with his first victim he has picked Amber. Everyone believes Kai is still fast asleep and with Melody, Sai and Lin heading into town to buy a few items for their later mission, Amber decides that she will stay and look after Kai. Kai fully aware of the other three leaving, feels that the lesson on Amber will go with ease. With everyone but Amber gone, Kai starts the games. Amber is in

The three phases of the development of West Indies cricket since the late nineteenth century

1594 words - 6 pages The three phases of the development of West Indies cricket since the latenineteenth century.During the origination of cricket competitively in the nineteenth century, the distance and unreliable expenditure of inter-island transport caused Jamaican cricket to be closed off from the other islands. This resulted in more English touring teams than Caribbean teams and the mental effect of this also brought about disagreement over the assembly of

The Nightmare of The Yellow Wallpaper

841 words - 3 pages them one in fact as well as in deed. And only then does she permit John to come upstairs and see what she has done. What, in fact, has Charlotte Perkins Gilman done in this story? She has shown what happens when a woman is allowed no creative expression at all, no mental stimulus, and no access to the things that fulfill her. She keeps trying to go deeper, further inside, to reach a place where she can truly reach a sense of selfhood; but denied any avenue to accomplish this, her quest becomes a nightmare.

Nightmare Zoo: The Surabaya Zoo of Indonesia

2060 words - 9 pages is due to the inadequate living conditions. (“The Disturbing State…”). The cages that the zoo produces cannot contain the animals properly. A white Bengal tiger that currently resides at the zoo suffers from a spinal problem due to lack of space and not being let out. (“Indonesia’s ‘Nightmare Zoo’”). The zoo also cannot keep up with the overcrowding that happens. A cage the size of a volleyball court houses 180 pelicans. These pelicans cannot

Settlement of the West

663 words - 3 pages “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explains American development”. (PBS n.d.) By saying this Frederick Jackson Turner helped increase critical thinking about the west and helped historians understand the causes and affects it produced in the United States now and back then. The settling of the west was a great significance in the United States’ culture as well as

Expansion of the West

1663 words - 7 pages photograph for pay. Three of the more famous photographers who journeyed toward the West under contract were Timothy O' Sullivan, Carleton Watkins, and Andrew J. (AJ) Russell. These three photographers all depicted different, but appealing, features of the West. Timothy O' Sullivan photos developed his photography skills during the Civil War. Taking photos on the Union's side of battle, his photos were often used as propaganda supporting the North. He

Similar Essays

The Crucible And The West Memphis Three

1163 words - 5 pages Revenge, the abuse of authority and the desire for power are all present in both Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible and the case regarding the West Memphis Three. To understand the connection you need to know something about the case. Three young boys were murdered on May 5, 1993 (Leveritt 5). They were stripped of their clothing, their hands were bound and they were forced underwater in the nearby creek where they stayed until they were found

The West Memphis Three Murder Trial

1215 words - 5 pages ?” n.p. 2011 Web.15 Apr. 2014. “Damien Echols Profile” n.p,. n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. Rich, Nathaniel.”The Nightmare of the West Memphis Three.” company, 2013. Web. 14.Apr.2014 “Summary of Damien’s Mental Health History” .n.p. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. "The West Memphis Three." A Grisly Discovery ,Crime Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. "West Memphis Three

Injustice For All: The West Memphis Three

3409 words - 14 pages shadowy forest, several busy freeways, a murky stream, and three lifeless young bodies. One parent describes the act; “Imagine all the evil that you could think of, of how someone could be murdered, and that’s how these three children died.” The fear of such things quickly spread through the town of West Memphis, Arkansas on May 6, 1993. The scene at Robin Hood Hills was a gruesome one on that hot afternoon. The discovery of three bodies, each an

Wrongfully Accused And Convicted: “The West Memphis Three”

1096 words - 4 pages the “West Memphis Three”. The case involves three teenage boys from West Memphis accused of killing three 8 year old boys. After being reported missing a day later, the victims were discovered in a drainage ditch. During that time, there was no supporting evidence collected at the crime scene to prove who committed the murders. A lieutenant who contacted a juvenile officer in Memphis both agreed someone in a cult executed the gruesome murders. The