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Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin

A New Oxygen Series Will Cover the West Memphis Three

Gettyimages | Jamie McCarthy
By A. Elise

Today, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley are synonymous with an infamous crime that occurred in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. On May 5, three 8-year-old boys went missing. Michael Moore, Christopher Byers, and Stephen Branch had gone out to play when they were brutally attacked and left near Robin Hood Hills.

Under intense pressure after the murders occurred, local police officers pointed the finger at three teenagers. They were labeled misfits who just didn't fit in with the rest of the community, sealing their fates.

Damien Echols
Gettyimages | Gary Miller

In 1994, the three men went on trial for the murders. Echols was sentenced to death, and the others were looking at the rest of their lives behind bars. The three men claimed that they were innocent, and more evidence emerged that they did not commit the murders. The three men worked for exoneration, and Echols being on death row expedited their journey. In 2011, all three men agreed to take an Alford plea in exchange for their release from prison.

Jason Baldwin standing behind podium
Gettyimages | Jemal Countess

The new Oxygen docuseries will premiere on March 28th. The Forgotten West Memphis Three is just one in a long line of documentaries and TV show episodes that have discussed the case. Most famously, HBO's Paradise Lost film series explored the evidence used to convict the three men.

The new series will likely explore the murders of the three young boys and the troubling convictions. If these men are indeed innocent of the murders, that means a murder is out there somewhere -- and the police may not be looking for them since they already secured a "conviction."

Grave marker for Christopher Mark Byers
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grave_of_Christopher_Mark_Byers_Forest_HIll_East_Cemetery_Memphis_TN_2013-05-06_002.jpg

Things are much different today for the West Memphis Three. They were teenagers when they entered prison, and now they are in their 40s. Echols has become an author. He is also married to a woman who wrote to him during his time in prison.

Jason Baldwin lives in Texas now, and he has helped establish a group called Proclaim Justice. He often speaks about the role documentaries played in bringing evidence of the men's innocence to light.

Jessie Misskelley was arrested in 2017 for some traffic violations. Little is known about his personal life.

Memorial for Steve Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:West_Memphis_3_Memorial_at_Weaver_Elementary_School_West_Memphis_AR_2013-04-28_007.jpg

The new Oxygen series will rexamine the case. A lot of new technology and evidence has emerged since 1993, and the show may produce new information that can be helpful in revealing the truth about what happened to the three young boys. Many true crime consumers believe that the three boys have been forgotten in the case of the West Memphis Three, and this series appears to put more focus on their stories and the stories of their families who are left behind.

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