West Memphis Three’s Damien Echols’ New Book


Deadspin has provided a snippet of Damien Echols’ Life After Death, a chronicle of his experience on death row after being wrongfully convicted of murder in 1994 as a part of the West Memphis Three:

“At one point I entertained thoughts that perhaps the living inmates weren’t the only ones trapped on Death Row. After all, if places really are haunted, then wouldn’t Death Row be the perfect stomping ground? At some time or another it’s crossed the mind of everyone here. Some make jokes about it, like whistling to yourself as you pass the cemetery. Others don’t like to speak about it at all, and it can be a touchy subject. Who wants to think about the fact that you’re sleeping on the mattress that three or four executed men also claimed as their resting place? Imagine looking into the mirror every day and wondering how many dead men had looked at their own reflections in it. When anything odd happens, some men blame whoever was executed last.”

Released in August 2011, Echols and the rest of the West Memphis Three have been busy with book and movie projects for over a year. They now live only as acquaintances and some rifts have formed over the depiction of Damien Echols in the film project “Devil’s Knot” due out in 2013.

Graham Todd is an intern at The Rumpus. He spends his mornings writing post-apocalyptic, vaguely biblical sci-fi horror comedy, his evenings tutoring the wide-eyed youth of the Palo Alto area, and his Thursdays at The Rumpus office, effectively “off the streets”. Beyond this weekly ritual, he enjoys karaoke, the movies, and jogging. More from this author →