Jessie Post Conviction Statement – Full Jessie Misskelley, Jr. Interview



[Note: This is a transcription of the taped second statement of Jessie Misskelley, Jr. regarding the murder of Chris Byers, Steve Branch and Michael Moore]


FEBRUARY 17, 1994

DAVIS: I’ve turned the other recorder on for the purposes of this tape. We are at the offices of Joe Calvin attorney. It’s 8:02 p.m. on February 17, 1994. Present in the room is Greg Crow.

CROW: Present

DAVIS: And Jessie Misskelley, Jr.


DAVIS: Dan Stidham.

STIDHAM: I’m here.

DAVIS: Joe Calvin.

CALVIN: Present.

DAVIS: And myself, Brent Davis. Now Jessie before we start this would you raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god.


DAVIS: Ok. Now for purposes of the record I want it to reflect that number 1, Mr. Stidham and myself have talked with Judge Burnett and advised of these proceedings. And after discussing this with him he approved or said that we could take a statement with Mr. Misskelley’s attorneys present.

STIDHAM: Over my objections.

DAVIS: Over Mr. Stidham’s objections. Also for Mr. Misskelley’s benefit this statement will be taken with a grant of use of immunity approved by the Court which means that anything in this statement cannot be used in any proceeding against Jessie Misskelley, Jr. in the future, down the road, whatever. Ah, also for the record and ah, Mr. Stidham can add to this. But it’s my understanding that any statement Mr. Misskelley gives will be against the advise of his attorney Mr. Stidham and Mr. Crow.

CROW: That’s correct.

DAVIS: And for the record that they have requested of the Judge that it be delayed until the Psychiatric Evaluation could be performed. And that the Court indicated that this statement could be taken before that evaluation over the objection of Mr. Stidham.

(Stidham’s objection was due to the fact that the Prosecution’s lawyer’s had met with Jessie when he was not present (unethical) and talked him into making another statement**See further explanation in snippet from Dan Stidham’s Synopsis of the case that accompanies these statements.)

STIDHAM: That’s correct.

DAVIS: And that this statement will be tape recorded and a copy of that tape or that tape will be provided to defense counsel and that at this point no promises have been made as to any deals or any benefits that will be granted to Mr. Misskelley as a result of this statement.

STIDHAM: There has been no negotiations whatsoever primarily due to Mr. Misskelley’s refusal to talk to us.

DAVIS: Now if you would will you state your name.

STIDHAM: Before you get started with that I would like to make a reference in regard to what I have and have not advised Mr. Misskelley of tonight.

DAVIS: You might need to speak up.

STIDHAM: Ok. Jessie can you hear me.

MISSKELLEY: Yes, I can hear you.

STIDHAM: I want you to listen very carefully to what I’ve got to tell you, ok. I told you earlier that I had some new evidence, is that correct ?

MISSKELLEY: That’s what you said.

STIDHAM: And I told you that this new evidence may ..ah.. that I plan on filing a motion for a new trial and that the Court could possibly grant you a new trial based on this evidence.

MISSKELLEY: That’s what you said.

STIDHAM: Ok, I also told you that giving a statement was against my advise and wishes.

MISSKELLEY: That’s what you said.

STIDHAM: Ok. I am advising you that I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to give this statement. Do you understand that ?


STIDHAM: OK. Do you understand that Mr. Crow is giving you the same advise?


STIDHAM: You need to speak up a little louder Jessie.


DAVIS: One second, I may have to fix this.

STIDHAM: So you understand that my advise to you is that you not say anything. Do you understand that?


STIDHAM: And your 18 years old and you understand that I’ve asked for a Mental Evaluation.

MISSKELLEY: I don’t know if you did or not.

STIDHAM: I asked the Court if I could have an opportunity to get you the Psychiatric help that you asked for when I was down in Pine Bluff on Tuesday. Do you remember asking for that?


STIDHAM: You asked me to get you a Psychiatrist?

MISSKELLEY: Yes, I said I need help.

STIDHAM: And that’s why I asked the Judge for the opportunity to get you that evaluation before you make any statement. Do you understand that?


STIDHAM: And you also understand that again it’s my advise that you not talk or give any kind of statement here tonight ..ah.. until we have a chance to file a motion for a new trial and get your Psychiatric Evaluations complete. Do you understand that?


STIDHAM: And it is your decision to go ahead and make this statement anyway?


STIDHAM: You still what to give a statement despite my advise and counsel?

MISSKELLEY: Yes, cause I want something done about it.

(Done about what? There has been much speculation as to what Jessie is actually referring to here. He is not clear that he is talking about the murders and there has been a great deal of speculation that he may be referring to deals that were allegedly offered to him in return for his testimony in the Echols/Baldwin trial)

STIDHAM: Ok. So is there any part of what I just told you that you don’t understand?


STIDHAM: You understand everything?


STIDHAM: And you want to make my statement regardless of my advise against doing so?


STIDHAM: Do you want to have an opportunity to talk to anyone else, father or anyone before you make a statement?

MISSKELLEY: I might need to talk to my father. But I’m not for sure.

STIDHAM: It’s your decision, your 18 years old.


STIDHAM: Do you want to talk to your father or not?

MISSKELLEY: No I can go ahead and do it.

STIDHAM: Do you realize that once you make this statement there is no turning back?

MISSKELLEY: I know there’s no turning back.

STIDHAMAnything you want to add to that Greg.

CROW: Jessie. You realize that I don’t always agree with everything that Dan says but this time I agree with him. I don’t think you should say anything. Do you know that? Are you aware of the fact that I don’t think you should say anything?

MISSKELLEY: Yea, I understand what your saying.

CROW: Ok, along as you understand that. But you want to anyway, is that right?

MISSKELLEY: Right cause I want something done.


CALVIN: Let me ask you a couple of questions before you get into it ..ah.. Jessie when you were brought here ..ah.. since you’ve been here with the Deputy Sheriff. I think you got here about 5:00, is that correct?

MISSKELLEY: Somewhere around 5:00.

CALVIN: Ok, now nobody has questioned you anything about what happened is that correct?


CALVIN: Ok, How have we treated you?


CALVIN: Ok, has anybody been rude to you or anything?


CALVIN: Now we got you a Cheeseburger Sandwich and I asked Mr. Crow on the telephone if that was alright and he said that was perfectly alright. And I went and purchased you a Cheeseburger, is that correct?


CALVIN: And you had a few, I think I gave you a couple of diet Cokes. I don’t know if you drank’m all but you drank those, is that correct?


CALVIN: But you haven’t been promised anything for your testimony and you want to give it free and voluntarily.


CALVIN: And nobody’s mistreating you?



DAVIS: Would you state your name please Jessie?

MISSKELLEY: Jessie Lloyd Misskelley, Jr.

DAVIS: And Jessie, how old are you?


DAVIS: What’s your birthday?

MISSKELLEY: July 10, 1975.

DAVIS: Ok and where were you residing prior to the time you were arrested? Before you were arrested?

MISSKELLEY: Highland Trailer Park.

DAVIS: Ok. Now I want to draw your attention back to the date the three (3) little boys were murdered. Ah.. if you would on that date did you go to Robinhood Woods.

MISSKELLEY: Yes sir I did.

DAVIS: Ok and who did you go there with?

MISSKELLEY: Damien and Jason.

DAVIS: And when you went there, what happened when you got to the woods ?

MISSKELLEY: We sit there for a while and then three (3) little boys came up.

DAVIS: Ok what was. Had you had anything to drink or had you done any drugs, anything like that prior to that time. Or during that time?

MISSKELLEY: I was drinking.

DAVIS: Ok what were you drinking?

MISSKELLEY: Whiskey and.. <inaudible>

DAVIS: And do you recall whether it was daylight or dark when you got to the woods?

MISSKELLEY: And do you recall whether it was daylight or dark when you got to the woods?

MISSKELLEY: It was still daylight.

DAVIS: And do you know, do you have any idea what time it was about when you got to the woods?


(Now Jessie has no idea what time it was when he got to the woods after stating times in two prior statements. Recall, in his last statement when he entered the woods he stated it was getting dark.)

DAVIS: Ok, now where did you enter the woods from?

MISSKELLEY: Ah.. by a bridge.

DAVIS: Ok. What kind of bridge was it?

MISSKELLEY: It was on the serv, on the service road.

(In previous statements Jessie says he enters the woods via a path not a bridge.  The only bridge that is near the service road that would lead into woods is near the 14th Street woods, not the woods behind the Blue Beacon where the bodies were found; this is an entirely separate stretch of woods that is down the street.)

DAVIS: Ok. Ah.. you entered the woods by a bridge near the service road.

MISSKELLEY: ..Uhm.. (yes)

DAVIS: Ok. When you, who was with you at that point?

MISSKELLEY: Jason and Damien.

DAVIS: Where did you get with them?

MISSKELLEY: Lakeshore.

(In previous statements Jessie insinuates that he meets Damien and Jason in the woods, near the “crime scene”)

DAVIS: And was there anybody else with you?


DAVIS: Ok. And when you entered the woods near that bridge what happened next?

MISSKELLEY: We just sit out there and started drinking ..inaudible.., we heard some noise, me and Jason hid and ..ah.. Damien just sit there and then all of a sudden he hid and then three (3) little boys come up and we jumped’m.

(In previous statements Jessie claims Damien or Jason called out to the boys and then the boys came to them)

DAVIS: When you say that, what, prior to the boys coming up what was Damien doing?

MISSKELLEY: He was just getting ..inaudible.. waiting for’m?

DAVIS: Ok. Was he drinking to?

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes).

DAVIS: What was he drinking?

MISSKELLEY: He was drinking beer?

DAVIS: And what about Jason?

MISSKELLEY: Same thing.

DAVIS: Ok. Did they appear to be intoxicated?

MISSKELLEY: To me they was.

(No beer cans/bottles were  reportedly found at the site the bodies were found)

DAVIS: Ok what about you? Were you, did you drink to the point you were intoxicated?

MISSKELLEY: I drunk to a point I was sick.

(No vomit was found at or near the site)

DAVIS: Ok. And when you drank, drink anything with the Whiskey?


DAVIS: Ok. What brand was it?

DAVIS: Evan Williams.

DAVIS: Ok. Where did you get that from?

MISSKELLEY: Vicky Hutchison.

DAVIS: Ok. Was there anybody with you when you got that?


DAVIS: Did, were you the only one there when you got Evan Williams from her?


DAVIS: Ok. And how much, when did you make arrangements for her to get that.

MISSKELLEY: During that day.


MISSKELLEY: I don’t know what time.

DAVIS: Where had you been right before hooking up or getting with Damien and Jason?

MISSKELLEY: Well that morning I went to W. Memphis roofing.

DAVIS: Ok. And about what time did you get through roofing?

MISSKELLEY: Well I got off at dinner time.

DAVIS: Ok. And after you got off at dinner time, where, what were you doing right before you met up with Jason and Damien, where had you been?

MISSKELLEY: Highland Trailer Park.

DAVIS: Ok. And had you seen anybody in Highland Trailer Park right before you left to meet up with those two (2)?


DAVIS: Ok and who had you seen?

MISSKELLEY: Louie, Susie, Stephanie, Pat, Boomer Cody, Stephanie, Bobbie, you know some cop and there was some more people I couldn’t tell you.

DAVIS: Ok. So. And so it was after, was it do you have any idea what time it was when you left the Trailer Park, approximately?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t know what time it was. I didn’t have my watch.

(This is when the was the altercation at Highland Trailer Park.  The police report read 6:30.  Jessie was reported to be seen leaving there as late as 6:30, stating he was going to wrestling. Also, no one who sees Jessie mentions seeing him carrying a whisky bottle or a bag of any kind.)

DAVIS: Ok. And where were you when, as far as between the Trailer Park and Robinhood Woods when you ran into or came across Jason and Damien.

MISSKELLEY: I went to Lakeshore.

DAVIS: Ok. Is there where you meet them?

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes)

DAVIS: Ok. Where were they when you meet them?

MISSKELLEY: By the by the Interstate.

DAVIS: Ok. Did you know ahead of time you were going to meet’m there?


DAVIS: Ok. And how did you know that?

MISSKELLEY: It well Damien, I talked to him a couple times, and he wanted me to go W. Memphis with him and Jason and find some girls. And I went.

DAVIS: Did you know what, did you know what you were going for or what was going to happen?

MISSKELLEY: No, I didn’t.

DAVIS: Now, how did you get from Lakeshore to the woods? What route did you take?

MISSKELLEY: We walked by ..ah.. Walmart and went on the Service Road.

(There was no report of seeing the boys and certainly no report of seeing any boys drinking on the road or carrying alcohol)

DAVIS: Ok. Do you remember what Damien was wearing?

MISSKELLEY: <inaudible>


CALVIN: You may need to speak up just a little bit more.

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember to this day.

DAVIS: Ok. Do you remember what Jason’s wearing?

MISSKELLEY: No I don’t, I can remember what I was wearing.

DAVIS: What were you wearing?

MISSKELLEY: I was wearing a white shirt, had a basketball, something on the front of it and I had bluejeans, greasy, and white and blue addids.

DAVIS: Ok. Now, when you, after you got in the wood. Do you have any idea how long you were in the woods before the kids came up?

MISSKELLEY: Not very long.

DAVIS: Ok. Now, where were you in relation to the creek that runs through the woods. Do you know what I am talking about when I say there’s a creek running through it?

MISSKELLEY: Yea, the creek that goes up under the bridge.

DAVIS: Ok, the one that, the creek that runs under the


DAVIS: Service Road. Ok. Where were ya’ll in the creek, out of the creek.

MISSKELLEY: Out of the creek.

DAVIS: Ok. Were all three (3) of ya out of the creek?

(Previous statements have Jessie putting Damien and Jason in the water “playing”)


DAVIS: Ok. And were you, were you on the Blue Beacon side or the Memphis side of the creek?


DAVIS: Let me ask that again. The creek that runs under the Service Road and into Robinhood Woods.


DAVIS: Ok. One side of it’s the Blue Beacon side and one side of it’s closer to Memphis. One side’s, were ya’ll on the Blue Beacon side or on the Memphis side of that creek.

MISSKELLEY: Blue Beacon.

DAVIS: Ok. And which was, where did the boys come from? Or do you know?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t know.

(Previous statements have Jessie stating the children “came up on their bikes”; insinuating that he could see them, therefore would know what direction they came from)

DAVIS: When did you first know they were in the woods?

MISSKELLEY: All I know is I heard these little kids holler.

DAVIS: Ok. And what happened at that point?

MISSKELLEY: And Damien started making some noises to get their attention and they come over where we was at.

DAVIS: When you say he made noises to get their attention, what, what’d he do?

MISSKELLEY: Holler a little bit.

DAVIS: Ok. And when they came over what happened?

MISSKELLEY: And then Ja, Damien jumped on’m. And them other two (2) started beating on Damien and me and Jason jumped on’m.

(Again, there were no wounds of any kind found on Damien, Jason, or Jessie, even when a photo of Damien was taken the day after the bodies were found with his shirt off (Damien is very pale skinned).  Additionally, his hands (/fists) showed no signs of having been in a fight or having beaten anyone.

DAVIS: Do you know which was Damien jumped on?

MISSKELLEY: one of’m had blond hair. I don’t know which one.

(In Jessie’s first statement he gets the boys’ photos confused with their names. In Jessie’s second statement he claims that he knows the boys’ by face and name.  Now, after a trial and hearing the names and seeing the faces over and over he does not know which child is which and who Damien allegedly jumped?  This makes no sense)

DAVIS: Ok. Which one’s were they, which two (2) was it that jumped on Damien when he jumped on the other one?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t, I can’t remember that.


MISSKELLEY: Me and Jason jump out and grabbed’m. What happened at that point? Damien jumps on one and the other two (2) jump on him, what happens next?

DAVIS: Alright. Who did you grab?

MISSKELLEY: the one that had a, a blue boy scout.

DAVIS: Ok. Who did Jason grab, which, what did that boy looked like that Jason grabbed?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember. I remember the one I grabbed.

DAVIS: Ok. What was that boy wearing?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember, I was too messed up to remember that.

DAVIS: You said something about a blue or about a boyscout something. Was one of’m wearing a uniform?

MISSKELLEY: Something with the boyscouts on it.

DAVIS: Ok. Now when you grabbed one and Jason grabbed one what happened next?

MISSKELLEY: We started hitting’m.

DAVIS: With what?

MISSKELLEY: Fist at first.

DAVIS: Ok. Where describe to me what Ja, what you saw Jason do?

MISSKELLEY: He <inaudible> first he cut one of’m on a face on his left side just a little bit like a scratch. Then ..ah.. he went to the other one and got on top of him, started hitting him and then <inaudible> pull one of’m pants down and get on top of’m and cut’m.

DAVIS: Ok. Now you said that he first hit somebody, hit one of’m and cut him on the left side of his face. Ok was that a different person then the one he jumped on a cut with the knife.

MISSKELLEY: To my knowledge, yea, a different person.

DAVIS: What were you doing at this time?

MISSKELLEY: I was still hitting that one.

DAVIS: Ok. What were you hitting him with?


DAVIS: Do you know how many time you might have hit’m?

MISSKELLEY: ..Um..<inaudible>

DAVIS: Where, what part of his body were you hitting him in?




(Jessie claims continuously throughout this statement that he beat Michael Moore with his fists.  It would seem that Michael was punched for a long time; Michael’s wounds did not indicate such a beating; such as, broken nose, knocked out teeth, fractured facial bones, etc.))

DAVIS: What, what was Damien doing during this time?

MISSKELLEY: Well the one that got cut on his face, he stuck his finger on his cheek and slicked the blood off of it.

DAVIS: That’s what, saw Damien do. What else was he doing?

MISSKELLEY: He grabbed one of’m by the ear, I don’t know which one, he grabbed on of’m by the ear trying to pull his ear off or something. He grabbed’m pretty tight. It turned kind of red.

(This “grabbing of the ears” was suggested to Jessie in the second statement.  When asked if the anything happened above the neck to the children Jessie stated that one was put in a “headlock”; a wrestling term.  Jessie still claims that he was going to wrestling this night.  This is the first time Jessie is graphic about ear pulling)

DAVIS: Did the, were the kids, the three (3) little boys were they saying anything, doing anything during this ?

MISSKELLEY: They were saying Stop, Stop.

DAVIS: Ok. And what about the boy that you were hitting, was he saying that?

MISSKELLEY: Yea, he was telling me stop and then I stopped and Damien told me, no, no don’t stop. And I got on’m again.

(There were no reports that night of any disturbance of any kind in that area, even though the site where the bodies were found is very close to the back of the Blue Beacon Truck Wash and very close to the Service Road.  In recent years people have  traveled to West Memphis to look at the alleged crime scene and have reported being able to over hear parts of conversations people were having in the parking lot of the BB from the “crime scene”, which would lead one to believe that screaming could be heard; but that is speculation.)

DAVIS: Ok. Now did anybody, At what point, or at this point when your doing that did they have their clothes on?

MISSKELLEY: Even when we hitting.

DAVIS: Ok. Were they, at some point did they get hit with anything besides your fist?


DAVIS: Who hit’m with a stick?

MISSKELLEY: Damien, I hit, I hit one of’m with a stick and

(No blood was found on any of the children’s discarded clothing)

DAVIS: Now. When you say that, do you remember what kind of stick Damien had, you saw those sticks we had in Court.

MISSKELLEY: No, I didn’t look at them. I know there’s a stick <inaudible> craved something into it or something. You know part of the bark off of it.

DAVIS: Do you know how long it was? Was it as long as a baseball bat or longer or?

MISSKELLEY: it was longer than a baseball bat.

DAVIS: Ok. Describe for me what it looked like as far as, you say it looked like someone craved on it?

MISSKELLEY: Like a piece of the bark off of it.

DAVIS: Was that at the end or middle or bottom or do you remember?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember.

(Jessie has never made these statements about the sticks before.  The sticks were brought into evidence as “possible murder weapons”; there was no DNA to link them to the crime and the were brought into evidence months after the murders. Jessie is now describing the sticks that were in court, approximately)


CALVIN: Jessie in order to make sure that picks it up you need to talk up a little.

MISSKELLEY: Oh. I can’t remember.

DAVIS: Ok. Now when you were hit, when, when you say that you were hitting’m and Jason and Damien were hitting’m. Were the boys still conscious at that point? The little boys.


DAVIS: Ok. At what point were you, did you notice or did you ever see them when they didn’t appear to be conscious? Or they appeared to be knocked out?


DAVIS: Ok. Now at any point did you, were you there the whole time while this was going on?

MISSKELLEY: ..Uhm.. (yes).

DAVIS: Ok. How far were you from Damien and Jason?

MISSKELLEY: I was pre, pretty good ways from’m.

DAVIS: Ok. When you say no, lets see, <inaudible>

MISSKELLEY: Bout from here to that door over there.

DAVIS: Ok. Door outside this building?

MISSKELLEY: No the door to the next room over there.

DAVIS: Ok. So it’s been a, about say 10 yards or something.

MISSKELLEY: Something like that, maybe not even that far.

DAVIS: And could you see what they were doing?

MISSKELLEY: I didn’t pay any attention to them, I just kept on hitting that one.

DAVIS: Ok. And was that, was that the boy you had, the boy with the Cub Scout uniform on.

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes).

DAVIS: Ok. Now what did Jas, what did you see Jason and Damien do to the other two (2)?

MISSKELLEY: Well Damien <inaudible> screw one of’m.

(Still no evidence of rape of the children)

DAVIS: When your saying he going screw him, what did you see him do?

MISSKELLEY: Well he was gonna stick his penis in that little boys behind.

DAVIS: Ok. Alright.

MISSKELLEY: As far as I am concerned he did.

DAVIS: When you say he was going to, what did you see Damien do and what happened between him and that little boy as far as that goes?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t understand what….

DAVIS: Ok. You said that he was going to screw the little or stick his penis in his behind. What did you see Damien do?

MISSKELLEY: They didn’t do it, he was going to it, then they didn’t

(When pressed for details, Jessie switches gear completely and now for the frist time says no rape actually occurred, switching gears completely from his statement two sentences earlier that “As far as I’m concerned he did.”  Easier to switch gears than to admit he had no idea because it didn’t happen)

DAVIS: Ok. What was it that Damien did that made you think he was gonna do that?

MISSKELLEY: Well I seen the boys pants down.

DAVIS: How did his pants get down?

MISSKELLEY: He pulled’m.

DAVIS: Who pulled’m?


DAVIS: Ok. And did the boy, was the boy running when that happened or was he trying to get away or what was happening ?

MISSKELLEY: Well he was kicking his feet.

DAVIS: Ok. And what else did Damien do besides pull his pants down, the little boys pants down. That made you think that he was gonna screw him?

MISSKELLEY: What, what’d you mean?

DAVIS: What, what did you see, you said that Damien pulled his pants, the little boys pants down. Did you see Damien do anything else that indicated he was gonna screw him?


(Again, when pressed for details, Jessie can do more than “ummm.”  How about if we just start making suggestions, Brent?)

DAVIS: Ok. Did Damien have his clothes on or did he, at that point.

MISSKELLEY: He had his pants unbuttoned.

DAVIS: Ok. And at that point, what was Jason doing at that time?

MISSKELLEY: Yea, he pulled one of the boys pants down, got on top of’m and started swinging.

DAVIS: Ok. When you say he started swinging, what do you mean?

MISSKELLEY: He started swinging his arm.

DAVIS: Around his, can you show me what you mean by that?

MISSKELLEY: He was coming like this.

DAVIS: Like hitting’m?

(Now we’ve moved from a rape in progress back to hitting him?)

MISSKELLEY: Yea. Like, like, like a like swinging <inaudible>

(STOP suggesting the answers – even in Ringmast Burnett’s courtroom, this would be leading a witness; how about “which way was he lying” rather than giving him a multiple choice set of two answers to pick from?)

DAVIS: Ok. Was the boy lying face down or face up?


DAVIS: Ok. And did Jason have anything in his hands at that point?

MISSKELLEY: He had a knife.

DAVIS: Ok. Where was, was he actually hitting’m with the knife or with his fist?

MISSKELLEY: <inaudible> blade was open.

DAVIS: Ok. Could you see where he, was he cutting the boy?

MISSKELLEY: No, he was like this swinging the knife at his legs.

(Here he insinuates that it is Jason that castrates Chris, but further in questioning he talks about Damien having Chris’ penis)

DAVIS: Ok. Could you see, did you ever see one of the boys get cut with the knife?

MISSKELLEY: After he cut through with’m then I noticed what’d he done.

DAVIS: What did you see?

MISSKELLEY: I saw that boy you know missing <inaudible – everything?>

DAVIS: If you worried when you saw that, describe to me what you saw Jason do and what you saw happened?

MISSKELLEY: Well when he was doing that I seen blood fly.

DAVIS: Ok. Well did he, where’d the blood go?

MISSKELLEY: Grass, I mean not grass but weeds, like <..inaudible> sling around.

(After luminol testing there were no splatter formations found in the area; in fact there was hardly any blood at all, even though it was determined by the M.E. that Christopher bled to death.  Where did the blood go?)

DAVIS: What’d the boy do when that happened?

MISSKELLEY: He started hollering. And Jason put his shirt over his mouth.

CALVIN: You need to speak up a little bit.

MISSKELLEY: He put his shirt over his mouth.

DAVIS: What’d Jason do after that?

MISSKELLEY: Then he came over where I was at.

DAVIS: What’d he do then?

MISSKELLEY: He wanted to do that one I was hitting, he wanted to do him the same way and I wouldn’t let’m.

DAVIS: What’d you say to’m?

MISSKELLEY: I told’m na, after I seen what happened he did to that other boy. I said naw you ain’t doing this one like that.

DAVIS: What’d Jason do then?

MISSKELLEY: He looked at me real weird and showed me that knife and then just walked off.

DAVIS: Had you seen that knife before?


DAVIS: What, who, who’s knife was it?


DAVIS: What did it look like?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember. He keeps all kinds of knifes, I can’t remember. All I know is it’s a lock blade.

(Anyone whose dealt with real crime scene witnesses and victims knows that the weapon is usually the one thing a witness recalls in striking detail.  Often a robbery victim will be unsure of what the robber looked like but can describe the gun in incredible detail.  Here Jessie doesn’t know what answer to give as to what the knife looked like so he “can’t remember” at all.  And the one detail he does claim to remember – that is was a lock blade – does not align with the Rambo-style knife presented at trial as the murder weapon.)

DAVIS: When you say a lock-blade, one that folds out and locks?


(A hunting-type knife was introduced into evidence as the “possible” murder weapon (no DNA or blood found on it, simply found in a lake behind Jason Baldwin’s trailer; a lake that was behind about 100 trailers), not a folding knife that Jessie is talking about)

DAVIS: And were, what happened to the boys, did you stay, after you see Jason do that and he comes to you. What happens next?

MISSKELLEY: Well, he sc, Damien was <inaudible> Jason went back to that one boy, started hitting him some more.

(STOP suggesting the answers – even in Ringmast Burnett’s courtroom, this would be leading a witness; how about “which boy was it” instead of the multiple choice thing again?)

DAVIS: Now when you say the one boy, is that the one that had his penis cut.

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes).

DAVIS: So Jason goes back to him, what’s he doing to him when he goes back to’m.

MISSKELLEY: He just started hitting in the face and head.

DAVIS: What are you doing at that point? You see him go back <inaudible> he’s hitting the boy in the face what are you doing?

MISSKELLEY: I never stopped what I was doing.

DAVIS: What about the boy that you’d been hitting on. What’s he doing at that point?

MISSKELLEY: Nothing. He’s unconscious.

DAVIS: Unconscious. Were you still holding on to him?


DAVIS: What did you, how did you have him held?

MISSKELLEY: By the hands.

(Wait, it’s a headlock, by the ears, and now “by the hands”?)

DAVIS: And you see Jason go back to the other boy. What’s, describe to me what Damien’s doing at this point?

STIDHAM: Run the end of it out here so that we know that the transcriber won’t record it. That’s the one that Brent made at the beginning. Ok we gonna turn the tape over here.


DAVIS: Ok, Jessie told me that Jason came over to you and then went back to the boy that had been castrated and start hitting him in the face. What was Damien doing at this point?

MISSKELLEY: He was still holding that, still messing with them boys, that boys penis.

(Jessie states above that it was Jason that was cutting near the child’s legs and there was a splatter of blood.  There is no mention of Damien cutting Chris)

DAVIS: Ok. And you said that you had, that your b, the boy that you had was unconscious and then what happened next, what you remember happening next?

MISSKELLEY: I, I let him go, after that I let him go and Damien come and got him. So I kept on hanging on to’m and start hitting him some more.

(This sentence isn’t even internally consistent)

DAVIS: Then, were the other two (2) boys still conscious. You said the one you had was unconscious, were the other two (2) boys still conscious at that point?

MISSKELLEY: Well the one who got castrated he wasn’t moving that much no more. I figured you know he might be dead or whatever. I really didn’t know.

DAVIS: <inaudible> What happens next you said you, Damien’s still got the other one, Jason’s got one and you got one. What happens next?

MISSKELLEY: Damien was messing with one little boy’s penis.

(He is never clear about who castrated Chris or what Damien is doing with what child’s penis)

CALVIN: Jessie, you need to speak up a little bit.

DAVIS: When you say he was messing with one of the boy’s penis’ what do you mean? What was he doing?

MISSKELLEY: <inaudible> pulling on it.

DAVIS: Ok. Do you remember which boy that was?

MISSKELLEY: No <inaudible>

DAVIS: Let me ask you this. The boy that, was it the boy with the Cub Scout uniform on?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember cause we switched.

DAVIS: Ok. Now what happens next, you said that Damien was pulling on one of the boys penis’. What happens next?

MISSKELLEY: We tied’m up.

DAVIS: Ok. Now you said before when the police asked you in their statement and asked you what they were tied up with. And you said they were tied up with rope. Ah..

MISSKELLEY: I made that up.


MISSKELLEY: Tied to get off, you know get’m off track.

DAVIS: Who tied’m up?

MISSKELLEY: Damien and Jason.

DAVIS: Ok. Did you help tie’m up?

MISSKELLEY: Uhn.. (no)

DAVIS: Ok. Did you see how they tied’m?

MISSKELLEY: No they …<inaudible>

DAVIS: Where were you when they were tying them up?

MISSKELLEY: I was standing there.

DAVIS: Ok. Where, you say standing there, where were you?

MISSKELLEY: Right there beside’m.

DAVIS: Ok. Where were they in relation of being in the woods. You told us they were out in the woods, where in the woods were they?

MISSKELLEY: <inaudible> like a pipe.

DAVIS: Ok. And how did, did you see how they were tied up or help Jason and Damien tying up?

MISSKELLEY: Right hand, right leg. Left hand, left leg.

DAVIS: Ok. What’d they tie with?

MISSKELLEY: Shoestring.

DAVIS: Where’d they get the shoe string?

MISSKELLEY: Out of there…ah…out of the boys shoes.

DAVIS: Who did, who got the shoe strings out of the shoes?

MISSKELLEY: Damien and Jason and I handed it to’m.


MISSKELLEY: I handed’m there shoe.

DAVIS: Did you pull, did you pull the strings out of their shoes?

MISSKELLEY: In one, in one of’m.


MISSKELLEY: But the rest I just, I just <inaudible> just whoever pulled’m out.

DAVIS: Were Damien and Jason taking the strings out of the shoes too or were you doing that?

MISSKELLEY: I was doing that.

DAVIS: Ok. And when you’d get the strings out you’d hand’m to the other two.

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes)

DAVIS: Ok. And did you actually tie any of the knots as far as tying any of the boys up?


DAVIS: Ok. Were they, did they have their clothes on or did they have their clothes off when they got tied up?

MISSKELLEY: The had’m off.

DAVIS: And were they conscious when they were getting tied up?

MISSKELLEY: They wasn’t moving no more.

DAVIS: Ok. What about <inaudible> could you tell if they were. Were they saying anything or were they?

MISSKELLEY: They weren’t saying nothing. Then when they threw’n in the water, I don’t remember what about. One of’m was moving.

DAVIS: You say moving. Do you remember which one it was that was moving when they were thrown in the water?


DAVIS: Ok. When you say moving, what do you mean?

MISSKELLEY: Moving around.

DAVIS: Ok. Who threw’m in the water?

MISSKELLEY: Damien and Jason.

DAVIS: Ok. Now were you there when that happened?

MISSKELLEY: I was getting ready to leave.

DAVIS: Ok. Why were you getting ready to leave?

MISSKELLEY: Cause I was going to wrestling.

(After Jessie drinks a bottle of whiskey and participates in the horrific murder of three eight year-olds, he is going to wrestling?)

DAVIS: And was there any other reason you were getting ready to leave?

MISSKELLEY: Well after what I seen Jason do to that one boy, I couldn’t do nothing else.

(Was that a reminder?)

DAVIS: Now, did you all leave together?

MISSKELLEY: No, I left before them.

DAVIS: Which was did you leave? How did you get out of the woods?

MISSKELLEY: I went up there by <inaudible> overpass went around.

DAVIS: When you left the woods did you head towards the Interstate or back towards the other direction?

MISSKELLEY: Toward the Interstate.

DAVIS: Ok. Did, did you have any, anything with you when you left the woods? Were you still carrying…

MISSKELLEY: The Whiskey bottle.

DAVIS: Was it empty or have any in it?

MISSKELLEY: It still had some in it.

DAVIS: You said earlier that you drank to the point that you were sick. Did you get sick that night?

MISSKELLEY: Going home.

DAVIS: Where?

———: <inaudible> (background voices)

DAVIS: Ok. We turned the tape over at least one of the tapes over. Ah, Jessie you said that you got sick going home that night. Were you sick at your stomach?

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes).

DAVIS: Throwing up.

MISSKELLEY: Drunk till I get sick.

DAVIS: Ok. Remember where you were when you throw up?

MISSKELLEY: Near some grass.

(*See below when Jessie talks about wrestling)

DAVIS: Was it is relation to the road or the over pass that…

MISSKELLEY: By the over pass.

DAVIS: Ok. What’d you do with your bottle?

MISSKELLEY: I busted it.

DAVIS: Ok. Where at?

MISSKELLEY: On the side of a ..ah.. like a slope going down over the overpass.

STIDHAM: Where you been?

DAVIS: Where <inaudible> goes over one of the Interstate?

MISSKELLEY: Yea, like coming from, ah.. I think its from Little Rock that goes under the, you know, there’s a bridge goes toward Memphis.

DAVIS: And that would’ve been Evan Williams?

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes).

DAVIS: Ok. When you left the woods and went back were Damien and Jason are still in the woods when you left ?

MISSKELLEY: There were still there when I left.

DAVIS: Ok. Now, what was it as far as daylight or dark. What was it when you left the woods?

MISSKELLEY: I <inaudible> bout <inaudible> dark, close to dark. It was still light outside <inaudible>

DAVIS: Ok. It was getting dark?

(If it was now getting dark, and sunset on May 5, 1993 was at approximately 7:45, and Jessie was last seen at 6:30 at Highland, then he had an hour and 15 minutes to walk to Lakeshore from Highland, about 5 minutes or less, then to BB Woods, about 2 miles from Lakeshore, time to drink enough Evan Williams to be so drunk that he was having memory difficulty and was drunk enough to vomit,  and had the time to help brutally murder three young boys.  That is a lot for Jessie to do in an hour and a half and then be seen back at Highland Trailer Park leaving to go to wrestling by a neighbor, Jim McNease, carrying a professional wrestler’s mask. How could Jessie be in any shape to go to wrestling if he was drunk to the point of vomiting? One witness stated Jessie was with him going to wrestling at 7:00 pm that night (Carter), but later gave another statement. There were other witnesses that testified Jessie was at wrestling that night)

DAVIS: And what did you do then?

MISSKELLEY: I went to my house, got my mask  then went to Johnny’s <inaudible>

DAVIS: <inaudible> went wrestling. Was it dark when you left to go wrestling ?

MISSKELLEY: Uhm.. (yes).


MISSKELLEY: We usually leave about 8.

DAVIS: But on that night was it already dark when you got ready to leave?


(In past statements Jessie has stated that at 9 p.m. Jason and Damien called him at home.  Here he states he left for wrestling when he got home and there is no mention of a phone call)


MISSKELLEY: <inaudible> usually he say <inaudible> we just sit there and sit there and I would get ready go.

DAVIS: Is everything you told me true?


DAVIS: Is there parts of what happened that night that are hard for you to remember?

MISSKELLEY: Parts, what do you mean?

DAVIS: I mean are there things that happened that night it is hard or difficult for you to remember? Let me see of I can make you understand. Are there events that took place that night, things that happened that you, that it is somewhat difficult to remember?

MISSKELLEY: I can’t remember.

(This wasn’t an answer that indicated he understood the question, but that’s glossed over.  “I can’t remember” with him seems to equal “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand”)

DAVIS: Were you there when the three (3) boys were killed?

MISSKELLEY: Yes, I was there.

DAVIS: I don’t have any further.

CALVIN: When you turn that tape over, I’d like to ask a question if I might. Ah..when they threw them in the water were any of’m kicking or screaming or anything or were they all unconscious or do you know?

MISSKELLEY: They weren’t hollering, they was just, one of’m was just moving.

CALVIN: Moving. When you say moving, how was he moving?

MISSKELLEY: He was wiggling like a worm or something like that.

CALVIN: Is this the one that was castrated or do you remember?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t remember, it’s just one of’m all I remember.

(After being positive of who was castrated in prior statements, Jessie is now not sure who was castrated, even after trial, where this was discussed over and over.)

CALVIN: Ok. Who through them in the water?

MISSKELLEY: Damien and Jason.

CALVIN: And did they push’m down, submerge’m, you know, weight them down or just throw’m in. Or do you know?

MISSKELLEY: I don’t know.

CALVIN: But you stood, standing there watching’m.

MISSKELLEY: I seen’m put them in the water but I don’t know what they did after I left.

CALVIN: In other words you left before they did?


CALVIN: And after it was over did you all have any conversations about it, the three (3) of you?

MISSKELLEY: No. When I seen Damien and Jason on the 14th. They just looked at me they didn’t say nothing.

CALVIN: But you all never did have any discussions about?

MISSKELLEY: Uhn.. (no) I didn’t want to say nothing else to’m when they came around and seen me.

(What happened to the famous 9:00 phone call with Jason where Damien was in the background saying “we done it – what’re we gonna do if someone saw us”?)

CALVIN: And that night you say that he used a switch blade knife.

MISSKELLEY: It was a lock.

CALVIN: A lock blade, the kind that you fold up.

MISSKELLEY: Yea and it’s got a little button on it at the end of it.

(Jessie says “lock blade” and “fold up.” BUT – once Calvin suggests “switch blade”, the knife now has “a little button on it at the end of it” – in other words, it becomes a switchblade right after it’s suggested that it was a switchblade)

CALVIN: How long was it, do you know?

MISSKELLEY: Pretty long I guess.

CALVIN: Have you seen it since?


CALVIN: But you know it belonged to ..ah..


CALVIN: Jason. Have you seen it before?

MISSKELLEY: Yea, at his house. He’s got all kinds of knifes.

STIDHAM: Jessie, listen to me. For the purpose of the tape this is Dan Stidham. Ah.. prior to making this statement you refused to talk to Mr. Crow and I is that correct?


STIDHAM: You didn’t want to talk to us?


(*There is possible explanation for Jessie’s feelings here in Dan Stidham’s synopsis of the case, which accompanies these statements)

STIDHAM: And again we advised you not to make this statement? Is that correct?


STIDHAM: Uhm…for the purpose of this tape I would like to find out…<inaudible>…Judge Burnett and everyone else thinks it’s true. Misskelley is purgering himself. Do you have an opinion Mr. Crow.

CROW: I have a very strong opinion that he is purgering himself.

STIDHAM: We feel obligated to inform the Court, as officers of the Court, ethically we feel that <inaudible> make that for the record of this statement <inaudible>

CALVIN: <inaudible> agreed with him.

DAVIS: Jessie I asked you earlier about what you just told me about the events that took place the night of May 5. Is that, what you told me the truth?


DAVIS: Ok. And if asked testify to that in Court, would you and could you testify truthfully to those same things?


DAVIS: That would conclude this statement at 8:45 on February 17, 1994.

(***Most important to know: Jessie Misskelley, although offered a reducement of his Life without Paroll sentence, never testified against Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin.  In the documentary “Paradise Lost II: Revelations”, Jessie says “It just wasn’t true” referring to his statement. There was testimony by Dr. Ofshe regarding coerced confessions and much was said about the doctor’s opinion of the ease to lead a person with low I.Q., as Jessie does have; and I.Q. of 72 to be exact.)

(***This statement is vastly different from the rest in that Jessie is very vague about a lot of what happened, now saying “I don’t remember” THIRTEEN TIMES And “I don’t know” SEVEN TIMES, but in other areas, such as the description of the sticks, he is very detailed. It would be beneficial to listen to the tape of this statement to hear the state Jessie is in when he gives it.)

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