Todd Moore sets the record straight

Todd Moore wrote the below article in response to an editorial published in the Jonesboro Sun by Chris Wessel.

Father of WM3 murder victim certain who killed 3 boys
By Todd Moore
Guest Columnist
I am the father of West Memphis triple murder victim Michael Moore. I am writing this in response to your editorial in the June 6 edition of The Sun titled “Justice Unserved.” It has always been my opinion that justice was served when Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted in 1994 for the brutal murder of my son and his friends.
The three men who slaughtered my son were convicted by two juries that found them guilty in 1994. Despite this, the Arkansas Supreme Court generously granted the murderers the opportunity for a new evidentiary hearing to be held Dec, 5, 2011, to show evidence they claimed proved their innocence. They could have been granted a new trial to prove these claims of innocence. Instead of presenting their “new evidence” in open court last December, they opted to plead guilty to the murders in August 2011 in exchange for time served. 
Second District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington agreed to accept the defense’s plea offer for vague reasons we still don’t understand. Family members learned of the deal only at the last minute. The district attorney was new to the case. But whatever the rational, this continued to make the convicts guilty as a matter of law.
The defense team avoided sharing the results of the tests of everything with us by preemptively entering a guilty plea for their clients. Thanks to the plea deal, we may never know exactly what the defense found when the evidence was retested. Absence of DNA evidence does not prove the West Memphis Three (WM3) are innocent. The killers washed most of the evidence away in the water- filled ditch where they drowned my son. There was plenty of other evidence to convict them in 1994 without positive DNA. Most murderers are convicted without DNA evidence. 
The defense attorneys for the WM3 had nearly 20 years to find “the real killer” and failed to do so. After nearly two decades and untold millions in donated funds spent, the best they could do was find a hair that may or may not have belonged to Terry Hobbs, step- father of victim Stevie Branch. It was allegedly found on a shoelace used to tie my son. It has never been proven to actually belong to Terry Hobbs.
Even if it was Terry Hobbs’ hair, that fact would prove nothing. Our sons were best friends, and my child spent considerable time in Terry Hobbs’s home and could have picked up the hair on his shoe. This would be “secondary transfer” and makes the hair of no probative value. The defense has even admitted as much. Terry Hobbs did not murder my son. No credible law enforcement official believes so. Neither did Mark Byers, Mr. Bojangles nor any of the other defense red herrings. 
Contrary to your editorial, it is not up to police or the prosecutor to continue to look for “the real killer.” The real killers were arrested and charged back in 1993, were found guilty in 1994 and then admitted their guilt in 2011 after getting a lucky break. To his credit, Prosecutor Ellington has stated many times that his door is open to any new leads and evidence presented to him by the WM3 defense teams. 
So far, nothing compelling enough to reopen the case has been presented to him. District Attorney Ellington stated as much the day your editorial appeared. This means despite the defense’s grandiose claims prior to the pleas, not one iota of credible evidence has been presented to show their clients’ innocence or even to view the convicted as anything less than what they are as a matter of law and as a matter-of fact: guilty. 
The WM3 defense team has been well-funded by numerous celebrities who were misinformed by the biased “Paradise Lost” documentaries. These one-sided films left out nearly all of the evidence that demonstrated the guilt of the WM3. They caused thousands of people to support the release of the convicted child killers with a very limited unndcrstanding of the actual facts of the case. 
Mr. Wessel, it appears that you, like so many others, got most of your misinformation about this case from these inaccurate documentaries. If you would take the time to dig a little deeper and actually read the case file documents, you would know that there was ample evidence to convict these three men for murdering my son. These documents are readily available on websites such as
Here are just a few examples of what was omitted from the documentaries:
• Jessie Misskelley confessed to the crime at least five times to police, prosecutors, even his own attorneys with his hand on a Bible. Misskelley confessed the first time after less than four hours of police questioning. That questioning was done with permission from his father. He continued to repeatedly confess in the year that followed.
• Damien Echols amassed a mental health record 500 pages long in the years immediately prior to the murders. In his own handwriting, he classified himself as a “homicidal, suicidal, schizophrenic, sociopath” just a months before he brutally murdered my son. 
• Read Damien Echols’ current Twitter account to discover his deep-seated interest in skulls and the occult. There he also recently described artwork depicting a man sawing off his own arm as “breathtaking.” In addition, Echols is obscenely profiting off the death of my son by selling his narcissistic books, promoting his self-serving movie, and tattooing murder groupies with his “mark.” For two hundred dollars, you can have this sociopath tattoo an “X” on your arm. These Twitter posts and money-making schemes are a slap in the face to me, my family and my dead son.
• The movies omit the fact that these three men had no alibis. Damien Echols’ and Jessie Misskelley’s alibis completely fell apart on the stand in the 1994 trials. Jason Baldwin’s attorneys didn’t even bother to present an alibi. 
• Fibers consistent with a robe in Jason Baldwin’s home and a shirt in Damien Echols’ home were found on the victims. Blue candle wax found on Chris Byers’ shirt was consistent with candle wax found in Damien Echols bedroom.
• The crime lab found that three different knots were used to hogtie the three victims with their own shoelaces. This points toward multiple killers rather than one killer. Witnesses say that Mr. Bojangles, the disoriented man near the crime scene that night, had a cast on one arm. No one person could have subdued and hogtied three energetic young boys–not Terry Hobbs and certainly not the one-armed Mr. Bojangles.
• A knife that could have been used in the murders was found in a lake behind Baldwin’s home. It was a unique knife with a place hold a compass on the end that witnesses described as similar to one owned by Echols. 
• A car full of eyewitnesses placed Echols near the crime scene, covered with dirt, on the night of the murders. 
• Numerous friends, acquaintances and cell-mates came forward with tales of confessions from all three defendants. 
Throw out one or even several of those facts, and there would still be enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 
I sat through those trials. The basic facts need to be put out there. Otherwise, it makes a mockery of my son’s short life.
Todd Moore is the father of murder victim Michael Moore.
Published in the Opinion Section of the Jonesboro Sun on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 – Posted here by permission of Todd Moore
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15 thoughts on “Todd Moore sets the record straight

  1. Dear Todd. Did Terry Hobbs and Mark Byers know each other before the murders? Also, is it true that you went to Weaver Elementary before the children were found and asked Aaron where your son was with the police present? At what time did this happen? If this is true, did you go searching in the Robin Hood area prior to this? I hope you’re doing well. God bless you and your family.

  2. As far as the trial itself, I think the prosecution dropped the ball. Yes, I've read the transcripts in their entirety. I've looked at all evidence I've been able to. I've listened to nearly all of the trial (but not in one go). I think if they would have done a better job, this case would not have gotten the attention it did. It would have also been a lot easier to correct the misinformation out there. Looking at this case as if I were the prosecutor, I see so many problems with their case. On one hand, yes, they got a conviction. On the other hand, a better case would have led to less uncertainty and less fuel on the media fire.

    Finally, on the occult. You are right, I haven't looked into it. I also don't want to because it will affect my ability to look at the trial. I know about as much (or less) than anyone in that courtroom except the expert, Dale Griffis. The judge ruled he was an expert, and I have no problem with that. So I give his testimony the same weight I give any expert (which is high). I've read and listened to his testimony multiple times, because that's establishing the foundation the prosecution's entire narrative is based on. Even with all that, the case is still fatally flawed.

    Like I said, I believe there are far more plausible narratives as to the night the children were murdered. If I was a prosecutor, I would have likely gone with one of those (even if I was prosecuting Echols, ect). If I was going to go with the occult narrative (finding the truth is an important aspect to a trial, after all), I still would have presented a case with a better, more solid narrative.

    In the end, I don't think the prosecution presented a good case. I think a better case would have lead to a better outcome. I think that the hell the families has been put through due to the proecution's failure is the worst part of this case. I know I mentioned the police, but the prosecution ultimately decides what they're going to take to trial, so they have ultimate responsibility.

    At any rate, as I said before, I'm not going to get into the fact of the case here. I just feel that's horribly disrespectful. I also am looking at this case very differently than most, and nobody usually wants to put away the question of whether the WM3 did it in favour of a deep dive into whether the case presented in court was the best it could have been and how it could have been better. At the same time, I don't want this to come off as trying to discourage you from pointing out what you see as important. I just as that you suggest a different place than this page to get into a deeper discussion of the facts of this case.

  3. Hi, Truth Seeker. This is going to be two comments since I've reached my character limit.

    I wasn't going to reply to any comments on my post discussing the case because this just seems like a bad place to do it. But since you made an account just to write this, and you wrote a very detailed response, I did want to write something.

    Just to get this this out of the way, I think the documentaries were garbage. I think the damage they did far outweighs the good. If I could make them vanish, even if it meant I'd never develop my passion for law, I would do it in a second and just hope my younger self found a decent career she'd be happy with.

    I see what you're saying, so I wanted to clarify a bit where I'm coming from, because I'm not looking at this case the way most people do.

    I'm interested in how the criminal justice system works as a whole, and specifically, does the current process result in justice. I return to this case both because I'm familiar with it, and it's a case that's had a profound emotional impact on me. I don't feel those boys got justice, and I feel like the families have been put through hell.

    Also, I am biased towards a less horrific death these children suffered. I am aware of my bias and try hard to correct for it, but I could of course I might not be doing well enough.

    That said, the lens I'm looking though this case with is whether or not justice got served. No, it did not. I also am working from the premise that the prosecution does indeed believe they have the right people. If so, offering the Alford plea is unconscionable for them to do. I know there's speculation that they were worried about seating a jury, the degradation of evidence, ect, but I still see their obligation to at least try to bring this case back to trial. The prosecution should have their main goal as seeing justice served, not clearing their cases or even winning cases. And yes, I feel very strongly about that. Remember, America is a common law country, so court cases shape the legal system itself going forward. It's also turned this into a popularity contest and sending the message that if you can convince enough people you're innocent, the state will set you free.

    I get frustrated with jury trials and the challenges of having a fair trial too, but that doesn't mean we just get to say "Eh, I couldn't win it, so I guess I'll let people I know to be guilty walk free". You work with the system you have, then you work to fix the system so it doesn't happen in the future.

  4. You obviously know nothing about rituals to be making a point about what one is or is not. If you did read the case files and came to that conclusion after you read everything then it would probably help if you studied satanic ritual abuse and then read the case files again. You seem to be sincere but lack the knowledge it would take to make a fair statement. Damien (whose real name is Michael) was obsessed with Crowley in a time where information on him would be hard to come by unless you had a teacher providing you with resources on the subject. The FBI has been the number one organization that helps cover up satanic ritual abuse so I’m not sure why you think turning the case over to them would have done anything to help get justice for these innocent young boys and there families. The Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon which in court Damien says his pedophile stepfather was deeply involved in. That fact sheds light as to why there family was constantly relocating. The wm3 is a distraction to how many people were involved as the authorities no very well how many others there were and are still out there today. A lot of suspects were interviewed and somehow only Damien Jason and Jessie were charged. Damien said the killer would have urinated in there mouth which was found to be true and the candle wax that was found at the crime scene speaks volume to the reason the boys were murdered. more than likely The knots used to tie up the boys were different because of cord magik. With all the weird activity in that town and other towns across America it seems to me that Damien was also a sacrifice made by his mentor in the dark arts.they were supposed to be caught and convicted. You are a fool if you really believe he learned all this from the library as Damien claims. There were others in the group and they were all being instructed by somebody who was well researched in these perverse activities. Most of the members were only interested in sex and drugs but Damien had a thirst for the occult knowledge making him a perfect candidate for this ritual where they sacrifice the innocent boys and one of there own for the advancement of the groups satanic agenda. Jason and Jesse were just pawns but Damien had full understanding of this and that is why he is the only one with fortune and fame after being released from prison with the help of Hollywood. The Vatican has always used Hollywood to pervert the general public all the way back to days of cowboy movies. That is why it is called holly-wood in the first place. Magik is not what you think and it is real and it is working. Especially on you.

  5. I’ve been interested in this case since I was a young teen. This is the case that got me interested in law enforcement and then in the law itself.

    I’m not writing here about whether the WM3 are guilty or innocent, my views are complex and change as I examine and re-examine evidence. What I will say is I don’t think the murders happened the way the prosecution states. I’m not going to get into why on a page written by one of the parents of the children. So forgive me for being vague.

    This is what’s been bothering me about this case the most lately. I am certain the murders were not rituals (regardless of who was involved) and that the children didn’t suffer nearly as much as in the prosecution’s narrative. I find it unconscionable that the prosecution went with this version of events given the likelihood they could have figured out their narrative was less plausible (if not completely impossible) than a less horrific narrative. Losing a child is unimaginable, but it’s even worse to think they suffered greatly.

    I also think a better investigation and a more plausible narrative would have lead to this case being less controversial and therefore getting less (if any) media attention. It would have lead to better certainty, and probably for the person or people responsible to be behind bars for the rest of their lives.

    The WM PD was not equipped to handle this case, and they should have called in the FBI.

  6. DNA doesn't always convict people. They failed polygraphs and had no alibi. Jessie confessed many times and knew details. Water can wash away all DNA. The wm3 are guilty! I saw the documentaries and thought they were innocent because the documentaries leave out so much! Then I did my own research and saw so much of the evidence. Look at Damien's behavior while at court. He is smirking and giving the finger. Shows no remorse for the family.

  7. Odd? Did you just read the above article and can you say Damien's actions were "odd". There is so much evidence against the wm3. And one person could not have committed these crimes. Jessie had many times to say he was lying but he didn't and he knew too much detail for an innocent teenager. They are guilty!

  8. Agree with you on the idea that Echols seems to have made off like a movie star. I'm not sure how accurate the movie was about his behavior (behind the scenes) but, there is definitely a narcissist arrogance he gives off, intentionally or not.

  9. These trials were a joke. I'm upset as anybody that they're three little boys that are dead. But to convince somebody you actually have to show evidence. There was none there.

  10. I wish I could magically change what happen while still knowing what did happen and who did it and have the ability to enact that cruelty on them.

  11. My heart breaks so much as I think of my three sons. My youngest turns 8 in August. I'm so tired of hearing about the injustice of the conventions. Echols in his buddies have zero sympathy from me. ECHOLS WAS BUSY GROMING HIS HAIR IN COURT AND SHOWED NOT ONE CONCERN ABOUT BEING ON TRIAL OR THE POOR LITTLE BOYS. HE ENJOINED THE ATTENTION, CONTINUES TO HAVE IT, THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE EVER HAPPENED TO HIM. WITHOUT IT HE WOULD HAVE REMAINED SIMPLE TRAILOR TRASH.

  12. I watched this documentary from my couch late one night 1995. Gave me chills. I always thought it was Mr T Hobbs he was emotionless and arrogant. To this day I believe he is guilty. His actions and activity from that night were odd. Cant learn much from tv but people reactions dont lie. I support Mr Moore and feel his pain and loss. Give him a break he is living in hell. My prayer and wishes are with him and his family.

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