Henry Rollins on West Memphis Three: 'It is a good day'


Image Credit: Chris Hatcher/PR Photos

Earlier today, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly, and Jason Baldwin—the trio known as the West Memphis Three—were finally released after spending 18 years in jail for the murder of three young boys.

The case became a perpetual headline-grabber, mostly because of the excellent documentary Paradise Lost (and its follow-up, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations), which revealed that the three defendants were imprisoned with no real evidence and were essentially the victims of a witch hunt because they dressed in black and listened to heavy metal.

One of the group’s biggest supporters over the years has been Henry Rollins, who has worked tirelessly to bring attention to their innocence and has put out a number of releases to benefit their defense fund (including the 2002 compilation Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three, which featured vocal contributions from Chuck D, Iggy Pop, Ice-T, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, and of course Rollins himself).

“It is a good day,” Rollins said in a statement given to EW just before he hit the stage for a concert in Edinburgh, Scotland. “My joy at hearing the news is however tinged with frustration that it took so long and that there is a person or persons who still need to be brought to justice.”

Had he been Stateside, he almost certainly would have joined Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and former Dixie Chick Natalie Maines at the courthouse in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where the trio was subject to a hearing that ended with their liberation.

Read more on EW.com:
West Memphis Three reach plea deal for freedom
’48 Hours Mystery': Johnny Depp says three convicted killers are ‘1,000% innocent’
Review: Paradise Lost

Comments (48 total) Add your comment
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  • armchairqb

    Nauseating. Thanks for freeing the klllers, celeb-tards

    • anonymous

      If you bothered to read the article or take the time to find out even the smallest iota about the case you would understand that the point is that they were not the killers. They were railroaded by an over aggressive prosecution because they were different (clearly acknowledged by the state as they were set free). Commenting with lack of knowledge or understanding is nauseating.

    • Jay

      So, you want innocent people to rot in jail for murders they didn’t commit??
      I’ll be sure to send the police over to your place to lock you up for 18 years without any evidence.

    • Kevin

      Even the state knows the West Memphis 3 didn’t do it. They were put away for life based on a forced confession from a mentally handicapped teenager and some muddy clothes. Educate yourself armchairqb.

    • erin

      Ignore this “person”. He’s a troll.

    • Lois

      “Nauseating” is the word for people who make comments like yours, which show how uninformed about the topic they are.

    • Nurse Betty

      Try reading about the case before posting. Your ignorance is showing.

    • Felice Vaiani

      This an an example of someone being ignorant. Read up before making snap comments, please. Thoughts to the WM3 and the families of all involved. RIP to the little boys.

  • AN

    I had never heard of them (I was only 13 when this happened), but looking at the facts of the case, do you really think they were killers?

  • RickterScale

    After hearing the confession, yes.

    • Johnny

      I assume you are talking about Jessie Misskelly’s confession. First of all Jessie is has been identified of having an IQ of someone who is legally retarded. If you read transcripts of the confession and interrogation by the police you will see that the officers clearly led on Misskelly until they got what they wanted from him. In fact they didnt even record the first several hours of the interrogation until they got to the part where Misskelly “confessed”. If you read the confession itself you will see it is full of holes and not at all in line with the police, to me its clear that Misskelly wanted to just get out okf there and the only way he knew how was to say what he thought the police wanted to hear. Also Misskelly retracted his confession two days afterwards.

      • AN

        Johnny, that’s one of the things that got me. Reading the articles on the confession, it sounds like the police had decided these guys were responsible for the crime and went after the weakest link. What we have to remember is that those precious little boys were murdered. I can’t imagine what those families went through then or are going through now.

    • Nurse Betty

      Did you actually read the confession?

      • AN

        Honestly, no. I read several articles about the confession. They definitely could have been skewed.

  • Johnny

    I am so happy that they are finally free!

    • Nurse Betty

      Me too!!!

  • anonymous

    You spend 48 hours under intense interrogation and you will confess to anything they ask you to (particularly when you are a teenager without any legal representation). But lord knows we don’t want to confuse anyone with the facts!

    • Johnny

      Thank you!

    • Nurse Betty


  • Curious Khan

    Who thinks Henry Rollins is a blow hard, gas bag!

    • Kevin

      No one… other than your stupid ass.

    • Lois

      Not me or anyone I know.

    • Nurse Betty

      Just you.

    • Jeff C.

      Actually, Henry Rollins is the f@cking man.

    • Tom

      Only you, D-Bag.

  • bobbyv

    Well I live in Dallas and Dallas county’s DA’s office has overturned 21 convictions because of new DNA evidence. Many of these men have spent well over 20 years in prison for crimes they didn’t committ. So without concrete evidence, these guys should not be in jail. Our justice system simply doesn’t work as well for certain people.

    • SM

      I have read elsewhere that DNA evidence clears the WM3 & points towards one of the victim’s stepfather & a friend of the stepfather.

  • D.B.

    These f#cking people who make these comments that “The W.M.3″ were guilty, need to do there f#cking research or become a member of their local government, so they can f#ck over people as well.

  • Curious Khan

    Yeah Kevin, his career is so awesome…….He plays the same character in every movie and I’m sure you are still rockin’ all of those ROLLINS BAND CDs.

    • Kevin

      He has a career. You live in your parents’ basement. He wins.

      • Nurse Betty


    • Jeff C.

      He was also the singer Black Flag, one of the greatest punk bands of all time. He’s got a radio show, still does awesome solo tours and poetry readings that consistently sell out…and I didn’t even know he acted.

      • Brian Wallace

        Yes but you can’t NAME any of those songs from Black Flag! unless you google them. Please stop posing your hardcore cred about Henry Rollins.


      • Jim in NJ

        Brian Wallace, The real question is: Can You?

        You are probably a giant poseur who heard of Black Flag two months ago, so you think you can disregard his fandom? Please stop posing and pretending you’ve heard any Black Flag albums..

    • Tom

      Curious Khan, Actually I’m still rocking to Black Flag, not that a poseur like you would know who they are. I’d rather listen to Flag, Rollins Band & his Spoken Word than listen to the soft garbage you like.

  • Nurse Betty

    I’m glad they are free. I think they are innocent and it sucks that the authorities aren’t looking for the real killer.

  • KYJurisDoctor

    ANY injustice ANYWHERE, is pretty much injustice EVERYWHERE!

    • peblo

      Wow, did you come up with that on your own?

  • Nicole

    So happy that they’re finally free. I hope that they’re able to go on to live happy lives and eventually clear their names completely.

    Their conviction was the result of mob mentality in its worst form. Things like this happen when we allow blatant fear mongering to run rampant.

  • ice

    EW: For folks who are new to this story (and clearly there are a lot of them), please at least mention in your article the state where this injustice occurred: Arkansas. Arkansas. Arkansas. Please don’t let celebrity get in the way of the news. Arkansas.

  • Casey Anthony

    Free everyone and free the hot tot 3

  • Casey Anthony

    I’m looking for 3 babysitters, I’m located in Arkansas. Any ideas

    • Whatta Comeback!!

      LMFAO….WAY FuNnY!

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