Damien Echols' Memoir "Life After Death" Hits Shelves
In 1994, Damien Echols, Jessie Miskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin were found guilty of the murder of three little boys in West Memphis. Both Miskelley and Baldwin got life imprisonment and Echols was sentenced to death. It remains one of the most controversial murder cases in American history and is observed by many (including many celebrities, such as Henry Rollins) as a total miscarriage of justice. Today, all three are out of jail, but haven't been declared innocent. Many books and movies have chronicled the fight of these men, now known as the West Memphis Three, including the award winning documentary series, Paradise Lost. We can now add Damien Echols memoir Life After Death to the long list of works about the infamous case.
The road to publication wasn't easy for Echols, who self-published a memoir called Almost Home in 2005 with the limited means afforded a death row inmate, and it received the cold shoulder from the literary community. "Too short" and "questionable style" were common complaints. Well, the new book from Blue Rider Press is more than twice the length and comes fully edited by Sarah Hochman. It was released on Tuesday the 19th and it's already tearing up the charts on Amazon.
Echols split the narrative of this new volume in two distinct parts: one about his upbringing and one about his time on death row, which gives perspective to the situation as a whole. It's possible no one will ever know what really happened to the three murdered children of West Memphis. Hopefully you can learn a little about it by reading what Damien Echols went through.
What do you guys think? Has anyone read the book or seen the films? Are the West Memphis Three Innocent or guilty?
To leave a comment