WEST MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) – The West Memphis Three is a never-ending case.
The latest development came on Feb. 28 when anonymous donors put up a $100,000 reward for information leading to what they call “the real killers” of three eight-year-old cub scouts in 1993.
When Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley pleaded “guilty” in an Alford Plea deal that let them go free, most felt the case was over.
But, even though the West Memphis Three are out of prison, a cloud lingers over them. To Jessie Misskelley, Sr., news of the reward was welcome.
“That sounds good to me,” said Misskelley Sr., “like I said, they should have done that, years ago.”
“Even though this was 18 years ago, we still feel like there’s a lot of information out there. People that may not have come forward in the past; perhaps $100,000 might motivate them,” said Capi Peck of the activist group Arkansas Take Action.
Arkansas Take Action is dedicated to clearing the names of Jessie Misskelley, Jr., Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. While the donors of the $100,000 remain anonymous, Peck is convinced the dollars will loosen lips.
“There have been witnesses as recently as December of last year that have come forward with some very damning information about one of the step fathers, Terry Hobbs.”
Misskelley Sr. maintained, “Those boys are innocent.”
While the reward is welcome news, it did come as a surprise.
“I had not heard anything about it,” he said, “I don’t know if my son had heard anything, I didn’t talk to him about it.”
Misskelley Jr. now knows, but he is still not talking.
“He said he is not talking to anybody,” his father said, “he said he was tired of microphones and cameras in his face; he wasn’t talking to anybody.”
So, that left it up to anonymous donors and activist groups to keep the conversation going.
“A lot of people thought once the Alford Plea was made- I think the State of Arkansas thought- okay, we can wash our hands of this; it is over,” said Peck, “but we’re so grateful there is a group of people that have the money to do this; that are going to see it through.”
Complete exoneration is the goal.
“He’s free, but he’s not free,” said Misskelley Sr., “that isn’t s***.”
When reached for comment on the reward development, Terry Hobbs said he really had no reaction.
As for those who keep pointing a finger at him, Hobbs said, “Just because people say things does not make it true.”
Misskelley Sr. said his son mostly stays in the house these days, occasionally helping him work on cars.