Thursday, September 2, 2010

West Memphis Three, Johnny Depp Ask for Appeal And New Nickname

Seventeen years after their brutal crime rocked West Memphis, Arkansas with the gruesome discovery of the mutilated bodies of three eight year old boys, the West Memphis Three is back in the public spotlight. Two days ago, Johnny Depp and Eddie Vedder threw a benefit concert in Arkansas to bring awareness to these three young men incarcerated for murder since the early nineties. Hosting the benefit, Depp pleaded with the almost three thousand attendants to write to their governor and ask that The West Memphis Three either be pardoned or granted a new nickname.

Depp has had an interest in this case since the story broke in '93 while he was filming "Benny and Joon," where he played Sam the Buster Keaton-like eccentric. Depp was climbing his way up the Hollywood ladder and was looking for darker, more challenging roles - characters he soon found in "Dead Man," "Donnie Brasco," and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." The young, handsome actor was always on the look-out for that cutting edge, ripped straight from the headlines story that would rocket him to super-stardom. When he read about The West Memphis Three, the possibility that they might be innocent and the fact that they were all approximately his age - it was the perfect story. Except for their stupid nickname and the fact that they were still in prison.

Since the arrest of the West Memphis Three, Depp has been devoted to the cause of these "alleged" murderers (whose DNA was found splashed around the crime scene along with that of the victims), doing everything he can to encourage the courts - both legal and that of public opinion - to set the record straight, free The West Memphis Three, and grant them a new moniker.

"It's a real injustice, a travesty" Depp said, "These men are individual people, you know, but for the past seventeen years they've been clumped together in the public eye with this ridiculous name. It's like a school uniform. How are we supposed to grant them amnesty if we can't even tell them apart?"

"Uh-uh-huh," Vedder sang, chiming in and adding, "Their nickname isn't even original. I mean, there's already an East Memphis Two - those girls that stabbed each other outside a nightclub - and a South Memphis Six, which is a pretty solid jazz band that's been around for years."

"I just think people would pay more attention to the lack of evidence," Depp interjected taking the opportunity to plug the movie titles he'd come up with two decades ago, "if they were called something like "The Innocents" or "The Framed" or "The Black Guy From the Diner Did It."

Although there is no retrial currently set for The West Memphis Three, Depp and Vedder will be taking the proceeds of the musical benefit and investing it in West Memphis Three t-shirts, which will have individual pictures of the killers with the words, "Which one am I?" written beneath them. "I can't make people change," Depp said in his best Captain Sparrow accent, "but I can make them think."


As for Amari, after pulling herself up onto her feet with the help of the dining room table, she is now doing it at will - anywhere and everywhere. It reminds me of getting up on water skis - after I broke through the barrier of getting on top of the water, it became easy. This evening, while I was feeding her dinner, she paused between bites to pull herself up to standing, grab something off the table, drop it on the floor, and then ever-so-carefully lowering herself back down to her butt for another bite. Only once or twice did she flop hard to the floor, but the fear was gone - no tears - and she just hopped back up or crawled away to a new location.

Although she still isn't saying anything coherent, and I can't get her to say her Baa's and Daa's, she is getting much louder and is developing control over her pitch. She can go really high when she's imitating me imitating opera, and she can let out a deep, guttural "Raahh" anytime we least expect it. Like yesterday while we were waiting at the clinic for my niece to get a medical check-up for soccer. The girl has some pipes. I love it.

As for my future as a stay-at-home dad, I'm excited and anxious. Financially, it's a little scary, but when I find out that my last article about Dancing With the Stars brought in a record-breaking (for me) $14, I'm optimistic. As long as Amari starts working when she's ten and goes to a community college we'll be fine. As far as a more practical plan, I distributed flyers for the SAT prep course I will be providing for the high school students on the Mendocino Coast.

I continue to receive an incredible amount of support for leaving my job to be a full-time job. If I'd known I'd get this kind of response, I would have made up a child year's ago when I just wanted to quit jobs or suck at them. It might have saved me getting fired.

Tomorrow - a full day with Amari and fellow stay-homers J-Cal and Nicki G. I'm sure we'll do something worth writing about...

Amari's Dad


  1. "these "alleged" murderers (whose DNA was found splashed around the crime scene along with that of the victims),"

    Wut? No I don't believe there was a shred of actual physical evidence ever found connecting Damien, Jessie, or Jason to the murders. All the prosecution had was the confessions of a confused and frightened boy who had no legal representation during the "questioning."

  2. "these "alleged" murderers (whose DNA was found splashed around the crime scene along with that of the victims),"
    that is incorrect information. currently, the dna found at the crime scene has been determined to NOT match any of the innocent men convicted of this crime. for more information go to