Would you like to see some "differences" in what
Pam Echols says to WMPD 7 days after the murders,
and what she tells Fogleman in an interview
I'm game. Let's take a look at those
Thanks to Ragencajun, the interview Pam
Hutchison gave to Bryn Ridge on 5-12-93,
to John Fogelman on 9-10-93, and the
interview Joe Hutchison gave to Fogelman
on 9-10- 93 are now available in the Case
Documents section of this board. They
make for valuable reading. I strongly urge
everyone to read them, and add to
this discussion as they will. For purposes
of this post, I will refer to Pam's 5-12 interview
as P-A, to her 9-10 interview as P-B, and to Joe's
interview as J. I will try to include a page number
reference for each comment made, e.g., (P-A, 12).
Though each interview contains an abundance
of interesting material, I am going to chiefly
confine myself to identifying the inconsistencies
to be found in cross-referencing the interviews to
one another, which I believe is what Ragencajun
wanted. There may well be many that I have
missed, so she or anyone else is invited to add
to the list.
Triple astericks (***) will precede statements
to indicate they contain an inconsistency, either
real or only apparent. Most will be referred to
in later portions of the text. Readers are advised
to refer back to them.
But first, to make some of the family relationships
and chronologies discussed in the interviews
easier to follow, here is a simple outline of their
background drawn from (P-B, 2-5), (J-3), and the book Blood of Innocents.
Pamela married Eddie Joe Hutchison in 1974.
Michael Wayne Hutchison was born on Dec. 11,
1974 in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Pamela and Joe were divorced in September of 1986.
A few days later, Pamela married Jack Echols .
Jack Echols adopted Michael and his sister Michelle
At the same time in 1989, Michael also had his
first name legally changed to Damien.
Sometime in 1991, Damien is introduced to Wiccan
beliefs by girlfriend Deanna Holcomb.
Pamela and Jack Echols are divorced in May of 1992.
On June 1, 1992, Damien was placed on a years
probation for a charge of breaking and entering
an abandoned house with girlfriend Deanna Holcomb,
whose parents had forbidden them to be together.
He was ordered sent to Charter Hospital in Little Rock, a mental health facility, for being suicidal. He was
discharged on June 25.
At the end of June, 1992, Damien, Pam, Michelle and
Pams mother Frances moved to Aloha, Oregon
to live with Eddie Joe.
On September 2nd, 1992, Damien got into an
argument with Eddie Joe over knives, and was
admitted to St. Vincents Hospital in Portland,
Oregon for fear he might be violent and suicidal.
After being released from St. Vincents a few days later,
Damien returned to West Memphis to live with his
adoptive father Jack. Damien was arrested upon
arrival for violating parole by leaving Oregon without
notifying authorities. He was re-admitted to Charter
Hospital and stayed two weeks. Afterwards, he lived
some of the time with Jack Echols, and some of the
time at the home of girlfriend Domini Teer and her mother
Pamela, Joe, Michelle, and Frances moved back to
West Memphis in February of 1993
Pamela remarried Joe Hutchison in late February of 1993.
Damiens and Michelles legal status as the adopted
children of Jack Echols is not changed by this.
Damien moved back in with Joe, Pam, Michelle
and his grandmother Frances upon their return to
Pamelas May 12th, 1993 interview given to Bryn Ridge:
1) ***In (P-A,6), Pam states that she and her
husband Joe separated on Tuesday, May 4th,
1993, in the afternoon. He has entirely moved
out of the trailer by 9 PM. The reason she gives
for this split is "Because of my ex-husband.
He [Joe] doesn't want him [Jack Echols] to
have anything to do with my children."
She describes Damien's reaction to the break-up
as crying. The break-up came about without a
significant fight, "just people upset".
2) In (P-A, 10 - 16), Pam gives her alibi for Damien
for the date of May 5th, 1993. It can be summarized
She took Damien to an appointment
at the East Arkansas Mental Health Center
(which she states he has on a regular basis,
because he was suicidal at one time (P-A,10)).
The visit ended just after noon. She and
Damien then drove to The Marion Discount
Pharmacy to drop off his prescription for
amecharine (actually imipramine, an anti-
manic-depression medication). ***She then
states (P-B, 12) that she did not pick-up
the filled prescription until Thursday morning,
Pam states (though is no sure) that she dropped
Damien off at Jasons trailer in Lakeshore Estates
around 1 PM. *** At approximately 3:45 PM.
she received a phone call from Damien saying that
he was at Alexanders Laundrymat on Missouri
Street with Domini Teer, his current girlfriend,
and asked to be picked up. He reported to her that
Jason had to mow his uncle Huberts
lawn, and that the visit was over. She picked
Damien and Domini up, dropped off Domini at
her trailer in Lakeshore, and was back home
with Damien by 4 oclock at their trailer on
South Grove Street..
*** Pam then states (P-A, 14) that sometime
over the course of the rest of the afternoon
some detectives (including Steve Jones) came
out to the trailer to question Damien. Incredulous,
Bryn Ridge says that there would be no reason
for this to have occurred that afternoon, since
Chris Byers, Michael Moore, and Steve Branch
were not missing yet. Pam admits to the mistake,
correcting herself by saying this did not occur
until the next day, Thursday, May 6th.
Pam states that no one left the trailer until 6 or
6:30 PM when they left to visit their friends
Randy and Susan Sanders in West Memphis.
Only a daughter was home, so they departed after
a few minutes. Damien stayed home the
rest of the evening.
*** During the evening, Pam states Damien
received two phone calls, one from a Jennifer
in Barlett, Mississippi, and one from Domini
Teer (P-A, 16). Damiens grandmother, who
mostly stays in her own room and watches
television, also received a phone call.
*** At the end of the evening Pam went to
bed, around midnight. Damien was in bed
at this time, as well.
*** Upon being asked by Ridge to clarify
who all went on the visit to the Sanders, Pam
states that it was she, her daughter Michelle,
Damien, and her husband Joe. This is an
anomaly, since previously she and Joe had
broken up the day before, May 4th, and that
he had moved out by 9 PM that same day.
Ridge does not ask to have this clarified.
***The following day, Thursday, May 6th, two
gentlemen including Steve Jones came out to
the trailer to question Damien and stayed till
shortly after noon. This is an anomaly/inconsistency
because in fact the bodies of the three murder victims
were not discovered until after 1 PM. Juvenile
Corrections Officer Steve Jones and WMPD Lt. James
Sudbury are on record as having visited Echols only
after the discovery of the bodies, whenupon Jones
had first raised the possibility of Damien as a suspect.
3) When asked by Ridge how she felt about her
sons white magic beliefs, Pam says Uh, I am not
real fond of it. But as long as I dont see that
hes hurting anyone, and he keeps it mostly to
himself, I dont have a problem with it.
*** She does not indicate that Damiens beliefs
are the source of any acrimony or concern
within the family (P-A, 19).
4) *** When asked by Ridge what is Damiens
reaction if he were not to take his medication,
Pam states that it makes him nauseated and
vomit, and It just makes him sick., (P-A, 22).
She describes his temper as only violent when he is continually pushed (P-A, 23). Later, (P-A, 29)
she reiterates that Damien is only violent
towards himself, not others. She mentions
without detail an incident which occurred between
him and Joe in Oregon, but adds, It was a lot
of screaming and hollering, but that was all that
5)*** When asked by Ridge if Damien suffered any
abuse as a child, Pam replies Mentally abused by
his adopted father [Jack Echols] (P-A, 24).
She goes to illustrate this by telling how Jack
Echols would scream and holler at Damien for
such things as tripping over a phone chord
or dropping a telephone. A short while later
in the interview, though, Pam describes the abuse as physical (P-A, 26), explaining the discrepancy
in her terminology to Ridge by saying . . . I felt
like, had I not been there,
it [physical abuse] would have resulted.
6) Near the end of the interview, Ridge says to Pam,
Where [sic] I to inform you that the time period of
when you picked him up at Alexanders has been
explained other, by other means and other witnesses
. . . between 7:30 and 8:00, are you steadfast that it
happened at about 3:30? (P-A, 31-32). Despite
hearing Ridge say this, Pam remains adamant it
was around 3:45 PM, and that these other people
do not know what they are talking about.
Turning to Pam Hutchisons September 10, 1993
interview with John Fogelman, we will examine
it both for inconsistencies with her prior statement
and as a source for perhaps new inconsistencies.
1) Pam now states that she picked up Damiens
prescription around 4:30 PM on the afternoon
of May 5th, not the morning of Thursday May 6th,
as she had previously stated to Ridge (P-B, 11).
This is a valid inconsistency, but Fogelman makes no
attempt to explore it.
2) The rest of her alibi for the afternoon remains
unchanged, except for new details. She reports
that Damien had to leave Jasons Uncle Hubert
Bartoushs property when Jason arrived there to
mow it, but does not elaborate. *** When asked
by Fogelman if Damien had talked to anybody while
there, she says, I believe he said he did speak
to Jasons Uncle (P-B, 13)
Some have identified this information as
evidence of lying on the part of both Pam and
Damien, because of a statement given to the
WMPD by Hubert Bartoush which can be found
on the WM3.org website. Bartoush states Jason
was there to mow the grass between 4 or 4:30
till 6:30, times he remembers by identifying what
was on TV. More importantly, Bartoush states
Jason was alone that day, though
Damien and a red-headed girl did accompany
Jason to his house on later occasions. Something
new Pam relates in the 9-10-93 interview, however,
may help make more credible her owns and Damiens recollection of events. She states Huberts house
is right around the corner from the laundrymat
where she received the phone call to pick Damien
up at 3:45 PM. Could it therefore be that Damien
and Domini accompanied Jason to the Bartoush
house and stayed briefly before making the
short walk to the laundrymat to place the call,
and Jasons Uncle simply could not remember their
being there, or perhaps was not out-doors at the
proper interval to see either he and Domini? It also
should be noted that Pam only said she thinks
Damien told her he talked to the uncle.
3) Pam states that, after picking up Damien and Domini
at 3:45 at Alexanders Laundrymat, she, Joe, Michelle,
Damien and Domini proceeded to the pharmacy to pick
up Damiens prescription. (P-B, 14). Domini is dropped
off, the Echols spend some time at home, and around
7:30 drop in at the home of Randy and Susan
Sanders, to be gret only by their daughter.
*** During their brief time there, Pam states
Damien sat on the couch with Joe and Michelle.
4) Once back at their trailer on South Grove, Pam
reports Damien was on the phone much of the time
between 7:30 PM and 10:30 PM. (P-B, 18) .
*** According to her, he talked to Jason, the girl
she did not know named Jennifer, a girl named
Holly and Domini Teer. This is inconsistent with
her interview on May 12th, 1993, where she only
describes Damien being on the phone with Jennifer
It has been pointed out by non-supporters
of The West Memphis Three that this information
is inconsistent with the details contained in a
statement given by Jennifer Bearden September
10th,1993, available at the WM3.org website,
wherein Jennifer says that she called the Echols
residence at about 8 PM, and was told by Pams
mother (Damiens grandmother) that Damien
was not home. However, Pam has included in
her interview a statement that the grandmother
sits in her bedroom and watches TV (P-B, 17).
It seems possible Damien may in fact have been
home and she was simply not aware
of this. It is also possible that the Echols family
had not yet returned home yet from the Sanders.
Jennifers statement does contain one
other serious conflict with Pams account. Jennifer
states that somewhere in between 4:15 and 5,
something like that 5, 5:30 , she called Jasons
trailer, and talked to both Jason and Damien.
According to Pam,Damien was with her during
the entire range of times Jennifer offers. Whether
confusion over times and flawed recollecting is
at the heart of this or not, it is an inconsistency.
5) Fogelman questions Pam about her temporary
separation from Joe (P-B, 19). This time, Pam
states that the (temporary as it turned out)
break-up occurred on May 9th, the date of Joes
birthday, instead of the day prior to the murders.
She explains that she can now remember there was
a birthday cake on the table during the day in question.
The case for this being the truth is reinforced
by the fact that, in her May 12th statement, Pam
did indeed tell Byrn Ridge Joe accompanied her,
Damien and Michelle to the Sanders. It would not
make sense for Joe to be on this trip if the separation
had indeed occurred on May 4th.
6) Pam now claims to Fogelman that she went to bed
a little after 11 PM on the fifth, instead of midnight as
previously stated (P-B, 21). This may not be much of
an inconsistency, but in the interests of being
complete it should be included.
Turning now to the Eddie Joe Hutchison September
10th interview given to John Fogelman, we will
examine it for inconsistencies with either of
Pams interviews, as well as a few other pertinent
1) Joe offers Fogelman his version of the events
which occurred the previous September in Oregon
leading to his calling the police on Damien
and hospitalizing him (J, 4-7 [page 5 missing]).
Damiens grandmother reported to Joe she had
seen Damien carry a knife from a kitchen drawer
into his bedroom. Joe enters Damiens room to
confront him over this and search for it, but does
not find the knife. Joe describes Damien as
resentful his father had taken the grandmothers
word over his own. (Much later in the evening,
as it turns out, Joe finds a spoon on the floor
of the bedroom Damien had taken to eat ice
cream, and suggests that in hindsight this is
what he believes the grandmother saw him take).
At some point, being highly upset, Damien straps
up to three knives from his collection and shuts
himself up in his bedroom. Concerned,
and aware of his sons history of mental
disturbance, Joe calls the police. Before they
can arrive, however, Joe enters the bedroom,
sits down on the bed with Damien, and talks
to him. Damien says he is not going to let the
police take him alive. However, he calmly hands
over the knives upon request.
Joe states to Fogelman that he did not fear
for his own safety. You know, Damien wouldnt
hurt me. Joe does say, however, that he was
concerned Damiens anger might explode.
Joe states that the only altercation that
occurred between he and Damien happened later
at the hospital, when he stepped in between
Damien and someone in the waiting room in
order to prevent a fight between them. He does
not report what Damien said to him during this.
Joes account to Fogelman has been cited
for several inconsistencies based on the
admittance papers he filed that evening at St.
Vincents Hospital. These papers have been
examined by non-supporters of the West Memphis
Three, and they claim it portrays a far more
violent picture of the events of that evening.
Allegedly, Joe and Pam Hutchinson tell
mental health workers they no longer want Damien
to live with them. Non-supporters proffer this to
explain why Damien was sent by bus back to
Arkansas as soon as he was released from St.
Vincent. Also, the St. Vincent papers allegedly
contain threats made by Damien to Joe, contain
the parents concern about their sons involvement with satanism, which Pam denied to Ridge in
her May 12th statement, and contain their
concerns for their own safety around him.
It can be argued emotions certainly got
out of hand that evening. Also, the information
told admission case workers at mental health
facilities may often be exaggerated or presented
over-simplistically in order to further the chances
of the person in question being allowed admission,
or their problems treated more seriously.
Given time and perspective, a cooler evaluation
of what actually occurred may be responsible for
the tempering Joe gives the story when he
relates it to Fogelman. But the accounts do
2) Joe essentially repeats Pams version of the
events of May 5th, 1993. However, he says he
cannot remember one way or the other whether
Damien accompanied he, Pam and Michelle to the
Sanders that evening (J, 17). He remembers sitting
on the Sanders couch with Pam, but does not say
he sat on the couch with Damien and Michelle, as
Pam had described to Fogelman. He thinks they
arrived home from the Sanders around 7 PM
3) Joe states that he remembers Damien was
home that evening because he can remember
Damien talking on the telephone . At 10:30 PM,
he told Pam, No more phone calls tonight..
It was 10:30. To me, it was too late for phone
calls (J, 20).
4) Joe states that, from what he can recall, he
temporarily separated from Pam somewhere
around the middle of May (J, 21-22). This may
have only been offered as an estimate, but it is
inconsistent with both of Pams statements, where
she places it at either May 4th or May 9th.
However, the couple will have had to have been
separated by the time Pam informed Ridge of the
split during her May 12th interview, so it may be
argued that it is still more likely May 9th is closer
to the actual date than May 4th , since the 9th
is closer to the middle of a month than the 4th,
and Joe remembers still being home the date
of the 5th, when the visit to the Sanders occurred.
I believe these are the major inconsistencies to
be found in the three statements Ragencajun
has provided. I also believe it is fair to suggest
at least a fair portion of these inconsistencies can be attributed to honest confusion on the part of
Pam, or Joe, or both. Whether they all
can be, or whether some are the result of
prevarication by parents trying to shield a son,
is something we can probably only debate, and
never know for sure.
And finally, whether an absolutely verifiable alibi
is necessary for a defense of innocence is another
consideration we must not lose sight of, either.
(from a very good post on yuku/ ChrisW)