A Look Back At West Memphis In 1993 After The Brutal Murders of Three Young Boys - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

A Look Back At West Memphis In 1993 After The Brutal Murders of Three Young Boys

Jonesboro, AR -- "I can't bury my baby, then I found out that my worst nightmare of this lifetime happened," said Pam Hobbs in a 1993 interview. 

Pam Hobbs is the mother of Steve Branch.

The disappearance, search, and brutal murders of Steve Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore garnered national attention and attracted media on every level.

The crime turned West Memphis Arkansas into a place paralyzed with fear.

It put Region 8 on the map as the scene of a triple murder mystery.  

"Well I heard stuff about cults, and kids who play back there talk about how they would find animals cut up," said one West Memphis resident from an interview in 1993.

Within a month of the boys deaths, three teens would be arrested and charged with their murders.

Former KAIT anchor and reporter Jim Taylor spent hours covering this story from the boys disappearance....

"It was so surreal to think that something like that could happen in your own neighborhoods," said Taylor.

To the painful courtroom testimony,

"It's terrifying to think that there is that much rage inside someone that that could be done to three young children," said Taylor.

...and the eventual convictions of Damien Echols, Jessie Miskelly, and Jason Baldwin -- known today as the West Memphis Three.  

"That jury came to a conclusion that those three boys were responsible for what happened. The jury heard all of the evidence. 15 years later, it's very easy to Monday morning quarterback. Hindsight is very easy when you have had the benefit of 15 years. It all goes back to the jury making the best decision they could at the time the evidence was presented to them," said Taylor.

Constant questions are still being raised about whether or not the jury convicted the right people.

Each time questions are raised old wound are opened....  

"After I asked the lord if I could speak to him from time to time I said son did you have to suffer and he said momma Jesus got me real quick," said Pam Hobbs in a 1993 interview.

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