Satanic Panic in the South Essay

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Satanic Panic in the South

On the evening of May 5, 1993, three boys from West Memphis, Arkansas, were last seen riding their bikes together. In the early evening, Chris Byers' stepfather, John Mark Byers, reported that his stepson had not come home and he was becoming worried. The police were also notified of two other boys who had been with Chris and were considered missing, Michael Moore, and Stevie Branch. The police and the parents of the missing children searched the neighborhood unsuccessfully until 3AM the next morning. The bodies of the three eight year old boys were discovered in a wooded area in Robin Hood Hills the next day at 1:30 PM. The boys had been hog-tied and severely beaten. Their naked bodies were located
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The actions and reactions to this crime are classic examples of how rumors are passed on as the truth. Webster's defines 'witch hunt' as an intensive effort to discover and expose those who are disloyal, subversive, etc.…. on the basis of slight or doubtful evidence. The case and trial of the West Memphis Three was a present day 'witch hunt'. Since the early 1980's, many police officers have attended seminars on Satanic Ritual Abuse and Murder. People have been taught that an underground network of Satanic cults kidnap, torture, and kill children in their rituals; however, there has been no evidence found to substantiate these claims. A juvenile probation officer that was present at the crime scene behind the Blue Beacon felt this scene was a prime example of Satanic Ritual Murder. This officer had recently attended a conference on Satanism in today's society, so the thought of satanic criminals was fresh in his mind. The officer immediately felt there was only one person in their community that would be capable of committing a crime that revolved around satanic worship. From this point forward, the prime suspect was Damien Echols. The police investigation focused on the belief that Damien was a leader of a satanic cult. The parents of the murdered children were becoming angrier by the day because the police did not have any leads in the case. Although there was no hard evidence linking Damien

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