Saturday, February 27, 2010

Johnny Depp speaks for WM3

Johnny Depp will be speaking tonight on 48 Hours Mystery about the West Memphis Three.

The CBS station was expecting this actor to be promoting his new movie, "Alice in Wonderland," which has just been released. Instead, much to everyone's surprise, he wants to tell us about three teenagers who have been wrongly accused of murder, in hopes of having this case re-opened. There are other actors, including Winona Ryder, who are also supporting this effort, as well as some musicians.

In a miscarriage of justice that compares to the Salem Witch Trials, a small town in Arkansas just across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee, responds to a gruesome murder of three 8-year-old boys. But 20th century forensic science plays no apparent role in the investigation, and they find no physical evidence to convict the three teenagers, yet they managed to do it anyway. A superstitious community in "Satanic Panic" desperately clings to the belief that teenagers who wear black clothes and listen to heavy metal music must be worshipping the devil, who requires innocent human sacrifice. All evidence which suggest otherwise is completely ignored.

For a 14-page detailed account of the West Memphis Three case, go here.

For a good one page account of this case, go here.

To see how the good folks at Facebook are responding to all of this, go here.!/search/?flt=1&q=west%20memphis%203&gl=1&lo=en_US&sid=1847184243.1482459098..1

I usually watch AMW on Saturday nights, but this time I am looking forward to hearing what Johnny Depp has to say on 48 Hours. It would surely please me a great deal if my readers would watch this show and comment on it here.
UPDATE March 1st
If you want to know how people have responded to this episode, and to this case, you will find some good examples in here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Do we have Somer's killer?

Somer Thompson went missing just a few months ago, on October 19, 2009, from Orange Park, Florida. Her body was found 2 days later in a landfill in Folkston, Georgia, just north of the state line, about 50 miles from home. Somer was 7 years old, and was walking home from school when she went missing.

Just the other day, on Thursday February 11, 2010, Jarred Mitchell Harrell was arrested in Meridian, Mississippi, for 29 counts of possession of child pornography. It must be understood that this man was not arrested in connection with Somer's murder, but he has been named a 'person of interest' by Clay County Sheriff Rick Breseler, who has declined to give further details pending the investigation.

What we do know about Jarred Harrell is that until recently he was living in Orange Park, somewhere between where Somer lived and where she went to school. A child who Somer often walked with said she sometimes stopped at a house to pat a friendly dog. Is this the same house where Mr. Harrel lived? We don't know, at least not yet.

It seems Mr. Harrell got into a bit of trouble with the people he was living with, and they asked him to leave. Harrell left a computer behind, which was found to contain child pornography, and was turned over to the police.

Some say he did it, some say he didn't, and some want to send him to hell right away. It seems the whole town of Orange Park loved Somer Thompson, who was described as a sweet kid who had a hug for everyone she meets, including the school crossing guards. Somer made the mile long walk to and from school every day with her siblings and friends, where all the parents thought it was a safe neighborhood for kids to walk. Until last October, no one had any reason to be afraid. Nearly everyone in town attended Somer's candlelight vigil and her funeral.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thank You News 14

Today is the day I've been waiting for.

News 14 Carolina has interviewed me and my friends, Joy and Chris, on the story of our missing friend Debbie Key.

For those of us who do not get this cable channel, you can see it here.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Groundhog Day

While folks in Pennsylvania have their Punxsutawney Phil, we in North Carolina have our Sir Walter Wally. Every year on this day, Wally makes his appearance at the NC Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, NC, our state capitol.

40 days after Christmas, the second day of February marks the halfway point between the first day of winter (Solstice) and the first day of spring. (Equinox) Tradition holds that if this day is cloudy, spring will soon be here, and if this day is sunny, winter will prevail for another 6 weeks.

Some consider Groundhog Day an American holiday, but it didn't start here. In the Old World it is the European hedgehog who comes out of hibernation on this day to check on the weather. Being a small animal with his head close to the ground, he can't look up to see the sky, so he looks for his shadow on the ground to see if it's sunny or cloudy. German immigrants in Pennsylvania , finding there are no hedgehogs here, decided the American groundhog would make a suitable substitute.

February 2nd is observed as Candlemas in other parts of the world, and before Christian times it was called Imbolc. It is a time of celebration for the lengthening of days, and the new plants that appear when the snow is gone, a sign of new life.