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Damien Wayne Echols, Jessie Loyd Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Charles Baldwin, collectively known as the West Memphis Three, were three teenagers suspected of murdering three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993. The case eventually became highly controversial as to whether they were guilty or not. In 2011, after serving 18 years and 78 days in prison, they were all released after negotiating a guilty plea with the prosecution.

Case History


Modus Operandi




Known Victims

  • May 5, 1993: West Memphis, Arkansas:
    • Steve Edward Branch, 8 (possibly, died of multiple injuries and drowning)
    • Christopher Mark Byers, 8 (possibly, died of multiple injuries)
    • James Michael Moore, 8 (possibly, died of multiple injuries and drowning)

On Criminal Minds

  • Season One
    • "The Popular Kids" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, the West Memphis Three may have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Cory Bridges - All were killers (possibly in the Three's case) who killed at least two young victims in a ritualistic manner (though the ritualistic aspect was only alleged by the prosecution in the Three's case), and the initial suspect in the case was the leader of a cult-like Satanic group.
  • Season Eleven