first appeared in The Rocket, December 1999

Free the West Memphis 3

Besides their ongoing rock 'n' roll campaign, another cause the Supersuckers have taken up is the freedom of the "West Memphis Three," three teenagers from West Memphis, Arkansas who, in 1994, were found guilty of the brutal, 1993 slayings of three 8-year old boys.

According to the Supersuckers, and WM3 supporters, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly were unjustly arrested, tried and convicted for the crimes. The subjects of an HBO documentary, Paradise Lost, the three teens were allegedly targeted by police because they wore black, had long hair, listened to Metallica and had interests in Wicca, despite strong evidence suggesting the crimes were committed by someone else. Echols is on death row, while Baldwin and Misskelly are serving life sentences.

"I could understand their situation," says Eddie Spaghetti, "I could be walking near a crime scene, dressed in rock clothes and they can think I did something. And then come over to my house and look at my books, check out my record collection and see the videos I have and think, 'Well, this guy is sick, he must have done it.' And that's essentially what happened to these kids."

During the last year the Supersuckers have been circulating literature on the case to heighten awareness. Along with band manager, Danny Bland, they're also organizing a benefit compilation album, featureing themselves, Gerald Collier, Mark Lanegan, Rocket from the Crypt and others, with proceeds benefiting a suppoert fund fo the WM3 and their families. The album is due out in April on Aces & Eights recordings and will coincide with the release of Paradise Revisited, the sequel to Paradise Lost.

Presently, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelly are appealing their convictions. For more information about the case, log onto or
--Joe Ehrbar