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During the recent Toronto International Film Festival,
FANGORIA caught WEST OF MEMPHIS, Amy Berg’s riveting documentary about the West
Memphis Three (see our review here).
Since then, I had the unique chance to talk with one of those trio of victims
of the tragic miscarriage of justice: Damien Echols (also a MEMPHIS
co-producer), a kid who—like all of us outsider horror fans—just loved
monsters, dark fantasy, weird music and antiestablishment culture…and, through
a terrible stroke of circumstance, paid dearly for it.
Echols, along with fellow West Memphis, Arkansas teens Jason
Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., spent 18 years in prison for a sickening
crime they did not commit. Now free men (though due to a technicality, guilt
still stains their records), the three have ventured their separate ways to
heal the past and find their futures. And Echols, whose new autobiography LIFE
AFTER DEATH was just published by Blue Rider Press, not only never gave up on
the hope of freedom despite seemingly impossible odds, but never lost his love
for the strange, fantastic and macabre. In fact, his love of all things odd stems
from a childhood interest in our very periodical, FANGORIA.
Below is an exclusive audio clip from that interview; pick
up FANGORIA #319 (on sale in December) to read the entire chat with Echols,
which doesn’t dwell on the horrors of his life in prison but rather on that
very affection for the arcane that he never, ever let go of.
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