Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Food For Thought

Recently, on Larry King Live, Larry did an interview with a death row inmate named Damien Echols. Fifteen years ago, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were convicted of the murder of three Arkansas boys. At the time of their arrest Damien was 18, Jason was 16 and Jessie was 18. They were not convicted on any physical evidence basically; they were all convicted on the confession of 18 year old Jessie Misskelley and satanic panic (the three were fans of the rock band Metallica).


You may be wondering what this has to do with a personal medical blog? Well, there are a few reasons why I am posting this. Jessie Misskelley, the boy who confessed to the crime, is mentally challenged has an IQ of around 72. Anything below 70 is considered mentally retarded. As readers of my blog may know, I have a child with Autism. Anyone familiar with Autism knows that you don’t get an accurate IQ with people with autism no matter how functioning the autistic. My child has an IQ test around 74 and is quite verbal and high functioning. Yet, several years ago we were watching a movie and eating popcorn and Twizzlers. When we ran out of the Twizzlers, my oldest child (jokingly) asked my autistic child “why did you eat all of the Twizzlers?” His reply was “I didn’t mean to.” This was a child just trying to give his sister an answer to a question. Many mentally challenged people have been wrongfully convicted on their own confessions.

If you are not familiar with this case “The West Memphis Three” it is very interesting. I first learned of the case several years ago from watching the HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. The first time that my husband and I watched the movie, we caught it in the middle and thought that it was a “docudrama.” The story was so off the wall, we thought that for sure that it had to have been made up. At the end of the movie, we hit the info button on the remote to find out the name of the movie and when it was on again to watch the entire movie. To our surprise, it was a documentary and not a docudrama. After only watching the second half of the movie, we were convinced that Damien, Jason and Jessie did not commit the murders and could not have committed them. When we watched the entire movie, we were just incensed in the injustice and left thinking that it was one of the parents who committed the murders. The entire case is a bit strange. Later they came out with a second movie called “Paradise Lost 2: Revelations” I highly recommend that you watch both movies. They will make you think twice about the death penalty.



Back to the Larry King interview, finally they have come up with new evidence. DNA that is not linked to any of the three young men convicted of the murders. Hopefully, they will find the true killer or killer’s of the three little boys who did not disserve to die is such a horrific way and Damien, Jason and Jessie can regain their freedom.

Here are some ways that you can help and information on the case:

The WM3 official site

Link for banners to put on your blog

Links to the victims’

West Memphis Three on YouTube





2 comments:

Jennifer said...

Great blog. This is not truly on point but did you ever read the books, Daniel Keyes' Flowers for Algernon or Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. In Of Mice and Men, one of the characters "accidentally" killed a person but they had an IQ of about 70. I wonder if this was someone with autism.

Although in the book, I do not recall exactly what they had, but the characteristics are similar to autism. Seems as though some writers in the past wrote the characters with autism characteristics, but they label these individuals as retarded.

Just something to think about.

txmedicalfreak said...

Hi, thanks for the comment! I do not remember if I have read this book or not? I know from my own experience that "verbal" and higher autistic people are harder to get a label of Autism that the "stereotypical" autistic people that are non-verbal and do lots of autistic things. My son was 7 before he got labeled. Maybe, hopefully some day they will have a test (blood or other) to diagnose autism. And then a cure! I do think that there are a lot of misdiagnosed people out there with lots of dieses and disorders.

Labels