Author of "Life after death" about his being wrongly imprisoned and sentenced to death in West Memphis, Arkansas. The movie West of Memphis, directed by Amy J. Berg and produced by Peter Jackson, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Damien Wayne Echols (born Michael Wayne Hutchison on Dec. 11, 1974) was on death row, along with two others collectively known as the West Memphis Three. After their attorneys and the judge handling the upcoming retrial agreed to a deal, they were released from prison under the Alford guilty plea in 2011. In 1999, he married Lorri Davis while he was in prison.
Since his release, he has published a non-fiction book about both his childhood and incarceration, Life After Death, which includes material from Echols' previous memoir entitled, Almost Home: My Life Story, Vol. 1, self-published while in prison. Echols has relocated to Salem, Massachusetts with his wife. He stated in an interview with Piers Morgan, that he would like to have a career in writing and the visual arts.
As well as Echols' own book, there have been a number of books, including Blood of Innocents by Guy Reel, The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in support of the West Memphis Three, edited by Brett A. Savory, and Devil's Knot: the true story of the West Memphis Three by Marat Leveritt, which also argue that the suspects were wrongly convicted.
HBO has made some documentaries about the West Memphis Three, including the Paradise Lost Trilogy. In January of 2010, the CBS television news journal 48 Hours aired "The Memphis 3" an in depth coverage of the history of the case including interviews with Echols and supporters.
While in prison, Damien was ordained into the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition. Damien teaches classes on magick around the country and works as a visual artist. His artwork entails glyphs, sigils, and symbols designed to bypass the conscious mind and speak directly to the subconscious, combining magick techniques with his own alphabet and writing system to break down concepts and scenarios into abstract designs. He and Lorri live in New York City with their three cats. His new book, High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row came out in 2018.
Life after death D. Echols
Paradise Lost Trilogy HBO Films