A Twilight Kill, Part Four: The
Anthony Hollingsworth, recent.
In spite of the obsession of some officials,
there was very little to connect Echols to the crime. One intriguing
bit of evidence came from Narlene Hollingsworth and her family who gave
statements that on the night of the disappearance they drove past
Echols who was walking with his girlfriend, Domini Teer, not far from
where the bodies were discovered.
Narlene Hollingsworth played multiple roles in the
case, claiming she had a conversation with the victims shortly before
they disappeared and providing an alibi for one of the accused. She was
the mother of one potential suspect and the aunt of another.
At about 9:30 pm, Narlene loaded up her station
wagon with family. While approaching the Blue Beacon Truck Wash, she
and several family members said she saw her niece, Domini, and Damien
Echols walking together alongside the Service Road.
Narlene would testify this occurred on May fifth,
the night the children disappeared but also said that it happened two
days before she gave her statement on the tenth. Her son, Anthony,
would also testify and have trouble with the
Davidson: When did you say you
went and talked with the police about this?
Anthony: Very next day.
[Anthony Hollingsworth testimony, Echols/Baldwin trial]
After being presented with his signed statement
dated May 25th, 1993, Anthony changed his time frame.
Davidson: May the 25th is when
you talked to 'em?
Anthony: Yes. [ibid]
The presence of Damien and Domini on the Service
Road a short distance from where the bodies were found represented a
problem for the prosecution. Domini was not being presented as part of
the crime and her alibi was solid for the time she was supposedly seen
on the road. The prosecution put forth that the Hollingsworths mistook
defendant Jason Baldwin for Domini.
Baldwin's attorney, Paul Ford, protested the claim
Your Honor, we're asking for that instruction. This witness identified
Damien and Domini at the roadside. There is no testimony whatsoever
from either of these last two witnesses that Jason was there and the -
you know good and well that the state is going to argue that she's
wrong and that she is really seeing Jason and that's speculation,
Judge David Burnett: I don't
know, I'm just saying that -
Ford: - Just junk and what
doing, Judge, is you're allowing them to do that. [Hollingsworth
testimony, Echols/Baldwin trial]
Narlene was adamant about who she
saw. ''I wouldn't change my story if I was dying,'' said Hollingsworth,
a resident of the Lakeshore Estates trailer park. ''I know that
freckled-faced, red-headed girl anywhere. It was Domini - not a
boy." [Memphis Commercial Appeal, September 28, 1993]
prosecution contended the Hollingsworth family mistook Jason (right)
for Domini (left).
A Compromising Past
Anthony Hollingsworth had a dark secret, he
arrested for unlawful carnal knowledge with a minor. The defense
attempted to bring this out, as a potential reason why he and Narlene
might want to point to someone else as the killer. Narlene
Hollingsworth testified, "He [Anthony] lives in a camper...He eats with
me but he stays in the camper. He has to." [Narlene Hollingsworth testimony,
The defense was not
to pursue the reason why, with the judge offering grounds for
Judge Burnett: Are you
objecting to relevancy?
Prosecutor Fogleman: I'm
objecting to the relevancy.
Burnett: Sustained. [ibid]
Was Anthony a viable suspect? In spite of living far
from the victims, Narlene recounted a connection to the Hobbs family.
Sombra Joy was present in the car with Anthony and Narlene. Regarding a
roadtrip earlier in the day, Narlene recalled, "[Sombra] said, 'Oh, I
know them.' I said, 'You don't know them, they live over here and we
way over there [snip]' She said, 'No, I really do, that's Steve Branch,
I play with him everyday.'" [Narlene Hollingsworth statement] Narlene
recalled being told the victims
were missing at 6:30 pm, hours even before all of the victims' family
The self-appointed detective.
Victoria Hutchison was at the police station
with writing bad checks when she heard of the discovery of the
victims. She took it upon herself to investigate the murders. "She said
she was trying to play detective because she had heard that Damien was
involved in devil worship and she thought it might be connected to the
murders." [June 2nd, Victoria Hutchison, police notes.]
Prosecutor Fogleman: Did
you do any particular things to try to gain Damien’s confidence?
Hutchison: I had went to
the library. Don Bray, the police [chief] at Marion, had given me his
card to check out some satanic books because they can’t be
checked out just by normal -
Fogelman: All right.
[Victoria Hutchison testimony, Misskelley trial]
Unfortunately, the prosecutor interrupted her before
allowing her to explain what she meant by this bizarre assertion.
Eventually her investigations would involve wearing
a wire and trying to attend cult meetings. She would give
various and contradictory accounts of what happened there and would be
the only witness to testify to the existence of the cult. In spite of
her claim to have become close to Damien to infiltrate the cult, she
said she never encountered Jason Baldwin.
While Victoria Hutchison's detective escapades made
for an interesting sideshow, her eight year old son took center stage.
Aaron underwent a series of bizarre police interviews, each becoming
more elaborate than the last. In spite of the fact that the statements
negated one another and contradicted his mother's early assertions he
at home the afternoon and evening of the murders, he was brought back
for more interviews up until the time of the trials.
In his first statement to the police, dated May
tenth, Aaron said he witnessed one of the victims being abducted by a
in a maroon car. In a June 2nd interview he said he witnessed the
murders by unknown attackers. After the three teenagers were arrested,
he identified the accused as the killers. In subsequent statements he
said that he was forced to take part in the murders and, on another
occasion, stated he witnessed Mark Byers help murder the children. He
was placed on the witness list for the prosecution, but not called to
Victoria Hutchison later recanted her testimony,
saying that she had not been to a cult meeting and probably just slept
the night drunk on her lawn. She has apologized for her role in the
Aaron Hutchison leading his mother,
Victoria, and police to the crime scene.
Continued in, A Twilight
Kill, Part Five: Return of the Moon.