IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
NATALIE PASDAR, et al.,
CV NO.: 4-09-CV-0008BSM
DECLARATION OF JO LYNN MCCAUGHEY
I, Jo Lynn McCaughey, declare as follows:
1. "My name is Jo Lynn McCaughey. I am over the age of 21 and competent to give this declaration.
2. All of the information set forth herein is within my personal knowledge and is true and correct.
3. On May 6, 1993, the bodies of Steven Branch (who was nicknamed "Stevie"), Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, were discovered in the Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Arkansas. The boys had been murdered.
4. I am the sister of Pam Hobbs ("Pam"). Pam is the mother of Stevie. At the time of the murders, Pam was married to Terry Hobbs ("Terry"). I have known Terry throughout his marriage to Pam (from the mid-1980s to 2004) up to the present.
5. The press and public have been very inquisitive about the murders of the boys and the subsequent trial of three teenagers for the murders. The teenagers who were
tried and convicted of the murders have been called the "West Memphis 3." News organizations from all over the world have covered the story of the murders, the trials, the West Memphis 3, the families of the victims, and the effect the murders and whole ordeal has had on the families.
6. Soon after the murders, the national television show America's Most Wanted did a story on the murders of Stevie, Christopher and Michael. I have seen statements by the West Memphis Police Department that after the show aired they received a great number of phone calls and leads on the case.
7. The Geraldo Show, another national television show, also did a show on the murders, the victims, the families of the victims, and the West Memphis 3. Both Pam and Terry were on this episode of The Geraldo Show in 1994. Attached here to as Exhibit 1 is a true and correct copy of the transcript of that show.
8. My family has received, and Pam and Terry in particular have received, a huge volume of letters and cards from people all over the world expressing their sympathy and interest in the case. Even Bill Clinton, the president of the United States, sent Pam and Terry a letter expressing his sympathy over their loss. We have also been contacted for interviews by countless news organizations, magazines and other media outlets from all over the world. Numerous websites including TV and newspaper sites, have stories on the events, on Pam and Terry and the other parents, on the victims, on the West Memphis 3, on the trials and on theories of the case.
9. I know Terry has been repeatedly contacted by the media, and he has willingly appeared on television and given interviews to the media to discuss the murders, his whereabouts on May 5 and 6, 1993, the trials of the West Memphis 3 and the effect of those events on him and his family. The press has always been interested in Terry as it relates to the case, the murders, the events, the trials and the families, and Terry has willingly talked to press and the public many times about the events.
10. The press and public interest in the victims, the victims' families, the West Memphis 3, the trials, and the events surrounding the murders has continued from 1993 to the present.
11. The cable network HBO showed two documentaries about the Murders and the trials, called Paradise Lost, Parts I and II. Those documentaries received a lot of attention and press, and made the murders, trials, victims and victims' families even more well known.
12. In 2006, Terry and Pam entered into a deal with Dimension Films to sell their story and Stevie's story to Dimension Films. It is my understanding that Dimension Films bought those rights so they could make a movie about Stevie, Pam and Terry, the murders, the West Memphis 3 and the trials. The agreement with Dimension Films also gave Dimension Films permission to use information from any book that Terry or Pam wrote. Terry and Pam each got $12,500 for signing the agreement. Representatives of Dimension Films interviewed Terry and Pam to get background for the movie. Attached as Exhibits 2 and 3 are true and correct copies of the transcripts of the interviews that Dimension Films did with Pam and Terry. I know about the contract, the rights, the money and the interviews because Terry and Pam each told me about them.
13. The public's interest in the events related to the murders went way up in 2007, when the defense team for Damien Echols filed a request for release of Damien based on new evidence. The new evidence included evidence that DNA from one hair that had been found in the ligature binding one of the victims was consistent with the hair of Terry and that DNA from another hair found at the murder scene was consistent with the hair of Terry's friend, David Jacoby.
14. Other new evidence was provided by me. I was at Pam and Terry's house on May 6, 1993. I personally saw Terry wash clothes, bed linens and curtains at an odd hour. It was very strange to me that he would do all of that laundry at such a horrible time. It was also strange that he was not just washing the dirty laundry, but was also taking clothes out of the dresser drawers and washing those, too. It was my opinion that there was no other reason or pressing need that I am aware of for Terry to do that laundry at that time other than to hide evidence of the crimes.
15. Also in 2003, I was with Pam when we found numerous knives in Terry's nightstand. I showed the knives to my father, Jackie Hicks, Sr. and he recognized one of the knives as a pocketknife he had given to Stevie that Stevie always had with him. Pam had been surprised that the knife was not found with Stevie's body. When I showed the knife to my father and told him that Terry had it, my father was devastated. I was again immediately concerned that Terry was somehow involved in the murders.
16. Terry also made comments about the murders that made me uncomfortable and made me question his involvement. In 2003 or 2004, Terry asked me if I felt like he had murdered Stevie. I asked him why he was questioning me like that. He said he wanted to know. I told him that if he asked me then I was going to tell him what I truly felt. I told him I believed he was involved in Stevie's murder either directly or indirectly. He told me that hurt his feelings. Then we were talking about whether Christopher Byers had been mutilated, and Terry said the pathologist had said the cut was so precise that if it wasn't done by a surgeon perhaps it was done by a jeweler. My husband is a jeweler, so I said that theory did not quite fit. I looked at him, and Terry then said, something like, "You know I've got experience from working in a slaughterhouse, don't you?"
17. In May of 2007, investigators for the West Memphis 3 interviewed me and I told them about the laundry, the knife and other concerns I had about Terry.
18. On or about June 19, 2007 I met with the West Memphis Police Department for a formal interview about my concerns about Terry and whether he was involved in the murder of Stevie and the other little boys. I believe that my interview has been public and available for people and the press to access since that time. A true and copy of that interview is attached hereto as Exhibit 4.
19. I told the West Memphis Police Department on or about June 19, 2007 about my concerns and suspicions about Terry Hobbs and whether he was involved in the murder of Stevie and the other little boys.
20. In July and August of 2007, Pam gave interviews to the press and in those interviews she stated that she believed that Terry was involved in the murders. Also in those interviews, Pam discussed the fact that Terry waited until 9 p.m. to tell her that Stevie was missing, the discovery of the pocketknife in Terry's things, and the chronology of events on May 5, 1993.
21. Also in June of 2007, the West Memphis police interviewed Terry. The West Memphis Police Department made that interview of Terry available to the public and press. There were many newspaper reports following Terry's interview which discuss the fact that the West Memphis police had interviewed Terry. Additionally, the video of the interview of Terry was posted on the Internet and can be easily located by doing a Google search of Terry Hobbs and the West Memphis Police.
22. In the 2007 police interview, Terry claims he and Pam saw a suspicious black man on May 6, 1993. At no time since the murders have Terry or Pam ever mentioned to me seeing a black man on May 5 or May 6, 1993.
23. In October 2007, I gave an interview to the press in which I stated, "Terry Hobbs had the motive. Terry Hobbs is the one suspected of murder and the wounds that
were inflicted on my nephew where turtles bit his face. No knives and no weapons were used."
24. In sum, I have informed Terry, I have informed the newspapers (in October of 2007), I have informed the West Memphis 3 investigators (in May of 2007) and I informed the West Memphis Police Department (in June of 2007) that I believe that it is possible that Terry was involved in the murders of Stevie and the other little boys.
25. Damien Echols' lawyers and the West Memphis 3 spread the word out in the press and the news about this new evidence - the DNA, the laundry, the knife, and the fact that the police had interviewed Terry among other things - and about their filing to get Damien Echols out of prison or a new trial. Echols' defense team held a big press conference in late October of 2007, on the new evidence and the filing and it was covered by press from all over the country.
26. Many newspapers carried the story of the new evidence, of the police interviews of Terry, of Damien Echols' court filing, of the DNA findings, and of the suspicions of whether Terry was involved in the murders. All of the new evidence and Echols' filing, starting in July of 2007, caused an intense new wave of publicity on the murders, the trials, the West Memphis 3, and, of course, Terry Hobbs.
27. My family and I personally witnessed all this attention and press because I saw it, and we got requests for interviews from the press, news organizations and others regarding the new evidence and the filing.
28. Starting in approximately July 2007, Terry was even more in the spotlight than before because he was so involved in the new evidence - the DNA which was consistent with him and his friend, his possession of Stevie's prized knife, doing the laundry at odd hours and being interviewed by the West Memphis police.
29. Terry hired a spokesman to talk to the press. The spokesperson gave interviews to a number of news organizations and willingly talked to them about Terry and
the murders. Numerous articles ran regarding his spokesperson's conversations with the press in which he addressed Terry's possible involvement in the murders based on the new evidence and on the Damien Echols' filing and on the information put forward by the Echols team. The spokesman was Ross Sampson. Ross Sampson was the entertainment lawyer that negotiated an agreement in which Terry and Pam sold the rights to their story to Dimension Films.
30. Also around that time, Terry gave interviews to media where he himself talked about the new evidence and whether he was involved in the murders. I saw and read many of these articles, and Terry said that the West Memphis 3 defense team had ruined his reputation by bringing forward all of the new evidence. On many occasions prior to July 2007, Terry has told many people that my family has ruined his reputation because we believe he was involved in the murders. I've also seen statements from Terry where he says the West Memphis 3 defense team has ruined his reputation and life.
31. I have a copy of a book handwritten by Terry Hobbs which I found in some of Pam's things. I read it. It is about the murders, the events, the trials, his whereabouts on the night in question and how he has been affected by all the events. The book is strange in that Terry always refers to Stevie as "the boy," not by name.
32. Terry has very bad morals. He has behaved very badly to his family and he is a mean person. Terry has a very bad reputation in the community. Some of the reasons that I think so little of Terry Hobbs' reputation and moral character are listed below.
33. Terry has repeatedly sexually molested his daughter, Amanda. Not long before Stevie's death, when Amanda was 4 years old, Amanda told me that Terry had put his finger into her "booty."
34. I told Pam what Amanda had told me. Pam took Amanda to the hospital and the doctor confirmed that there had been penetration.
35. Throughout the years, Amanda has repeatedly accused Terry of sexual abuse. In approximately 2002, Amanda told me that Terry had grabbed her breasts. On one occasion Amanda called me at 3 AM and asked me to come and get her in Paris, Tennessee and take her away from Terry. She refused to go back home to Terry. I told her that I was 2 hours away and that we should get her mom, Pam, to go and get her. She said okay, and that she wanted me to meet her and Pam halfway. So Pam went and got Amanda and I met them halfway. Amanda came with me to Blytheville and refused to go back to Terry in Memphis. I called the Tennessee government and told them that Amanda had told me that Terry had sexually molested her. Tennessee sent an agency to investigate the matter. They interviewed Amanda and made a report.
36. Terry is also a known drug user. Pam ultimately decided to leave Terry and move from Memphis to Blytheville, Arkansas. Terry tried to take Stevie's things from Pam. I had moved to a bigger house so Pam and Amanda could stay with me and my husband. I went to Memphis with Pam to pack her things. We took the police with us so Terry could not hurt anyone. When we got there, Terry had taken all of Stevie's belongings and locked them up in the trunk of his car. He lied to the police and told the police that he did not have Stevie's belongings. I told the police that Stevie's belongings were probably in the trunk of his car. The police asked Terry to go open up the trunk of his car. Before we could get out to the car, Amanda had pulled out Terry's drug paraphernalia from where he hid it and showed it to the police. The police made Terry open the trunk of his car, and when he did, he could see that all of Stevie's things were in the trunk. The police then arrested Terry. I know that Terry has been involved in drugs. He has used marijuana, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.
37. Later, when Amanda was older, she again told me that Terry had sexually abused her and that he was physically abusive to her when she was pregnant. She said that Terry slammed her into a sink, causing the loss of the pregnancy.
38. I am aware that Terry had molested a neighbor of his many years earlier; the neighbor's name was Mildred French, and while Mildred was in the shower Terry broke in, went in her bathroom, and grabbed her breasts.
39. Terry, I believe, physically abused his wife, Pam, and he has shot my brother with a gun, which ultimately resulted in my brother's death. In 1997, Terry and Pam had an argument in which Terry had hit Pam in the face and Pam called the family to come help her. My brother, Jackie Hicks, Jr., got into a fight with Terry when they got to Pam's house (Terry was supposed to have left) and Terry shot my brother in the abdomen in front of my parents. My brother was seriously injured, and had to have a large number of surgeries as a result. My brother died in approximately February of 2006 from complications with one of those surgeries.
40. Terry is a violent individual who is always armed. Terry always had guns around. Also, it seemed like he traded guns with other people a lot. In fact, it was very strange, but Terry would frequently obtain a gun, take it somewhere and later, he wouldn't have the old gun, but he would have a new, different gun.
41. Terry has squandered the charity the public gave to Stevie's family. People from all over the country have sent money and gifts to Pam and Terry to help them take care of their family in the time of crisis. The money that has come in has been squandered by Terry. Terry has literally used thousands of dollars given by sympathetic people for his own interests.
42. Terry physically abused Stevie when they were alone. Terry had a bad relationship with Stevie. He would punish Stevie by hitting him with a belt until he drew blood. Terry would also punish Stevie by locking him in a closet. One time when Stevie was staying with my parents and he was potty training, he had a little bit of an accident. He got terrified and went and hid. My mother, Marie Hicks, and I looked everywhere and could not find Stevie until we went in my mother's room. She had a box of clothes in her closet and his foot fell out of the box. When we pulled Stevie out he was hot and sweaty and we asked him what was wrong. Stevie siad "Daddy Terry's going to whip me, he's going to whip me." Stevie was terrified.
43. Terry did not act responsibly following Stevie's death. Terry did not seem to mourn the loss of Stevie. Instead he seemed to immediately move on. He left my sister Pam for approximately 2 weeks and moved away with another woman.
44. Terry has stolen from his own family. Terry's family had a family business where they owned restaurants. Terry used to work for the family business, but his father kicked him out of the business because he caught Terry stealing money from the business.
45. My family has taken action because of Terry's bad reputation. My family had Terry's name removed from the gravestone at Stevie's grave. We did this based on Terry's character and reputation. We did not want Terry Hobbs associated with the memory of Stevie because of all the horrible things he has done to my family, and the horrible way that he treated Stevie.
46. Terry has promised Pam that if he wins this case he will pay her $50,000 immediately. He has told her that he plans to make $250 million from winning this case."
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration was executed in Mississippi County, Arkansas.
Dated: May 20, 2009
By: Jo Lynn McCaughey (signature)
Jo Lynn McCaughey