RIDGE: This is Det. Bryn Ridge of the West Memphis Police Department, currently in the drug task force office, here in West Memphis. Todays date is 05/26/93, the time is 12:36PM. Currently in the office with William Winfred Jones, M/W, DOB: 11/20/74. William, you were contacted this morning by a couple of our officers and you had some information about Damian Echols, is that correct?
RIDGE: Okay, do you understand that this conversation is being taped?
RIDGE: And your mother was here just a few minutes ago and we informed her that it was going to be taped, do you have any problems with it being taped?
RIDGE: It's okay
RIDGE: Uh, when you were talking about Damian, how do you know Damian?
WILLIAM: From school mostly.
RIDGE: When you went to Marion .
WILLIAM: I met him at Marion School.
RIDGE: And, how long have you known him actually?
WILLIAM: Since 7th grade
ALLEN: About 88
RIDGE: Five years
WILLIAM: Something like that.
RIDGE: Okay, what do you know about Damian?
WILLIAM: Well, first he wasn't weird or nothing, but now he's got into that satanic cult stuff.
RIDGE: Okay, so he's a devil worshipper?
RIDGE: Okay, a satan worshipper?
RIDGE: Alright, who are some of his friends?
WILLIAM: The main people I see him with is Jason Baldwin and his girlfriend.
RIDGE: Do you know her name?
WILLIAM: She's got red hair, Dominic.
RIDGE: Dominic, okay. Uh, when you seen Jason Baldwin, do you know where he live?
RIDGE: Where does he live?
WILLIAM: Uh, S. naw, Southwest Lake Drive, IN Lakeshore.
RIDGE: Southwest Lake Drive in Lakeshore Trailer Park?
WILLIAM: I believe that's it.
RIDGE: Okay, and do you know where Damian lives now?
WILLIAM: Well, here lately, the last couple of days, he's been at his girlfriend's house, in Lakeshore.
RIDGE: Dominic's house?
RIDGE: Okay, and about a week ago, you said that you got off into a conversation with Damian?
RIDGE: Alright, just relay what happened. Where was it?
WILLIAM: On a Store street in Lakeshore, where we were talking in that little park up there, and it was like, everybody in Lakeshore heard it. Damian had did it and he got questioned and everything, so when I was his friend, or use to be his friend, so I asked him, everybody want me to ask him, so I asked him, and he said, that he cut them and that, you know, had sex with them, molested them And, he was real drunk, real drunk.
RIDGE: About what time was this, this conversation took place?
WILLIAM: Pass curfew
RIDGE: 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock
WILLIAM: It had to be after 12, probably about 12:30
RIDGE: Friday night, Saturday morning?
WILLIAM: Something like that.
RIDGE: He was real drunk. Who else was there?
WILLIAM: Him and his girlfriend
RIDGE: Dominic and you
WILLIAM: And me
RIDGE: Was anybody else around?
RIDGE: Okay, was he in a car or anything?
WILLIAM: Naw, they were walking
RIDGE: They were walking. When he goes into this conversation you asked him the questions the people wanted you to ask, cause you use to be good friends with him, alright and he says, he had sex with them?
RIDGE: And he cut them? Alright, did he say how he had sex with them?
WILLIAM: He said that
RIDGE: We need to be specific, I understand that you may not be wanting to say the words, but you need to say exactly what he said.
WILLIAM: He said that he had sex with them, that he molested them and had sex in the rear with them.
RIDGE: Okay, you said that he said, that he cut them.
WILLIAM: Yeah, that's all he said, that he cut them, he didn't go into no details.
RIDGE: Do you know what he cut them with?
WILLIAM: No, he said, just with a knife, you know, a little knife
RIDGE: A little knife
WILLIAM: When he did his hands, he was drunk, he did like that right there.
RIDGE: Just a little knife, and you made a gesture that it's like ten to 12 inches long?
RIDGE: Okay, did he say where that knife is or anything like that?
WILLIAM: Naw, he didn't tell me nothing.
RIDGE: Okay, did he mention if anybody was with him when it happened?
WILLIAM: No, he didn't say nothing like that.
RIDGE: Okay, and he said that he had sex with them in the rear and he said that he cut them
WILLIAM: He cut them
RIDGE: Did he say how he cut them or anything, where they were cut?
WILLIAM: He didn't say nothing like that.
RIDGE: Alright, what was the rest of the conversation?
WILLIAM: He stopped there and after he told me that, I freaked out
RIDGE: He was or you were?
WILLIAM: I was
RIDGE: You were scared?
WILLIAM: I talked to him for a few more minutes and I left, and went back down to my aunt's house, and told her.
RIDGE: Alright, I understand that he's been making some threats
RIDGE: Alright, when did your hear about these threats?
WILLIAM: As a matter of fact, it's my cousin's girlfriend, they said that they went down there, you know, and harass people
RIDGE: Down where
WILLIAM: In Lakeshore, they went down to Dominic's house, rode there and they were saying something to them and Michael Hutchison, well Damian, said that, he was going to cut their vaginas off, or something like that. That's what they told me, I didn't hear nothing about that. That's what they told me.
RIDGE: Okay, you just mentioned that Damian Echols, his other name is Michael
WILLIAM: When we were in the 7th grade, his name was Michael Hutchison and he got it changed when we went to the 9th or 8th grade, I think it was the 9th.
RIDGE: To Damian Echols?
RIDGE: Okay, uh then you said that there was another conversation, he was drunk during that conversation?
WILLIAM: Yeah, when he was sober he came back to me, as a matter of fact, it was the next day and said, that, what was we talking about last night, and I told him what he said and he said, none of that was true, that he was just real drunk.
RIDGE: He was just real drunk
WILLIAM: And he was real drunk
RIDGE: Alright, when he told you that, he cut these boys, and he had sex with them, you've known him for a long time, did you believe it when he told you that?
WILLIAM: Yeah, that's why I left
RIDGE: You believed it?
WILLIAM: Yes sir
RIDGE: Okay, and you're a pretty good judge of when he's lying or when he's telling the truth, he's lied to you before
RIDGE: And you've known he was lying?
WILLIAM: Yeah, he stole from me.
RIDGE: He stole from you, and you can tell when he's lying?
RIDGE: And when he told you of this incident about him, or when he told you about the incident that he killed the boys you feel like he's telling the truth?
WILLIAM: Yes sir
RIDGE: Okay, at any point during that conversation, did he show any remorse that he was sorry he killed the boys or anything like that, or was he bragging or
WILLIAM: No, he was all, he talked to us about it, you know, he
RIDGE: Hyped up about it?
WILLIAM: Yes, hyped up
RIDGE: Like he was excited, you know, I did this?
WILLIAM: Yeah, he was just, you know, shaking and like he was excited or something.
RIDGE: Do you know anything about his sex habits, who he sees, or, been into any weird stuff?
WILLIAM: He's been dealing with this one girl for a long time,
RIDGE: Who is that?
WILLIAM: Uh, Dominic
WILLIAM: He's been going with her for a while.
RIDGE: Okay, you're saying for a long time
WILLIAM: A couple of years
RIDGE: Okay, alright that's what I was curious about. Uh, now we're going to the next conversation you had with him the next day. He says to you to the effect, he wants know what he told you the night before?
RIDGE: Alright, and when you told him
WILLIAM: I told him that all he told me was that he did it and that's all. Naw, I told him that he told me that he cut them, and that he killed the boys, I didn't say nothing about the sex part.
RIDGE: And what did he tell you
WILLIAM: He said that it was lie, and that he was real drunk.
RIDGE: Okay, did you believe that?
WILLIAM: Not really
RIDGE: You don't believe that he was so drunk that he was making up a lie?
WILLIAM: No, I mean when you get drunk, that's how it does, make you spill your guts.
WILLIAM: I mean, it can make you lie too, but I don't think anybody would want to lie about something like that.
RIDGE: What did Dominic say, or did she do anything when he told you about that he killed the boys?
WILLIAM: But, if you know Dominic, you know how she is, she's real weird man, she just talks to herself, that's all she's in, is just talking to herself.
RIDGE: Well, about the fifth of the month, when these boys came up missing, the 5th and the 6th is when they were found, were you around Damian at that time?
RIDGE: Or did you see him during that period of time.
WILLIAM: I didn't see him, he was gone for a while. Naw, he wasn't really gone for a while, he was just, he wasn't around Lakeshore for a while.
RIDGE: Okay, like he was hiding?
WILLIAM: He could have been hiding, cause he wasn't at his girlfriends house, unless he stayed inside all of the time.
WILLIAM: Cause I'm on the street everyday, you know, all my family is out there except for my mommy.
RIDGE: If there is one person that would have been with Damian, durng something like this going on, who do you think that one person would have been?
WILLIAM: Uh, I think that it would be Jason Baldwin, cause you know, they are always together.
RIDGE: They are always together?
WILLIAM: Yesk ever since this has happened, they kinda staying away from each other.
RIDGE: Do you know why?
WILLIAM: Uh, uh, see everybody goes to Jason too and ask him if he did it. I've even asked him, and he said, no. He said, no. I don't know that much about him.
RIDGE: Has he been in trouble before?
RIDGE: What kind of trouble?
WILLIAM: Mostly stealing, I believe. You know, like from Wal-Mart
RIDGE: What about Damian, has he ever been in any trouble?
WILLIAM: I think they put him in a mental home one time, or something like that, or some kind of a home, maybe in a boys home, though, Pine Bluff, maybe.
RIDGE: Okay, alright, I am going to get this tape transcribed and this is the truth and you are telling me.
WILLIAM: Yes, this is the God's honest truth.
RIDGE: Okay, when I get it transcribed, actually what I mean when I say, transcribed, when I get it down on paper, everything you said, can I meet you somewhere and get your signature on the bottom of it. I'll let you read it to make sure that everything is correct
WILLIAM: Yes sir
RIDGE: But, you don't want to go to the police department?
WILLIAM: No sir
RIDGE: Because you're scared of Damian?
WILLIAM: Naw, I am not scared of Damian.
RIDGE: What are you scared of?
WILLIAM: I've been in trouble before and I just try to stay away I guess, not really you all, you know, but Crittenden County, I try to stay away. They don't like me.
RIDGE: You were just rather not do it at the police department
WILLIAM: I mean all it be is just reading and signature.
RIDGE: That's it. You wouldn't have any problems with that?
RIDGE: Okay, I am going to conclude this interview, the time is 12:47PM.