I’m sure y’all are acquainted with the tragic story of the West Memphis Three, a trio of Arkansas teenagers who were arrested, charged and found guilty of ritually murdering children primarily based on the fact that one of them, Damien Echols tended to wear black to school, listen to heavy metal and had read some basic books on magical theory and practice. They became a cause celibre of artists like Metallica and Pearl Jam and the subject of three documentary films that reviewed their story and highlighted the lack of evidence tying them to these crimes. Several years ago, public pressure on the state of Arkansas led to a review of the case leading them to being released and allowed to maintain their innocence BUT letting the guilty charge stand. Bottom line, they got out jail after decades of unjust imprisonment. During that time Echols dedicated himself ot the study and practice of magical arts, partly to keep his sanity when he was transferred for no particular reason to a maximum security unit where he as kept in a sealed cell and had absolutely no contact with other human beings for 23 hours at a time.
He’s now sharing the work he did via a book High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row and a national tour where he’ll be teaching an introduction to his magical system.
Here’s a length NY Times article about it all:
thanks to Tau Roncellin for the tip!