Murder in West Memphis: The Man and the White Tank Top - Part Five
After extensively researching the murders of Stevie Branch, Chris Byers, and Michael Moore, I have become more and more convinced that Terry Hobbs, Stevie’s step-father, could very well be responsible for these horrific crimes.
In this series, I’ve covered many of the reasons that have led me to this conclusion; however, in my mind, none is more compelling than this: In 2002, according to Pam Hobbs (Stevie’s mother), as she and Terry Hobbs were divorcing, she sent a package of 15 knives owned by Terry Hobbs to one of the defense lawyers.
What prompted this action?
Pam Hobbs said that she had discovered among the knives a little pocket knife that her father had given to Stevie.
Pam insists that Stevie “carried that little knife with him around all the time because it reminded him of his granddaddy.”
According to Pam, Stevie had that knife with him on May 5 – the day he disappeared. “He carried it with him,” said Pam, “from the day my daddy gave it to him until the day he was murdered.”
In a 2007 police interview, Terry Hobbs denied having the knife:
Officer: Do you remember Stevie ever having a knife at all?
Terry Hobbs: I don't know if he got one at the Boy Scouts or not. He did go to Boy Scouts, but I don't think they gave him a pocket knife. But his real daddy may have given him one. Cause his grandaddy was real proud of him, he really liked that little boy. It's possible, I can't say yes or no to that. Not honestly.
Officer: Would, so if he, he had one you wouldn't have known what it would have looked like or...
Terry Hobbs: Well, if I seen it I might recognize it but I can't place one at the moment.
Officer: Now did you ever keep any of Stevie's personal possessions after, after their death, the boys were, were killed. Terry Hobbs: Not that I can think of.
These statements conflict with testimony later given by Hobbs in a deposition:
Attorney: On Channel 5 on the 21st, they also talk about finding the knife and the knife that Stevie's grandfather had given him in your stuff?
Terry Hobbs: So?
Attorney: Did you have any your possession, Mr. Hobbs?
Hobbs: I don't know. I think I still have his pocketknife.
Attorney: You have Stevie's pocketknife?
Hobbs: I think so.
Attorney: And is that a pocketknife that Stevie carried with him on a regular basis?
Hobbs: Until I found it. Until I seen my stepson, who wasn't old enough to have a pocketknife, I felt like. I took the pocketknife from him and put it in a drawer with the rest of our pocketknives.
Attorney: Did you take the knife from Stevie?
Hobbs: Years before.
Clearly, Terry Hobbs is lying again.
Remember, according to Pam, Stevie’s mother, “He (Stevie) carried it (the knife) with him from the day my daddy gave it to him until the day he was murdered.”
The conflicting statements, outrageous lies, and physical evidence makes it seem almost impossible for me to believe that Terry Hobbs was NOT responsible for the murders of those three little boys.
To make matters worse, after the murders, Terry Hobbs was not interviewed by police and he was not called to testify at the trials.
The Hobbs home was not searched for fiber matches or blood and his surrounding neighbors were not questioned during the door to door canvasing of the neighborhood after the boys were murdered.
In fact, two weeks after the murders, Terry Hobbs left his wife to stay in Hardy, Arkansas – roughly 130 miles away from West Memphis. I believe this move afforded Terry the opportunity to avoid being questioned by the police.
However, after almost a decade and a half, on June 21, 2007, Terry Hobbs was finally interrogated by the West Memphis Police Department regarding the murders of Stevie, Michael and Chris.
During this interview, a critical time period was constructed: According to Hobbs, at 5 pm he dropped his wife, Pam, at her place of work, Catfish Island.
Then, according to Hobbs, he picked Pam up from work at 9pm and informed her that Stevie was missing.
However, in subsequent police interviews, Hobbs would give several versions, some impossible, of what he says happened between 5 and 9 pm.
Terry stated that after briefly searching his neighborhood with his daughter Amanda, he encountered Dana Moore and followed her home. Once there, he says he met up with Mark Byers in front of the Byers home just before 6pm. Hobbs claims that this was when they (the parents) figured out for certain that all three of the children were together.
The time Hobbs presented for this meeting impossible.
Why? A meeting like this would not have taken place until after the Byers missing person report had finished being filed. This report was completed at 8:30pm. Furthermore, Mary Byers filed an affidavit stating that he did not see Terry Hobbs during this time period.
Hobbs later claims that he visited the Robin Hood Woods between 6 and 6:30 pm with his friend, David Jacoby to search for Stevie. (Again, this contradicts every story he has ever given about the evening of May 5.)
In fact, in one interview Hobbs described there was a search being conducted by 20-30 volunteers on foot and on four wheelers, motorcycles and bicycles.
In yet another interview, Hobbs says there was over 100 people searching for the boys just after dark. These statements are false. Remember, the three victims were last seen at 6pm, and the boys were not even reported missing until after 8pm.
There was no immediate massive turnout for a search because nobody knew to search for the boys at 6pm. Even Terry’s friend, David Jacoby, contradicts this story.
According to Jacoby’s affidavit, he claims that he was not in the woods with Terry Hobbs at this time and that his searching with Hobbs consisted only of them briefly driving around.
In another version of his story, Terry Hobbs claim that he was frantically searching for Stevie from 5-9pm that fateful night. Does he really think that anyone believes that he was searching for Stevie for FOUR HOURS – and that he was searching BEFORE the boys were ever reported missing?
This version of events completely contradicts his original story of spending time at the home of David Jacoby! Furthermore, if he was truly out searching for Stevie Branch from 5-9pm, why didn’t Terry search for him at the home of Michael Moore? Terry knew that Stevie was with Michael Moore. Dana Moore, Michael’s mother, was at their home the entire time. She never left.
And according to David Jacoby’s account of events that evening, he and Terry drove down Barton street during their search on four separate occasions. Why is this important? It’s simple. As they drove down Barton street four times, they also passed the home of Michael Moore four times, and yet they never once stopped to ask if Stevie was at their home?
It’s also important to remember that both Terry Hobbs and David Jacoby have lied repeatedly. Remember, both men claim to have been together on the evening of May 5; however, their stories are contradictory.
Terry claims the two ran into an older white man who told them the boys were heading to the woods. David claims a little black girl told them the boys were heading to the woods. Later, Jacoby changed his story and claimed that the little girl told them the boys were at some apartments.
Terry claims that when he had arrived at Jacoby’s home that evening that he had already been searching for the boys. David claims that when Terry arrived at his home that evening the boys were behind him in the street and that he (Terry) had given the boys permission to play until dark. Later, Jacoby claimed that he and Terry were out searching the streets for Stevie BEFORE dark.
Why would they search for Stevie if he wasn’t expected to be back before dark and there were no signs of trouble?
Last, but not least, as I mentioned in earlier segments, Terry claims he never saw Stevie that day, despite statements from David Jacoby and Jamie Ballard and her family that contradict Terry’s story. If Terry did not see Stevie that evening to feed him dinner, why did Stevie have partially digested vegetables in his stomach?
Those partially digested vegetables prove that the boys died around 7pm and that means he most likely ate those vegetables around dinner time – which was at 5pm. Where did Stevie eat the vegetables if not at his own home with Terry Hobbs?
I want to take this a step further to showcase the dishonesty of Terry Hobbs.
During a deposition, due to a lawsuit he had filed against the band the Dixie Chicks, Hobbs gave the following testimony:
Question: And you haven't done any drugs?
Hobbs: I don't do drugs.
Question: You've done drugs in the past, haven't you?
Hobbs: I don't do drugs.
Question: That's not my question. You've done drugs in the past, haven't you?
Hobbs: I'm not a druggy.
Question: Mr. Hobbs, did you not understand my question?
Hobbs: I heard your question.
Question: And my question was very simple. Have you done drugs in the past?
Hobbs: I tried medications in the past.
Question: Medications. What medications?
Hobbs: Whatever the doctor gives you.
Question: So the only drugs that you've done in the past are drugs that doctors
have prescribed; is that your testimony?
Hobbs: Well, I have smoked a joint.
Question: Other than -- other than smoking a joint, any other drugs that you have used, other than drugs that doctors have prescribed for you?
Hobbs: I'm not in the business.
Question: That's not my question. My question -- I'm not asking if you're in the
business of being a drug dealer. My question is, is other than smoking
a joint or two, as you call it, as you said, what other drugs have you done,
other than drugs that have been prescribed by physicians?
Hobbs: Young and dumb, you probably will try anything, and I haven't tried anything, but I've never been in the drug world. I'm not on drugs. Never been on drugs.
Question: So it's your testimony that the only drugs that you have ever done are drugs that have been prescribed to you or a joint or two; is that your testimony
under oath, Mr. Hobbs?
Hobbs: Well --
Question: And remember, you are under oath.
Hobbs: I know that.
Question: So my question is, other than drugs that a physician has prescribed --
Hobbs: I tried cocaine a few times. Big deal.
Question: Tried cocaine a few times. So we've got some joints, some cocaine.
What other drugs?
Question: Crystal meth?
Hobbs: I'm not in it.
Question: I'm sorry?
Hobbs: I'm not in the business.
Question: That's not my question. My question --
Hobbs: I don't do crystal meth.
Question: My question, sir, is under oath, can you -- is it your testimony that you have never done crystal meth?
Hobbs: I tried it with my wife.
Does Terry Hobbs ever tell the truth?
But I will let you, the reader decide.
My conclusion after reviewing all of the evidence is that Terry Hobbs is hiding something sinister about the murder of Stevie, Chris and Michael. I believe that Terry Hobbs knows exactly what happened to those little boys on that fateful May evening.
I will leave you with this thought:
I agree with the former FBI profiler, John Douglas when he said: “The slayings of the three West Memphis boys weren’t the work of three unsophisticated teenager killers, but that of someone who set out to taunt and ‘punish’ the victims.”
And in my opinion, that someone was Terry Hobbs.