Here Is the Tragic True Story That Inspired Stranger Things Eddie Munson

Video Here Is the Tragic True Story That Inspired Stranger Things Eddie Munson
Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things

Stranger Issues season 4 quantity 1 is lastly out, and we’re fairly impressed. The sequence appeared to make use of its pandemic delays very correctly and noticeably expanded the runtime, solid, and variety of storylines. Maybe the most effective issues it did was give us the present that’s Eddie Munson (Joe Quinn). Within the very first episode, Munson shortly captures everybody’s consideration when he stands as much as give an epic speech on the demonization of Dungeons & Dragons. Sadly, we don’t notice, till later, how a lot foreshadowing was contained in that speech.

Because the episode proceeds, we study extra about Munson. We discover out he’s doubtlessly an excellent larger Dungeons & Dragons fanatic than Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo). In the meantime, he’s additionally the college drug seller. Regardless of this, he’s actually not a foul man in any respect. Munson is humorous, eccentric, and outgoing. He makes buddies with the college outcasts and could be very delicate to a cheerleader Chrissy’s (Grace Van Dien) struggles when she approaches him for medication. Tragically, Chrissy is attacked by Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) whereas she’s with Munson.

This, after all, doesn’t look good. What’s shocking, although, is that the city of Hawkins is much less involved in regards to the proof than they’re about Munson’s Dungeons & Dragons marketing campaign. Even when extra murders happen and Munson clearly isn’t tied to them, he stays a suspect. Rumors begin swirling that his Dungeons & Dragons membership, The Hellfire Membership, is a satanic cult and that Munson murdered Chrissy. This morphs into outrageous tales of Munson being a Satanist and sacrificing youngsters as a part of a Satanic ritual. Quickly, Satanic Panic and mob mentality units the entire city towards Munson for little extra purpose than that he likes Dungeons & Dragons.

Is Munson based mostly on an actual particular person?

Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things

What makes Munson’s story all of the extra tragic is that he’s based mostly on a real-life particular person. The Stranger Issues creators have confirmed that Munson was impressed by Damien Echols. When Echols was a young person, he exhibited some similarities to Munson. Whereas he wasn’t a D&D participant, he was a little bit of a misfit in his native Bible Belt neighborhood of West Memphis, Arkansas. He had a behavior of dressing in black, was an enormous fan of Metallica and heavy metallic, was within the occult, and dabbled in Wicca. All of these items had been as innocent as Munson’s doings in Hawkins. But, these teenage pursuits would practically value Echols his life when Satanic Panic broke out.

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The case of the Memphis Three

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Echols is likely one of the Memphis Three, a gaggle of three youngsters who had been controversially convicted of a triple murder. On Might 5, 1993, three eight-year-old boys—Steve Department, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers—went lacking in West Memphis, AR. Tragically, the boys’ our bodies had been discovered the subsequent day. The three had been tied up with their shoelaces, killed, and dumped close to a creak in Robin Hood Hills. All three of them had died from a number of accidents. The triple murder rattled the small city, as locals feared a assassin was now on the free.

The investigation nearly instantly honed in on Echols, largely merely on account of bias among the many native authorities. Echols was identified to them, as he had been convicted of minor crimes resembling shoplifting and housebreaking. He was a highschool dropout, and social providers visited his poor household continuously. Nevertheless, it was largely Echols’ curiosity within the occult that detectives honed in on. With out a lot proof, they determined that the triple murder seemed to be a Satanic ritual and, in flip, Echols should be concerned on account of his curiosity within the occult.

So, happening solely Echols’ pursuits and no different proof, the police started interviewing him inside two days of the homicide. Whereas not even formally named as a suspect, Echols was interviewed on quite a few events, because the police repeatedly circled again to him. Echols, on the time, was additionally shut buddies with Jessie Misskelley Jr. Misskelley and Echols shared the identical pursuits and had been each highschool dropouts. The true tragedy of this case got here when Misskelley was interrogated for 12 hours by police, regardless of his father not giving permission for the interrogation.

The Memphis Three are sentenced

Damien Wayne Echols in Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

Misskelley, through the grueling 12 hour interview, admitted to the crime and tied Echols and one other teenager, Jason Baldwin, to the murders, however shortly recanted his confession. He would proceed to recant it and state that he didn’t perceive his Miranda rights and that he was afraid of the police. Unbelievably, his confession was nonetheless used as proof and was largely the explanation behind the conviction of the Memphis Three. They had been convicted of the murders, and Misskelley and Baldwin had been sentenced to life in jail. Echols, although, was sentenced to loss of life.

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For 18 years, Baldwin and Misskelley remained in jail, whereas Echols was positioned in solitary confinement on loss of life row. Because the years glided by, the conviction grew increasingly more unstable. For one, a serious witness, Vicki Hutcheson, who claimed Echols had admitted to the homicide, recanted her assertion and admitted it was an entire lie she instructed in hopes of getting reward cash. Second, DNA proof was examined in 2007 and none of it tied any of the Memphis Three to the scene. Third, after all, the complete conviction was based mostly on a doubtlessly coerced and false confession.

Quite a few requests for retrials got here up and had been denied. Lastly, in 2011, the Memphis Three accepted Alford plea offers. Basically, they asserted their innocence, whereas admitting that the prosecutors had adequate proof to convict them, with a purpose to safe a deal to get out of jail. After all, not all of them wished to take the offers, however Echols’ life was actually on the road. They accepted the plea offers and had been sentenced to the time they’d already served—over 18 years—and, thus, let loose.

Stranger Issues revisits Echols’ story

Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, and Gaten Matarazzo in Chapter One: The Hellfire Club (2022)

To at the present time, it stays unknown who dedicated the triple murder. Nevertheless, there might quickly come a day when new proof utterly pardons the Memphis Three. At present, Echols is 47 and is a author. He’s additionally married and the daddy of 1 baby. Particularly, he has written many books in regards to the occult and the way his spirituality saved him throughout his time on loss of life row.

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What occurred to Echols, although, was nothing wanting tragic. The sheer stage of bias was merely outrageous, with the police instantly pinning the crime on Echols just because they didn’t like him. This bias was seen but once more when he was the one certainly one of Three sentenced to loss of life. The mob was towards Echols from the beginning, and so they had been going to place him in jail with or with out proof.

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Stranger Issues has masterfully re-explored the case of the Memphis Three via Munson. It provides new layers of tragedy to the case, as viewers concede how troublesome it might be to see somebody like Munson sentenced to loss of life. He’s virtually a baby, who’s lovable and, regardless of his pursuits, is totally innocent. But, when it got here to mob mentality and Satanic Panic, it didn’t matter in the event you had been only a child or how innocent you really had been beneath some black garments and heavy metallic music. If you happen to had been caught within the incorrect place on the incorrect time, it may virtually spell the top of your life.

Damien Echols’ response to Eddie Munson

On July 15, 2022, Echols took to Twitter to share his ideas about Munson. He revealed that he was extremely honored for use because the inspiration for the fan-favorite character. Echols additionally appreciated that Munson has introduced additional consciousness to the story of the West Memphis Three and has garnered extra supporters to affix their continued struggle for exoneration. Lastly, he beloved the ultimate contact of Munson’s guitar riff and using the tune “Grasp of Puppets.” Echols confirming his appreciation of the character additional reveals that the Stranger Issues creators did justice to his story, in addition to that of the West Memphis Three.

(featured picture: Netflix)

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