IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
NATALIE PASDAR, et al.,
CV NO.: 4-09-CV-0008BSM
DECLARATION OF PAMELA MARIE HOBBS
I, Pamela Marie Hobbs, declare as follows:
1. "My name is Pamela Marie Hobbs. 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 police found the bodies of three little boys, Steve Branch ("Stevie"), Christopher Byers ("Christopher") and Michael Moore (“Michael"). They had been murdered in the Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Arkansas (the "Murders").
4. I am the mother of Steve Branch, one of the boys killed in the Murders which occurred on or about May 5, 1993.
5. At the time of the Murders, I was married to Terry Hobbs ("Terry"), the plaintiff in the lawsuit entitled Terry Hobbs v. Natalie Pasdar, et al., CV No.: 4-09-008BSM. I was married to Terry Hobbs from 1986 until 2004. When I married Terry, my son Stevie, from my prior marriage to Steve Branch, Sr., was approximately one and one-half (1½) years old. He was eight (8) years old when he died. In 1989, Terry and I had a daughter, Amanda Hobbs ("Amanda").
6. Since the time of the Murders, there has been widespread national and international publicity about the Murders and the subsequent trials and convictions for the Murders of three teenagers, Damien Echols, Jessie Miskelley and Jason Baldwin, whom the press calls "the West Memphis 3, ("WM3")." This publicity has included, but is limited to, the trials of the WM3, the details of the investigation into the Murders, the victims, including Stevie, and the families of the victims, including me, Terry, and our family. These stories have been written, aired, and circulated in newspapers, television shows and magazines literally around the world. Terry and I have received numerous letters and interview requests from people and entertainment and news organizations from many different states and countries.
7. HBO did the documentaries on the Murders, the victims, the victims' families and the WM3. They were called Paradise Lost. They are also on DVD and videotape. I can't even imagine how many people have seen them, but based on people who have told me they have seen them, it is a lot of people.
8. We received a letter from the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, expressing sympathy for our loss.
9. In 2006, Terry and I agreed to sell to Dimension Films, a movie production company, the rights to my likeness, Terry's likeness and Stevie's likeness, and agreed to sell our stories of the Murders, the trials, Stevie, our lives, the events surrounding the Murders, and how our lives were affected by those events. We sold those rights for $12,500 each. I know specifically that Terry received $l2,500 from Dimension Films for his rights. Additionally, in the Dimension Films agreement, Terry gave to Dimension Films the right to use any book he wrote about the events surrounding the Murders. Terry was anxious to sell his rights to Dimension Films and encouraged me to sell my rights, too. Terry told me that he believed that from that agreement, Dimension Films would produce a movie in which Stevie, he, I and our family would be portrayed. Terry told me that he was comfortable with our story, Stevie, our family, and our lives being put out into the view of the public.
10. There are written contracts reflecting my agreement and Terry’s agreement with Dimension Films. Attached hereto as Exhibit I is a true and correct copy of the
type of agreement with Dimension Films I signed and Terry signed.
11. After we sold to Dimension Films the rights to "Stevie's story" and to "our stories," we met with representatives of Dimension Films. Those representatives interviewed us and took down the details of my life, Terry's life, Stevie's life, the Murders, the trials, our whereabouts on the night of the Murders, our family, and the effect of the events on us. Attached hereto as Exhibits 2 and 3 are true and correct copies of the transcripts of those interviews of Terry and me by Dimension Films. At the time we gave these interviews, I expected and I know Terry expected, because we discussed it, that Dimension Films would make a film out of our story, and that the story of Terry Hobbs, Pam Hobbs, Stevie Branch, our family, the Murders, the trials, and the effect of the events on me, Terry, and our family, would be made public and would be "out there" for the general public to see and know about.
12. Terry has also told me that he has written a book about these events and topics described above, including the story of Terry Hobbs, Pam Hobbs, Stevie Branch, the Murders, the trials, and the effect of the events on me, Terry and our family. He has told me that he hopes the book will be published and that he has talked to different people about getting the book published. I have seen handwritten pages of a book about these events written by Terry Hobbs.
13. On or about May 14, 1993, America's Most Wanted, a national television show, aired a story on the Murders that I believe was broadcast across the country.
14. Terry and I went on The Geraldo Show in March of 1994 to discuss the Murders, the trials, the WM3, Stevie, our lives, the events surrounding the Murders and the effect of the Murders and trials on me, Terry and our family. Terry willingly went on The Geraldo Show and knew, because we discussed it, that going on the show would put us and our ordeal into the public eye by bringing attention to us and our family. Attached hereto as Exhibit 4 is a true and correct copy of the transcript of the appearance by me and Terry on The Geraldo Show.
15. Terry has also been interviewed in the years since Stevie's murder by a number of newspapers and TV stations. He never indicated to me in any way that he was trying to stay out of the public eye.
16. In 2007, new evidence regarding the Murders was discovered and made public. For one thing, it is generally known that hairs that had been found at the crime scene were tested for DNA: one hair was consistent with the hair of Terry and one hair was consistent with the hair of his friend, David Jacoby.
17. Additionally, after the Murders my sister Jo Lynn McCauhey and I found in Terry's nightstand a knife that Stevie carried with him constantly and which I had believed was with him when he died. It was a pocket knife that my father had given to Stevie, and Stevie loved that knife. I had been shocked that the police did not find it with Stevie when they found his body. I had always assumed that my son's murderer had taken the knife during the crime. I could not believe it was in Terry's things. He had never told me that he had it.
18. Also, my sister Jo Lynn told me that she saw Terry wash clothes, bed linens and curtains from Stevie's room at an odd time around the time of the Murders.
19. There was additional new evidence discovered in 2007 that I cannot now recall.
20. In 2007, based on this new evidence, Damien Echols made a court filing which requested his release and which listed this new evidence.
21. The Damien Echols/WM3 defense team and organizations that support the WM3 made this new evidence public, particularly through a major press conference held in late October or early November, 2007. The press conference was widely covered by newspapers, magazines, television stations, news organizations, websites and commentators all over the country. The new DNA and other forensic evidence was also put forward by Damien Echols in a public filing with the court when he tried to overturn his conviction for the Murders or to get a new trial.
22. Press all over the country had numerous stories on the DNA evidence and the other evidence put forward by Damien Echols' defense team in the court filings. Many of these stories linked Terry by name to the DNA and the crime site. Great press attention was focused on the filing and the upcoming ruling on the filing. I know of all this attention and press because I saw it, because I and other members of my family had many calls for interviews from the press, news organizations and others regarding the new evidence and the filing, because people I encountered discussed the new evidence with me, and because I had numerous calls for comments by different entities. Many people mentioned to me that they had seen that Terry was linked to the DNA found at the crime scene.
23. Additionally, I am aware that the West Memphis police brought Terry in for questioning in June, 2007 in light of the new evidence, which meant to me that the investigation into the murders and who killed Stevie, Christopher and Michael was still open and that the police had started looking into whether Terry was involved in the Murders. The press reported widely about Terry's questioning by the police and many people in Arkansas asked me about Terry, his involvement in the Murders, the new evidence and the possibility the WM3 would get a new trial. Videos of Terry's questioning by the West Memphis police can be easily found on numerous websites or the Internet by doing a Google Search for Terry Hobbs police interview. Terry has never indicated to me that he has taken any action to get those interviews removed from the Internet.
24. When the new evidence was made public, Terry was in the public spotlight because of his relationship to much of the new evidence, including but not limited to the DNA evidence. Terry additionally received public attention because he told the police in 2007 that several of his relatives suspect him in the Murders. In sum, a great deal of the press' wide focus on the new evidence was focused on Terry.
25. Ross Sampson is an Tennessee attorney who was originally hired by Terry to review our contracts with Dimension Films, and then hired to act as Terry's spokesperson in the press. I am aware that Terry hired Sampson in 2007 to speak for him to the public. The spokesperson talked to the press and discussed the Murders, the trials, the WM3, the new evidence and Terry's possible involvement in the Murders. Numerous articles ran regarding Terry's spokesperson's conversations with the press in which he addressed Terry's possible involvement in the Murders, the new evidence, the Damien Echols filing, and the information put forward by the Echols team. Throughout all that time, Terry's spokesperson was (and may still be) Ross Sampson.
26. In 2007, Terry also gave a number of interviews to the different news and television organizations in which he talked about the new evidence and whether he was involved in the Murders. I saw and read many of these articles, and in some of them Terry said that he believed that the WM3 defense team had ruined his reputation by bringing forward the new evidence.
27. Many websites and news articles have raised questions about Terry's behavior and whereabouts on May 5 and 6, 1993. In fact, I have previously told the press and certain investigators about my concerns about Terry's whereabouts and behavior on those dates.
28. On or about June 19, 2007, I told the West Memphis Police Department, in a formal interview, about my concerns about Terry's behavior and whereabouts regarding the Murders. Specifically, on or about June 19, 2007, I met with Lieut. Ken Mitchell and Detective Chuck Knowles of the West Memphis police department about the Murders. They told me that Brent Davis, the prosecuting attorney in the WM3 case, had asked them to talk to me and my sister to see if there was anything that could help shed light on new information involving the deaths of Stevie, Michael and Christopher. Attached hereto as Exhibit 5 is a true and correct copy of a transcript of that interview. It is my understanding that my interview has been available to the press and public since June, 2007.
29. In addition to the police interview, in July and August of 2007, I gave numerous interviews to the press in which I talked about the DNA evidence, the knife evidence, and some of the chronology of May 5 and 6, 1993. (I had first discussed the chronology in 1994 on the Geraldo Show). In some of the interviews, particularly in July and August of 2007, I stated that I believed it was possible Terry was involved in the Murders.
30. In May 2007, I also spoke to investigators for the WM3. In these interviews I discussed the knife evidence, my suspicion of Terry because he did not inform me that Stevie was missing until I got off of work, information regarding Terry's reputation and the chronology of the events on May 5 and 6, 1993. In late October/early November, 2007, those investigators and the WM3 defense made public information I had given in my interviews when they filed papers to get Damien Echols released and gave a press conference about the new evidence.
31. The following is a summary of the information I had made available to investigators for the WM3 in May of 2007, and to the West Memphis Police Department in June 2007, much of which was also publicly reported in the press in July and August 2007.
32. On May 5, 1993, Amanda and I walked Stevie home after school. The whole time we were walking home Stevie told me how much that he loved me. He kept repeating, "I love you, mom" the whole time. We got home around 3:00 p.m. from the walk from school to the house where we lived, at 1601 S. McCauley, West Memphis, Arkansas.
33. Stevie's grandfather (my father), Jackie Hicks, Sr., had just bought Stevie a new bike, because Stevie's old bike had been stolen. Stevie kept his bike in the house,
and the first thing he did when we got home from school on May 5, 1993, was go into his room to get his bike. When he went to get his bike I said, "Son, what do you think you’re doing? Don’t you have to do homework?" Stevie told me that his homework was already done. He showed it to me. I saw that his homework was done, and I hung it on the refrigerator. Stevie went out to the carport and rode his bike around in the yard.
34. At approximately 3:15 p.m. on May 5, 1993, Michael Moore came to the house on his bike and asked me if Stevie could go riding bikes with him. I told Michael that Stevie couldn't go, that I had to get ready for work. It was getting close to the time for me to get ready for work because I had to be at the Catfish Island Restaurant, where I worked, at 5:00 p.m. for my shift. At the time, I was training to be the closing manager at Catfish Island. I was also cooking the evening meal for my family before I went to work. Stevie and Michael both kept begging me to let them play, so I told Stevie it was okay for him to go. I told Stevie that if he wasn't home by 4:30 p.m., I would ground him for two weeks. Stevie said "Mama, I'll be home, I promise, at 4:30." Michael said, "My mom is not home but she'll be home in five minutes, I promise you."° I understood that they were going to go to Michael's house, which is why Michael promised me his mother would be home in five minutes. I believe Michael and Stevie left my house at approximately 3:20 or 3:25 p.m.
35. Approximately ten minutes later, around 3:30 or 3:35 p.m., Christopher Byers came to the house. He asked for Stevie and Michael, and I told him I was surprised he didn't run into them because they had just left. The television show The Muppet Babies was on, and Christopher asked me if he could watch The Muppet Babies with my daughter Amanda, who was four at the time. I told him that would be fine. I believe The Muppet Babies was over at 4:00 p.m. When The Muppet Babies went off Christopher left.
36. From 4:00 until 4:25 p.m. or so I worked on cooking dinner. I also dried my uniform in the clothes dryer which was out in the carport. When I went to the carport at 4:25 or 4:30 p.m. to get my uniform out of the dryer, that is when Terry drove up, back from work. Terry came home very close to 4:30 p.m. on May 5, 1993.
37. Terry asked me, "Where is Frog Leg?" Frog Leg was a nickname for Stevie. I told Terry that Stevie had gone to Michael's house, and I might have said that he should be home any minute now because I told him to be home at 4:30 p.m.
38. Around 4:45 p.m. Stevie still had not arrived home. I had to be at work at 5:00 p.m. At approximately 4:50 p.m. or 4:55 p.m., I told Terry that we should go ahead and take me to work now so we could ride by the Moores' house and see if Stevie was there. Terry, Amanda and I got in our car. We drove by the Moores' house and we did not see Stevie, Michael or Christopher, and we did not see any of their bicycles.
39. Terry and Amanda dropped me off at Catfish Island and I began my shift at 5:00 p.m. When he dropped me off, Terry told me he was going to go look in the neighborhood for Stevie. I worked my shift just like a normal night. At no point while I was working that night did Terry contact me to let me know that Stevie was missing.
40. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Terry came to Catfish Island to pick me up at the end of my work shift. He walked into the restaurant and went directly to the pay phone. He did not say anything to me. He did not tell me who he was calling, and he did not tell me that Stevie was missing.
41. I got two pieces of candy to take out to the car because I thought Stevie and Amanda were in the car. When I got out to the car to give Amanda and Stevie their candy I saw that Stevie was not in the car. I asked Amanda, "Amanda, where’s Bubba?" She responded, "Mama, we can’t find him."
42. Terry then came out to the car. He told me that he had Amanda with him all evening while I was at work and that they had been searching for Stevie since they dropped me off at work.
43. Terry did not tell me who he was calling until he'd completed the phone call and came out to the car. Terry told me at that time (sometime after 9:00 p.m.), that he
had called the police to report that Stevie was missing. I understood that Terry had not previously called the police to report that Stevie was missing.
44. I felt Terry's behavior was strange when he came to pick me up from work. If Terry's son and my stepson had been missing, I would've been upset and shaking. I would've been real concerned and I would've told Terry that his son was missing before I even got on the phone. I would've called Terry at work if it was his son. I would've told him I can't find your son and I need some help. Terry did not do that. He just walked to the phone and made his call. When Terry came out to the car he simply said that he had filed a police report that Stevie was missing.
45. I do not know if it was "mother's intuition," but right then I thought the worst. Stevie was not a misbehaved child who would run away from home, so I knew something was terribly, terribly wrong when it was after 9 p.m. and he could not be found. My first instinct and my first thought was that he was dead.
46. A police officer came to Catfish Island Restaurant to interview us.
47. I called my sister Paula Hicks because at the time my parents did not have a home phone. I asked Paula to tell my father that Stevie was missing and that we could not find him. I told Paula, "He's dead. I'll never see him alive again."
48. I contacted the Catfish Island owner's son to tell him that Stevie was missing and that I had to leave. Before I left the restaurant in desperation and frustration I hit the ice machine inside the building because I was terrified and I expected the worst. I was crying and I told Terry, "Terry, he's dead; I'll never see him alive again."
49. Terry then told me that after dropping me off at Catfish Island to go to work, he went back home and he was fixing to go out and walk the neighborhood with Amanda to look for Stevie. He said that Dana Moore came to the house a little bit after 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. and was looking for Michael. Terry told me that he told Dana he was looking for Stevie, too, so he was fixing to "walk" the neighborhood. Terry then told me that he walked the neighborhood and he started looking in the wooded area--the Robin Hood Hills area--because someone had said that's where they saw the boys go. He told me he had Amanda with him while he was looking for Stevie.
50. As soon as we left Catfish Island we went to the Robin Hood Hills. I was still in my uniform and there were several people there. They were neighborhood people, approximately fifteen of them. A lady told me that she would stay and watch Amanda if I wanted to walk through the Robin Hood Hills. As I started walking through this wooded area, the fear was really on me hot and heavy because of how all of the weeds and stuff was growing up. I said to myself, God, son, surely you’re not out here. So I started yelling Stevie's name. I yelled, "Stevie, son, are you here? Son, are you here? You're not in trouble if you're here, just come out." Then Mark Byers and the rest of the people started hollering Michael's name and Christopher's name.
51. My parents then arrived. My father came to help search. My father went into the wooded area by himself I felt like he was gone for a long time. I was about to go back into the woods to look for my father. I just went to a certain point and because there was a full moon I could see where I was going but there was a part of the woods that was coming up like a hill, and the fear came over me that scared me half to death. I don't know why it scared me and I didn't want to go any further. Then I turned around and walked back out to the truck.
52. After I had looked some in the wooded area, Terry took me home because I was still in my uniform. I changed into sweats and a T-shirt. Terry left; he didn't tell me where he was going; he just left, and he never has told me where he went. He was gone from approximately 10:30 or 10:45 p.m. to 11:30 or 11:35 p.m.
53. While Terry was gone, Amanda and I went down half a block to the home of David and Bobbie Jacoby who lived five or six houses down. Terry and I didn't have a home phone at the time, so I walked to their house to use the phone to call the police department to ask whether the police had heard anything or seen the boys.
54. Terry had told me that he had Amanda with him from the time that I went to work until the time Terry came to pick me up. However, David and Bobbie Jacoby told me that Terry took Amanda to their home, that they played guitars for a while and that Terry left their house without Amanda and that the Jacobys watched Amanda for a while. Amanda also told me that Terry had dropped her off at the Jacobys and they watched Amanda while Terry was gone. I did not ever find out where
Terry went when he left Amanda with David and Bobbie Jacoby.
55. When I was about to go back home, David Jacoby told me that I did not need to be out there walking by myself especially with Amanda. He took me home and by the time the David and I arrived back at my house, Terry was there.
56. Terry and David then left together. I sat on the sidewalk and cried and was getting hysterical. My mother and father drove up. I got in the car with my mother and father and my father then drove the neighborhood with his lights off so that we could see if Stevie was out there riding his bike.
57. Dana Moore stood in front of her yard much of the night, hoping that the boys would come back to her house.
58. At one point my father, David and Terry left to go search. I also left in my car to ride the street. My mother stayed home with Amanda in case Stevie came home.
59. When I called, the police told me that they had over 100 officers out looking for my son. They told me not to worry, to go home because he had only run away. I told them that my son was eight years old and that he sleeps with a night light in his room and that he did not run away. I drove down Broadway several times and did not see a policeman in sight. I did not see any policemen in the wooded area either.
60. On the morning of May 6, 1993, my father, Terry, Steve Branch (Stevie's father) and I went out near the wooded area. At one point my father and Terry were standing on a pipe bridge that crossed over into the wooded area over a ditch. Terry asked my father, "Do you think that there was something in the water? Do you think that might be blood?" My father said no, with the truck wash over there and stuff it's probably all oil.
61. On the morning of May 6, 1993, my father, Steve Branch and Terry and I went to Stevie's school around 7:30 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. to see if the children were at school. The Moores and the Byers were there as well. The children did not arrive at the school. I believe that Mark Byers called the media around 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. After the media had been called, then the police started coming out to conduct a thorough search of the wooded area.
62. On May 6, 1993, in the afternoon when it was almost time for school to be out, we went to the school once again to see if maybe Stevie and the boys had arrived at school, but they had not. We overheard somebody say that the police had found three boys and when they said that we jumped in our vehicle and drove very fast down to where the crime scene was. When I got there, just by looking at Steve Branch, who was already there, I knew it was Stevie.
63. I never saw a black man or a bum on May 5 or 6, 1993, that I thought looked suspicious. From 1993 to 2007, Terry never told me he saw a black man or a bum on May 5 or 6, 1993.
64. Terry has been acting very strange regarding whether he was involved in the Murders. In 2002 or 2003, Terry and I went with my sister, Jo Lynn, to Missouri. We were all sitting up talking one evening and out of the blue Terry asked Jo Lynn, "Do you think I could've been involved?" It was obvious Terry meant do you think I could've been involved in the Murders. Jo Lynn responded, "Do you want me to tell you the truth or do you want me to lie?" Terry said he wanted the truth. Jo Lynn said, "Yeah, I think you could be involved." Terry responded that he could not believe that Jo Lynn would actually think that he would have anything to do with the murders. Then, Terry immediately said that because he had worked in the slaughterhouse and had butchered animals, "I could skin a man alive, I could cut him up." It blew my mind that he would make such grotesque comments after my sister had told him that she thought he might be involved in the Murders. I had never heard him discuss the slaughterhouse in that sort of way, nor had I heard him discuss how he could cut up human beings. It came completely out of the blue. I could see that Jo Lynn was also appalled that Terry would talk about his ability to cut up human beings while we were talking about whether he was involved in the Murders.
65. Terry also had a strong fireproof lockbox which he locked and kept at the top of our closet. On one occasion in 2004, a boy Jo Lynn was dating pried open the box. The only thing in the box was Terry's partial denture, a little bitty necklace that had a 1984 penny on it, and a marble. Jo Lynn and I discussed why Terry would lock up a partial denture. The only explanation we could come up with was that he did not want anyone to compare his dental imprint to what some people believed were bite marks on certain victims of the Murders"
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration was executed in Mississippi County, Arkansas.
By: Pamela Marie Hobbs (signature)
Pamela Marie Hobbs