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Kim Floresca was described as a "Marion teen" who informed reporters at the Commercial Appeal that Jessie Misskelley had confessed to participating in the murders of Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Chris Byers.
An excerpt from the article read as follows:
Floresca said Misskelley told her and other students the day before he was arrested that he participated in the killings.
A group of students were driving last Wednesday after school to a friend's house to go swimming when Misskelley began telling his bizarre tale, she said.
"He was saying he hit the little boy and the little boy ran off and he was taking him back to where Damien and the other boy were," she said. According to Misskelley's story, Echols had already killed the two other boys, she said
Floresca said she didn't believe Misskelley at the time.
Kim Floresca never testified at either of the two trials. An official police statement recording the above-referenced confession has not been identified or located. The article in the Commercial Appeal as well as the reference to Floresca in Blood of Innocents, written by the same authors as the newspaper article, is the only known documentation of this confession by Misskelley. None of the other teenagers in the car have ever been publicly identified.
The statement is indicative of Jessie Misskelley's guilt as he would have provided this confession to people, other than the police, prior to his arrest. The statement was described as being made the previous Wednesday, which according to the printed date of the article would have been June 2nd, 1993. Jessie was arrested on June 3rd, 1993.
Counterarguments against Statement
Though the reference to the confession by Misskelley exists via copies of the original June 7th, 1993 newspaper article, supporters of the West Memphis Three question the veracity of the article's contents. Mara Leveritt claimed in her novel pertaining to the case, Devil's Knot, that "a television news director reported that a woman called his station the day after the arrests, offering to sell a copy for several hundred dollars" (Leveritt, 2002, p. 98). A subsequent footnote in the same book identifies the director as Bruce Whittaeker of WMC-TV, Channel 5, in Memphis.
The following discusses the leaking of confession details prior to the printing of the article:
"As Damien Echols’s latest appeal works its way through the court system, it’s hard not to reflect on one of the principal components, not only of his appeals, but of the original trial as well. That component is, of course, the confession of Jessie Misskelley, Jr. While much public attention has been focused on the validity of the statement itself - was it "coerced", why were so many details incorrect, etc. - it must be noted that were it not for the leaking of the confession to the press, it may have been possible to voir dire a jury for the Echols/Baldwin trial that wasn't so familiar with the details that first appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal on June 7th, 1993. West Memphis municipal judge William P. "Pal" Rainey had ordered the sealing of "all investigative files in the triple slaying" on June 4, 1993. Two days later, however, a twenty-seven page transcript of Misskelley’s statement was "obtained" by the Commercial Appeal, and excerpts were published three days later."
Leveritt, M. (2002). Devil's knot. New York: Simon & Schuster.