by Max Brantley
A momentous day done. Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin have headed to parts unknown and are not expected back in Arkansas. Jessie Misskelley was last seen getting in a car with his father, to return home to Crittenden County. Stars such as Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines can return to their celebrity existences after raising money and publicity for the legal effort that won freedom for the West Memphis Three. (Peter Jackson, the Lord of the Rings director, never made it to Jonesboro, but his money preceded him in the effort and he also reportedly was financing a documentary filmmaker at work in Jonesboro Friday.) Some media types, including from HBO, and others active in the WM3 cause, including Vetter and Maines, are gathering at a posh Memphis hotel tonight for a celebration of the end of a long, hard fight. Though Echols' ultimate destination isn't known, he's on hand, too, along with his wife Lorri Davis. David Goins of Fox 16 says Echols first free-world meal was a Kobe beef hamburger, fries with ketchup and a glass of red wine. Natalie Maines Tweets that partyers are getting WMFree face tattoos.
So, over to you and our regularly scheduled programs. Closing out:
* GENE LYONS IMITATOR: Funny story about a North Dakota editor who snuck a valedictory column blasting the publisher into his newspaper by disguising it as a Gene Lyons column.
* WM3 PHOTOS: A folder full of today's photographs from the Times' Brian Chilson.