February 24, 2010, - 3:39 pm

Meet Johnny Depp, Criminal Investigator: Mad Hatter Movie Star Shills for Murderers . . . Again

By Debbie Schlussel

When we last saw the bizarre Johnny Depp, he was praising criminal and murderer John Dillinger, whom he portrayed in his summer box office flop, “Public Enemies” (read my review).  Depp said he could identify with the famed bank robber, who was a cop-killer.  I wasn’t surprised because he’s an America-hater who prefers to live in France.



Now, on the eve of his appearance in Disney’s dark version of “Alice in Wonderland,” the anti-American Depp is identifying with some other murderers, three men accused (and convicted) of murdering three 8-year-old boys in a satanic ritual, known as the “West Memphis Three.” The murders happened in 1993 in Robin Hood Hills in Arkansas. The names of the convicted–and Depp’s latest causes celebres–are Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley. The victims: Steve Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore.

Depp is appearing on CBS’ “48 Hours Mystery,” Saturday Night, to defend the three men and proclaim their innocence.  And that’s disappointing, especially for the floundering CBS News operation.  “48 Hours” is known for its analytical look at the evidence in such cases and the commentary of criminal investigators, prosecutors, attorneys, and witnesses, NOT the meaningless, empty use of celebrities to tell you what they think.  Depp has no connection to the case, no special knowledge.  He is not a criminal investigator, an expert, or a witness in the case.  He’s just Johnny Depp . . . which means you or I have as much knowledge as he does of the guilt or innocence of the men convicted in the crime.

Were the three men convicted in the murders here dealt a raw hand and wrongfully sent to the slammer?  It’s possible, and sometimes that’s the case in stories “48 hours” and other media cover.  And all of us who believe in freedom want the innocent to go free. But does Johnny Depp add anything to the picture?  Not if you go by his comments on John Dillinger and the movie he made glorifying the guy.  In fact, if that’s any indication of the guilt of the “West Memphis Three,” they’re guilty as hell.

Reader Marc writes:

Being originally from the Philly area, I’m used to the nonsense I heard from idiots like Ed Asner and others who wanted to free Mumia Abu Jamal convicted of murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. There’s no question he killed the officer, and it’s too bad he couldn’t be executed.

Now I read about another moron, Johnny Depp, who’s going to appear on CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery to argue for the release of 3 men convicted in a 1994 murder of 3 boys in a satanic ritual. Granted I’m not familiar with the case, but it just gets to me when these celebrities are ALWAYS arguing for the convicted felon, never saying a word about the victim and his/her family.

Yup, limousine liberals have bleeding hearts . . . until they actually bleed for real. Then, they want to get the guy who made ’em bleed as much as the next day.

For now, Johnny Depp is still living in Wonderland. And to call him “mad” would be an insult to the comparatively sane Mad Hatter he plays in the upcoming Disney flick.

Frankly, my favorite Depp role isn’t as pretend criminal investigator in a real-life murder case. (It’s his getting eaten by a bed in “Nightmare on Elm Street.”  Yay, Freddie!)

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28 Responses

I live in Arkansas – I understand your point about Depp and agree that he has no professional skills to contribute to this case. However; this case has smelled to high heaven since the beginning – so, just this once, I’ll plug my nose and hope he can help shine a spotlight on our judicial system here in Arkansas. Personally, I do not believe these three are guilty – the dots just don’t connect.

BTW – Debbie – I too grew up in Detroit in the early 60’s. My father was a Wayne County deputy, focusing on drugs and gangs – I could tell you stories you wouldn’t believe – about the gangs, as well as corrupt officials. We moved to the south in the early 80’s, and I thank God every day that we did. I read your column frequently – not always agreeing, but always impressed at the depth of your knowledge of current events.

Pam, Rogers, Arkansas on February 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Whoa is all I got to say! how can he defend this??

lind jp on February 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

It is not a matter of reexamining the case, but of the use of Johnny Depp as an authority. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions do pursue cases that are weak or questionable in order to get rid of unsolved crimes or boost the careers of district attorneys. We have seen this in the cases of Nifong and Coakley. However, Johnny Depp will ad nothing to this case at all. It is as absurd as Norman Mailer vouching for the Black Panthers long ago.

sorrow01 on February 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Depp is a total jerk.

The evidence in West Memphis Three case is overwhelming. In fact, it is beyond “reasonable doubt”.

So, Depp’s doubt is totally unreasonable… Or, does his opinion weigh more than the jurors?

goldenmike4393 on February 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Every time I see a photo of Depp he’s dressed like some kind of lame Euro Pimp.

Oscar on February 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Ive been watching 48 hours for years, I was very dissapointed with them acting like depp is law enforcement. How many times have celebrities looked like idiots in defending criminals. Its laughable that cbs would highlight depps involvement in this case like it means theyre really innocent. This season of the show has been a joke, doing stories that have been done fifty times and seemingly every week doing a story on a white male who kills his wife, followed by government statistics on men killing there wives. Its really pathetic.

tyler on February 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Why only Depp??? Why not bring in full panel of shmexperts: Ozzie Osborne, maybe Ozzie’s daughter, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Plaxico Burris, Michael Vik (need the credibility of the NFL fans, you know….better ratings) , hey maybe even Dennis Hophead – I mean Hopper. And have a court jester like Joy Behar as the f****** moderator!…..Presenting know-nothings like this to pose as if their views matter any more than the rest of us is just another way of showing Western Civilization is gently making its way down the toilet.

BTW– For those of you who are not aware, please check out Sarandon’s history regarding the murderer Jack Henry Abbott. So enthralled was she, she named her firstborn after him.

Not Ovenready on February 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I don’t get the appeal of Depp at all. Why is this guy considered appealing? A hottie? How can this be? He hates America but has no issue making his money here does he. I guess when you have a Napolean Complex like he seems to, Paris is a likely choice of domicile? Anyway – he has a face like a ferret and just always looks like he’s walking around with wicked B.O. He’s probably an expert in how to make sick movies and he’s probably an expert in how to smoke a clove cigarette on the Champs Alysee but he’s certainly not expert in anything having to do with the law &/or the facts specific to this case. SHADDUP DEPP

OneScaredMomma on February 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    While I agree that I really don’t need celebrities weighing in on these types of situations (I live outside of Philly and have a long list of “celebs” who will not get my money because of their support of cop-killer Mumia), I must admit that I would give anything for a chance to hook up with Johnny Depp. He is my favorite boy ever.

    (yea, I know it’s juvenile – even more so because I’m 39)

    Amy on February 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm

“When we last saw the bizarre Johnny Depp,…”

Sorry, Debbie, I must take issue with you saying Depp is bizarre.

I think his so called bizarre act is just great marketing. He wears all the offbeat clothes and does the offbeat movie roles because he was smart enough to go against his earlier pretty boy image to appear as a legitimate actor.

I don’t blame Depp, it’s CBS’ fault for this cheap stunt.

Jeff W. on February 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Actually, Johnny Depp lives half of the year in the US and half in France, mainly so that his children experience the backgrounds of both of their parents.

He doesn’t live in France because he hates America. In fact, an American living outside the US isn’t, by definition, an America Hater. I’ve been disturbed over the past few years to see this title given to many people, often for that reason and no other. I don’t understand it and I like it even less, and I have no pretensions to being American at all. It just bothers me how easily and glibly this title is thrown about.

He’s said some things that are critical of the US. I say things that are critical of England, but that doesn’t make me an England Hater. I love my country, warts and all. Perhaps it’s a similar situation for some others who have the seeming temerity to state openly that there are aspects of their country that they don’t like.

Also, having read a fair bit on this case, I’m GLAD it’s getting some celebrity attention – not just from Johnny Depp, as has been stated above. There’s a man due to be executed here and, if the case stinks as much as it seems to then it needs highlighting.

Alison on February 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm


    Are you ten years old? You don’t have a clue of what’s going on. Did you review the evidence? It’s overwhelming against the convicts. Do you know WHAT was done to those children?

    Your concern should be for the victims and their families… Don’t put your energy into saving guilty defendants that would do the same thing to you.

    goldenmike4393 on February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm

This is the kind of stuff that has me wishing doom on libtards like depp. I wasn’t crazy about Public Enemies or anything of his ever. Pirates of the Carribean was sequeled to death and his gay pirate routine wasn’t impressing me.

Joe on February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Poor deluded people on this site. I feel nauseated at your comments. I believe it is more important to re-visit a wrong verdict as opposed to your Depp-hater’s Rally. I am a Depp fan; and as such, anyone who views him as “Anti-American” knows little of him other than what they view at the check-out lines at Wal-Mart.

    Depp having been interviewed numerous times has spoken openly about living in France. His partner, Vanessa Paradis, is French. Having the audacity to suggest that because Depp, or anyone, having homes in 2 countries is “Anti-American” is pure ignorance.

    Toddle off to your Depp-hater Fan Club and in the interim, use spell check for the most of you.

    LK on February 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm


I’m considerably older than ten, as are both of my children. In fact, my youngest will be celebrating her 18th in April. I would have killed anyone who hurt either of them without regret or guilt.

I am not an apologist or advocate for murderers. Victims and their families will ALWAYS have my prime concern. This case bothers me, however since I don’t think the evidence was “overwhelming” at all. In fact, I don’t even think it was convincing. I accept I may be wrong – I’m certainly not going to cast doubt on anyone else’s opinion for disagreeing with me – but I do think this case warrants further investigation. I’m not the only – or the first – person to express this concern in this thread.

Alison on February 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Considering anything that jojo depp has to say is, or plays
is an oxymoron.
Not worth any story..

LillyWest on February 25, 2010 at 12:42 am

“This case bothers me, however since I don’t think the evidence was “overwhelming” at all.”

Alison, I agree with you.
There is a chance that these three are innocent.
They did a sample with a knife and the blood on the knife did not match the murderer’s, but the victims and the victim’s step-father.
Guess who the knife belonged to? The victim’s stepfather.

Also, this whole thing happened during a time called the “Satanic Panic” where everyone was freaking out and public hysteria was common over a urban legend of Satanists killing little children for sacrifice rituals.

Bottom line is that the three convicted men MIGHT be innocent of the crime.
There are other theories and speculation as to other possible killers.

CS: No. The bottom line is that a mindless celebrity with no particular expertise is inserting himself–and CBS News is helping him–into a criminal investigation and criminal justice matter. He has no place here. DS

Charybdis_SeaStar on February 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

While I do not have a problem with a case like this being further scrutinized, I do agree that the Hollywood set all too often get involved because God knows, without their input we would all be lost. Most of these individuals have little more than a HS diploma but because they feel their celebrity provides some light for the rest of us meager minions to follow, they take up these causes. Why not spend some of that time and energy fighting for the children who go hungry each day or are victims of abuse? Their incredible egos and feelings of self-importance is mystifying to me. In regards to Depp, I would like to know why his British accent comes and goes. Fake! Just a bunch of FRAUDS!

Musiccgirl on February 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Depp is a dope.

Truth on February 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    No, Depp is ON dope! Well, he acts like he is, anyway….

    Sewsalot on February 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

These hollywood yo-yos play all sorts of characters and because they research on role prior to making the movies. These actors truly believe theyre an expert in the field they subsequently researched for their upcoming role in the movie. It comes down to the actor(s) are self-center, selfish and believe theyre above even the experts. I have over 20 years of law enforcement background and preparing to retire in five years. It took me years of training, education and on the job experiences and observations to be considered an expert in my industry. And to be honest I dont feel I am some sort of an expert. I am well versed and understand a lot. But, someone like depp wouldnt even know the laws of probabilities to be applied when conducting an investigation. Or the continuated of evidence and so forth. It is irresponsible of depp and CBS to give be projecting anything when it pertains to any case.

Sure some cases merit further review. But, bring in the detectives, forensics experts, criminologist, criminal psychologist and scientist, to ascertain what occurred. Not some actor.

Rick. S. on February 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm

YA THINK? —Should Johnny Depp play Harrison Court-006 in Kensington Roth”s Explosive Bond-like Spy-Thriller “ABLE DANGER?”

Kensington Roth on February 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I don’t believe the West Memphis Three killed ANYONE!

Depp is a dink thou’. Can’t stand him.

Skunky on February 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm

The West Memphis three have been supported by a lot of celebrities over the last decades because of two documentaries on the case, Paradise Lost and Paradise Lost 2 that got some media attention. Here are Ebert’s reviews: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19960927/REVIEWS/609270304/1023 , http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20000313/REVIEWS/3130301/1023 .

I’m not a fan of Depp, but with the information I got from reading up on the case I’m convinced these kids are innocent. Even the parents of the murdered children now think so. One of them is on death row and at the very least a re-trial is in order, if ony because the real killer could very well still walk free.

Simon on February 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

“48 Hours” is known for its analytical look at the evidence in such cases and the commentary of criminal investigators, prosecutors, attorneys, and witnesses…”
Now that’s funny.

Pete Bone on February 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I love Johnny and I believe those guys are innocent. I’ve read about the case and some things just don’t add up.

Alicia on December 7, 2010 at 2:35 am

And so what if he prefers to live in France. That doesn’t mean he hates America. I hope to live in France, someday, too. I love it there.

Alicia on December 7, 2010 at 2:37 am

While America was at War in Iraq Depp told the German news magazine Stern he was happier staying in the south of France with his wife, and their two children. “America is dumb, it’s like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive,” he said. “My daughter is four, my boy is one. I’d like them to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out,”. Depp slammed George W. Bush’s administration for its criticism of French opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. “I was ecstatic they re-named ‘French Fries’ as ‘Freedom Fries’. Grown men and women in positions of power in the U.S. government showing themselves as idiots,” he told Stern.

Yes, he sounds like a proud American.

Don’t forget he also said that he digs the murderer Che Guevara and wears “Che” fashions.

Vincenzo on February 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm

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