It’s really an investigation into our relationship with animals. It’s covering the full range from the off-beat and quirky to the potentially illicit. And our approach to [the latter] is to make sure that we’re obviously not encouraging that behavior. Our standards and practices group is something that really sets us apart. We’re always gong to come through the filter of the National Geographic mission and make sure that we’re doing that in a highly credible and responsible manner.
Which is why Rollins will be visiting the Road Kill Cafe on Route 66 in Seligman Arizona, and more exotic locales to watch people drink frog milkshakes and munch on tarantulas. And why on the Rollins-hosted NatGeo special “Snake Underworld,” which features Slayer guitarist Kerry Kelly’s python collection, there was a segment featuring a guy who shoots up black mamba venom to create naturally occurring snake venom antibodies.
What’s next? Rob Zombie hosting a interior design show?
The West Memphis 3– Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr.– were released from prison yesterday in Arkansas after serving 18 years in prison for the stabbing murders of three elementary-aged boys. Supporters Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, and actor Johnny Depp traveled to Jonesboro, AR along with filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Crude) who has shot two documentaries about the trial and is completing a third for the Toronto Film Fest, and a group of activists who had worked raising funds and awarenes for the convicted trio’s defense. Other supporters include members of the band X, Henry Rollins, Ozzy Osbourne, and writer/director John Roecker who emailed La Figa saying:
I was in tears all day yesterday-It reminded me of the the last election, was so happy that Obama got elected and sad that Prop 8 didn’t go though. A bittersweet victory. But I am just staying focused that those men are out and can live their lives the way it was meant to be. Free.
I am happy for the guys but so much has been lost. Three boys were killed. In my opinion, the wrong people were incarcerated and the person or persons who did it are still out there, alive or dead, still not brought to justice.
At the time of WM3′s trial in 1993, the height of the Satanic Panic, the prosecution in the primarily fundamentalist Christian area argued that the trio–who listened to bands like Metallica and wore black–had hogtied, raped, mutilated and killed the children as part of a Satanic ritual. Misskelley–who is mentally disabled–had confessed to police, but the defense contended that he was coerced into making a false confession and, as a minor, had not been properly Mirandized. Misskelly eventually recanted the confession, and other witnesses admitted they lied to police. Damien Echols, who read books on the occult and was medicated for bipolar disorder was named the ringleader by the prosecution and sentenced to death, while the two other defendants received life in prison.
On Friday the trio pleaded guilty under the little-used Alford plea, which allows them to also claim they are innocent. An Aford plea, sometimes agreed upon when both the defense and the prosecution have reasons to avoid a jury trial. Since the Arkansas Supreme Court recently determined that DNA evidence found at the scene conclusively excluded the prisoners, the three attorneys for WM3 had asked for a new hearing to consider new evidence, a request that was granted by the court.
was consistent with the DNA of a friend of Hobbs, according to the documents.
Hobbs has denied seeing the three victims–Christopher Byers, Steve Branch and Hobbs’ stepson Michael Moore–on the day of their disappearance. A speech by Dixie Chick Natalie Maines on the steps of the Arkansas State Supreme Courthouse in which she mentioned Hobbs resulted in a civil suit.