Dale Griffis – West Memphis Three Case Information
This information is being posted with the permission of its author, Dale Griffis:
This document is to provide accurate information about my professional background and educational credentials as these have been inaccurately referenced on the Internet and in at least one documentary film in relation to the Memphis Three Case.
From 1960 to 1986, I worked in the Tiffin Ohio Police Department, I began as a Patrolman and over the course of my 26-year career, became Captain in Charge of Operations and a State Certified School Commander.
During these years, I attended over forty service school and seminars. This included three courses on intelligence work, including a three-week course as a unit commander of an intelligence unit. I was chosen to attend the Federal Alcohol, tobacco and Firearms Academy in Washington D.C. and graduated with honors. I graduated from Terra Community College with an Associates Degree in Police Science. I graduated Cum Laude from Heidelberg College in 1976 with a Bachelors degree in psychology.
I began my graduate education at Columbia Pacific University (CPU) in 1980 and graduated in January of 1984 with a Ph.D. At the Masters level, I concentrated on an independent study project (ISP) on intelligence graphics and advanced investigation charting for small agencies. My Masters ISP took a year to finish and I graduated upon completion of my approximately 90-page thesis. CPU then granted me entry into their doctoral program.
Copies of Documents in regard to Columbia Pacific University
The subject of my doctoral program ISP was “Behavior Modified Groups and their Effects on Criminal Justice Agencies.” I researched indoctrination, brainwashing techniques, mind control by criminal cults and government organizations (e.g. Project MKULTRA), and law enforcement tactics in confronting people under the mental influence of others. My proctor was a person on the short list to being a General in the Army Reserves and head of his state’s criminal justice program. My research questionnaire was sent to over 500 former cult and occult group members. One significant finding was that one third of the respondents reported that, while under the influence of their mind control group, they would have killed without the bat of an eye if ordered to do so by the group leader (not unlike the behavior described in “The CIA’s Control of Candy Jones.”) The total doctoral project took 20 months. I was assisted by an agent in the FBI’s legal section in a chapter on police legal concerns and freedom of religion issues. The dissertation was 285 pages long. It was not easy and I burned many nights of midnight oil, but I learned and came away satisfied.
Approximately a year prior to the murders of three children by convicted Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin, I was given data about a suspicious and criminal activity by some local youths in the West Memphis area. I provided to a West Memphis detective investigating these activities some indicators of possible problems and suggestions for thwarting the criminal activity. The detective’s concerns and my suggestions were not implemented by local authorities. The murders took place and I read about it in the media, I did not participate in the post-homicide investigation, interviews, or crime scene. My first post-homicide review of the case was of a group of photos that came to my attention and a phone call from the prosecutor in the case. I was asked to testify and in so doing reviewed the case the night prior to my testimony.
I took the stand and testified for the prosecution establishing my knowledge of cults and occult groups and about a number of items found on a search warrant. Then the defense counsel undertook to cross exam by trying to discredit me by first asking just what honor did I like to be called: Doctor, Great Doctor, Captain–. I looked at the jury and said I felt that being called “Grandpa” was a great honor. The defense counsel became highly agitated and charged the witness box angrily asking if it was true that Columbia Pacific University (CPU) was not a state accredited secondary college. I explained to the court that CPU was authorized by the State of California to grant degrees. I further stated that states never accredited colleges, never will, such is done by non-government entities. The accreditation process takes time to accomplish and when I went to CPU it was in official correspondence for accreditation.
Note: States never have accredited a college or university. They only grant permission to grant degrees and to operate. CPU was officially granted permission to grant degrees and operate from 1979 to 1989. I studied at CPU from 1980 to 1983 and graduated with my Ph.D. in January of 1984 while in the licensed period. On December 1, 2000, the California Supreme Court ordered that CPU had legal approval to operate until June 25, 1997 and further stated that the degrees awarded before June 25, 1997 are legally valid. The accrediting of Colleges and Universities is done by a private group of eight or nine non-government groups and takes a long period of time to obtain full status. While I was going to CPU, it was in corresponding status for accreditation.
The defense counsel, for the better part of four hours, tried over and over to discredit me via my CPU degrees and never asked or acknowledged my other degrees or studies while a police officer. The judge at one time took the defense council to his chamber and you could hear him admonishing the attorney and stating he was to move on to other parts of the testimony. The defense counsel returned to the court and started all over with the same questions about CPU.
This time the judge banged his gavel and asked me questions. He asked how many cases I had personal knowledge of. I said approximately 1500 and I had been a court expert in about eight cases and that my credentials had never posed a problem in any cases I testified in prior. He announced to the jury that I was his expert and I was allowed to give opinions. I then testified uninterrupted for about twenty minutes. I finished and was about to stand down from the witness box and the doors opened and a swat team approached me and they threw a bomb blanket over me and I was escorted from the court room. The media never show these security measures that were required to protect me nor the group of Damien Echols groupies in the court room.
A jury found the Memphis three guilty. A judge sentenced Damien Echols to death, sentenced Jessie Miskelly , Jr. to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and sentenced Jason Baldwin to life imprisonment.
Although some media portrayals depict me as a charlatan, I was qualified by the judge as an expert based on my credentials, training and experience, I testified about my opinions, and I never perjured myself. MY integrity is unscathed.
I have worked now with close to 2000 cases of cult and occult activity and am now retired, I still carry concern for the three eight-year-old boys who were savagely beaten and killed. I had told investigators and detectives more than a year before the arrest of the Memphis Three that children and animals would be sacrificed based on indicators sent to me of activity in the West Memphis area. I was sadly correct in my opinion. It is true still that when a person sees or hears something so bizarre as a ritually abusive sacrificial cult or occult group that it is easier to go after the messenger than to listen to the message.
Yes, I am retired, and I quiver when I hear that in the 1980’s some misguided individuals started the Satanic Panic. The truth is that I reported on and discussed cases on which I worked or obtained first hand knowledge. I even withdrew some claims for which I questioned the documentation. Were there people spreading some questionable data? I think so. But I never associated with them and I tried hard never to be associated with them. I started collecting data in the late 1970’s with the help of the original Cult Awareness Network and I gathered data from many states in the US. These cases and lectures are all behind me now.
It is a good day when we can help a person in distress; it is a better day if we help them avoid the stress and problem. Over the years I have talked to some and I have heard some amazing stories. And along the way I have met many wonderful people. In my classes, I used to state, and still believe, that when God designed a human, God gave us two eyes, two ears, and one mouth and we need to use them in that proportion, as I believe looking and listening to victims prior to talking is a must. It is also essential that we look for validation markers and document, document.
It’s been good helping others, I have enjoyed the times. I do not enjoy the myths, disinformation, and untruths about me before the public. I consider the source. Besides I know the truth.
Dale W. Griffis, Ph.D.