Jackson's tattoo link to convicted killer

Thursday 24 Nov 2011 8:15 a.m.

Peter Jackson (AAP)

Peter Jackson (AAP)

Lord of the Rings director Sir Peter Jackson and convicted United States triple murderer Damien Echols have reportedly been inked with identical tattoos.

Sir Peter helped fund Echols' seven-year legal fight to be freed from death row, a battle won in August when he and co-accused Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly were released.

Echols has been visiting the movie director in New Zealand, and this week the pair got inked with the same tattoo at a Queenstown parlour, The Southland Times reports.

White Tiger Tattoo owner Greg Burt confirmed the men had been in, saying only: "It was kind of special. I'd like to respect them for it."

Echols, Baldwin and Misskelly - known as the West Memphis Three - were found guilty of the murder of three Cub Scouts in Arkansas in 1993.

Echols, considered the ring leader, was sentenced to death, while the others received life sentences.

They have maintained their innocence, and after 18 years in prison this year accepted a bargain deal known as an "Alford plea" that allows them to publicly proclaim their innocence in exchange for pleading guilty in court.

They lost their right to seek compensation for a miscarriage of justice.

Sir Peter was among several high-profile personalities to help bankroll their fight.

NZN

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