Ed Eleazer's Reviews > Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three

Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt
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Aug 03, 10

Read in July, 2010

I read this in 2002 when it first came out, but have re-read it in preparation for a freshman composition class I'm teaching this fall, where the theme is "witch hunts." As other reviewers have pointed out, here, Leveritt is not unbiased, but it is hard to be unbiased in the face of such overwhelming evidence--that these three young men were the victims of a witch hunt quite similar to the day care center trials of the 1990's and ultimately to the Salem witch trials of the seventeenth century. The book does not take into account more recent DNA evidence indicating that a father of one of the boys (not John Mark Byers, as Leveritt argues) came into contact with the bodies post mortem and is as likely a suspect as Byers, but that is understandable. Perhaps she needs to update the text. At any rate, this is an excellent book, an enjoyable read, solid true-crime reporting of the first water.
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