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

Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt
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Apr 01, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2008

Remind me not to wear a black t-shirt next time I'm in Arkansas. For those who have seen the two "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" documentaries, you should know that the films barely scratched the tip of the iceberg. For those unfamiliar with the case, in 1993 in the town of West Memphis, three 8-year-old boys were found murdered in a ditch near a truck stop. The unbelievable investigative and judicial shit-show that followed resulted in three teenagers being convicted, with no physical evidence whatsoever, other than the fact that they were into Metallica and one of the kids checked a book on Wicca out of the library. The cops decided the motive for the killing was that the teens were in a satanic cult and the murders were a a ritual killing, even though there was no sign of occult activity at the scene. The book piles on maddening details of the "amateur justice metted out" (according to Henry Rollins's blurb on the back cover), such as the initial coerced--then recanted--confession by one of the convicts (a kid with a borderline mentally retarded IQ) whose 12-hour interrogation (only 45 minutes of which was recorded) was filled with inaccuracies, the constant blockings by the biased trial judge of anything the defense did to help their clients, leaks to the media, numerous second-hand witnesses who all admitted to lying after the fact, the prosecutors calling to the stand an "occult expert" who was then revealed by the defense to have gotten his PHD through the mail, random sticks and knives brought in to the jury as "evidence" that had no fingerprints, dna, blood, etc., numerous other suspects not followed up on by the police (many of whom were under investigation themselves for corruption prior to the case), and so on and so forth.
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05/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Andriano ...and you were so skeptical after seeing the movie.


message 2: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin In all seriousness, I was in Arkansas twice in the late 90s when I was in my early twenties. The first time I was wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans- people were incredibly polite and nice to me. The second time I was wearing a black velvet top from Hot Topic and people glared at me like I was the devil. It was totally bizarre.


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