Devil's Knot : The True Story of the West Memphis Three
Based on a true story, this edition of Devil's Knot will tie-in to a major motion picture starring Academy Award winners Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. This riveting portrait of a small Arkansas town recounts the all-too-true story of a brutal triple murder and the eighteen-year imprisonment of three innocent teenagers. For weeks in 1993, after the grisly murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas, seemed stumped. Then suddenly, detectives charged three teenagers - alleged members of a satanic cult - with the killings. Despite the witch-hunt atmosphere of the trials and a case that included stunning investigative blunders, the teenagers, who became known as the West Memphis Three, were convicted. Jurors sentenced Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to life in prison and Damien Echols, the accused ringleader, to death. The guilty verdicts were popular in their home state - even upheld on appeal - and all three remained in prison until their unprecedented release in August 2011. In Devil's Knot, award-winning investigative journalist Mara Leveritt presents the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on this story - one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history. In-depth research, meticulous reconstruction of the investigation and close-up views of its key participants unravel the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case.
Mara Leveritt won a White Award for investigative journalism in 1991, was named Arkansas Journalist of the Year in 1992 and was awarded Arkansas's Booker Worthen Prize in 2000 for her book The Boys on the Tracks. A contributing editor to the Arkansas Times, she lives in Little Rock.