Devil's knot: the true story of the West Memphis three

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On the evening of May 5, 1993, in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, three eight-year-old boys disappeared. The next afternoon, the naked bodies of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore were found submerged in a nearby stream. The boys had been bound from ankle to wrist with their own shoelaces and severely beaten. Christopher had been castrated. The crime scene had yielded few clues, and despite Christopher's castration, there was a remarkable absence of blood. The police were stymied, and citizens' alarm mounted as weeks passed without an arrest. Finally, a month after the murders, detectives announced three arrests -- and a startling theory of the crime: that the children had been killed by members of a satanic cult. Detectives attributed their break in the case to a former special education student, seventeen-year-old Jessie Misskelley Jr. Although Jessie insisted he knew nothing of the crime, after eight hours of questioning, police announced that he had implicated himself and accused two other teenagers, eighteen-year-old Damien Echols and sixteen-year-old Jason Baldwin. Damien and Jason both denied Jessie's account, and Jessie himself recanted it within hours, but by then all three had been charged with the murders. With no physical evidence connecting anyone to the crime, prosecutors contended that the murders bore signs of "the occult" and that the three accused teenagers possessed a "state of mind" that pointed to them as the killers. As proof of the defendants' mental states, they introduced items taken from their rooms -- such as books by Anne Rice and album posters for the rock group Metallica. Jurors found all three teenagers guilty. Jessie and Jason were sentenced to life in prison. Damien was sentenced to death. While the verdicts were popular in Arkansas, an HBO documentary raised questions about the lack of evidence in the case, and a Web site was formed to support the inmates, now known as "The West Memphis Three." When the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the verdicts, state officials insisted that anyone who questioned the trials simply did not know "the facts." Now, for the first time, an award-winning investigative reporter examines that official stand. In riveting narrative, Devil's Knot draws readers into the drama of a modern-day courtroom dominated by references to Satan. In laying out "the facts" of this still-unfolding case, it offers a frightening look into America's system of justice.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 571de912-50ac-1661-79c2-8d8d33d299bb
Grouping Title devil s knot the true story of the west memphis three
Grouping Author leveritt mara
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-12-16 23:31:42PM
Last Indexed 2018-12-17 00:33:41AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
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author Mara Leveritt
author_display Leveritt, Mara
available_at_catalog Donelson, Inglewood, Madison, Madison Kids
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Donelson - Adult Non-Fiction, Inglewood - Adult Non-Fiction, Madison - Adult Non-Fiction, Richland Park - Adult Non-Fiction

The West Memphis Three. Accused, convicted…and set free. Do you know their story?
In 2011, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history was set right when Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were released after eighteen years in prison. Award-winning journalist Mara Leveritt’s The Devil’s Knot remains the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on the investigation, trials, and convictions of three teenage boys who became known as the West Memphis Three. 
For weeks in 1993, after the murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas seemed stymied. 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 which included stunning investigative blunders, a confession riddled with errors, and an absence of physical evidence linking any of the accused to the crime, the teenagers 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.
With close-up views of its key participants, this award-winning account unravels the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case, one which will shape the American legal landscape for years to come.
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Donelson, Inglewood, Madison, Madison Kids, Richland Park
primary_isbn 9780743417600
publishDate 2002, 2011
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subject_facet Baldwin, Jason, Children -- Crimes against -- United States -- Case studies, Echols, Damien, Judicial error, Juvenile homicide -- United States -- Case studies, Misskelley, Jason, Murder -- Arkansas -- West Memphis -- Case studies, Trials (Murder) -- Arkansas -- West Memphis
title_display Devil's knot : the true story of the West Memphis three
title_full Devil's Knot The True Story of the West Memphis Three, Devil's knot : the true story of the West Memphis three / Mara Leveritt
title_short Devil's knot :
title_sub the true story of the West Memphis three
topic_facet Baldwin, Jason, Case studies, Children, Crimes against, Echols, Damien, Judicial error, Juvenile homicide, Law, Misskelley, Jason, Murder, Nonfiction, Trials (Murder), True Crime