In 1993, three eight year old boys, best friends, from West Memphis, Arkansas were found murdered and hogtied. Although there was very little evidence (and several other more plausible suspects), three teenagers were arrested, charged, and ultimately convicted of the murders, which the prosecution claimed occurred as part of Satanic rituals.
The teenagers would come to be known as the West Memphis Three and there have been numerous documentaries and fundraisers held on their behalf. There was no DNA evidence of any of the three at the scene and on August 19, 2011, the three entered Alford Pleas and were released after 18 years and 78 days in jail.
This documentary, however, came long before that, back in 1996, two years after the first conviction. (There would be two more films to follow.) It’s hard to watch this and not feel sick to your stomach, from the crime to the trial.
Previously in Documentary Tuesday:
Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.