“Devil’s Knot”, a film about the West Memphis Three murders that took place in Arkansas in 1993, isn’t set for a release until next spring, but the trailer has been released online and looks very promising.
The movie tells the story of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin, three teenagers who were found guilty of the murders of three young boys. The victims–Steve Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers, all of whom were just eight years old when they died–were found stripped of clothing and hog-tied with their own shoelaces in a drainage canal near a creek. The boys suffered multiple lacerations, and Byers had viciously been castrated.
Police looked to three young men in the area who had a history of both petty crime and drug abuse, one of whom had been institutionalized months before the murders and had been diagnosed as severely depressed and suicidal: Damien Echols. Echols reportedly suffered from dramatic mood swings and both audio and visual hallucinations, as testified to by his doctor. He also allegedly claimed that he had sucked blood from another human and had gained powers. Soon, talk began of devil worship. The trials would rivet not just the town of West Memphis, but the nation.
After serving 18 years in prison, the three men were able to reach a deal with prosecutors when new DNA evidence was discovered that implicated another party at the crime scene. They were released with suspended sentences.