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

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

by Mara Leveritt

Atria Books | October 21, 2003 | Trade Paperback

Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three is rated 5 out of 5 by 2.
*SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON AND COLIN FIRTH *

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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 1.1 in

Published: October 21, 2003

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0743417607

ISBN - 13: 9780743417600

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Southern Justice A thought provoking work that has the most recent summary of the West Memphis 3 trials held in Arkansas almost 10 years ago. Explores not only the obvious ignorance of the West Memphis police force but also how "mob mentality" or "satanic panic" gripped a small town. This case is truly devastating and I urge anyone who is interested in the West Memphis 3 to read this book.
Date published: 2004-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Please Read This Book After two days of straight reading, I have just finished this book, and I urge everyone to read it. It is a very sad story, as it is about the loss of three little boys brutally murdered-however, after reading this book I am sure that it will raise many doubts about the guilt of the three people who were charged and convicted. I was one of the millions who when the case first happened, assumed it was a done deal when the arrests were made. But I am now a firm believer that you cannot judge a book by its cover. All I ask is that you pick up a copy of this book, and pay close attention. I strongly believe that you will be shocked at what can happen in today's society-and how sometimes people who are sentenced to jail can be truly innocent of the charges. You will be amazed at the cover ups, and lies, and feel the frustrations. As I stated earlier, it is regarding three innocent little victims, however after reading this book I strongly feel that the number is much higher.
Date published: 2002-12-02

– More About This Product –

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

by Mara Leveritt

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 1.1 in

Published: October 21, 2003

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0743417607

ISBN - 13: 9780743417600

Read from the Book

Chapter One The Murders At 7:41 P.M. on May 5, 1993, a full moon rose behind the Memphis skyline. Its light glinted across the Mississippi River and fell onto the midsized Arkansas town aspiringly named West Memphis. Sometime between the rising of that moon and its setting the next morning, something diabolical would happen in West Memphis. Three eight-year-old boys would vanish, plucked off the streets of their neighborhood by an unseen, murderous hand. Under the glare of the next day''s sun, police would discover three young bodies. They would be pulled -- naked, pale, bound, and beaten -- from a watery ditch in a patch of woods alongside two of America''s busiest highways. But the investigation would unfold in shadow. Why had one of the boys been castrated? How to account for the absence of blood? Why did the banks of the stream look swept clean? The police would stumble for weeks without clues -- until the moon itself became one. John Mark Byers, an unemployed jeweler, was the first parent to report a child missing. At 8 P.M., with the full moon on the rise, Byers telephoned the West Memphis police. Ten minutes later, a patrol officer responded. She drove her cruiser down East Barton Street, in a working-class neighborhood. At the corner where Barton intersected Fourteenth Street, the officer stopped in front of the Byerses'' three-bedroom house. Byers, an imposing man, six feet five inches tall, weighing more than two hundred pounds, with long hair tied back in a ponytai
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From the Publisher

*SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON AND COLIN FIRTH *

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.

About the Author

Mara Leveritt has won several awards for investigative journalism, including Arkansas''s Booker Worthen Prize for her book The Boys on the Tracks. A contributing editor to the Arkansas Times, she lives in Little Rock.

Editorial Reviews

"Well written in descriptive language, Devil''s Knot is an indictment of a culture and legal system that failed to protect children as defendants or victims. Highly recommended."
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