Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 1.1 in
Published: October 21, 2003
Publisher: Atria Books
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
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
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.
"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."