Trailer and Clip from the New West Memphis Three Doc, 'West of Memphis'

West of Memphis posterI have the Oscar-nominated documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and want to watch it before it comes time to settle in to watch West of Memphis, the Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh-produced documentary that also explores investigation surrounding the "West Memphis Three" which Sony Classics will be releasing on December 25 and today released the first official domestic trailer.

The film has been screening at festivals and receiving great buzz as it looks at the new investigation surrounding the "West Memphis Three," which ultimately broke the case open and led to the freedom of three innocent men: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr.

Here's the official synopsis:

A new documentary written and directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil) and produced by first-time filmmakers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, in collaboration with the multiple Academy Award winning team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, West of Memphis tells the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light: a fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man. Starting with a searing examination of the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, the film goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the other three victims of this shocking crime--Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. All three were teenagers when they became the target of the police investigation; all three went on to lose 18 years of their lives--imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.

The Huffington Post has more details regarding the case and its link to the documentary saying:

The new affidavits, which are featured in the documentary film, contain previously unheard evidence from three eyewitnesses about the final hours of the victims' lives. The evidence allegedly places Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Steven Branch, with the children immediately before they disappeared. The evidence also includes a sworn statement that Hobbs' nephew, Michael Hobbs Jr., allegedly made, saying his uncle was responsible for the murders of the three children.

Check out the trailer below followed by a clip from the film.

  • Susan

    Have you seen any of the other Paradise Lost docs, or just not three?

  • AS

    Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is fantastic. Watch it immediately.

  • wm3er

    For those not familiar with the West Memphis Three case, here's some information on the case: Many people believe the West Memphis Three were guilty as charged. They were found guilty by a unanimous jury the first time and plead guilty last year instead of waiting for a trial.

    They were found guilty because of the repeated confessions and braggings that the three committed the crime. Misskelley (one of the 3) confessed FIVE times, three times to the detectives, once to the police and once to his own lawyer. All of the West Memphis three had failed alibis.

    Echols' stated under cross-examination that he was interested in the occult. Echols' journal contained morbid images and references to dead children. Police took a necklace from Echols when he was arrested. An outside crime lab later found blood from two distinct DNA sources on the necklace. One source was consistent with Echols himself. The second source was consistent with both victim Steven Branch and co-defendant Jason Baldwin (one of the 3). A car load of people saw Echols in muddy clothes near the crime scene. Echols went around bragging he committed the crimes to at least three different people after the crimes were committed.

    Echols had a history of threats of violence, violence, psychiatric treatment and psychotic behavior. His reported actions included brutally killing a dog, starting fires at his school, threatening to kill his teachers and parents and stating he liked to drink blood. See court documents exhibit 500 for evidence of this. for the other side of the story see wm3truth com

  • wm3er

    Hobbs didn't do it. He had no motive. At least three people committed the crimes. The three murdered boys were tied up with three different knots. There is no solid evidence against Hobbs. Only a hair which could have been picked up by simple transfer which could have belonged to millions of people.

    The first two "witness" statements against Hobbs are fourth-hand statements: some guys claim that Michael Hobbs told them something, which Michael Hobbs had heard from his dad, which his dad called a “family secret”, original source unknown. And these “friend of a friend whose dad told him a rumor” statements pop up eighteen years after the fact.

    The third guy tells a tale about overhearing an actual Terry Hobbs confession. He keeps it to himself for eight years, then tells defense lawyers and filmmakers, who include the story in a press release on the day their movie premieres at Sundance. Why did he wait eight years to tell anyone?