.Free Book ♟ Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three ⚖ eBooks or Kindle ePUB free

Remind me not to wear a black t shirt next time I m in Arkansas For those who have seen the two Paradise Lost The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills documentaries, you should know that the films barely scratched the tip of the iceberg For those unfamiliar with the case, in 1993 in the town of West Memphis, three 8 year old boys were found murdered in a ditch near a truck stop The unbelievable investigative and judicial shit show that followed resulted in three teenagers being convicted, with no physical evidence whatsoever, other than the fact that they were into Metallica and one of the kids checked a book on Wicca out of the library The cops decided the motive for the killing was that the teens were in a satanic cult and the murders were a a ritual killing, even though there was no sign of occult activity at the scene The book piles on maddening details of the amateur justice metted out according to Henry Rollins s blurb on the back cover , such as the initial coerced then recanted confession by one of the convicts a kid with a borderline mentally retarded IQ whose 12 hour interrogation only 45 minutes of which was recorded was filled with inaccuracies, the constant blockings by the biased trial judge of anything the defense did to help their clients, leaks to the media, numerous second hand witnesses who all admitted to lying after the fact, the prosecutors calling to the stand an occult expert who was then revealed by the defense to have gotten his PHD through the mail, random sticks and knives brought in to the jury as evidence that had no fingerprints, dna, blood, etc., numerous other suspects not followed up on by the police many of whom were under investigation themselves for corruption prior to the case , and so on and so forth. This book is phenomenal I have followed this case for so many yearsI live in Memphis, so this happened about 20 miles from my house I remember everything so vividly and this book is a dead on accurate RELEVANT gem.If you don t know anything about the West Memphis Threethis book is an excellent starter.on a side note, I got to meet Damien last month at a book signing in Oxford, MS and he was a charming humble and very well spoken man It was a pleasure to get to listen to him speak.But I digress, Read This Book. The prosecutor is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer Berger v U.S., 295 U.S 78, 88 1935 Justice Sutherland delivering the opinion of the Court The eighteen year saga of the West Memphis Three began on May 5, 1993, when three eight year old boys Steve Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers were reported missing in the town of West Memphis, Arkansas The boys bodies were discovered hogtied in a drainage ditch They had been beaten to death one boy, it seemed, had been mutilated much later, experts would say this wound was likely caused post mortem, by animals Soon, suspicion centered on three teenage suspects Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin The motive derived by police seemed tailor made to garner headlines The three young boys, they claimed, had been sacrificed as part of a satanic ritual, orchestrated by Damien Echols And why not The boys were outsiders They were weirdoes They wore black and listened to Metallica and probably painted their nails on occasion In a predominantly staid and Evangelical community like West Memphis, it was tantamount to a declaration of guilt The facts guaranteed national headlines The press descended on West Memphis There was a distinct lack of forensic evidence No blood stains or fingerprints or DNA Misskelley, who is developmentally disabled, was convicted based on a questionable confession in which the interrogators supplied much of the information Echols and Baldwin faced equally questionable snitches Infamously, the State called a mail order PhD to testify as to the occult All three boys had alibis Nothing tied them to the crime scene Other than satanic hysteria, they had absolutely no motive for murder Nonetheless, they were convicted Echols was sentenced to die That should have been the end of the story.The evidence was flimsy, but evidence light convictions happen every day Baldwin and Misskelley should have grown ancient in prison Echols should have been poisoned in the death chamber There was a variable, though A variable that most criminal defendants don t get Documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky had covered the whole thing Granted unprecedented and probably inappropriate access , the documentarians released Paradise Lost in 1996 Critical praise was wildly positive More importantly, it inspired activists to demand a harder look at the case These activists, including celebrities such as Metallica, the Dixie Chicks, and Peter Jackson, worked tirelessly to keep Echols, Misskelley, and Baldwin from being forgotten Eventually, a crack legal team, using an Arkansas statute regarding new evidence, won their clients a new trial Before that trial began, the State of Arkansas offered a rare deal called an Alford plea The defendants pled guilty while still maintaining their innocence the judge sentenced them to time served They were released, though as felons This incredible story has been well covered Berlinger and Sinofsky made two follow ups to Paradise Lost Jackson funded a separate documentary called West of Memphis All four films are excellent, and show you everything you need to know about the West Memphis Three Accordingly, Mara Leveritt s The Devil s Knot is at a distinct disadvantage First off, however good her book is, it is going to be compared and found lacking to the Paradise Lost trilogy Secondly, The Devil s Knot was published in 2002, five years before new DNA evidence came to light This is a case that lasted a generation, and Leveritt s book arrived right in the middle of the story Not only does it lack a conclusion, but it misses the cases biggest twists and turns Leveritt was an Arkansas journalist who covered the original trials of the West Memphis Three To her unending credit, she was one of the few local reporters who questioned the convictions In fact, she cameos in Revelations Paradise Lost 2 Even though The Devil s Knot is hopelessly outdated, her role in the larger story is important to note I knew the limitations of The Devil s Knot before I got it As a defense attorney, I m a huge fan of Paradise Lost, but a documentary can t cover everything I had certain professional questions regarding the trials that I hoped Leveritt could answer And she did Anyone interested in the WM3 is well advised to read this, if solely to understand the legal maneuverings that never made it to the film Many wrongful conviction cases come about because of inadequate defense work I ve heard of capital cases out of Texas and Louisiana where untried, untested, or uninterested attorneys are roped into defending life or death cases That didn t happen here West Memphis justice leaves a lot to be desired, but you can t fault the men appointed to represent those teenagers Leveritt does a good job showing the uphill climb they faced with a judge who didn t seem to understand the adversarial process The trial takes up about two thirds of the book s length The final third is kind of a mishmash, covering the initial appeals and life behind bars Leveritt also attempts to shift blame to a different suspect, but does so in a confused and unfocused manner Her suspect is likely not the actual killer I m not going to recommend The Devil s Knot, save for WM3 completists In the end, it is a victim of the momentum it initially helped create The story kept on after publication, and those subsequent events render this effort nearly moot Thus ends the book review Now comes the movie review I can t recommend the Paradise Lost trilogy and West of Memphis enough What happened to those three young boys accused of killing three young boys has important implications that need to be addressed I m old fashioned in that I believe that the criminal justice system was designed to protect citizens from government overreach We have safeguards so that the State can only strip you of your liberty after surmounting a very high bar I also like to believe, again, due to my old fashioned nature, that the State is dispassionate that the State is interested only in justice that the State would gladly rectify errors that come to light because the State should have no interest in keeping innocent citizens in prison.As Justice Sutherland wrote in Berger v U.S., all the way back in 1935, the prosecutor May prosecute with earnestness and vigor But while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one Alas, my desires, and those of George Sutherland, are often not fulfilled in court We talk a lot of the systemic flaws in our criminal justice edifice That is all well and good, because there are serious race and class prejudices baked into the punitive pie Here, though, the breakdown is less systemic and almost all human It came down to individual decisions made for individual reasons not individuals representing the State, or the law, in all its perceived majesty Starting with Inspector Gary Gitchel telling the press his certainty about the WM3 s guilt was 11 on a scale of ten, the West Memphis Police painted themselves into a corner where those accused must be guilty, no matter what I don t think the prosecutors did this at first to simply frame Echols, Misskelley, and Baldwin They probably truly believed they were guilty, and thereupon used dubious means to prove it, all the while closing their senses to all exculpatory evidence Far worse is the continuing insistence by the State, its prosecutors, and the judge, that they convicted the actual killers The position is long past untenable, yet they cling to it The State, you see, is not dispassionate It is, rather, made up of men and women with reputations to defend men and women who have to live with themselves, and so convince themselves they are blameless men and women who would rather perpetuate a mistake than to fix it There are a lot of ways to change the system, but the hardest thing might be changing human nature. I live in Little Rock and have met Mara several times She is a terrific investigative journalist and writer of non fiction I read her The Boys on the Tracks about the suspicious deaths of two young boys for political expediency during the Clinton Administration in Arkansas A marvelous and chilling book Devil s Knot is the story of the West Memphis Three, three Delta teenagers convicted of the ghastly murders of three third graders in 1992, The story is highlighted by gross incompetence on the part of the police dept and the kangaroo courtroom tactics of Judge Burnett, who it appears, had made up his mind about the outcome of the trial before it began Mara states in the foreword that the case is a direct parallel to the Salem witch trials in MA in the 17th century Damien Echols was targeted as a satanic cultist based on the mere fact that he wore all black and checked out Cotton Mather s book on Witchcraft from the library He was given the death sentence for killing three 8yr old boys based on the coerced confession of a 67 IQ co defendant who was denied counsel and confessed after 11 hours of interrogation in which he contradicted himself several times over.Subsequent evidence cleared the defendants in 2011 but not without them serving 18 years in prison, with Damien Echols serving this time on death row Napoleon Bonaparte said, Never ascribe to malice what may be best explained by incompetence However, in this case, the corruption of the justice and law enforcement apparatus in West Memphis makes me certain incompetence alone was hardly the best explanation. Want a book that will make you so mad you want to punch someone in the face Detailing an almost deliberate, definitely despicable, miscarriage of justice DEVIL S KNOT will either have you reaching out to help innocence projects or forever burying your head in the sand. A hefty wallop of a book, Devil s Knot will FUCK YOUR BRAIN UP and make you like it It s true crime in the best sort of way horrifically true and sad and it will grab you by the metaphorical balls and never let go. .Free Book ⚔ Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three ♬ In , 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 ThreeFor Weeks In , 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 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 I just keep shaking my head at the absurdity of this court case It s a total witch hunt with obvious hate mongers The murder of three eight year old boys needed solving It was a backwoods southern town that did not accept nonconformity It had a high Christian population, so it expected everyone to believe in a blonde headed, blue eyed Christ Country music ruled the airwaves And there was no such thing as mental illness These three boys, because that s what they were, BOYS, were railroaded by the system that was put in place to protect the rights of all citizens ALL citizens regardless of differences or abilities They weren t perfect They had petty crime records But they were hated because they wore black, listened to heavy metal, painted their nails, and wrote poetry One researched alternative religions None were satanists Yes, there was a hate crime perpetrated It was perpetrated against these three teenagers So not only do we have the heinous homicide of the boys in the woods, there was the unjustified persecution of Damian, Jessie, and Jason I understand there is a second book that picks up from the appeals I m reading that asap I know how the story ends but I still feel so irate First I want to say that I am not a lawyer and nor am I connected to the case Everything I have found is public knowledge via movies, books and the internet I knew very little about the brutal tragedy that struck West Memphis Arkansas I had noticed this book listed under true crime and added it to my read list I quickly forgot about it until last week when someone on a message board posted about unsolved crimes This case was a huge debate on the thread I quickly watched Devil s Knot and then the 3 Paradise Lost Documentaries before starting this book Mara Leveritt breaks down the time line of events regarding the torture and murder of Christopher Byers, Steve Branch and Michael Moore on May 5th 1993 Along with the interrogations, polygraphs and court preceding of the three teenagers charged with their murder The book gives background on the victims and their families Though I will say that it was limited on information about The Moore s and on the Stevie s mother Pam and stepfather Terry She clearly focused on the Byers This book caused me to r examine my stance on the death penalty I had nightmares and I found myself thinking of two people not related to the book A woman I met while bartending I ve known her for 10 years now I swear she owns nothing darker then the color light blue for clothing and is sweet as can be She comes in to the place I work twice a week Once by herself on Mondays for a couple of cocktails and then again on Saturdays for dinner with her family Three sweet little girls and her husband Shes head of the schools PTA, volunteers often She also worships Satan And I think about the biker I ve known for years He gets judged every day His tattoos, clothing and vehicle of choice all lead people to believe hes some hardened criminal Hes not You can t judge a book by its cover That is what happened to Damien, Jason and Jesse They were different then the others in town And they were railroaded for it I m blown away that these three boys were actually found guilty Its fairly clear that the confession was coerced, the physical evidence lacking and the accounts from witnesses were laughable I believe that police and others on the case ignored crucial evidence that would have brought others in asviable suspects or at the least changed the verdict had the jurors been able to hear all the evidence Some examplesOn the night of the murders a bloody, disoriented man appeared in the Bojangles restaurant The man was gone almost as quickly as he arrived Police lost the samples of blood taken from the Bojangles bathroom wall Page 15 Gitchell announced that the case was labeled 666 Meaning it was the 666th case worked by police of that year Except the actual case number were 93 05 0555 Page 25 A young man in the area stated to police that he might have committed the murders while high Hardly any focus was placed on this man Page 176 Jesse s polygraph results show that he was truthful in all questioning except when asked about the use of drugs Page 326 Fogleman immediately called after hearing of the boys murder and advised police to look into John mark Byers based on his violent history Page 334 After defense wanted a forensic dentist to testify to possible bite marks John Mark Byers had his teeth removed Those are just a few examples There areriddled through out the book and in testimony from various key players And if I had to say I would say John Mark Byers or Terry Hobbs were responsible for murders But honestly I don t think we will ever know who did it The investigation was so tainted and it just trickles on down the line 4.5 stars While well written I wish a littleinformation had been given on the Moore Family and Branch Hobb family. I highly recommend everyone read this book First of all, the travesty of justice it describes is outrageous It will make you angry It will leave you virtually convinced that three teenage boys have been in prison for almost 20 years, one on death row, for a crime they didn t commit, while a savage, brutal killer goes free But even IF you read this book and believe they still might have done it, the investigation and trial that put them in prison was clearly, irrevocably flawed If this can still happen in America, there IS NO SUCH THING AS JUSTICE This book meticulously describes a broken, corrupt court system, one in which your taste in music and books can be used against you in a court of law, and that s just the beginning of what was wrong with the case.Secondly, this book is an outstanding piece of journalism It has the balls to come to a conclusion at the end based on the facts, which I have no problem with and in fact admire, but it is meticulous in its even handedness and its documentation of the facts It is extensively footnoted, carefully researched, and non polemical Thirdly, this book just reads like fiction It s fast paced and hard to put down I plan to stay educated on the West Memphis Three case, and I hope these guys go free sometime soon Thanks Brad Moore for loaning me the book