Watch West of Memphis
- 2 hr 27 min
West of Memphis is a documentary directed by Amy Berg that examines the slaying of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993 and the conviction of three teenage suspects in 1994. The film explains how Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin each served 18 years in prison for the murders, which prosecutors claimed were part of a satanic ritual. The three were released in 2011 after new DNA evidence indicated that they hadn't committed the crime. West of Memphis examines the initial trial and the subsequent release of the three men while also examining alternative suspects in the case. Berg initially focuses on the confession police officers got from Misskelley, with the film revealing that officers were feeding him much of the information in the confession. The film also examines efforts by filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh to fund a new investigation in 2005, with Jackson and Walsh believing the three teens had been unjustly convicted. The new investigation discounts much of what was presented during the trial. Experts in the film agree that much of the mutilation of the victims' bodies was due to animal bites in the ditch where the bodies were dumped and not the result of any kind of ritual. Echols was the only one of the suspects to originally be sentenced to the death penalty, and the film focuses on his time in prison and his relationship with Lorri Davis. Davis is a woman from New York who believed in Damien's innocence and started writing him in prison. The film reveals that the two are now married, and both are credited as producers of the documentary. The film also uses recently discovered evidence and testimony to bring attention to Terry Hobbs, stepfather of one of the victims, as a main suspect. The film closes with Arkansas officials stating that the case is closed and no further investigation of Hobbs is forthcoming.