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Devil's Knot

The True Story of the West Memphis Three
Leveritt, Mara (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Devil's Knot
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Coming soon as a major motion picture starring Academy Award winners Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, this eoeriveting portraite ( Publishers Weekly ) of a small Arkansas town recounts the all-too-true story of a brutal triple murder and the eighteen-year imprisonment of three innocent teenagers. For weeks in 1993, after the grisly murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas, seemed stymied. Then suddenly, detectives charged three teenagerse"alleged members of a satanic culte"with the killings. Despite the witch-hunt atmosphere of the trials and a case that included stunning investigative blunders, the teenagers, who became known as the West Memphis Three, 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 statee"even upheld on appeale"and all three remained in prison until their unprecedented release in August 2011. In Devile(tm)s Knot , award-winning investigative journalist Mara Leveritt presents the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on this storye"one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history. In-depth research, meticulous reconstruction of the investigation, and close-up views of its key participants unravel the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case. Acclaimed as eoean indictment of a culture and legal systeme ( Library Journal ) and eoethe best blow-by-blow account available of the investigations and trialse ( The Memphis Commercial Appeal ), this award-winning account will shape the American legal landscape for years to come.
Authors: Leveritt, Mara
Title: Devil's Knot
The True Story of the West Memphis Three
Publisher: Pocket Books 2013
Characteristics: 432 p. ;
Local Note: 15 172 262
ISBN: 9781476734576
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Jun 24, 2014
  • BlueHippo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Probably the definitive book about this situation. Very well written and well documented. Since it was written in 2002, there is nothing about any developments since that time (that's what Wikipedia is for). Although I was not really shocked by the shoddy police work and the rush to judgement on the part of the juries, what really amazed me was the incredible unfairness of the judicial reviews. In some cases, the judge that heard the original case was also hearing reviews, which often included questions about his decisions or conduct (seriously?). The whole story is a real eye-opener. I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 for the following "mechanical" reasons: (1) The print of the text is very small and my eyes got tired after only a few pages of reading at a time; and (2) although there are extensive end notes and they are clearly referenced in the text, it would have been helpful if the notes had been marked by either page number or divided and identified by chapter.

Jun 18, 2014
  • WhisperedWord rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I could hardly put this book down.

An in depth expose of a legal system burdened with personal agendas and incompetence.

Sep 25, 2013
  • mariednguyen rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

For weeks in 1993, after the grisly 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 that included stunning investigative blunders, the teenagers, who became known as the West Memphis Three, 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. In Devil’s Knot, award-winning investigative journalist Mara Leveritt presents the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on this story—one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American legal history. In-depth research, meticulous reconstruction of the investigation, and close-up views of its key participants unravel the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case. Acclaimed as “an indictment of a culture and legal system” (Library Journal) and “the best blow-by-blow account available of the investigations and trials” (The Memphis Commercial Appeal), this award-winning account will shape the American legal landscape for years to come. - See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Devils-Knot/Mara-Leveritt/9781476734576#sthash.I4MbbFF5.dpuf

Jun 19, 2013
  • kwehner1987 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Was inspired to read this book after seeing the documentary about the case, "Paradise Lost." The more I read about true crime cases and our country's legal system, the less a mystery it is to me how innocent people serve time for things they didn't do, and how guilty ones can get off scott free.

Jul 19, 2012
  • rry1951 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book, in conjunction with the HBO documentary Paradise Lost, does show how our judicial system can really mess up. The judge in this case was biased towards the prosecution and makes one realize that when it comes time for voting on local judges, we better do our homework.

Nov 10, 2011
  • nblaster rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A sad true story of how corrupt the legal system is and how narrow-minded some people are... The book was a bit too drawn out and repetitive, was hard not to loss interest and force yourself to read it through to the end...

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