- 13 November 2012
An Arkansas judge has ruled on reopening the case of the released West Memphis Three. New evidence has been unearthed by investigators hired by producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh during the filming of Amy Berg's Sundance doc "West of Memphis," which Sony Pictures Classics will open in New York and L.A. on December 25. Crittenden County Circuit Court Judge Victor L. Hill ruled this week that state prosecutor Scott Ellington’s ongoing investigation should continue.
Over the past few months a number of free screenings of "West of Memphis" in Arkansas and Tennessee have helped to focus attention on the film and the ongoing investigation. There is a confidential tip line and a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the murders: 501.556.1775. The filmmakers are still trying to get the film in front of former Arkansas governor and president Bill Clinton, says Amy Berg, who sat down with me after a Sneak Previews screening.
Read more at Indiewire.
- 2 November 2012
- 26 October 2012
In the wake of a new documentary film about the "West Memphis Three," authorities in Arkansas are taking another look at the 19-year-old murders of three young boy scouts.
The revelation was made at a Wednesday hearing on a suit filed by Pam Hicks and John Mark Byers, two of the parents of the victims who are seeking access to police evidence in the case. During the court proceeding, Arkansas officials revealed there is an "ongoing investigation" into new affidavits made as a result of the documentary.
The film, "West of Memphis," examines the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys, Christopher Byers, Steven Branch and Michael Moore, in West Memphis. It also chronicles the arrest and ultimate release of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin -– the trio dubbed the "West Memphis Three."
Read more at The Huffington Post.
- 12 October 2012
Amy Berg’s film makes a compelling case for itself as a patient, methodical summation of the complex issues involved. Rooted in a precise sense of place, the extensive interview testimony and archive footage build up a troubling fresco of police incompetence, enterprising advocacy for the prisoners and a blinkered judicial system puzzlingly slow to confront escalating doubts.
Since the film’s producer, Peter Jackson, was also a significant backer of the private investigation key to generating the appeal process, Berg’s unfettered access creates a riveting sense of new evidence being uncovered before our eyes. There’s justifiable outrage here, but it’s lucid and focused, and if the celeb cameos and emphasis on crowd-funding seem over-insistent at times, it’s a viable point to make – public contributions really did keep the fight for justice alive.
Read more at Time Out.