Devil's Knot The True Story of the West Memphis Three. Home · Devil's Knot The True Story of the West Memphis Three Author: Leveritt Mara. 13 downloads. Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three to download this book the link is on the last page. Description *SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON AND COLIN FIRTH * The West Memphis Three. Jurors sentenced Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to. Title: Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. Page number ISSUU Downloader is a free to use tool for downloading any book or.

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"Devil's Knot becomes the best horror novel you've ever read, one of those that leave you wondering what new sick dread might be lying in wait on the next page . Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt - *SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING REESE WITHERSPOON AND COLIN FIRTH * The West Memphis Three. How to read Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three by Mara Leveritt online and download? Simply FREE SIGN UP and get 7-day trial to read .

A teenager was sentenced to death. His two younger codefendants were dispatched to prison for life. And yet the police insisted that their case was strong. The judge who presided at the trials said that they had been fair. And in two separate opinions, the justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court agreed. Outside the state, however, news of the unusual trials began to attract attention.

A documentary released in raised widespread concern. A Web site was dedicated to the case, and its founders unfurled the phrase Free the West Memphis Three. Arkansas officials dug in. As criticism mounted, police and state officials insisted that the film had been misleading. They pointed out that twenty-four jurors had sat through the trials, had heard and seen all the evidence, and had found the teenagers guilty.

They said that anyone who bothered to examine what really had happened in the case, rather than form opinions based on movies and a Web site, would conclude, as had the jurors, that justice had been served. As an Arkansas reporter focusing on crime and the courts, I began to see this as a historic case. The dispute needed to be resolved.

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Either the out-of-state critics were wrong, in which case the Free the West Memphis Three crowd could all get on with their lives, or something similar to what happened at Salem had indeed occurred again—during my lifetime and in my own state. I would look at what really had happened.

I would interview participants, read thousands of pages of transcripts, touch every piece of evidence in storage, and report faithfully on what I found, regardless of whom it supported. And if what I found in West Memphis resembled what had happened in Salem, I was prepared to look further. We assume that secularism, as well as advances in science and law, distances us from colonial America. If it appeared, as critics of the West Memphis case charged, that presumably rational processes had given way to satanic allusions, it was fair to ask both how and why such a thing had happened.

Its light glinted across the Mississippi River and fell onto the midsized Arkansas town aspiringly named West Memphis. Sometime between the rising of that moon and its setting the next morning, something diabolical would happen in West Memphis.

Three eight-year-old boys would vanish, plucked off the streets of their neighborhood by an unseen, murderous hand. But the investigation would unfold in shadow. Why had one of the boys been castrated?

How to account for the absence of blood? Why did the banks of the stream look swept clean?

The police would stumble for weeks without clues—until the moon itself became one. John Mark Byers, an unemployed jeweler, was the first parent to report a child missing. Ten minutes later, a patrol officer responded. Byers, an imposing man, six feet five inches tall, weighing more than two hundred pounds, with long hair tied back in a ponytail, met her at the door.

Behind him stood his wife, Melissa, five feet six, somewhat heavyset, with long hair and hollow eyes. Mark Byers did most of the talking.

The officer listened and took notes. The last time the victim was seen, he was cleaning the yard at 5: That would have been an hour and twenty minutes before sunset. The Byerses described Christopher as four feet four inches tall, weighing fifty pounds, with hair and eyes that were both light brown. He was eight years old. She pulled up at the Bojangles drive-through at 8: When employees entered the rest room after he left, they found blood smeared on the walls.

The officer took the report but investigated the incident no further.

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Here a woman, Dana Moore, reported that her eight-year-old son, Michael, was also missing. When she lost sight of the boys, she sent her daughter to find them. The boys could not be found. Moore said the boys had been riding on North Fourteenth Street, going toward Goodwin. That had been almost three and a half hours earlier, at about 6 P.

By now, it had been dark for more than two hours.

Michael is described as four feet tall, sixty pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, the officer wrote. He was last seen wearing blue pants, blue Boy Scouts of America shirt, orange and blue Boy Scout hat and tennis shoes. By now a second officer had been dispatched to a catfish restaurant several blocks away. There another mother, Pamela Hobbs, was reporting that her eight-year-old son, Stevie Edward Branch, was missing as well. She reported that her son, Stevie, had left home after school and that no one had seen him since.

Stevie was described as four feet two inches tall, sixty pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

The police report noted, He was last seen wearing blue jeans and white T-shirt. He was riding a twenty-inch Renegade bicycle. Word of the disappearances spread quickly through the subdivision. As groups of parents began searching, other residents reported that they had seen some boys—three, or maybe four—riding bikes near the dead end of McAuley Drive shortly before sunset. McAuley was a major street in the neighborhood. The house on McAuley where Stevie Branch lived was a few blocks south of the corner on Barton where the other two missing boys lived across the street from each other.

The woods separated the subdivision from two interstate highways and their service roads on the north. The small sylvan space provided the neighborhood with a welcome buffer from the traffic on their northern edge. For truckers and other travelers, the stretch is a major midcontinental rest stop; where the highways hum through West Memphis, the city has formed a corridor of fueling stations, motels, and restaurants.

It was easy for anyone passing through not to notice the small patch of woods bordering that short section of highway. What was more noticeable was the big blue-and-yellow sign for the Blue Beacon Truck Wash that stood several yards from the edge of the woods, alongside the service road. Just as truckers knew the Blue Beacon, kids in the neighborhood to the south were familiar with the woods. Years earlier the city had dredged a channel, unromantically known as the Ten Mile Bayou Diversion Ditch, to dispose of rainwater that ordinarily would have flowed into the Mississippi River but that was prevented from draining by the great levees that held back the river.

While the levees kept the Mississippi at bay, rainwater trapped on the city side of the levee had posed a different flood problem for years. The Ten Mile Bayou Diversion Ditch was dredged to direct rainwater around the city to a point far to the south, where a break in the Mississippi levee finally allowed it to drain.

Part of that ditch ran through this stand of trees. In places, the ditch was forty feet wide and could fill three or four feet deep. Tributaries, such as the one that drained the land directly behind the Blue Beacon, formed deep gullies in the alluvial soil.

Together, the combination of trees, ravines, water, and vines made the area a hilly wonderland for kids with few unpaved places to play. They called the woods Robin Hood. Adults tended to make the name sound more proper, calling it Robin Hood Hills, but it was always just Robin Hood for the kids. Under its green canopy they etched out bike trails, built dirt ramps, established forts, and tied up ropes for swinging over the man-made river.

They fished, scouted, camped, hunted, had wars, and let their imaginations run. But at night, when the woods turned dark, most kids stayed away. Many parents warned their children to stay out of the woods entirely. But the ban was impossible to enforce.

Robin Hood was too alluring. And so it was inevitable, on that Wednesday night in May, as word flew from house to house that three eight-year-olds were missing, that parents would rush to the dead end of McAuley, where a path led into the woods.

It was about a half mile from the homes of Christopher Byers and Michael Moore and only a few blocks farther from that of Stevie Branch. The delta was already beginning to warm up for the summer. An inch of rain a few days before had already brought out the mosquitoes. But those two efforts were the only police action that night.

No organized search by police would begin until the morning. When a few hours had passed without sign of the boys, the police department across the river in Memphis, Tennessee, dispatched a helicopter to assist. By midmorning, dozens of men and women had also joined police in the search. Detectives and ordinary citizens checked yards, parking lots, and various neighborhood buildings, including some still damaged from a tornado that had struck the town the year before. Others fanned out across the two miles of fertile, low-lying farmland that separates the east edge of West Memphis from the levee and the Mississippi River.

The most intensive search, however, remained focused on the woods. For hours, groups of as many as fifty law enforcement officers and volunteers combed the rough four acres that lined the diversion ditch.

Devil's Knot (2013) Movie Script

At one point the searchers gathered on the north edge of the woods, near the interstates, and marched shoulder-to-shoulder across the woods until they emerged on the other side, near the houses to the south. But even that effort turned up nothing.

Members of the county search-and-rescue team slipped a johnboat into the bayou and poled it down the stream. But still, nothing. By noon, most of the searchers, their alarm increasing, had abandoned the woods to search elsewhere. But one searcher stayed.

Steve Jones, a Crittenden County juvenile officer, was tromping through the now empty section of the woods nearest to the Blue Beacon Truck Wash when he looked down into a steep-sided gully, a tributary to the primary ditch, and spotted something on the water. Jones radioed what he had found. Jones led Allen to a spot about sixty yards south of the interstates. Standing on the edge of a high-sided bank, Jones pointed down at the water. The time was approximately 1: The area had been searched for hours.

Police converged on the spot. Sergeant Allen, wearing dress shoes, slacks, a white shirt and tie, was the first to enter the water. Allen raised a foot.

Bubbles gathered around it and floated to the surface. The muck beneath his shoe made a sucking, reluctant sound. Then a pale form began to rise in the water.

It was about 1: Word of the discovery spread like fire through West Memphis. Police cars were stationed at the McAuley Drive entrance to the woods and at the entrance south of the Blue Beacon.

For the detectives, in a dense and seldom visited part of the woods kids called Old Robin Hood, the job ahead was as odious as obvious. If one body had been submerged in the stream, the others might be as well. Detective Bryn Ridge volunteered for the unnerving job. Leaving the first body where it floated, the dark-haired, heavyset officer walked several feet downstream and waded into the water. Lowering himself to his knees, he spread his hands on the silty bottom. Then slowly, on all fours, he began to crawl up the narrow stream, searching the mud with his hands, expecting—and dreading—that at any moment he would touch another dead child.

He encountered instead a stick stuck unnaturally into the mud. He could feel something wrapped around it. Carefully, Ridge stood up and returned to the floating body. He lifted the body to the bank. And they could see that between the time the boy was last seen and now, he had endured tremendous violence. Rather, the left ankle was tied to the left wrist; the right ankle and right wrist were tied.

The boy had been tied with shoelaces. The bindings left the body in a dramatically vulnerable pose. The severity of the wounds to his head suggested a component of rage. Once begun, the gruesome search intensified. Reentering the water and resuming his search by hand, Ridge found more sticks stuck like pins into the muddy bottom. Twisted deliberately around them were other items of clothing. Before long, all the clothing listed on the three missing-person reports had been pulled out of the water, with the exception of a sock and two pairs of underpants.

The detectives were especially intrigued by the trousers, two of which were inside out.

Yet all three were zippered up and buttoned. Ridge reentered the water farther downstream, and this time he felt what he had feared. This was the body of Stevie Branch. He too showed signs of having been beaten, and the left side of his face bore other savage marks.

Minutes later, Ridge found the body of Christopher Byers. Like the others it was submerged facedown in the mud. He was also naked and tied in the same manner as the others, but when detectives rolled him over in the water, they were assaulted by another shock.

Only a thin flap of flesh remained where his genitals should have been, and the area around the castration had been savagely punctuated with deep stab wounds.

By now it was 3 P. Detectives found the two bicycles thirty yards away, also underwater. When the coroner arrived, he found all three of the bodies out of the water and lying on the bank. What had begun as a search now became a murder investigation, with Gitchell still in charge.

His officers photographed and videotaped the scene alongside the stream, where the three white bodies lay. By now, however, the bodies had been out of the water for so long that they were attracting flies and other insects.

Then he walked to the edge of the woods, where a large crowd had assembled. Gitchell stopped Hobbs and gently reported the news. And yes, it was clear that they had been murdered. Hobbs crumpled to the ground and cried. Gitchell spoke briefly to reporters. Then he walked over to John Mark Byers, whose stepson Chris had been mutilated. Byers was leaning against a police car.

As a photographer for the West Memphis Evening Times aimed her camera and clicked the shutter, Gitchell held out a hand to Byers, as if to support or even embrace him. When a reporter approached, Byers shook his head in a gesture of bewilderment.

He had searched that very site just the night before, he said. I was out looking until four-thirty. The remark struck no one as odd. Many people had searched the area and seen no trace of the missing children. Byers then provided the reporter more information than Gitchell had divulged, information he said the detectives had given him.

Eventually, onlookers saw a black hearse drive east on the service road and turn into the Blue Beacon Truck Wash, where it backed up to the edge of the lot. Police covered in dirt and sweat carried three body bags through the opening on the north edge of the woods, across a grassy field, and loaded them through the open rear door.

By then, reporters from Memphis, Little Rock, and Jonesboro, Arkansas, a city about twice the size of West Memphis sixty miles to the north, had converged on the scene. Though the reporters begged Gitchell for information, he told them he had nothing more to say. Leveritt's carefully researched book offers a riveting portrait of a down-at-the-heels, socially conservative rural town with more than its share of corruption and violence.

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Title: Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three

About The Book. About The Author. Photo Credit: Dixie Knight Photography. Mara Leveritt. Product Details.

Atria Books October Length: Related Articles. Proceed with Caution: Raves and Reviews. Resources and Downloads.The film Paradise Lost operates at a different level, as the filmmakers possess vast amounts of information and recorded footage, which they edited to form a coherent narrative. California: Stanford University Press.

The ages of two of the accused, as well as many of the witnesses, were factors in the events related here. The delta was already beginning to warm up for the summer. Sign up and get a free eBook!

The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills Berlinger and Sinofsky, emerged as an investigative piece that interrogated the circumstances of the crime and questioned the representation of the defendants in the wider news media. You hear me? Proceed with Caution: Within hours after the discovery of the bodies, rumors attributing the killings to satanism had begun to circulate.

Jessie and Jason were sentenced to life in prison.