This isn't local, but it is amazing: Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelly--also known as the "West Memphis 3" from the Paradise Lost documentaries--were set free today after 18 years in prison in Arkansas.
Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were in the Jonseboro, Ark., courtroom when it happened, according to a release from HBO Films.
If you haven't seen Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000) rent, TiVo or buy copies.
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Baldwin, Echols and Misskelly were arrested in June 1993 for the rapes, mutilations and murders of three eight-year-old boys found a month earlier next to a muddy creek in the wooded Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Ark.
As the documentaries show, the main evidence against the then-teens was their fondness for black clothing and heavy metal, which in Arkansas obviously means you worship the devil and drink the blood of eight-year-old boys. The case sparked a national debate and celebrity support for the defendants. Meanwhile, the original film cast suspicion on a certain person close to one dead boy--suspicions that only grew in the sequel.
Berlinger and Sinofsky's Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, tours other festivals this fall and debuts on HBO in January 2012.
That film now has its ending.