Devil's Knot (2013) Movie Script

Well, that's all right, Mama
That's all right for you
That's all right, Mama
Just any way you do
You sing real good, Stevie.
I'm gonna buy you a Graceland, Mama.
Just like Elvis has got.
How about you buy me a Promised Land,
since he's got the other one.
- Okay.
- Come on, let's go.
Well, that's all right, Mama
That's all right for you
Now on to the highlight of the auction,
this Napoleon Ill marble top
mahogany writing table
is offered at an opening bid of $15,000.
- I got $15,000. Do I hear 16?
I hear 16. I got $17,000. Do I hear 18?
I got $17,000 going once. 17,000 going twice.
Do I hear 17,500?
I got 17,500, do I hear 18?
I got $18,000, do I hear 18,500?
I got 18,500, do I hear 19? I got $19,000.
- Do I hear 19,500?
- MAN: 19,500.
- I got 19,500. Do I hear 20?
L got $20,000.
- I got $20,000. Do I hear 20,500?
I got 20,500. Do I hear 21?
- I got $21,000. I got $21,000 going once.
$21,000 going twice.
Sold to the gentleman for $21,000.
It's Michael! Can I go ride bikes?
What about your homework?
I did it, Mama.
I want to show him my new bike.
Grandpa got it for me.
It's so cool. Please, Mama?
You know I have to go to work at 5:00.
I know. I'll be back.
Boy, if you are not back here by 4:30,
you're gonna be grounded for two weeks.
You hear me?
Yes. Thanks, Mama. See ya at 4:30. Love you.
I love you, too. Now y'all get out of here.
Terry, what are you doing?
Okay, do not mess me up.
I have to go to work. I have to go to work!
Where's the boy?
He went out riding bikes with Michael.
But I told him he better by home by 4:30.
AARON: I went under the
Black Train Bridge and up that little road.
All the way up to Blue Beacon Truck Stop.
And I parked my bike back there.
Where's Bubba?
I don't see the boy nowhere.
Well, when you do,
you tell him he's grounded. Two weeks.
- We'll find him. All right?
- All right.
See you all in a bit. Bye, sugar.
AARON: And when we all went down there,
we went across that big old pipe to that place
in Robin Hood Woods
they call the Devil's Den.
And nobody knows what happened but me.
Where's Stevie?
He didn't come home yet, Pam.
We couldn't find him.
And you last saw him
when he was cleaning the yard at 5:30?
That's right.
I told him to stay here till I got back.
I had to punish him for riding
his skateboard in the street.
Just a couple of licks with my belt.
Officer Meek, do you copy?
This is Meek, go ahead.
We got a black male at Bojangles Restaurant.
Suspect appears to be bleeding.
Could you respond? Over.
Affirmative. In route.
Just sit tight and give 'em time.
We'll be in touch.
Hey, we're not done here yet.
I got an eight-year-old son
-out there after dark!
- Hush now.
Y'all call about a bleeding man?
Yep. I'm the manager. I called about it.
He came in about a half hour ago
-and went straight into the ladies' bathroom.
- The ladies' restroom?
Yes, ma'am. The women's room.
He was a black man.
He seemed mentally disoriented.
Had blood on his face.
He had a cast on his arm.
Yeah, we went right in there after him,
-and there was blood all over the walls.
- Where is he now?
He wandered off just a few minutes ago.
- I could show you the blood.
- Hold on. I'm gonna look around out here.
Well now, ain't you gonna come inside?
WOMAN: We saw all three of them go in there.
PAM: Why didn't you
tell me about this before?
Everybody's already here.
Stevie! Stevie! Stevie!
Can you hear me? Stevie!
Come on out!
You're not in trouble, honey. Come on home!
Stevie! Stevie!
Can you hear me?
What if he drowned in it, Terry?
Have y'all got anybody out
there looking for my boy?
Three boys missing? I'm aware of that.
We've been looking around in the dark and
there's all sorts of people out there.
There's neighbors, there's kids,
there's people I don't even know...
- Yes, listen...
- But I ain't seen one, but one...
- Ma'am, listen...
- One police officer out there all night long.
Listen. We are doing everything we can.
Now, I appreciate your concern.
I got two boys myself.
Sometimes boys, they like to
run off and get into things.
My son is eight years old!
He sleeps with a nightlight on!
- He did not run away from home.
- Ma'am, you need to calm down.
I'll calm down when you find my son.
We're in front of the school
where three kids are still missing.
People are worried.
Everyone here is concerned.
Uh, we're worried 'cause we haven't seen
him since about dinnertime.
MELISSA: I'm worried about Christopher.
We haven't seen him...
Thanks, Annie. Just the check.
You've been eating in here a lot lately.
Just 'cause you want to visit me?
Yeah. Not much cooking
at my place these days.
- I'm kind of glad we're so convenient.
- Keep the rest.
PAM ON TV: I've never
been this worried in my life.
REPORTER: Everyone here
seems to be looking around.
They're all completely worried.
Not really sure exactly what's
gonna be going on.
It's not just about these kids.
It's about everybody.
It's about the concern as a community.
GITCHELL: As you know, we have three boys
missing from Holiday Garden.
We have an entire community that's
concerned here, and that's understandable.
We got family members
involved, parents involved.
It's a very delicate situation.
I want you to be thorough,
but I want you to be easy
with your questioning.
I will personally be directing this search.
Crittenden County Search and Rescue
is gonna be assisting us.
Memphis PD will help us out.
The electric company has got
a full list of vacant houses.
We got plenty of civilian volunteers.
Obviously, this takes priority.
Everything else is in the back seat
from now on till we find these boys.
And let me tell you something.
We're gonna find these missing boys.
This is Steve Jones.
I'm in the woods by that little creek they call
Devil's Den. I found something.
ALLEN: I'm on my way.
We've now found all three bodies.
Clothes and bicycles.
PAM: No! No!
Stevie! Oh, God!
RIDGE: Well, I just wanted
to ask y'all about some folks
who might have come by.
I see y'all had lots of visitors.
TERRY: Mmm-hmm.
People been kind. And generous.
Did a young man named
Bobby DeAngelo stop by?
Yeah, he come by.
His parents are friends of ours.
Was there anybody with him?
Yeah. Um, this other boy, Chris.
Christopher Morgan.
They used to drive an ice cream truck around
here in the neighborhood.
Was it this young man?
Mmm-hmm. Yeah, that's him.
I think Pam fixed him a plate.
There was so much food.
Bobby asked us for a picture once of Stevie.
He, uh...
He come over here
and wanted to show Stevie a ring
of some kind of metal
or something like a skull or a snake.
And then he asked me for a picture of Stevie.
And I gave him one.
Okay. Okay.
Well, we're gonna need
to get some pictures of Stevie
to show to people we interview, and, um...
Also, we're, uh,
gonna need to go ahead and get
blood and hair samples from the two of you.
Just, you know, part of our investigation.
Take it. Just take it.
Just take all of it.
- I don't want it.
- That's okay.
I don't want it.
I don't want it. Is that gonna help?
It's okay.
It's okay.
Oceanside PD.
How may I direct your call? Uh-huh. Right.
Hey. I'm Chris Morgan.
You wanted to talk to me?
Last time I seen Stevie was
about a year and a half ago.
When I sold him some ice cream.
I'm sure I sold ice cream
to all three of those boys.
Bobby and me went over to Stevie's house
'cause Bobby was close with them.
We wanted to show, um, remorse.
It felt good. They accepted me.
Uh, what was your overall impression
of Chris Morgan?
MCDONOUGH: Well, look,
there's something going on here,
and it makes me a little suspicious
that he left for California in such a hurry.
- Okay, uh, you do me a favor?
- Sure.
- Could you re-interview him, please?
- Uh-huh.
- We're under a lot of pressure down here.
-Yeah, I bet.
You got your work cut out for you.
- Yeah.
- Let me go at him again.
All right. Thank you, Detective.
You should, like... You gotta do like album
covers and shit, Jason.
Yeah, maybe. Maybe someday.
Heavy metal music. Ouija boards.
All these are gateways
to a dark world of violence and destruction.
Everything from vandalism, animal mutilation,
to the ritual sacrifice of children.
Thousands of them every year.
My boy, Aaron...
He's a close friend of them boys.
I mean, Michael Moore
and Chris Byers is his two best friends.
Did you ride your bike to Robin Hood Woods?
- Yes.
- Excuse me, Aaron.
When we ask you a question,
we want you to look in
the camera, if you don't mind.
- Okay?
- Okay.
Just look right in the lens. Okay.
Were you present
-when those boys were killed?
- Yes.
What did the hospital tell you, Damien?
At Charter Hospital,
I was diagnosed as manic depressive.
I'm in therapy now
and on imipramine for depression.
I'm just curious.
How do you think the killer felt?
They liked it. Happy.
It was a thrill kill.
How about you, Jason?
Did you know the three boys?
No, sir.
- Do you believe in God?
- Yes, I do.
How about you, Damien? You believe in God?
Or the devil?
I believe in a god. A female god.
And an evil force. Not a devil.
I used to be involved in the Wiccan religion.
White witchcraft.
When you would go out
to Robin Hood Woods,
-who would you go with?
- With Chris and Michael.
Did you ever see anything out there?
We saw, uh, men.
I ran and Jessie caught me.
Um, he tied me up.
He tried to cut me on my side.
I kicked him.
Then he grabbed my hands
and made me cut Chris.
This is Detective Bryn Ridge
of the West Memphis Police Department,
currently in the office
with Jessie Lloyd Misskelley Junior.
Jessie, on Wednesday,
May 5, 1993, early in the morning,
you received a phone call. Is that correct?
Yeah, I did. Jason Baldwin called me
and he asked if I could go
to West Memphis with him,
and I told him no. I had to work and stuff.
And then he told me that he had to go.
So him and Damien, they went.
Then I went with them up to the...
Up to the Robin Hood.
Jessie and Damien
picked him up and put a bucket
where he was bleeding.
So you saw Damien strike
Chris Byers in the head?
- Right.
- What did he hit him With?
Well, he hit him with his fist
and bruised him all up real bad.
And then Jason, he turned,
and he hit Stevie Branch,
and that's when Michael Moore, he took off.
So I chased him, grabbed him
and held him until they got there.
And then, and that's when I left.
Who had a knife?
Jason. I saw him cut one of those little boys.
MAN ON TV: There's someone
inside your house.
He's gonna kill you. You have to run for it.
It's the police.
Michelle, get the door.
We're looking for Damien Echols. Come on.
All right, go check the back.
You his sister? Folks not home?
- What are you doing?
- We were just watching a movie.
Come on, stop.
Jason Baldwin, you're under arrest, too.
- What for?
- Capital...
Shut up!
- Capital murder.
- He didn't do anything!
You got the wrong people.
Hey, boss. West Memphis PD
is holding a press conference.
GITCHELL: ...police force
and families of the victims.
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin,
Jessie Misskelley
were arrested last night,
will be charged in the murders
of the three boys we found last month
in the Robin Hood Woods.
FEMALE REPORTER: Inspector Gitchell,
do you know the motive for the killings?
I do, but I can't comment on that at this time.
MALE REPORTER #1". Can we interview them?
MALE REPORTER #2: Were the three
defendants a member of a cult?
I can't comment on that either.
Well, on a scale of one to 10,
how solid do you feel your case is?
Apparently, the break in the case was the
confession of Jessie Misskelley,
one of the accused in this horrific crime
that has shocked this entire community.
Satanism is out there.
And you must be watchful
for the six indicators of Satanic involvement.
Obsession with death. Satanic paraphernalia.
Kidnapping. Sexual abuse.
Cannibalism. And cremation.
And I believe that there may
be others who knew that,
that these three babies were going to be
sacrificed. My wife and I are scared.
Satan and his demons have
already been at work here in West Memphis.
Worship of evil debated as motive in killings.
This article in the
West Memphis Evening Times
claims that people who knew Damien said
he dressed in black and carried a cat skull.
It also claims he wears the
number 666 inside his boots.
And then it goes on to quote
two unnamed girls,
one who said she's seen Damien drink blood.
And another who said Damien threatened
to cut off a boy's head off
and put it on a doorstep.
Sounds like an energetic young man.
There is definitely a connection
between hard metal music and Satanism.
Apparently, some residents
suspect a Satanic cult is responsible.
One local minister said Damien Echols,
the alleged ringleader,
had made, quote,
a pact with the devil and will be going to hell.
Another called the murders an incarnation,
a manifestation of evil.
...and the upcoming
nuclear disarmament talks in Ukraine.
In West Memphis,
prosecutors have confirmed that the State
will seek the death penalty
for all three teenage defendants.
Arkansas has executed four individuals
since the Supreme Court ruling
allowed the State
to reinstate capital punishment.
Two in 1990 and two more...
LAX". Can you believe this, Glori?
The death penalty.
And all three of 'em teenagers.
My God, Jason Baldwin's only 16.
They'll need a good investigator,
and the court will never pay.
Tell those court appointed lawyers if they
want me, I'm offering my services.
Pro bono?
Are you sure you want to do that, boss?
I mean, we have got a lot on
our plate right now.
We got that big insurance fraud case.
This just isn't the best time
to be working for a cause.
You know how I feel about these death
penalty cases. It's the least I can do.
I know, but this crime is unthinkable.
What if they did it? Have you thought of that?
And what if they didn't? And even if they did,
I think three dead kids is enough.
I'm on my way.
Mr. Lax, I'm Dan Stidham.
I represent Jessie Misskelley.
This is Paul Ford from Jonesboro.
He represents Jason Baldwin.
And Val Price is the public defender
who's been appointed
to represent Damien Echols.
Please have a seat.
I understand Jessie has
recanted his confession.
Does that surprise you?
No. It's hard to believe anyone would confess
to such a crime if he hadn't done it.
Got any experts lined up?
I've got a doctor who will testify that Jessie
reasons on the level of a six to eight-year-old.
He was once diagnosed as mentally retarded.
- Do you think he's guilty?
- In my experience, most of them are.
PRICE: So Mr. Lax,
if they're most likely guilty,
why volunteer to help us build a case?
LAX: Because if you don't have a strong case,
the State is going to kill three young men.
And I can't stand by and watch that happen.
Now, tell me about Damien Echols.
STIDHAM: He lives in a trailer park
with his family, on social assistance.
Difficult kid.
He's had serious run-ins with the law.
He spent time in juvenile detention.
Now being as I've been his probation officer
for as long as I've been,
he always seems to me to be like one of these
slasher movie-type guys.
His boots and coat, heavy metal music,
long, stringy black hair.
Now, may I... Have you seen his case file?
I mean, this boy is troubled.
He's been in and out of psychiatric wards.
And he said he was involved in the occult.
Oh, yeah. Some of his followers
included Jason Baldwin.
And of course, his pregnant girlfriend.
He's got her name carved on his arm.
- And I worry about that baby.
- Why?
Because of the rumor
that they're going to sacrifice it to Satan.
You're saying you actually believe that?
- You bet I do.
- Come on, Jerry.
All that occult-crime,
Satanic-panic stuff's been studied by the FBI
and they say it's all smoke and no fire.
I know what I've seen with my own two eyes.
And I'm telling you evidence of occult
activity was everywhere that summer.
In this old abandoned schoolhouse...
I mean, Steve Jones saw something.
It's like a picture I'd seen
in a book about the serial killer, Son of Sam.
Like somebody had restaged the scene.
Or re-enacted it. So ever since that summer
I've been telling the local police to watch him.
'Cause I knew something bad
was gonna happen.
I sent Steve Jones over to Damien's house.
And he found all sorts of
crazy stuff in Damien's room.
Evidence of his interest in the occult.
About a year ago, Damien told me
that the local devil worshippers
had reached the end of their
animal sacrifice stage.
And I'm talking about things
they do to receive power.
So that summer, he said they
were gonna take the next logical step.
Sacrifice a human. A human.
- Stevie.
- Pam. Dreaming again.
Come here.
You have asthma and you smoke?
I guess I'm just self-destructive.
I spoke to your probation officer, Jerry Driver.
- He had a lot to say about you.
- I bet.
Said they found a lot of stuff in your room.
- Evidence of your interest in the occult.
- My notebooks.
They're just song lyrics I liked.
Quotes from my favorite books and movies.
What about the things you told him?
About devil worshippers
planning on making human sacrifices.
I was just messing with his mind.
That you threatened to eat your father
and out your mother's throat.
Driver's a liar.
It's not just Driver. There's a lot of people
saying things, damaging things.
Listen to this.
Why should I listen to you?
Why should I answer your questions?
Are you my lawyer?
No. I'm working with them.
You're working for them?
What are you, like a lawyer's assistant?
I'm an investigator.
But you won't be representing me in court.
No. No, I'm not allowed to do that.
So I'm just supposed to trust you?
Tell you everything?
If you want me to help you, yes.
Those cops are scary, okay?
They will do anything to get people
to say what they want to hear.
Why would so many people
say all these things about you?
Why did those girls say
people were witches back in Salem?
Any time anything weird
happens around here,
people blame it on devil worshippers.
And on me.
What about the incident when you were
locked up at the JDC in Jonesboro?
They say you drank some kid's blood.
I didn't attack him. He offered it.
I did that with a knife.
That's my girlfriend's name.
I've been cutting myself for a long time.
There's power in the blood.
It's how we get power.
Through drinking the blood of others.
By biting, cutting.
And rituals.
I've been doing it since
I was, like, 10 years old.
These people think I'm a Satanic leader.
I'm not.
They think I'm in a cult. I'm not.
I just have an interest in witchcraft
as a way to power, to control.
Pam, do you feel the people
who did this were worshipping, um...
- Satan? Yes, I do. I do.
- Why?
Just look at 'em.
They look like punks. They look like freaks.
You don't look like that
when you're, like, a normal person.
And they listen to that music.
And everybody knows they...
I heard from a bunch of people
that they been hearing that they been,
you know, worshipping Satan
and killing clogs and things like that.
REPORTER: You think the way they
dress had something to do with the...
PAM: Absolutely yes, I do. You don't dress
like that when you... When you, um...
- Pam, what are you holding?
-Oh, this? Um, this is
part of Stevie's Boy Scout uniform.
I got it back yesterday, and I've been
wearing it on my head, like that.
(LAUGHS) Did he like scouting?
Oh, yeah. He loved it. He loved it. He did.
He'd be so excited when he'd be having a day
that he'd go to Boy Scout meetings.
Um... Yeah, he did.
I saw you on TV.
What the hell are you doing?
You're supposed to be in mourning.
You're not acting right.
What's that supposed to mean?
On the TV.
Treating his scarf like some kind of prop.
Acting like a goddamn silly fool.
I'm not acting at all, Terry. Are you?
Is that what you've been doing?
I think maybe you're glad Stevie's gone.
'Cause you were always hard on him.
Way too hard.
What the hell are you talking about?
Every time I spent time with him,
or I fell asleep with him 'cause he was afraid,
you blamed him. You was jealous of him.
You shut up!
What? You'll hit me?
Now that he's gone, I'm all you got left?
Go ahead. Hit me. Hit me. I dare you, hit me.
AMANDA: Mommy? Daddy?
You hear that?
You ain't the only one I got left.
You're supposed to be a grieving mother.
You start behaving like one.
You hear me?
JESSE: Daddy, they asked me
a lot of questions over and over.
Tons of questions,
and I tried to make them happy.
But I did not do it.
Superior Court of Crittenden
County, come to order.
Since Mr. Misskelley has
retracted his confession,
I presume he will not be
testifying against his co-defendants.
That is correct, Your Honor.
Then I rule his trial be severed from theirs
because they would be denied
their constitutional right
to cross examine their accuser.
- Anything else?
- No. Thank you.
Separate trials.
Jessie's gonna be tried on his own.
Murderer! Murderer!
- MAN: Satan worshippers!
MARGARET: Hey, I tried you at home.
I need to talk to you
about something, in person.
Will you meet me for lunch tomorrow,
1:00 at the Arcade?
It's really important. Okay. Good night.
GITCHELL: Tell me what happened
when you got to Robin Hood Woods.
Jessie started running and caught Steve.
Then Michael and Chris jumped
out of the tree.
Then, um, they took them,
and, um, they killed them.
Jessie and Damien picked him up
and put a bucket where he was bleeding.
Then they poured it in a glass
and made me drink it.
And nobody knows what happened but me.
- What would you like?
- May I have a tea, please?
- Sweet or unsweet?
- Unsweet, please.
And you would like coffee, black,
with a glass of water, right?
Right. Thanks, Annie.
- Annie.
- I'm in here a lot these days.
She's very pretty. She likes you.
She just likes a good tip.
Thanks for meeting me.
I know you're very busy.
It's good to hear from you.
What's so important, Maggie?
The State Police.
They called me. Then they came by my office,
and they were asking all these questions
about you, about your past.
They knew everything
about our divorce proceeding.
They knew everything.
It's like they were digging
for something to use against you
and expected me to help, as if I'd be out
to get you because of the divorce.
I was so insulted, I was so angry, and I said
what they were doing was wrong.
I may have even
made some legal threats to them.
I mean, you're a respected man in this city.
You're not on trial here.
It's fine.
Thanks for telling me
about this and for having my back.
Here you go.
My attorney said he sent you the agreement.
I got it. I think maybe I misplaced it.
He can send another one.
It's just that with all
the paperwork in the case,
you know, things get jumbled up.
Anyway, I'll find it.
Ron, I'm worried about you.
These boys that you're helping,
from what I've seen on TV
and read in the papers...
The police seem so certain.
Are you sure you want to do this?
Yes. Yes, I am.
It's just that sometimes
you take these things so personally.
You know, you lose perspective.
You get obsessed.
That's right, Maggie.
You know when I see
something like this happening,
when I see a town lose three of its children,
then sacrifice three more for revenge,
then I do take it personally.
And maybe I do get a little bit obsessed.
So I'll just keep doing things my way.
You don't have to worry about me anymore.
You know, if the police are so goddamned
certain about their case then tell me this.
Why are they coming to me,
harassing my ex-wife?
You know, I just remembered,
I have to be in court. Early.
So thanks again for what you did.
And I'll sign the papers.
Ron, please don't.
RIDGE: And then we followed Detective Allen
into the woods.
All the way down to Ten Mile Bayou.
Near the big drainpipe
behind the truck wash. And, uh...
This trial's a waste of time.
We all know he's guilty.
We ought to just fry him and get it over with.
Then maybe these journalist parasites can go
back to wherever they come from.
...crawled on my hands and
knees and felt along with my hands
and came to a piece of cloth.
This ended up being a white shirt
that was jabbed into the mud with a stick.
I moved further along the
ditch and came to what would be the
second body.
This is the body of Steve Branch
after I pulled him from the water.
MRS. WILSON: Who can solve this problem?
- Mrs. Wilson?
- Yes.
- I'm so sorry to interrupt, I...
- That's okay.
I just, uh, found this,
this homework that Stevie did that day.
Before. And I'm just
wondering if you, you could grade it.
- Sure.
- Thank you.
It's perfect, as usual.
He was very good at math.
He studied real hard at everything.
He was a good boy.
Yes, ma'am, he was.
Thank you.
- Mrs. Hobbs?
- Yes.
Inspector, during the course
of your conversation with Mr. Misskelley,
was there a portion of a tape
played for the defendant?
Uh, yes, sir. I played this.
AARON: And nobody knows
what happened but me.
And after hearing the tape,
what was the defendant's reaction?
Jessie immediately stated
that he wanted to tell us about it.
Then he said that he was
present when the boys were murdered.
Now, you got in front of you pictures
of the three boys that were killed.
Now, which one of these three is it you say
you saw Damien hit?
Misskelley has indicated the third photo,
which will be...
Michael Moore.
Are you pointing... Uh, that's the Byers boy.
Yeah. Is that who you're pointing at?
Uh-huh. Yeah.
What time did all this take place?
About 12:00 noon.
Okay. Was it after school let out?
I... I don't go to school.
These little boys...
No, no, no. They...
(STAMMERS) They skipped school.
STIDHAM: The little boys didn't skip school
that day, did they, Inspector?
No, the little boys did not.
When Jessie said the murders
took place around noon,
you knew that wasn't correct, did you not?
That's right.
Jessie, uh, what time did the
boys come into the woods?
What, I would say about 5:00 or 6:00.
Earlier, uh, you said 7:00 or 8:00.
What time is it?
It was 7:00 or 8:00.
It was... Are you... You are sure of that?
Yeah, yeah. it was getting dark outside.
And what did they use
to tie the boys up with?
How were the boys tied
when the bodies were discovered?
They were tied by their own shoestrings.
Why didn't he know those things?
Why is he wrong?
If Jessie was there, why didn't he know?
It don't matter, Pam.
It does matter.
He did it. He did.
GITCHELL: ...activity which is
common in my 20 years' career.
I'm not talking about Jessie
lessening his involvement in the crimes.
I'm saying is it common
for the police to simply ignore
all those big, obvious problems with his story
and assume that everything else
he's telling you has got to be correct?
Jessie simply got confused. That's all.
JUDGE: I repeat. I am acutely aware
there's a great deal of emotion involved.
But this court will not
tolerate any verbal outburst,
any display of emotion whatsoever.
The verdicts read as follows.
"We the jury find
Jessie Lloyd Misskelley Junior guilty
"of murder in the first degree
in the death of Michael Moore.
"And of second degree
murder in the deaths of Christopher Byers
"and Steven Branch."
It's almost over, Pam. We're gonna win.
The sentence.
How do you feel about the sentence?
Do you think it was
a just and a proper sentence?
Life plus 40? Well, it's fine with me.
It's one down, two to go.
And the good Lord said
Lucifer and a third of the angels
were cast out of heaven. He didn't need 'em.
'Cause he took their minds
and manipulated them.
And they prayed to their Devil
and they prayed to their Satan,
and did all kinds of Satanic worship services.
Wild, crazy orgies, I've been told.
There's a war going on.
It's a war between Satan,
Lucifer and the Lord.
Mrs. Hobbs?
You stay away from us.
You don't talk to her. Understand?
You hear me?
You bother my wife, and by God, it's on.
All right, Terry, let's go home.
Come on. Come on.
JOHN: ...and I say bring it on.
For me this place is like hell on Earth.
'Cause I know three babies were killed.
I know my son was castrated.
And lay on that bank and bled to death.
I know he was choked.
How's the documentary coming along?
Y'all been here every day, right?
Interviewing families. Must be fascinating.
Yeah. We're, uh, getting some
pretty good stuff.
Especially John Mark Byers
seems to like the attention.
Well, he's not shy, that's for sure.
Did he ever do or say anything unusual?
I don't just mean holding
forth for cameras and reporters.
I mean, like something suspicious or strange?
Yeah. He did do something strange.
Very strange.
He gave this as a gift
to the documentary crew.
So when were you planning
on telling us about it?
Mr. Fogleman released the
records concerning this knife yesterday.
But you've known about it for months.
How could you not tell us about it?
Well, we had to send it to the lab first.
DNA testing.
There was blood on the knife.
Just a little bit.
I'll show you right here.
Lock joint where the blade folds back.
Just not much.
Where you might miss it
if you're trying to wipe the blade clean.
That did cross my mind.
On January 26, 1994, Gitchell asked
you, "Have you used the knife?"
And you said, "I never used it.
Hopefully I was going to use it
"for deer hunting, but I never
had the opportunity to use it on a deer."
That's right. But the reason that I said that
was 'cause I never hunted with it.
I didn't mean that I didn't try to use it
to cut some venison.
Did Inspector Gitchell
tell you, "We found blood on this knife"?
I don't remember.
Check your transcript. Page 7.
Now, I'll ask you again. Did Gitchell tell you,
"We found blood on this knife"?
Yes, sir.
Did Gitchell tell you
the blood on the knife was Chris' blood?
I don't remember. It might be in here.
Did you tell Gitchell, "I have no idea
"how Chris' blood could be on that knife"?
Yes, sir. I would not have any idea.
Did you have any idea
how human blood was on the knife?
Well, yes. As I was trying to use the knife
to cut some venison
and make some beef jerky with it,
I cut my thumb.
Mr. Byers, do you recall saying,
"I don't even remember nicking myself with it
cutting the deer meat or anything"?
- Is that the answer you gave?
- Yes, sir.
And is it the truth?
At the time that he was
questioning me, I didn't...
I mean, I might not have remembered.
But then later on in the clay, I could have
remembered and talked to him about it then.
You all right, buddy? You did great.
- JOHN: I wasn't expecting that.
I ran and Jessie caught me. Uh, he tied me up.
How did they tie you up?
Then he grabbed my hands
and made me cut Chris.
Jessie and Damien picked him up
and put a bucket where he was bleeding.
Then they poured it in a glass
and made me drink it.
GITCHELL: They poured his blood in a glass
and made you drink it?
Yes, sir.
Aaron, you're not... You're
not making this up, are you?
- I mean, you and I are buddies, right?
We're buddies. You wouldn't be
telling me a story, would you?
How do I know that you're
telling me the truth?
I don't know.
Good afternoon. My name's Ron Lax.
I'm an investigator working with the attorneys
who represent Damien Echols
and Jason Baldwin.
Um, please, I can't talk to you. Okay?
I don't want to get involved.
Mrs. Hutcheson, you're already involved.
You feature prominently
in the prosecution's case.
And from what I can tell,
you're the only real link
between Jessie Misskelley
and Damien Echols.
(CHUCKLES) No, I can't talk about it.
You gotta ask Don.
- Detective Donald Bray?
- Yes.
Yes, he... You just ask Don.
I gotta go now, I'm sorry.
So why did Vicki Hutcheson come see you?
Was she in trouble?
She, uh, looked to be part of a credit card
scam at a truck stop where she worked.
So I called her in.
She brought her kid in
the day after those boys went missing.
I just wanted to let you know
that my boy, Aaron,
is a close friend of them missing boys.
Michael Moore and Chris Byers
are his two best friends.
You think you might know something
to help the police find them boys?
I'd say it's very possible. Right, honey?
It is possible.
We questioned Aaron.
He told us about the meetings in the woods.
It made sense to me.
I already knew about the Satanic cult.
You knew about the cult?
We been expecting something like this
to happen around here for quite a while.
How did you confirm Aaron's story?
Questioned Vicki.
Asked her if there was anything she knew
about an occult or devil worshippers.
She said no.
But then she said,
"How about I go play detective
"to see what I can find out?"
VICKI: Jessie!
You're a real sweetie to come over here today
and do this in this heat.
It's all right.
Do you know that boy, Damien Echols?
Yeah. He's kind of weird.
Well, I really want to meet him.
Do you think you could fix us up?
JESSIE: Vicki!
Vicki, this is Jason Baldwin
and Damien Echols.
Come on in, boys. Let's have a drink.
Thanks, Jessie. I'll see you around.
I told Damien that I want
to learn more about Satanism.
And, um, and he invited me to an esbat.
What the hell is that?
I had to look it up. It's a...
It's a gathering of witches.
It was in an open field, under the full moon.
Damien drove me there in his car,
it was a red Ford Escort.
So me, Damien and Jessie...
The people were dressed all in black,
and you couldn't see their faces.
- And they started to undress each other.
And I asked Damien to drive me home.
I couldn't stay 'cause I was so afraid.
You were afraid. Afraid for your life?
Yes, sir.
LAX: I'm sorry but that sounds
like a load of crap.
Damien's got no license.
He doesn't even drive.
None of his friends or family
have a red Ford Escort.
I'm just telling you what she told me.
And the esbat seemed to fit
what Aaron had been telling us.
About people painted black,
chanting, doing what men and women do.
But did you ever
find any evidence to corroborate
these tales Aaron and Vicki told you?
Or anything that would link
these murders to Damien?
No physical evidence.
But we got something else.
We got Jessie's confession.
So Vicki's plan failed, right?
Damien gave her nothing.
He never said anything that implicated them.
Yeah, but Vicki's plan got Jessie involved,
which led him right into the lion's den.
They got their confession from him instead.
And Jason Baldwin gets caught
in the net just by picking the wrong friend.
Ain't that what our mamas
always warned us about?
Are they gonna put Aaron on the stand?
Hell no. Have you seen those interview tapes?
I mean, that kid's talking
about drinking from a bucket of blood.
His story's turned out
to be nothing but pure fantasy.
Ain't nothing but lies.
No way they'll let the jury
see how absurd his confabulations are.
So the jury's never gonna hear
from this kid who's been the catalyst
for the entire case.
Oh, but they did hear from him.
Remember Gitchell's ridiculous
manipulations with the tape recorder?
"Nobody knows what happened but me."
They have to use stunts like that,
what else they got?
The State sent 600 items
to the lab and out of all that they got nothing
that directly links Damien,
Jason and Jessie to that crime scene.
Look at this.
Remember how Gitchell told the press
that the case number
ending in 666 was a coincidence?
This police report was
signed by Detective Ridge
three days after our case was assigned,
and the case number ends in 555.
They actually changed our case number
to the number of the beast?
This is a goddamn witch hunt.
Our boys were never suspects in this case.
They were targets.
And once they set their sights
on Jason and Damien,
they stopped looking for anybody else.
But we don't have to. We can keep looking.
Ron, we tried to go through everything,
but they keep sending us mountains of stuff.
Whatever it takes.
We may not be able
to prove our boys didn't do it.
We might be able to prove the cops never
really tried to find out who did.
AARON'. I was there. Don't you see?
And nobody knows what happened but me.
DRIVER: About a year ago Damien told me
that the local devil worshippers
had reached the end of their animal sacrifice
stage. So that summer he said
they were gonna take the next logical step.
Sacrifice a human. A human.
Wednesday were you in Robin Hood Woods?
Were you present when
those boys were killed?
Do you suspect anyone of
having killed those three boys?
Do you know who killed those three boys?
- Did you kill any of those three boys?
- No.
GLORY. I know, but this crime is unthinkable.
What if they did it? Have you thought of that?
Do you want some dessert?
I have that chocolate pie you like.
No thanks, Annie. I'm fine.
You seemed upset when you
were in here the other day,
having lunch with that lady.
She's really pretty.
- She's my ex-wife.
- Oh.
Not ex for too long, huh?
So you okay lately?
I've been worried about you.
Thanks, Annie, I'm fine.
You know what I'm doing on this case?
Sure, I do.
You understand why I have to help them.
If you don't help those poor boys, who will?
Nobody will. Nobody but you.
Arise and be baptized.
Washing away your sins.
Calling on the name of the Lord.
God will never put more
on you than you can bear.
GRIFFIS: Occult books talk
about the life force of the blood.
Usually the younger the victim,
the more power or force it has.
And do the type of injuries give an
occult overtone to the murders?
Yes. In some occult rituals,
people are over-killed.
The body is repeatedly killed over and over,
with many cuts and blows.
So would you say that this
crime has the trappings of occultism?
Of Satanic worship, in particular.
Dr. Griffis, to get your PhD,
what classes were you required to take?
And how were you accepted into enrollment
at Columbia Pacific University?
I had to fill out, uh, several series of papers.
Did you have to fill out a little flyer like this?
"Call toll free
for information on how to become a doctor."
This is a mail order college, isn't it?
- University.
- They run a TV ad. Have you seen it?
Yeah, you can send in a request
for what you want your degree in.
Did you know this was a
correspondence school? I didn't.
Judge, the witness has a mail order PhD
from a non-accredited school
that required no classes.
We object to Dr. Griffis as an expert.
Well, I'm not sure within Arkansas
you need a degree of any kind
to be considered an expert
in a particular field.
And I'm not persuaded at all
by your argument about a mail order PhD.
So I'm ruling him as qualified
as an expert in the area of occult.
I'm looking for the manager, Marty King.
Is he here?
He's in the back. I'll fetch him.
Looks like business is pretty good.
A whole lot better than it was
now that they've caught them Satanists
who murdered them little boys.
I'm the manager. What can I do for you?
My name is Ron Lax. I'm an investigator,
and I was wondering if I could
ask you a few questions
about the night of May the 5th?
Well, certainly,
I'll be glad to help out however I can.
Hey, boss.
Here's one I don't remember seeing before.
Who's Christopher Morgan?
Did you in any way participate in
causing the death of any of those three boys?
Do you know for sure
who caused those boys to die?
Are you holding back any information
about those three boys?
The polygraph showed deception.
He says you went off the chart.
I don't know why I failed it.
Must have been nervous.
This is so fucking screwed up!
Chris, I have a legal obligation
to get to the truth...
- I'm telling you the truth.
- Or to exonerate you if you weren't involved.
But based on the polygraph results,
I don't feel like you're being
completely honest.
What do you want me to do?
Do you want me to lie to you?
Okay, I'm gonna lie.
I killed them. And all the other bullshit.
- Are you arresting me?
- No, I am not.
You can't do things like that.
CHRIS ON TAPE: Well, maybe I freaked out,
and blacked out,
and killed the three little boys
and fucked 'em up the ass or something.
- Is it possible you could have done it?
I have never hurt anyone intentionally.
Maybe there's two sides to you.
Maybe I'm Chris and Hyde.
I'm Ron Lax. Come this way.
Chris, what are you doing here?
Your Honor, the defense calls
Christopher Morgan.
Your Honor, may we approach?
Your Honor, I think they
are going to try to cross-examine him
from the Oceanside police report,
and we submit that it's irrelevant.
My understanding was that
this young man retracted his statement.
We want to question Mr. Morgan to suggest
that the police case was far from certain.
Why would his testimony be relevant?
FORD: Your Honor, we all want to question
witnesses that the police viewed as suspects
before narrowing their focus on the accused.
I'm not gonna allow you to
drag in every possible suspect
unless you've got something that tie those
persons to some event in this case.
Judge Burnett, don't you think
a confession suffices as a tie-in?
Your Honor, they could just talk to anybody
on the street and they could say,
-"Do you admit doing these murders?"
- Come on!
This is not just anybody off the street.
This was the Oceanside PD
questioning him at the request
of the West Memphis PD.
All right. All right.
I'm gonna begin the hearing. Anything else?
Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to need
to conduct a hearing in camera so
- I'm gonna ask you...
- What? go back to the jury room.
JUDGE: Bailiff,
will you clear the courtroom, please?
FORD: Your Honor...
All right, folks.
All spectators, members of the press,
please leave the courtroom.
You, too, Mr. Lax.
I don't believe you're an officer of the court.
Mr. Morgan, please step
forward to be sworn in.
PAM: Why are they
questioning Chris Morgan?
And why aren't we allowed
to hear what he says?
Bobby DeAngelo asked for a picture of my
son and brought Chris Morgan into my home.
I have a right to hear what he says.
Yes, you do, Mrs. Hobbs. We all do.
FORD: On May 17th, 1993, were
you questioned in Oceanside, California...
FORD: And in a videotaped statement...
WOMAN: We are going to be all right.
Justice is gonna be sewed, and we love you,
and we are just thinking of you and just
praying for you constantly, okay?
So you said it just to get out?
Yeah, after 17 hours I believe anybody would.
Now, before you made
the statements in question,
did you tell the officers in a state of anger that
"if you want me to lie to you,
I'll lie to you and tell you that I did it"?
- Yes.
- Uh-huh.
And immediately after that,
did you again deny any knowledge
-of involvement in these murders?
- Yes.
All right. Anything else?
Jessie Misskelley denied that he did it,
admitted he did it, then denied it again
and he's in prison!
This man did the same thing.
And we are asking you to allow
us to present this testimony to the...
We are entitled to raise reasonable doubt.
That's what we're trying to do
with this testimony.
Raise it or create it?
FORD: Both!
FORD: Burnett wouldn't let him testify.
GLORI: it was so important
to get that kid on the stand
-to show how arbitrary it's been.
- I know.
But the judge says that's not relevant
because Morgan told the cops
he was gonna lie.
Besides, Fogleman says there's
no tape for the part
-of the interview where Morgan confesses.
- What? No, that's bullshit.
You can't see part of the tape
because Morgan put a tissue across the lens.
I saw it. I watched the whole thing.
But you can see it when he confesses.
PRICE: Yeah, but Fogleman said...
The audio's there for all of it, even when the
lens is covered. You tell them that?
You guys even watch the
entire six hours of tape?
- We have a synopsis from the Oceanside PD.
- A synopsis?
Since when do we depend on police reports?
Ron, we did not have enough time or money.
But you should have told Burnett...
I should have told him what?
Now, you want to try these cases, Ron?
Maybe you should have gone to law school.
You let us do our job
and you focus on doing yours.
I'm... I'm sorry, Ron. But we...
We are overwhelmed.
Fogleman is burying us in materials.
13,000 documents from the
police investigation alone.
We don't have enough time.
We don't have enough manpower. Money.
And frankly? Burnett?
He's just not giving us a chance.
PAM'. That's all right, you
That's all right, Mama
Just anyway you do
That's all right
That's all right
Well, that's all right, Mama
That's all right with you
Anyway you do
Anyway you do
That's all right
MAN ON TV: And what a challenge that was
to persevere...
Jason, the prosecutor's
office wants to offer you a deal.
If you agree to testify against Damien,
they'll only seek a sentence of 20 years.
Not death.
Now, you could be out
in 10 years, maybe less.
That's still a long time, though.
In 10 years you'll be what? 26 years old?
You'll have your whole life ahead of you.
The case against you is weak.
But they're going to do everything they can
to tie you to Damien and his beliefs,
the things he said and done.
And despite the lack
of evidence, it is very possible
that Damien will go down for this.
And if he does,
there's a good chance he's
gonna drag you down with him.
I can't do it. I can't tell a lie about him.
It ain't right.
I can't.
When you were at the softball field,
did you hear somebody say
something about the murders?
Yes, sir. I heard, um, Damien Echols
say that he killed the three boys.
GIRL: I heard Damien Echols
say he killed all three of those little boys.
And before he turned himself in,
he was gonna kill two more.
And he already had one of them picked out.
Is the person who made that
statement present in this courtroom?
Yes, sir.
Would you point that person out for the jury?
Right there.
May the record reflect that the witness
has identified Damien Echols.
If anybody else is in this courtroom, who was
present when that statement was made,
would you point that person out for the jury?
Your Honor, may the record reflect
the witness has identified
the other defendant,
Jason Baldwin.
KING: Sir, are you all right?
After that I called the police.
And by the time Officer Meek came to the
drive-through, the man was already gone.
And the next day, uh, after
the bodies were found, and, uh,
Detective Ridge and Allen came
over and took a report.
They came over straight from the crime scene,
and one of them asked me, he said,
"Did the black man appear
to have muddy feet?
"Like me, because we've been out there all
morning long in the water and mud."
PRICE: Okay. And when you
looked at him, what did you say?
Um, I said, "Yes, sir."
'Cause his pants and shoes
were muddy and wet up to the knees.
"Just like you."
PRICE: Detective Ridge, on May 6th, 1993,
you went to the Bojangles Restaurant.
Did you take blood scrapings
from inside the women's restroom?
Yes, sir. I found trace remains in the
ladies' bathroom of the Bojangles.
PRICE: Detective, what is the date you sent
the scrapings to the crime lab to be analyzed?
They were never sent.
All right. Where are the
samples at this time, Detective?
I don't know, sir. They were lost.
PAM: What?
PRICE: You mean blood evidence
that you took for the purpose
of sending to the crime lab is just lost?
Yes, sir.
That's my mistake. I lost a piece of evidence.
Now, Damien, this book on witchcraft,
where did you get that?
The library had these books they were
getting rid of for 10 cents each.
Damien, there's some pages
in there that are underlined in red,
references to the devil.
That was already done when I got it.
I think somebody had a report
to do 'cause all through the book
there's like little notes,
dates, and stuff like that in the margin.
Damien, why do you like to wear black?
I was told I look good in it.
And it helped me deal with people.
It would make them think
"He's weird." And it kept them away.
You've looked into the
Satanic side of the occult, correct?
- I'm familiar with it.
- You familiar with Aleister Crowley?
Based on his writings,
he believes in human sacrifice, doesn't he?
He also believed he was God, so...
His writings indicated that children
were the best type of human sacrifice.
- Correct?
- Yes, sir.
But Crowley has no particular
significance to you?
I know who he is. I've read about him,
but I've never read anything by him.
Do you recognize this?
What is that?
It's a paper I had on different alphabets.
Where you could write
things nobody could read.
Whose names are written on it?
Mine. Jason's.
Our newborn son's,
and one that says Aleister Crowley.
So the only other name on this
document besides yours,
your best friend and your son
is Aleister Crowley.
If you say so.
Now, when he interviewed you
before your arrest, did you tell Officer Ridge
that you'd been a member
of a white witch group for five years?
I told him I was a Wiccan.
I've never been a member of a group.
- Oh, he made that up?
- Yes.
Officer Ridge also asked you
why would someone kill these kids
and your response was that the person
was sick or a Satanist. Is that correct?
He asked me was it possible if they could be
Satanists, and I said "Yeah, I guess."
When Officer Ridge asked you how do you
think the person feels who did this,
your answer was,
"Probably makes them feel good.
"Gives them power."
Is that correct?
Or, I guess, Officer Ridge made that up, too.
No. I used common sense on that.
If someone was doing it,
they must have wanted to.
And if they were doing something they
wanted to it must make them happy.
So in your mind it is common sense
that killing three eight-year-olds
would make you feel good?
Whoever did it must have.
ls there anything wrong
with wearing black in and of itself?
Anything wrong with this
heavy metal stuff in and of itself?
The Book of Shadows.
Anything wrong with that?
But you don't look at these
things individually.
You have to look at them as a whole.
And when you look at all
this circumstantial evidence as a whole,
it proves that these
defendants committed this murder.
Now, all this Satanic stuff?
It doesn't matter whether I believe it.
It doesn't matter whether
the defense attorneys believe it.
It doesn't even matter
whether you believe in it.
The only thing that matters is
what these defendants believe.
Now, you look at history,
at all the people that
have been killed in the name of religion,
it is a motivating force.
It gives people who want
to do evil the justification for what they do.
And when you look at it all together,
you begin to see inside Damien Echols.
You see inside that person. You look inside,
and there's not a soul in there.
The first verdict reads as follows.
"We, the jury, find Damien Echols
"guilty of capital murder
-"in the death of Stevie Branch.
"We, the jury, find Damien Echols
"guilty of capital murder
in the death of Chris Byers.
"We, the jury, find Damien Echols
"guilty of capital murder
in the death of Michael Moore."
"We, the jury, find Jason Baldwin
"guilty of capital murder
in the death of Stevie Branch.
"We, the jury, find Jason Baldwin
"guilty of capital murder
in the death of Chris Byers.
"And we, the jury, find Jason Baldwin
"guilty of capital murder
in the death of Michael Moore."
Now, do either of you have any
legal reason to give the court
as to why a sentence should not be imposed?
No, sir.
'Cause I'm innocent.
Pardon, I'm sorry, I didn't hear that.
Because I'm innocent.
Well, the jury has heard the
evidence and concluded otherwise.
Mr. Baldwin, you are hereby adjudicated
guilty on three counts of capital murder.
You are hereby sentenced
to the Arkansas Department of Corrections
to a term of life
without the possibility of parole.
Mr. Echols, you have been
adjudicated guilty on three counts
of capital murder as well,
the death of Michael Moore,
Chris Byers and Stevie Branch.
You are remanded to the
custody of the Sheriff
and to immediately be transported to the
Arkansas Department of Corrections
where on the 5th of May, 1994,
a lethal quantity
-of an ultra short-acting barbiturate
in combination with a chemical
paralytic agent,
will be injected into your
body until you are dead.
Mrs. Hobbs.
I'm Ron Lax.
I know who you are.
And I don't hate you either.
Or them lawyers. Just don't forget about us.
- Don't... Don't let yourself forget about us.
- I won't.
I can't.
Ever since I saw your face on TV that first day,
I read the case files,
saw the photographs of your son.
I'll never be able to forget any of it.
And I know that you may not be
able to feel much compassion right now
for the boys accused of this crime.
I understand that, I really do.
But if these boys are innocent,
would you want three more families
to lose their children, too?
I found this in Terry's things.
It's Stevie's pocket knife.
His Grandpa Hicks gave him.
- Your father?
- Yeah, my father.
Stevie loved this knife.
Just like his new bike.
Everything his grandpa ever gave him.
He'd take it with him everywhere.
He always had it.
- I think he would have had it that day.
- The day he was killed?
I don't know why they didn't find it on him.
And I don't know why my
husband would have it now.
You suspect your husband
might have something do to with all of this?
I don't know. I don't know.
I don't know anything anymore.
After hearing Jessie's confession,
and all those things he didn't know
and the bloody man at Bojangles,
and Mark Byers and that bloody knife.
And those girls up on the stand,
acting like this is all just
some sort of game to them.
And what about Chris Morgan? They told me
that he confessed out in California,
and they wouldn't even let us hear
what he had to say on the stand.
It seems like everybody,
the police, the judge, everybody,
they all know who they want to think did this.
I don't know anymore.
Neither do I.
But I know in my heart that
Damien, Jason and Jessie did not do this.
STEVIE: Well that's all right, Mama
That's all right for you
That's all right, Mama
Just any way you do
That's all right
Is that too tight? You'll be back soon.
Real soon, sweetheart. I promise.