The West Memphis Three were released from prison yesterday, after eighteen years behind bars for a crime they’ve never successfully been linked to.
Their case has been extensively documented by filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, whose 1996 HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills brought attention to the case and helped spark a sustained effort to support the three young men who, as the film shows, were arrested and sentenced through quite dubious means.
While the case of the West Memphis Three didn’t involve specific accusations against musicians, it evidences the same trend of persecution of heavy metal in early ’90s America as this documentary posted a while back does. The nature of the case and trial attracted the empathy/sympathy of numerous people worldwide over the years, with performers such as Henry Rollins and Eddie Vedder aiding in raising funds and awareness for the case through benefit albums and concerts.
Berlinger and Sinofsky are now readying a third film in their Paradise Lost Series (following their first sequel in 2000) which will premiere next month at the Toronto Film Festival.