Devil’s Knot – The True Story Of The West Memphis Three

In Devil’s Knot, Mara Leveritt details how for weeks in 1993, after the murders of three eight-year-old boys, police in West Memphis, Arkansas seemed stymied. Then suddenly, detectives charged three teenagers—alleged members of a satanic cult—with the killings.

Despite the witch-hunt atmosphere of the trials, and a case which included stunning investigative blunders, a confession riddled with errors, and an absence of physical evidence linking any of the accused to the crime, the teenagers were convicted.

Jurors sentenced Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley to life in prison and Damien Echols, the accused ringleader, to death. The guilty verdicts were popular in their home state—even upheld on appeal—and all three remained in prison until their unprecedented release in August 2011.

With close-up views of its key participants, Devil’s Knot is an award-winning account that unravels the many tangled knots of this endlessly shocking case, one which will shape the American legal landscape for years to come.

Award-winning journalist Mara Leveritt’s Devil’s Knot remains the most comprehensive, insightful reporting ever done on the investigation, trials, and convictions of three teenage boys who became known as the West Memphis Three.


Praise for Devil’s Knot – The True Story Of The West Memphis Three

An indictment of a culture and legal system… Highly recommended.

Library Journal

A riveting portrait of a down-at-the heels, socially conservative rural town with more than its share of corruption and violence.

Publisher’s Weekly

Engrossing… Carries a sense of urgency.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

In the best tradition of crime journalism… Takes you inside [a case that] has become a Gordian knot for U.S. justice and the nation’s sense of its freedoms.

Toronto Globe and Mail

The best blow-by-blow account available of the investigations and trials.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal