Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

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Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is a 1996 documentary film directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about the trials of three teenage boys in West Memphis, Arkansas for the murder and sexual mutilation of three prepubescent boys. The boys on trial for the crime are: Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin, also known as the West Memphis 3.

Despite a lack of any significant evidence indicating that they are connected to the case at all, the three boys are charged and tried for the murders. A common theme throughout the film is the treatment of the boys based on their appearances and tastes in music, possibly as a Satanic ritual abuse.
During the course of the filming, John Mark Byers, the stepfather of one of the victims, gives the filmmakers a knife which has blood in the hinge. The filmmakers turn the knife over to police, who examine it; the DNA is similar to that of himself and the boy but the evidence is nonetheless inconclusive since the DNA evidence produced was fragmented and can not provide concrete links. Other evidence is lost. All three teenagers are convicted.

The film was made in 79 days over a 10-month period filming in the actual Arkansas locations. The movie marks the first time Metallica allowed their music to be used in a movie. A decade later the directors made Some Kind of Monster about Metallica.
The movie was praised by critics, including Siskel and Ebert praising the movie

 

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, 8.4 out of 10 based on 34 ratings

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  • Joel

    There is no physical evidence. There is only a tenuous link to suggest motive. This was not a fair trial.

  • Gerry

    i guess were not seeing the whole thing (which is crucial) but…on the ‘evidence’ presented I couldnt sleep if I convicted anyone on what I seen…if theres nothing more to add… and I would back down if corrected with anything more substantial….American justice is built on heresay and rhetoric…disgraceful

  • Cysha

    Are you serious? How could anyone that close to Hitler NOT know what was going on. Maybe you’ve never met someone who survived those camps .. or taken care of a senior with the tattoo’d number on their arm who has dementia and screams in horror and fear when a Dr. tries to listen to their heart because of the crap that was done to them.

    I’m with Winston Churchill take them out back and shoot them .. or better yet make them live and die like their party condemned so many others to do.

    I wish I believed in hell

    • Momosteur

      you can’t say that when you look at how rotten de justice system is. if they’d never make a mistake, you’d be right, take them out back and shoot them. unfortunately, they make mistakes.

    • Momosteur

      you can’t say that when you look at how rotten de justice system is. if they’d never make a mistake, you’d be right, take them out back and shoot them. unfortunately, they make mistakes.

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  • Samy St Clair

    It was the step-father who committed this atrocity. If you’re not sold by it in this documentary, watch the follow-up Paradise Lost 2 Revelations. Where he’s had his teeth removed and replaced and is now supporting the release of the West Memphis 3. This is an epic failure of our justice system and to this day has not been made right. I call for the full pardon of these innocent boys immediately if not sooner.

  • Samy St Clair

    It was the step-father who committed this atrocity. If you’re not sold by it in this documentary, watch the follow-up Paradise Lost 2 Revelations. Where he’s had his teeth removed and replaced and is now supporting the release of the West Memphis 3. This is an epic failure of our justice system and to this day has not been made right. I call for the full pardon of these innocent boys immediately if not sooner.

  • Emma

    The other stepfather did it imo..the one who isn’t portrayed as much.  Roll on december 5th for the start of the new evidentiary hearing and free the WM3.

  • Emma

    The other stepfather did it imo..the one who isn’t portrayed as much.  Roll on december 5th for the start of the new evidentiary hearing and free the WM3.

  • Guest

    What the heck?? I was watching this and you took it down.

  • Guest

    What the heck?? I was watching this and you took it down.

  • Corinne Jones

    Glad I am  not american, you people scare me, six boys lives were lost that day, mob culture in the name god……you people are scary…..what happened to burden of proof, and meeting it, I know to busy getting elected or going to church……tragic

    • J0exl3e

      don’t generalize to a whole population or you are no better than us

      • bird

        although im sure there are smart americans that can think for themselves, we have been bombarded with documentaries and news clips of repeated mob mentaility in americans so i can see why someone would generalize like that. i agree with corinne im glad im not an american

        • Anonymous

          oh you’re sure there are smart americans? What a sigh of relief!!! And here I thought we were just 307 million idiots stuck in this third world country. Do you have any of their phone numbers or emails by any chance? Maybe we can start a revolution and make it perfect and only full of geniuses like your country.

        • Anonymous

          oh you’re sure there are smart americans? What a sigh of relief!!! And here I thought we were just 307 million idiots stuck in this third world country. Do you have any of their phone numbers or emails by any chance? Maybe we can start a revolution and make it perfect and only full of geniuses like your country.

          • j0exl3e

            bird ur a idiot. the country that has treated its citizens the best is the US. mob mentality is apparent everywhere in the world, and just because there are more documentaries in the US doesn’t mean that there is more here then else where. There could be many logical conclusions for that. One being that the US has more money than other countries so it can spend lots of money making documentaries. I would like to hear where you are from, and hear how your country does not have any faults whatsoever. 

          • Anonymous

            First, Bird: come on? Stupid, stupid comment!
            Then:J0exl3e: REALITY CHECK! NOW!
            It´s “an idiot”..
            And “the country that has treated its citizens the best is the US” really??
            What kind of propaganda were you brought up on?
            Use the Scandinavian countries as an example! The citizens here are much better treated than in the US at ALL income levels but the very highest maybe.
            We laugh at your lousy healthcare, your silly, silly insurances, race-riots, warmonging and your obviously flaud Justice system.. WHAT is better? The only thing that´s better in America is YOUR OWN DELUDED OPINION OF YOURSELVES!

            We got toilets that´s older than your first buildings and Pub´s that has been open since before America was even discovered(AND America was first discovered in the year 1000 A.D by Leif Ericsson, a Scandinavian Viking!)

            And most ridiculous??
            This one is really the icing on the Idiot-cake:
            “One being that the US has more money than other countries”
            Are you a complete idiot? Have you not read the news since the 70´s?
            Do you not know that the US actually RIGHT NOW owes China so much money that if China were to take it all back at once, everything in America would stop and NEVER start again?
            America is INCHES away from bankrupcy and you actually think that you´re RICH???

            Jeesus.. Get off Fox News and check some REAL news..

            You´ll cry when you realize what you´re REALLY living in and you think that we should envy you?
            We feel pity for you and will soon probably be sending some Finacial Aid to keep America on it´s feet for just a while longer..

          • Anonymous

            First, Bird: come on? Stupid, stupid comment!
            Then:J0exl3e: REALITY CHECK! NOW!
            It´s “an idiot”..
            And “the country that has treated its citizens the best is the US” really??
            What kind of propaganda were you brought up on?
            Use the Scandinavian countries as an example! The citizens here are much better treated than in the US at ALL income levels but the very highest maybe.
            We laugh at your lousy healthcare, your silly, silly insurances, race-riots, warmonging and your obviously flaud Justice system.. WHAT is better? The only thing that´s better in America is YOUR OWN DELUDED OPINION OF YOURSELVES!

            We got toilets that´s older than your first buildings and Pub´s that has been open since before America was even discovered(AND America was first discovered in the year 1000 A.D by Leif Ericsson, a Scandinavian Viking!)

            And most ridiculous??
            This one is really the icing on the Idiot-cake:
            “One being that the US has more money than other countries”
            Are you a complete idiot? Have you not read the news since the 70´s?
            Do you not know that the US actually RIGHT NOW owes China so much money that if China were to take it all back at once, everything in America would stop and NEVER start again?
            America is INCHES away from bankrupcy and you actually think that you´re RICH???

            Jeesus.. Get off Fox News and check some REAL news..

            You´ll cry when you realize what you´re REALLY living in and you think that we should envy you?
            We feel pity for you and will soon probably be sending some Finacial Aid to keep America on it´s feet for just a while longer..

      • Corinne Jones

        I did not mean to generalise Joexl3e. The small town bible belt mentality is what scares me. The fact that law enforcement, and the judicial system  banks on being elected, that is a breeding ground for incompetence and incidious miscarriage of justice. I am scared of america, I would not travel there because of the inate fear of how the system bastardises its citizens. ( generally speaking).

        • J0exl3e

          And what I’m saying to you Jones is that, this could happen anywhere. The judicial system relies on the fact that people will tell the truth. Due process, not guilty until proven so. It also relies on a rational group of people. “I am scared of america, I would not travel there because of the inate fear of how the system bastardises its citizens. ( generally speaking).” c I would love to hear what country you are from and hear you make a case for your judicial system. I think that our judicial system has problems as well, so I am not entirely disagreeing with you. But this is a rare case in US history where justice failed. You have to realize that our country has the most lawsuits and the most criminal cases  in the whole entire world. The US is also known for imprisoning its citizens compared with the rest of the world. But to not travel to another country just because of a small town bible belt mentality… just foolish

          • Haters are Fans

            There are enough other reasons why not to go to America though, just watch Bowling for Columbine or Sicko by Michael Moore, both documentaries show Canadians who say that they won’t travel to the US just because of Crime/too many gun incidents and the fact that you will be robbed by hospitals if you need one, cynically speaking..

          • Anonymous

            I personally know many Canadians who have moved to the U.S. and say that they like it better here.

          • scibellitowin

            I am dual English and Canadian citizen and choose to live in the USA. Only because it provides the best quality of life. To make foolish blanket statements about America, or worse yet, Americans, is the best tell tale sign for someone I don’t want to meet. Totally shameful.

          • Anonymous

            I Love Americans but they need to get some things straight about their situation.. America isn´t “The great big No.1″ anymore and hasn´t been for a long time. You were just minutes away from Bankrupcy just this last Summer..
            China, as an example, has an economy that is lightyears ahead of yours..

            See my answer to J0exl3e further up.. He´s really all Propaganda and no facts..

          • Anonymous

            I Love Americans but they need to get some things straight about their situation.. America isn´t “The great big No.1″ anymore and hasn´t been for a long time. You were just minutes away from Bankrupcy just this last Summer..
            China, as an example, has an economy that is lightyears ahead of yours..

            See my answer to J0exl3e further up.. He´s really all Propaganda and no facts..

          • scibellitowin

            I am dual English and Canadian citizen and choose to live in the USA. Only because it provides the best quality of life. To make foolish blanket statements about America, or worse yet, Americans, is the best tell tale sign for someone I don’t want to meet. Totally shameful.

    • J0exl3e

      don’t generalize to a whole population or you are no better than us

    • Hupoken1

      american has nothing to do with it, this evil exists all over the world, everywhere.

    • yoilie

      you don’t have to be an american to murder ms jones,you need to look at where you live and i know that you have the worst crime,anyway they were found inocent and are free,i am glad that i am an american and proud,as its say cast the first stone

  • christy brown

    I TO WANTED TO WATCH THIS!!!!!!!!….WHY IS IT TAKEN DOWN EVERYWHERE!!!…THIS ISNT RIGHT!!…WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW HOW MISLEADING OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM WORKS!!!..HOW THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE NOT JUST THESE PEOPLE!!…OR DOES EVERYONE WANT US TO NOT REALIZE THAT THEIR HAS BEEN A VIOLENT CHILD PREDATOR ON THE LOOSE ALL THESE YEARS!!..ITS SICK NOT ONLY WHAT HAPPEN TO THEM 3 EIGHT YEAR OLDS BUT ALSO THESE 3 SIXTEEN YEAR OLDS AS WELL!!!…JUST A SHAME I REMEMBER THIS CASE & I REMEMBER THINKING THAT THEM BOYS WERE INNOCENT!!!…THEIR WAS JUST KNOW WAY THAT THEY WOULDNT OF HAD SOME KIND OF DNA ON THEM JUST BEING KIDS THEMSELVES!!! 

    • jackson

      They were released some time ago because of DNA evidence proving them innocent.
      Blind freddy could have worked that out just by common sense……..God this makes me angry!!!!

  • Hupoken1

    wether the people who were interviewed were innocent, or guilty, they all pretty much scared the heck out of me.

  • Haters are Fans

    How people can be completely blindsighted by beliefs, it’s incredible, and I do not think that this could have happened anywhere but America, because of the fact that sheriffs and prosecutors and judges of the state are directly elected in America. The consequence of this is that when the public demands a conviction they will be more inclined to convict, regardless of guilt. Moreover, one could ask the question whether a jury is qualified to look at a case and come to a just conclusion, I’d say a jury isn’t. Because of these facts I’d say the United States judicial system is more prone to errors than in another system. For example in my country, where judges don’t have to worry about being re-elected, like the prosecutors or the police who are all appointed and discharged by people who are able objectively judge there capabilities. This is just a horrible story..

  • Shelby

    Listen, the reason these teens were apprehended so quickly with no substantial evidence is because small communities like the one shown in the video will just panic and run amok if they don’t pin the crimes on someone….people are always first to judge those who are different…I’m still undecided on if they’re guilty or not…the police acted a little fast, yes, however if they didn’t act as fast as they did, there could have been worse problems! This whole case was based on hearsay which is ridiculous  although the acts of the police force were just as ridiculous…losing blood evidence? Really…you call yourself a cop? Idiots. As a criminology student i did my research on the case, and there is not a single shred of empirical or substantial evidence…this whole trial was bogus….of course this is my opinion…

  • Crickjackson

    What a complete and obvious FREAK the ‘stepdad’ is!!!!! What a major misscariage of justice.

    How obvious is the truth. To cut the genitals off, nd bite a childs face! WTF!
    You would have to be COMPLETLY INSANE to a degree that is obvious to anyone that would obsreve the perpertrator going about his life.

     See anything that makes those 3 teenagers look insane?

    Is there anything that makes you think that stepdad is insane?………………..end of freaking story!!

    The three boys have been let free because of new evidence……..who is left in the equasion……….my god what is wrong with the system!! is monster should die

    But what should be done with the detective that was so sure of the boys guilt……..EPIC fail does he still have a job! He shoul be in jail!

    Never fealt hate until now………I dont like that I have learned what it is like to hate

    And how stupid are those hillbilies

    • Myheartzcontent

      The hillbillies are scary. Imagine being judged by those people?? Our justice system is supposed to work, and we r supposed to be judged by 12 of our “peers”. Those teens were poor, uneducated, and raised in a town full of ignorance and idiots. There “peers” were people like the step-father and his friends. The jury wanted to convict them kuz the whole town wanted to blame somebody. They listened to the media and the accusations by police and others, and rumors. NO EVIDENCE at all and they were convicted? Then they have to cop to an Alford Plea? Please, they shoulda walked free, but like one of them said, “They were trying to kill Damien so I had to take the plea….” They were gonna execute an innocent man!! This is some back woods, crazy hick shit!

  • YoooooooSheNice

    You gotta love the Occult Expert lmao Black fingernails, they paint their hair black and will get tattoos lol 

  • Ziggy Sputnik