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Peter Jackson taps documentary on real-life murder case of the West Memphis 3

Dec. 6, 2011by: Jared Pacheco

Have you guys ever heard of the West Memphis Three? Me neither. But apparently Peter Jackson has!

According to Variety Mr. Jackson recently produced a documentary about the true-life tale of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly Jr. - three men who were wrongfully accused for the murder of three 8-year-old boys and subsequently spent 18 years in prison. The state of Arkansas struck an unusual plea deal with the Three, freeing them but requiring them to plead guilty, despite their assertion of innocence.

The documentary, titled WEST OF MEMPHIS, will reveal unknown forensic evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the three defendants. It'll examine how the [Arkansas] State Prosecutor's declaration that the case is closed leaves the men convicted of a crime they did not commit while the murder goes unsolved. The new evidence prompted the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn previous denials of appeals and allowed for a new evidentiary hearing to procced. Amy Berg, who wrote and directed the documentary, adds the following:

"This film represents the trial these men didn't have. With the support of Damien [Echols] and Lorri [Davis], along with unprecedented access to those closest to the case, we were able to make a film that shows the inner workings of the defense -- the investigation, research, and appeals process, in a way that has never been shown before."

Echols, who was one of the convicted, actually produced the project with his wife Lorri Davis.

So there you go. I know it's really not a whole lot to do with our genre but I figured some of you out there might be interested by this little Peter Jackson project. Now this announcement that WEST OF MEMPHIS was completed should mean a release for this puppy soon.

Extra Tidbit: Peter Jackson actually directed the 1996 horror/comedy THE FRIGHTENERS, which starred Jake Busey and Michael J. Fox.
Source: Variety

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