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Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 8,140 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 53 critic

A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.

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Title: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Brooks ...
Himself - KAIT-TV (archive footage)
Diana Davis ...
Herself - KAIT-TV (archive footage)
Terry Wood ...
Himself - KAIT-TV (archive footage)
Dick Clay ...
Himself - KAIT-TV (archive footage)
Jenna Newton ...
Herself - KAIT-TV (archive footage)
Gary Gitchell ...
Himself
Tommy Stacy ...
Himself (as Rev. Tommy Stacy)
Melissa Byers ...
Herself
Todd Moore ...
Himself
Dana Moore ...
Herself
...
Herself
Jessie Misskelley Sr. ...
Himself
Gail Grinnell ...
Herself
Joe Hutchinson ...
Himself
John Mark Byers ...
Himself
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Storyline

Berlinger and Sinofsky's documentary of a gruesome triple murder in West Memphis, Arkansas and the subsequent trials of three suspects, takes a hard look at both the occult and the American justice system in 'small-town' America. Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's frightening to think they did it. It's terrifying to think they didn't.


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

America Undercover: Paradise Lost - The Child Murders at Robin Hood Woods  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky spent 79 days over a 10-month period filming in the actual Arkansas locales. See more »

Quotes

Damien Wayne Echols: I knew from when I was real small people were gonna know who I was, I always had that feeling... I just never knew how they were gonna learn. I kind of enjoy it now because even after I die, people are gonna remember me forever. People are gonna talk about me for years. People in West Memphis will tell their kids stories... It'll be sorta like I'm the West Memphis boogie man. Little kids will be looking under their beds - "Damien might be under there!"
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Call of Ktulu
By Metallica
Written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton, and Dave Mustaine
Produced by Metallica
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User Reviews

inspires frustration and ultimately, apathy
28 March 2002 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Despite all the praise this documentary has received, I did not find it very moving at all. Granted, it was a horrible crime, and the footage of the three young victims' bodies was shocking and almost unwatchable. But most of this film serves only to expose the extreme incompetence of everyone involved in the case.

With regard to the wrongly(?) accused boys -- never have I seen three innocent people put up such a weak, pathetic fight for their innocence. Most of the time, they stare doe-eyed and slack-jawed in front of the camera, seemingly uninterested in their own fates. Sure, these boys were only 16-17 years old and very scared, but they seem to have no intuition for survival whatsoever in this life-or-death situation. Any realistic grasp of the situation eludes these boys completely -- they behave almost as if they're playing a part in a movie. It is quite possible, and perhaps even probable, that they are indeed innocent, but they themselves do not seem to care, and so dear viewer, why should you?

The overwhelming impression I get from these boys is that they lead very boring lives in a very stagnant town, and they know that this whole case is the most exciting thing that will ever happen to them. They seem interested not in the issue of their guilt or innocence, but rather in the surreal quality of their quasi-celebrity (in the end, Damien waxes romantic over the notion that his name will become famous in West Memphis as a synonym for "bogeyman", scaring generations of children to come). They are genuinely pleased with all of the attention they're receiving -- not that they have much to say, but they're just happy that someone is asking.


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