7.5/10
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9 user 6 critic

Witch Hunt (2008)

The story of several families who have their lives destroyed when their hometown is whipped into a frenzy by allegations of child molestation.

Writer:

Dana Nachman
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jack Cummings Jack Cummings ... Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Jackie Cummings Jackie Cummings ... Herself - Accused of Child Molestation
Allen Grafton Allen Grafton ... Himself - Accuser
Ed Jagels Ed Jagels ... Himself - Kern County District Attorney (archive footage)
Brenda Kniffen Brenda Kniffen ... Herself - Accused of Child Molestation
Scott Kniffen Scott Kniffen ... Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Carla Modahl Carla Modahl ... Herself - Daughter of Jeffrey Modahl
Jeffrey Modahl Jeffrey Modahl ... Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Victor Monge Victor Monge ... Himself - Accuser
Sean Penn ... Himself - Narrator
Marcella Pitts Marcella Pitts ... Herself - Accused of Child Molestation
Rick Pitts Rick Pitts ... Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Kathleen Ridolfi Kathleen Ridolfi ... Herself - Northern California Innocence Project (as Kathleen 'Cookie' Ridolfi)
Ed Sampley Ed Sampley ... Himself - Accuser
Linda Starr Linda Starr ... Herself - Northern California Innocence Project
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Storyline

Executive Producer Sean Penn presents "Witch Hunt," a gripping indictment of the American justice system told through the lens of one small town. Voters in Bakersfield, California elected a tough on crime district attorney into office for more than 25 years. During his tenure he convicted dozens of innocent working class moms and dads. They went to prison, some for decades, before being exonerated. He remains in office today. This story on a micro level mirrors what the US has experienced over the last eight years. When power is allowed to exist without oversight civil rights are in jeopardy. Written by Dana Nachman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some convictions are criminal

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Certificate:

Unrated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Witch Hunt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

KTF Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)| Dolby SR

Color:

Color | Color (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
title cards: There are more than 2 million people in American prisons today. This film is dedicated to the thousands of them who are actually innocent.
Narrator: [narration] The images of your life, picture them, on your refrigerator, in albums, frames. They capture every stage, change, celebration. Without them, how much do you remember? How much do you rely on these photos to remind you of the journey you've taken in life. Now imagine them gone. This is the first photo John Stoll has of is life. The ...
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Haven''t watched the movie yet, but a little background...
9 June 2011 | by douglasdouglasjSee all my reviews

To give everyone a little background of what was happening before Jagels was elected, there were many named city and government officials, as well as business owners and campaign managers, who were involved in a loosely knit society of abusing 10-14 year old boys. These children were being used as sex slaves, and many other completely horrendous acts that these men forced upon these kids. The most famous (or infamous) of these children was Robert Mistriel, who was accused of killing a high official, Edwin Buck. Apparently Mistriel was a hustler (male prostitute) when he was referred to Buck from another molester, who at the time was a co-owner of the newspaper. Mistriel was needless to say treated as a sex slave, among other things, and eventually could not take the abuse any longer and apparently conspired to kill Buck with an acquaintance. Mistriel was put on trial in 1983 and was sentenced to 31 years to life in prison, and has adamantly stated he was not the one who killed buck. Here's the kicker... all those officials who molested these children were well- known by law enforcement for doing these acts; they were never reprimanded for their actions, and never denied they had taken part in these actions.

Here's my take on WHY they concocted the entire child molestation ring; to deflect the fact that Bakersfield had molesters in the highest positions of city government.


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