Last weekend, we finally watched West of Memphis I'd put it off for a long time, having seen the first two Paradise Lost films and having read Echols' Life After Death and both of Mara Leveritt's books on the case. It was the current season of The Truth & Justice Podcast that led to me watching the film. I noticed a clip of Geraldo in which Pam and Terry Hobbs appeared. Of course, I had to go watch the episode on YouTube.
The Geraldo special report was filmed before jury selection was complete for the second trial (Echols and Baldwin were tried together after Miskelley's trial. Miskelley refused to testify at the second trial). I would link to it, but the folks who put up the entire special are a group who claims that Echols, Baldwin, and Miskelley are guilty and refuse to not only hear any suggestions otherwise, but they don't identify who runs their Facebook page or website, so I refuse to link to them.
I will say that watching the special is interesting--it's a time capsule that reveals what was already in the media before Echols and Baldwin went to trial. So much of what is said on that stage by "experts" regarding the forensic evidence and the mutilation of the bodies is now known to be false. Frank Peretti's ME report has been shown multiple times to be inaccurate. We know far more about false confession than we did in the early 1990s. At one point in part 4, Geraldo comes back from a commercial break and declares that "three kids were hacked to death" in the case. We know, though, from actual evidence that they boys had fractured skulls and actually died from drowning (although their head injuries were fatal).
In other words, the folks trying to use the special to show actually do us a service by showing how the misinformation that was on the national stage before Echols and Baldwin went to court. And, despite the fact that none of the three convicted ever said this, throughout the special, Geraldo keeps saying "the devil made me do it."
As we watched West of Memphis, I considered how the case would never be tried in the same way in 2017. For instance, just go into Wal-Mart and enter the book section. We currently live in a small southern Arkansas town and the first time I wandered through the book section in Wal-Mart, I saw this:
I had to do a double-take. And, if you go to Wal-Mart's site (the book above is linked to Amazon because I am a affiliate) and type in words like "spells" and "curses" you'll find a ton of books on what would have been considered the occult back in 1993.