Generally riveting follow up of the case where three quite possibly innocent young men sit in a U.S. prison for murdering three children.
Certainly, at least given what the two documentaries show, there is way beyond 'reasonable doubt' that they're responsible. But what was a moderate flaw in the first film becomes worse here; In the same way the prosecution disturbingly made the evidence fit their theory, throwing out, ignoring, or belittling what didn't fit, the film-makers seem to play some of the same game in reverse.
Crucial questions about alibis are never answered, and this sequel spends too much energy trying to pin guilt on Mark Byers, step-father of one of the murdered boys.
Is there some spooky circumstantial evidence that he may have been involved? Absolutely. But proof? The man even voluntarily takes a lie detector test, and passes with flying colors, which the film- makers then dismiss since the man is on various prescription mood altering drugs. But do we ever hear an expert say those drugs might affect the test? No.
More disturbing, the film seems to imply he's guilty because he looks and acts weird, and says confusing and contradictory things, the very sort of 'guilt by odd behavior' association both films attack in relation to the three boys found guilty. The fact that Byers (supposedly) has a brain tumor, and what effect that might have on his outward behavior is never explored at all. And watching this character at such length starts to get dull after a while, as his rants go on and on.
None-the-less, this is still a very interesting film, the most moving sections being those spent with the three now young men in jail for a crime they likely didn't commit. All have grown up a great deal in the 4 years since the last film, and are sad and articulate reminders of how horrifying it can be that people never given the benefit of a fair trial are allowed to sit and rot in prison. And the amazing lack of despair or bitterness they show is a testament to human resilience.
I am an American, now living in Canada, who saw this documentary both Vol 1 and Vol 2. I must say it is jaw-dropping. In Paradise Lost 1 you get the whole story of the 3 murdered school boys, one of which actually had his genitals cut off. In Vol 1 they describe the murders and show how the police tried to blame the murders on 3 teens from the town. They chose these teens because one dressed "goth" and dabbled in the Wicca " whichcraft" religon. HOWEVER they had NO forensics to back it up. These kids were eventually convicted mostly because police made one of the teens with an IQ lower than 80 confess. And in his confession there are MANY MANY facts that were imposssible, like the time of death he claimed was during school hours and all 6 children would have been in school if that were true. In vol 1 I walked away wondering if the teens actually did it. UNTIL, I saw vol 2. It soon became obvious that the step-father of one of the murdered boys was more likely the suspect. In vol 2 they found a previously undiscovered bite marks on one child. Yet when the suggestion of bite mark evidence came out the step-dad got all his teeth removed and got dentures. To top it off the child's mother died of an "undetermined" cause and under suspicious circumstance after the teen's conviction. And also years after the conviction the step-dad was arrested for using a gun to hold back a crowd of teens while he allowed one teen to beat the crap out of another!!! The B.S. dramatics the step-dad shows in these movies are ridiculous. You won't believe how much he acts devestated by the murders, my dog is a better actor than this guy, the theatrics alone should have made him SUSPECT #1 from the start. I have never seen such a misjudgement by the American Justice system like this before. Trust me see both vol 1 and vol 2 and you will become a believer in the teen's innocence as well. As the teens are still in jail and one is soon to get a date for execution it is IMPORTANT for people to see these movies and for as many people as possible to write to the Arkansas USA governor and request he do something to help these teens before it is too late. I also suggest you go to the website unofficially called "Free the West Memphis 3" and see for yourself he background and evidence in this case, the address is: [...] Trust me this movie is a MUST SEE. And if you see it and feel as outraged as I did, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write the governor of Arkansas, U.S.A. and request he give a new trial or at a minimum commute sentences and release these teens who are men now and slowly running out of options.The governor has the ability to release these teens. As I said this movie is a MUST SEE.
This is a horrifying case of American 'justice' at its worst. 3 school children are found brutally murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. With no evidence police arrest 3 teenagers Jessie Misskelley Jr, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin. The only evidence seems to be they like horror books, wear black and listen to heavy metal. All were found guilty Jason and Jessie sentenced to life in prison and Damien was senteced to die by lethal injection. This is a fascinating but scary case which has gained worldwide support for the 3 innocent men in jail, more information can be found at [...]
I viewed both this and the original last night and wasn't surprised one bit. Of course, thats contrary to what everyone else seems to have experienced when they viewed it. Thats the greatest attribute of this documentary, that it elucidates the unequivocal fact that the world is devoid of any justice or humanism. I know that sounds a tad nihilistic and overwrought with pessimism but in this cold, indifferent world I think its time people should be a little more introspective and realise that their prejudicial values cause so much unnecessary pain and suffering. The person I sympathised with the most in this prevelant documentary was the purported leader of the satanic occult Damien Echols, one of three West Memphis teenagers who are fallaciously endicted of murdering three young children in what is claimed to be part of a satanic ritual. Echols seems to be a benevolent, astute and perspicacious 18 year old who just happens to be a fan of heavy metal music and wears black clothing. His image and individualism has rendered him ostracized in the superficially pious and god fearing culture that he tragically finds himself immersed in, leaving him to a lead a life, along with similarly persecuted 16 year old Jason Baldwin of reclusion and introversion. When scrutinizing this film I certainly couldnt come to the conclusion that Damien and the rest of the accused are the barbaric, cold hearted devil worshippers that the contrived prosecutors, the ignorant and overly confident police officer Regina Meeks and the parents of the victims would like to have some believe. The real monster here is the stepfather of the murdered victim Christopher Byers who feebly attempts to manipulate public opinion with media appearances that only serve as evidence of his own probable guilt. John Byers employs amateur histrionics and hides his true self in the veneer of a devoutly religious human being but contradicts himself through a number of paradoxical statements that are contrary to his pugnacious, beligerent attitude towards anyone who questions him. He only manages to show himself up as a malevolent, hypocritical animal that god, if he does exist should be ashamed to have unleashed on the unjustly maligned accused who are part of an inhuman witch hunt by Byers and his cohorts who somehow became employed in the American justice system. He even has the arrogance to tell the people who sympathise with the accused to burn in hell, showing the remarkable delusions of a sub-human beast who in his shameless conceit believes he is impervious to gods justice. The most sobering thought of this documentary is the insufferable possibility that there is no omnipotent force to intervene in this world and such injustice will go unpunished, as injustice pervades every detail of this real life horror story. What also must be stressed is that persecution against nonconformist individuals has sadly become a requisite attitude in our society. Therefore to simply condemn the delirious animosity that the people in this documentary show towards things they do not find intelligible is to miss the point. This film is only a microcosm of the enmity that exists between people worldwide and the iniquity of 'normal' people persecuting their fellow human beings for things that dont in anyway relate to a persons morality or decency, such as race, religion, mental illness etc. Basically, I think people need to show humility and be more introspective before they jump on the righteous bandwagon. Such issues permeate our own culture, albeit more subtly. Is the world really a beautiful place?