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

Jason Baldwin , Steven Branch , Bruce Sinofsky  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Paradise Lost - The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills + Paradise Lost 2 - Revelations + Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Baldwin, Steven Branch, Christopher Byers, John Mark Byers, Melissa Byers
  • Directors: Bruce Sinofsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AYEIY0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paradise Lost - The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 45 Minutes of Previously Unreleased Footage
  • Timeline of Events
  • Appeal Updates
  • Resources
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Filmmaker Biographies

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most influential documentaries in recent years, the Sundance favorite PARADISE LOST is an emotionally raw, must-see crime doc from two of today's most exciting filmmakers--Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (the team behind Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Brother's Keeper).

This dark odyssey began with the tragic murders of three 8-year-old boys, whose bodies were discovered in a shallow creek in West Memphis, Arkansas. The community demanded justice, and one month later the police delivered: three local teenagers accused of sacrificing the boys as part of a Satanic ritual. Despite overwhelming public antipathy towards them, defendants Damian Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley steadfastly maintained their innocence. Although the trial produced virtually no physical evidence connecting the defendants to the crime, the town, the jury, and the police felt that they had their killers, and used the young men s penchant for heavy metal music and black clothing and a fascination with the Wicca religion as evidence of their guilt.

With unprecedented access to all the players, Berlinger and Sinofsky captured the events as they unfolded before their cameras. From actual courtroom footage and clandestine jailhouse interviews to behind-the-scenes strategy meetings and intimate portraits of grief-stricken families, PARADISE LOST is a shocking yet uniquely American real-life drama.

Special Features

  • Exclusive Trial Footage
  • Timeline of Events
  • Trial Updates
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Filmmaker Biographies
  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most incredible and disturbing films ever made November 28, 2005
This film motivated me to do my own research and I read as much material on the case as I could possibly find--especially arguments from those who maintained that the three teenagers are guilty. To be honest, I had a natural skepticism about the West Memphis Three's claims of innocence. A coworker of mine was brutally murdered some years ago and two of her "friends" who were also coworkers were arrested for the murder. I refused to believe it at first. But it became clear over time that the evidence was overwhelming and conclusive. Still there were those who refused to believe the facts and zealously argued their friends' innocence. When all is done and said - it does come down to facts and whether or not one chooses to face reality and believe facts.

First, please allow me to correct a few misconceptions from some of the other reviewers.

The Michael Moore mentioned in the credits refers to one of the little eight-year-old child murder victims, not the filmmaker.

A couple of reviewers mentioned a necklace worn by Damien Echols which supposedly had blood on it from some of the victims. Actually, nothing more determinable than common blood types was found. One almost microscopic spot on the pendant was consistent with the blood type of Damien Echols (one of the accused), the other micro-spot was consistent with the blood type shared by both Jason Baldwin (one of the accused) and Steven Branch (one of the eight-year-old victims) -- as well as 11% of the rest of the Caucasian population of the United States. All experts agree that tiny micro-spots of blood can be transferred by a number of ways--especially a teenage boy wearing the necklace against their bare skin. Police photos verify that Jason Baldwin had also worn Damien's necklace.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unforgettable May 5, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Paradise Lost is definitely one of the most mind-blowingest movies I've ever seen.

Not that it's in my list of all-time favorite films; it's just that this is the kind of film that really knocks you back: it'll change your mind about a few things and really make you think. You won't be able to forget it.

Have you ever been in a plane when, just for second, it abruptly loses some altitude, and your stomach seems like it dropped through the floor? You're gonna feel like that for a couple of days or so after seeing this movie.

Without telling you too much, here's what you need to know: there has been a murder in rural Arkansas, and some local boys who don't quite fit in (i.e., they have been dressing in black and listening to Metallica) are fingered for it. The film, a gut-wrenching documentary, follows them through their trial and analyzes the evidence for and against their innocence. The film is especially recommended if you enjoy documentaries that get into forensic evidence.

I'm sure this happens a lot, but in this particular case the three boys had the good fortune of having HBO make a documentary about the trials while they were happening. Ever since then, they've had a big following of people who -- while perhaps not saying the three are innocent -- at least insist they were given capital sentences on some rather flimsy evidence. If you love stories of where the American justice system really goes off the rails -- not in one aspect or incident but systematically -- this film will be hard to match.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
On May 6, 1993 the mutilated bodies of three eight year-old boys were found abandoned along a lonely riverbank on the outskirts of West Memphis, Arkansas. They had been brutally murdered; to this date their killer(or killers have not been brought to justice. Paradise Lost is a startling film about this tragic case, which focuses on the so-called West Memphis Three, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelly, and the terrible miscarriage of justice that their trials represent.
What happened in this case could be called a modern day Witch hunt that was fueled by paranoia, lurid rumor, wild speculation and rush to judgment that led to the convictions of three innocent youth simply because they happened to be different from those in their community. So while this is also the story of three young boys who were murdered, which is tragic enough in itself, it is also one of three others that are being murdered by a legal system corrupted by ignorance, prejudice and hate. That there is absolutely no physical evidence of any kind linking any of the three to the murders should be alarming in itself to anyone who has any faith in the American legal system, and considering that the three were convicted solely on the weight of a coerced confession, which was later recanted, these facts should make any reasonable person seriously question what happened here. Not surprisingly, the same police officers who coerced a confession from Jessie Misskelly, a person who also suffers from mild retardation, have totally ignored the possibility of any other suspects and have deliberately destroyed evidence that contradicts the story they concocted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I thought it was interesting....I also thought it just gave the facts
Published 1 day ago by Debra A Sanderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Was very interesting and shocking. .must watch all three films.
Published 1 day ago by RUBY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best documentaries ,'ve ever seen
Published 7 days ago by Patricia J. Chambers
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
Such a powerful documentary. It is amazing the access the film crews were allowed. This is a much watch.
Published 12 days ago by Chris San Paolo
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent; disturbing but captivating with respect to its community...
Excellent; disturbing but captivating with respect to its community and the cast of characters in that community. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Sure, they all say they're innocent ...
Three teens are accused of murdering three 8-year-old boys in Arkansas. Conviction is based on a possible coerced confession of one teen. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Ann Sherry
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good documentary. I'm still left wondering though. A little depressing, but informative. Not too drawn out.
Published 1 month ago by danielle
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and Slow
I have not been able to finish this documentary. I am finding it tedious to get through. There is plenty of coverage of wack jobs who are missing teeth. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kelly Dunwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad, but true
Hard for me to believe these young boys good have anything to do with these senseless murders.
Published 1 month ago by Sharon Sanderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see
Excellent documentary showing how public perception can sway reason.
Published 1 month ago by ASConner
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