The West Memphis Three have been released, and Hollywood couldn't be happier, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The trio was released after being incarcerated for 18 years for the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys who were found next to a creek in the Robin Hood Hills area of West Memphis, Arkansas.
During the initial trial, the prosecution put forth the idea that the only purported motive in the case was that the slayings were part of a Satanic ritual. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The West Memphis Three have been the subject of much speculation and outrage from various organizations and individuals over the years, many referring to it as a "mockery of justice." One of the most popular and credible attacks on the investigation and trial is the pair of documentary films by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" (1996) and "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" (2000).
Now, with the release of the Three, there is much jubilation in Arkansas today... and across the world.
"WestMemphis3 to b freed after 18 yrs!!! 18 yrs of their lives STOLEN from them. Saved by a documentary! Thank u JoeBerlinger & BruceSinofsky," fellow documentary filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted.
"DON'T YOU DARE tell me real news, TMZ," said comedian Rob Delaney after finding out the news from the celebrity website.
Patton Oswalt had urged for the West Memphis Three to be released on Thursday: "West Memphis 3 get surprise hearing. LET THEM GO ALREADY, ARKANSAS."
Meanwhile, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's third documentary on the subject, "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," will screen at the Toronto Film Festival in September. According to Deadline, the film will be shown with its current ending but Berlinger and Sinofsky plan to include an updated ending to reflect today's events in time for the New York Film Festival in October.