The highly-anticipated third installment of the Paradise Lost documentary series, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory continues to chronicle the 18-year imprisonment (and eventual release) of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley – also known as the West Memphis 3.
Paradise Lost 3 will finally make its television debut tonight at 9pm on HBO.
Originally intended to air in November, 2011, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky began production with the purpose of continuing to document the controversial 1994 imprisonment of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley for the murders of three second-graders named Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore.
With the previous two installments of the Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost series casting substantial doubt on the West Memphis 3’s involvement in the murders, many were shocked that Echols remained on death row while Baldwin and Misskelley continued serving their life sentences - through the number of supporters from across the world grew exponentially.
For 7 years, Peter Jackson helped fund West Memphis 3 release efforts
Even with public support on the rise, and celebrities like Peter Jackson, Johnny Depp, Henry Rollins Winona Ryder, Eddie Vedder, Natlie Mains of the Dixie Chicks, Demi Lovato and the members of Metallica standing behind Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, filmmakers Berlinger and Sinofsky were still no closer to fulfilling their dreams of documenting the release of the West Memphis 3.
After what turned in to weeks of negotiations in August, 2011, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley agreed to the controversial Alford plea deal, which would allow their release from prison after agreeing to plea “no contest” to first and second degree murder.
With cameras in the court room and at their eventual release, Berlinger and Sinofsky were finally able to obtain a fitting conclusion to their documentary by ending things the same way they began 18 years ago – with Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley out of jail.
You can view the trailer for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory below:
Paradise Lost 3 premieres January 12 @9pm on HBO
(Replays: Fri, Jan 13 @12am; Sun, Jan 15 @4:30pm, and Mon, Jan 16 @10pm)
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio