Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Jackson: Film saved suspect's life

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson financed an investigation into a man found guilty of murdering three children

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson believes Damien Echols would be dead now if not for a 1996 documentary that cast doubt on the man's guilt in three child murders.

Jackson and wife Fran Walsh came to the Sundance Film Festival to premiere their documentary West of Memphis, which chronicles the case of Echols and two other men jailed for 18 years for the 1993 slayings in Arkansas. Echols had been sentenced to death while the others received life prison sentences.

The showbiz pair began financing an investigation in 2005 after they watched the documentary Paradise Lost, which premiered at Sundance nine years earlier and raised doubts about the case.

Directed by Amy Berg, West of Memphis traces the investigation through the release of the men last summer.

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