Author: Mara Leveritt
First Published: 2002
Page Count: 351
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 5/5 Stars
A story with so many twists and turns and the most shocking part about it is that it’s all true.
*Timeline of Events *Level of Detail *Shocking True Story
“Children don’t write their own tragedies. That is the work of adults.” In 1993, three eight year old boys went missing. Their naked, hog-tied bodies would be discovered the following day which would unleash one of the most peculiar criminal cases in American history. In the following months, three local teens became prime suspects and it isn’t long before the police begin to assert the murders were related to satanic rituals performed by said teens. But are these young adults really devil worshipping killers or are the police looking for an easy target to pin the murders on to close the case?
I had stumbled upon the movie Devil’s Knot on Netflix and became utterly engrossed with the case. I wanted to pick up this book but was weary it’d just cover everything I’d already watched. Thank goodness I bought the book anyway because my gut was completely wrong. The book goes into much more detail than the film and leaves no stone unturned. Leveritt perfectly outlines the events and even after the court room drama is concluded, she gives the readers valuable insight into where all the main players in the story are now. But no matter how good a writer Leveritt is, the punch to this book is the incredible story. Your blood will boil. It will boil for the eight year old boys that were savagely murdered, it will boil for the three teens suspected for their deaths with zero evidence against them, and it will boil for the people who should have been considered suspects from day one. The author often compares the trials against the teens to the Salem Witch Trials. It’s a powerful comparison and all the more frightening to think about because she’s right and this could still happen in modern America.
This is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read because it keeps coming at you with new revelations and twists in the case that keep you turning pages. Watching the movie of the same name didn’t give me a clear feeling about the case either way, but reading this book did. It gives a clear outline of the case from start to finish, but it does also take a side on the argument about whether or not the teens were innocent. Reading the book and everything Leveritt presents to us, I can’t help but agree that it seems that they were wrongly accused. You’ll have to read this book, see a few of the films, and maybe read a few other books to decide for yourself, but I’d definitely be interested in learning more about this case or seeing other sides to it – even with my mind pretty much made up.
* Film Adaptation: (Devil’s Knot Starring Colin Firth 2013), (Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills 1996), (Paradise Lost: Revelations 2000), (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory 2011)