True crime fans, prepare for your next obsession.
In a new two-night special, The Forgotten West Memphis Three, on Oxygen—which begins on Saturday, March 28—former fire chief, arson investigator and host of the Truth and Justice podcast Bob Ruff will be re-examining an infamous cold case: the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys, Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers.
The boys were found brutally murdered in a West Memphis, Arkansas creek, which would later become the source of a nickname, "the West Memphis three," given to a trio of teenagers who were convicted for the crime in 1994. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley Jr. to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences and Jason Baldwin to life imprisonment. In an exclusive first-look clip of the show, Ruff says this was done "despite any physical evidence whatsoever linking them to the case."
However, in 2011, all three men were released from prison after being incarcerated for nearly 18 years. Why? The discovery of new forensic evidence. The three entered Alford pleas, meaning they maintained their innocence but acknowledged there had been enough evidence against them to convict.