Some backstory: There are three men named Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Damien Echols who were convicted of murdering three 8-year-old boys in Memphis, Arkansas.
Now, many people felt they were wrongly convicted back in 1994, people like Johnny Depp and Peter Jackson and his parter Fran Walsh.
Celebrities like Depp became vocal advocates for the three men while Jackson and Walsh decided on another route. They funded the investigation into clearing the three mens’ names.
The trio has been released from prison, but they’re still seen as guilty in the eyes of the law so Jackson and Walsh will continue to fund the investigation to find the real killer(s).
He’s been funding forensic experts and investigators since 1994. That’s a very long time. You’d never guess that the director of Lord of the Rings would be doing something like this on the side. How does he not get overrun with stress?
The case was also turned into a 1996 HBO documentary called Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.
I commend Jackson and Walsh for standing up for something they believe in. This particular issue, the murder of children, is near and dear to Jackson’s heart as well. He was immensely moved by the book The Lovely Bones, which is why he made the film. Of course, there is a film NOT by Peter Jackson in the works. [EW via Moviefone]