Meet a guy at Rocket tonight. He’s looking to rent the movie True Believer, which happens to be one of my favorite of those mid to late Eighties star-powered courtroom thrillers. You know, those. He’s watching it, he says, because someone suggested he watch it for the lawyer who’s in it.

Lawyer? I wonder. James Woods is in it. He plays hotshot lawyer Eddie Dodd, a pony-tailed, Hendrix-loving lawyer for the people who used to be great and now finds himself defending common criminals, petty thieves and drug pushers. I suppose that this lawyer must play a minor role, perhaps a walk-on part. Seems strange to me to rent a movie for that.

But as I talk to this guy, I learn that more about him. He’s photographer Grove Pashley. He does celebrity photographs and portraits. That’s interesting. Actually, that’s interesting in retrospect, because I don’t realize he’s the photographer until later, after I get home. But what’s really cool is that he asks me if I’ve seen the documentary Paradise Lost 2: Revelations. Of course I have. Then he reminds me he’s one of the four people who come together in that film to help fight for Damien Echols, Jessie Miskelley and Jason Baldwin. This guy’s working with the West Memphis Three.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about in referring to the WM3, go here. It’s too late in the day to explain the whole, horrifying ordeal. In conversation, he tells me some interesting news:

1) There’s a third film in the works. No word on what the release date is, but it’s definitely coming.

2) Henry Rollins raised enough cash to help fund long sought-after DNA testing. There exists some skin samples taken from under the murdered boys’ fingernails. No one knows whether the DNA is still viable at this late date, but we’ll soon find out.

3) Margaret Cho is now championing the cause, adding to the roster of highly visible folk wading into the fray.

4) They have the help of a new lawyer, which is precisely why Mr. Pashley is renting the flick. Later research suggests that this lawyer is Tony Serra, the real life lawyer on whom Woods’ character is based in True Believer. (This guy worked the Ellie Nesler case, taking the unpopular side that the woman, who gunned down the accused child molester who had assaulted her child, was just a vigilante.)

image borrowed from Cannabis Culture Magazine

5) The original documentary, Paradise Lost: the Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, has never been released on DVD. The follow-up, …Revelations, has been. There is an effort in the works to reacquire the former back from Hallmark for eventual DVD release, possibly with a commentary by the various forces involved.

I didn’t ask who would supply the commentary. I wonder now if it might even by the Three themselves. It seems unlikely, given the logistics and legalities involved, but wouldn’t that be unbelievable?

Interesting stuff. And people ask why I don’t just quit Rocket, given all the nonsense and bullshit that goes on behind the scenes. It’s nights like these that keep me there.

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