Attorney investigating famous murder case to speak at FHSU

In 1993, the bodies of three 8-year-old boys were found in a muddy ditch near Interstates 40 and 55 in West Memphis, AR. The victims had been brutally murdered, and one had been sexually mutilated. Less than a month later, police arrested three teenagers after a startling confession from one of the teens, who claimed the killings were related to satanic cult activity.

Attorney Dan Stidham, who was appointed to represent Jessie Miskelley, the teen who falsely confessed, will take the audience through the twisted maze of the West Memphis Murder Case with a film and a presentation from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in the Memorial Union Ballroom on the campus of Fort Hays State University.

Stidham's appearance is sponsored by FHSU's Center for Criminal Justice Education and Teaching and the Criminal Justice Club.

The presentation is open to attorneys, law enforcement, justice professionals, all faculty and students, and members of the community. The presentation is free to all faculty, students and the community, or for those who are not attending for training hours.

The presentation will present a factual overview of the case and discuss the legal issues involved, including police interrogation techniques, false confessions, satanic panic, criminal profiling, an update on the appeal process in the case and legal lessons to be learned.

Stidham has been actively investigating the West Memphis Three Murder Case for more than 10 years. He has consulted with some of the world’s leading forensic experts. The case was the subject of a 1996 HBO documentary film, "Paradise Lost." A sequel, "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations," was released in 2000.

The Justice Studies Club will host a viewing of "Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17 in Rarick Hall, room 201. The viewing is free and open to students, faculty, the community and justice professionals.

For more information, contact Dr. Andria L. Cooper, assistant professor of justice studies, at or (785) 628-5235.

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