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Three years into their investigation, Jackson and Walsh contacted director Berg, whose 2006 priest-molestation documentary “Deliver Us from Evil” earned an Academy Award nomination. Berg signed on to direct “West of Memphis,” which traces the 18-year history of the case and features interviews with Jackson and many witnesses and experts he and Walsh worked with.

“I would submit this film to court, so that’s how strongly I feel about it,” said Davis, a producer on the film along with Echols, Jackson and Walsh.

The film also builds a case that a stepfather of one of the murdered boys should be investigated.

Jackson said that without “Paradise Lost,” “Damien would be dead by now, so I do believe that film saved his life. And I’m hoping that our movie goes some way toward exoneration and catching the person that killed those three kids.”

Walsh and Jackson stop short of saying their efforts led to the release of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley. Yet Berg thinks the evidence brought to light by Jackson and Walsh was crucial.

“Without the discovery of the DNA, there’s no way that these guys would be walking free, and that came so much from Peter and Fran and their investigation,” Berg said.

Since his release, Echols has lived a nomadic life with Davis. He went to New Zealand to visit the set of Jackson and Walsh’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings” prequel “The Hobbit” and has been staying with other friends while trying to decide on his future.

Sitting with his arm entwined around Davis‘, Echols said the hardships he endured were worth it because of the life he now has ahead of him.

“If I had to go through everything I did in the last 18 years to be with Lorri and to be in this situation, no, I wouldn’t change it,” Echols said. “I would go through it again if it meant being with Lorri.”