Is this documentary the new “Making a Murderer”?

When we started watching Making A Murderer, we likely didn’t have an idea on how (seemingly) corrupt Steven Avery’s case would be. With each episode, we became more and more angry over the fact that Avery was, without a doubt, not given a fair trial. Obviously based on the success of the show, information about the case spread much farther than Manitowoc County. Compelling cases like this make us all want to speak out, and share our opinions on how such an investigation could go so horribly wrong. Southwest of Salem: the Story of the San Antonio Four, is hoping for the same impact. Premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, this documentary is already being heavily discussed.

The case involves four women, Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh, and Cassandra Rivera, who were put in jail after two of Ramirez’s nieces claimed that all four women sexually abused them and forced to be included in satanic rituals.

Similar to Steven Avery, after hearing such an incredible claim (from children, no less) you’d automatically pen these women as monsters. But again, just like Avery, there’s more to the story that can prove that these four women were unfairly incarcerated due to a corrupt trial.

Intrigued? Check out the trailer.

So, why was this trial corrupt? Well, the courts decided to focus on one thing — the sexual orientation of these ladies. Court documents are riddled with terms like “homosexual,” “lesbian,” and “gay,” and the courts seemed to focus more on that than anything else.

All four of them were shocked by the initial accusations, finding them to be a little bizarre — but since they were going up against the word of children, they had an even harder time proving their innocence. Similarly to Making A Murderer, this documentary took a long time to piece together, and filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi worked alongside the Innocence Project of Texas to try and give these women a chance to tell their side of the story in a non-bias way.

The film is expected to hit theaters shortly, and we can’t wait to see how everything plays out. While child abuse is definitely a serious claim that should never be taken lightly, these women should be able to have a second chance to prove their innocence if they’re truly innocent of this terrible crime.

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