We need not remind you about the frenzy that surrounded the Netflix original series Making A Murderer at the start of the year. Around the world, people became enthralled with the story of Steven Avery, a man who *SPOLIER ALERT* remains in custody for the murder of Teresa Halbach – a crime he is adamant he didn’t commit.
The release of the 10-part series was hot on the heels of the podcast Serial, which also centred its story around an incarcerated man, Adnan Syed, who claims he is not guilty of the murder for which he is currently serving life, and the success of the two independent programmes has since sparked a mass appeal for true-crime documentaries, in which the subject(s) tirelessly proclaim their innocence.
That is the basis for the latest docu-film that’s about to grip the globe; Southwest of Salem: the Story of the San Antonio Four. More spoilers lie ahead so if you want to be in the total dark when you watch it, you may want to skip the next couple of paragraphs.
The true story of four women, nicknamed The San Antonio Four, Southwest of Salem retells the 1994 trials of Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera, and Kristie Mayhugh, all of whom were accused of sexually abusing two young girls, who were also the nieces of Ramirez. The two girls claimed they were gang raped by the women over the course of multiple days and had satanic rituals performed on them.
The accusations came as a total shock to all of the women, and admittedly they never thought the case would make it to trial. However, all four were subsequently found guilty and sentenced to prison.
The plot thickens as the film asserts what the women’s sexual orientation had to do with the trial: All four are gay, and the words ‘lesbian,’ ‘gay,’ and ‘homosexual’ came up countless times in court documents, which we don’t need to tell you should count for nothing in a trial. End of. And, just like Avery and Syed, all four women are still fighting to prove their innocence.
With heart-wrenching interviews, reanalysis of the trial and an insight into the current legal proceedings of the case, we guarantee Southwest of Salem will not only fill that Making A Murderer void in your life, but it’ll give you a whole new story to pour over until you can’t take it anymore.
While it’s still doing the festival circuit, the full-length feature has cropped up on YouTube. Check out the Southwest of Salem trailer below and prepare to be obsessed.