Jan. 6, 2012

“Innocence Lost” aired too late to save the Edenton Seven, but its influence in deflating the nation’s ritual-abuse bubble is hard to exaggerate. Shock and outrage – and considerable ridicule of North Carolina justice – followed each of the three episodes.

Walter Goodman’s 1993 New York Times review pointed to “the likelihood that no crime was committed, unless convicting innocent people counts as a crime.”

“To say this tragic farce has resembled a hysterical witch hunt,” Phil Kloer wrote in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution in 1997, “is to demean witch hunts.”