Someone dug up and posted this snippet from a local TV news interview with Jessie Misskelley Sr., which aired a few days after Jessie Misskelley Jr. and friends were arrested.
Misskelley Sr.’s statement to the reporter on June 6 or 7 matches what Misskelley Jr. told the police on June 3 — that he was there at the crime scene but did not participate in killing the boys. (In later confessions, Misskelley Jr. would admit greater involvement, including hitting one boy repeatedly and helping remove the victims’ shoelaces to tie them up.)
The exchange with the TV news reporter came up at Misskelley Jr.’s trial, after Misskelley Sr. testified that his son was at home with him at the time of the murders.
(Prosecutor) Brent Davis: Well, did – after your son was arrested, did you grant certain television interviews for reporters and things like that where you went on TV?
Jessie Misskelley Sr.: Yea, I imagine I did.
(Defense lawyer) Dan Stidham: Your Honor, I object to the relevancy of that.
Davis: Your Honor, I’m gonna ask him about some statements he made while he was on TV.
The Court: Go ahead. Overruled.
Davis: Did you go on TV and make some statements?
Misskelley Sr: I imagine I did, there was a bunch of news reporters there, yea.
Davis: Do you recall making the statement that your son may have been there, but you didn’t think he was involved in it?
Misskelley Sr: That was before I found out, that was before I went to work on the case and found out that he was not there. I didn’t have proof or anything, I said “he may have been there, I do not know.” I said “but if he was there he didn’t have anything to do with killing those boys.”
Berlinger and Sinofsky actually included part of this TV news report near the beginning of Paradise Lost — but they edited out the part with Jessie Misskelley, Sr.
Kudos to whoever found this clip and posted it. I did not know it survived.