This case has received considerable media attention. The following links access articles, blog posts, books, or TV reports about our production and investigation of this case for specifically the documentary:
1/7/14. The Mystery of the San Antonio Four. Elizabeth Ramirez was four months pregnant when she heard a knock at the door. By Maurice Chammah, Texas Observer.
11/26/13. ‘Satanic Lesbian Rapists’ Turn Out to be Nice, Innocent Ladies. Last Monday, a group of San Antonio women were released from prison, their sentences vacated, after serving fourteen years for heinous sex crimes. By Natalie Elliott, Vice Magazine.
11/19/13, The San Antonio Four Are Finally Free. When dealing with home-run records and financial opportunities, a reliable to follow is this: of it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. By Mike Hall, Texas Monthly.
10/22/2013. ‘S.A. 4’ Evidence Now Called Flawed. All four women who say they were falsely accused in 1994 of child sexual assault could be out of prison by the end of the year following an acknowledgment by prosecutors Tuesday that faulty scientific evidence helped convict them. By Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
9/19/2013. Sundance Grant Winning Documentary ‘San Antonio Four’ Screening Friday at Esperanza Peace & Justice Center. In 1994, Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Anna Vasquez, and Cassandra Rivera (later known as the “San Antonio Four”) were accused by Ramirez’s nieces - then 7 and 9 - of horrifying rape crimes and satanic rituals.
7/15/2013. San Antonio Film Receives Grant From Sundance Institute. Out of 772 submissions,29 films were selected to receive $550,000 in grant money from Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP).
5/23/2013. ‘San Antonio Four’ Screening. Remember that news story from the early 2000s about the four women convicted in the weird lesbian/satanic ritual brouhaha? By Kate X Messler, Austin Chronicle.
4/25/2013. Woman Fighting for Exoneration Speaks at Film Screening: Anna Vasquez says she’s twice seen the footage from an in-the-works documentary chronicling an ordeal that’s lasted nearly two decades. By Mike Barajas, The Current.
4/22/2013 Parolee to Speak at Screening About Exoneration Efforts: For the first time since being paroled in November, Anna Vasquez, will attend on Tuesday a local screening….By Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
4/22/2013 Slackerwood Presented by the Austin Film Society: ”The inaugural Q Fest, celebrating queer cinema, began yesterday at the Josephine Theatre in San Antonio, the San Antonio Current reports…” By Jordan Gass-Pore, Slackery News Tidbits.
4/17/2013 Q Fest Brings LGBT-Themes Films Closer to Home: “It’s been more than 15 years since the San Antonio City Council stopped public funding to the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in response to pressure put on them by local conservative groups including the Christian Pro-Life Foundation and the Bexar County Christian Coalition….” Kiko Martinez, San Antonio Current.
3/3/2013 Sex-offender status imposes harsh limits on paroled woman: “Since she was paroled in November after more than 12 years in prison for a crime she maintains never happened, Anna Vasquez has learned that being a registered sex offender means never truly being free….” Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
3/2/2013 Texas Filmmaker Screens In-Progress ‘San Antonio Four’ Doc: “This afternoon at San Antonio’s CineFestival, Austin-based journalist, photographer and filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi will screen 45 minutes of footage from her upcoming feature documentary The Recantation….” Richard Horgan, FilmStew.com.
2/20/13 Filmmaker to screen documentary-in-progress on wrongly imprisoned San Antonio women: “Anna Vásquez is still a prisoner of sorts. Paroled in November after 13 years behind bars, Vásquez was the first of her friends to re-enter the outside world….” Mike Barajas, San Antonio Current.
12/11/2012 Retaliation in exoneration case: “In early August, Stephanie gave extensive, recorded recantations to lawyers with the Innocence Project of Texas and to Austin-based documentary filmmaker Deborah Esquenazi, claiming her father forced her to repeat false accusations of having been savagely molested by her aunt and three friends when she was just 7-years-old….” Mike Barajas, San Antonio Current.
11/20/2012 Witch-hunt, junk forensics? San Antonio Four fight for exoneration: “A cool, stiff breeze pushed stalks of weeds with a graceful rhythm as a shallow stripe of water lazily wended its way through a culvert. As tranquil as the imagery conveyed, peace deserted this San Antonio neighborhood long ago….” Jeff Goldblatt, KENS-5 San Antonio News.
11/17/2012 A Growing Battle for Exoneration: “Elizabeth Ramirez still remembers the week in 1994 when she cared for her two young nieces, taking them shopping and bringing them to the Arby’s restaurant in San Antonio where she worked….” Maurice Chammah, The New York Times.
11/17/2012 Parolee continues fight for exoneration: “Going unnoticed in a crowd of more than 100 people at a packed Austin theater, Anna Vasquez watched her story unfold on screen….” Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
11/16/2012 Free the San Antonio Four: “Anna Vasquez had no reason to mistrust the criminal justice system. That is, until it put her behind bars for more than a decade for the supposed ritualistic sexual abuse of a friend’s nieces – abuse that neither she nor her accuser say ever happened….”Jordan Smith, Austin Chronicle.
11/14/2012 Freeing the San Antonio Four: “Doctor Nancy Kellogg thought she saw Satan’s hand in the unspeakable crimes described by the two young girls….” Michael Barajas, San Antonio Current.
11/12/2012 The San Antonio Four Show the Injustice of Sex Abuse Witch-hunts: “Americans of a certain age will remember the day-care sex abuse hysteria that swept the nation during the 1980s and early 1990s. It began with bizarre allegations in California that children were being sexually abused and tortured by day-care workers in Satanic rituals….” Harvey Silverglate & Zachary Bloom, Forbes Magazine.
11/3/12 Woman fighting to clear name in 1994 sex assault is paroled: “When she hugged her mom, Anna Vasquez knew it was real. She was free….” Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
11/17/12 Leaving prison for sexual assault, but not yet a free woman: “ “This is something we’ve prayed for, for a long, long time,” Maria Vasquez says. The mother’s prayers are about to be answered. She’s just weeks away from watching her daughter Anna Vasquez walk out of prison….”Emily Baucum, WOAI 4 News.
10/15/12 Sexual assault victim recants statement; suspect approved for parole: “A woman who has spent more than a decade fighting to clear her name from a sexual assault case is about to be released on parole….”Emily Baucum, WOAI 4 News.
10/16/12 Parole OK’d For Woman Fighting for Exoneration: “Anna Vasquez, one of four San Antonio women fighting to clear their names in a bizarre and brutal sexual assault of two girls in the mid-1990s, is set to be released on parole….” Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
10/12/12 “San Antonio Four” screening to examine women’s innocence claims: “Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera, and Kristie Mayhugh were accused unspeakable things….” Mike Barajas, San Antonio Current.
9/27/12 Sex Assault Cases Merit Second Look: “Criminal cases in which a prime witness later recants deserve immediate judicial review to determine the validity of the new information. It is the just and prudent response….” Editorial Board, San Antonio Express-News.
9/17/12 Woman recants accusation of sex assault: “Sitting in the prison where she’s spent nearly half of her life, Elizabeth Ramirez is stunned by the words that could help exonerate her and three friends of the sexual assault of her two nieces, a crime she said she couldn’t fathom let alone commit….” Michelle Mondo, San Antonio Express-News.
9/12 How the Gay Establishment Ignored a Sex Panic Fueled by Homophobia: “While striving to enhance penalties for homophobic thought-crimes, the gay mainstream has been tossing people harmed by some of the worst excesses of homophobia overboard….” By Jim D’Entremont.
Conrad, Ryan, ed. Against Equality: Prisons Will Not Protect You. AK Press, 2012. “Prisons Will Not Protect You takes a critical stance against the prison industrial complex and the systems of inequality and violence perpetuated by hate crime legislation. This archival anthology introduces the history of this legislative solution and interrogates the gay community’s unquestioned loyalty to the prison industrial complex. …”