The Guy With the Knife
90 min • Society, Crime • 2015
In 1991, Paul Broussard was murdered in a gay neighbourhood in Houston, Texas, USA. As the attack received sensational media coverage, the “Woodlands 10” – a group of ten young men from a middle-class suburb – soon turned themselves in, with statements saying they’d gone looking for gay men to harass and beat up. There was no trial, and the court handed down harsh sentences. Seventeen-year-old Jon Buice, who had stabbed Broussard, received the longest sentence: 45 years in prison.
Ray Hill, a longtime activist in Houston's LGBT community, led the effort to get media attention for the case, to ensure the attack would not be ignored nor go unpunished. Thanks largely to his tireless efforts, it appeared that justice was indeed served.
But appearances can often be deceiving. Facts of the case weren't as clear-cut as they seemed, and Hill even admitted to sensationalising details of the case to escalate it to a hate crime, and get media attention. Twenty years after he helped put Buice behind bars, Hill is fighting to free him.
Filmed over eight years, the film traces the history of the friendship between Hill and Buice, set against the backdrop of gay rights, victims’ rights, and prisoners’ rights, in the harsh Texas justice system.