Deborah Esquenazi was working as a radio reporter in Texas when she first heard of the San Antonio Four. A journalism mentor from New York, Debbie Nathan, sent her the court transcripts of the case, which centered around four Latina lesbians convicted of the gang rape of two children.
The case had haunted Nathan, who authored the 2001 book Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt. She urged Esquenazi to look into it. “This could be you,” she said. “This could happen again.”
At the time, Esquenazi was closeted, so the idea of an investigation involving four queer women seemed beyond what she was ready to face. But then she saw the VHS tapes — home videos of the women and their families before the nightmare that awaited them in the criminal justice system. Esquenazi was struck and saddened by the joy on display.
“It was really