In January 1997, 20-year-old former boy scout Heath Stocks murdered his parents and sister, leaving the nation shaken as a nationwide manhunt was launched. Now, a new documentary investigating the disturbing case has left viewers outraged.
For over 25 years, Stocks has been behind bars serving three life sentences after he confessed to murdering his family members.
Later, investigations discovered that Stocks himself was actually the victim of another heinous scandal.
It was found that he had been sexually and psychologically abused by Jack Walls, who served as his Scout Master for nearly a decade - the revelation bringing to light a horrific scandal at the centre of the organisation.
Walls - widely considered to be one of the worst paedophiles in the state's history - ended up being sentenced to two 40-year terms and four life sentences in prison for the sexual abuse of Stocks and other Boy Scouts.
Walls was said to have targeted vulnerable young boys - including those with learning difficulties or turbulent home lives - before getting their parents on side so they wouldn't suspect anything.
He was a respected member of the community, even being named Lonoke's 'man of the year' for his work at the Scouts - yet no one knew the harrowing abuse taking place behind closed doors.
New doc Inside one of the largest sex abuse scandals in US history: Scout Master from Fault Lines has examined the case once more, shedding light on the harrowing scandal.
Speaking in the documentary, Stocks said of the abuse: "The part of me that craved the attention that my father denied needed what Jack gave me emotionally.
"He became a safe place... and in the midst of that, he started doing what he did."
The abuse scandal came to light a couple of months after Stocks was sentenced for the murder of his family, meaning the effect it had on his mind was never looked into.
Stocks is now seeking a reduced sentence for the murders of his family, alleging Walls' abuse and manipulation was what drove him to do it.
Stocks, now 43, told KARK in 2020: "It's hard not to think about it every day.
"I'm surrounded by the outcome of the events that led me to be here.
"He was probably the worst paedophile in Arkansas history to use the Boy Scouts to groom and prey on kids.
"I was arrested for crimes that happened solely because I had tried to end my abuse."
Viewers have been left shaken after watching the doc, with one writing: "This is simply terrible. Jack Wallace deserves a lot more punishment than what he got."
"What happened to those boys and every other victim of sexual abuse that has ever been over looked or swept under the rug by a larger institution is extremely unfair," said another.
"...It makes me sick," added a third.
You can watch Inside one of the largest sex abuse scandals in US history: Scout Master on YouTube now.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111Featured Image Credit: Al Jazeera