Killer: A Journal of Murder (1995)

Killer: A Journal of Murder (1995) 

Killer: A Journal of Murder is based on Thomas Gaddis' and James O. Long's fascinating 1970 book of the same name*. It contains many of the letters Panzram wrote to Henry Lesser (who was a Washington, D.C. jail guard, not a prison guard at Leavenworth) while he was on death row in Leavenworth.

While it is a common practice for films to take artistic liberties when dealing with true stories, this film went a bit far in trying to make Carl Panzram (Woods) into a sympathetic character. True, Carl Panzram was the product of a barbaric prison system, but he stands out in history as one of the few arch-criminals who did not want sympathy, something this film ignores.

This was a film that needed to be made, but unfortunately, the story was mishandled in a maudlin attempt to get the viewer to care about one of the most reprehensible human beings who ever lived. (IMDB  Jack Brown)

* Killer A Journal Of Murder is autobiography by American writer and mass murderer Carl Panzram. First published in 1970, the book was republished in 2002 by Amok Books as Panzram: A Journal Of Murder (ISBN 1-878923-14-5). The book was edited by Thomas E. Gaddis and James O. Long.

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