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Killer: A Journal of Murder (1995)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  6 September 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,668 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 15 critic

Carl Panzram is sent to Leavenworth Prison for burglary. While there, he is brutally beaten by a guard. Neophyte guard Henry Lesser feels sympathy for Panzram, befriends him, and gets him ... See full summary »



(book) (as Thomas Gaddis) , (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Lesser
Elizabeth Wyatt
Esther Lesser
R.G. Greiser
Warden Quince
Old Henry Lesser
Dr. Karl Menninger
Sam Lesser
Conrad McLaren ...
Judge John W. Kingman
Warden Charles Casey
Christopher Petrosino ...
Richard Lesser
Michael Jeffrey Woods ...
Harry Sinclair (as Michael Jeffery Woods)
Rob Locke Jones ...


Carl Panzram is sent to Leavenworth Prison for burglary. While there, he is brutally beaten by a guard. Neophyte guard Henry Lesser feels sympathy for Panzram, befriends him, and gets him to write his life story. Lesser learns that Panzram's past is much more violent than he thought, but also that he's capable of being a much better person than the rest of the prison staff believes - or so Lesser thinks. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Liar. Thief. Murderer. He hated all of humanity, himself most of all.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and strong, brutal violence, including a rape | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Killer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$31,993 (USA) (6 September 1996)


$65,682 (USA) (13 September 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to Sam Peckinpah because The Wild Bunch (1969) inspired director 'Metcalfe, Tim' to become a director. See more »


When Carl Panzram begins narrating the beginning of his journal the text shown doesn't match the narrative. The text states that Panzram is a liar, a degenerate, and a murderer, while the voice over immediately jumps into his early childhood and upbringing. See more »


Carl Panzram: Come on, you hoosier bastard. I could hang ten men in the time it's taking you to hang one.
See more »


Referenced in Tomorrow by Midnight (2001) See more »


Music & lyrics by Bill Elliott
Performed by Bill Elliott & His Orchestra
Sung by Nicole Sill
Courtesy of Windswept Pacific Entertainment Co.
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent commentary on American prison system
31 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

This movie seems more relevant today than ever. Prison conditions may have improved since the early part of the century, but prison populations are increasing exponentially and there seems to be no end in sight. Does punishment really prevent crime? Can harden criminals be rehabilitated? Is society to blame? Whatever your opinion, this is a short but must-see film.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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