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Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance (2011)

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The true story of lifelong criminal and serial killer, Carl Panzram who wrote his autobiography for a jail guard in 1928.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Panzram (voice)
Tom Lodewyck ...
Adult Carl Panzram
David Salmonson ...
Brett Jetmund ...
Charlie Panzram
David Weiss ...
Henry Lesser
Colonel Peak
Matthew Aaron ...
DC Torturer
David Schmidt ...
Laughing Guard
William Knight ...
Robert Stroud (voice)
Robert Earl Ray ...
Himself - Head of Special Collections & University Archives, San Diego State University
Mark Gado ...
Himself - Former Police Detective & Author
G. Thomas Gitchoff ...
Himself - Criminologist, SDSU Professor Emeritus (as Dr. G. Thomas Gitchoff)
Henry Lesser ...
Himself - Panzram's DC Jail Guard (archive footage)
Scott Christianson ...
Himself - Author & Human Rights Activist
Katherine Ramsland ...
Herself - Professor of Forensic Psychology


"Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Revenge" examines the life of serial killer and rapist Carl Panzram who lived from 1891 to 1930. It examines how his life hardened him into a psychotic murderer. It also examines how a prison guard Henry Lesser forged a friendship with him and encouraged him to write an autobiography. Written by Shatterdaymorn

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Release Date:

2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Revenge  »

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Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Panzram's Blues Instrumental
Written and Performed by Nightmare at Hanging Rock
Darren Kaplan and Mike Markowski
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User Reviews

Carl Panzram: The Spirit Of Hatred And Vengeance
28 March 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a unique documentary about one of America's lesser known serial killers, and what a nasty piece of work he was too. In 1930, Panzram was hanged at Leavenworth Penitentiary for the murder of a civilian prison employee. There is no doubt whatsoever that he committed that murder, but it remains to be seen how many of the others he claimed he did actually commit. Did he really sail to Africa where he raped and murdered an underage boy? There is no doubt that he murdered others closer to home, but much of what he boasted about was clearly bunk. About the only things of which we can be certain is that he hated humanity with a vengeance, and the world became a slightly less evil place as soon as he breathed his final breath, his infamous last words being: "Yes, hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could kill a dozen men while you're screwing around!" There are variations on that quote, but there is no arguing with the sentiment.

Why anyone should want to do anything with a creature like Panzam other than isolate him from the rest of mankind remains to be seen, but one of his prison guards, Henry Lesser (1902-83) encouraged him to write his autobiography, and these writings are now preserved in the Malcolm A. Love Library, part of San Diego State University. Archive footage of the elderly Lesser is used in this film.

It is clear from the fragments herein that Panzram was a fairly literate individual; he had heard of Oscar Wilde, and was clearly intimate with Wilde's vices, which he shared. He could have made something of his life, albeit by using his ill-gotten gains. Instead...

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