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Killer: A Journal of Murder (1995)

1:56 | Trailer
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 »


Tim Metcalfe


Thomas E. Gaddis (book) (as Thomas Gaddis), James Long (book) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Carl Panzram
Robert Sean Leonard ... Henry Lesser
Ellen Greene ... Elizabeth Wyatt
Cara Buono ... Esther Lesser
Robert John Burke ... R.G. Greiser
Richard Riehle ... Warden Quince
Harold Gould ... Old Henry Lesser
John Bedford Lloyd ... Dr. Karl Menninger
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Sam Lesser
Conrad McLaren Conrad McLaren ... Judge John W. Kingman
Steve Forrest ... Warden Charles Casey
Richard Council ... Cop
Christopher Petrosino Christopher Petrosino ... Richard Lesser
Michael Jeffrey Woods Michael Jeffrey Woods ... Harry Sinclair (as Michael Jeffery Woods)
Rob Locke Jones Rob Locke Jones ... Junkie


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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

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 »

Did You Know?


James Woods's mother, Martha A. Woods has a cameo playing a Lady Bartender. See more »


The amount of beer in Henry Lesser's glass at the speakeasy. See more »


Carl Panzram: Hey chicken ass, good day for a hanging, huh?
See more »


Referenced in Tomorrow by Midnight (2001) See more »


Music by Bill Elliott
Courtesy of Windswept Pacific Entertainment Co.
See more »

User Reviews

The Terrific James Woods!
31 December 2011 | by namashi_1See all my reviews

Tim Metcalfe's 'Killer: A Journal of Murder', which is based on the life of serial killer Carl Panzram, and uses passages of his biography, works because of one particular reason: James Woods. He plays Panzram, with terrific understanding & amazing ease. Woods, undoubtedly, was the Marlon Brando of the 1990's.

'Killer: A Journal of Murder' explores the journey Panzram. Panzram was a multi-faced person, he was unpredictable, unforgivable & very different, if I may say so. 'Killer: A Journal of Murder', though, not the most efficient take on a person so multi-faced, it at least tries to explore his vision.

However, this film isn't as no-holds-barred as I thought it should have been. I thought there was a lack of emotional connect. Though it makes up for a viewing, thanks to Woods's terrific act, but as a whole of a motion-picture, it doesn't reach the level it could've.

I was engaged at times, but Woods, well his performance left me thinking about what Panzram must've been thinking before he was hanged. Woods is a genius actor and 'Killer: A Journal of Murder' proves that fact right.

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Release Date:

6 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Killer See more »

Filming Locations:

Connecticut, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,993, 8 September 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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