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

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | 2013 (USA)
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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.


John Borowski
1 win. See more awards »



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


"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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Not Rated


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Revenge See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Waterfront Productions See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Carl Panzram
Written and Performed by Nightmare at Hanging Rock
Darren Kaplan and Mike Markowski
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Carl Panzram: The Spirit Of Hatred And Vengeance
28 March 2016 | by a_baronSee 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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