15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System

Soldier’s Girl (Showtime):

New Army recruit Barry Winchell is assigned to a base in Tennessee. One night out to a local bar hosting a drag show. Calpernia Addams an in-transition transsexual drag queen, fascinates Barry, and they strike up a relationship. -Soldier’s Girl, Showtime (January 20, 2003)

Showtime Entertainment Released ‘Soldier’s Girl’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell

In the Valley of Elah (Warner Bros):

“In the Valley of Elah” tells the story of a war veteran (Tommy Lee Jones), his wife (Susan Sarandon) and the search for their son, a soldier who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing, and the police detective (Charlize Theron) who helps in the investigation. -Warner Bros. (September 14, 2007)

Warner Bros. Premiered ‘In the Valley of Elah’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Benning Army Spc. Richard T. Davis

The Tillman Story (The Weinstein Company):

Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn’t done for any reason other than he felt it was the right thing to do. The fact that the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool is unfathomable and thoroughly explored in Amir Bar-Lev’s riveting and enraging documentary. -The Tillman Story (August 20, 2010)

The NFL, the MilItary, and the Hijacking of Pat Tillman’s Story

The Wounded Platoon (Frontline PBS):

The Wounded Platoon

Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs have tripled. FRONTLINE tells the dark tale of the men of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st battalion of the 506th infantry, and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army’s mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers. –The Wounded Platoon (May 18, 2010)

Frontline PBS: The Wounded Platoon Documentary [Full Episode]

On the Dark Side of Al Doura (Maverick Media):

U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic. –On the Dark Side in Al Doura (2011)

On the Dark Side in Al Doura (Iraq): Documentary Gives You an Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Army

The Invisible War (Cinedigm):

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands. -The Invisible War (June 22, 2012)

Military Rape Documentary Funded and Distributed by “Serial Predator” and Hollywood Movie Executive Harvey Weinstein

Women of War Documentary (Sundance Films):

Military Sexual Trauma or M.S.T. has been a fixture in the military for as long as human war has existed, and is still quite prevalent even in today’s modern military. This feature length documentary uncovers the origins and offers solutions to M.S.T. -Women of War Documentary (February 4, 2013)

Women of War Documentary, Phil Valentine [Full Episode]

The Frozen Ground (Grindstone):

“The Frozen Ground” is inspired by the incredible true story that follows Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) as he sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who has gone unnoticed for 13 years. As the bodies of street girls start to pile up in Anchorage, fear strikes a chord with the public. -The Frozen Ground (August 23, 2013)

Serial Killer & Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Died of Natural Causes While Serving Out a Life Sentence in Alaska State Prison

The Silent Truth (Midtown Films):

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth Documentary (July 1, 2014)

‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq

The Kill Team (PBS Independent Lens):

The Kill Team looks at the devastating moral tensions that tear at soldiers’ psyches through the lens of one highly personal and emotional story. Private Adam Winfield was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan when he attempted with the help of his father to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing. But Winfield’s pleas went unheeded. Left on his own and with threats to his life, Private Winfield was himself drawn into the moral abyss, forced to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever. -The Kill Team, (July 25, 2014)

The PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Reveals How the Military Justice System Operates in Response to Media Scandals

Gangs in the U.S. Army (A&E Television):

Sworn to protect us from every enemy, foreign and domestic, and every day the majority of soldiers do just that ! yet some units are being compromised and turn into street gangs. An FBI report recently showed an increased gang activity within US soldiers. -Gangs in the U.S. Army Documentary (2017)

Gangs in the Military: Armed and Dangerous Forces

Final Vision (Investigation Discovery):

The ID Original Movie, FINAL VISION tells the true story of Jeffrey MacDonald, a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night. -Final Vision, Investigation Discovery (December 10, 2017)

Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘Final Vision’: The True Crime Story of Former Army Captain Jeffrey MacDonald

The Kill Team (A24):

When a young US soldier in Afghanistan witnesses other recruits killing civilians under the direction of a sadistic sergeant, he begins to fear that the men he’s serving with might be the ones to kill him. -The Kill Team (October 25, 2019)

‘The Kill Team’ Movie Released: Based on the True Story of Army Whistleblower Adam Winfield

Leavenworth (STARZ):

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and executive producers Paul Pawlowski and David Check tell the story of First Lieutenant Clint Lorance. Watch the Official Trailer for the upcoming STARZ Original Docuseries, Leavenworth, premiering October 20 on the STARZ App. (August 28, 2019)

STARZ Premiered ‘Leavenworth’: Docu-Series Examines Army 1st Lieutenant Clint Lorance Afghanistan ‘War Crimes’ Case

Ready for War (Showtime):

Andrew Renzi sheds light on the lives of three of the estimated thousands of immigrants who volunteer for service in the American military, yet find themselves deported from the US once their tours of duty are over. -Ready for War, Showtime (November 22, 2019)

The ultimate threat for deported U.S. veterans? Drug cartels, new documentary says

‘The Kill Team’ Movie Released: Based on the True Story of Army Whistleblower Adam Winfield (October 25, 2019)

When a young US soldier in Afghanistan witnesses other recruits killing civilians under the direction of a sadistic sergeant, he begins to fear that the men he’s serving with might be the ones to kill him. -The Kill Team (October 25, 2019)

“When Andrew Briggman (Nat Wolff), a young soldier in the US invasion of Afghanistan, witnesses other recruits killing innocent civilians under the direction of a sadistic leader, Sergeant Deeks (Alexander Skarsgård), he considers reporting them to higher-ups — but the heavily-armed, increasingly violent platoon becomes suspicious that someone in their ranks has turned on them, and Andrew begins to fear that he’ll be the next target.” –The Kill Team, A24 Films

Editor’s Note: If you would like to see ‘The Kill Team’ documentary released in 2014, please click here to watch the trailer and here to watch it on Prime Video (included with Prime). If you would like to see ‘The Kill Team’ movie released in 2019, please click here to rent or purchase it on Prime Video.

Related Links:
The Kill Team | A24
The Kill Team | Facebook
The Kill Team Movie (2019) | Prime Video
The Kill Team Documentary (2014) | Prime Video
Afghanistan War Movie The Kill Team Is an Absolutely Essential Documentary
Tribeca Film Review: ‘The Kill Team’
‘The Kill Team’: Tribeca Review | Reviews | Screen
Trailer for ‘The Kill Team’ spotlights Afghanistan war murders of 2010
‘The Kill Team’ and the Moral Injury of War: A Talk With the Film Director
‘The Kill Team,’ now a feature, revisits one of the most disturbing tales of the Afghanistan war
‘The Kill Team’ Star Nat Wolff and Director Dan Krauss on the Need to Protect Whistleblowers
‘The Kill Team’ Review: Bullying on the Battlefield
‘Kill Team’: The Documentary the Army Doesn’t Want You to See
‘Kill Team’ tells tough war story about a hard choice
The American Military Is Put Under a Microscope in ‘The Kill Team’ Trailer
‘The Kill Team’ Review | Hollywood Reporter
Inner Life, During Wartime: ‘The Kill Team’
‘The Kill Team’ Film Review: Nat Wolff’s Soldier Has a Crisis of Conscience in Afghanistan
Why Dan Krauss Turned His Documentary, ‘The Kill Team,’ Into A Feature Film
‘The Kill Team’ Review: Nat Wolff Leads a Harrowing Look at What it Means to Be ‘Army Strong’
The Kill Team Follows American Troops Intentionally Murdering Innocent Afghans. It’s Based On a True Story.
‘The Kill Team’: Dan Krauss’ War Film Spotlights Moral Questions Instead Of Non-Stop Action [Review]
‘The Kill Team:’ Skarsgard excels in the film based on a true story and the 2014 Krauss documentary
Review: The Kill Team Seeks to Dispel the Illusion of a Clean War
‘The Kill Team’ review: Afghanistan war film is punishing to watch
“The Kill Team” offers atrocities, but little insight into wartime murders of civilians
Review: ‘The Kill Team’ fails to match intensity of documentary account of war crimes
The Kill Team is a bleak but unspecific war drama
U.S. Soldiers’ War Crime Gets Hollywood Treatment
The Kill Team Tells a Familiar Story from a Different Angle
Interview: Dan Krauss on Going Deeper Inside “The Kill Team”
Alexander Skarsgard talks ‘The Kill Team,’ Meryl Streep and his famous father
The Kill Team Movie Review – Common Sense Media

STARZ Premiered ‘Leavenworth’: Docu-Series Examines Army 1st Lieutenant Clint Lorance Afghanistan ‘War Crimes’ Case (October 20, 2019)

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and executive producers Paul Pawlowski and David Check tell the story of First Lieutenant Clint Lorance. Watch the Official Trailer for the upcoming STARZ Original Docuseries, Leavenworth, premiering October 20 on the STARZ App. (August 28, 2019)

STARZ Overview of ‘Leavenworth’: “From executive producers Paul Pawlowski, David Check and Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh comes a controversial true-crime story that plays out in the military justice system. Clint Lorance is serving a 19-year sentence for murder at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth. While deployed in Afghanistan in July 2012, the former lieutenant ordered fire on three local men riding a motorcycle, killing two of them and outraging his platoon. In a firsthand account of a soldier navigating the U.S. Army’s legal system, Lorance seeks to overturn his conviction, which provokes an emotional debate between supporters and detractors that rises to the national stage. As determinations on Lorance’s fate unfold, questions probe not only the merits of his conviction but analyze the system at large, and they ultimately test the balance of guilt and innocence in the inscrutable circumstances of today’s wars.”

In the News:

A New Docu-Series Follows a Controversial True Story Playing Out in the Military Justice System. -Fox 4 Now (October 22, 2019)

Jamie Lorance, Clint’s cousin, and Don Brown, lead attorney on the Lorance legal team, call on President Trump to release Clint Lorance from his 19-year prison sentence. -Fox and Friends (October 27, 2019)

Related Links:
Free Clint Lorance (website)
Leavenworth | STARZ Media Room
Leavenworth | Official Trailer | STARZ
Leavenworth | Fox 4 Now
Updates on Army LT Clint Lorance’s Case – Fox and Friends
‘Leavenworth’: TV Review | Hollywood Reporter
Review: ‘Leavenworth’ Puts the Army on Trial | New York Times
‘Leavenworth’ Trailer: Steven Soderbergh’s Starz Doc Tells a True Crime Military Story
Steven Soderbergh To Exec Produce True-Crime Military Justice Docu-Series ‘Leavenworth’ For Starz | Deadline
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
‘Strongly Recommend My Kids Not Put A Uniform On’: Former Soldier Mike McGuinness, Director Paul Pawlowski Discuss ‘Leavenworth’ Docu-Series, Clint Lorance Case
Ex-Army soldier in Leavenworth prison asks Kansas judge to vacate murder conviction
Ex-Soldier in Leavenworth Prison Asks Kansas Judge to Vacate Murder Conviction
Army Lt. Clint Lorance feels 19-year prison sentence is ‘just another mission’: docuseries producers

Murder by Numbers Premiered ‘The Eyeball Killer’ on ID: Serial Killer Charles Albright Suspect in Murder of Navy Veteran Susan Peterson (September 11, 2018)

Dallas has its dark side, but nothing compares the horror of a series of women found murdered with their eyeballs surgically removed. A pair beat cops use their street savvy to lead detectives to a sadistic killer and his bizarre motive. -The Eyeball Killer, Murder by Numbers (S2, E5)

Forensic Files:

Full Episode: A serial killer is prowling the streets of Dallas, targeting prostitutes. All the police know is that the killer has a bizarre signature. See No Evil, Forensic Files

Oxygen:

Rookie police officers Regina Smith and John Matthews gained intelligence from the sex workers on their beat. -Oxygen (February 7, 2019)

A prostitute in the Dallas spoke to police about a man who attempted to attack her, and his possible link to the string of other murders in the Dallas area. -Oxygen (February 11, 2019)

Elizabeth Peacock discovered Charles Albright’s victim had had her eyeballs cut out. -Oxygen (February 11, 2019)

Dallas Police find one of Charles Albright’s victims lying nude in the street, with a gunshot to the head. -Oxygen (February 11, 2019)

Dallas police discover three women murdered with their eyes surgically removed. Police believe they have a deranged doctor on the loose until two rookie cops find themselves on the trail of a man with a Psycho-esque mother, a talent for taxidermy, and a hatred for women. -Oxgen (February 12, 2019)

Serial killer, Charles Albright, removed the eyeballs of sex workers in Dallas,Texas. -Oxygen (February 14, 2019)

Dr. Michael Stone explains Charles Albright’s narcissistic behavior. -Oxygen (February 14, 2019)

Officer Regina Smith recounts the night she drove Charles Albright to the Dallas Homicide Division after he had murdered several sex workers in the Dallas area. -Oxygen (February 15, 2019)

Psychologist Dr. Michael Stone makes note that there are passages in the New Testament that talk about eyes in a special way. -Oxygen (February 15, 2019)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
See No Evil | Forensic Files
The Eyeball Killer | Murder by Numbers | Investigation Discovery (S2, E5)
The Eyeball Killer | Murder by Numbers | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Eyeball Killer | Murder by Numbers | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Mark Of A Killer: Bonus – Cops Befriend Sex Workers During Charles Albright Murder
Mark Of A Killer: Preview – Charles Albright Possibly Linked To Prostitute Assault
Mark Of A Killer: Preview – An Eye For Murder (Season 1, Episode 3) | Oxygen
Mark Of A Killer: Preview – Dallas Police Find A Nude Body In The Street
Mark Of A Killer: Preview – Gunshot Victim Discovered To Be Lacking Eyeballs
Mark Of A Killer: Bonus Clip – Charles Albright, The Eyeball Killer
Mark Of A Killer: Bonus – Forensic Psychologist Examines Charles Albright Psyche
Mark Of A Killer: Hostile Charles Albright On Ride To Dallas Homicide Division
Mark Of A Killer: Bonus – Were Charles Albright’s Murders Inspired By The Bible?
Navy Veteran Susan Peterson Found Murdered in Dallas, Texas; Suspect Charles Albright Found Guilty of Similar Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (February 10, 1991)
Mark of a Killer Premiered ‘Charles Albright’ on Oxygen: The Eyeball Killer Suspected of Four Murders in Texas (February 10, 2019)
Serial Killer – Charles Albright – HD Documentary | Aristotle Documentary
Serial Killer – Charles Albright in HD | Documentary Galore

Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (June 8, 2018)

On December 9th, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Did he do it? -The Staircase | Netflix

Season 1:

1. Crime or Accident? Following his wife’s suspicious death, Michael Peterson speaks about his version of the events while lawyers and expert witnesses prepare for trial.
2. Secrets and Lies: As Michael’s hidden life comes out into the open, defense experts debate if it will have a significant impact on the coming trial.
3. A Striking Coincidence: The defense team is shaken when a suspicious event from the past comes to light. Later, the team visits Michael’s first wife in Germany.
4. A Proseuction Trickery: As the trial looms and media attention heats up, an autopsy report’s wording ruffles the feathers of the defense team.
5. A Weak Case: The prosecution presents its case while the defense strives to cast a reasonable doubt within the minds of the jury.
6. The Prosecution’s Revenge: A witness brings surprising levity to the stand, the judge rules on an important matter, and Michael’s alleged temper comes under scrutiny.
7. The Blow Poke Returns: Kathleen’s sisters pore over Michael’s writings. Jurors visit the staircase at Michael’s home. A vital piece of evidence reappears.
8. The Verdict: Is Michael Peterson guilty or not guilty? The jury delivers its verdict regarding the mysterious death of his wife, Kathleen.
9. Reopening the Case: Eight years later, the possibility that a key witness for the prosecution may have misled the jury could prompt the need for a new trial.
10. The Last Chance: After more experts testify about the questionable conclusions and claims of Duane Deaver, the judge rules on whether a new trial is necessary.
11. Looking for Closure: Following two and a half years of house arrest, Michael must decide whether to push for a plea or risk his freedom with a new trial.
12. Between Anger and Despair: Their faith in the justice system forever shaken, Michael and his family discuss what they can hope to achieve by continuing the fight.
13. Flawed Justice: Michael speaks to a reporter about the reasons behind his plea. Later, Kathleen’s sister delivers a statement of defiance in court.

Source: The Staircase, Netflix

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A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (May 2018)

May 2018

Missing:
Family pleads for missing soldier battling PTSD to come home
Vets group calls for ‘CAMO Alert’
What really happened to Middlebrook’s Sgt. Gene Shultz?
Missing: Michael VanZandt (Hermosa Beach Police Department – 310-318-0308)
Missing in Hermosa Beach: What happened to Mike VanZandt?
He Left to Go to the Bathroom and Never Came Back: Where is Michael Vanzandt?
Missing: Trevor Nichols (US Army), New York
Soldier receives orders to Fort Riley, goes AWOL
Disappeared: Air Force Veteran Michael Vanzandt Vanishes During a Night Out with Friends in Hermosa Beach, California (March 5, 2016)
Jean-Marc Faubert has been missing since the early morning of Friday, May 25th

Cold Cases:
Georgia Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later
No arrests made 3 years after soldier’s murder
New Hampshire unsolved case file: David and Deborah Carreau
Warwick murder case still unsolved, reward offered 5 years later
Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Petitions:
Presidential Pardon Petition | Free Lt. Clint Lorance
Fire Iron River, Michigan City Manager David Thayer For Firing Police Chief Laura Frizzo!

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A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (April 2018)

April 2018

Missing:
Patrick F. Carnes, Nevada (2011) | Missing Veterans
Mother Joins Search for Navy Officer Son Who Vanished on Way to Submarine Based in Connecticut
Federal agencies get involved with search for missing Martinsville man

Cold Cases:
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (April 17, 2017)

Reward Offered:
$11K offered in hunt for Marine accused of killing detective’s daughter
Former Marine wanted for murder believed to be in Mexico, manhunt underway
Authorities ask for public’s help in locating ex-Marine fugitive

Petitions:
Advocate for review and reform of injustice in the Military

Announcements:
Veterans legal clinic scheduled in Killeen
Save Our Heroes Sends Letter of Concern to Joint Regional Correctional Facility Leavenworth, Re Violation of the United Nations Human Rights Commission

Legislation:
This Gunnery Sergeant’s job destroyed his body to the point of retirement
Diagnosed With Leukemia, This Officer Was One Year From Retirement

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