‘I Am Vanessa Guillén’ Netflix Doc Examines Soldier’s Brutal Murder

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Netflix’s documentary about the brutal murder of a Fort Hood Army Base female soldier and the subsequent national fight against sexual harassment in the military is available on Netflix.

The film is 95 minutes long “I Am Vanessa Guillén,”Christy Wegener directs the film, which will be streamable starting Thursday.

This is a detailed look into the disturbing case of a Texas 20-year old woman who dreamed about a career in military. However, she was violently killed by her superior at a military base plagued with harassment claims, missing soldiers, and violence.

One long year after her killing, a U.S. Army investigation determined Guillén’s claims of being sexually harassed had been ignored by her superiors.

As a result, a total of 21 soldiers were relieved of duty or reprimanded. “We, as an Army, failed to protect Spc. Guillén,”Major General LeBoeuf, chief of staff for the Army Forces Command, stated in a news conference.

The private first class soldier vanished two years ago on an April Sunday, in broad daylight, from Fort Hood, the third-largest Army base in the country. Later, her family claimed that she had spoken of being sexually harassed at Fort Hood in Texas and was afraid to report it. 

A young woman disappeared from a large military base. It went mostly unreported until her family and attorney began holding press conferences. They accused Army officials of being slow to act and misleading them. There were many demonstrations and marches that followed. Celebrities, politicians, and women’s advocates joined her cause. They demanded she was found.

Two months later, Guillén’s body was finally found, in pieces, buried in concrete some 20 miles from Fort Hood. Authorities claimed she was beaten to death in an armory on the base. Guillen’s blood was then found on the walls.

A fellow soldier was the suspect in her death. He shot himself as military police approached to arrest. 

In the months following her disappearance and death, a nationwide movement grew from a legion of women who stepped forward to offer their own experiences under the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillén.

Politicians and celebrities joined the battle. The public spotlight grew so bright, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy held a press conference to acknowledge Fort Hood had the highest number of sexual assaults and harassment in the entire branch of the military. He apologized to Guillén’s family.

The documentary features politicians and advocates such as Democratic U.S. House Rep. Jackie Speier and the mother and sisters of Guillén. Three relatives met with Donald Trump to get answers and held press conferences.

“My sister is no joke. My sister is a human being. And I want justice. My sister did not do this to herself. Someone did it,” and angry and tearful Lupe Guillén told reporters after her sister’s dismembered body was discovered.

 

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