Netflix, the popular streaming service, is about to release another true crime documentary. The documentary, titled I Am Vanessa Guillen, tells the story of the dead US Army soldier Vanessa Guillen. Vanessa, 20, was bludgeoned to death in an army camp by a fellow soldier in 2020. Her family, unwilling to release her killer, strives for justice and gives her death the meaning it deserves by trying to bring about change. I Am Vanessa Guillen will be available on Netflix from Thursday, November 17.
What can we expect from I Am Vanessa Guillen?
I Am Vanessa Guillen, directed by Christy Wegener, will explore how the Texan’s ambition to join the military came true in 2018 and was cut short a few years later. Guillen joined the Army and began training as a 91F, small arms and artillery repairman. She was stationed at Fort Hood when she was brutally murdered by E4 Specialist Aaron David Robinson (20). Robinson brutally beat Guillen to death with a hammer. Fearing arrest, he escaped from Fort Hood and committed himself in Killeen, Texas, before law enforcement could catch him.
Wegener described the I Am Vanessa Guillen story as “David vs. Goliath on steroids”, saying:
“At its core, this is a story about overcoming impossible odds in the matter of family, love and justice.” Going up against the US military, one of the largest and most powerful organizations in the country, is no easy feat. It was remarkable to see a family put aside their grief during the most devastating time of their lives, step into the public arena and fight for the public good while making the film.”
Instead of backing down, Guillen’s family showed tenacity and took the matter all the way to then-US President Donald Trump. He told the next of kin that the case would be judged independently.
Meet the creators of I Am Vanessa Guillen.
Wegener also co-produces I Am Vanessa Guillen alongside Isabel Castro, Lindsey Cordero and Armando Croda. Andrea Berman serves as a co-executive producer with executive producers Dan Cogan, Liz Garbus, Jon Bardin and Nell Constantinople under their Story Syndicate label.
Story Syndicate, a New York-based motion picture TV production company, is recognized for projects such as Netflix’s three-part docuseries Eat The Rich: The GameStop Saga, ABC-Murders Hulu’s Before the Marathon, National Geographic’s Becoming Cousteau and Netflix’s Britney versus Spears, among Others.
Bio of Vanessa Guillen
Guillen was born on September 30, 1999 in Houston, Texas, to Mexican parents Rogelio and Gloria Guillen. She joined the military in June 2018 after graduating from César E. Chávez High School. She loved athletic activities such as soccer and running. According to reports, Guillen had told her mother Gloria that a sergeant at Fort Hood had sexually assaulted her. She did not identify him, but she assured her mother that she could handle the situation alone. According to investigators, Robinson became concerned when Guillen saw a photo of one Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, on his phone. Robinson was concerned because Aguilar was still married to another soldier, Keon Aguilar, at the time.
According to a court document:
“He (Robinson) told her (Aguilar) that he was afraid of going to jail for violating the Army’s fraternization standards since Aguilar was still married to another soldier, and he hit Guillen on the head with a hammer head.”
While Robinson committed himself, Aguilar is held on charges of dismembering Guillen’s corpse and burying the pieces by the Leon River. On July 13 last year, a federal grand jury indicted her on 11 counts. Her trial will begin on January 2, 2023.