Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Army specialist, was stationed at Fort Hood military base in Texas, at the time of her death. Later, she was discovered dead, having allegedly been murdered by another soldier, Aaron Robinson, who later killed himself with a pistol.
I Am Vanessa Guillen on Netflix, directed by Christy Wegener, tells Vanessa Guillen's tragic but inspiring story about a young woman who aspired to be a soldier. Guillen, however, was murdered by a fellow soldier in 2020 after telling her mother she was being sexually harassed on the Fort Hood military base. Her story sparked a global movement of assault survivors demanding action. The film follows her family's fight for historic reform, which leads them to the Oval Office.
On November 17, the film was released where Andrea Berman serves as co-executive producer alongside Isabel Castro, Lindsey Cordero, and Armando Croda. The documentary is a Story Syndicate production, with executive producers Dan Cogan, Liz Garbus, Jon Bardin, and Nell Constantinople.
With 'I Am Vanessa Guillén' revisiting the titular 20-year-old US Army Specialist's disappearance on April 22, 2020, we get a true understanding of what happened and the aftermath. After all, this Netflix original documentary follows her experiences leading up to that fateful day and how her family's subsequent fight is gradually bringing about true military reform.
As mentioned above, the incident occurred at the military base. Yes, it does sound unreal. And many people have been seeking the base in detail. Well, let's get started.
Vanessa Guillen Was Stationed at Fort Hood, a Military Base in Texas, at the Time of Her Death: Later Charge Was Filed Against Another Fort Hood Soldier, Aaron Robinson, Who Committed Suicide With a Pistol a Few Days Before the Charge Was Announced!
Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Army specialist, grew up in Houston, Texas, with her five siblings. According to The New York Times, she enlisted in the Army at the age of 18. She was also an athlete in school, according to the outlet, playing soccer and running track as well as cross country. Vanessa was stationed at Fort Hood, a military base in Texas, at the time of her death.
According to the documentary, she told her family that she was being sexually harassed by a superior prior to her disappearance in April 2020. She was later discovered dead. Vanessa's family insisted on answers and even met with then-President Donald Trump to learn the truth about what happened to Vanessa. She would have turned 23 this September.
Guillén's death drew national attention not only because she was allegedly murdered by another soldier at Fort Hood, but also because the perpetrator took her body miles away and it was not discovered for more than two months. Guillén, 20, went missing in April 2020 and was last seen in the parking lot of her Fort Hood barracks, according to the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, before her remains were discovered on June 30 of that year.
The case sparked outrage over the Army's initial failure to fully address the sexual harassment she reported, as well as its lack of attention to her case once she went missing.
According to a report issued after the Army's fact-finding investigation into the case, Guillén reported being sexually harassed on at least two occasions, but her supervisor failed to report it and other leaders failed to take appropriate action. The report found no evidence that Spc. Aaron Robinson, her alleged murderer, harassed her.
Robinson allegedly murdered Guillén at the armory where she worked by bludgeoning her to death with a hammer. According to the report, Army personnel attempted to detain Robinson in a base room by telling him he had violated Covid-19 restrictions, but he simply escaped. He later committed suicide while law enforcement was attempting to apprehend him.
While there is no official word on why he killed Vanessa, a new report from the Texas Department of Public Safety suggests that, based on interviews with Aguilar, Guillen saw a photo of Robinson and Aguilar together on Robinson's phone screen saver and was "worried about getting in trouble for violating the Army's fraternization rules," according to local outlet KWTX. Aguilar had another soldier's wife. She also stated that Robinson struck Guillen in the head with a hammer.
According to a court filing and Natalie Khawam, attorney for Guillén's family, the family of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén filed a case seeking $35 million in damages from the Department of the Army. According to the lawsuit, "Guillén suffered mental anguish, fear, emotional distress, physical injury, and death as a result of sexual harassment, r*pe, sodomy, and physical assault" from October 1, 2019, to April 22, 2020. Guillén's family is suing for $10 million in wrongful death and $25 million in personal injury claims.
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