“The 16 Year Old Killer” Cyntoia’s Story (Documentary)
Twenty4Seven Magazine (1127 articles)

“The 16 Year Old Killer” Cyntoia’s Story (Documentary)


In 2004, Cyntoia Brown was arrested for the murder of a 43-year-old man. Cyntoia was a prostitute and he was her client.

Film-maker Daniel Birman was granted unique access to Cyntoia from the week of her arrest, throughout her trial and over a period of six years. His documentary explores the tragic events in her life that led up to the murder, and Cyntoia’s biological mother meets he daughter for the first time since giving her up for adoption 14 years earlier.

The film explores the history of abuse, violence, drugs and prostitution back through three generations. As Cyntoia faces a lifetime in prison, the programme asks difficult questions about her treatment by the American justice system.

You can write Cyntoia Brown at
3881 Stewart’s Lane
Nashville, TN 37218




Via JayArgonaut


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  1. J Renee
    J Renee February 11, 21:43
    Very heart felt story, I feel so bad for her because the only thing she wanted to do was protect her self instead she got life for killing someone who she thought was trying to hurt her and being that she has been through enough neglect, abuse (Physically, Mentally and Emotionally) and abandonment from an infant and through out her teenage years everyone should've lifted her up and protected her and let her know everything will be ok and that they are here to protect her.... she was even slapped around by her adoptive father which a shame because her adoptive mother should've been there to stop it, so the way I see it is that everyone is at fault for her turn out and knowing that she was tossed around and not properly cared for as an infant should've been even more reason for them to love and protect her even when she didn't allow them to..... My heart goes out to her and hopefully she will be released sooner rather than later to live a proper life
  2. Evaleen
    Evaleen February 09, 17:05
    I seriously want to see a follow up on this. I cried my eyes out just trying to imagine what this girl and many other children of this world are put through and to be put on trial and judged by people who know nothing about you and your past, then to be sentenced to life as a child. This is something that happens everyday in this world and it is unjust. Like the man said it is wasteful to throw a young life in jail, before it even starts... I commend her for her strong will and determination and I'm wishing her the best. Please do a follow up...
  3. Ethan Couch
    Ethan Couch February 09, 10:30
    Too bad poor people can't plead "affluenza" when they kill people!
  4. Brenda
    Brenda February 06, 13:21
    I wish I could take you in my arms hug you and tell you that you are loved< you are a special child of God, you deserve nothing but the best in life !!!! its just too bad that your life dealt you a bad card!!!! stay strong there is more out of life then what life has given you so far!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Cherie
    Cherie February 04, 08:55
    I think she should have been tried as a child. I do believe she is very sorry for what she did. It's not her fault she felt she needed to be accepted in this world. She never got the chance to have a real family or a mom that truely cared until the last minute. That shows since she's been moved from foster home to foster home. Why did they try her as an adult anyways she was 16 when she did it aint her fault they took so long to take her trial. I have so much more to say and so many questions I wanna ask if anyone know who or where I can send a letter please let me know
  6. […] Spotted on: Twenty4SevenMagazine.com […]
  7. maria ahmad
    maria ahmad February 03, 03:04
    some countries legal system s sucks..shes only 16..and she is defending herself..punishment should be lighten.
  8. Elisha Reeves
    Elisha Reeves February 03, 03:02
    SHOW SOME REAL SUPPORT!!! Petition for her freedom here! Only about 650 signatures needed!!! SHARE!! http://www.change.org/petitions/tennessee-state-attorney-general-department-of-justice-give-cyntoia-brown-a-new-trial
  9. Huei-Yi
    Huei-Yi February 02, 22:29
    This girl should NOT be in prison! She was only trying to protect herself from being raped, killed, or both! I will be praying for her release! I hope and pray everything will go well for her when her case is reviewed in Autumn!!
  10. travis
    travis February 02, 20:25
    well fuck this government i guess she was supposed to get rape and go tell the police she was raped after fucking dum ass red necks she should of ran move to canada or something fuck the foster mother too she dont care bout her fronting like where was i when all this was going on yea bitch where were you
  11. Ariel Robinson
    Ariel Robinson February 02, 20:18
    I don't understand the legal system anymore, i just read somewhere before watching this video that a kid stole two cases of beer, got intoxicated with a group of friends, drove with over the capacity the vehicle could hold and hit and killed 4 pedestrians. And he got 10 years in rehabilitation. What the hell is he being rehabilitated for, oh yah did i mention his parents were rich. My thought on this was his parents were able to buy his way out of jail, because rehabilitation is not going to do anything for him because drinking and driving is not caused by a psychological problem it is caused by stupidity and lack of education of victims who tragically experience these encounters. In the cause of Cyntoia she should have been rehabilitated because of her past and that she may actually have a psychological problem due to her experience in life or could even be genetics, look at her family history.
  12. Smh
    Smh February 02, 19:50
    I'm so disgusted the courts put her on trial as an adult. The man was a paedophile picking up a child prostitute.
  13. janeen Bannister
    janeen Bannister February 02, 16:46
    It is so sad to see a victim go through this. There needs to be a solution for children who go through these types of things. My God who cares? Are the judges and prosecutors that heartless and misunderstanding? Im sure people in their families, at least one person has been through some kind of traumatizing experience. Where is their sympathy? I pray that Cyntoia be free. Not only from prison but from life turmoils.
  14. Guirlaine
    Guirlaine February 02, 13:03
    This is so heartbreaking, this girl was marked from birth. I am not saying she should not be punished but life is to much. Who is getting punished for her abuse, her suffering, no one not even her biological mother. Love your children
  15. Harmoni
    Harmoni February 02, 12:12
    Want to know what's really sad? Rapist in most cases do not spend life in prison..Child molesters do not spend life in prison...but a child who was clearly mislead is going to spend life in prison for trying to defend herself.. That is what is truly sad...despite what the adoptive mother said she was not cared for emotional where it counts the most. I pray for a long life to raise my children because the system is NOT designed to care for them properly.. Instead of putting millions into random government project let's put it into our children in the "system" or not. Bottom line they are our future.
  16. Syreeta Chase
    Syreeta Chase February 02, 11:35
    My heart goes out to her..this waa a amazing Doc touched my heart trmendously!
  17. Colleen
    Colleen February 02, 10:55
    This story has truly broken my heart here is a young girl who was born into this world already with disadvantages her mother and her mother's family who had similar issues as cyntoia was displaying so its like she was set up to fail she had lots of fear in her she did what she did because of the fact she was afraid she would be killed as a child somebody brings you iin their home and shows you their guns and says that they're a sharp shooter wouldn't you be scared to cyntoia in my mind reacted out of fear in all situations she was put into she was fearful she didnt want to be there but tge fear if she tried to get away she would be murdered kept her stuck she didn't want to be there but she was aafraid if she left he'd kill her so all in all this should of been considered in her case a young girl who was set up by genetics to fail was afraid for her life and reacted out of fear i pray that cyntoia trial gets tried again and they rethink her sentencing
  18. tammy
    tammy February 02, 09:41
    so sad poor girl
  19. kryse28
    kryse28 February 02, 08:53
    I think this is a sad case just about everybody let her down even the judicial system. she should of been punished but not with a lifetime punishment I hope one day they free her so that she could try to experience something she never had a chance at.....LIFE
  20. Ree
    Ree February 02, 02:58
    My heart breaks to hear the story of this lost child. Cnytoia was sabotage her whole life and unable to receive and except love properly. In her heart she did the right thing by telling the truth. But unfortunately the system had no remorse for her regarding her life and childhood. You can see that all of this played a major effect on her perception of things.
  21. mya
    mya February 02, 00:24
    So so sad poor girl I feel so sad for her so beautiful in smart
  22. Da'Von
    Da'Von February 01, 18:21
    I just looked at your documentary and as a guy I want to say I'm sorry for how people and men in particular abused you. I was abused myself as a child, so I know firsthand what it does to a young person. Because of all I've been through I suffer with Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depression. Mental illness runs on both sides of my family tree, so for me it's a daily struggle. But because of my believe in a higher power I call GOD, he has helped me weather many storms in my own LIFE. By all right I'm supposed to be dead, because of an incident that happened to me in 2008, but GOD saw favor to save me for something special. I will be praying for you and I love you as a big brother. May GOD protect you and see you through this imperfect storm. PSA-Keep GOD first and all else will work itself out..... Much Love from West Palm Beach, Fl.
  23. Mary
    Mary February 01, 13:04
    This was truly a child crying out for help I think life in prison was the answer. Yes a life was taken and yes you should have to give account for actions taken. She was only 16 years old and came from an abusive background and she should have not been given a life. We are forgiven for our sin man cast if out but God don't. May God Bless and keep her.
  24. One who cares
    One who cares February 01, 11:45
    I am saddened by how the world as well as the judicial system take our children an cast them away as thou they are pieces of trash that they pick up off the ground especially one that's not of a higher financial commodity. As I view the world and the role it plays all I see demonic behavior amounting to Gods Word only few will enter the gates and see our Wholly Kingdom. Lets Pray more about our children instead of preying on our children. He was 48 and not victimized he should have Known better than to pick up a young girl for sex that was his just due desert from one criminal to another.
  25. rachel
    rachel February 01, 07:27
    I cant stop crying .... i cant believe after all she has been through that this is her conclusion to what should've been a happy life.... i pray that she can still find happiness regardless of her situation.... stay strong i will write u CYNTOIA....
    • rachel
      rachel February 01, 07:33
      i believe she willl get out while shes still young and beautiful cyntoia stay prayed up....
  26. Cassandra
    Cassandra January 31, 20:07
    This saddens me deeply because it doesn't take a degree in Psychology to see that something is mentally wrong with this child! If I had traveled the road she'd been down, I would be messed up mentally as well... All she knows is hurt, abuse, and trust issues!!!!!!
  27. Naomi
    Naomi January 31, 14:10
    Being 20 myself and having mannnyyy friends who were sexually active by 14- as sad as the outcome is. Its a vicious cycle that is initiated by a lack of love from a biological mother. The love the parent has for " enjoying" their own life is greater than the love and desire for their own child to enjoy their life. A parent is the first person who teaches you to love and it starts from the moment the child is concieved. I salute the mothers who have gone through months without any sleep just to make sure their child was okay.
  28. Angel
    Angel January 31, 13:10
    This saddens my heart, if this child was mislead and it was clearly visible throwing her in a jail cell for the rest of her life is not going to help her. Ask yourself why would this grown man have a minor in his home and for what reason...to take advantage of her. Yes, she put herself in a bad situation but at the same time she does not deserve this. It sickens me that a coward(Zimmerman) killed an unarmed teenager and gets off scott free, plus he keeps getting in trouble with the law, portraying this man that the prosecutor described him to be all along. But this baby gets put away for killing a freaking child molester...yes you sleep with kids you are a child molester!!
    JAMES C. WALKER,MSW-CASAC January 31, 12:44
  30. Yasmin
    Yasmin January 31, 11:15
    Wow, this documentary has touched me so deeply. It's beyond sad and I can't contain the tears because this is a child. And it could be me. So many young girls with traumatic life experiences involving men unfortunately turn to prostitution and it's scary. There are scary men out here and unfortunately for the time you spend with them you have to give them your trust. How easy would it be to do that with a sharp shooter who has guns all around his house. I feel bad and I'm extremely saddened that they tried this young lost girl as an adult and gave her life. I believe she was truly scared and it saddens me to my core that she was charged with first degree murder. Wow. Clearly she has deep rooted psychological issues which isn't her fault at all. I'm going to write this young girl because this could be any one of the many young girls out here made to fend for themselves
  31. Dianna
    Dianna January 31, 11:04
    How does Zimmerman get let go of for killing an unarmed 16 yr old, but this 16 year old gets charged for 1st degree murder with a lifetime in prison for killing someone she thought might harm her? I don't understand, it's sad to known that this is what the work has come to.
  32. Dave
    Dave January 31, 10:56
    So if I tell y'all the story of the same inner city black kids who murdered two instead of one and it was over a simple drug deal y'all will still have the same compassion or no?
    • Bobby Buffaloboy
      Bobby Buffaloboy February 01, 11:13
      Not at all. That's a ridiculous question. I've heard the phrase, "think before you speak", but come on. If you're typing it out, there's got to be some time to mellow over it before you post such idiotic questions.
  33. sunshine001
    sunshine001 January 31, 10:27
    Such a sad story but it is indeed an eye opener and it further goes to show whose side the judicial system is on, even if the same crime was committed by another race.
  34. Yasmine Morris
    Yasmine Morris January 31, 04:31
    I believe that they should have giving her a lesser sentence for at the age of the 16 because she was only protecting herself of being killed and she was honest and spoke she told the whole story and was honest... I believe til this day she should be free im her biggest supporter and she should of been out .. im 16 as well and most teenagers does stuff to survive in life reguardless of what she done or have to do.. for a 16 year old should not have life in prison when all she was doing was protecting herself , people really need to think and think because she had more stuff to get her less time in there then anybody that's trying to put her in there . SET HER FREE SHES BEEN IN THERE LONG ENOUGH ITS 2014 NOW
  35. Joselin
    Joselin January 31, 02:04
    I honestly have cried my eyes out watching this document , I truly believe cyntoia should not be charged with life sentence, we have so many serious cases of children who have no history any tragic experiences and have had amazing guidance by there parents. Suddenly, the child who know one thought who do the crimes you see or is charged are surprisingly shocked. Cytoia is NOT A MURDER , SHE WAS A YOUNG CHILD WHO HAD A HARD TIME TO TRULY TRUST PEOPLE AFTER BEING IN MULTIPLES OF FAMILIES WHO HAVE ADOPTED HER AND ABUSED . WHAT CHILD AT THE AGE OF 16 KNOWS THE RIGHTS AND LAWS AFTER AN INCIDENT OF SELF DENFENSE . ALL SHE KNEW WAS IN HER STATE OF MIND THAT BEING HONEST AND TELLING YOU THE TRUTH AS SHE DID WOULD NOT GET HER IN TROUBLE OF SENTENCE! I UNDERSTAND THAT WHATEVER CRIME WE DO WE MUST PAY FOR BUT I HONESTLY DONT CONSIDER THIS A CRIME TO BE CHARGE WITH LIFE SENTENCE. The way the justice system is working is a shame ..
    • Da'Von
      Da'Von February 01, 17:33
      He got what he deserved and she should have never been convicted for protecting herself from being raped...
      • Debbie
        Debbie February 02, 19:07
        yes this is so true she was very young an all those man were taking advantage of her for what ever long time it was, she should not be punished, all the man that were taking advantage of her since she was young should go to jail....

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