Cyntoia’s Story: The 16 Year Old Killer

  • More Options

VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
Rating: 7.0/10 based on 382 votes cast.
Is This Documentary Broken?
(Click Here To Let Us Know)

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.

Related Documentaries

From The Web

  • cristal

    so sad that she has to serve life. i couldnt have said it any better then Jessica Evans. but the system needs to get it together their are soooo many child molesters walking free or on “parole” that dont EVER register and still get a second, third n even fourth chance in life to molest all over again sick people like that deserve life even the death penalty. Please if u work as district attorney or in criminal court rooms review the cases right some people dont deserve life or just the outstanding time given to them.

  • Maria

    I literally cried towards the end.. Especially, with the sentencing and her final thoughts. She reflected my sister, although she never harmed no one. This system really needs to find a better way of sentencing kids in her situation

    • tammy


  • Dub

    You guys sympathize a bit too much without thinking straight. She showed no emotion whatsoever about anything. She described the murder of a person so calmly as if it was a norm. She claims she was abused by her father but her mother never mentioned anything about that, nor the police. She also claims the boyfriend abused her and beat her, but there were no signs of any of that. She claims she was afraid but during the hearing it was mentioned she had a shower at the guy’s place, she even slept there comfortably. She tried to rob him and he tried to escape so she shot the guy. If a jury convicted her, there has to be a reason. This documentary was very one sided.

    • Shantel

      You don’t know a lot about abuse I take it.

      • Dub

        So instead of saying something logical, you make it personal. You mean to tell me, if someone is/was abused it’s absolutely normal they will kill a person? That would mean half this world would be psychopathic killers.

        • Coached10

          You made it personal! So because nobody else mentioned what happened to her, then it’s not true? Many people who experience abuse, don’t always talk about it, many are ashamed, or feel it’s something they did. Your whole comment sounds like you have formed your opinion and you choose not to believe her. Question, how is a person supposed to sound, when describing taking a life? Is there a written standard? Or does everyone exhibit emotions differently?

          • Dub

            Wasn’t it a jury of normal people, who decided on the verdicts? It means that if they, with the evidence that was presented to them, decided on those verdicts, don’t you think that if we also knew all the details (not comments made but actual facts), we would think the same? Count 3 aggravated robbery. Which means she didn’t just defend herself but evidence suggested she robbed him. Was that mentioned anywhere in the documentary? Nope!

          • Coached10

            First off not saying guilty /innocent, but as we have seen in the last year men serving 20+ years in prison, only to be found innocent. So don’t put all your hopes on the legal system. I’m saying not all things true or false come out in trials.

          • Mrs.Minnie

            A jury or her peers?? besides it’s not over till …

        • Shantel

          Let me help you out. When I said you didn’t know much about abuse that means you don’t understand the circumstances that occur. That did not mean it’s an excuse to murder. I will say this when you are abused things happen psychologically that can make you kill the next abuser. As you can see in this case. Just because the mom didn’t say anything doesn’t mean she wasn’t abused. Like I said you don’t know much that’s why you can’t understand what happened. It doesn’t make sense to you.

        • Shantel

          By the way that is logical when you think normal.

        • cheryl

          I’m with you completely. I was tortured growing up by the people that were supposed to love me, but I’m not out there killing people. People please wake up there’s no excuse!

          • Mrs.Minnie

            But you thought of it so you did commit murder that was how you dealt with yours and probably still wrestling with them demons.
            She lashed out the only way she knew how has made some peace with her demons. reach out and help any way you can u know how it is.

        • Teeninchee

          No, but when you put all of it together…Abuse, abandonment, the prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs and the effect on the ability of the infant brain to look at life correctly, correctly judge a situation and think of what to do…I’m telling you…you are looking at children who struggle with LIFE–forever. And this is not the only person in jail who is there because of these issues.

    • Jerry Mcdurmott

      Your comment is extremely ignorant. And sadly it is typical in our country to refuse to rehabilitate people. Human beings deserve a second chance, our prisons are overrun and barbaric. Perhaps rehabilitation is the better way? You know, like the rest of the civilized world.

    • Jami

      This is in response to Dub’s comment.

      With all respect Dub, you may want to re watch atleast the first 30 minutes of the story if you would like to offer a factual comment.
      I have only seen the first 30 minutes and I can say that each of the things you commented on were absolutely covered in her documentary.
      I am not saying that to be argumentative, I want to be clear because I only hope you would want that if you had some part of your life documented and available for everyone to comment on .
      Have a good night…

      • Dub

        Alright then. I’m going to watch it again. be back in a bit.

      • Dub

        2minute mark. “Many things happened to her” “pattern of bad things””She would step out of bad situations and find herself another bad situation to get into. She allowed herself to get into another bad situation”(allowed herself?) Doesn’t mention abuse though. Then the film maker at 4:13 says she was abused. So far neither the forensic psychiatrist nor any authority figure mention it though. I’ll keep watching.. 6:43 hear the lawyer, he does a good job seeing through the evidence. 7:24 the guy she killed bought her food, means he was being respectful to her, even though I do agree he’s a scumbag for trying to hook up with a 16yr old. They ate together, watched TV together, does that sound like a threatening guy? nope. 7:47. He just like, like like with almost closed eyes. Sounds like lying to me. Then she saw him roll over, and managed to instantly get up, grab her purse, take her gun out and point it and less than half a second and put 4 bullets in him. Sounds legit? Then her interview with the psychiatrist, which was heartfelt in the kutt part. But If she was that scared, don’t you think she should have called the police as soon as she went out of that guy’s house? Why would she keep doing what she did? make no sense. 15 minute psychiatrist talk s only about her different parents and abandonment. Still no abuse. Oh wow, her own mother talks about her being manipulative and possessive. 18:53. Her adoptive mother speaks. Let’s see if she talks of abuse. Oh biological mother was drinking throughout almost the entire pregnancy and then crack cocaine. That’s horrible. 24:57 I THINK she was abused as a child. Meaning that he THINKS it happened. There I found it just for you. I think and “there are police reports/medical documents” are very far apart. I’m not saying she wasn’t but in the eyes of a judge and jury you can’t prove it. Again, it also doesn’t mean you get to kill someone.

        There, see, factual comments like before. Also no part of my life will ever be documented because I’m an average person who will never either kill someone or become famous enough to have a documentary about.

        I do believe a life sentence is way too much for a 16year old to face, but I also know that that’s what the appeals are for. She will probably get a much reduced life sentence and by 35-40yrs old she will probably be out. I also believe that it’s too late for her to be in a juvenile court, because the damage done to her psyche wouldn’t be fixed by the time she was 19. She not only has a personality disorder, with a past that may or may not have been abusive, but she also killed a person. She has gone too far down the road legally and psychologically. That’s the end of my comments. Won’t reply anymore here. Adios!

        • Dub
        • Teeninchee

          You must not know much about how older men treat teenaged prostitutes–male and female. Food is part of the way they work. And you SURE don’t know about abuse, abandonment, prenatal substance abuse, and the attachment disorder that comes to children who are bounced from place to place in their early years. The adoptive mother was clueless because the child wasn’t talking to her about what was happening in her life.

          Sex with relatives? Sex when you didn’t want it, because you were told to? Being slapped around by the adoptive father…I find it strange that he wasn’t in the picture at all.

          And yes, I do know about these things because I have been a foster and adoptive parent to these children for 44 years. Birth mother drinking/drugging during pregnancy? That baby was already behind the 8 ball before it was born. Prenatal alcohol and drug abuse leaves the child with no connection between cause and effect, trying to figure out what the right and wrong are and why they are right and wrong. The continual breaking of relationship bonds causes trust issues, (Reactive Attachment Disorder for one) THOSE are the things they should have looked at in her life. THOSE are the issues I deal with on the daily with children whose start in life was just as rocky.

          But…she has a penalty, and maybe — if she connects with rehabilitated women, she will become a productive person and may be paroled one day.

          She is one reason I fight so hard for MY kids from these environments.

          • tammy

            So true

    • jessica

      Hello she clearly has suffered alot from before even being born!!! She clearly has some mental illness and doesn’t belong j jail. Yoi obviously need to educate yourself and understand why she didn’t show any enomotion is not because she didn’t care but because she is ill.

    • Mrs.Minnie

      Dud are u really serious?

    • Teeninchee

      First, you don’t understand the flat affect and tone of the abused–the disassociation. And something in your version is weird…Prosecution says the man was asleep when he was shot. So she didn’t shoot him while trying to escape….And jury conviction with a “reason”….you must not live in the USA.

    • tammy

      Showing no emotion can be a defense mechanism, also can be denial.. don’t judge ppl unless u are in their situation

    • dena

      She should show emotion after all she was put through from her mother — through all the ppl that had her b 4 she ended up with Ellenette for good — she was desensitized from all the crap she had gone through , abandament , trust issues — she had nobody and the justice didn’t even try to help they threw her away a 16 year old for life — does she deserve it????? No, i believe she should have been put into a ward to help her understand what she wentever she had gone through that put her in this situation —- u have no idea if this 43 yo had a gun or what was said b 4 she shot him — the other side is going to do whatever they can do to put her away that is their job– she’s a young girl and did something but don’t put her away

  • Jerry Mcdurmott

    This country is really barbaric, our “justice” system is like something out of the 1800′s. Check this out

  • A. Coe

    wow. I’m not saying the guys life should have been taken; however, this is a 43 year old man laying up with a teenager. He didn’t have decency to NOT be in bed with a kid and show compassion for her troubles. She did dumb shit no doubt, I just don’t know that it was worth her not having a life when she was born into the bullshit.

    • tammy


  • Jasmine

    This saddens me. As a 23 going on 24 year old adult i can personally say that i am not the same girl i was when i was 16 as im sure many of you can also say about yourselves. Also based on the way she was raised and the lack of love that she felt it led her to make horrible decisions in people. I remember at that age all i wanted was to feel hot and desired and loved as most people going through puberty do. Everything i felt was like an electricity volt through my body and was usually led by ignorance. I felt everything so passionately and i had not yet discovered the meaningful things that i know now in life. Fighting and killing were things that were around me and i thought were cool based on me growing up in a rough neighborhood with gangs and pimps and the glamour this kind of lifestyle receives in the media. Now that i’m older i understand the gravity of it. I wish they put her in a psych ward due to the constant abuse and also gave her intense therapy with a heavy probation sentence maybe 10 years after her release. They just threw her life away, she was really a child. I hope people understand what just happened to her and i hope she will get the justice and freedom she deserves.

  • Mrs.Minnie

    This is injustice too the core I will speak to YHWH and petion the speedily release for Cyntoia a victim of the system for a intervention from on high for her release intervention from those with deep pockets to get her some good legal help. I will post on facebook ask for help for her , signatures whatever it takes to fludd the Tennesse womens correctional and the governer of said state for release of this young women. Cyntoia help is on the way

    • Sole

      Hello I live outside the USA but I would like to help in any way possible. This child is a victim of all the adults in her life and needs a fair chance. Please let me know what I can do.

  • LOL

    Real story here, this documentary sucks. Victim was shot in the back of the head close range. Doctor testified he was sleeping when she shot him. She also testified initially, that the guy picker her up from the street not as a prostitute but to help her out of the streets. Bought her food and brought her to his home. He tried to have sex with her but they didn’t do it. A friend of hers testified that she said to him “I killed a man for 50 thousand dollars and some guns”. Another nurse who had an altercation with her testified she was grabbed by her and told “I’ll kill you like that guy but not with one bullet in the back of the head but three”. Also when police went to the motel she stayed, she jumped to defend “kutt” saaying he had nothing to do with it.

    • Beth Jacobs

      Yes you are right LOl, what a “good guy” he was.He picked up a child, bought her some food to keep her busy while he drove her to his house to rape her

    • Mrs.Minnie

      LOL go back to sleep

  • Mrs.Minnie

    Let’s give this exposure make this story go viral get the attention of the governor who has the power to pardon. As we all know there are many in her situation but if we can start with her get her some help together we could get the ball rolling just one to start and i believe Cyntoia needs our help before the systems harden’s her and make her a worser victim I believe there is still hope,please in humanity help.

  • Mrs.Minnie

    This is the man to address in this matter let’s get the ball rolling on this one people and we can be instrument in helping Cyntoia Brown
    Office of Governor Bill HaslamTennessee State Capitol
    Nashville, TN 37243-0001
    Phone: 615/741-2001

    Fax: 615/532-9711

    • tammy

      I will write this week

    • spark

      I’m in.

  • meghan

    This is such a sad story. This girl was betrayed by every grown-up in her entire life she needs help not life. This makes me sick that they would lock her away for life when clearly in her mind she was using self defense.

  • tammy

    She deserves a 2nd chance, this man was have sex with a 15 yrs old.. he’s not moral; he shouldn’t of had her in his bed. 15 yr old with no crime records or history shouldn’t be trailed so harshly.. we are definitely not the ppl we where as teenagers.. get her out, and let her live her life

    • Yattaya

      I totally agree you You! I cannot believe this man and what his intentions were with this Little girl got completely set aside. It’s like he was justified in soliciting sex from a minor and all that he intended to do disregarded. She had no history of murderous behavior but 1st degree conviction is unreal to me considering all facts.

  • LoveyDovey

    With me being an 18 year old female , I can say that I went thru some of the worst things possible , and I must admit I did some pretty shitty things before of how I kept everything to myself thru out my childhood til around the age of 14-15 maybe , I turn my life around , I continued to do better in school and I recently graduated Class Of 2014 , I just prayed and ask God to forgive me , even went to Church and he took all my hurt and pain away , It hurts me to know that it all happened to her , she could have choosen a better to resolve the situation , but at the end of the im happy she continued to smile and be happy , I hope and pray that they work something out for her , I see so much potential in her , may God work his ways for you , she deserve a 2nd chance and she will get it

    • IMPACT1

      Guest, I am happy to hear you have found help and “chose” to “receive” that help.

      Christians say God helps those who help themselves…
      I am glad you ‘found’ him. Keep him near and you will never be alone in times of loneliness or need…

      You sound like you are on the right path…wishing you a bright future!

  • Yummy1

    Brought tears to my eyes, Cyntoia was a child and does not deserve life. She should definitely be punished but should also be given another chance. The jury took no consideration to her childhood and what she went through. I hope come this Fall something happens for the better for Cyntoia. She deserves another chance at life. I will be writing to the Governor even though my letter may not make a difference but I do hope attention is brought to this case and Cyntoia is given another chance. There are murderes in my town that have committed worse crimes and only got 15-25 years. But yet a child who was picked up by a man damn near 3 times her age gets life because she felt the need to protect herself before something happened to her smh this is so sad. #FREECYNTOIA

  • Christine vargas

    This is so sad .. I believe there should be justice but not a life sentence . That man had no morals . But this little girl suffered enough ! I’m gonna share this story so that the world knows and step to help this child .. Our system failed her so now who is gonna pay for that ? Don’t worry I’ll wait …..

  • Donna Beck Osborn

    R U people serious!!!!!! She went out to sell herself(not matter her age) and got caught up in a bad situation(ho hummm) she knew what she was doing and intentionally went out to prostitute. She may look innocent cause she is only 16, but bad things happen to BAD people.

    • Delilah Haley

      Just take a second to maybe consider/review/ponder on WHY she was a “bad” person as you have so quickly labeled her. She was a precious soul (as we all are when we are brought into this world) but she unfortunately didn’t have the same “luck/blessings” that I’m assuming you and i did. Her life STARTED off with a series of unfortunate events and mistreatings. In your first stage of life, if you are not correctly guided (which she wasn’t), you’re vulnerable to take in everything that’s going on around you. Im sure she couldn’t understand what was happening to her (drug addicts, foster care, physical violance), let alone WHY it was happening to her. Now how could she cope with that? You and I wouldn’t know how that affected her and how she was feeling because we weren’t in her shoes. Yes, we create our own lives but that’s only possible if you are AWARE that we are capable of allowing/manifesting a beautiful life to enjoy. She got into a whole lot of trouble alright but can we really blame a child for not having anyone to steer them in the right direction? I couldn’t. She was a 16 year old PROSTITUTE that pulled the trigger on a GROWN man that was inflicting fear on her before and in the process of fucking her! She confessed. Should she NOT be punished at all for her actions bc she was a child? no, there certainly has to be consequences but in my opinion ending her life with a life sentence is not the answer. And especially not labeling her a “BAD” person. We should try to learn lessons from everything: We should be more nurturing of children, not just ours but the children all over the world, because they are our future and it hurts my heart to see anyone end up like this. Let’s start taking responsibility, you and i and everyone else seeing <3 lets raise "good" people, after all we're all brothers and sisters. Wish you well.

      • jordy m

        She shouldnt have done that still she ran away from a stable home to be a prostitute

        • BlahBlahBlackSheep

          She ran away after being raped, molested and threatened at 13. Judging from your syntax, you may be 13 or 14 yourself. I hope this never happens to you and that things don’t get so crazy that you find yourself doing insane things to survive.

          • IMPACT1

            SHE ran away from her ‘stable’ home.

        • spark

          Who are you people?? You call her home life stable. This is so sad. Really. Her biological family had psychological issues. She was a child who did not know right from wrong. This is just crazy and disturbing. Lord have mercy on your soul.

          • IMPACT1

            Did you actually watch the Documentary?

        • Mrs.Minnie

          Someone needs meds

    • manny

      Yeah I bet when you were that age u were the perfect ideal person and knew exactly what you were doing that knew how all your decisions would play out

    • Sherrie

      You have to look at her mindset and all the stuff she been through in life..Yes, she committed a crime but what state of mind did she really had..she went through so much at a young age. At what point did someone step in to get her help..I think they should make her do time in jail but at the same time get her help,so she can deal with what going on insde of her…she’s probably carrying around a lots of pain,hurt,rejection&confusion ect..let’s in brace her with prayer not cured words

    • Krankerdelic

      Ok, Ms High and Mighty. You don’t see anything wrong with a Sunday school teacher, choir person, very active in the Church of God soliciting sex from a prostitute, an underage one at that? I’m not condoning what she did but her family and health history coupled with the so called man of God’s action led to this. As a man of God, he could have done something else, like PRAY for her, try to steer her to the right path but noooo, he wanted sex from an underage girl.

      • IMPACT1

        She HAD NO CONTACT with her biological mother for 15 years!!

        She HAD a stable home life, SHE RAN AWAY…Cyntoia made a CHOICE to be with bad Boy druggie “Boyfriend”…He didn’t just ‘happen’ on her door step…

        You go looking for that kind oF garbage you find it…these days they are a dime a dozen…

        and wow, suddenly everyone in America is a “victim”…

        Only Cyntoia us the ONLY ONE who is actually taking responsibility for her actions…

        “I” killed a man…”I” executed him…That is why I am always depressed…”I” have to think about that everyday…-Cyntoia Brown

    • Ms. West

      Wow, you sound really slow. What people seem to be missing is that she was a child! At 16, she was doing what she had to do to. No one knows what they will do at their lowest. This poor girl seems to have been failed by everyone around her. There were plenty contributing factors that led up to this crime that could have been avoided. Before you jump up so quick ready to chastise her, I hope you have lived a pure life. Smh, social media is the only place where people talk a bunch of shit knowing good & well they are living an miserable existence. But, anyway glad to know that you are little miss perfect.

    • disqus_yzdsTbWeP4

      That lifestyle has caught up a lot of innocent girls. I was a wholesome foster kid from small town Oklahoma, a valevictorian (sp?) that ended up in Vegas on a sales job that went bad. I was homeless out there and I have no family to back me up. I was naive and ended up in that lifestyle. I did what I had to do. Then I ran away from a pimp and went back to college. Never touched drugs or committed any other crimes. So…..sometimes bad things happen to bad people or sometimes bad things happen to good people or even little girls that get caught up in their parents mistakes. Truth is you don’t know what this child went through. I met so many girls in that lifestyle that didn’t want to be there. They aren’t that different than you they just weren’t as lucky as you. I’m not saying it’s not a decision they made but not everyone can be as high and mighty as you. However those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I’m sure you’re not perfect.

      • IMPACT1

        Again, did YOU watch the documentary??

        For cripes sake! She HAD A NICE HOME!!

        “SHE” ran away…SHE was with a bad boy druggie…HE Abused her…

        LISTEN to the anguish of Ellenette, her ADOPTIVE MOTHER…does SHE sound unstable? ? She loves Cyntoia, I do not think Ellenette made any mistakes..

        Cyntoia made mistakes…she admitted to it…

        What is everyone here hearing in this documentary that I’m not??

    • Guest

      You obviously have no idea what is like not knowing when your next meal will be and how you will get it and you obviously have never been through anything severe because when you are at your lowest you will do anything to make ends meet at 16 there is no way for you to do things on your own you need a parent for everything and the fact that she didn’t have one left her with only a few decisions so. She was not an adult she was a confused little girl who thought everyone was out to get her . Maybe if you knew suffering you would be a little more sympathetic

    • Judalon

      I hope you’re not a mom

    • Shaye

      You say she’s a BAD person because she was prostituting you say she’s a BAD person because she killed a man and that BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO BAD PEOPLE! Well does that mean her being held at gun point and forced to have sex or being told to go out and make money using her body or being left with many people as a baby because she’s a “BAD” person or maybe because she was never given a shot at a good life and never given the help that she truly needed at a young age! That’s why people are saddened by this documentary. Oh and the phrase is bad things happen to good people, but bad things like rape and murder shouldn’t be wished on no one!

      • IMPACT1

        Cyntoia ran away from…what seems to be a stable home enviroment…

        Who ‘forced’ her into that? That was a ‘choice’ made by poor little Cyntoia who obviously doesn’t know when she has a nice home. Maybe not perfect be her adoptive mother obviously cares about her. How many kids get a chance like THAT?

        Does her Adoptive Mother, Ellenette, come across as any other than that?

    • Guest

      Seriously YOU NEED HELP if bad things happen to bad people the minute u post your comment something would have happen to you MAY GOD BLESS YOU.

    • That girl

      No comment about what other are saying to u?

    • Domo

      Your clearly sheltered & have never had to deal with real life experiences open your eyes & wake the fuck up Not everyone could be so special to have everything handed to them on a silver platter she deserves a chance at life

    • rebecca

      Yeah she went out to prostitute cause her boyfriend made her after he raped her and threaten to kill her mom? Have you ever been so scared of someone you do exactly what they say? I have. Trust me i was molested from 3years- 9 years old and i didnt tell a soul cause he said he would hurt my mom. Now was i a bad persom who deserved bad things?!?!?! That statement can go both ways. Are we gonna ignore the fact that a 45 year old man was gonna pay a obvious little girl to have sex with? Ignorance is the problem in this world. Ill pray for you donna.

      • IMPACT1

        Obivious little girl?? There are “little girls” out there who LOOK like they are 18 or 19 and they are 14 or 15!?!!

        I am quite positive she didn’t have ‘braided pig tails’ when SHE was soliciting Sex for Money. If it was not him it would have been someone else…she was carrying a GUN.

        Or did everyone miss that little fact?

        The “little girl” had a GUN in her purse….

    • Shirley Hutchison

      What sort of human being are you, being a prostitute doesn’t make her a bad person. I suppose you call yourself a Christian too. Sometimes people in life are thrown in to bad situations that doesn’t make them bad, Often people make wrong choices in life. A bad person in my eyes is someone who harms a child whether it is physically, sexually or mentally. She was abused and harmed and now she is in jail for life that is appalling.

    • Adjoa Pacheco

      You my dear are unbelievable and either life has been hard on you and you are bitter or it will be hard and you will be alone

    • Sandra

      There is a reason that a 16 yr Old is not deemed an adult. Society fails our children everyday this chIld is product of our society of you and me. What grown man looks for a young girl to buy sexual favors? Why his house cheap bastard? He had issues too and yes she should be held accountable but not for entire life she did not wake up one day and said hmmm I’m going to kill a man today ….

      • IMPACT1

        Are you kidding me?

        She is NOT a PRODUCT of me. Quit dragging “Me” into this socitial stuff!

        “What grown man looks for a young girl to…?”
        First start with her **** Boyfriend/ PIMP!… (Or did you miss that part)… Her boyfriend/pimp who put a gun to Cyntoia’s head and made her have sex with HIM AND his bro’s.

        She looked ‘cute’ and ‘sweet’ with her braids in court at the beginning of the film… I am SURE she didn’t portray herself like that when she was ‘forced by her boyfriend/pimp to “get her lazy a** out there’ and make some money (for drink and drugs)…

    • spark

      R you serious!!! Did you watch it.. she had a choice die or get the money. This fool was IN HIS 40S. Wow. That’s rape by itself. She was a troubled kid. What the hell happened to you? Who are you to say she is a bad person. So it’s ok for 40 year old men to have sex with kids now? Smdh

    • Mrs.Minnie

      Her life was stunted way before she could understand between right & wrong. And she is not a bad person and cause bad things happen to good people more than not. She needs help do the right thing

    • Kenya

      Didn’t your mother teach you that when you have nothing nice to say don’t say nothing at all hmm

    • shannon

      2 Timothy 3:1-5 talks about the attitudes of people today. This child did have a bad life. She needs help not condemning. Who are we to judge her. If we put ourselves in her shoes for just a moment maybe we would feel differently.

      • IMPACT1

        OMG was anyone here actually paying attention to this Documentary? Or is ignorance that blissful?

        Her biological mother was 16. She was drinking AND became a Crackhead. Why? To “escape” from her ‘problems’ and Cyntoia, who WAS her ‘responsibility’. Drinking and a crackhead, instead of facing HER “responsibilities” something that OUR ‘society’ is getting very good at…

        Has anyone here been paying attention to her ADOPTIVE Mother? The Woman who raised her from 8 Months Old?
        Does the Woman speak and act like any thing other than a RESPONSIBILE PERSON?

        The only ‘Bad’ life Cyntoia had was the one SHE created. And she says so!

        • Izumi Shikibu

          The psychologist didn’t explain it very clearly, but research has proven that negative events, including parental violence, neglect, substance abuse and/or mental illness, have very definitive effects on children, even if those events occur only in early childhood. But Cyntoia also suffered some physical abuse from her adoptive father, and, if you listened to her descriptions of the 3 dozen men she had sex with, I think she said 5 or 6 were relatives, so she suffered sexual abuse, too. There is also no question that mental illness has a hereditary factor, meaning that even if she experienced no abuse or turmoil whatsoever, there’s still a chance that she would suffer from mental illness. And possibly the same is true with substance abuse. Unfortunately, this young woman had many, many factors going against her, then, when she “acted out” the way nearly all teenagers do, she didn’t really understand how to get out of the situations she got herself into. She didn’t have the same comprehension and coping skills many other teens with stable upbringings have. She actually seems to be an intelligent and insightful young woman; it’s unfortunate she wasn’t at that level of maturity before running away and getting involved with an abusive man who controlled her with violence and drugs. And sadly, she took a life because she thought it was her best reaction in that particular situaltion. This is someone who probably would benefit from counselling and support, and could be an asset to society. There are many murderers who are hardened criminals with no remorse and little chance of rehabilitation; Cyntoia really doesn’t seem to be one of them, and shouldn’t just be thrown away.

          • IMPACT1

            Look, all I know is this…If YOU (anyone) allows themselves to be a “victim” you (anyone) will always be a “victim”.

  • Kendall R.

    This absolutely shattered my heart. This was a young girl who was struggling through life with many issues that she probably wasn’t even aware that she had. Genetics and generational patterns really do play a major role in who we are and how we function as people. I don’t believe that she was innocent and a crime was clearly committed, however, psychiatric care and counseling would have been a better option in my opinion. Sending her to prison for life for protecting herself against a crime being committed against her is preposterous and yet another grave injustice of our so-called “justice system”. This helps no one. I pray for this young woman’s Soul and I pray that God will touch the hearts of those who have the power to overturn this decision and give this young woman another shot at LIFE! BLESSINGS!

  • cmarie

    This documentary really touched me.I know what’s it’s like to be young and make decisions that you don’t take a chance to think about how it’ll affect your life.I cried while watching this not only because of the things she’d already experieced at such a young age but at the fact that this was not a just decision.

  • Kesha

    I Don’t Think She Should Get Life

    • Miyah


  • adriana rdz

    May god be with her,i as a parent feel the pain her mother its feeling,not bcuz i been through this but bcuz i have kids and wouldn’t want this for my kids…I will pray for her and i wish her the very best TODAY,TOMORROW AND ALWAYS…baby girl dont give up GOD knows you did a mistake and his the only one who could forgive you….be positive and always have faith,may god be with you..

  • jordy m

    Well she couldve broke up with him her mom didnt have to do drugs in the first place and you truly only run away from home if u dont want to follow the house rulez no matter what they are

    • larissa

      or maybe you run away because your beaten or molested? oh wait that’s not following “rulez” right?

      • IMPACT1

        Are you serious? You make yourself sounds foolish.

        Where was it said or proven Cyntoia was ‘Beaten’ by her adoptive Mother or Father? Where did it say she was taken from the home by DHS because she was being Abused?

        • Izumi Shikibu

          Cyntoia told the psychologist that her father, meaning Thomas, hit her, and sometimes said he didn’t know why when she asked. Of course that doesn’t constitute “proof”, but she’s so forthcoming with other events in her life, including her own bad behaviors, so I don’t think she was lying.

          • IMPACT1

            Izumi you sound like a reasonable, rational person.

            Let’s be honest here.

            When I was a teenager and when i was being disrespectful my parents “let me know who was the adult in the room”, and who was in charge, end of story.

            In retrospect, I probably deserved whatever I got….I will never say it was “abuse”….and it certainly didn’t make me run out and find a “cut” to hang with…

            She had “help” at age 13-14.
            I think the place was Woodlawn in TN…this was a ‘last chance’ place for ‘at risk’ kids to go get help…after that…the next place to go was jail or prison.

            Now, I am sure Cyntoia, as intelligent as you see her, and I don’t doubt it either, at this point she was well aware of ‘why’ she was sent there…(she was acting up, acting out, attacking fellow students, stealing, drugs and behaving badly).

            You have to help youself, to save yourself.
            Christians put it another way…God helps those who help themselves…
            No one besides Cyntoia, no matter how much ‘help’ she got could help her deal with her problems without doing some of the “hard work” herself…there is no “magic wand”…

  • Brittney

    There are a lot of people who grow up in those same circumstances that don’t end up doing those same things. Maybe they get lucky and meet someone that changes their life? Who knows! But just because you have a hard life when your younger does not constitute what you do when you are older! I feel bad for her or anyone that has to deal with that, but their are resources out there to help you turn your life around. It’s a sad situation!

    • Just me

      People like you kill me ! You lack empathy for her situation because you do not understand it. She is a child being taken advantage of by a grown man. He deserve what he got nasty bastard. The deck was stacked against her from the start. Society failed her and life in prison is the consequence. Some people do get out but that is a rare few. You can only understand if you have walked a mile in her shoes. It is sad just sad that the event happened in the first place.

      • IMPACT1

        ‘Society’ didn’t ‘fail her’ her own MOTHER – Gina FAILED HER!!

        Quit blaming Society for everything…blaming Society is an excuse…a cop out…

        People need to start taking RESPONSIBILITY for their own “Choices” and “Actions”

        Cyntoia is the ONLY ONE DOING THAT…everyone here on this post and in this documentary is making excuse after excuse for her…

  • Dismayed

    To the author:
    Words have meaning. Cyntoia wasn’t a prostitute…she was prostituted.

  • Rita Kay

    This was truly sad and it broke my heart to see how they charged a 16 year old little girl with 1st degree murder when she shot a grown man who had just bought her a $6 dollar meal, violated her sexually and talked to her about his life as if she was on his level. In America we do not protect our children we imprison them.

  • Melissa Ponce

    This was a truly heart breaking story. I can’t believe the jury found her guilty and she got life. She made a humanly mistake. How can they not see her situation. The man was a man not a boy but a 40+ yr old man why is he looking for sex from a little girl why take her to his house to be alone and not a hotel room. Why bcuz he had plans and she did what was in her best interest to protect her self. I’m sorry but she deserves a chance on a real life. I wish her the very best and I pray the justice system corrects the issues. All through out the video I saw her beautiful smile I hope she doesn’t give up hope. Her life isn’t over this isn’t it. I’m sure God has a better plan and I as a person who wants to become an officer feel disgust of what those 2 officers did. They should have known she didn’t understand what our Miranda rights are she was 16 how could she understand fully. But goes to show u how honest she was she had nothing to hide and that should prove a lot about how that night went. God bless her today, tomorrow and always.

    • Mr

      Right, they was cool for that… He got right what he deserved. Death

  • Frankie Figgs Torres

    A lot of ppl grow up in a hard kinda way and don’t kill. Maby a life sentence is to much but she should of been found guilty.

  • sparkles

    This is really sad. It really tugged at my heart. For those who say she could’ve broke up with him and listened to her mom’s rules. That is a very ignorant way of thinking and not even worth posting. Kids go for anything they feel is love. The lifestyle she lived made her think this was right. If you watch she was finding herself and realizing her mistakes when she was being evaluated by the psychologist. What teenager do you know that follows every rule. All kids break rules and make mistakes. That’s how they learn. She was just in some situations that she should never had been in. I feel for this girl. This was a cold hearted decision to put this teenager away for life. So many people gave up on her and she just did what she was taught. She was trying to survive. I’m sorry this happens and I hope she finds peace. Shame on everyone that was involved in putting her in jail for life. For those who say she should ve listed to rules and broke up with him. Watch it again or grow up.

  • Mrs.Minnie

    Thanks Sparkels would you do what you can to give this young lady a chance share within your community you do a little,I do a little we just might be able to turn the hand of justice in her favor thanks.

  • Mrs.Minnie

    I heard a saying that ” bad things happen when good men do nothing” each one of us making a comment in support of Cyntoyia let’s step out of our space let’s reach out to the powers that be and plead her case. No time for the nay sayers cause as we all know carma is a *+^&$#*&^. May all those in support be bless beyond your imagination the rest oh well .A real christian and not just cause I was born in the land of the free.

  • kimayah

    Every adult screwed that child.

  • Kenya

    I feel for this girl mehn my prayers n best wishes go out to her

  • Crystal

    What a lot of people fail to realize is that there Is a lot of psychological instabilities that are developed in children who come from broken homes, yes there are many people who have the same traumas as she did and don’t kill but not everyone has the same mental capacity to understand things and maturely make a decision that says I won’t do what my mother did to me. I’m going to walk away from that life style. You really have to have some outside influence to guide you some kind of hope. And unfortunately for her she didn’t. And I feel for her. It’s good that she now realized these things but for those of you saying maybe she deserves life, what you do as a child does not define who you are as an adult. That’s like saying people who drop out of school will amount to nothing for not finishing when some of the wealthiest people in the world didn’t finish hs. Just saying. I hope she gets out of prison and can start her life fresh.

    • Linda Agape Glaude

      I agree with you completely as I was one of those children. Abandoned twice by my mom at2 and again at14, lived on the streets from14 to 17. Sexual abuse was rampant in my foster home and my therapist ask me why I never turned to prostitution when so many did thinking foolishly that they were in control. My question to him was”how is that control?”
      Every child matures differently and why knowing this babies background would they imprison her? She needs help not incarceration,she’s been in a kind of prison all her life!

    • IMPACT1

      She was ADOPTED she didn’t come from a broken home.

  • Charlotte Walker

    If prostitution is illegal…why is this young girl in jail? She took a man off the streets that was doing illegal activitys and i highly doute at 16 she just decided to prostitute most clients are tricked….like now its days they call them escorts but do you know they do more then just escort somebody. Its dangerous and after the first male takes it too far you cant just leave your pimp or whatever this man was wont let you slip away that easy. She needs help she need love she need support she doesnt need jail. She was 16 he was 43 not only was illegal by holding any clients he had a minor client smh. Whatever judge s3ntenced her is a peace of shit

  • Ashanti

    It’s crazy how a 16 year old can get charged with murder for defending herself. The thing that gets to me the most is her saying ” I thought he was reaching for a gun” so she was scared and defended herself … & continuesly I hear about officers shooting and killing people and there reason is ” I thought they had a gun”, or ” I thought they were about to shoot me”, & “it was self-defense ” and blah blah blah and they don’t get charged , even with there being evidence of no weapon, even filmed evidence. But this 16 year old child gets life. Over REAL self defense . What’s wrong with the system !?

  • yanelle manuelle


  • Patrick

    Would any of you take her in? Give her guidance? At this point, after what she has seen and done in her life, would you invite her into your homes and help her?

    • Lady Tee

      I would.

    • Jimmie Galvin

      Yes I would

    • Mrs.Minnie

      With out a doubt!

    • Kingfree

      Yall all lying no u won’t take her ass in cut da Good Samaritan crap

  • bluecrane1

    The real crime here is that prosecutors get away with charging children as adults. If anybody needs to be in prison for life it’s the prosecutors that charge children and the judges that approve such reptilian behavior.

    • Gia

      They’re murderers !! Old enough to know right from wrong !! Do you want this killer living w you !? I didn’t think so !!

      • Toshica

        So how would you actually feel if you were in her shoes . How would you feel if you was in her situation. This was an 16 year old girl who has been rapped held against her will. Had a gun held to her head before. Have you been through half of the things she went through in her lifetime. Do you know how it feel to be abandoned . To feel like you have no one to turn to . I don’t think you do because you wouldn’t have made this comment. The real criminals are getting a way . The ones forcing young teenagers to have sex with them and sell theirselves . Do you have a daughter. So she does not deserve this punishment. How about they give you life in jail .

      • bluecrane1

        Has it ever crossed your mind that we have laws protecting adolescents for a reason?

  • Donald Johnson

    It is bad the way she was treated, but that does not give her a right to kill. She needs help & I,m hoping she gets it where they send her, but I doubt she will. And she should pay for killing. We cant have people taking the law into their own hands.


    All I see is a bunch of people making excuses for her. From the very beginning of the ‘documentary’… then the excuses continue in these posts…