In 2004 in the small mid-West American town of Skidmore, Lisa Montgomery strangled an expectant mother, Bobbie Jo Stinnett. She then cut open her victim’s womb and kidnapped her baby, who survived the ordeal.
Her lawyers argued that she was mentally ill at the time, a consequence of appalling abuse she had suffered in childhood, including gang rape and torture. They said she was also brain-damaged and delusional.
Nevertheless, in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, she paid for her actions with her own life, becoming the first female to be executed by the US federal government in almost seven decades. As a new president assumes office, promising reform of America’s criminal justice system.
Charting the story of this unsettling case - from Lisa Montgomery’s tragic beginnings to her final moments - posed many challenges from a production perspective, and prime among them being we filmed it during some of the darkest days of the COVID pandemic, across 6 different states.
Warning: Disturbing content
Producer: Michael Gallagher
Editor: Bridget Harney