Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

2008 NR 1h 33m DVD

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

2008 NR 1h 33m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne's poignant tribute to his murdered childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, tells the story of a child custody battle between the baby's grieving grandparents and Shirley Turner, Bagby's pregnant ex-girlfriend and suspected killer. Initially, Kuenne made this documentary as a memorial for Andrew's loved ones, but it morphs into an emotional legal odyssey when Turner goes free on bail and is allowed to raise her son.
Kurt Kuenne, Dr. Andrew Bagby, Kathleen Bagby, David Bagby, Dr. Shirley Turner, Zachary Andrew Turner
Kurt Kuenne
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father is a crime documentary about the 2001 murder of Andrew Bagby. It draws on interviews with friends, family members, and former colleagues about his life, with the focus on his alleged killer, ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner. It's very emotionally wrenching, due to the understandable sadness and anguish suffered by Bagby's friends and family. It contains profanity throughout (including "f--k") and a few gut-wrenching plot twists, one of which involves a heartbreaking tragedy related to a child. Though there's no graphic violent imagery, the documentary's filming style is intense and often replays emotions and new discoveries for particularly dramatic effect. It also intercuts the sound of gunshots with pictures of the deceased as a child or teenager. Best for mature teens and older, but likely to disturb anyone who watches it.

Sexual Content

An interview subject says Bagby's girlfriend used to describe sex between them in crass terms.


Spoiler alert: A murder by multiple gunshots is recounted in news clips, TV broadcasts, discussions, and indirect reenactments; a woman drowns a child and then herself.


Multiple uses of "f--k"; also "hell," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "Jesus Christ," "piss," and "goddamn."

Social Behavior

Testimony to the power of family, friendship, and loyalty in preserving someone's legacy; the power of persistence in righting wrongs or working to change the criminal justice system. Illustrates the need for greater victim advocacy, particularly for children.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Archival footage includes champagne at wedding; two men drink a beer to commemorate a friend; photo of woman who looks inebriated shown repeatedly.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

How it works

  • 1

    Create your list

    Browse from thousands of movies and shows.

  • 2

    Free delivery

    We send out your disc the next business day.

  • 3

    Watch and repeat

    Free returns, plus no due dates or late fees.

Unlimited movies sent to your door, starting at $9.99 a month.