Train to Nowhere Book and Film

“This searing book belongs on the desks of

everyone in a position to change it,”

– David Laskin, author, The Children’s Blizzard and The Long Way Home.

Train to Nowhere; Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation


Released June 2011, Ice Cube Press

Book description: Eleven undocumented immigrants are locked inside a stifling railcar by smugglers and left to die a horrific death when no one comes to release them as promised. The railcar rolls on to the farming community of Denison, Iowa, where newspaper and television reporters descend after the bodies are discovered, all seeking the story behind the deaths. Train to Nowhere – part crime story and part immigration perspective – is an intimate portrait of those connected to the 2002 railcar deaths of eleven Central Americans and Mexicans.

Awards: Finalist in “Best Books 2011” contest by USA Book News, non-fiction multicultural category

Purchase the book: Available at numerous books stores, as well as on Amazon or from the publisher.

Buy the Kindle version of the book by clicking here.

Buy the Nook version of the book by clicking here.


Completed fall 2010; Storytellers International

“The emotionally charged national controversy over immigration takes an

uncharacteristically calm position in the new documentary film…”

— review

directed by Paul Kakert

written by Colleen Bradford Krantz

co-produced by Paul Kakert and Colleen Bradford Krantz

Description: In October 2002, an Iowa man opened a railway car to find eleven decomposed bodies. The documentary, Train to Nowhere; Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation, offers a rare perspective on the immigration crisis. It will put a face on the Central Americans and Mexicans who allowed smugglers to lock them inside a railcar, and on an investigator whose surprising sensitivity drew him into an unlikely friendship with one victim’s brother. Train to Nowhere, which first aired on PBS affiliate Iowa Public Television in the fall of 2010, engages viewers with a close look at the tragedy that befell the eleven undocumented immigrants. It is, at its heart, the story of one investigator and one Central American family, and of how their paths came to cross.

The Train to Nowhere documentary web site, which includes a list of film festivals and press coverage, is here

Watch the film: It is available for streaming via Documentary TV


Nominated for regional Emmy award (Upper Midwest Chapter), 2011, topical documentary category

Best professional documentary, 2011 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival

Judge’s award (Iowa Connection) 2011, Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival

Best Script (produced), by Colleen Bradford Krantz, Iowa Motion Picture Association annual awards, 2011

Best Original Music, by Chad Elliott, Iowa Motion Picture Association annual awards, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s