COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A new documentary tells the tragic story of Judy Malinowski, a central Ohio mother who died after her ex-boyfriend set her on fire, but not before she recorded testimony to be used against him at his murder trial.
“The Fire That Took Her,” produced by MTV Documentary Films and directed by Patricia E. Gillespie, is in limited release in theaters starting Friday, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Watch: Deposition of Judy Malinowski
The film’s trailer includes interviews with Malinowski’s mother, Bonnie Bowes, a vigorous supporter of her daughter’s fight for justice.
Posted under the trailer, the movie’s description reads, “Mother-of-two, Judy Malinowski, was doused in gasoline and set on fire by her crazed ex-boyfriend. She would go on to set new legal precedent, becoming the first woman to testify at the trial for her own murder. THE FIRE THAT TOOK HER goes inside her landmark case to ask a timely question: How much must women suffer in order to be believed?”
In August 2015, Malinowski was horrifically burned by Michael Slager outside a Gahanna gas station. After 59 surgeries and nearly two years in the hospital, she was moved to a palliative care center.
When Malinowski died in June 2017, Slager was indicted for aggravated murder with death penalty specifications.
One day before his murder trial was set to begin, Slager agreed to plead guilty to aggravated murder to avoid the death penalty. He was then sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.
Malinowski’s case was also the impetus for Judy’s Law in Ohio which increases prison sentences for people who intentionally disfigure another person by using an accelerant like gasoline. Judy’s Law passed the legislature by a unanimous vote and was signed into law shortly after Malinowski’s death in July 2017.