Beyond Human Nature film

The story of the notorious 1992 Tom Monfils murder investigation and the townsfolk defined by it.

One early winter day in 1992, paper mill worker Tom Monfils went missing. Thirty-six hours later, he was found dead at the bottom of a pulp vat. A 40-pound weight was attached to a jump rope tied around his neck.

Almost immediately, Tom’s death was considered a homicide. Since it had to have occurred inside the paper mill - a locked building with 24-hour security - a list of suspects was quickly generated. At the top of this list was a coworker Tom had recently butted heads with in a very public way. Everyone expected an arrest within days. It took more than two years. 

BEYOND HUMAN NATURE is about the conflict that erupts between mankind’s inherent need to make sense of the world and his limited capacities to do so. Is it possible to be utterly committed to the truth yet unable to see it? Can the mere pursuit of truth become an end in itself, keeping us from going deeper? Is the truth intrinsically elusive? These questions and more will be explored through a first-person retelling of the Tom Monfils murder investigation of 1992-1995 and its contentious aftermath. The film is the second feature documentary directed by Michael Neelsen (Last Day at Lambeau), and is produced by his father Dave Neelsen through their production company StoryFirst Media. It has been filming on location in Wisconsin, USA since May, 2014. 

In Production Now


“In a soundproof room on the south side of Madison, former Green Bay police detective Randy Winkler is talking about murder. In this case, what may be the most famous murder in Green Bay history.” — Rob Thomas, The Capital Times

“The recent documentary “Making A Murderer” raised awareness and questions about one of the area’s highest profile murders: Steven Avery’s conviction for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Now, the trailer has been released for a documentary in the works about another of the area’s more notorious cases - the conviction of six men for the murder of paper mill worker Tom Monfils. Called “Beyond Human Nature,” the project has been in the works for nearly two years.” —Fox 11 News

Production Milestones

  • May 14, 2014

    Filming begins! Interviews with Mike Piaskowski, Detective Winkler, and others are filmed over a one-week period.

  • July 2014

    More filming. Former District Attorney John Zakowski and brother of Tom, Cal Monfils, among others are interviewed.

  • November 2014

    Second unit exterior Green Bay footage is filmed to take advantage of the late-fall weather when Tom went missing.

  • June 2015

    Writer’s retreat to Hurley, Wisconsin. Director Michael Neelsen and writer Joe Pudas review the story in advance of the next round of interviews.

  • June 21, 2015

    The third round of interviews is filmed, including Brian Kellner’s children, Amanda and Earl.

  • July 2015

    The Beyond Human Nature team films three days of evidentiary hearings in Green Bay. The motion was for a new trial for Keith Kutska. The motion was denied.

  • October 2015

    Beyond Human Nature director of photography Michael Nie wins the Emerging Cinematographer Award from the International Cinematographer’s Guild. A screening of his work is held at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood.

  • March 2016

    The Beyond Human Nature teaser trailer and website go live!


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