Ben & Olivia


Gerald Hope wants to meet Scott Watson – the man convicted of murdering his daughter.

“I’d like to meet him – if he’d meet me?” Gerald Hope explains in “Ben & Olivia The Search for Truth” (screening TV3, Inside New Zealand).

And he knows exactly what he would say. “Scott, you convince me that you’re innocent and I’ll back you.” “If I’m convinced, and I believe you’re sincere, I’ll back you – that you’re a wrongly convicted New Zealand.”

The deep-seated fear that he may never really know what happened to Olivia prompted a very unusual meeting.  Gerald Hope met Chris Watson – Scott’s dad – for the first time.  If he couldn’t meet the son, he could at least meet the father.

Gerald Hope and Chris Watson – who’ve avoided each other since Ben and Olivia disappeared four and a half years ago – meet for the first time to debate the Marlborough mystery…

In “Ben & Olivia: The Search for Truth” Chris Watson and Gerald Hope give us their perspectives on the investigation and trial that changed the two families so dramatically.

For the first time we hear:

–               That Gerald Hope has a premonition of his daughter’s disappearance..

–               Before Scott Watson was arrested, Gerald Hope – and some people around him considered vigilante action to extract information from the prime suspect..

–               The police organised a secret early morning viewing of Scott Watsons’ boat “Blade” for Gerald Hope – and he came away from that convinced his daughter had never been on board…

–               Scott Watson “challenged” Gerald Hope throughout the trial to effectively prove him guilty – “The bastard eye-balled me…there was definitely a challenge…you prove that I murdered your daughter, you just prove it…”

–               Gerald Hope now has some doubts about Scott Watson’s guilt – “we have no hard evidence to link Olivia and Ben and Watson.  There’s a part of me that says, well, whether you like it or not he may or may not be guilty…”

–               The meeting between the two fathers where they argue the specifics of the investigation and trial.

“Ben and Olivia: The Search for Truth” is the story of two dad’s trying to uncover the truth.  Both, in a sense, have lost their children. Gerald Hope wants to know what really happened to Olivia and Ben and Chris Watson is fighting to get his son out of prison.

Gerald Hope and Chris Watson – this is their story…


Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Year of screening:  2002

Producer: John Keir

Thanks to: Gerald Hope and Chris Watson

Exec producer: Tony Manson

Network exec: Sue Woodfield

Researcher: Dianne Lindesay

Online editor: Scott Morgan

Offline editor: Ken Spark

Production manager: Toni Williams

Camera: Murray Creed, John Ramsey

Sound: Bev Creed

Voice over: John Sumner

Music: Christopher Marshall

Sound mix: Grant Taylor

Title design: Varina Sydow

Production accountant: Jeanette Wiles-Crombie

Financial controller: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: TV3 & New Zealand On Air