“Thumbing a ride” is not the easy trip many people think it is. Hitchhiker is the story of the cheap rides that cost three innocent victims their lives and the young woman who miraculously escaped her attacker.

Jennifer Beard, Craig Merryweather and Lisa Blackie all have one thing in common. They all lost their lives hitching a ride.

On Hitchhiker, Police and the families of these hitchhiking victims talk candidly about the events surrounding their disappearance and the lessons we can learn. Their stories provide crucial safety tips and dispel many of the myths about hitchhiking.

Producer Robin Shingleton says – “it’s something we’ve all done at some point in our lives, especially when we were younger.  Coming home from a party or travelling to visit family at Christmas when you’d run out of money, it was just something you did.  But what we don’t realise is how much power and control we’re handing over to someone else. Hitchhiking is never a safe travel option and young people especially, should proceed with extreme caution.”

19 year old Maryanne Todd tells a tale of hitchhiking where her only escape was to leap from a fast moving vehicle.  Maryanne is typical of teenagers who believe they’re bullet proof when it comes to hitchhiking. But what comes out of the Police statements of those who have survived a hitchhiking attack, is just how disempowered they really are and how they totally misjudged their attacker.



Promotional Trailer

Coming soon divider_8

Production Details

Producer: Robin Shingleton

Exec producer: Tony Manson

Network exec: Jude Callen

Directors: Robin Shingleton, Paul Hagan

1st AD: Tom Hern

Researchers: Vivienne Jeffs, Paul Hagan

Editors: Lynette Shingleton, Ken Sparks

Online Editor: Lynette Shingleton

Production manager: Kay Darby, Toni Williams

Production coordinator: Tara Landry

Production assistants: Ruth Clarkson, Summer Wharekawa

Camera: Simon Bevers, Sean Rundle, Nick Hawke, Graham Ritchie

Sound: Craig O’Reilly, Tim Brott

Narrator: Oliver Driver

Production accountant: Liz Goddard

Financial controller: Glenda Paterson