When Women Kill


When Women Kill is the powerful story of two New Zealand women convicted of murder – Connie, who stabbed her live-in boyfriend, and Kim, who shot the friend who had been best man at her wedding.

We hear their own frank and often brutally honest accounts of what led to their violent crimes, the price they paid – and how they used their prison terms to turn their lives around.

It is also the story of a third woman, Ronda Bungay, who decided to write a book about why women kill…and in doing so helped the women to unlock their pasts, understand their crimes and allow themselves a future.

Refreshingly, the women do not cry ‘unfair’ and make excuses for their crimes. Far from it.  But the documentary does provide some moving insights into the lengths to which women will go to protect their children – and how they end up losing the very children they set out to protect.

It also contains some telling points about the difference between prison sentences for men and women.  For men it’s often a respite while their partners keep the family functioning on the outside.  Whereas for women it probably means they lose their home, their belongings, their partner – and their children.  Yet bars and barbed wire fences designed to keep men in prison, act for women as a defence from the outside world.  Some women go to sleep in a prison feeling safe for the first time in their lives.



Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Year of screening: 1999

Producer: John Harris

Thanks to: Condesa (Connie) Shaw & Kim Tawhai

Network exec: Geoff Steven

Principal director: Allison Webber

Additional directors: Tony Manson, John Milligan

Art director: Georgina Barrows

Art assistant: Kristina Simons

Researcher: Ronda Bungay – author of the book Scarecrows: Why Women Kill

Script consultants: Ronda Bungay, Ian Johnstone

Online editor: James Brackenbury

Offline editor: Sue Malcolmson

Production manager: Karren Woolly

Production assistants: Lucy Sanderson, Ara A’Court, Lucy Anderson, Emilie Stevenson

Runner: Rachelle De Bazin

Camera: David Paul, Bronwyn Williams

Sound: Craig Mullis, Paul Skelton

Narrator: Jeffrey Thomas

Production accountant: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: New Zealand on Air and TVNZ