Cause of Death: Unknown
There are many sad and untimely deaths in New Zealand each year. In most cases, the cause of death is tragically clear. But in others, things may not always be as they seem. Cause of Death: Unknown is a new series for TV One, which explores cases where the circumstances of death may initially appear to be one thing – but the investigation ultimately reveals something quite different.
Each episode follows a multi-layered investigation in which police officers, Civil Aviation or Maritime New Zealand investigators and ESR scientists have worked together to unravel the truth. A New Zealand diplomat is discovered dying from a single stab wound, in a supposedly secure residential compound in Honiara – leaving a crime scene that baffles investigators.
Two people lose their lives when a home built plane plummets into the Kaipara Harbour minutes after take off – but why was the experienced pilot so disoriented he couldn’t pinpoint his location the night before? A young Japanese student is found floating in a river in Christchurch metres from his home stay address – tragic mischance or foul play?
A boat drifting aimlessly in Doubtful Sound with two experienced fishermen aboard – one dead, one in critical condition, unable to tell investigators what happened.
A young trooper is found dead in a walled off alley just weeks after a fellow soldier is court-martialled for assaulting him – but did he fall … or was he pushed?
In each episode, the investigating teams retell the story of the discoveries that cracked the case – illustrated with recreations and original evidence including forensics results and scene photos.
Interviews with friends and family remind us of the human tragedy behind each headline and give a moving testament to the sense of loss felt by those left behind.
Cause of Death: Unknown seeks to unravel the mystery behind these stories.
Year of screening: 2013
Producers: Samantha Blackley, Anna Lynch
Head of production: Andrea Lamb
Exec producer: Cass Avery
Network exec: Kathryn Graham
Reconstruction Director: Robin Shingleton
Researchers: Nicole Wood, Gemma Murcott-Ward, Kathryn McMillan
Online editor: James Brookes
Colourist: James Gardner
Offline editors: Justin Redding, Phil Holt
Production managers: Kylie Croft, Angela Burgess
Production coordinators: Rochelle Leef, Siobhan Kelly, Wendy Tetley, Olivia Lynd
Production Assistant: Haidee Brown
Director of Photography: Scottie McKinnon
Camera: Leon Kirkbeck, Clayton Carpinter, Mike O’Connor, Evan Pugh, Gary Hopper, Mark Orton
Sound: Peter Kraan, John McNicholas
Sound Mix: Sale Street Studios
Titles: Phil Holt
Graphics: 6twenty Design
Narrator: Shane Cortese
Production accountant: Hina Dalwadi
Financial controller: Glenda Paterson
Funded by: TVNZ