If you are a fan of real crime whodunits and CSI’s forensic science, then this show will have you clinging to the edge of your seat. But be warned – sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction. In this series, forensic scientists and police are the ‘heroes’, science is the ‘secret weapon’, and our presenter the ‘guide’, as we unravel the evidence, put science to work, and discover the truth behind real crime case files.
Each programme focuses on a real single crime case that has occurred in the last decade and that was solved by the combination of clever crime investigation and forensic science. The cases are pulled straight from the files of our New Zealand forensic experts, police and scene-of-crime officers. This is in-depth, fact-based, high-tech dramatic storytelling.
The cases cover all facets of forensic science including blood spatter, DNA, tool marking, digital forensics, toxicology, entomology, and the latest in cutting-edge scientific technology.
These spine-chilling tales are told in a mixture of stylistic recreations, real forensic and police evidence, interviews and archives. Although each episode follows the story of a homicide, the focus is not on the ‘gruesome and gore’ but on the complexity of crime and cunning of crime-solvers.
Viewers are taken through the events as they unfolded for the police and the forensics team, finding clues directly from the crime scene and as the data is assessed, the intricate puzzle of what, when, where, how and who will begin to unfold.
Made with the support of NZ On Air’s Platinum Fund.
Twenty-year-old Emma leaves her friend’s house at 9am on a Monday morning to travel to work. She arrives, sends an email and then totally disappears. Emma is deaf (as is her family) and is a prolific texter, normally in constant text contact with those who are close to her. But no one has heard from her, friends, colleagues at work and family are immediately concerned.
A group of young university friends drive up the Port Hills to view the lights of Christchurch on a cool spring evening. As they near the summit, a man appears out of the dark of night. He is running down the road toward their vehicles, his face is bloodied. His feet and chest bare. What has happened, and what is this young man running from?
33-year-old Colleen Rae Portman (known as Rae) is four months pregnant when she is reported missing. Two people know she is pregnant, her very best friends. Rae’s last known movements are when she pre-paid and checked into Room 11, in an Auckland motel. Staff remember her because she never checked out. Her unpacked suitcase still remains.
A mother of four young children is found murdered in her own home, her body lying in a pool of her own blood. Blood is spattered over the walls of the toilet, the window is broken and the door is partially ripped from a hinge. This brutal murder scene is discovered by her younger sister, when the victim uncharacteristically fails to pick up the children from school.
“Science underpins the world that surrounds us and it tells so many stories about how we’re living our lives. And yet I hadn’t realised how significant science is in terms of having the power to actually build narrative and tell the truth in a forensic scene in order to reveal who did it. I used to think it was all about magnifying glass and detective work and that’s still a major factor but forensic science is really intrinsic to modern crime-solving.”