Mint Pictures and Jumping Dog productions are in formal development on a true crime series surrounding the Bowraville murders, the production companies told Mediaweek.
With development funding from Screen Australia and the ABC, this co-production, if commissioned, will follow the latest chapter in the dramatic 26-year story of three Aboriginal children who were murdered within five months of each other in Bowraville, a small town in northern NSW. The bodies of two of the children and the clothing of the third were all found off the same dirt road leading out of town.
The production houses said there has always been only one suspect – a white man who was seen in the company of all three kids before they disappeared. But after an investigation that the police later themselves declared inadequate, he was tried in separate cases for two of the murders and acquitted by all-white juries.
Now, after a quarter-century battle for justice by the families of the murdered children, the NSW Criminal Court of Appeals will determine if there is enough fresh and compelling evidence to retry the suspect for all three murders in the Supreme Court. If this historic case proceeds to trial it will overturn centuries-old double jeopardy laws and allow a jury for the first time to consider the facts from all three murders together.
Mint Pictures and Jumping Dog have already filmed the recent hearings at the local court in Newcastle and the Supreme Court in Sydney. The production will track what happens next as events unfold.