Ellis Docuseries Gets Podcast

Newsroom will re-run its true-crime series about Peter Ellis over January and release a podcast version as well.

Here’s the media release:



In Newsroom’s extraordinary eight-part series Peter Ellis, the Creche Case & Me, a multi-award-winning investigative team takes audiences inside New Zealand’s greatest true crime story about a crime that never happened – when a kind of madness gripped Christchurch, resulting in a miscarriage of justice that would take 30 years to put right.

All eight episodes of Peter Ellis, the Creche Case & Me will be released as an online collection, both on video and as an audio podcast from Wednesday 4th January, 2023.

Peter Ellis died in 2019 and it wasn’t until October 2022 that his name was eventually cleared in a landmark Supreme Court decision. In Peter Ellis, the Creche Case & Me audiences are taken back to 1993 Christchurch, New Zealand where Ellis – a 34-year-old childcare worker with curly hair and glasses held together with Sellotape – sat on a couch in a rundown motel for an interview with a young television reporter, Melanie Reid.

On Sunday afternoons they met secretly to film interviews with Ellis while the city around them erupted with panic. They smoked cigarettes and drank cups of tea and shared jokes. Reid liked him immediately and knew from the beginning there was something not quite right with what was going on.

Ellis was facing so many charges of child abuse, people were losing count – and then there were the four women who worked with him at the Christchurch Civic Creche who were also charged.

The police and specialist interviewers engaged by the department of social welfare were convinced not only that Ellis was an abuser, but they also believed he couldn’t have acted alone. At one point the police wanted to arrest more women creche workers – and even Peter Ellis’ mother.

More than 100 children were put through grueling specialist interviews, and some underwent invasive medical examinations.

It was a time of an American-driven philosophy about child sex abuse – one that involved satanic rituals and wild, unimaginable claims of cages and tunnels and dead children – and as with the Christchurch Civic Creche case there was no medical evidence, no forensic evidence and no corroborating evidence required to convict.

New Zealand’s own version would become one of the most extraordinary court cases in the country’s history and one of the biggest miscarriages of justice this nation has seen.  How did it happen? How was it allowed to happen? How did the police, the judiciary, the Crown, the Ministry of Justice, social workers and specialist interviewers all get it so wrong?

Melanie Reid was the only reporter Ellis would speak to before his imprisonment in June 1993, convicted of abusing seven children in his care, and she would continue to cover his fight for justice over the next three decades.

Much of the raw footage and interviews, recorded on dozens of beta tapes, was about to be binned by the local broadcaster during a building renovation but Reid saw to it they were kept.

Now, for the first time, these historic interviews and footage allow us to tell the real story behind the Christchurch Civic Creche case. A story of how fear, homophobia and conservatism ruined the life of an innocent man.

“Peter’s story tells us a lot about our social history – where we’ve come from, where we are now and how far we still have to go,” says reporter Melanie Reid.

“Peter Ellis and the creche case did make me question who the justice system serves – and who it doesn’t, both back then and now. It made me wonder too, if the risk of reputational damage was at times more important than true justice.”

Peter Ellis, the Creche Case & Me explores themes of a city gripped by moral panic, homophobia, overzealous law enforcement and a miscarriage of justice that saw one man fight against prejudice, power and politics for three decades.

The complete video and podcast series will be available to stream from 4 January 2023 via  www.newsroom.co.nz/podcast-peter-ellis-the-creche-case-and-me and on all major podcast platforms.

Watch the Trailer HERE

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply