Sue Neill-Fraser's conviction is WRONG!There needs to be a Royal Commission.
Shadow of Doubt
Set in Hobart, this documentary follows one of the most intriguing and alarming legal cases in recent Australian history.
Bob Chappell, radiation physicist, aged 65, was last seen alive on Australia Day, 26 January 2009. In October 2010, his partner of 18 years, Sue Neill-Fraser, was convicted of murder and jailed for 26 years, later reduced to 23 years. This is the first time someone has been jailed in Tasmania for murder based solely on circumstantial evidence and without a body. Sue has always protested her innocence, vehemently denying any involvement in Bob’s disappearance.
There were no eye witnesses, no weapon, no plausible motive and Bob’s body has never been found. No forensic evidence linked Sue to the crime scene, Four Winds, the couple’s luxury 54’ yacht moored in the Derwent River, Sandy Bay, Tasmania. On the day Bob disappeared he was working on Four Winds. Sue had returned to shore in the couple’s dinghy… Bob decided to keep working and stay on board overnight. Early the next morning the yacht was found sabotaged, sinking and there was no sign of Bob.
The prosecution’s case was simple: On Australia Day Sue went back to the yacht, struck Bob from behind with a wrench, returned late at night, winched his body into a dinghy, sinking Bob with a big fire extinguisher. Detective Inspector Peter Powell who headed the investigation is convinced of Sue’s guilt. He doesn’t believe shock is sufficient reason to tell lies and is satisfied the police investigation was thorough and conclusive.
SHADOW OF DOUBT explores why the police accepted a dubious informant and why they felt no need to investigate other persons of interest or follow other leads. Barbara Etter APM, former Assistant Police Commissioner and lawyer, identified many flaws in the case and new evidence not investigated.
A prime suspect (a teenager) was never fully investigated by the police. Her DNA was found on the yacht, but only matched to a name after Sue was already in prison. A stranger who called Sue late on the night Bob disappeared to warn that something bad would happen to Bob on board the yacht was never fully investigated.
SHADOW OF DOUBT follows Sue’s family and friends as they uncover evidence to try and prove Sue is innocent. It will question the way this crime was investigated, the witness problems, how the media was used to shape perceptions, and the shocking mistakes and omissions.
This powerful, compelling documentary will show ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Sue Neill-Fraser was NOT the only person who could have killed Bob Chappell.
- Nominated for Best Feature Length Documentary 2014 AFI AACTA
- CINE AWARD Winner Gold Eagle Award 2013
- Nominated for Best Documentary and Best Sound in a Documentary at Southampton International Film Festival 2013
- Honorable Mention at Santa Monica Independent Film Festival 2013
- Lorne Film 2015 Official Selection
- New Haven International Film Festival 2015 Official Selection
- Legends of Hollywood 2015 Official Selection
- Miami Independent Film Festival 2015 Official Selection
- Sydney World Film Festival 2015 Official Selection
- Australian Film Institute AACTA Awards 2013 Nomination for Best Feature Documentary
- Los Angeles Womens International Film Festival Official Selection
- Santa Monica Independent Film Festival September 2013 Honorable Mention
- Awarded an Honorable Mention
- Chain New York Chain Festival 2013 (August 2013)
- Southampton International Film Festival (October 2013) Nominated Best Documentary & Best Sound in a Documentary
- Cinema and group screenings in Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Canberra, Bali 2013-2015
- CiTV (Crime & Investigation network) FOXTEL Screened multiple times 2013-2014
Eve Ash - Producer, Director & Writer
Eve is a psychologist, author and successful filmmaker. She self-financed SHADOW OF DOUBT, an intriguing murder mystery about the wrongful conviction of Sue Neill-Fraser in Tasmania, which she filmed over 4 years. SHADOW OF DOUBT, released in 2013, screened on Foxtel Ci and in cinemas.. Eve continued to film till 2018 and with Tim Smart and their company, Missing Man, co-produced Undercurrent TV series with production compay, cjz, for Channel 7. Airing January to March 2019.
Eve Ash is a popular public speaker (eveash.com) and the founder of Seven Dimensions (7d-tv.com), a world leader in the production of communication and business films. Eve has been a national Business Owner winner at the Telstra Businesswomen's Awards, and was included in the 2000 Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame. Eve has created a library of business and educational films that sell worldwide and have won over 150 awards. Eve created the highly commended CUTTING EDGE COMMUNICATION COMEDY series with US comedienne Erin Brown, in USA. She has produced 700+ programs. As a psychologist Eve likes to stimulate change, impact behaviours and ensure human rights and integrity are upheld. In 2010 Eve ‘transformed’ Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman into a cartoon character in Finding My Magic – a series sold to NITV/SBS and winning 8 US awards. Eve co-wrote two books with Rob Gerrand, published by Penguin Books: Rewrite Your Life! and Rewrite Your Relationships! Eve is now completing the feature documentary Man on the Bus, due for release in 2019.
SHADOW OF DOUBT was a challenging and rewarding production. She has spent years talking with family, studying legal and police documents, and building a film story that explored the Sue Neill-Fraser conviction. Eve wanted to understand why a jury would be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Sue was guilty when there was so much doubt. She did some investigative filming herself, but also worked with DOP, Cesar Salmeron for the major filming in Tasmania, along with other local crews along the way. Eve teamed up with Barbara Etter APM, whilst making SHADOW OF DOUBT. Barbara represented Sue Neill-Fraser from 2012 to June 2017.