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The explosive true story of a cold-hearted murderer brought to justice by her sister-in-law; a tenacious battler who knew the real reason behind her brother’s death.

It was the story that gripped the nation.  Ask any New Zealander about the Black Widow from Christchurch and they’ll remember the images on TV, the headlines in the papers and the stories on news websites.  They’ll recall Helen Milner; the woman in court listening to the accusations against her… and her role in the death of her husband Philip. 


There were photos of the man she loved who she says killed himself.  There were sordid, devastating stories of his affairs and the discovery that his son was not his.  There was the panicked 111 call to the police when she discovered his body, the pills found by his bed and the suicide note…


But what many also remember about this tragedy is the sister-in-law who didn’t believe a word of Helen Milner’s story.  Lee-Anne Cartier became an inspirational woman who saw behind the lies and discovered the truth about her brother’s death.  She was a feisty, determined woman who openly criticised the police for their inadequate investigation.  And it was her amateur sleuthing and investigation which ultimately exposed Helen Milner’s despicable lies and found her guilty of murder. 


Lee-Anne Cartier is a strong, determined, family-focused woman who would stop at nothing to do the right thing by her brother.  Her story was one that caught the attention of the nation.  She was a character that inspired many.


Written and directed by Emmy® award winning producer/director Thomas Robins, Catching the Black Widow is a gripping, heartbreaking film with stunning performances from two of New Zealand’s finest actors.



Funded by New Zealand On Air’s Platinum Fund for TVNZ.   To be released in 2017

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