Satanist attack' shot for feature

KATHRYN KING AND KELSEY WILKIE
Last updated 12:00 12/08/2014

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A film crew is in town shooting scenes for a tele-feature about the Palmerston North police officer who faked a satanist attack against himself.

The film, named Venus and Mars, has been shot mostly in Auckland, executive producer Philly de Lacey says.

The crew was in Palmerston North yesterday, grabbing shots of Palmerston North locations .

NZ on Air granted $2.6 million to Screentime New Zealand to make the two-hour tele-feature on the investigations undertaken when Brent Frederick Garner, a Palmerston North fraud squad detective, claimed he had been the victim of a "satanist attack" in 1996.

The Garner home in Oak Cres, Ashhurst, exploded in flames about 4am on October 18. Garner, then 32, bleeding from slashes over his back and bound hand and foot was found lying in the back yard.

He told of a tall, bearded attacker who bound and gagged him, slashed him and poured petrol over him. He said he had crashed his way out of the house before it erupted in flames.

Five weeks after the incident, Garner was arrested and charged with offences including faking an attack upon himself, arson, insurance fraud, sending threatening letters and wasting police time.

Venus and Mars were the names of the two police investigations into what happened.

Garner inflicted upon himself the slashes across his back, using a scalpel attached to a stick.

Police said the events had arisen because Garner wanted to get the insurance money from the house, leave his wife and two small children, and move in with a civilian police worker.

Garner was found dead in his car near Edgecumbe, Bay of Plenty, in 2003. There were no suspicious circumstances. The tele-feature will screen on TV One next year.

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- Manawatu Standard

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