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    Fatal Honeymoon (The Movie)
    Well, did I say how crap this movie is? No, not yet? Well it is.

    Fatal Honeymoon is a 2012 movie made to cash in on the death of Tina Watson (Tina Thomas) and the various Australian and US trials of her husband, Gabe Watson, for her murder. Tina died on her honeymoon when diving the wreck of the SS Yongala off Townsville in Far Northern Queensland, Australia. For more information about the death of Tina, the investigations and trials etc, see the list of articles on my web site.

    The movie on one hand has respectable credentials. The directors/producers are Nadia Tass and David Parker, Australian film makers who have made some really good movies. It was written by Mac Gudgeon (former husband of well know actress Kerry Armstrong) who has written many Australian movies and episodes of television series. He also was script editor of the very scary Wolf Creek. It stars US movie great, Harvey Keitel with some minor US actors and a couple of well known Australian actors including Gary Sweet (Det/Sgt "Greg" Campbell) and Peter O'Brien (Ken Snyder). All I can think of their involvement in this movie, especially Keitel, was that he wanted a free holiday in Australia and needed some quick cash.

    It was quickly written after the February 2012 trial of Gabe Watson (where he was acquitted of Tina's murder) and then filmed on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It was released about August 2012 on a US pay TV channel. It was supposed to be released at the theatres in Australia but it went straight to DVD (shows how good it was).

    My involvement in this whole matter is that I was Gabe Watson's defence expert about scuba diving. I advised his legal team on diving related matters and travelled to the murder trial in Birmingham, Alabama, where I was to appear during the trial. As it happened, I did not need to testify as the judge threw out the case once the prosecution rested its case. As you can imagine, this is because he had decided there was no evidence at all that a murder had occurred (see my articles about the whole matter).

    I had never seen the movie till 6 February 2015 when the movie was on Sydney free to air television repeated 25 September 2016). My wife and I watched it (Kelly was also involved in the defence case and also went to Alabama). The following are my comments about the movie. Note that the movie claims that it is "Based on a true story":

  • Implies that Gabe and Tina met right at the start of their high school years (I think this is what it says, remember I am an Aussie and we have no idea about USA school years) - rubbish
  • The actor playing Gabe is (too be honest) a lot more attractive than Gabe (sorry Gabe, but true) but also is much smaller in physical size than Gabe (Gabe is very large physically)
  • A lot of the first part of the movie does not appear to be based on any facts I have seen available
  • At the start of the movie it implies that Ken Snyder (a diver on the boat when Tina died) approached Tommy Thomas (Tina's Dad) about a year after Tina's death to tell him that he thought that Gabe Watson (Tina's husband) killed her - this actually appears to have happened only a few months after the death
  • The claim that Gabe left the engagement ring sitting around his apartment for months and even years as a tease is not correct - it is a claim made by the Thomas family but refuted by Gabe
  • Shows Gabe going to a lot of family events with the Thomases - in fact they had little social interaction
  • Gabe is shown throwing pizza while been cranky at a dinner with Tommy, Cindy (Tina's Mum) and Alanda (sister) - it certainly did not happen at a family event, if it happened at all (evidence at the murder trial certainly did not say Tommy and Cindy were there)
  • Shows Gabe stalking Tina when they broke up - there is dispute as to whether they really did break up, but there is certainly no evidence that I have ever seen (and I have seen it all) that claims this happened
  • Shows Gabe giving Tina the engagement ring at Tina's work - well, she worked as a sales person, not an office worker as shown and he proposed on Easter Sunday at his apartment by getting Tina to do an Easter egg hunt with the ring been in the "egg"
  • When Gabe meets with Tommy to ask to marry Tina, it is after Gabe has asked Tina to marry him Rubbish, it happened before When Gabe asks Tommny to marry Tina, it shows Tommy asking him if he loves Tina. He answers without saying yes - Gabe refutes this happened (to me personally)
  • At the same meeting, Tommy is shown giving his approval - Gabe says that Tommy never gave his approval, basically he ignored it (again, Gabe told me this)
  • Shows Gabe watching Tina learn to dive - refuted at trial by dive instructor
  • Shows Gabe and Tina visiting the Gold Coast on their honeymoon - did not happen
  • The movie shows that when anchored at the Yongala wreck there is a red flag on a buoy. This is then explained to mean that it is a "red flag" dive site - this shows that the writer of the movie and the makers have no understanding of what was meant by this term at the inquest and murder trial. "Red flag" was a term used by the dive operator (and I have never heard of it before or since) to deem a site difficult. It certainly did not mean that there was a red flag at the site (idiots).
  • Shows Gabe and Tina going down perhaps five to ten metres on the first dive - only Gabe went down far enough for his computer to record the depth, this was one metre
  • No current is shown on the first or second dive - there was a considerable current which is very relevant to what happened
  • Tina says something like "Feels like I need to go" referring to the dive after the first aborted dive - there is absolutely no evidence that this was said
  • Shows Tina surfacing after an attempt to dive a second time before descending again - there was no ascent and another descent, computers show this
  • Shows people straight behind them when descending - they were not close enough to be seen
  • Shows Gabe dragging Tina away from the descent line when on wreck - no evidence he did this, has never even been raised before
  • Shows Dr Metz (as they call him, his name is Stanley Stutz) and implies he came from their boat - wrong name (did he threaten to sue?) and he was on another boat (this is later stated)
  • Shows Gabe's mask been knocked askew of his face, but does not show his regulator as being knocked out of his mouth - it was knocked out and is relevant to what happened
  • Shows Gabe taking Tina out off the wreck and dropping her while watched by others - did not happen and no evidence ever that he did this
  • Repeats claims that Gabe held Tina in "bear hug" - the term "bear hug" was used by Dr Stutz to refer to another person
  • When Tina is found and taken to the surface, the diver is not shown dropping his weight belt nor inflating her BCD - weight belt was dropped and BCD inflated
  • Shows Tina been taken back on board a small boat - it was quite large
  • Shows Gabe could see what was happening as attempts to revive Tina wee made on the back of the other boat - this could not been seen from anywhere on the dive boat except the bow and Gabe never went there
  • Gabe's reaction when this was happening and when informed Tina had died was not indifferent as shown - all statements by other divers show he was distraught
  • The police who interview Gabe back at Townsville are shown as the investigating police - only one was the same
  • The lead investigator in Australia is named as Det Sgt Greg Campbell - his name was Gary Campbell
  • Shows Gabe taking Tina's ring off her at the morgue in Australia - this happened in Alabama
  • Shows Ken Snyder as a boat broker (at least that is what it looked like to me) - he is in the insurance business
  • Snyder says (I think it was him) that Gabe swam away from the current (I presume this means into it) - Tina and he swam with it
  • When police bring up the matter that the computer battery could not have been dead so this is a lie, they say they then found another lie and then another - the battery problem was not a lie, police never understood what Gabe meant (battery was in pressure transducer, not computer)
  • Shows Dr "Metz" (real name Stutz) talking to Tommy Thomas - they never met in person
  • Showed Tommy Thomas going out on police boat when dive reenactment was done - never happened
  • During the reenactment dive by police, a female diver is shown taking Tina's role - no, a male was used
  • The police are shown giving a press conference announcing that they are investigating as a murder - did not happen as far as I can see
  • Implies that new evidence was presented to coroner and he reopened the inquest - did not happen, the inquest was just spread out over more than six months
  • Shows Gabe driving a Ford Mustang - he drove an SUV
  • Shows a confrontation between Gabe and Tommy at the graveside - never happened
  • Shows Tommy in police car when the police filmed Gabe removing flowers from grave - he was not there
  • Refers to the transmitter part of Gabe's dive equipment as "wire transmitter" - it is wireless!!!!
  • A person is interviewed who seems to be a doctor and claims what I stated happened (eg over weighted) - presumably this is supposed to be Dr Carl Edmonds who also said similar things after we discussed it
  • Shows that the police did not know a plea bargain had been reached when Gabe came back to Australia - they did, they were at the meeting held to discuss
  • Shows Gabe saying at or before the Australian sentencing he would admit to letting Tina die - this did not happen
  • Shows Gabe leaving the Queensland gaol in a taxi - he was arrested and deported from Australia
  • As you can see, there are so many factual errors and lies in this movie, you should not even consider that it reflects in even a little way what happened when Tina died and all that went on afterwards.

    Did I say how crap this movie is? Yes I did, and I will again. CRAP.

    Again, if you want to read what really happened, click on this link and read all about it.

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