The Garden of Evil examines the last days of Sir Peter Blake's life and whether his death was at the hands of organised criminals or was a tragic result of a robbery

A new documentary, The Garden of Evil, has been released in New Zealand which examines the death of sailor and the United Nations Special Envoy for the environment, Sir Peter Blake.

The Whitbread and America’s Cup winner was murdered in the Amazon in 2001 while defending his crew from a group of armed men on board his research yacht, Seamaster.

The film has been made without the blessing of Sir Peter’s family, as outlined in the statement below.

The Garden of Evil, presented by investigative journalist, Donal MacIntyre, explores the circumstances surrounding Sir Peter’s death and the brutal attack on fellow Kiwi environmentalist Captain Pete Bethune, which happened in 2017.

Continues below…

The documentary has been written, produced and directed by Larry Keating who has produced films on the America’s Cup and other sport documentaries.

It is expected to receive global release shortly.

More details about The Garden of Evil at

The following is a statement from the Blake family about the recently released film titled The Garden of Evil.

Larry Keating’s feature film The Garden of Evil has been made without the blessing of the Blake family, BLAKE (formerly the Sir Peter Blake Trust) and several crew
members of Seamaster.

On two occasions, once in 2016 and again in 2019, Mr Keating approached Pippa, Lady Blake to request her support for the project, and permission to use archival
Blakexpeditions footage of Sir Peter Blake. Those requests were declined.

The Blake family and BLAKE are deeply upset to learn that Mr Keating has chosen to go ahead and use footage and images of Sir Peter Blake which we believe is to
sensationalise the content in his documentary and gain further publicity.

The Blake family’s reasons for opposing the film are clear:

  • It has been nearly 20 years since Sir Peter’s death, and those closest to him have moved on with their lives significantly. The family believe the best way Sir
    Peter is remembered is by his sailing achievements and through the legacy of BLAKE.
  • There have been several documentaries made about Sir Peter’s life, and those closest to him feel there is no need for a film that not only focuses on his death,
    but also amplifies the voice of his murderer. To learn that Mr Keating visited and interviewed Sir Peter’s killer in prison has caused Peter’s family, friends and close colleagues undue hurt.
  • The Blake family and those closest to Sir Peter believe his death was the tragic result of a robbery, not the result of being targeted by organised criminals for his environmental work, as suggested in Mr Keating’s documentary.

We encourage and congratulate film makers who continue with genuine investigations into the ongoing plight of the Amazon region, however it is our position that this film does not qualify for that support.

Furthermore, the Blake family is concerned the NZ theatrical release and any future screenings of the film will interfere with the privacy of the members of Sir Peter’s family and people who were on board Seamaster when Sir Peter was killed, causing unnecessary emotional distress and hurt.

We strongly oppose this film.

Statement from Pippa, Lady Blake, Sarah-Jane & James Blake Supported by BLAKE