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Disposable Camera Tour
Boston TV Shoots Smuttynose
Behind the Scenes, July 2000
Part 2: Shooting a Documentary
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Read Full Account of Chronicle Visit

Bob Tuttle

Bob Tuttle takes the hot seat and tells the whole truth about the March 6, 1873 Smuttynose murders for Chronicle's TV host Mary Richardson. Bob has studied the murder and trial and execution of Louis Wagner in detail. He has warmed to Anita Shreve's conspiracy theory that the surviving victim Maren Hontvet may actually have had a hand in the murder. Bob makes a strong case. We disagree and got to do so on camera. Next day the crew was off to interview Weight of Water author Shreve whose popular novel is set in Portsmouth, NH and the Isles of Shoals. That's Appledore Island in the background.

Mary Richardson

Mary Richardson and boat captain Sue Reynolds prepare to hike to Maren's Cave, where survivor Maren Hontvet, legend says, hid from Louis Wagner. The sticks held in the air are a Shoals protection against swooping gulls. The building in the back is "Rozzie's Cottage" built by Celia Thaxter's grand-daughter Rosamund Thaxter who formerly owned the island. Poet Celia was among the first on the scene when Maren was rescued the following morning and told the story days later in a letter to a friend.

Gulls of Smuttynose

There is actually a complete book called the "Gulls of Smuttynose," but on this later July day, they were less aggressive than we've seen them in the past. With their chicks grown large, the hundreds of gulls simply screamed, but did not attack as we walked deeper into the island with Steve the Chronicle cameraman. But time was short and Maren's cave is at least a 20 minute trek across the island, so we wimped out and headed back to the boat. The Boston film crew dedicated an entire week of shooting in the Seacoast area for their half hour Smuttynose Murder special. Where did they get their info? Right here on your favorite web site.

Smuttynose Arrival

And so again we bid a fond farewell to Smuttynose Island, seen here in reality and on a bottle of Smuttynose Beer. We'll be out at the Haley Cottage again in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for more island lore. New Englanders can look for us on the Chronicle documentary and the Weight of Water film, both due out this fall.

See our previous Smuttynose visit


Disposable photos by J. Dennis Robinson
Copyright © 2000 SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.

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