BATAVIA REVEALED: SHIPWRECK PSYCHO airs on SBS at 8:30pm on Thursday, 9 August 2018.
Prospero Productions’ documentary tells the real-life story of the bloodiest shipwreck of all time.
On a remote desert island, archaeologists and forensic scientists hunt for clues to a terrifying, 400 year old tale of shipwrecked castaways brutally murdered by their own kind, led by one man.
In 1629, off the Western Australian coast, the Dutch ship, Batavia, was wrecked on a coral reef. Its 360 crew and passengers were far from home and far from help. The shipwreck was devastating in itself, however what unfolded next was even more nightmarish.
A real-life Lord of the Flies scenario unfolded led by one man. The apothecary, Jeronmius Cornelius, was a cult-like leader. He created a world of anarchy and violence where power games, sexual slaves, hedonism and madness prevailed.
Survivor turned against survivor and a reign of fear, violence and eventually death was wrought on the hapless castaways. Over three blood-soaked months, 115 men, women, children, even babies, were brutally slaughtered.
“It’s exploring why this happened that really fascinates me,” said producer Julia Redwood.
“That’s why in this film we concentrate on the villain of the piece, Jeronimus Cornelius, the leader of the mutineers. We ask the question; was he mad or bad?”
SHIPWRECK PSYCHO shines a light on a disturbing event, when a civilization was hijacked by a psychopath who drew on the darkest and most depraved side of humanity for his own selfish ends.