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December 3, 2022
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Meccano Set
Produced by: Matthew Leonard
Between 1951 and 1957, the New Zealand government hanged eight men for murder. Of the fifty or so witnesses present at the executions, only a handful remain. Weaving first hand accounts of police officers and journalists, with the rummagings of a curator working on material evidence of the gallows and a sociologist's recordings on the colonial judiciary, the Meccano Set, tells a thought proving story that resonates even today.

Program Credits

The Meccano Set was produced by Matthew Leonard and Paul Diamond of Radio New Zealand. Original sound design was by Daniel Beban. Readings were by Wi Kuki Kaa and Grant Tilly. Our thanks to the Baxter estate for permission to excerpt from the poem, A Rope for Harry Fat by James K.Baxter. This program aired as part of the international documentary exchange series Crossing Boundaries.


History of Capital Punishment
Historical information on the death penalties used in countries throughout the world.

Punishment and the Death Penalty
A collection of resources on court decisions, legislation, statistics, literature and web sites on capital punishment.

Death Penalty Links
News, facts, and links to pro and anti-capital punishment sites.

Capital Punishment: A Reference Handbook
by: Michael Kronenwetter
An international biography of the death penalty including controversies, events, people and organizations.

Book of Execution: An Encyclopedia of Methods of Judicial Execution
by: Geoffrey Abbott
Detailed descriptions and illustrations of the various means used throughout history for capital punishment.

Death at Midnight: The Confession of an Executioner
by: Donald A. Cabana
A first-hand account of life as a prison warden.

Welcome to Hell: Letters and Writings from Death Row
by: Jan Arriens
This two part book includes a case history and a collection of letters written by men and women on death row.

Radio Online
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Programs by Matthew Leonard

Radio for between the ears
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