Blackstone's Equation

Posted November 1, 2012

Letter from Nicholas Bernhard


    I'm proud to present the press kit for Blackstone's Equation's screening
 in Ft. Collins. Blackstone's Equation: A New Documentary on the Tim Masters Case

        Blackstone's Equation tells the story of Tim Masters, a Ft. Collins 
resident who was wrongfully convicted of murder. Walking through a dirt field 
on the way to school, he passed by what he thought was a mannequin. It was later 
learned to be the body of Peggy Hettrick, who lived nearby. Masters had never even 
heard of Hettrick before then.

        This chance happening would cause police to pursue Masters relentlessly, 
subjecting him to a 15-hour interrogation, harassing him with anonymous messages, 
and turning his classmates against him. Police even resorted, on suggestion from 
the FBI, to trying to provoke Masters into committing another crime. Ultimately
Masters left Ft. Collins for a career in the Navy.

        Eleven years later, Masters was arrested and charged with Hettrick's murder.
 With no physical evidence against him whatsoever, the prosecution's argument was 
that because the teenage Masters drew violent pictures as a hobby, he was capable 
of the heinous murder. After a mere 6-day trial, he was 
convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

        Over the next 9 1/2 years, Masters got new attorneys, who discovered the 
lengths law enforcement went to in pursuing him. Police had withheld evidence 
of separate footprints in the field, and testimony from a plastic surgeon refuting 
that Masters was capable of the crime. Worst of all, evidence of a superior 
suspect, who was friends with the DA, was destroyed by the police. In 2008, new DNA 
testing proved Masters had nothing to do with the murder.
        Blackstone's Equation was produced and directed by Nicholas Bernhard, who 
also edited and scored the film. It features interviews with several people 
from the case, including Masters' post-conviction attorneys, a juror from the trial, 
the Colorado Innocence Project, and Masters himself. This fast-paced, engrossing 
documentary conveys what is certainly the most fascinating story of wrongful 
conviction you've ever heard of. 

        It is a story of the American justice system, in its shortcomings and 
triumphs. It is about the pitfalls of criminal profiling, so popular in Hollywood 
films like Silence of the Lambs, but with scant basis in reality. Lastly, it is 
a story of never, ever giving up, even in our darkest of hours.

        Blackstone's Equation is 45 minutes long, and will play at the Lyric Cinema 
Cafe in Ft. Collins, beginning November 3rd, playing for a week. Tim Masters will 
be at the November 3rd showing, at 7 PM, to answer audience questions. The 
documentary has been re-mastered in High Definition for these screenings, for 
the best possible viewing experience. 


For more information, please contact:

Nicholas Bernhard, Director-Producer                                                                
(303) 304-6125