Who Laced the Chowder with PCP?
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WHO LACED THE CHOWDER WITH PCP!?
At the time James Cameron’s epic film ‘Titanic’ was the most expensive movie ever made, but it also created one of Hollywood’s greatest mysteries… who laced the chowder with PCP? If you haven’t heard this story before, grab the popcorn and be prepared to verify it on google as it’s pretty unbelievable!
So the famous poisoning went down on what was supposed to be the last day of filming in Nova Scotia on August 8th, 1996. The crew had been working there for five weeks and were preparing to move down to the larger set down in Mexico where a massive reproduction of the ill-fated ship was waiting on an outdoor soundstage in Baja.
In Nova Scotia they had been filming at night in Shearwater, just across Halifax Bay. They were filming the scenes set in the present-day, and consequently both Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were not present as they didn’t have any scenes on that particular set, so they luckily avoided the hallucinogenic dose. Thankfully Gloria Stuart who played the older version of the character Rose ate at a restaurant that night, so managed to avoid it too. James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, stars Bill Paxton and Suzy Amis, and the rest of the cast and crew which totalled nearly sixty people were not so lucky.
The filming schedule involved starting at dusk and working through until dawn. At around midnight everyone came together for a last meal, which was a creamy seafood chowder produced by a local company. It was a moment of celebration and even James Cameron descended from his office to toast a successful wrap. The chowder was going down really well but it didn’t take long for the celebration to erupt into chaos with some people laughing, some people crying, and some people simply throwing up.
Initially James Cameron thought the shellfish might have contained a paralytic neurotoxin. The entire crew were rushed to Dartmouth General Hospital and you can imagine the chaos which ensued there. Cameron says that at one stage he was stabbed in the face with a pen by a crew member! The following day a toxicology report revealed that P.C.P. was to blame. Despite and investigation which lasted two and a half years and involved executing a warrant for Department of Health records and getting a list of every person who had worked on the set, the perpetrator was never apprehended.