The What Happened to Holly Bartlett podcast is a 6-episode audio series that investigates the death of Holly Bartlett, a blind woman who was found clinging to life under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge in the early hours of March 27th, 2010. Police deemed her death an accident, but her family and friends have never accepted their theory.
Investigative journalist Maggie Rahr hosts each 40-minute episode, determined to uncover what happened during Holly's final hours. Each segment, released concurrently with the television episode on AMI-TV, features in-depth interviews with Holly’s family, friends, and private investigators.
The WHTHB podcast paints a full picture of Holly Bartlett’s life and – more importantly – the uncertainty surrounding her death.
Episode 6: Tenacity
When Holly Bartlett was found, barely alive, under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge on the morning of March 27th 2010, her family and friends were unaware how it would alter the course of their lives. Now, almost nine years later, they are still advocating for Holly, who was so much more than a “poor, drunk, blind girl.” For the past six months, a team of concerned citizens and investigators have been digging into Holly’s case again, hoping to get closure once and for all.
In this final episode of What Happened to Holly Bartlett, host Maggie Rahr meets up with private investigator Tom Martin near the place Holly was found. They try to piece together the movements of the last person who saw Holly alive: the taxi driver who dropped her off that night. Tom conducts a victimology, talking to Holly’s closest friends and family to find out everything he can about her personality. Did Holly’s feisty disposition make her a target that night? Finally, the whole team returns to the abutment one last time to hear Tom’s final theories, and we’ll learn what Holly’s mother Marion hopes people gain from hearing Holly’s story.
Episode 5: New Evidence
Re-opening a closed case isn’t easy. The 2010 death of Holly Bartlett, ruled an accident by Halifax police, was already the subject of a 2014 review by the Sûreté Du Quebec. Now, another four years have passed, and Bartlett’s family and friends are hopeful that new light can still be shed on the case.
Host Maggie Rahr meets with private investigator Tom Martin to re-examine the clothes Holly was wearing when she was found. Then, Tom catches another break, Nova Scotia’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Marni Wood, has agreed to meet with him to discuss her original autopsy on Holly. We’ll then talk to Brian Parsons, who uncovered new evidence back in 2014 when he discovered a transit bus CCTV video from the night of March 26th. Finally, we’ll compare the conflicting stories of the last person to have seen Holly before she died, the taxi driver who dropped her off that night – and Maggie tries calling him to get his side of the story.
Episode 4: Disoriented
When Holly Bartlett was found, barely alive, under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge in March 2010, investigators quickly ruled it an accident. They said she was drunk and disoriented. Holly, who was blind, would never be able to give her side of the story, as she died the next day. In the nine years since then, family and friends have struggled with the short investigation by police, and are now trying to uncover the truth about what happened that night.
In this episode, host Maggie Rahr returns to the apartment building Holly lived in at the time of her death, to talk with former superintendent Kelly Moore. We’ll hear from private investigator Brian Parsons about a key piece of evidence – a five dollar bill found at the scene. Then, Peter Parsons and Maggie sit down with forensic toxicologist Jim Wigmore to calculate Holly’s blood alcohol content. Lastly, we meet another private investigator, Tom Martin, and head to the abutment where Holly was found that cold winter morning.
Episode 3: Fatal Accident
In 2010, Holly Bartlett’s death was ruled an accident after she was found clinging to life under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge. Despite her family and friends claims that Holly, who was blind, could get around just about anywhere if she had her cane, police said she must have been drunk and disoriented. Now, a team of Holly’s friends, investigators and activists are trying to find out what really happened the night of March 26th 2010.
In Episode 3, we’ll meet one of Holly’s closest childhood friends, Shelley Adams. Adams, who is blind herself, tells listeners about growing up visually impaired and attending the Sir Frederick Fraser School for the Blind with Holly. Next, host Maggie Rahr goes over the medical examiner’s report from back in 2010, and gets a second opinion on its accuracy from Dr. Michelle Patriquin. Then, Maggie meets Peter and Brian Parsons near Holly’s old apartment building to retrace her steps that evening, and we run into her old roommate Andrew, who helps us get a better understanding of who Holly was like as a person, and what her life was like before she died.
Episode 2: The Cane
In March of 2010, 31-year-old Holly Bartlett was found unconscious underneath the MacKay Bridge in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She died in hospital a short time later from her injuries. Investigators ruled her death an accident, calling Holly – who was blind – drunk and disoriented. But her family has never understood just what happened to Holly that night. Now, friends like her former orientation & mobility instructor Peter Parsons, are trying to get to the bottom of it.
In this episode, host Maggie Rahr talks with Peter, and with Holly’s older sister Kim, about how Holly got around the city while blind. We examine how Holly relied on her white cane, which wasn’t found until almost two days later. We’ll go behind the making of What Happened to Holly Bartlett to talk with TV show researcher Greg Jackson, and we’ll meet Halifax journalist Tim Bousquet, who had a hand in bringing Holly’s case to national attention. Finally, Maggie will head to Holly’s old apartment complex to see if she can track down anyone who knew Holly personally.
Episode 1: Blindness
Holly Bartlett was just 31-years-old in March 2010, and already on her way to achieving her dreams. She was finishing her master’s degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and was working for the province of Nova Scotia, when her life was tragically cut short. Almost nine years later, her family and friends are still looking for answers.
In this episode, host Maggie Rahr sits down with Holly’s sisters Amanda and Kim, and her mom Marion. We’ll hear the story of the Bartlett family and their strong bond, and learn what it’s like having a blind person in the family. We’ll also meet Peter Parsons, Holly’s former orientation & mobility instructor, and his father Brian, who worked as a private investigator on Holly’s case. Join Maggie as she learns about Holly’s life and passions, and tries to uncover what happened the night of March 26th, 2010.