Canadian filmmaker Frederick Kroetsch spent 1o years trying to make a reality show about controversial independent wrestler and Persian cat breeder, Teddy Hart. Under the assumption that this would be the next big hit reality show, Frederick had no idea that he would wind up at the center of a missing persons case for Teddy Harts’ ex girlfriend Samantha Fiddler.
On November 22, the 3 part docuseries “Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats.” released on Peacock which not only took us into the life of Teddy Hart but the unsolved mystery of Samantha Fiddlers disappearance.
Recently, Will Mahoney of Big Gold Belt Media had a chance to speak with Frederick to gain further insight into the production of this docuseries and some of the questions it left the world wondering.
After 10 years of filming and the multiple attempts at a reality show, how did it all finally end up in this form as Dangerous Breed?
FK: The project drastically changed many times. The first major change happened with Teddy appearing in The Calgary Sun, being accused of many things. I was about to sign a deal with a Canadian broadcaster to make a pilot episode – but that obviously fell apart. I debated just walking away from all of this.
However, I felt there was more to this story. What exactly happened? How did things change so quickly from a seemingly happy group of people to this? I just kept filming. It was no longer a reality show, it was a documentary about something completely different. I asked a lot of questions and eventually helped fly Teddy to Canada, where he was arrested. Eventually I gave up on the project. I put the hard drives in a box on a shelf.
And then many months later, out of nowhere, I got a phone call from Omar (who wrote the Teddy Hart piece in Rolling Stone Magazine.) He told me that Samantha Fiddler was missing. Working closely with Samantha’s sister April and best friend Jayme, we tried to figure out what happened to her. I became a little obsessed with finding her. I kept thinking that if we dug deep enough, we’d find a clue that would lead us to her.
Executive Producer Buddy Day approached me about being involved with a series for NBC. I said YES! That kind of profile could really help us find Samantha. If this gets big enough, everyone will be talking about her, and somebody must know something. And so here we are. Fingers crossed that we get a clue.
When you try to get to the bottom of things with Teddy Hart regarding Samantha Fiddler he always has an explanation that supposedly clears him. You did a good job of refuting Teddy’s alibis with his own prior statements. Do you think Teddy was dodging the questions or is it more of a case of “wrestler brain” where he simply doesn’t remember the details of what happened in his final days with Samantha? After all this, how much do you think Teddy truly knows?
FK: The amazing editors are to thank for all those refutations. They spent a lot of time digging through copious amounts of my footage.
I don’t know how much Teddy knows. I did my best to confront him and get answers. In a sense, I guess the audience knows as much as I do.
After giving Teddy Hart the opportunity to address Samantha’s disappearance do you believe he truly wanted to help and bring closure to the case and her family? In the end do you think he cares about Samantha’s disappearance?
FK: I have absolutely no idea what Teddy truly believes. He has told me he cares about Samantha and wants her found. He has also told me doesn’t care about her at all. He has told me many contradictory things – anyone watching this documentary can see that.
Many viewers have been surprised to see Chasyn Rance of Team Vision Dojo appear in episode three considering his well known legal issues. Was including Chasyn’s criminal background in the documentary discussed with him prior to filming? How willing was Chasyn Rance to take part in the documentary? Do you feel Chasyn Rance was honest with you?
FK: Chasyn was very willing to be on camera. As for honesty – I’ll let the audience decide that.
Are there parts of the Teddy Hart story you didn’t have time to include? With Teddy being such an eccentric character is there stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor you wish could have been included?
FK: I shot 4 terabytes of footage. Most of it ended up on the cutting room floor. Some of what I had filmed was a Teddy Hart redemption story. He was trying to make amends with Bret Hart, and get his reputation fixed. I filmed SO MUCH wild stuff. Teddy was also a marijuana aficionado, and the house he lived in was filled with bikers and wrestlers. Never a dull moment.
What has the audience response been so far? Have viewers raised any concerns or issues with the documentary that have surprised you?
FK: I have received a tremendous amount of support from many viewers. The most common comments are “That’s Crazy,” or “Let’s find Samantha Fiddler.”
However, there is a certain amount of critical comments from wrestling fans that involve making fun of me. Some have even claimed that I’m secretly the murderer.
I normally direct things like TV shows about rural veterinarians. Very non-controversial. Now I’m suddenly in the spotlight. It’s weird. I’d prefer if the focus was on finding out what happened to Samantha Fiddler.
After being around the wrestling business all these years do you have other ideas of stories to spotlight within wrestling? Could there be another wrestling documentary for you in the future?
FK: There are always stories to tell in wrestling. Making a new one will depend on how many people watch this one. Outside of wrestling I have about 12 projects in various stages of development.
If you have any information concerning the whereabouts of Samantha Fiddler, please contact The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) at (800) 226-1140
“Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats.” streaming on Peacock Premium or for free with ads on Peacock, Peacock Premium.
View Big Gold Belt Media review of “Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats.” Here