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Cops almost launch murder investigation after fake corpse from Netflix series 'The Crown' found in river

The thieves allegedly stole antique props worth $200,000 from the set of 'The Crown'
Several props from the set of Netflix hit series 'The Crown' were stolen by thieves (IMDB)
Several props from the set of Netflix hit series 'The Crown' were stolen by thieves (IMDB)

The fictional Netflix hit series 'The Crown' almost turned into a real-life murder investigation. During the shooting of season 5 in February, some thieves reportedly stole two large trucks full of antique props from the set and dumped some of the items in a nearby river. One of the props discarded included an incredibly realistic dummy corpse which was too dumped in the river. 

The dummy corpse was going to be used in Episode 6, of the show which includes a flashback in which the Romanovs, a Russian royal family, are shot and stabbed by Bolshevik revolutionaries, reported New York Post. Later in the episode, the executioners bury the corpses in a mass grave in the woods before Queen Elizabeth II asks Russian leader Boris Yelstin to give the family a proper burial.


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The thieves allegedly stole antique props worth of $200,000 from the set of 'The Crown'. “I think the most amusing bit was the police were treating it as a murder inquiry because one of the dummies, the prosthetics, was floating face down in the river next to where the theft had been, so they immediately thought, ‘We’ve got a murder,’ but actually it was just a rubber body,” set decorator Alison Harvey told Variety of the discovery. “That took a bit of time to work out.”

“Finding the antiques was not their priority because they [thought they] had a murder to investigate,” production designer Martin Childs added. Harvey added that the dummy looked so real that police were confused when it was discovered in the water. “It was worth £13,000 [$15,000],” she said of the prosthetic. “It was absolutely identical to a naked [dead] person. It was probably quite alarming for the police actually when they fished it out.”

The crew members recalled the robbery as a "sad moment" but Harvey said that some of the props survived after one of the trucks got lost along their escape route. “[It] wasn’t parked where the theft took place,” she explained that they had to get creative to dress the set. Harvey added that they had "some pieces they owned, that they brought in, supplemented it but whether it would have been a better set with those bits, I don’t know.” 'The Crown' new season 5 will drop on Netflix on November 9.