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Dark Knight's Dark Past

Nov. 4 2008, Published 6:25 a.m. ET

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While The Dark Knight filmmakers continue to milk the 'cash bat' with its upcoming DVD release, the making of the second most popular film of all time came at the price of a man's life.

No, not Heath Ledger's.

Before the tragic demise of the co-star, New Zealand special effects man Conway Wickliffe was killed while shooting a scene for the film.

Last September the 41-year-old technician had been leaning out the window of a four wheel drive when the car struck a tree. Now, after watching videos and interviewing witnesses and coworkers, an official inquest held by the Woking Coroner's Court (New Zealand) has determined that it was severe injuries from the impact that killed him.

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Inquests were held to discover why someone died and, more importantly, what can be done to prevent similar mishaps in the future.

Among the movies Wickliffe had worked on were Children of Men and Casino Royale. His talents will no doubt be missed.

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