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Destination Truth Producer Dies – New Updates

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 22nd, 2012

Updates: Jeff Rice’s assistant’s name is Katheryne Fuller. She was found barely alive with his lifeless body. Local officials are looking into this now as a possible cocaine overdose.  Sally Blackman does not wish to speculate on what is happening on the ground in Uganda, as long as there is an ongoing investigation.

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Posted earlier:

A freelance fixer, facilitator, and producer for reality television programs including Destination Truth and The Amazing Race has died in what is being reported as a bizarre poisoning by alleged African gang members on Sunday, February 19, 2012.

Jeff Rice was found dead in his hotel room in Kampala, Uganda, allegedly after an attempted robbery resulted in a suspected poisoning.  Rumors of drugs found in his room are now circulating.  Stay tuned. (Kampala is the capital of Uganda, and has a diverse population of almost 1.2 million people. Most Americans recall Uganda as the country ruled by Idi Amin from 1971 to 1979. The revitalization of the economy in the 1990s and 2000s has created a different nation, but gangs still rule some sections of the city.)

Fox News, Huffington Post, and other media in the UK and USA are reporting that Rice, the father of two (aged 7 & 2), and his production assistant, Katheryne Fuller, were poisoned following their refusal to turn over their belongings to “local thugs.”

Rice’s wife, Sally Blackman, said the woman remains in critical condition. “They were not attacked but [evidence] points towards being poisoned,” she told Fox News. “His production assistant was also discovered in a coma and has been hospitalized in Uganda. She has not shown any improvement as yet.”

The two had worked on the challenges across Africa being shown in the current CBS Season #20 of The Amazing Race. The Amazing Race’s production company, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, had “no knowledge” of the incident. CBS did not comment on Rice’s death.

Rice and the assistant were not presently working on the show at the time of the suspected poisoning, but they had helped with the current season, which hit screens on Sunday.

In 1999, Jeff Rice and his then future wife (they married in 2001) Sally Blackman founded SB Productions of Duban, SA, which produces and facilitates films, ads, documentaries and television programming. He also ran the production company Maverick Entertainment, which had employed the assistant.

Additionally, besides Destination Truth, Rice worked on Animal Planet’s Whale Wars and the South African version of The Biggest Loser. As a facilitator, Rice was hired by production companies to make arrangements with local African officials before production crews arrived for filming.

SyFy’s Destination Truth host and executive producer Josh Gates tweeted: “Floored by the loss of my dear friend and adventurer, Jeff Rice. You were, quite simply, the real deal. I’ll never forget you.”

Gates tweeted a picture of the two men, writing: “A photo with Jeff Rice in Madagascar. I can’t believe you’re gone, buddy.”

Rex Williams, from Syfy’s Destination Truth, wrote: “Lost my great friend, Jeff Rice. I can’t tell you how saddened we are. He was a true adventurer. Please keep his family in your prayers…Thank you for your kind words everyone. Such a tragic loss…”

Jael de Pardo, from Syfy’s Destination Truth and Fact or Faked Paranormal Files, wrote: “Very sad news about the tragic loss of our friend and Destination Truth colleague, Jeff Rice. I had the pleasure of working with him in Namibia. This has caught the entire team by surprise. He will be missed.”

According to the IMDb, Rice was involved in the following episodes of “Destination Truth”:

“Destination Truth” (location producer) (4 episodes, 2010-2011)
- Jungle Temple Ghosts/Namibian Night Stalker (2011) TV episode (location producer)
- Sandstorm Spirits/Cerro Azul Monster (2011) TV episode (location producer)
- Guam Zombies/Fangalobolo (2010) TV episode (location producer)
- Ghosts of Menengai Crater/Kalanoro (2010) TV episode (location producer)

The Kalanoro from The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006) was drawn by Harry Trumbore.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


17 Responses to “Destination Truth Producer Dies – New Updates”

  1. Robert A. Dunn via Facebook responds:

    How sad and tragic. My heart goes out to his family at this horrible time.

  2. Amado Sagasta via Facebook responds:

    thats sad news indeed

  3. Roy J Lores via Facebook responds:

    That sucks I love the show.

  4. Roy J Lores via Facebook responds:

    indeed it is, I love the show.

  5. David Clarke via Facebook responds:

    Very sad news. My heart goes out the their families.

  6. RedLandsBigfoot responds:

    sad news–I hope justice will be served.

  7. Travis Henke via Facebook responds:

    Horrorfying what can happen to people so far from home. :(

  8. choppedlow responds:

    Just sad. Africa has become as dangerous in some areas as it is beautiful. My heart goes out to his family. At least he died while following what he loved, which is more than most people could have said.

  9. Amy Kimball via Facebook responds:

    RIP Jeff Rice.

  10. Lee Finney via Facebook responds:

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!

  11. Hapa responds:

    Africa is a madhouse. An AIDS epidemic, Baby-rape in South Africa, classes for preteens on how to take care of kids they are predicted to have not too soon later, revolutions out the wazoo, and now a Poaching war in South Africa over the world’s Rhinos (One story told how a conservationist is lacing live Rhino’s horns with poison, to make ill, perhaps deadly so, anyone who ingests it in some bunk Asian remedy for cancer or a poor libido. May God bless that woman!), and growing populations overtaking Africa’s wilds (Its predicted by Peter Ward, Geologist and writer of the book “Evolution”, that when humanity hits the 9 Billion mark, we will lose elephants and Hippos and many other big game animals due to human pressure over water resources).

    God please be with this family which has sufferd this loss.

  12. PoeticsOfBigfoot responds:

    The link given above labeled “now circulating” goes to a blog that says the reports of poisoning as part of a robbery have been discounted “by the source”, whatever that means. Something isn’t quite right with this story.

  13. Shane Arsenault via Facebook responds:

    so sorry to hear about this. he produced my fav show. He will be missed

  14. Jason P. responds:

    Hate to say it, but ‘overdose’ was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read about this. Everyone was so quick to blame big, bad Africa and all of its evils–but it’s much more logical to think that the real cause would just be people doing stupid stuff with their own drugs.

  15. paul_r responds:

    @ Jason P and other “hate to say its”. Like in any case involving cryptids or in any other matter only facts matter. Toxicology matters and they are not saying anything substantial.

    The only fact is that an unfortunate fellow is dead. My condolences to his family because this is never easy to deal with for anyone imo.

  16. fooks responds:

    @jasonp

    i don’t know dude, how did he get the drugs? bring them in?

    have a dealer there already? in uganda? seriously?

    i really like the show and josh is cool and they at least get something when they go out.

    i believe the gang story.

    my prayers and condolences to the families.

  17. slick1ru2 responds:

    So so so sad. The DT crew is the one I fear for the most, they take some of the most incredibly dangerous risks on that show. Josh and company seem to dodge bullets on almost every show. Horrible for this to have happened to someone so young, especially with young kids.



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