The Mysterious Death of Cleopatra
Atlantic Productions for
the Discovery Channel, first
aired December 6, 2004.
For 2,000 years only one verdict has been recorded - suicide by snakebite.
Now FBI Criminal Profiler Pat Brown, and a team of experts from fields
as diverse as archaeology and toxicology, are re-examining the circumstances
of Cleopatra's alleged suicide. Using techniques that are usually the
preserve of 21st Century criminal investigations they reconstruct the
death scene, go inside the mind of Cleopatra, and reveal the sinister
power-games that led to Cleopatra's untimely death.
Bursztajn: People commit suicide when they can't stand
being alive, when they're in such intolerable pain that they simply can't
continue to live, or if they believe that by dying they will gain something
that they can't gain otherwise. The question is, is there anything in
Cleopatra's story that fits either.
Bursztajn: There's no family history of committing suicide,
even though there is a family history of murder, so this would have been
out of character for her.
Bursztajn: What's interesting about Cleopatra is that
she doesn't fit the profile of those leaders who when they lose commit
suicide, she can go through losses and still persevere. She's a survivor
so the idea that she would, in the face of a loss, commit suicide just
doesn't hold water.