In October 1981, Queen Elizabeth II made a royal visit to the city of Dunedin in New Zealand's south.
The otherwise uneventful trip ended up becoming the subject of a bizarre assassination attempt, when a teenager fired a single shot from a .22 calibre rifle at the Queen's procession.
The incident is now the subject of a six-part investigative piece by journalist Hamish McNeilly, which examines how 17-year-old Christopher John Lewis plotted to kill the Queen.
The Snowman and The Queen series, published by the website Stuff.co.nz, also looks into how police allegedly covered up the assassination attempt to save face.
Mr McNeilly spoke to a number of witnesses to the Queen's Dunedin visit, and researched official police documents and a memoir written by Lewis.
"The 17-year-old Christopher John Lewis was almost a hardened criminal by that age," Mr McNeilly said.
"He was a kid who was expelled from kindergarten, [and expelled from] intermediate school for playing sex games. At high school he was suspended and got the most canings."
Lewis' bad behaviour would soon become criminal. He formed his own so-called National Imperial Guerrilla Army with two friends.
The group went on a crime spree around Dunedin, which included stealing guns from an arms store.
"He would send anonymous letters through to police saying they were about to do a reign of terror on the city," Mr McNeilly said.
The three teenagers later robbed a post office. Wearing camouflage jackets over their school uniforms, they stole more than $5,000 in cash and escaped on their pushbikes.
Police said gunshot noise was a firecracker
Lewis would later use one of the stolen weapons, a .22 rifle, in his attempt on the Queen's life as her motorcade was making its way through Dunedin.
Holed up in a toilet cubicle on the fifth storey of a building, with the rifle stuck out the window, he waited for the Queen's motorcade to arrive.
Witnesses to the royal visit told Mr McNeilly they heard the shot ring out, however police made up a number of excuses for the noise.
"My understanding is that some of the royal reporters from the British press were asking the local police about [the noise], and they were adamant it was just a council sign falling over," Mr McNeilly said.
When British media caught wind of the story, police argued it may have been someone letting off firecrackers nearby.
Former police officer Mr McNeilly said the incident was covered up to avoid potentially global embarrassment.
"They were worried that they would never get another royal tour," Mr McNeilly said.
"They had no police officers on buildings, keeping an eye out for the Queen. Bear in mind this was the same year where there were assassination attempts on [then-US president Ronald] Reagan.
"They should have been on heightened alert, but clearly that didn't happen."
Teen initially faced attempted treason
The post office robbery would eventually link Lewis back to the .22 rifle used in the incident.
Police came across one of the teenagers involved in the robbery — identified by his camouflaged jacket — and all three including Lewis were taken in for questioning.
Officers seized their cache of stolen weapons, but the rifle Lewis used on the day of the Queen's visit was missing. He would later lead police to the bathroom, where they found the weapon.
Police files obtained by Mr McNeilly show Lewis was interviewed on suspicion of trying to kill the Queen, and was at one point even charged with attempted treason.
"The released documents I have show him facing an attempted treason charge. He admits to shooting [at] the Queen initially, but in some of the redacted documents, it later says that he shot at the road only," Mr McNeilly said.
"That is not backed up by people that were there on the day, his lawyer and a former police officer who interviewed him."
The attempted treason charge was later downgraded when Lewis went to court over the earlier robberies.
"He was up for a raft of charges with his two offsiders. Then there were a couple of minor charges to do with discharging a firearm and possession of a firearm," Mr McNeilly said.
"And it just said it coincided with the day of the Queen's visit."
Lewis got free holiday during later Royal visit
Despite never being officially charged with attempted treason for the 1981 incident, police felt it was necessary to keep Lewis away from the Queen during her next visit to New Zealand in late 1995.
"Years later when he was an adult — he had spent most of his twenties in prison — he was out and he was on I assume a list of some sort, and he was given a taxpayer-funded holiday to Great Barrier Island, which is in the gulf of Auckland," Mr McNeilly said.
Police paid for the 10-day getaway, which they said was organised for security reasons.
Lewis took his own life while at Mt Eden prison in September 1997, where he was awaiting trial after being charged over the murder of a 27-year-old woman the previous year.