An 85-year-old cold case involving a missing man is the subject of the new Paramount+ docuseries “For Heaven’s Sake.”
Published: 2021-03-05 05:44 pm
New offbeat true-crime series ‘For Heaven’s Sake’ probes old mystery
nypost.com

An 85-year-old cold case involving a missing man is the subject of the new Paramount+ docuseries “For Heaven’s Sake.”

The eight-episode arc follows creators and stars Mike Mildon and Jackson Rowe as they probe at the 1934 disappearance of Mike’s great-great-uncle, Harold Heaven

“It really was just a campfire story my entire life,” Mildon, 26, told The Post. “I don’t remember exactly how old I was [when I first heard Harold’s story]. It’s probably going back to very young, like 5 or 6.”

In the winter of 1934, Heaven abruptly left his cottage in Haliburton County, Ontario, in the middle of the night. The door was left open with the keys in the lock  — and he was never seen again. The lakes and forests were subsequently searched, but there were no footprints in the snow and no sign of him — or a body — ever turned up.

“There’s been so many theories and so much hearsay, and that’s all we had to go off of,” said Mildon. “We really learned the dos and dont’s of being amateur detectives.”

(image)
Mike Mildon (left) and Jackson Rowe (right), creators and stars of true crime docuseries “For Heaven’s Sake,” talk about the mysterious 1934 missing person case of Harold Heaven.
CBS

The series explores the various possibilities about what happened to Heaven, including suiicide, running away or being murdered — with his body easily hidden by road-blasting that was going on in the region at the time. 

 “I wasn’t sure which theory was true [going in],” said Rowe. “But it seemed that there was a cover up going on and some group of people knew the truth.”

Mildon and Rowe are comedians (“Trophy Husbands”), which helped get “American Vandal” creators Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault onboard as exec-producers — but neither Mildon nor Rowe have backgrounds in forensics, reporting or investigative work. 

“Mike and I met in 2013 taking classes at Second City, and we started making sketch videos,” said Rowe, 30. “We have a love for filmmaking and comedy. Something we love to do with our films is take a  genre that already exists and put our spin on it. This was our first foray into true crime. We came in with a healthy respect for it and a healthy desire to do it justice. We’re such fans of it.”

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“For Heaven’s Sake” is available on Paramount+.
CBS

Both say that HBO’s “The Jinx” and “The Staircase” (Netflix) are among their favorites in the genre. While a duo of funnymen with a personal connection to the case makes for an unusual pair of detectives, Mildon and Rowe said their unconventional background came in handy. 

“I think it definitely helps,” said Rowe. “We’re used to improvising, thinking on our feet and making people laugh. We’re making people feel comfortable and setting a tone for an interview.”

For Mildon, it was also a chance to interview his own relatives about the mysterious story of Harold’s disappearance. Among others, his grandfather Ted Heaven and his aunt Irene Heaven appear in the series to offer their testimonies onscreen.

“The good thing about having Jackson with me is he could come with an outsider perspective and get rid of that family bias,” said Mildon. 

“The Heaven family were more than happy to open their doors for the interviews [and] I was nervous to talk to my family and bring up the past,” he said. “There was a lot of trust involved — but now I look back on the experience and feel blessed that I got to have that sitdown time with all those relatives and talk about our family history.

“There’s so much warmth in that.”

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