Friday, August 21, 2020

There's nothing correct in the Crown's case against Lundy.

 I'll go through the list.

Motive according to the Crown was $500,000 life insurance policy because the Lundy business was running at a loss and the Lundy's owed a small fortune on 2 wine properties that they were struggling to settle on.

Fact. In the previous 12 months, the Lundy's kitchen appliance business had made a $100,000 profit. It had new products to launch and it was predicted that within 5 years the Lundy's would be making half a million profit per year. The Lundy's had a clause in their sale and purchase agreement that if they were unable to settle the wine-growing properties would be onsold and they would be responsible for penalty interest and any shortfall in the price. Both properties sold in 2001 at a major profit wiping out the penalty interest and putting increased money into the vendor's pockets.

On the Friday before the murders, the Lundy's considered new life insurance policies at the suggestion of their long term broker. They immediately rejected a million-dollar cover and settled on the second offer of half a million which they signed up for. Experienced in such matters they knew the new insurance would not be in place until several weeks passed before it was improved by insurers.

Lundy Marriage was in trouble

Fact. On the Saturday night before the murders, the Lundy's held a dinner party at their home. That was to celebrate the new product range their business had distribution rights for, and secondly to celebrate the finishing of renovations to one bedroom. In the process of tidying after the renovations, the house conservatory was cleaned of dust from the work and because of the material from the bedroom that had been stored, there was finally moved. No one present at the party nor anyone in the respective families had noticed anything amiss in the couple's marriage. Some commented about Christine being excited about the new products and how much busier they would be as they had the lower North Island distribution rights. They were also pleased that the room was finished after a relatively long job. Someone speaking on the phone to Christine on the evening before her murder said she was elated about the prospects of their 6-year-old business.

In terms of the wine-growing enterprise, the couple and their business partners had crops ready to plant and they were advertising for investors with several interested. They knew the value of the properties they had under contract had increased in value something proven to be correct after the deaths of Amber and Christine. In short, the couple was happy and their business prospects were better than at any time previously.

Mark Lundy staged the breakin.

Fact. The proof the Crown has is an assumption based on a presumptive blood test on the window next to a ranch slider in the conservatory. In the presumptive blood, DNA belonging to Christine was found, however her fingerprints were also found in the area which as mentioned earlier had been cleaned. The presence of DNA was higher than blood tests taken from her person and near where her body lay. That mean's it was transferred if it was in fact Christine's blood at all, the transfer doesn't strengthen DNA readings but rather weakens them.

The Appeal Courts heard that the lock on the slider could only be opened by a key, what followed from that by the Crown was that the breakin was faked because real intruders could not have been able to open the door, despite breaking the window and reaching for the handle. That myth persists.

Mark Lundy would have run a grave risk because the door was visible to the neighbour's property who in fact saw the door open at a quarter to 12 with the light on. He was also definitely in Wellington at that time. Police worked to discredit the neighbour in front of the Court. A Supreme Court Judge claimed the door could have been left open to let air in, despite that it was some distance from Christine's room which in fact had 2 windows open and safely on the latch. All the family and friends said that Christine was very security conscious. The handle on the window next to the conservatory was broken from having been forced with a bar. There are many forensic scientific points that exclude that it was a mock breakin, including that there were unknown fingerprints found in the area (noting again the area had just been cleaned). None of those fingerprints matched to some 49 people known to have been in the house in the months preceding the crime and whose prints were taken for elimination.

There was no effort to match the unknown prints to the 21 hairs found in Christine's hands, nor the DNA of 2 males wedged under both her and Amber's nails as they fought for their lives. Before blaming Mark Lundy for breaking into his own home police should have found the owners of the prints and DNA, as well as the hairs. Those hairs were somehow "lost,"

In the Scott Watson case in 1999 Scott was convicted by the use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) (being the DNA of the female line of the family.) In 2001 the same scientist central to Scott's conviction ignored testing the mtDNA found under the nails of both Christine and Amber, as well as the hairs found in Christine's hands. She also did not test the unknown fingerprints for DNA. Why did she do that? You decide. The Lundy Jury had the right to know that Christine died with the hairs of a male in both her hands that were not her husbands.

If Christine and Amber were not killed in the early evening, then they were killed after 3 am in the morning,

Fact. In the first trial, the Crown needed the times of death to be in the early evening, it was a tight situation because Mark needed to in Wellington (where he was on an overnight trip to visit customers) by 12am when he was entertained by a call girl in his motel room. When that didn't work at the Privy Council, the Crown said the killings had happened after 3am, which allowed for a quick trip after the 'alibi' of the call girl's visit. This did not match with the open ranchslider and door open before 12am, so that witness was still "wrong." It also did not match with the stomach contents of Christine Lundy which were never photographed in-situ, an absolutely unheard of situation in any case - except the Lundy case.

The already disgraced pathologist Dr. Pang changed his time of death from 6.30 to being anytime between the pair were last seen alive until their bodies were found at 9am on the 30th of August 2000. To explain the Crown's new time of death he said that Christine must have eaten just before her death and that it was, according to Crown, also correct that 7-year-old Amber had got out of bed to eat in the early hours.  This was meant to explain that the undigested stomach contents that Pang said he saw at autopsy. 

But even that point is challenged by the evidence of a crime scene detective who unlike Pang recorded his notes at autopsy. If other cops were being economical with the truth Detective Jonathan Michael Oram was not, he said in his notes (remember no in-situ photos) that Christine's stomach contents were firstly fluid-based - meaning that digestion was well underway. So no late night feasts with a 7-year-old obedient child leaving her bed to eat, but digestion well underway at around 11.45 when that much-maligned neighbour noticed it open, noting that it was never used which was why he remembered it along with a call made to his father of which records exist.

As it happens that door was still open the next morning when the courier arrived to deliver a parcel, he'd never seen the door open before either, and put the courier parcel there were it was found just over 2 hours later by the family member who visited and found the bodies.

Like I said nothing is right in the Lundy case.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Scott Watson, freedom finally in sight?

In what may be the last exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPOM) Scott Watson has had his first win after 22 years battling the Judicial for freedom. A trial, appeal to the Court of Appeal, another to the Privy Council before his first RPOM application all failed. Largely because of the infamous "2 hair" evidence. That evidence has dominated in this case, but it now lays wounded.
The great and famous science accomplishment is in tatters.
What we don't know yet is if the Crown will try to defend it, if they decide not to it would be most unusual but then again the evidence, the way it was found, and where it came from has always been unusual. The claim was always that it was found on Scott's boat but that was a lie. It was found on a blanket taken from Scott's boat after it had been searched and would take a further 3 months to turn up.
But from I understand while it was said to have come from the boat on the blanket there is new evidence to say otherwise. Evidence of malfeasance leading to an understanding of the fantastically unbelievable Crown case weakly, as it now stands, held together by 2 blond hairs and little else.
The case had the customary prison stoolies, witnesses who said one thing and later another, high drama and police spread rumour through police 'friends' in the media.
I expect the case to fall hard and heavy, its once apparent strength now a deadly and fatal weakness. I recall when the successful RPOM was filed ex-police claimed that the public didn't know what police knew about the case. What a load of a trollop, trials in New Zealand are public events where the evidence is heard, To suggest that there was other secret evidence that the public didn't know about was true - that however was evidence the police had hidden and which is now known about. One ex-police officer said he had "no time" for some of Scott's supporters - as though the faults were with Watson supporters and not the police. Well, that has changed.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Light in the time of The Covid

So Covid comes.
Not a teller's version but real, lethal at the door.
There was something in the bookshelves that spoke of Covid but I could not remember what.
In was in there downstairs somewhere amongst old friends and strangers alike.
It escapes even though perhaps just metres away.
When Covid walked something called out from another place, persistent.
I needed to think of the name, then I could go nearer the bookshelf and see as though I was not a stranger from the dark, rudely peering at someone else's life.
I did not move in that direction for days.
I put the thought in a box as an envelope to store, when the night spoke once again, bringing me awake.
What was the name?
Don't go near the book it is too far away, another century, private.
Think instead of mother alive before the first great war, and father born during the greatest war that ever began.
Of where they went together and could often not meet.
The Spanish Flu meant nothing to a child growing up over the road from the Army Camp with its empty barracks, memories of marching and soldiering arms.
Think of their composure under death, separation by war.
More war, then father coming home with heavy hands and fractured heart we could not see,
his uncle long gone in European battlefields, couzins the desert took fighting for the pride of Ngati Pukenga. Warriors each.
Still, he did not speak when drawing his pictures to make a perfect world, a piano, and furniture maker he was, hands soft and caring upon the wood and charcoal alike.
There was no life in the empty barracks just away from our house behind where the mountain stood in its own watch, scoured for scoria, rock, long after its eruption of boulders and lava.
Then suddenly, there it was.
Love in the Time of Cholera, in the bookshelf waiting with the saints and ghosts of writers.
Then I saw, that now it shall be Covid that dies, blistered in the light.

Monday, March 9, 2020

North and South lays it on the line over Lundy case.

The latest North and South magazine article by Mike White (March 2020) is an in-depth investigation into the Lundy case. It's called 'Anatomy of a Scandal' and states that the story will make you question our justice system.
It's around a 2-hour read. There is much startling information in it, too much to reveal here but 2 of the strongest things which struck me was the finding on a second search a bracelet in Mark's car, one which friends of Christine's said was not hers. Mark innocently told police that it was Christine's probably about as observant as most men when it comes to clothes or jewelry. It was too small for Christine as it turns out, but the disturbing factor is like in the Scott Watson case, the 'extra' searches to find the highly visible bracelet right in the middle of the front seat, are like 2 blond hairs in a sea of much shorter brown hairs which took many, many searches to find in a lab.
The second strong issue is how our courts blocked much defence evidence from experts giving uncontroversial evidence such as fuel-consumption on a vehicle similar to Lundys, only to allow the Crown to produce 2 different types of junk science, and throw 1 type out after the retrial and then say it had no impact on the Jury in the second Lundy trial. How could they know that? Mind readers?
Whether you believe Lundy may be guilty or not it is every citizen's business that he has never had a fair trial or indeed there was never a fair investigation. I'll let Mark have the last say on that from a letter quoted in the article and written just before Christmas: "'Somewhere out there is a man with a particular Y-STR DNA profile ......A guy who left fingerprints and a palm print in our house, who has a wry smile on his face this Christmas. The Supreme Court gave him a very special present.'
It's not right folks.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Alan Hall: always innocent.

There are 2 disturbing things about the diagnosis of Alan Hall as suffering from autism which led to his sentence of life imprisonment for the stabbing death of Arthur Easton, killed at the door of his own home. A crime that it has always been clear he didn't commit. He never fitted the profile of a young tall and powerfully built Maori or Polynesian man. Alan was a small European man who was said to have learning difficulties. Something obvious to police on both counts - so what did they do? Because he apparently changed his story more than once they pressed ahead and charged him using the fact that he lied as a significant pointer toward his guilt. Here are some pointers to autism
Abnormal body posturing or facial expressions.
Abnormal tone of voice.
Avoidance of eye contact or poor eye contact.
Behavioral disturbances.
Deficits in language comprehension.
Delay in learning to speak.
Flat or monotonous speech.
Inappropriate social interaction.
From what I recall reading about Alan was that he was somewhat a loner and lived with his mother. He led a quiet life of the somewhat bewildered. The quietness could be a clue to trouble with speech and language comprehension. He may have also rocked himself or concentrated at length on a single activity. He is described in the link as not showing emotion to the Jury, something which could lead to a Jury to believe he, or someone like him, was not showing remorse. An odd statement overall as if Alan was not remorseful, it was consistent with innocence. The article describes an autistic person not showing emotions even despite feeling them - in other words appearing as if a cold fish in his own murder trial.
I have followed this case for years, always concerned by the victim's son's description of their father's attackers who they fought off at their front door. I later read that Alan's main supporter was his late mother who sold the family home to fund a fight to have his conviction overturned. Alan was paroled fairly smartly, I doubt that he admitted guilt, but the prison authorities and Parole Board must have had concerns about his guilt. But foremost the arresting police ignored that Alan was different from the attacker's description given by the 2 brothers. They were neither the same height or race. No doubt Alan didn't represent any danger to other inmates or prison staff - but still, there he was, going through depositions, a trial and an appeal without anyone batting an eyelid, especially those investigating police who took Alan's confusion over some missing items as a sign of guilt. Hello!, what about his size, his white face and the fact he came across at least a little confused.
The police and the Courts let down Alan Hall, his late mother, and the Easton family. Police wanted a conviction and they got it - but justice was never involved. A word Alan would probably be unable to spell. This leads me to the second disturbing feature of this case its characteristics shown in another infamous case.
There was another man (well, a boy at the time actually) sentenced to life imprisonment and battered by the parole board for not admitting guilt. He too was from South Auckland. His name is Teina Pora, and like Alan, it has been written about before on this blog. Later in life, he was diagnosed with Feotal Alchohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD).
Equally innocent as Alan, Teina had gone to the police station to falsely finger 2 gang members for the murder of Susan Burdett. The reason for doing that was to gain a reward. Somehow he confessed to willing police after which he asked if his baby daughter would still get the reward. He had no compunction in sending 2 innocent men away for life and may not have comprehended that he too would be sentenced to life for a crime he had not committed. Within the prison, he said to have been a nark, a dangerous thing to which his alertness to must have been diminished. Here are some life long symptoms of FASD
Abnormal facial features, such as smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip.
Small head size.
Shorter than average height.
Low body weight.
Poor coordination.
Difficult with attention.
Poor memory.
Teina is certainly a short man but had been a promising league player. However, his confusion as to the trouble he was in with police certainly is evident even in the edited tapes of the long interviews he was put through whilst being refused a lawyer. At the time he was just a teenager, later it was said that his intellectual age at that point was around that of an 8-year-old. Upon his release, he forgave family members who had given false evidence against him for a reward. His background had been the pits, his alcoholic mother dying young.
But here again, he was a victim of the system. Another murder case to be solved, no concern for arresting police that Teina in his 'confession' could not show police where the murder happened, nor describe the victim.
The police in charge of these 2 cases must have also suffered from FASD or Autism if unable to tell they were arresting the wrong young man in Alan's case, or wrong child in Teina's case. They have never been censored let alone prosecuted. The leader of their police district at the time is now New Zealand's Commissioner of police who spoke highly at the funeral of a police officer who planted evidence in another South Auckland case which Arthur Thomas was wrongly convicted of on - well, planted evidence.
Tim McKinnell, an ex-police detective who helped exonerate Teina Pora is the man advancing Alan's case. I am sure that will be successful. One must wonder why it is someone like he, with insight, logic, and honesty is not New Zealand's Commissioner of Police, or why men such as he does not appear to feature much in the NZ Police hierarchy.

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Guest post from Phillip (assumed name) on why Mark Lundy's 2nd trial was no fairer than the 1st.


                                                         Lundy Cops Cheat

It is incredible that the police would even consider that a scenario involving a 7:00pm time of deaths to be a realistic possibility, particularly when there was no possible way that Lundy could have made a return trip between Petone and Palmerston Nth and carry out the murders between 5:38pm and 8:13pm, and when there was clear evidence that Christine was still alive at 10:52pm. The police will have assumed on day one of their investigation that the killings probably took place at 11:45pm because the next door neighbour, who was first interviewed just 4 hours after the bodies were discovered, heard a commotion outside at that time. He was interviewed again three days later, and for a third time on 24th September.

Mark would have been routinely listed as a suspect. A few days would have passed before the telephone listings arrived from Telecom and they must have been hugely disappointed to find that Mark had a clear alibi for 11:45pm because the listings showed calls were made from Petone on Mark's cellphone at 11:26pm and 11:46pm. Little wonder then that the prosecution opted not to mention the time of 11:45pm to the jury at either of the two trials. Instead, they claimed that the murders took place at 7:00pm during the first trial and "After 2:00am" at the retrial. The change of time shows that the police used false evidence at the first trial because there was clear evidence available which cleared Mark from being culpable, but the use of this false evidence – the claimed manipulation of the computer clock and the high-speed trip to the Lundy home – both of which never happened, meant that the first jury was misled.

The time available for the supposed high-speed trip from Petone and back was not 3 hours but 2 hrs 48 mins according to Telecom listings of phone calls he made from Petone. Police must have done the arithmetic and therefore knew the trip both ways was clearly impossible but proceeded anyway with a 7:00pm time of deaths. Dr. Pang's original estimate of time of death was just one hour from the 6:00pm meal because digestion had not begun, which suited the police case, but he had to change it for the retrial to a new estimate of "up to fourteen hours" to cover the new time of death of 3:00am next day. Why did the police suppress from the jury the time at which the next-door neighbour heard a commotion outside which he described as something falling over and a smashing sound at 11:45pm?

Friday, January 3, 2020

NZ's Worst Convictions 2020

What lingers in 2020 on the list on NZ's worst convictions and what may happen to them this year.

A conclusion or a step toward a conclusion.
Heading this list are 3 with oldest first:

David Tamihere convicted of the 1990 murders of 2 Swedish tourists largely on the evidence of 3 secret prison witnesses. After his convictions, the body of one of the tourists Urban Hoglin was found buried inland wearing his watch which police had claimed to have found in the home of Tamihere after the secret witnesses had claimed Tamihere told them he'd dumped the bodies at sea. Despite that Court of Appeal (COA) denied Tamihere's appeal. 2 years ago 1 of the 3 witnesses was convicted on 8 charges of perjury relating to the case by private prosecution, the 2 other witnesses are being searched for by the private prosecutors remarkably without police being willing to help.
The case against David is a wreck now and he has an application filed under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPOM) which must surely result in either a pardon or referral to the COA to get it right this time.

Peter Ellis. The Supreme Court is pondering the 1993 case of Peter Ellis and the situation whereas the right of appeal ceasing with death but Justices Joe Williams and Susan Glazebrook threw a curveball into the arguments from both sides when they suggested that New Zealand didn't need to follow decisions set in any other country, and could establish an entirely new rule based on Tikanga Maori, being the Maori way of doing things and preserving culture. Specifically that the mana of dead is to be protected. Hence it could settle the issue of what is broadly seen as Peter being falsely convicted in a manner of interviewers inviting children to agree with an interviewer's suggestions or to make up and say things which appear incomprehensible with no supporting facts.
For the Court to claim credit for this seems mischievous because the Chief Mokomoko was pardoned in 1993 for being allegedly involved in the murder of the missionary Karl Volkner in the 1800s by the Justice Minister of the time Doug Graham possibly using the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, which is still law, whatever the case Mokomoko was pardoned lifting the burden from his family and seeing his mana restored.
A second chief Kereopa said to be involved in Volkner's death was pardoned in 2014 as part of the Ngati Rangiwewehi Treaty of Waitangi settlement.
Clearly, Peter should be posthumously pardoned to restore his mana, that of his family and finally relieve the NZ Justice system of a long term contempt by many New Zealanders over Peter's prosecution.

Scott Watson Another case made a mess of my the COA shortly enters its 3rd year of review by way of RPOM. A mystery ketch said not to have existed is tracked and confirmed by both witnesses and nautical experts. A 'mystery man' has been explained and it is not Scott Watson. A claim by the Crown that Scott made a 2nd trip ashore, after the Crown failed to prove Scott had ever met the couple let alone have them come aboard his yacht the Blade is debunked. That is despite the COA inventing evidence of the '2nd trip[ that never happened when dismissing the Watson appeal 2 decades ago. In the meantime, the 'magic and telling' critical evidence of 2 hairs said by 'comparison analysis' to belong to one of the victims, Olivia Hope, has been shown to be a junk science method - also revealing that the 2 hairs could not be those of Olivia.
Like the Tamihere case, where it is said perjury goes to the heart of a conviction, junk science does so equally devastatingly,  it can be expected Scott's case will be resolved in some fashion by the RPOM either by a pardon or a referral to the COA.
Scott's case remains of high public interest since a number of books and documentaries including the most recent 'Doubt,' the deepest look into the case so far where the NZ public got to hear from witnesses who saw the mystery ketch but were never called by police, being ignored instead and one whose account was changed without her knowledge.

On the horizon cases:

Rex Haig. Any changes by the Supreme Court by virtue of posthumously pardon for Peter Ellis or even arguments against in a negative decision may open the door for Rex's family and possibly supporter Mike Kalaugher. It was Kalaugher, who along with Arthur Taylor, successfully prosecuted witness C in the Tamihere case and letting the public know his name, Robert Conchie Harris - now recognised as a life-long police informer who gained early parole for lying about an alleged 'confession' by Tamihere.
There is a long term issue remaining with the Haig case and that is the office of the Solicitor General refusing to confirm that it knew that the primary witness against Rex had confessed to the murder he later accused Rex of committing.

Gail Maney prosecuted for the disappearance of a fisherman, Deane Fuller-Sandys in a case where the body was never found but items, probably belonging to the man was on the shoreline or washed ashore. She is now having her case looked at by Auckland Lawyer and QC Julie Anne Kincaide with Tim McKinnell the ex-police detective that opened up the Pora case. Maney's convictions for Fuller-Sandy's death and that of Leah Stephens have been described as one of the worst yet miscarriages of Justice, and I think the public is going to be in for a shocking surprise. Men high on the suspect list for the murder of Leah Stephens were granted immunity for evidence against Gail and a man still in prison for the murders of both. Stephen Stone. Police had offered Gail immunity but she refused to give false evidence for a crime she didn't know about and 1 that may not have happened. Gail's case besides having no physical proof that can withstand scrutiny relies on the premise that she somehow had the capacity to 'order the death' of Fuller-Sandys by a man she hadn't met at the time. The case matches Watson for police malfeasance and many of the cases of the others here for the COA's rubber stamp of dodgy as convictions.

Mark Lundy. The case was thrown out last month by the highest Court in one of the most poorly understood uses of 'junk science' imaginable. The court flattered itself with the misunderstanding of a forensic junk science immunohistochemistry (IHC) crowning itself as the only Court in the world thick enough to allow IHC to be used. Not only that, but the Court explained what IHC did as a function in clinical biological testing on the known matter before saying that IHC, therefore, was able to do the same in a forensic science setting where the biological matter was unknown, aged and rotten. While ignoring hard fingernail DNA evidence taken from the nails of the 2 victims and analysed as coming from 2 unknown males. Victim fingernail DNA is resulting in scores of wrongful conviction cases in the United States to be overturned. Ironically, it was in the States where an attempt was made to use IHC evidence, but it was rejected at trial and upheld in the State appeal court. The case with a very little public objection to the double murder convictions is thought to be over for Mark Lundy. Nothing could be further from the truth.