Friday, January 29, 2016

New book finds Watson guilty.

I guess it is breaking news that a book by Ian Wishart due for release today claims that Watson is guilty along with 1 another of the murder of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart. It is only in recent weeks that the existence of the book have been revealed. I read about it on Kiwi Blog where, not unexpectedly, many commentators lined up with their favored positions - in particular those in the Watson guilty camp decried Wishart's ability to find the truth while many on the other side presumed that Wishart would conclude Watson's innocence. Having been around a little myself my only comment was that the findings would be of interest and my hope was that they were evidenced based,

At this point I don't know. What I do know from a press release by David Fisher is a fairly contradictory position taken by Wishart which apparently claims that Watson is not the public persona that he has been portrayed to be (an odd position because it public persona has most often been portrayed as his being particularly evil and dangerous) as a decent bloke whereas Wishart says the opposite. I think the coin gets flipped on that - any analysis of a person's character in a controversial case should never over shadow evidence, even when it is clear that the accused's character is of concern Justice cannot jump to conclusions one way or the other. The test foremost always remains the evidence.

Wishart is also reported to claim that the police botched the investigation, so immediately there is no side of the for and against Watson arguments that emerge with credibility. On the face of it, and for no small reason that Wishart claims that Watson is guilty with 1 other person, the case made by police is now under attack because they apparently did not discover 1 other guilty offender. It may of course be deeper than that, Wishart may be claiming police knew about the second person and overlooked it for some reason. From history in some controversial cases that is not exactly uncommon, most recently Teina Pora's false imprisonment for 20 years showed evidence of that, as did the David Bain conviction.

At this early stage Wishart looks to have uncovered some controversial material which could indeed confirm Watson's guilt and the details of a 2nd offender, who may now be dead but who was at least according to Wishart either deliberately ignored by police or possibly even a fortunate escapee from police attention because of ineptitude.

Really what the Wishart book will need to show to benefit either, or both sides, of the argument of Watson's guilt or evidence will be answers to what has fallen apart since Watson's trial. That he was never put with the couple in any conclusive matter apart from witnesses who said they were duped by police and withdrew their identification of Watson with the couple. He will have to explain the mystery ketch, which could be part of Wishart's theory. Wishart may say that the couple were taken to the mystery ketch after all and Watson and another were eventually there with them after which the couple were killed. If anything like this is expounded upon the hairs found on the blanket in the laboratory said to link Watson to Olivia will need a clear explanation because their appearance was not only shady (the hairs not being found on an earlier search by a scientist despite being distinctively blond and long) but if it is claimed that Olivia was not on Watson's boat but on another - then how the hairs fit in becomes even more dubious.

Of course there is a recanted confession said to have been made by Watson to a stranger he met in prison and who he allegedly confessed to - the new theory may also contradict that alleged conversation relied upon by the Crown.

Frankly I'm cynical, as one should be with emotion put aside. But I remain very interested in any new facts relied upon by Wishart in order to analyse what affect they might have on the Watson conviction but not necessarily on the theory of Wishart. All cases of false convictions or allegations have 'leap of faith' components that get white washed by the horror of crime, or distaste or sympathy for the accused. Ultimately lets look at the evidence, see if disquiet about the Watson conviction is reasonably satisfied or in fact, in cool deliberation, becomes of even greater concern. Any such concern is not allayed by serious proof that the police botched the case, because after all a discerning observer might see the mistakes as overall favoring Watson and the claims of another offender supporting this. Anyway, more on this in due course.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Where Joe Parker and Kevin Barry find themselves as 2016 begins.

When Joe Parker had 1 fight left last year he, as with all his other fights, arrived an improved boxer. We have yet to see Parker with an off night, apparently fighting injured or out of sorts. As expected we saw him laying down on his punches with great power from the 1st opportunity as he has displayed in his latest fights - going up a notch or 2 by again displaying a fast start at close to full power. It was all over within the first round.

Before the fight Kevin Barry revealed that he had given up on Parker lifting weights, instead concentrating on body weight exercises. The changes to Parker's appearance was evident. Some readers will know that lifting weights in many particular exercises doesn't emulate specific movement an athlete will use in his or her competing. At no stage in boxing will a boxer use his or her muscles in anyway that directly and consistently corresponds with weight training, they will however completely use their own body weight and strength throughout their contest. Weight lifting is not a natural way for a boxer to train and many boxers, as Parker seems one, will not benefit as compared to training with body weight - their weapon in the contest. Additionally, what is a good way of training for one boxer may not suit another. An advantage for Parker early in career, as it has been with some greats, is that picking up weight between fights is not a problem. When he is in pre-fight training it is not to shed weight, rather to heighten his skills and fitness for the next fight.

His other advantage is his partnership with Kevin Barry, as dedicated trainer as Parker is fighter. I saw Lance Revel recently going about his day job of fixing a fence and wondered what he thought of Parker's progress. He had always been negative about Tua's chances at the top but never from memory about his power. Of similar build if not height to Parker Lance came late to the heavy weight ranks in his career, I'm fairly positive he would approve of the progress of Parker if not the calibre of his opponents. How distinctly different the world is now for young Kiwi boxers compared to the past. Tom Heeney more than likely paid his own fare to the states before eventually being the first NZ boxer to fight for the heavyweight crown. By the time of the Tua and Barry partnership there were training camps held in the states. An overall impression, that despite that era being a pioneering base for the entirely professional training of Parker, could be that David Tua did not fully appreciate his opportunity of what the professional efforts of Barry meant to his career and could have meant to his career had they been fully embraced. At times Tua appeared to think that what was happening for him was to be expected - his destiny as he sometimes put it.

Whatever different opinions are Barry has been at the forefront of putting NZ boxers on the world stage, if not each individual boxer - then the blueprint or format. Barry no longer wears his heart on his sleeve as he often appeared to do with Tua. What has cost him dearly is now his reward, experience. That experience with respect to Parker looks to be melding into the perfect partnership no matter how far Parker travels in his career, the partnership, training, and mental application looks capable of taking him as far as his training, talent and skill will allow toward a world title. Whereas many critics bemoan the development of Parker, in particular the hand-picked opponents etc, the reality is of the tried and tested route. To look for the benefits one need only look at Parker's record, his standing in the rankings - but most of all his constant development and improvement. Such is his improvement that even his doubters cannot deny it, whilst many commentators from afar including boxers and ex champions confirm the progress of the young, gifted with speed, heavyweight.

Parker in 2 short years no longer looks so wide eyed with excitement and opportunity. He is fully, and menacingly focused in a way that not only draws attention but exudes bitter determination. Klitschko should overturn his defeat to Fury mainly because the latter looks to untidy in his personal life, pick Klitschko to turn the tables by out thinking the British heavyweight long before their scheduled fight. Whatever the outcome of that fight, I anticipate steady progress for Parker again this year, more of the same - credible opponents, some chosen for their style and the prospect of Parker gaining experience by the match. Look for a continued steady climb from the busy fighter that Parker has proven himself to be - certainly higher rankings and perhaps a career defining fight either this year or next. He's got the goods, he's being finally tuned and honed physically and mentally. Not all boxers have that opportunity or mental state of mind, they are relatively few and far between. Parker is certainly one, as is Klitschko another. Soon however, it will be Parker's turn to enter the elite world where Klitschko has ruled, as others have before him. Most boxes look likely to be ticked in his favour and he will know what we all know there is no certainty apart from the fact he continues to make the very best of his chances.