News: The Case of the Missing Bloodstain.

  • For developments relating to the Sounds murders please click on the Trial By Trickery link above.
  • The comments and notes on this page and throughout this website are those of Keith Hunter unless otherwise identified.

 

Developments:

(August 2013)

NB Media 7: Video of the commendation of The Case of The Missing Bloodstain by AAThomas counsel Peter Williams QC is now available on the Introduction and Reviews page. The comment was made when TVNZ's former Media 7 programme focused on the book on 19 April 2012, three days after publication. The entire Media 7 episode is also available there...

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Posted 7 August 2014

The facts of the Crewes case have taken quite a beating in recent weeks, starting with the police ‘review’ of the case and the ridiculous false report by QC David Jones, the latest assault being last week's 3rd  Degree on TV3. (More)

Posted 29 November 1913

A letter replying to NZ On Air's Jane Wrightson is posted below

Posted 24 November 2013

Jane Wrightson, CEO of New Zealand On Air, has replied to the letter sent to board member Stephen McElrea regarding Bryan Bruce and his false film. Unfortunately Jane has misread the issues, as did Minister Craig Foss. (More)

Posted 19 November 2013

Letters seeking responses to the misinformation Bryan Bruce turned into his Crewes film were sent to Television New Zealand and New Zealand On Air early last week, following advice from the Minister of Broadcasting Mr Foss on 1 November, reported below, that this is 'the correct action'. (More)

Posted 1 November 2013
The Minister of Broadcasting has replied to the 15 September letter sent to him. He advises that the answers about Bryan Bruce’s ‘Who killed the Crewes’ film lie with TVNZ and NZOA. Misinformation deliberately broadcast in deliberately fraudulent television programmes are not the Minister’s business, according to the Television New Zealand Act 2003, sctn 28 (1). Instead, Mr Foss says, this web site has “taken the correct action by continuing your discussion with NZ On Air and TVNZ.”

The discussion will accordingly be pursued with NZ On Air and TVNZ, neither of which has yet acknowledged receipt of any of the correspondence about Who Killed the Crewes? and Bryan Bruce’s decade long Investigator series. TVNZ has instead adopted a Nelson style defiance of the facts. It is standing by the false documentary, and perhaps the false series, by maintaining its availability ‘on demand’ on its website.

Further queries to both organisations will be posted here shortly

15 October.

This website has been off the air for several days after being 'compromised' by someone who found a way to utilise some of its code to send out spam. The web host closed it down until the situation was remedied. The attack was not a targeted one. It was apparently opportunist.

8 October

Briefly re Lundy and the Privy Council: The announcement last night was no surprise. It will be interesting now to see if the Crown case changes from its impossible three hour peakhour return journey all set about with psychics testifying to seeing a fat man in women's gear running 500 metres twice in the dark.. The scenario the police gave to Bryan Bruce to promote must be tempting. That had a middle of the night killing, no impossible city to city beaming and no psychics - but probably an unwelcome witness hiding in the background who saw Lundy or his car at his motel during the night.

KH

20 September

A reply to the Minister of Broadcasting's letter of 28 August is here. So too follow-up letters to New Zealand On Air and Television New Zealand.

17 September

The Minister of Broadcasting has replied (see here) to the letter sent to him on 10 August (here). He has suggested that comment on Bryan Bruce's false film be sought from NZ On Air and Television New Zealand. Consequently letters have been sent to those organisations. They will be published here on Friday 20 September. Although the deadline for complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, is well past, a letter to that body will also be posted here, as will a reply to Mr Foss.

31 August 2013

When will the police understand that all they have to do to get rid of the Crewes fiasco is to con

cede Hutton was a bent cop who planted evidence against an innocent man, as everyone else knows? It’ll go away then. It’ won’t go away if they keep chasing the sort of stupidity planted on the Herald’s front page this morning. (More)

21 August 2013

A letter to the Minister of Broadcasting is posted below. It puts to the Minister a number of questions related to the TVOne Bryan Bruce film addressed in the 'COUQ' series. The letter has been provoked by the debate about the GSCB bill and the revelation that journalists, especially 'investigative' journalists, are either potential traitors or terrorists in the eyes of the Prime Minister and those of his subordinates, colleagues and friends who want to rip away New Zealanders' rights to privacy. It begins:

Dear Minister,

"The following request for information is prompted by the present debate over the role and privacy of journalists in New Zealand, particularly “investigative” journalists. I have acted and/or been employed in broadcasting as an investigative journalist since 1967. While my attention has not been on affairs of state, issues relating to police conduct have been a frequent focus.

My questions to you arise from the Prime Minister’s comments in the press last week, when he said: “We have enormous respect for the 4th estate. ..We don’t think (journalists) should be subject to surveillance and they’re not..” (More)

9 July 2013

For comment on the Sounds development today click on the Trial By Trickery link above.

1 July 2013

A National Disgrace:
The police force is displaying the same immaturity with Bain as in the Thomas case, plus a dash of desperation. As Deputy Commissioner Bush has been unavailable after screwing up publicly in Thomas, the job of responding to the convincing new Bain evidence was passed down to Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess. Predictably Burgess spoke to script and screwed up too. By the time we get to Lundy or Watson the job of responding to unwelcome news will probably have descended several more ranks.. (more..)

21 June 2013
While they await the forthcoming Privy Council decision on Mark Lundy, visitors to this page should contemplate a relevant series of similarities... (more)

13 June 2013

Trevor Mallard’s attack yesterday on Deputy Commissioner Bush’s prattle in praise of the late evidence-planter Bruce Hutton is well justified. Bush was not speaking at a ‘private function’ when he glorified Hutton, and even if he were it would be irrelevant. His support for the utterly discredited Hutton was a public declaration of the police position on the Crewes case. He was essentially articulating the police myth that no evidence was ever planted in the Crewes case and that AA Thomas is guilty.
Bush’s performance reminds me of a criminal prosecution I witnessed in court in Auckland in 1998. The case sticks in my mind because in it the police had the benefit of some special luck... (more)

17 May 2013

COMB's first birthday passed last month without any response to its claims from the police Crewes Review team. Neither the Commissioner's promise that Detective Superintendent Lovelock would 'contact you directly with a response' nor the detailed letter (here) sent to Mr Lovelock last October have had effect. Consequently last week a second letter was sent to Mr Lovelock seeking that response (more).

7 April 2013
What a joke!.
With the passing of former Inspector Bruce Hutton we have just seen a re-run of the process that kept his infamy from the courts. After the 1980 Royal Commission found that he had planted evidence against an innocent man, the then Commissioner of Police, Robert Walton, announced that there was no case against Mr Hutton. The Royal Commission was wrong, said the Police Commissioner right across the nation’s front pages - as he passed the case to the Solicitor-General for determination. The Solicitor General, knowing in advance from the Police Commissioner what the truth was and what the outcome of his investigation would therefore be, announced a year later that there was no case against Mr Hutton. Thereupon Mr Hutton settled down to thirty years as a horse breeder, apparently a wealthy one after the accidental death of his second wife in her bathtub (more) .

29 November

A scam is a scam is... coincidence or two guilty minds and the BBC?(more)

Posted 19 November 2012

Modem problems have kept this site quiet for a little while. However it's pleasing to read (Sunday Star Times et al from 19 November) that Chris Birt has discovered a smoking gun document that nails the late Police Commissioner Robert Walton as the man who had the planted cartridge case taken to the Tuakau tip . It's pleasing to see that Hutton didn't propose it himself and that he is innocent in the matter. Bob told him to do it. Bob must have told him to plant the cartridge case in the first place too, and the axle as well. Bruce wouldn't have done any of these things if Bob hadn't told him to...(more)

Posted 2 November 2012

Following a press report last week that the police team reviewing the Crewe case was about to complete its review, I wrote to Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock seeking his response to The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. The letter included a concise outline of the cases now available against both Jeannette Crewe's father Len Demler for murder and Detective Inspector Hutton for a variety of charges including conspiracy to pervert the courseof justice. It began:

"On 12 May I posted you a copy of the above book. Another copy was delivered to you via the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Police, the Commissioner of Police, and Det Snr Sgt Lendrum. Mr Lendrum advised that you intended to read it while on leave overseas in June. While press reports now claim that your review of the Crewe case is almost complete, I am disappointed that you have yet to respond to that reading... " (more)

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Posted 17 September 2012

In episode 10 of COUQ (below) I posted text from an email I sent to Rodney Hide in response to his 'muddying the waters' comment. I recorded that I had written:

Monday, 16 July 2012 9.13pm
Rodney
You may have noticed that Bryan has complained about the police obstructing his efforts to discover the truth but that he has “uncovered several things I’m sure will surprise viewers who have followed the case over the years.."
K

That was an edited version of the email. The sentence that completed it was:

"I  won’t be surprised when he extracts several rabbits from his helmet "

The first rabbit was extracted last night on TVNZ News, coincidentally just days after Bryan Bruce's impoverished relationship with the truth has been exposed here. Followers of COUQ may see a connection. The Herald has repeated the story this morning, with the added artificial flavour of an attack by Bryan on the police and an attack by the police on Bryan.

Predictably, the new information relates to Bryan's "Len Demler is innocent" fable. Followers of COUQ might also be amused by Bryan's report that he sought the document a year ago but has acquired it only now, coincidentally just days after his impoverished relationship with the truth relating to Len Demler has been exposed here. The new document says that Bruce Roddick, the man who saw the mystery woman outside the Crewe house two days after they were murdered, was taken to a viewing of the second Mrs Demler and said she was not that woman. Who must we rely on for the integrity of the new document? Bruce Hutton, liar, perjurer and planter of false evidence, according to the Royal Commission of Inquiry. Readers of COMB who would like to assess Mr Hutton's truthfullness for themselves should refer to page 12 of that book.

COUQ readers will recall that Bryan Bruce went to Chris Birt for information because the police wouldn't give him any. Now he has suddenly succeeded in acquiring from the police a key document that no one has seen before, that has been hidden away for forty years! I wonder where the police found it, how long they have known about it, what persuaded them to surrender it to Bryan right now, and who they asked to type it up..

Pull the other one, Bryan.

=========================================

Posted 10 August 2012
Here starts

COUQ
A website documentary series

 

Introduction:


Posted 15 August 2012

A pre-series Crewes primer:
The time                         June 1970.
The victims:                    Harvey and Jeanette Crewe, farmers aged early 30s.
The location:                   Pukekawa, small farming community south of Auckland.
The murder scene:          The Crewes’ lounge.
The real suspect:             Len Demler, Jeannette’s father and next door neighbour.
The situation:                  Len finds Harvey and Jeanette missing from their home.
Next:                              A police inquiry is set up.
Next:                              The Crewes are found in the river, both shot in the head.
The first outcome:           An innocent man is convicted of two murders.
The innocent:                  Arthur Allan Thomas, farmer.
What followed?              Lots of trials, appeals and books.
The second outcome:      Thomas is convicted again.
What followed?               Lots of trials, appeals and books.
The next outcome:           Thomas is released in 1979.
The reason:                      Prosecution case undermined
Next:                               A Royal Commission of Inquiry:
When?                            1980.
Its finding:                       Evidence was planted evidence against Thomas.
Who did the planting?    Two policemen, Hutton and Johnston.
Were they charged?        No.
Why not?                       The System wouldn’t accept the finding.
Was the System right?    No.
Was the case re-opened? No.  
Why not?                        The System won’t admit it got it wrong.
Was the System right?    No.
Who wants it reopened? Everyone else.
Will it ever be reopened?  No.
Why not?                         See above.
Who killed the Crewes?  See The Case of the Missing Bloodstain
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Back to the beginning of COUQ. Back to the top

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A Precis of COUQ: Initial episodes summarised


COUQ was first posted as a series every two days over a period of five weeks in August-September 2012. While it was approachable in that format when its message was introduced episode by episode, now that the whole story is available all at once the episodic format is no longer appropriate. Taken in one lump, the earlier material muddies the message. Consequently, the early episodes are now summarised below . The summary addresses the ‘tawdry argument’ described in the video Introduction only insofar as it relates directly to the underlying purpose of the series which picks up at Episode 10.

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COUQ’s Origin

The stimuli for COUQ were unattributed references in Chris Birt's book All the Commissioner’s Men and on his website, to two of the key conclusions of “The Case of the Missing Bloodstain (COMB.)

1          The ‘Welcome Visitor Scenario”
The more important of the two conclusions is my reasoning that the Crewes’ murderer can be identified by an astute analysis of the murder scene and the injury to Harvey Crewe, in the context of an appreciation of the Crewes’ lifestyle.
Two months after this theory was first published in COMB, Birt published it on his website under the title “The Welcome Visitor Scenario”.  His defences against the charge that he has copied the scenario from COMB are that it ‘has been around for years’, that it was on the one hand known and first proposed by the Thomas family while at the same time he thought of it himself. None of these defences accommodate scrutiny. His references to a Welcome Visitor Scenario are plagiarised, stolen from COMB.
During the early COUQ exchanges Birt advised that he met with the police on 20 January 2012. His claims indicate that the scenario was introduced to him by the police at that meeting. This becomes of considerable moment later in the overall COUQ story. A centeral issue is how the police came to know of COMB's 'Welcome Visitor' theory, which had never previously been realised or considered by them or by anyone else.

2          COUQ – the Title
The second conclusion referred to above relates to a caption to a photograph in Birt’s book taken during at the recovery of Harvey Crewe’s body from the Waikato River in September 1970. The caption undermines the impact of COMB’s deduction that former Detective Inspector Hutton planted the axle beam that was found under Harvey’s body, later claiming that it had been used to weight the body down. Birt’s caption said that the photograph:
“ …shows Bruce Hutton holding up an axle, and purportedly ‘Crewe’s body floating alongside the boat wrapped in a black polythene sheet’. This is manifestly untrue as the full frame proves. The body recovery had clearly already been completed been by then and the black polythene was put in place after that, for reasons never explained..”

I wrote to Birt that the polythene sheet is a basic ingredient in my conclusion that the axle had been planted. The sheet had passed almost unnoticed since 1970 but had now been subject to unwarranted attention in the context of his book. Furthermore, no-one has ever ‘purported’ that the body had been wrapped in the polythene and so the ‘purported’ quote has no source. ….
Birt’s quote gave the series its title: "The Case of the Unsourced Quotation" - COUQ.

In Episode 9 I pointed out that there are two references in COMB (on pages 70 and 209) to the following excerpt from the major police inquiry conference on 15 July 1970:

Chief Superintendent PA BYRNE:
When you hand over the Crewe house, some of the black polythene around the sheds, you may get an exact matching piece when you find the bodies.­

I argued that since there were these two references to black polythene in COMB and just two, to the polythene found in the river, in the entire documentation of the Crewe case, it was more likely that the polythene reference in Birt's photo caption derived from COMB rather than from the Crewe documents. COMB was published on 16 April and All The Commissioner's Men two months later, on 11 June. Two months allows insufficent time for the reference to have included in All The Commissioner's Men. It would follow that the text of COMB must have been inspected by an informant to Birt's book prior to COMB's publication. For this reason Birt's discussion with the police on 20 January 2012 becomes a point of interest.

NB:
We now pick the story up at Episode 10, where Television One's 'The Investigator', Bryan Bruce, enters the story. Readers should take particular note of the following advice already offered in COUQ’s Introduction:

  • …Overall the story  begs a specific question which has always bothered me– and most New Zealanders old enough to know about the case and why it  matters
  • The question is – whether there is anything that will oblige the Justice system to reopen the case – or perhaps, is there anything the system will not do to avoid reopening it.
  • Underlying it all is my conviction that the Crewe case is so important to our justice system that it will never reopen or allow it to be transparently investigated – unless,  somehow, sometime a political figure  arrives who has the power and the fortitude to stand up to the system and require it – or if parliament itself required it to be reopened.
  • There’s one other matter – it seems to me that one of these books has seriously upset our police force – almost as if it’s given them something to fear..
  • A story like this can’t be told without plain speaking – so as the story plays down the reader, or viewer, will need to consider whether or not characters in the story are treated fairly or unfairly – for instance whether or not they re defamed and if so whether the defamation is justified or just misguided.

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COUQ: A Website Whodunnit

Episode 10

Posted 5 September 2012

The tawdry personal issues relating to my professional reputation and relationship with Chris Birt are now addressed and COUQ proceeds with issues of wider and greater significance, as predicted in the introduction. Episode 10 consists of an email to Bryan Bruce, Television One’s ‘The Investigator’, which begins that process.

In view of issues raised by COUQ in its next episodes, I ask followers of the series to inform their relatives, friends and acquaintances – and the relatives friends and acquaintances of those contacts - of this new episode and of those to come, especially if they have viewed or are followers of TVNZ’s “The Investigator” series. The content of the email to Bruce should explain this request.
KH

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Email 5 September 2012, Hunter to Bruce
Dear Bryan
Re: Your documentary “Who Killed the Crewes?
I attach some notes on your recent film ‘Who Killed the Crewes?’

Keith Hunter

Attachment:

Dear Bryan
You will find a review of your Crewes programme on my website at http://www.hunterproductions.co.nz/?page=news

That review was an early effort and I intend now to provide a more reasoned one after viewing the film on TVNZ’s On Demand.
I have watched your film three times now, puzzled by its claims. During the third viewing I suddenly came up with an explanation for the difficulties I have experienced. Before I detail these difficulties I must first admit that I have little regard for your Investigator series. There have been many reasons for my view, amongst them your treatment of the high profile cases where the reputation of the police and of our justice system might be seen as at issue. Where a wider issue than guilt or innocence is involved and there is a degree of public disquiet, you seem invariably to find for the System, directly or indirectly. I speak in particular of your outcomes in the Bain, Barlow, Lundy and Tamihere cases – all high profile, controversial cases where the reputation of the police force in particular is at stake. I am familiar with two of these, Barlow and Lundy. I’ve also followed Bain and Joe Karam’s treatment of it fairly closely, although familiarity with the case is unnecessary for a critique of your own treatment of it in July 2010. In these cases I am unimpressed by your research efforts. 
In sum, your critical stances seem to be finely judged to ensure the appearance of true critique where in fact they are for me a finely judged campaign with a different goal.
A bolder commentator than I might have made these comments earlier, but I’ve felt constrained by the likelihood that any such critique from me would be seen as sour grapes from a competitor. Your sally into Thomas has freed me of that timidity. I’ve been inside the Crewe case for twelve years and your entry into it has cleared the way for me to publish an opinion on your work on that and other cases.
Your information to the public of New Zealand on Thomas, the most important of all these cases, was false. I believe it was deliberately false and that your specific purpose was to misinform. Before I address that false information, broadcast to perhaps half a million viewers, I offer a brief comment on two of the others – Bain and Lundy.
My thoughts on your last Bain episode are well described in an email to Joe Karam just after it played. I understand that the Broadcasting Standards Authority fined TVNZ $1500 for your performance in that film. Had the BSA suspected that what they fined you for may have been intentional, the fine might have been much greater. It was all about your setting up one of the Bain witnesses by accusing him of perjury and then asking him for an interview, all while your camera rolled. I was incensed when you did that. Here’s how I put it to Joe Karam:
8 July 2010, Email, Hunter to Karam
Joe
…. my reason for this email is .. the challenge that (Bain) must front up for a television interview. In my view the demand is an outrage. There’s nothing he can or should add to the matters raised by Bryan. Others have made the same sort of challenge to Scott Watson but to do it to Bain in such a public context is an outrage. An honest refusal from him will be seen as an admission of guilt and it seems to me that that is the objective.
…... Briefly - I was amazed that Bryan had followed up on the Young evidence and disgusted that his only attempt to interview Young was an on-camera jackup that was guaranteed to fail. If he had wanted to get the interview he would have made the request more honestly and not on camera. A normal approach would have been a telephone call from his office asking to check the information first, asking for a research interview next and asking for a filmed interview last. Instead the witness Young got what was essentially an on camera accusation of perjury in a matter of seconds. What chance an average Kiwi with nil experience of television or of being interviewed on it would agree to a television interview out of the blue on that basis?

The fact that Bryan made the approach on camera with the visual dynamic provided by the car trip, as if on the way to the interview, …(indicated ) that his purpose was to have Young refuse, and to refuse on camera for his audience - which is what he got. It is also evidence that he did actually not want to check his information with the best witness who could confirm or correct it.  He wanted the refusal and he wanted it on camera. So he set up a request guaranteed to fail

…. I’ve done a lot of the sort of research Bryan would have done for his film and I’m sure that following up on the Young evidence would have been one of the very last things I would have thought of doing - after studying the entire transcript of the trial.  And if I had done it I would have started with Young himself. Instead that’s where Bryan finished. He found both opposing evidence and opposing witness without any contact with Young. In my view highly unlikely. It felt as if he had been supplied with the research, the paper work and the new witness and was being used to publicise it ….
...It may be that the transcript identified the firm involved, which supplied the paper work, which would have identified the new witness. Nevertheless there are several questions Bryan should be able clarify, these amongst them:

  • Did he do the research or was it given to him?,
  • Did he find the opposing witness himself?
  • How did he find him?
  • Similarly how did he find the firm involved which provided the paperwork
  • Why did he film the approach to Young?
  • Why in a car and not his office?
  • Why not a standard research request by office telephone?.
  • How many other approaches to contributors to his programme did he film?
  • Why did he not film the approach to the new witness?
  • Does he film approaches to interviewees as a normal practice?

Of course it might be advisable to check with Bryan’s new witness and the firm involved  and ask if he was first approached by Bryan or the police and who was it that asked for and was given the documentation. What contact has the firm had with Byran? ….

…It may be (that) … my concerns are misguided and that all of the material Bryan used was available from the transcripts, but it all looks to me like a prima facie case of deceit...Secondly - while Bryan is not my main target, his treatment of Young, and therefore of Bain, was a deliberate, unethical and inexcusable scam which rubs off on all documentary makers. We all have reputations which suffer because of low tricks like this….
….Bryan and I are colleagues in the same business who compete for funding. While that should temper any critique I might make of his film it should not prevent me from acting constructively. When the opportunity arises I’ll put my views to him in person and with vigour. In the meantime this email intended for you alone. It is not a public document….

Bryan – there are two things we both know here. We both know that you don’t persuade people to be interviewed by accusing them of perjury and then asking for the interview. That’s how you guarantee a refusal. And we both know that you don’t set up camera and camera operator in the car, then hop in with your cell-phone, roll the camera and then call someone for an interview. You only do that if you want to get the response on tape. Putting both together suggests that guaranteeing a refusal on tape was your purpose.
The real way you arrange interviews is by calling people from the office without any camera rolling at all, and you don’t badger them at all – isn’t it?

Then there’s your Lundy film a couple of years ago. There you provided a brand new murder scenario without giving the accused a chance to defend himself against it. You had him killing in the early hours of the next morning, not at the prosecution’s strict 7pm time at trial. What bothered me there is the obvious question you failed to ask – of the police.
The case the Crown took to court relied heavily on a pathologist’s evidence for a precise time of death based on analysis of the victims’ stomach contents. That evidence was patently ridiculous. I’m no pathologist or medical authority but I’ve known for twenty years that you can’t accurately determine the time of death from stomach contents – as your documentary ‘discovered’. I boned up on it for a case I studied in 1991 (also for a television documentary) and I find it difficult to believe that two journalists performing basic research can easily acquire that knowledge while a pathologist and an experienced police team are unaware of it.
In short the Crown case has always been pie-in-the-sky and I can’t imagine that its weaknesses were unknown to the police. Its principal feature is its assertion of a three hour return car trip between Wellington and Palmerston North at peak rush hour. No-one has ever emulated that trip and the reason is obvious. It’s impossible. But for some reason the police continued with it, supported by scientifically ridiculous evidence from the pathologist and the eyewitness testimony of a telepathic medium who testified to seeing a man in women’s clothing running down the road – adding two half-kilometre sprints by a fat man in women’s gear to the three hour scenario. Astonishingly, a jury bought all this and a great deal of extremely dubious evidence that you supported instead of questioning.
There was a key issue you overlooked when you solved the case for your viewers, Bryan: Why did the police go with their patently impossible scenario when absolutely everything pointed to a middle of the night killing? We know why they didn’t go for the scenario plainly dictated by the evidence – murder at around 11pm. They didn’t go there because Lundy was known to be in Wellington with a prostitute at that time. So you chose a 2-3am killing to fit him up. Why didn’t the police do that? It is so, so obvious. Doesn’t common sense suggest there was a reason why they chose the impossible over the obvious? Surely there had to be a reason. What chance there was evidence lurking in the shadows that indicated that Lundy was in Wellington all night – perhaps early morning sightings of his car outside his motel room? Without asking the police why they didn’t pursue your 2-3am scenario, or preferably carrying out some real investigation into it, your film was to me just another Investigator high profile propaganda piece. Its message to me was: don’t worry that the accused was convicted on a factually impossible scenario - he’s guilty anyway, and here’s a better scenario that he won’t get a chance to answer.

When you did your Crewes film, Bryan, you intruded on territory in which I now claim expertise and I won’t let you do to this case what you have done to others. You will find that I don’t think you are an investigator at all.

Several weeks before your film played I predicted to Rodney Hide that it would set out to confuse and cloud the issues. Rodney responded to that point of view when he emailed on seeing the Herald’s full front page spread on the coming broadcast the day before the film played. He wrote:

From: Rodney Hide [mail to….]
Sent: Monday,16 July 2012 5:40pm
To: <keith@hunterproductions.co.nz
Subject:
Oh dear I see Bryan Bruce is muddying the-waters!!

r
------------------------------------
Monday, 16 July 2012 9.13pm
Rodney
You may have noticed that Bryan has complained about the police obstructing his efforts to discover the truth but that he has “uncovered several things I’m sure will surprise viewers who have followed the case over the years.."
K

----------------------------

In fact you uncovered nothing at all. Your front page Herald story was just that – another story. It was an empty film but in my view one with a purpose.
My more considered review of your film will be posted on my website shortly. I will email you when I have set the date of its posting.
This email will be posted on my website this morning.
 
Keith Hunter

Ends Episode 10 of COUQ, posted in the public interest.

Episode 11 will be posted on Friday 7 September

Back to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

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COUQ: A Website Whodunnit

Posted 8.45am, 7 September

An Important Note Before Episode 11 is posted:

In the weeks since COUQ began, Bryan Bruce's website, redsky.tv has carried a notice that it is 'under attack'. This may be Bryan's way of suggesting that people who displease our police can find their websites 'under attack'. Bryan's film "Who Killed the Crewes" was considered by commentators to have attacked the police.

At 8.45 this morning, Friday 7 September, redsky.tv was not available. The site is down.

This note is a preface to Episode 11, which will now be posted tomorrow morning, Saturday 8 September. Episode 11 is a video episode.

KH

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Episode 11

Posted Monday 10 September:.

 

Episode 12 will continue to suggest TRD's for Bryan Bruce's use. It will be posted on Wednesday 12 September

Back to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

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COUQ: A Website Whodunnit

Episode 12

Posted 8.45am, 12 September

Episode 12 continues to pursue the muddying issues raised in Episode 11. Viewers should consider why anyone would set out on a muddying expedition.

 

Ends Episode 12

Episode 13, and more muddying, will be posted here on Friday 14 September. But why muddy at all?

Back to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

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COUQ: A Website Whodunnit

Episode 13

Posted , 14 September

13 September, Email: Hunter - Bryan Bruce:

Bryan,

Two episodes of my second review of your Who Killed the Crewes? can now be seen in the COUQ video serial on my website at  http://www.hunterproductions.co.nz/?page=news. The first episode was posted on Monday of this week, the second yesterday, Wednesday 12 September. A further episode will be posted tomorrow, Friday 14 September.

I would be pleased to receive any response you might have to the review at any time and will gladly post it on the website too. I will urge you to respond when the series ends.

You will be interested to know that I will now draw the attention of New Zealand On Air to the review. I will copy you my notice to NZOA.

As previously, this present email will also be posted on my website.

Keith Hunter

 

Ends Episode 13

COUQ is nearing its final episodes. Episode 14 will be posted here on Monday 17 September.

Back to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

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COUQ: A Website Whodunnit

Episode 14

17 September 2012, Email: Hunter – Bruce

Bryan
I imagine you will have visited my website by now. You will be aware of my treatment of your “muddying the waters” of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain’.
Here’s the list again:

  1. You would say repeatedly that there is no evidence against Demler, always knowing that this is false.
  2. You would decorate the scene of the crime with false evidence to confuse your viewers and you would contradict the “Welcome Visitor Scenario” by falsely claiming the scene offered “few clues”
  3. You would use false statements to undermine my deduction that Demler organised the ‘mystery’ sightings to provide himself with an alibi;
  4. You would use false statements to undermine the motive my book supplies for Demler to murder his daughter;
  5. You would deliberately ignore the statements of Joseph Steven MacKay to hide his evidence that the axle may have been Demler’s;
  6. You would use false statements to undermine my case against Hutton for planting the axle;

There is another I have hinted at…

  1. You would not refer to, mention or name my book. Instead you would present your film as if the book did not exist, although the film’s specific purpose has been to counter it.

…and another you would use to counter the book’s proof that Hutton is a liar. I referred to it lightly in my original review of your film, before I realised how thoroughly malign the film is. I positioned that proof at the very beginning of my book, on page 12, to reveal Hutton’s true colours straight away. You’ll recall that a little while ago he gave the press an elaborate lie about Governor General Sir David Beattie saying he had not wanted to sign Arthur Thomas’s pardon – when the Governor General who signed pardon was Sir Keith Holyoake, in December 1979.  This issue needs to be added to the list:

  1. To counter my proof that Hutton is a liar you would simply present Hutton’s lie as a truth, by including in your film the statement :  In December of 1980 Thomas was pardoned..”, when you knew that this was false and that it was an issue raised in my book and nowhere else.

In fact your film contained all of the ‘Truth Replacement Devices’ I have described here and in the previous three episodes of COUQ.

Unfortunately your duplicity does not stop there. Your film shows Gerald Ryan, one of Arthur Thomas’s lawyers at the second trial, saying he knew of no evidence that Bruce Hutton was personally involved in planting the cartridge case. Ryan said:
‘..We’ve never had any evidence to that effect at all..’

Here we have a defence lawyer basically exonerating Hutton. It’s a powerful argument for his innocence. But, predictably, there’s more deceit behind your interview of Gerald Ryan.

As Ryan has recalled it to me, you rang and asked for an appointment to talk to him about the Crewe murders. No more than an hour later you arrived – with a camera crew. This surprised Ryan because there had been no mention of an interview. But the camera crew didn’t go straight in. The crew waited outside while you went in and quizzed Gerald about the case. You wanted to know if Gerald knew of any evidence against Hutton. After checking this you asked for an interview. The crew duly came in and Gerald told you on camera ‘We’ve never had any evidence to that effect at all..

There is an obvious narrative consistent with these facts:

  • Since you live in Wellington and Gerald Ryan in Auckland, you flew up without contacting him first. In fact it would seem that before leaving home you were unaware of his involvement. Otherwise you would have made the appointment from your home or office in Wellington. You would have called, had a chat and arranged an interview then. Therefore you learned about Gerald while you were in Auckland.
  • You came to Auckland on Crewes business and learned about Gerald from someone here. Then you called Gerald but you were not prepared to ask for an interview until you had checked to see what he would say. So you immediately set out for the Ryan home with your crew, but had them wait outside while you checked. Finding Gerald knew of no evidence against Hutton and would say so, you asked for an interview and called the crew in.
  • But you knew of evidence that Gerald didn’t – at the time. The evidence that Hutton planted the cartridge case came out for the first time at the Royal Commission hearing in 1980, in the testimony of two Crewe neighbours, Julie and Owen Priest. It was their evidence that convinced the Commission that Hutton and Johnston planted the cartridge case together. You knew about the Priests’ evidence because you had read The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. Gerald hadn’t.
  • Gerald was involved for Thomas at the second trial. Thomas’s counsel at the Royal Commission were Gerald’s brother, Kevin, who died just a few years ago, and Peter Williams QC. Gerald wasn’t involved at the Commission hearing and so was unaware of the Priest evidence that came out there.
  • Gerald is no longer unaware.  Several months after your interview, he attended the launch of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain.  He took a copy of the book home and learned about the Priest evidence that incriminated Hutton. He told me “This is a major discovery in your book. If you were to ask him about evidence against Hutton now he would give a different reply.
  • On the face of it, your sole purpose seems to have been to get Ryan saying there was no evidence against Hutton. One of your film’s functions was therefore to exonerate Hutton.

There’s another interesting detail in your Gerald Ryan story. It’s the date of the interview, the date when you interviewed him in Auckland. Of all the days since your Crewes film was funded by New Zealand On Air way back in December 2010, you chose to come to Auckland to shoot your Crewe film on 20 January 2012, the very day that Chris Birt came up from Taupo to talk to the police about the ‘Welcome Visitor Scenario’ – fifteen days after my typesetter sent the final layout of my book by email.

Bryan, if you were to respond to my comments in these last five episodes of COUQ, you would have one of three ways to go. They are:

  1. demonstrate that the statements I have stated are false are in fact true, or:
  2. show that you thought they are true – and why you thought they are true, or:
  3. admit you included them in your film knowing they are false.

It seems to me that the first two of these are not available to you and that you are left with number three. This would make you an extremely dishonest person. In fact I have long viewed you as a conman with a degree in psychology. Whichever, your film does not record an investigation. It is a fake, a lie told by a consummate liar.

I look forward to your response, and will post any comment you make on my website. Whether or not you reply, I will explain in the Conclusion of the COUQ story exactly why you have acted with such deceit. The Conclusion will explain your specific purpose.
 
As with my previous emails, this present email will soon be posted on my website.

Back to the top
 
============================================================================================================

Posted 17 September

In episode 10 I posted text from an email I sent to Rodney Hide in response to his 'muddying the waters' comment. I recorded that I had written:

Monday, 16 July 2012 9.13pm
Rodney
You may have noticed that Bryan has complained about the police obstructing his efforts to discover the truth but that he has “uncovered several things I’m sure will surprise viewers who have followed the case over the years.."
K

That was an edited version of the email. The sentence that completed it was:

"I  won’t be surprised when he extracts several rabbits from his helmet "

The first rabbit was extracted last night on TVNZ News, coincidentally just days after Bryan Bruce's impoverished relationship with the truth has been exposed here. Followers of COUQ may see a connection. The Herald has repeated the story this morning, with the added artificial flavour of an attack by Bryan on the police and an attack by the police on Bryan.

Predictably, the new information relates to Bryan's "Len Demler is innocent" fable. Followers of COUQ might also be amused by Bryan's report that he sought the document a year ago but has acquired it only now, coincidentally just days after his impoverished relationship with the truth relating to Len Demler has been exposed here. The new document says that Bruce Roddick, the man who saw the mystery woman outside the Crewe house two days after they were murdered, was taken to a viewing of the second Mrs Demler and said she was not that woman. Who must we rely on for the integrity of the new document? Bruce Hutton, liar, perjurer and planter of false evidence, according to the Royal Commission of Inquiry. Readers of COMB who would like to assess Mr Hutton's truthfullness for themselves should refer to page 12 of that book.

COUQ readers will recall that Bryan Bruce went to Chris Birt for information because the police wouldn't give him any. Now he has suddenly succeeded in acquiring from the police a key document that no one has seen before, that has been hidden away for forty years! I wonder where the police found it, how long they have known about it, what persuaded them to surrender it to Bryan right now, and who they asked to type it up..

If it had been conceived forty years ago, it would have been born forty years ago too. It wasn’t. It was born last week after the nature of COUQ's attack on Bryan Bruce became apparent.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

14 September 2012, Email,: Hunter to Glen Usmar, Television Manager,New Zealand On Air

Dear Glen

For several weeks I have been running a series of short documentaries I’ve titled The Case of the Unsourced Quotation, or  ‘COUQ, on the hunterproductions.co.nz website. The series has now reached a stage where I believe it will be of interest to the Board of New Zealand on Air. The web address is:  http://www.hunterproductions.co.nz/?page=news.

COUQ’s story relates to the Crewe Murders and the episodes that will be of specific interest to NZOA begin at Episode 10. This episode was published on 5 September and consists in the main of a relevant email from me to Bryan Bruce, Television One’s The Investigator. The episodes that follow are in the form of the short documentaries.

I draw this to your attention for several reasons, amongst them my view that COUQ may raise issues that NZOA may well consider appropriate to discuss with the police.

I believe that COUQ will also be, or should also be, of interest to the viewing public and specific other parties and so I will soon copy this email widely to the press, the police, various political figures, and to my website.

Regards, Keith Hunter

---------------------------------------------------

17 September, Email: Hunter to:

mark.stevens@stuff.co.nz; editor@newsroom.co.nz; nperry@ap.org; forbes@yahoo-inc.com; news@digitaladvance.co.nz; wellington.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; tmclean@aap.com.au; paulm@nelsonmail.co.nz; soregan@marlexpress.co.nz; editor@dompost.co.nz; jeremy.muir@gisborneherald.co.nz; jonathon.howe@msl.co.nz; chiefrep@age.co.nz; editor@hbtoday.co.nz; glenn.conway@press.co.nz; lauram@greystar.co.nz; paul.orourke@timaruherald.co.nz; editor@greystar.co.nz; lee@westportnews.co.nz; news@stl.co.nz; neal.wallace@odt.co.nz; kristin.macfarlane@dailypost.co.nz; megan.gnad@oamarumail.co.nz; erin.t@theguardian.co.nz; stuart.dye@nzherald.co.nz; news@wanganuichronicle.co.nz; reporters@northernadvocate.co.nz; news@waikatotimes.co.nz; ryan.evans@dailynews.co.nz; michele.mcpherson@bayofplentytimes.co.nz; lesleydeverall@radionetwork.co.nz; aknews@radionz.co.nz; news@radiolive.co.nz; onlinenews@tvnz.co.nz; news@tv3.co.nz; news@tvnz.co.nz; primenews@skytv.co.nz; felixmarwick@radionetwork.co.nz; editor@sunday-news.co.nz; david.kemeys@star-times.co.nz; editor@truthweekender.co.nz; David.Fisher@nzherald.co.nz; Phil@top-shelf.co.nz; Jonathan.Milne@heraldonsunday.co.nz; sarah.bristow@tvnz.co.nz; pkeane@tv3.co.nz; jcampbell@tv3.co.nz; Geoff Taylor (geoff.taylor@waikatotimes.co.nz); Kevin Hercock (khercock@radioworks.co.nz); Kerre Woodham (kerre.woodham@xtra.co.nz); (info@maoritelevision.com); shayne.currie@nzherald.co.nz; Sue Woodfield TV3 (swoodfield@tv3.co.nz); Nine To Noon (ninetonoon@radionz.co.nz); laurab@marlboroughexpress.co.nz; north&south@acpmagazines.co.nz; metro@acpmagazines.co.nz;

I attach an email to New Zealand On Air which alludes to an issue that may have news value.

The email refers to a series of website postings titled COUQ which is available on the web at  http://www.hunterproductions.co.nz/?page=news

Starting at Episode 10 COUQ has addressed the Television One documentary series  ‘The Investigator’. Since Episode 10  the series has used a series of videos to introduce my view:

    • that the Investigator series is the sharp end of a Propaganda Campaign in which the principal character, Bryan Bruce, plays the role of a conman with a degree in psychology operating as an investigating journalist,  and:
    • that The Investigator’sWho Killed the Crewes?”, transmitted in July, represents half of a two pronged programme of misinformation.

Keith Hunter

-------------------------------------------

Coming next : The Conclusion to COUQ

It’s now time to put the whole story together. That process will follow the same course as the one intended for ‘The Case Of the Missing Bloodstain’ - until the intrusions of Chris Birt and Bryan Bruce interfered. All the facts have been laid out in the fourteen episodes of COUQ, The Case of the Unsourced Quotation. Readers may contemplate those fourteen episodes and consider whether or not they comprise a pattern of events that together indicate an underlying narrative that I have not brought to notice.

My own analysis will be published here in a week’s time in COUQ’s Conclusion, on Monday 23 September. In the meantime, readers might find a way to inform their own analyses if, amongst their deliberations, they were to google “The Case of the Missing Bloodstain”.

Back to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

=================================================================

COUQ

Conclusion, Part One

Posted 24 September 2012

Bryan Bruce has not responded to my emails advising him that he is a liar and his programme a fake investigation. His silence indicates acceptance. As a result I have   renamed the conclusion to COUQ. The conclusion is subtitled:

COPS

Part 1

The question now is – why did The Investigator Bryan Bruce make such a corrupt film? To address it we must review its history.

The pre-publicity for the film promised revelations:

“…a Royal Commission later found that in order to gain his conviction,  two detectives , Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton and Detective Sergeant Len Johnston, had planted a shell case fired from Thomas's rifle in the Crewe garden. It's an accusation that has never been tested in court however and writer /director Bryan Bruce believes his documentary will shed new light on that event.

"When I began investigating this 42 year old case I frankly didn't think I would find anything new. After all no New Zealand case has been trawled through by so many journalists and writers than the Crewe case" said Bruce. "But in fact I have uncovered several things that I am sure will surprise viewers who have followed the case over the years."
(NZ Herald, front page, 17 September 2012)
 
However the film shed no new light and uncovered nothing. Not a single item of new information was disclosed. The only matters that could be considered ‘new’ were Bryan’s lies and his novel complaints that the police were horrible to him and to the Crewe case. Therefore the film was not produced to shed new light on anything. It must have had a different purpose. 

A simple syllogism provides an answer:
A:        Since nothing new was provided in the film except the lies and the complaints about the police, the lies and the complaints must have been the purpose of the film.
 B:       The lies undermine every single one of the key conclusions of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain – conclusions which are not found in any other publication.
C:        Therefore Bryan’s purposes were to undermine the book and its conclusions by telling lies, and to be, or be seen as,  a critic of the police.

It follows that the content of the book has so upset someone that a Bryan Bruce film was ordered up to undermine it. Since Bryan is unlikely to have been the upset party himself, he either offered the undermining as a gift to an upset third party or was instructed to undermine by that third party.

Who might the upset third party be?

The facts and the logic:
The Case of the Missing Bloodstain book was published in April. Bryan’s film was broadcast three months later, in July. Three months is not long enough to construct a 45 minute film which addresses and undermines all of the book’s conclusions with lies. Bryan must have been familiar with the book he was to undermine well before it was published. Moreover, to identify, analyse and aim at every single one of the book’s arguments and conclusions, as he did, he must have had access to a copy of the text.

Who was aware of the book’s content before it was published?  Officially three people: my editor, my typesetter and me.

  • The editor and I invariably discussed the book in person and exchanged drafts only on CDs. The text of the book was not open to anyone else in these exchanges.
  • After the final version was settled the book went to the typesetter. I invariably took the book to him personally on a CD and picked it up again on a CD.
  • Throughout the whole writing, editing and typeset processes the book had no chance of being known to anyone but the three of us.
  • That changed on 5 January 2012 when the typesetter unwittingly emailed the book in its final layout to me. At that point it became available to anyone who could read my emails.

The earliest any undermining of the book could have been planned would thus have been 5 January, providing the undermining party had access to my emails and assuming my house has not been burgled and my password-protected computer inspected without my knowledge. Since it would take several days to read and analyse the book and then construct a coherent plan to attack it, it’s likely that a decision to undermine would not be made until several days after 5 January and that the first undermining steps would be taken soon after that.

On 20 January, fifteen days after the emailing, Chris Birt came to Auckland where the police discussed with him the book’s major revelation and central theory, the ‘Welcome Visitor Scenario’ that identifies the killer. It seems that Chris learned of the theory that day, since none of his contrary stories about it (published in Episode 4 of COUQ) have survived inspection. If he learned of it that day then his informant can only have been the police or Bryan Bruce. However, in his film Bruce denied the existence of the Welcome Visitor Theory. This would seem to exclude him from responsibility for telling Birt, who claims the theory has been around ‘for many years’ (COUQ Episode 4).

On that same day, 20 January, Bryan Bruce came to Auckland on Crewe murders business. While he was in Auckland someone told Bryan about Gerald Ryan’s involvement as a Thomas defence counsel. Chris Birt knew about Gerald Ryan. According to Ryan, Birt had made contact with him earlier. Birt also knew that Gerald Ryan was not involved at the Royal Commission hearing.

After learning of Gerald Ryan’s involvement Bryan Bruce visited and acquired from him, falsely, a videotaped statement that he knew of no evidence against Bruce Hutton.

It is apparent that 20 January 2012 is central to COPS. The coincidences are too great to be coincidental.

GOOGLE
Last week I suggested that analytical COUQ / COPS  followers might find it profitable to google The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. People who took that advice will have discovered COMB in internet references to two radio interviews, to a couple of reviews, and many times to the hunterproductions co.nz website. They’ll also have found that many bookshops have held copies of the book for sale.  They will have found one news story. Just one.

Readers may recall that in April the Herald promised a front page story on the book on the Saturday prior to publication and follow-up coverage afterwards. The paper pulled out of that deal the day before, quoting an alleged threat by Hutton that he would sue. Apart from an excerpt from the book in the Herald on Sunday the following day, the only news story that has published the words ‘The Case of the Missing Bloodstain’ that I have been able to find on the internet is the story that the Herald published in place of the promised front page. It was a short piece published on page seven of the Saturday 14 April edition with the title ‘Labour Takes Aim At Wrongful Convictions’. The name of the book was published once in that story.

Truth Weekender also promised a news story followed by an excerpt a week later. Truth did publish the news story but the excerpt didn’t happen. Google did not locate the news story when I looked for it.

Apart from the references just described and that single page 7 news story in the Herald, the book and its title do not exist in the print media or on television. While there was in fact a television event on Media 7, that programme is now defunct and TVNZ has abolished all reference to it.

COUQ
COUQ’s unchallenged allegation that TVNZ’s Investigator Bryan Bruce is a liar, and that the “Who Killed the Crewes?” episode it broadcast a few weeks ago is a fake, is entirely absent from the news media. Outside this present website, the net is silent on my claims of The Investigator’s perfidy, despite the inevitable implication that his whole series is a fake too. The Investigator plays to an audience of several hundred thousand New Zealanders.

The Herald
Now consider that history against the history of the New Zealand Herald’s interest in the book. The following excerpts are from emails from the senior Herald reporter who pursued the story and the book

8 March 2012
hi keith... I see a new book about to be released... good on you - fantastic to see the subject line.
I would be really keen to work out a way to get into the detail of this before any other media do...what chance is there of securing this exclusively and what sort of timeline could that happen around?
======================
12 March 2012
Hi Keith,
 … If we can work out a way of doing it which suits you, I'd like to secure pre-release coverage on an "exclusive" basis.
 It strikes me that there is the possibility for a Sat-Sun-Mon arrangement, with news/features in the Weekend Herald, a possible extract in the Herald on Sunday and then news pursuit on the Monday. It could be a compelling package.
 … It would help to get an early copy of the book (under embargo of course) to work out angles and possible extracts in advance.
======================
21 March 2012
….What a fantastic read. Thanks very much.

My plan at this stage is to proceed in the following way: A news story/feature for April 14 (Sat). It would appear in the Weekend Herald, which has the largest circulation of any paper in the country. It would have to be around the planting of the axle by Hutton. It is an astounding claim and begs investigation. The work around Demler and the positioning of the furniture, and the bloodstain question, take the case on considerably. The Hutton question, though, is something which begs coverage. The feature possibilities are either an examination of the evidence, as shown in the book, an interview with Hutton or a wider look at miscarriages of justice….


======================
(NZ Herald to my distributor’s promotions agent):

Friday, 23 March 2012 6:25 p.m.
..The proposal I have before editors at the moment is as follows:

April 14, Saturday: Weekend Herald coverage. Exclusive news story with a wider feature on the enduring mystery and the points of evidence raised in the case. The main thrust in the news piece (which would have to be legalled, of course) is Hunter's allegation that Hutton personally planted the axle to deliberately fit up Thomas, even though he knew Thomas was not guilty.
April 15, Sunday: An extract, which HoS is currently considering. The epilogue offers a wider view of how the case sits in our history, alongside other cases. Hunter's thrust is that the case has had an ongoing corrosive effect on the confidence the public might have in the police/justice system.
April 15, 16 online: A video interview with Keith about the book and the evidence, possibly split between studio and on location.
April 16, Monday: What action the police intend taking, if any, and what plans the bookshops have for selling it, given the claims made in the book.

There way these would be treated and the placement they would be get are subject to the news of the day and the legal advice we get. Simply, the content of Keith's book does pose legal dangers for anyone dealing with it. We (the collective titles) need to get very good legal advice around it. I am hoping to be able to progress this further next week, and then with greater surety the week beyond. The only elements of doubt are around the legal advice (which can be resolved progressively in the next few weeks), balance and fairness (contacting Hutton before publication) and currency (competing against the news of the day).

Having said that, I have had tacit agreement to proceed down the path outlined.…
=========================
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 8:55 a.m.\
Hi Keith,

The story (without any widener comment from yourself or response from Hutton as yet) is off to the lawyers today. I'll let you know where we are at as soon as possible.
=============================
Wednesday 11 April 2012
Hi Keith,

We're all good on the story for Saturday. I'll give you a call to discuss how we're going to do it….

========================

That was the last email, on the Wednesday before the promised extended coverage beginning on Saturday 14 April. It was all go. The lawyers had approved it. I had complied with The Herald’s requirement of an exclusive news story. Other press outlets were embargoed until after the Saturday morning. Other print media were embargoed until publication day. Everything went with the Herald.

The backdown came by telephone, at about 1pm on the Friday, half a day before the promised coverage. Hutton has threatened to sue. The Herald is pulling its story.

I believed this for the next three months.

Rubbish!
The issue now relates to that Google exercise. Before Hutton allegedly threatened to sue, the Herald plainly viewed the book as a major story offering advances in the country’s greatest murder mystery and worthy of extensive coverage. After the alleged threat the paper swallowed that interest so far down that it has not been able to utter the book’s title again – not even months after the book’s publication, when the alleged threat of defamation action can no longer be a threat at all.

Knowing that I had urged Hutton to sue me and that he had not responded, the Herald was free to pursue the story a week after it had pulled out. By that time Hutton knew he had been defamed in the book and had done nothing about it. He made no threat to me. He had been notified of the defamation, had actually been encouraged to take legal action by the defamer, and had had the opportunity to take action to stop further defamation by attempting to halt book sales. He did nothing.

His failure to attempt to limit the defamation would have destroyed any chance of succeeding in court later.

But Hutton would never have taken action anyway. A Royal Commission of Inquiry awarded him the reputation of being a liar, a perjurer and planter of evidence – in the Crewe case. My book does no more than echo the charges put against him in 1980, by showing that he planted more evidence than the Commission realised. That doesn’t damage his existing reputation. It simply confirms it.

The Herald knew this all the time – and yet pulled out after allegedly getting advice to do so from the same lawyers who two days earlier had approved the story for publication. I had even copied to them the advice offered for my original television script by a leading media QC back in 2001. His advice, copied to the Herald, was that:

  • The script is clearly an opinion;
  • The facts on which it is based are true;
  • It enjoys qualified privilege because it is in the public interest;
  • In the light of the previous finding by a Royal Commission that Hutton planted evidence and gave false testimony, his reputation can hardly be further tarnished.

It seems to me that you don’t need to be a QC to realise those defences. They are simple common sense.

I don’t believe the Herald’s story any longer. It did not pull out on legal advice about defaming Hutton. That’s impossible. Something else caused the Herald to pull out. It happened between the lawyers’ advice given on Wednesday 11 April and the Herald’s exit two days later on Friday13 April. And something else has caused the press nationwide to suppress all reference to the book. That same something also caused the press nationwide to suppress all reference to my ‘sue’ invitation to Hutton.

Much more importantly, that same ‘something’ is now causing the press nationwide to suppress all reference to this website’s easily verifiable assertions that Television One’s The Investigator Bryan Bruce is a fraudster who set out deliberately to deceive several hundred thousand New Zealanders and that he did so by lying repeatedly to his Television One audience. He may have been doing so for a decade. We are not now talking just of a book about the Crewe murders. It’s about a possible programme of deception practiced against the whole population. In my view that is a story with news value.
 
The book’s worth
That the book is no trifle is demonstrated by the depth of the Herald’s former interest in it. Arthur Thomas’s counsel Peter Williams QC, perhaps our most distinguished criminal barrister, has said on the only television programme that has dealt with the book, the former Media 7, that it is “one of the finest forensic books on trials in this country ever written..”. In view of that commendation and of the interest by the country’s largest and arguably leading newspaper, and in view of the profound influence The Case of the Missing Bloodstain has had on The Investigator’s latest film, why is it that no other newspaper in the county sees any news value in the book at all? Not one has been able even to publish the book’s name, let alone COUQ’s message about Bryan Bruce.

Bryan Bruce the fraudster
Bryan The Investigator Bruce is a widely known public figure whose television series has been seen and believed by hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. A week ago (in Episode 14) this website’s attack on his integrity was notified to every daily newspaper in the country – or at least every one for which I have an email address. Bryan Bruce is a liar, they were told. His series is a fake. The press nationwide said nothing.  

The Case of the Missing Bloodstain undoubtedly upset someone so much that Bryan Bruce was instructed specifically to destroy it, using $150,000 of fraudulently acquired public funds to do so. It was so important to that ‘someone’ that Bryan was obliged to lie repeatedly and blatantly to satisfy the instructions he had been given, or the promise he had made.

I would have thought that a news story. Am I wrong?

Perhaps the press distrusted the story? There’s no indication of that. The fact of the lies Bryan Bruce used in his “Who Killed the Crewes?” are easily confirmed. Any press outlet that didn’t trust my information could easily have checked its truth – by having a reporter wander down to National Archives in Wellington, a few metres from Parliament Buildings, and spend an hour or two with the depositions, trial and Commission Transcripts held there. It doesn’t take long when you know what you’re looking for, and all crime and political reporters will have experience in checking trial transcripts. All those transcripts will confirm that Bruce lied and lied and lied and lied. Who took that short trip? Apparently no-one. No matter how you view the truth or untruth of COUQ, that is utterly astonishing.

There can surely be no doubt. The silence on The Investigator’s lies and corruption is otherwise inexplicabe. Something is shackling the press, nationwide.
 
An aid to interested journalists
Any genuine journalist from a known and reputable media outlet who contacts me or this website asking for trial transcript page references on specific issues relating to Bryan Bruce’s lies will be provided with them as early as possible. KH

Part 2 of this Conclusion, COPS, will be posted on Wednesday, 26 September

Back to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

====================================================

Conclusion: COPS: The Case of the Police Stooge

Part Two

A few months before The Case of the Missing Bloodstain was published my distributor hired an experienced publicity agent to promote it. In the weeks leading to publication she made all her media contacts aware of the book in her normal way and waited for the results in publication week. The results? None.

In Trial By Trickery, my book on the Sounds Murders, I described how the then Detective Inspector Rob Pope made journalists on the Sounds murder inquiry aware what would happen if they didn’t toe the line and publish what he told them. TVNZ reporter Julie Roberts found out the hard way that he was serious. In early February 1998 she filed a story that contradicted Pope’s focus on Scott Watson. She was gone within a week, replaced by another reporter.

Newsrooms live off politics, crime and entertainment. Pull one of these out of the daily schedule and you have a weak edition or bulletin. For crime you need the police. If the police close up on a press outlet that outlet is starved of crime stories. The police know that. Hence TVNZ’s problem with Julia Roberts. TVNZ’s answer? Come home, Julia.

Can the police get a book closed down if it tells an unwelcome story? Could they get the media to ignore it? It they could it would become a suppressed book, an invisible book.

Is that what has happened to The Case of the Missing Bloodstain?

COUQ
The COUQ story goes beyond all this. COUQ is not about the Crewe murders at all, nor, in essence, about COMB, The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. COUQ is about fraud, deceit on a grand scale. It has publically labelled Bryan Bruce a liar and huckster who has fraudulently acquired New Zealand On Air funds of perhaps $150,000 on the ground that he would use it to tell an honest story. He deliberately told a very dishonest story instead. Nevertheless, instead of responding to this very public accusation, both TVNZ and the Herald still give Bruce a good and positive press. He should be treated as an alleged fraudster.

It is impossible to look anywhere but at the police for the ‘upset party’ in this saga. Logic and the facts inevitably lead to the conclusion that Bruce was under instruction there. This leads to further unpleasant conclusions. Assuming that Bryan Bruce didn’t tell all those lies just for the hell of it, it would have him hostage to the police instead of to the truth of his story. He becomes not the producer of a documentary on the Crewe case but the author of a covert PR exercise. It would make his film, and by extension his whole series, an illicit undercover police operation - a series of forty five minute police infomercials paid for with funds intended for public service broadcasting. It could make The Investigator series a monstrous fraud practiced against the whole country for almost a decade. Wouldn’t that be a news story?

If that thesis is correct then what’s happening is that the police are getting their way. And that’s what COUQ is ultimately about – apparent police control of the media, at least in this issue. The police possess a vector capable of infecting New Zealand at large with their point of view. That vector is called The Investigator.  It could be stamped out by depriving it of support. But instead of starving it the press is feeding it.

The Instruction to Bryan Bruce
At the very beginning of this story, in COUQ’s introduction, I said:
"The question is – whether there is anything that will oblige the Justice system to reopen the case – or perhaps, is there anything the system will not do to avoid reopening it.
  Underlying it all is my conviction that the Crewe case is so important to our justice system that it will never reopen or allow it to be transparently investigated – unless, somehow, sometime a political figure arrives who has the power and the fortitude to stand up to the system and require it – or if parliament itself required it to be reopened."
(Ex Introduction to COUQ)
When I spoke of ‘the justice system’ I meant the police in particular.

As I said in that introduction, the police will never re-open the Crewe case unless someone makes them do it. The Case of the Missing Bloodstain carries a watertight case for re-opening. Therefore the rug must be pulled from under its message. That was surely the instruction to Bruce. Argue for re-opening but prevent it by killing all the decisive new material in COMB. Ignore the evidence of the murder scene that identifies Demler, get rid of the alibi he tried to set up, ignore the evidence against him and hammer home the lie that there is none, contradict the book’s case against Hutton and make him an honest cop - by whatever means…
 
And the national press seems to be allowing them both to do just that. If that’s true it would make New Zealand a nation whose press is, or at least can be, controlled by the police. There is a name for states like that. It’s not “The least corrupt country in the world”.

Why is it so important to the police?
The Crewe case plays a central role in the culture of the NZ police force. It began to take on mythical status after the first Thomas trial in1971, when the public began to ask questions. It became cemented in the culture in 1981 when the then Commissioner Robert Walton, reportedly a close ‘drinking friend’ of Bruce Hutton, arranged for the Report of the Royal Commission to be ignored. Now it’s part of the police furniture and The Investigator’s function is to keep it safe. It says the police force is innocent of any wrongdoing in the Crewe case. It wasn’t found out at all. It’s never been found out.

I witnessed the myth in action it myself, in conversation with a young cop at a road accident scene. He didn’t use the words but his view was unmistakable. Thomas is guilty, Hutton is innocent, no evidence was planted and the Royal Commission was biased. That’s also the message that leaks from the official police history, ‘More Than Law an Order’, written by a historian whose husband is a former Executive Officer of the New Zealand Police Association. It’s the view of the police force. The historian’s personal point of view is underlined in her book when she quotes the disgraced Hutton as one of her principal informants. How could she possibly do that? He’s the liar at the centre of the case, but to the police historian he’s a valid source for the truth.
 ===================

Bryan Bruce’s film:
What really happened – a hypothesis:

The following narrative is a hypothesis consistent with the facts – but a hypothesis all the same.

  • It’s mid 2011. The police have been keeping an eye on Crewes journalists as a matter of routine. My connection came up some time ago as a result of my email association with Chris Birt, who has written several Crewes articles for North and South Magazine. So I’m now on the radar. I tell Birt by email that I’m writing a Crewes book. Chris, unknowingly, has anonymous friends who now know about the book too. But they know only that it is being written. They have no detail about it until 5 January when my typesetter floats it off into the ether and a passing policeman grabs it.
  • A week later Chris Birt gets a call from the police suggesting they get together on the review they’re doing. The message is alluring. The police need him!
  • At the meeting Birt learns of the book’s Welcome Visitor Theory – ‘which has been around for years’, he is told. ‘It’s an old whodunit issue that doesn’t fit your new book but would provide a focus for that new website’. But he is only told one of the several evidential matters that make up the theory, and so he will later put one strand of a four strand theory up on his website in the belief that it is the whole theory.
  • Birt also learns of COMB’s black polythene story that the police secretly want to be devalued. ‘Someone reckoned it was wrapped around the body – but obviously it wasn’t. To be honest you should note that in your book, really’, says a cop. Chris notes it, for a caption in his book.
  • At the same time a call goes to the police secret media weapon, Bryan Bruce.
  • Bruce comes to Auckland under instruction on the same day Birt is with the police. By unusual good fortune they happen to meet at the police offices. Birt discovers that Bryan is being treated badly by the police, who won’t give him the documents he wants. Can Chris help him?
  • Chris sees that they are colleagues with a common purpose. He helps Bryan out with documents that Bryan could have acquired at any time while having a cup of tea with his handler – and may already well have acquired anyway.
  • The purpose of the Birt contact is to create the perception of Bryan Bruce as a police enemy, where in fact he is the police’s best friend, the spearhead of a decade-long propaganda programme, creator of a television series which has never been possible without full consent and co-operation from the police and access to the appropriate police files.
  • Bryan is given his instructions. The Case of the Missing Bloodstain is a complete argument for reopening the Crewes case. This is not to occur. He must attack each and every one of the conclusions in the book.
  • The book constructs a watertight case against Len Demler. The prime purpose is therefore to make Demler innocent. Destroy the book’s new argument for his motive, his attempted alibi and the evidence at the scene of the crime itself that identifies him.
  • The book also identifies new evidence against Bruce Hutton. Make Hutton innocent!.
  • Maintain an attack on Thomas by saying that he can’t be charged now because he’s been pardoned - not because he’s innocent.
  • Finally, attack the police to ensure viewers know you are an honest investigator.
  • And so Bryan does just that.  Every single one of the discoveries, new arguments and deductions in The Case of the Missing Bloodstain is attacked, undermined or contradicted in his film. And in every second breath Bryan complains about the police not being helpful to him.
  • Not one of the lies Bruce uses can be claimed as accidental or unknowing. They are all transparent to anyone intimate with the Crewe case documentation.
  • When the book is published the police put pressure on the press nationwide to suppress it...

That’s the hypothesis. I believe something like it is in fact what happened and my reasons for the belief have been given in the narrative of COUQ

Bryan Bruce’s website under attack
Soon after his film was broadcast Bryan’s website came under attack by 'Voldemort'. Then, when he was attacked by this website’s COUQ (now COPS), his site went down because of 'Voldemort'. Visitors to the site would know it was the police getting their own back at him for saying nasty things about them in his film.

Next, starting on 10 September, the video episodes of COUQ openly attacked Bryan for a week. He is a liar, said COUQ.  His complaints about the police were fake, said COUQ. Immediately there was a rush of positive Bryan Bruce press publicity. The Herald reported that investigating journalist Bryan Bruce had discovered a brand new forty year old document that he said meant Demler didn’t do it. The document contradicted a mountain of forty year old evidence. On television Bryan said the new document meant Demler didn’t do it.

The next day the Herald reported a squabble between Bryan and Assistant Commissioner Boreham. Bryan said the police were naughty for not releasing the new document to any of the journalists he had previously said were given documents that were denied to him. Mr Boreham said Bryan was naughty for not assisting his inquiry. The timing of the squabble immediately after the COUQ story made it obvious. We could tell that The Investigator and the Police were not friends and that Demler certainly didn’t do it.

It was childishly transparent. In my view the cast should have demanded a more convincing script.

Fraud
And so Bryan Bruce used $150,000 of public funds, supplied through NZOA and TVNZ, to present the latest episode in a long-running police propaganda programme that masquerades as investigative journalism. Over the last decade Bruce may have fraudulently acquired almost 2 million dollars of public funds for that secret purpose.

It seems to me that they are now found out and that Bryan Bruce and the police should be made to pay back these funds, perhaps by funding programmes that set the record straight. In this case they should start on the cases that Bruce has cheated in – certainly Thomas, Bain and Lundy, and probably Barlow and Tamihere, and perhaps others too..

Then again, the police could mount an inquiry into themselves as accessories to fraud. Or we could have one of those distinctive ‘independent’ New Zealand inquiries, where the inquiry is carried out by ex-policemen, or by former Court of Appeal judges who have resigned after pornography was found on their office computers, or even by QCs who have worked for the justice system as Crown prosecutor and counsel for the police for their entire careers …

Is there a politician anywhere…?
It also seems to me that this story should arouse the interest of a politician somewhere, someone who can at least try to bring out the truth. Perhaps a Minister of Justice, or of Police, or of Broadcasting, or an opposition spokesperson in those areas, or a Commissioner of Police, an Attorney General, a Solicitor General… or just an ordinary MP with an interest in justice and the truth. There are many questions that should be put to those in charge.

Care to help? We Need a PRP:
A Plea to readers and followers of COUQ / COPS: Spread the word, because the signs are that the press won’t.
This story is not a fantasy. It is true. Its truth is easily verified by reference to the transcripts of evidence.

Anyone who thinks that the apparent romance between The Investigator and our police force is something that needs to be investigated should do their utmost to see that everyone in New Zealand knows about it, especially television viewers who have watched and believe in the Investigator. If you are an Investigator viewer yourself, you have even more reason to be active in this. You have been deceived, probably repeatedly, by the television set in your lounge. When you thought you were watching a locally funded and produced documentary, when you trusted what you saw because it was The Investigator on Television One, you were in fact being programmed, indoctrinated in an ongoing campaign of deceit.

Anyone who would like to help to re-open the Crewe case should pester their local newspaper and their local Member of Parliament until it’s all out in the open – because, so far, the press has shown it is not going to do its job here.

Read from Episode 10
It’s not necessary for newcomers to read all the early COUQ episodes. New Zealanders should be urged to watch the Introduction video and then the Bryan Bruce episodes, from Episode 10 to the end. Those episodes tell the story.

We need a PRP, a Press Replacement Programme that informs everyone about The Investigator and how profoundly he has deceived New Zealand. It must provide information to the people and investigate the links between the accused. Otherwise, how will we ever know how far police tentacles reach into our ‘independent’ press?

This ends COPS,  The Case of the Police Stooge

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Part Two of The Case of the Police Stooge, the Conclusion to COUQ, ends the series. However correspondence is now due with major players in the story. It will be posted on this page as it occurs.

Anyone who is surprised that COUQ has been forthright in its presentation should consider what would happen if any party which felt damaged took steps to counter it with legal action. Any such response would have two outcomes. Bryan Bruce’s lies would be exposed and the Crewe case would effectively be reopened in the ensuing litigation.

I would encourage that response.

KH

to the beginning of COUQ : Back to the top

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Posted 10 August 2014

The facts of the Crewes case have taken quite a beating in recent weeks, starting with the police ‘review’ of the case and the ridiculous false report by QC David Jones, the latest assault being last night’s 3rd  Degree on TV3.

For the record, the ‘Mr X’ that the programme and Arthur Thomas’s brother Des aimed at cannot possibly have been the murderer. Yes – the barrel on his rifle was obviously substituted by the police thirty-five or forty years ago and yes, that truth is being concealed now, but it proves nothing. It’s just the police determined to show, falsely but yet again, that they got it right in the first place. It says absolutely nothing about Mr X’s rifle being the murder weapon except that it cannot be excluded, which is exactly what pathologist Nelson said at the beginning, in 1970. The world is full of rifles that mark a bullet with six scratches but that does not mean they were all used to kill the Crewes. Simply because his rifle had six lands proves nothing – and that is the only evidence that implicates Mr X in any way.  Unfortunately Des Thomas has built an entire case for the prosecution on a single property of a rifle and on nothing else. That’s not too different from what the police have been doing to his brother for the last forty years.

In fact it is impossible for Mr X to have been the killer. It is an irrefutable fact that Harvey Crewe was sitting in his lounge chair when he was shot. The bullet entered his head behind the left ear and was found in front of his right ear. That means he was shot from behind while he was sitting in his chair, facing away from the killer. The line of the bullet in his head is perfectly consistent with a shot from the kitchen while he was facing the TV set. His  mother told the courts that he often went to sleep in front of the TV. These undeniable facts say the killer was in the kitchen when he shot Harvey. It is impossible to have it otherwise.

Harvey being shot from behind while relaxing in his favourite chair in the lounge in front of the TV at 8 or 9pm allows just one interpretation:  he must have been aware of the presence of the killer in the house. Otherwise he would not have stayed sitting. He would have confronted the killer and would have been shot from the front, standing up. Nor could the killer have entered the house unnoticed by the Crewes because it was blowing a gale outside and the back door could not have been opened without disturbing them, just a few metres away in the lounge.If he had been asleep then Jeannette, knitting on the couch, would have alerted him immediately.

3rd Degree’s Mr X  could never have been in the Crewe’s kitchen or anywhere else in the house, with or without a rifle, without Harvey’s knowledge and permission. The killer had to be a friend, or at least a welcome acquaintance. Mr X was neither. He was in no way at all a friend of the Crewes. He was a troublesome young local guy and Harvey would not have allowed him in the house at all. He could never have walked into the Crewes house without knocking and if he had dared to do so, Harvey would have made short work of him, from the front.

The killer was known to the Crewes and welcome in their house as a guest. Otherwise he could not have been in the kitchen while Harvey sat in the lounge with his back to the kitchen. He cannot have been an unwelcome stranger to the Crewes. But Mr X would certainly have been an unwelcome stranger. The simple facts exclude him as the killer.

It’s time for Des Thomas to put aside his silly fixation with Mr X’s rifle. He’s wrong and has always been wrong, whether or not Mr X’s rifle had six lands and whether or not its barrell has been substituted. Owning a rifle with six lands is just owning a rifle with six lands and nothing more.
Des and 3rd Degree risk doing to Mr X what the police have been doing to Arthur Thomas for the last 40 years. Des has been fighting for the truth for his brother all of those forty years. He should know better. It would be useful if he aimed at the real killer – Jeannette Crewe’s father, Len Demler, the man the police and their Mr Jones QC have spent so much time and energy exonerating without any evidence at all. The true case against the man the police are desperate to hide away is detailed in The Case of the Missing Bloodstain, the book the police have spent equal time and energy suppressing.

A further analysis of the police and Jones ‘reports’ is in the oven and will arrive here in due course.
KH

Back to the top.

 

Posted 31 July 2014

At last the four year police 'review' of the Thomas case is out. It is yet another shameful attack on Arthur Thomas. It misquotes and misinterprets evidence specifically to aim at him and away from the true murderer and may well be actionable in law, if Thomas cared to go for it.

Nowhere is the police drive for justice and truth better portrayed than in the paragraphs which disagree with a significant view expressed by the QC the police hired to provide a report. The QC, David Jones, says there was enough evidence to prosecute the late Inspector Hutton for planting the cartridge case. The police say there wasn't, demonstrating that their drive for truth and justice is a nil drive. Why would they hire a fancy lawyer to provide a report if they were going to put aside the bits they don't like? There were only three issues - was evidence planted, who planted it and who killed the Crewes. After four years of reviewing, the outcome is that evidence might have been planted, there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone and the killer is unknown. In other words, a nil result.

The truth is that our justice system will never address the Crewe murders honestly. It has, in the view of those who administer it, too much to lose. Nor would the little aimed against Hutton have been included in the report if he had not died last year. The single jot of truth in the report, that evidence was perhaps planted and perhaps by a police officer, owes its presence in the report to Hutton's death

All evidence pointing to Len Demler is omitted or misinterpreted in both the police and the Jones report, allowing the view that Jones was handpicked and acting under instruction, like Kristy McDonald in the Watson case. An example from the Jones report is his analysis of the sighting of the baby Rochelle outside the Crewe house three days after the murders. For Jones the sighting must have been on a different day or of a different baby because it 'defies logic'. The logic is laid out in simple words in 'The Case of the Missing Bloodstain' a copy of which was sent to him last December in case the police had forgotten to tell him about it. Regrettably, or perhaps, considering his report, inevitably, Mr Jones did not acknowledge receiving the book.

What a waste of time the whole circus has been. All it's done is throw up another lawyer to be wary about.

As the French say, 'the more things change the more they stay the same'.

Mr Jones's report is currently available online at http://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/crewe-review-report-independent-counsel-mr-david-jones-qc

The Police report is at http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/201431/crewe-review-final-report.pdf

KH

 

29 November 2013

The following letter has been posted in response to the letter from Jane Wrightson of NZ On Air (below) .

26 November 2013

Jane Wrightson
New Zealand On Air
cc Bryan Bruce

Dear Jane
Re Bryan Bruce, The Investigator
Thank you for your letter of 14 November. However you have mistaken the thrust of my letter to you. I did not write to argue the functions, purposes or entitlements of documentary makers. I am not unaware of those and have no difficulty with the entitlements you describe. Nor did I write to discuss the propriety of NZ On Air taking or not taking a position on the editorial thrust of a documentary.
However if your proposition is that NZ On Air should not take a position if the documentaries it funds deliberately provide their viewers with lies I will disagree. So, I suggest, will all New Zealanders. Deliberate false facts are not ‘different opinions”. They are lies. Films that carry lies reflect their makers – and tarnish their funders.
I enclose a copy of my 10 August letter to the Minister, copied at the time to NZOA board member Stephen McElrea. It laid out in fine detail the issues arising from Bryan Bruce’s film. They add up to a false film, not because it offers conclusions but because the information it offers is false. The film is a lie from beginning to end. This is not my opinion or conclusion. It is a demonstrable fact.
I’ll not detail the lies again here, but I suggest that you are in the best possible position to decide the issues. Bruce does not reply to my correspondence but would be obliged to reply to you if you were to ask him the questions that truth requires him to answer. I offer below two examples from the lengthy list I provided to the Minister:

In his film Bruce claims that the original police suspect, Jeannette Crewe’s father Len Demler, is innocent, that the evidence exculpates him. He does not make this claim just once. Including the introductory reference on TVNZ’s website, and including his repeated references to key evidence which he claims cannot be put to Demler, he makes this claim nineteen times. At the end of the film viewers are saturated with Demler innocence, which is plainly Bruce’s overarching purpose, echoing the police position.

Two of Bruce’s most persuasive and persistent claims are:
Claim 1: ....On the TVNZ website:

  •  “Several writers have suggested that Len Demler killed the Crewes over a dispute over the ownership of the Demler farm …. But Bruce thinks such a theory doesn't bear close scrutiny.

‘I think that's a nonsense" says Bruce. ‘Quite simply the known forensic evidence is against Demler being the killer’ ”
..................In the film:

  • “No wonder the police were starting to look at Len Demler as the prime suspect. But then new forensic evidence came in that caused them to seriously doubt that Len Demler killed the Crewes”

Bruce should be asked to identify the forensic evidence that he claims eliminated Demler from suspicion, to state when that evidence “came in”, and to explain why it was not referred to in the  written record of the police inquiry and why it was not put before the Royal Commission of Inquiry in 1980. Reliance by Bruce on the cartridge case and axle evidence planted against AAThomas would be of nil value. It is evidence exonerating Demler that he must identify.  I predict he will have difficulty in this because there is no such evidence.

 Claim 2: ....In the film:

  • “He had an axle which he believed had been attached to Harvey’s body by some wire which he’d also recovered. The trouble was none of these 3 pieces of silent evidence pointed to Mr Demler..
  • “They couldn’t connect him with the axle found in the river. “
  • “In short there was nothing to say Len Demler was the killer.”
  • “For when D/I Hutton reviewed the case with two experienced colleagues on 19/10/70 (shows just the three of them) he told them that due to lack of evidence against Len Demler he was now looking at a new suspect.- Arthur Allan Thomas
  • “Remember – neither the bullet, the axle or the wire could be traced to Len Demler…
  • “And there’s still the axle. Where does he get the axle from to weigh down Harvey’s body?” (Lie implied)

Two statements by a witness named Joseph Steven MacKay linking the axle to Demler were received by the police on 21 and 24 September 1970 and later put before the Royal Commission in 1980.  They were openly available to Bruce, having been quoted prominently in the book “The Case of the Missing Bloodstain” published three months before his film was broadcast. He should be asked to explain why he has ignored them or alternatively why they do not make such a link.

These are straightforward matters which Bruce should be asked address. In the present circumstances I suggest they are questions NZ On Air must put to him. I ask, with respect, that you do so. It is surely NZ On Air’s responsibility to ensure that New Zealand is not intentionally misinformed by the films it funds. My letter to the Minister lists several other issues that should receive the same attention. They are central to any examination of the country’s most controversial unsolved criminal case, the case which commentators constantly proclaim changed New Zealand.

It is pertinent to note that all the false information and false conclusions in Bruce’s Crewes film are supportive of the police position, and that all of the films addressing our most controversial, high profile criminal cases that NZ On Air has funded him to produce have the same flavour. In my view this should be of considerable concern to NZOA.

Yours Faithfully

Keith Hunter
Encl: Copy of 10 August letter to Hon Craig Foss

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Posted 24 November 2013

Jane Wrightson, CEO of New Zealand On Air, has replied to the letter sent to board member Stephen McElrea regarding Bryan Bruce and his false film. Unfortunately Jane has misread the issues, as did Minister Craig Foss. She wrote:

14 November 2013:
“We understand that you and Mr Bruce have different opinions over this matter and we respect the right of both of you to hold your views.
Documentary makers are inetitled to propose, asert, question , and hold views. Those views may be right, wrong or debatable. NZ On Air does not ( and may not) take a position on editorial matters which would include claims and conclusions in a documentary. NZ On Air does not accept that Mr Bruce has either misled or defrauded it.
Thank you for advising us of your concertns, I have copied your letter to Mr Bruce so he is aware of your concerns.

Yours sincerely..Jane Wrightson.

 Jane has failed to understand that the issue has nothing to do with claims and conclusions, nor about documentary makers holding views. It’s about blatant lies by a publicly funded film-maker, each and every one of them supporting the police view on the Crewes case.
A letter explaining the position to Jane will be posted here on Friday.

KH

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Posted 19 November 2013

Similar letters seeking responses to the misinformation Bryan Bruce turned into his Crewes film were sent to Television New Zealand and New Zealand On Air early last week, following advice from the Minister of Broadcasting Mr Foss on 1 November, that this is 'the correct action'.. Following is the letter to NZOA.

7 November 2013

Stephen McElrea
New Zealand On Air
CC Jane Wrightson, Glen Usmar

Dear Stephen
Re Bryan Bruce, The Investigator

I refer to my previous correspondence of 16 September and 10 August, the latter of which which copied to you my letter to the Minister, Mr Foss, concerning Bryan Bruce’s false documentary on the Crewe murders, funded by New Zealand On Air.

Mr Foss has encouraged me to pursue my inquiries with NZOA. However I have received neither reply to my letters nor acknowedgement that you have received them. I trust you appreciate that the matter is of considerable weight and must not be put aside. Please advise NZOA’s action relating to Bruce and his false film.

Yours Faithfully...Keith Hunter

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Posted 20 September 2013

Craig Foss
Minister of Broadcasting

Dear Minister
Re: Crewe Case  Lies broadcast on Television New Zealand

Thank you for your letter of 28 August in which you note that “Documentaries and docudramas will often be controversial in their assertions”, and that “NZ On Air is precluded by the Broadcasting Act from becoming involved in editorial matters and does not take sides in matters of public debate”. Unfortunately  you have misinterpreted the issues I outlined in my letter of 10 August.
I did not write about any ‘controversial assertions’, nor did I ask that NZ On Air become involved in editorial matters or take sides in anything at all. I wrote about a prominent documentary-maker using public funds to lie repeatedly to a mass audience of New Zealanders on a major issue of intense public interest. The lies I refer to are not ‘controversial assertions’. They are demonstrable outright lies.
I thought this would be an issue which would properly gain the interest not only of the funding body, NZ On  Air, and our public broadcaster, Television New Zealand, which broadcast the lies, but firstly of the Minister of Broadcasting. If it does not, I will be left with the unpleasant proposition that it is acceptable for our tax dollars are made available to liars who wish to mislead and defraud the public.
The liar is documentary-maker Bryan Bruce and the funds involved not just the six figure sum he received for the specific programme under discussion but the two million dollars or so provided by NZ On Air and TVNZ to the “Investigator” series over the past decade.
Since the funds were provided for an honest documentary and an honest documentary series, a major fraud is involved. This is not an editorial matter and I cannot see that involvement in investigating it would be improper for you. I assumed you might well bring it to the attention of the Minister of Police. If fraudulent abuse of NZOA funds is not a matter for the Ministers of Broadcasting and Police what is?
I will seek answers from NZ On Air and TVNZ as you suggest. However I ask that you reconsider your response to my previous letter and inquire into Bruce’s lies and the reason for them. I await your reply.

Yours Faithfully
Keith Hunter
As with my previous letter, this will be posted on my website in  due  course.

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16 September 2013

Stephen McElrea
New Zealand On Air
CC Jane Wrightson, Glen Usmar

Dear Stephen

 A few weeks ago I copied to you a letter to the Minister of Broadcasting dated 10 August. I had hoped the Minister would act upon the letter himself and I have asked again that he so (copy of my request herewith). He has advised Ishould take my queries direct to New Zealand On Air and Television New Zealand.
The issues I raised in my letter to the Minister related to a series of blatant lies contained in Bryan Bruce’s film  Who killed the Crewes? I believe they are clearly laid out in that letter and I now ask that NZ On Air investigates them and discovers the reason for them.
You will appreciate that there is intense public interest in the subject of Bruce’s film and that any error or deliberate false statement in it must be examined and explained.
In my stated view, the false statements by Bruce amount to a serious fraud practiced by him on NZ On Air, in that the film he provided responds to a different agenda from the one he was funded to produce. In this case I suggest all of the programmes in his Investigator series that NZ On Air has funded may need examination.
If you require further clarity from me as to the issues neeeding address, please notify me accordingly.

Yours Faithfully

Keith Hunter
Encl: Letter to Minister dated 16 September

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16 September 2013

Wayne Walden
Television New Zealand
PO Box 3819
Auckland

CC : Jeff Latch

Dear Mr Walden

A few weeks ago I copied to you a letter to the Minister of Broadcasting dated 10 August. I had hoped the Minister would act upon the letter himself and I have asked again that he so (copy of my request herewith). He has advised Ishould take my queries direct to New Zealand On Air and Television New Zealand.
The issues I raised in my letter to the Minister related to a series of blatant lies contained in Bryan Bruce’s film  Who killed the Crewes? I believe they are clearly laid out in that letter and I now ask that Television New Zealand investigates them and discovers the reason for them.
You will appreciate that there is intense public interest in the subject of Bruce’s film and that any error or deliberate false statement in it must be examined and explained.
In my stated view, the false statements by Bruce amount to a serious fraud practiced by him on NZ On Air, in that the film he provided responds to a different agenda from the one he was funded to produce. In this case I suggest all of the programmes in his Investigator series which TVNZ has broadcast has funded may need examination.
If you require further clarity from me as to the issues neeeding address, please notify me accordingly.

Yours Faithfully

Keith Hunter
Encl: Letter to Minister dated 16 September

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17 September 2013

The Minister of Broadcasting has replied to the letter sent to him on 10 August (see below). He has suggested that comment on Bryan Bruce's false film be sought from NZ On Air and Television New Zealand. He writes:.

(Received 2 September)

28 August
Dear Mr Hunter
... I have noted the concerns you raise about the content of this documentary. However, under the Broadcasting Act 1989 I am prevented from taking part in decisions about which programmes receive NZ On Air funding. Neither do I have a role in programme standards. Members of the public can make formal complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, but unfortunately this recourse is not available to you as complaints have to be lodged withing 20 working days of the original broadscast.

Documentaries and docudramas will often be controversial in their assertions. NZ On Air is precluded by the Broadcasting Act  from becoming involved in editorial matters and it does not take side in matters of public debate. You will need  to take up your concerns directly with Red Sky Television and /or Televison New Zealand.
Yours Sincerely
Hon Craig Foss, Minister of Broadcasting

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31 August

When will the police understand that all they have to do to get rid of the Crewes fiasco is to concede Hutton was a bent cop who planted evidence against an innocent man, as everyone else knows. It’ll go away then. It’ won’t go away if they keep chasing the sort of stupidity planted on the Herald’s front page this morning.

Suddenly it’s the Thomases again, apparently another member of the family.
If so, what happened to the case against Arthur, the man they said in 1970 was driven to murder the Crewes by post-adolescent jealousy?  Does today’s story mean that was all wrong? Is today’s story an admission they screwed up? Does it mean they admit locking up an innocent man for ten years?

Confusion. Although Arthur’s brother-in-law is asked to supply an alibi for the evening 17 June 1970,” the bulk of the evidence still points to Arthur”. (No it doesn’t.)  Perhaps they did it together, one driven by jealousy and the other over an argument about fencing (yep, fencing). Perhaps they linked arms as they squeezed together on that little parapet, poked both rifles through the kitchen window from the cuddled-up position before  tossing a coin to see which rifle they would shoot and another coin to see who would shoot it. After all, the latter day joint murderers scenario is becoming a favourite with our justice system. It worked on Teina Pora and for some years on David Dougherty.  If the ‘senior barrister’ they have on the case happened to be Robert Fisher QC, the man who recommended rejecting David Bain’s application for compensation, some might see that as par for the course. He’s the sort of man they go to in these sorts of circumstances. It’s what he decided when he recommended not compensating Rex Haig for seven years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Haig did do it – with someone else.

What about the rifle? Apparently ‘Arthur’s rifle has still ‘not been eliminated from the inquiry”. Yes it has.

Apparently ‘the Crewes were murdered by Arthur Thomas’ gun’. No they weren’t.
If it was Arthur’s rifle why are they testing another one?

If the Crewes were murdered by Arthur’s gun then the planted cartridge case, the most discredited piece of evidence in New Zealand legal history, wasn’t planted at all. It’s legit!

The police have reopened the Crewe can of worms today. I suspect they will regret that. They do the force and their colleagues no credit with their rubbish. I also suspect it’s just a publicity stunt to make it look as if they are actually doing something about the Crewes when they’re not. It’s a Clayton’s Inquiry.

A letter will be posted to Detective Superintendent Lovelock this week asking for his response to the copy of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain he’s had for over a year. The Commissioner promised Mr Lovelock would reply to it.
KH

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Posted 21 August 2013

10 August 2013

Craig Foss
Minister of Broadcasting
PO Box 18 888
Wellington


CC: Bryan Bruce; Clare Curran, MP; Kris Faafoi, MP;
Andrew Little, MP; Trevor Mallard, MP;
Winston Peters, MP;
Stephen McElrea (NZOA), Wayne Walden (TVNZ )

Dear Minister

Re:
Serial Lies told by Bryan Bruce, “The Investigator
in the TVNZ Documentary “Who Killed the Crewes?

The following request for information is prompted by the present debate over the role and privacy of journalists in New Zealand, particularly “investigative” journalists. I have acted and/or been employed in broadcasting as an investigative journalist since 1967. While my attention has not been on affairs of state, issues relating to police conduct have been a frequent focus.

My questions to you arise from the Prime Minister’s comments in the press last week, when he said: “We have enormous respect for the 4th estate. ..We don’t think (journalists) should be subject to surveillance and they’re not”.

The background to my concerns:
On 17 July last year Television New Zealand broadcast the documentary Who Killed the Crewes?, by Bryan Bruce. The film was produced with public funding through Television New Zealand and New Zealand On Air. Its subject was the Crewes murder case.
TVNZ’s prepublicity for the film quoted Mr Bruce as claiming to ‘shed new light” on the planting of a cartridge case against AA Thomas’. However the only new observations offered were a succession of blatant lies which provided false support for the discredited police case against Mr Thomas.
Three months before the film’s broadcast I published a book on the Crewe murders myself. It is titled The Case of the Missing Bloodstain (COMB).  It provides clear, logical and completely fresh answers to all of the remaining questions about the Crewe murders and was described on public television (TVNZ’s ‘Media 7’, 19 April 2012) by Peter Williams QC, counsel for Mr Thomas at the 1980 Royal Commission of Inquiry, as ‘one of the finest forensic books on trials ever published in this country’. My concern is that Bruce’s lies all contradicted the groundbreaking observations and argument detailed in that book. The misinformation does not involve just some of my conclusions. It undermines each
and every argument in the entire book.
Since the lies are so many, so obvious and so obviously deliberate, and since each and
every one of them attacks or undermines the conclusions of my book, it would seem that Bruce had an agenda that related to the book. Whatever that agenda was, and whether or not it related to my book, it could not have been known to, or accepted by, the film’s funders. It follows that the film was a planned fraud and that the public funds to make it were obtained by Bruce fraudulently. That fraud is still being practiced, as the film can even today be viewed on TVNZ’s website, where it continues to deceive the public.

My questions to you are:

  • Why did Bruce publish the lies in his film?
  • How have TVNZ and New Zealand On Air responded to the lies?
  • Have either TVNZ or New Zealand On Air retrieved the funds they paid Bruce to make the film?
  • If not, why not?
  • If not, do they intend to do so?
  • Have either TVNZ or New Zealand On Air made a complaint of fraud to the police?
  • If not, why not?
  • If not, do they intend to do so?
  • Why is the film still available on the TVNZ website?
  • Do TVNZ and NZOA intend to fund and broadcast further films by Bryan Bruce?
  • Have TVNZ and NZOA examined Bruce’s previous films for misinformation?

The Underlying Issue
In August last year I brought Bruce’s lies to the notice of New Zealand On Air and have publicly posted many of them on the internet at hunterproductions.co.nz. Mr Bruce’s website (redsky.tv) seems now to be moribund and his films and persona as “The Investigator” are absent from his site altogether, presumably as a result of my attacks on his film and his integrity.
The litany of lies listed below is not all-inclusive. However with each example I have detailed how the misinformation undermines the answers, or solutions, of my book. Excepting an overarching conclusion as to the identity of the murderer, the conclusions and logic Bruce’s film attacks are completely new to the saga of the Crewes case. Prior to The Case of the Missing Bloodstain these matters were entirely absent from the documented 43-year record of the case. Furthermore, there is no other discernable content in the film than its lies and so I find it difficult to put aside the notion that the conclusions of the book were Mr Bruce’s specific and sole target and that his film had no other objective than to contradict them.
There is a problem with this analysis. Bruce’s film was broadcast just three months after my book was published and it is highly unlikely that he could have conceived of its underlying message and then researched, structured, recorded, edited and written his forty-five minute documentary in just those three months. For that he must have known both the
editorial thrust of the book and its detail well in advance of its publication.
While my questions to you relate to Bruce’s purpose in making the film and to relevant
responses to it, the issue underlying them is how he became aware of the contents of the book before it became public.

The Lies
In respect of my first question, why did Bruce make each of the following statements, all of which are untrue?

1: Re: the overarching conclusion of my book, that the murderer was Len Demler, Jeannette Crewe’s father:

On the TVNZ website:

  •  “Several writers have suggested that Len Demler killed the Crewes over a dispute over the ownership of the Demler farm …. But Bruce thinks such a theory doesn't bear close scrutiny.

‘I think that's a nonsense" says Bruce. ‘Quite simply the known forensic evidence is against Demler being the killer’ ”

In the film:

  • “No wonder the police were starting to look at Len Demler as the prime suspect. But then new forensic evidence came in that caused them to seriously doubt that Len Demler killed the Crewes”
  • “He had an axle which he believed had been attached to Harvey’s body by some wire which he’d also recovered. The trouble was none of these 3 pieces of silent evidence pointed to Mr Demler..
  •  
  • “… the police case against Len Demler would no doubt have been that he had  murdered out of anger them over his wife’s willbut there’s no evidence that ever happened”
  • “They couldn’t connect him with the axle found in the river. “
  • “In short there was nothing to say Len Demler was the killer.”
  • “For when D/I Hutton reviewed the case with two experienced colleagues on 19/10/70 (shows just the three of them) he told them that due to lack of evidence against Len Demler he was now looking at a new suspect.- Arthur Allan Thomas
  • “Remember – neither the bullet, the axle or the wire could be traced to Len Demler… 
  • “And there’s still the axle. Where does he get the axle from to weigh down Harvey’s body?” (Lie implied)

In the above statements Bruce repeatedly undermines COMB’s principal conclusion that
Demler was the murderer. They all exculpate Demler, as do all of Bruce’s other lies.
They are all false.

The truth:
The truth is that there was no evidence, forensic or otherwise, ever discovered or put forward to the police or any tribunal that exonerates Demler. Nor did the police ever claim there was - at the time. Claims that there was such evidence have been insinuated into the story of the Crewes case by Mr Hutton in recent years. In fact there there is a great deal of evidence, all detailed in The Case of the Missing Bloodstain, that implicates Demler.

  • Evidence linking Demler with both the axle under reference and bullets of the calibre that killed the Crewes was held by Detective Inspector Hutton throughout the latter stages of his inquiry (addressed below) .
  • Where he states [ in g) above ] that “when D/I Hutton reviewed the case with two experienced colleagues on 19/10/70 he told them that due to lack of evidence against Len Demler he was now looking at a new suspect - Arthur Allan Thomas”, it is uncontestable that Bruce knew this to untrue because the document that provides the truth (Transcript of Police Conference, 19 October 1970) is depicted in his film.

 

2: Re a Motive for Demler:

Bryan Bruce’s film:

  • The arrangement gave Len the use of the use of the land for life.. but if he sold it however he would only get half the money. But was this enough of a motive, the police wondered, for him to murder his daughter and son in law,?”

The truth:
The police did not ‘wonder’ about this motive because they did not know about it. The documentation of the case shows that it never occurred to them.It is proposed for the first time in COMB and is one of the book’s major advances. By back-dating knowledge of the motive by forty years and giving it to the police, Bruce robs it of it of its originality and its status as ‘new evidence’ against Demler.
Bruce’s reference to the motive makes no claim that he deduced it himself. As it is not contained within in the previous documentation of the case nor conceived by Bruce himself, he therefore acquired it from someone or somewhere else. His awareness of this proposed motive for Demler is irrefutable proof of his familiarity with the only document in which it has ever been proposed - my book.

 

3: Re: the Axle and Len Demler:

Bryan Bruce’s film:

  • “He had an axle which he believed had been attached to Harvey’s body by some wire which he’d also recovered. The trouble was none of these 3 pieces of
    silent evidence pointed to Mr Demler.. “
  • They couldn’t connect him with the axle found in the river  
  • In short there was nothing to say Len Demler was the killer
  • “Remember – neither the bullet, the axle or the wire could be traced to L Demler.”  
  • So all of those things take us nowhere as far as Rochelle’s grandfather is concerned.”
  • “So Len is a man in his sixties with a gammy leg. Quite how he’s supposed to have manhandled Harvey’s sixteen stone body and get it to the river and weigh t it down with an axle to which he has no established connection, and also deal with this daughter’s body, who is also not light, is beyond me.  
  • “And there’s still the axle. Where does he get the axle from to weigh down Harvey’s body?”

The truth
Bruce’s statements above are all false. COMB provides solid evidence that the axle found in the Waikato River beneath Harvey Crewe’s body was likely to have come from Len Demler’s farm. The book publishes two statements given to the police by Joseph Steven MacKay on 21 and 24 September 1970 after D/I  Hutton disseminated photographs of the axle through the press in an effort to identify it. The two statements link Demler both with an axle similar to the one found under the body of Harvey Crewe and with a rifle and .22 calibre bullets, the calibre used to kill the Crewes. However Hutton concealed the statements from his team, from the defence, and from the trials of AAThomas. They only came to light at the 1980 Royal Commission, several years after Hutton retired and lost control of the disclosure process. They underlie COMB’s groundbreaking proposal that Hutton planted the axle in the Waikato himself and that his target at that time was Mr Demler.

 

4: Re Planting the axle:

Bryan Bruce’s film:

  • “Det Hutton later told the court that when he reached down to try and unsnag the body he felt a heavy iron object slip from his grasp. He said he immediately instructed a diver to search for it.. (And moments later an old car axle was brought to the surface.)”

The truth
This statement and its implications are false. Their purpose can only be to contradict COMB’s radical proposal that Hutton planted the axle in the river.
Hutton testified that during the recovery of Harvey Crewe’s body he reached out
from his boat and felt ‘a heavy iron object’ under the body. Just as he felt it, he said, it fell away. The issue here is that after allegedly touching the object he waited 30 or forty minutes while the divers struggled to get Harvey’s 16 stone body into a dinghy before he mentioned it. COMB demonstrates conclusively that the axle was fake evidence and proposes that he planted it during that period.
Bruce’s ‘..he immediately instructed a diver to search for it..’ is a direct misquotation of the evidence.According to testimony given at trial and at the Royal Commission by Hutton, Detective Inspector Pat Gaines and the diver concerned, Hutton did not give instruction to search for the iron object until the body had been retrieved and deposited in a punt brought there for the purpose. This took at least half an hour. Then he told a diver to go down and look for the object. Neither Hutton nor anyone else ever claimed otherwise.
Bruce’s false ‘immediately’ specifically undermines COMB’s logic and proposal that the axle was planted, by eliminating the opportunity for it to have occurred.

 

5: Re: The mysterious sightings

You will be aware that a number of strange sightings occurred at the Crewe house in the days after the murders. COMB has proposed an elementary answer to the sightings - that they were arranged in order to delay the apparent time of the murders until the murderer had an alibi. This interpretation leads inevitably to identification of Len Demler as the guilty person. It depends entirely on the times at which the sightings were made:

  • There was no sighting on Thursday 18 June, the day after the murders. The first was on the Friday morning two days after the murders on Wednesday 17 June. The sightings were:
      • A woman outside the house on Friday morning 19 June, two days after the murders, seen from across the road by a farmworker, Bruce Roddick;
      • The curtains unusually drawn across the front windows that Friday afternoon, seen by a Mrs Sonia Hawkins while visiting the neighbours across the road;
      • Smoke coming from the Crewe house chimney that same Friday night, seen by a schoolboy, Robert Fleming, a passenger in his father’s car;
      • The baby Rochelle outside the house on the afternoon of the following day, Saturday 20 June 1970, seen by a Mrs Queenie McConnachie while being driven by her husband to a rugby game.

Mrs McConnachie’s sighting of the baby was the most important of the sightings because it was the last. Since she was going to the district’s centennial rugby game, her evidence that the sighting was on the Saturday cannot be challenged.
In COMB’s analysis the last sighting on the Saturday indicated that the murderer wanted the murders to be seen as having occurred that Saturday night. It predicted that this would be the first night after the murders had actually occurred on which the murderer had an unbreakable alibi. Len Demler had no alibi on the night of the murders, Wednesday 17 June,
nor on the Thursday and Friday nights that followed. But he was prominent at the local Saturday night centennial celebration until 2 am.
If my scenario and my conclusion as to the murderer were to be undermined it could be achieved simply by misquoting the timing of the sightings so that the last occurred on a day on which Demler had no alibi, namely the Thursday or Friday. This would protect Demler (and at the same time the police stance on the Crewe murders):

Bryan Bruce’s film:

  • Other witnesses reported activity on the Crewe property on the 2 days immediately following the murders.”
  • “A local woman, Queenie McConnachie, reported seeing the toddler dressed in blue overalls standing by the gate as she drove past at 2pm on 19 June”

The truth:
To repeat:

      • There were no sightings on the day after the murders and therefore no “activity on the Crewe property on the 2 days immediately following the murders”;
      • Mrs McConnachie testified repeatedly, and it has been published countless times in books and the press, that she saw the child on the afternoon of Saturday 20 June, not on Friday 19 June. Demler had a cast-iron alibi on the Saturday night.  On the Friday he did not.

 

6: Re: The baby

Bruce continued to undermine my book’s analysis of the sightings by manipulating the evidence relating to the condition of the baby Rochelle when she was found:

Bryan Bruce’s film:

  • THOMAS GRAHAME FOX – (sworn) “ ..apart from severe nappy rash, the doctor who examined her the next day found very little wrong with the toddler, who he thought hadn’t been fed for between 48 and 72 hours..

The truth:
That is not what the doctor thought. What Dr Thomas Grahame Fox actually said was:
“It was my view that she would have been without food for a maximum of a period of 48 ours and conceivably 72 hours…” (ex transcript of Arthur Thomas’s first trial at p95)

 

Bryan Bruce’s film (continues):

  • “….which, when you do the maths, takes you back to around lunchtime on Friday the 19th when Rochelle was last fed..”

The truth:
When you do the maths on what Doctor Fox actually said, it takes you back to around
lunchtime on Saturday the 20th, which supports my analysis, not Friday the 19th, which
contradicts it.

 

Bryan Bruce’s film (continues):

  • “..and that’s a puzzle because the police believed her mum and dad had probably died 2 days before.."

The truth:
Since the medical evidence suggests that she was last fed on the Saturday, the police believed her mum and dad had probably died three days before, not two.

 

Bryan Bruce’s film (continues):

  • on Wednesday the 17th.  Why? Because of the uncollected milk and paper at the gate, delivered on the 18th ..”

The truth:
The uncollected milk and paper were from two days – Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th .

 

7: Re: Bruce Hutton, liar

I structured COMB so as to ensure that Hutton was properly recognised as a liar from the beginning, to discourage any legal attack by him. I did this by quoting a press report in which he had claimed the Governor General, Sir David Beattie, had told him that he had been reluctant to sign the pardon papers for Arthur Thomas. Since Beattie was not appointed Governor General until November 1980, this would have the pardon being granted after the Royal Commission hearing that year. Bryan Bruce supported that:

Bryan Bruce Film:

  • “In December of 1980 Thomas was pardoned..”

The truth:
On page twelve of COMB I informed readers that the Governor General who signed the pardon papers was Sir Keith Holyoake, in December 1979. The Royal Commission was a consequence of the pardon, not its cause.
No investigator could possibly mistake the cause of the Commission for its result. Nor could an investigator accidentally attribute the signing of the pardon to the wrong Governor General in the wrong year. No inquiring schoolchild would make such mistakes. Both Hutton and Bryan Bruce lied. Bruce’s lie is a deliberate attempt to depict Hutton as an honest man, where the truth and my book have him a liar, a perjurer and an evidence-planter, directly contradicting the police view of his character as declaimed at his funeral by Deputy Police Commissioner Bush.

 

8: Re: Thomas is guilty
Bryan Bruce’s film:

  • ‘At two subsequent trials the juries heard how Arthur Allan Thomas, motivated by jealousy, had driven through a stormy night, shot the couple with his .22 rifle , tied up their bodies with fencing wire and dumped them in the flooded Waikato River. And both juries convicted him..”

The truth:
Of all the misinformation in the film this betrays Bruce’s editorial intentions most clearly. The truth is that the juries had not heard how Thomas had driven through a stormy night to murder the couple but that he was accused of doing so. The difference is subtle but diametric. One insinuates that he had committed two murders, that two juries heard why and how he had gone about it and that both juries then convicted him.The other declares only that he was accused of committing two murders.
In effect Bruce overrules the Royal Commission of Inquiry, as the police have done for the last thirty three years.
Like all the other lies in the film, this is no careless, unintended error. The scripts of investigative television documentaries do not make such mistakes. They are necessarily subjected to meticulous, detailed scrutiny to check for accuracy, if only to deter legal suits. This was undoubtedly a deliberate lie designed with a purpose. Its outcome is subtle confirmation of the police case against Thomas and support for the ongoing police contention that no improper action was conducted against him.

9: Visual Lies:

Beyond the spoken items listed above, Bruce’s film repeatedly provides false information visually.

  • He uses visual lies to distance Demler from the Crewes, by repeatedly depicting him travelling across a bridge and along country roads to reach the Crewes house, whereas he actually lived next door to them.
  • His depiction of the scene of the crime, a key element in my book’s solution to the murders, is also distorted:
    • A plate of food on the dining table is invented,
    • The contents of the dining plates are false,
    • A bloodstain on the floor is invented

Then there’s the murder scene itself. COMB’s most spectacular conclusion proposes that the identity of the murderer can actually be established by assessing the Crewes’ lifestyle, the precise nature of the injuries that killed them, and the murder scene itself, especially the position of a particular lounge chair.

    • Bruce repositions that chair.

This all occurs in the film despite his claim in his book Hard Cases (p20) that:
“Whenever possible I try to get the exact model of car, the exact gun, the exact shirt or whatever important prop is central to the story. It drives my staff crazy sometimes but it’s vital. So much becomes apparent when you carefully replicate the details of the scene..

Finally he says of the scene as a whole:
Bryan Bruce’s film:
Hutton was a highly experienced detective from Auckland but as he entered the house that day he discovered a scene with very few clues.”

The Case of the Missing Bloodstain demonstrates that an astute analysis of the scene and the witness evidence is capable of identifying Len Demler as the murderer.

 

A Chronology and Relevant Facts
In contemplating your reply to my question as to why Bruce constructed his film entirely of these lies, Minister, you may find it helpful to consider the following factual matters:

  • There are only two beneficiaries of Bruce’s lies and misinformation:
    • Mrs Crewe’s late father Len Demler, who is declared innocent in Bruce’s film but identified in COMB as the undoubted murderer, and:
    • Our police force, which has for over thirty years refused to recognise the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s finding that Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton planted evidence against AA Thomas. That police position has been prominent in the press following Mr Hutton’s recent death. COMB’s observations, arguments and logic show that it is unsustainable.
  • The only locations where my book existed prior to its publication were on my computer and in emails between my editor, my typesetter and myself. If my reasoning is correct, it follows that Bruce must have obtained knowledge of my book’s contents from one of those sources.
  • I first communicated with my editor about the book by email on 23 July 2011.
  • Bruce began to shoot his film in August 2011;
  • The first time the contents of the book were committed to email was when the final layout and text were emailed to me by my typesetter on 5 January 2012;
  • The police called Taupo-based Crewes researcher/journalist Chris Birt to Auckland to discuss the case on 20 January 2012;
  • Birt has disclosed that at the meeting on 20 January 2012 the police discussed with him the issues which have lead to my proposal that the scene of the murders itself indicates the identity of the murderer. This analysis is the source of my title “The Case of the  Missing Bloodstain”.
  • On 20 January 2012 Wellington-based Bryan Bruce was in Auckland interviewing former Thomas defence counsel Gerald Ryan. His film refers repeatedly to contact he had with the police when making the film.
  • Correspondence from Mr Birt indicates that he and Bruce met and discussed the Crewes case on 20 January 2012 and that this was their first-ever meeting.
  • My book was published on 16 April 2012.
  • Two weeks later Birt opened a new website. From its first day the site has undermined my book by posting the analysis which has led to its title and which the police discussed with him on 20 January. He has given the analysis a title, “The Welcome Visitor scenario.” Birt claims, falsely, that the analysis has been common knowledge since the 1970s. In fact the analysis is entirely new and original.
  • Birt published a Crewes book in July 2012 which also undermines mine, by drawing attention to another matter which is vital to COMB ‘s arguments but which has never previously been brought to public attention (detailed in the postscript below).
  • A month later Bryan Bruce’s film launched a constant and wide ranging attack on all of the entirely original proposals of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain.

 

A suggestion
Finally, I have a suggestion for your consideration, Minister. It is that TVNZ issues a public apology for broadcasting Bryan Bruce’s false film. I am unsure whether it is proper for you to instruct TVNZ to do so but in view of the ongoing public interest in the Crewes case, I’m sure a recommendation from the Minister of Broadcasting would be widely appreciated. In the circumstances an apology is surely required.

I look forward to your responses.

Please note following web addresses:

This letter will be posted on my website in due course.

Yours faithfully
Keith Hunter
Author and publisher of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain (copy enclosed herewith).

Postscript overleaf

Postscript

The matter referred to (p11) as being given prominence in Chris Birt’s book is a sheet of black polythene seen in photographs of the Harvey Crewe body recovery operation. Birt focuses on the polythene, captioning it with the words:
Birt book:
Photograph 6 shows Bruce holding up an axle and purportedly ‘ Crewe’s body floating alongside the boat wrapped in a black polythene sheet.’.

Contrary to Birt’s caption, no-one has ever ‘purported’ that the body was wrapped in the polythene sheet. On the only occasions it has ever been noticed, the police said they had brought it with them. I am aware of just two such occasions over all the years, both quoted in COMB (at pp216-7):

Depositions hearing p100, examination of Diver Frost:
 “There seems to be some black plastic alongside the boat loosely held by one policeman.”
“Yes sir”
“Is that wrapped around the cradle with the body?”
“No sir. It was a piece of black polythene that was taken in that boat and was put over the side for exhibits.”
“And when you brought things up from below did you put them into the plastic?”
“No, I handed the bedspread to Inspector Hutton.”

Royal Commission hearing, vol 5 p1262, examination of Det Inspector Gaines:
Can you tell us what the dark object is at the side of the boat, Constable Wyllie has his hand on it …?
That’s a piece of black polythene which we took with us  and placed over the weed prior to the recovery action.

The polythene is a key to my proposal that Hutton planted the axle. It has been all but unnoticed in the photographs all the time. Birt’s caption is a mechanism which directs public attention to it for the first time in forty years. He has not indicated whether or not he conceived or was advised to falsify a purpose for it during his meeting with the police on 20 January, nor whether he was advised by anyone else for whom there might have been profit in his bringing attention to the polythene.

I understand that the photographic or picture plates are commonly the last matter addressed
in setting books for printing.

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To the reply from Mr Foss

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Posted 1 July 2013

A National Disgrace:

The police force is displaying the same immaturity with Bain as in the Thomas case, plus a dash of desperation. As Deputy Commissioner Bush has been unavailable after screwing up publicly in Thomas, the job of responding to the convincing new Bain evidence was passed down to Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess. Predictably Burgess spoke to script and screwed up too. By the time we get to Lundy or Watson the job of responding to unwelcome news will probably have descended several more ranks.
Unfortunately it’s not just the police. The Ministry of Justice has always been a major player in these fiascos. Now Minister Collins has planted herself firmly in there too, waving a flag for intrigue and injustice more openly and resolutely than is usual in your average New Zealand politician. As a result it’s becoming more and more difficult to view the System’s errors in the Thomas, Bain, Dougherty, Watson, Lundy (et al.) cases as individual one-off mistakes caused by individual circumstances. They are all more comprehensible as the reflection of a justice system culture in which pride rules: ‘We don’t get anything wrong. We are perfect and everything we do is perfect. Therefore these demonstrably innocent New Zealanders are actually guilty and we smell of roses”.
Hiding amongst the many causes of this attitude is one of which we should all be ashamed. It allows the System - the police and the whole so-called ‘justice’ structure scrumming in behind them - to get it wrong with impunity. It’s the face-saving ‘cabinet rule’ that requires men and women that the System can’t prove are guilty to show they are innocent before they can get compensation for being wrongly deprived of their freedom. They need to demonstrate a negative - that they didn’t do it. It’s astonishing that a country that views itself as ‘civilised’ can hold to this.
The cabinet rule means that the Bains of New Zealand can be released from prison on the ground that they suffered a miscarriage of justice, but no-one is accountable for the miscarriage. No-one has to pay for it. The Bains can lose their freedom for years after being unfairly or corruptly tried by the representatives of the people and when the unfairness or corruption is exposed the people don’t have to make up for it. It means the justice system doesn’t have to get it right because there’s no penalty for getting it wrong. No one pays for it. The unfair, corrupted trial doesn’t matter. No-one suffers except the poor bastard on the receiving end, the guy who spent half his life in prison as the victim of a failed trial process.

That cabinet rule is unfair, unreasonable and incredibly unjust. If we can’t and didn’t fairly and properly prove beyond reasonable doubt that an accused is guilty what justice is there in having locked him up? We, the press, the courts, the Privy Council, even the System itself, all call this condition a miscarriage of justice. But we don’t treat it as one.

There’s a common misunderstanding here. It’s often claimed that the cabinet rule requires applicants for compensation to prove they are innocent. That’s not so. The relevant rule is that the application for compensation be referred to a Queen’s Counsel who “shall report to the referring Minister, certifying whether he or she is satisfied that the claimant is innocent on the balance of probabilities”. There is no requirement for the applicant to prove anything at all in this. It calls only for a lawyer to offer an opinion as to whether he or she thinks the applicant is probably guilty or probably innocent. An equal, split decision isn’t good enough. It has to be ‘probably innocent’, so the game is played with the dice already loaded against the citizen who has been recognised as a wrongly imprisoned victim.

Lying hidden in the process is the fact that requiring the lawyer to decide as to ‘probable innocence’ is a clandestine way to ignore its obverse. When the lawyer says the applicant is not ‘probably innocent’ he/she is saying he is ‘probably guilty’. That precious standard ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ has gone. The victim of a miscarriage recognised when a jury verdict is overturned by three judges of the Court of Appeal, or perhaps by the Privy Council, can become probably guilty after an essentially closed, secret trial process by a one person court appointed by the system that caused the miscarriage in the first place. That is a perversion of our criminal justice system, which claims to punish people accused of serious crimes only when a jury finds them guilty beyond reasonable doubt. In Bain’s case a secretive one man court’s disguised ‘probably guilty’ would by itself effectively overturn a High Court jury’s ‘not guilty’.

I don’t understand why the one person court’s criterion is other than guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Ten years in prison viewed in retrospect rather than in advance does not influence the propriety of the ten years in prison. If a jury’s verdict has been adjudged at the end to have been wrong at the beginning it is no less wrong at the end. Why then does the criterion change?

Nor do I understand why the onus of proof - proof of probability - shifts from the accuser to the accused when the accuser is found to have screwed up, resulting in the accused spending perhaps half his life in gaol. A fair and just society would jettison all this hocus, accept that it has been responsible for an injustice and compensate the victim immediately, regardless of questions as to innocence or guilt. We got it wrong. We locked him up and we should not have. Our case wasn’t right or proper or good enough and as a result he lost his freedom - unjustly. End of story.

All that the present set of rules does is provide an incompetent or corrupt justice system with an opportunity to do it again, to deal to its victim unjustly a second time by expelling him penniless into the community with no means of surviving after perhaps ten or fifteen years of forgetting how to. But it’s a great way for the System to get itself off the hook, and to save a wallop of cash.

An economical way for the System to save face and reconvict the innocent.
There is a best way for cabinet to save paying out and to ensure everyone knows the poor guy deserved to spend half his life in prison because he is actually guilty and the System was right in the first place. It is for the Minister to hire the right lawyer, one who will have the country’s best interests at heart. An excellent way to achieve this is to hire a prosecutor for the job. Other possibilities are to hire a police lawyer or even the Minister’s lawyer.

Coincidentally, as it happens, when addressing Scott Watson’s application for a pardon the System hired a lawyer who now has all of these qualifications. Kristy McDonald QC is an independent, objective, career-long Crown prosecutor who moonlights as counsel for the police, including for the Commissioner of Police, when she is not acting as tribunal for internal police matters or being named a ‘Wing Patron’ of the Police College, or representing Police in Commissions of Inquiry into Police Conduct (as she did in 2007), or acting on the Serious Fraud Office prosecution panel. Moreover Kristy is presently counsel for the Minister herself, sure proof of the independence and objectivity she has brought to Watson. She was also an excellent independent choice because she ran the Government’s case at the Pike River inquiry, representing the Department of Labour, the Department of Conservation, the Ministries for Economic Development and the Environment. She also chairs the Real Estate Agents Authority and the Judicial Control Authority for Racing and this has helped to guarantee that she would view everything objectively and independently and not from the justice system’s point of view just because she makes a hell of a lot of money out of contracts with the government, especially with the Minister and Ministry of Justice. These government contracts and the multiple highly paid part time government-awarded positions, which might well be reconsidered if she were to write an unwelcome report, all guarantee she was being objective and independent when she found against Watson.

Another lawyer with a suitable background is Robert Fisher QC, the former counsel for the police at the Crewe Case Royal Commission hearing who became a judge of the Court of Appeal until he resigned after pornography was found on his office computer.

These are the two lawyers the Ministry of Justice customarily seeks out when it needs people to rely on. They are chosen because they are independent lawyers capable of independent views, Queen’s Counsel who have no disqualifying links with any of the parties involved in the process. Of course those with beams in their eyes might see them in different clothes, as creatures of the System, as obliged and subservient to it as any employee. (I admit here that I am unfortunately stricken with eyefuls of beams, also of motes). Scott Watson was awarded one of them, career-long Crown prosecutor and police counsel McDonald QC. Bain got the other, pornography’s Mr Fisher, when the Minister failed to appreciate the work of famed Canadian judge Binnie. Reportedly, the Minister sent Binnie’s report finding Bain innocent to as many Crown agencies as she could think of, to line up as many reasons to reject the report as they could think of, before hiring Mr Fisher to (see if he would) agree with them. He did.
No-one has yet offered a view as to whether Ms Collins would have sent Binnie’s report to David Bain’s defence team and then acted on their recommendations if it had found against him rather than for him. My personal view is that she would not have troubled Bain’s lawyers.
So it is that Fisher and McDonald are presently New Zealand’s final courts of inquiry into major miscarriages of justice, one man/woman courts appointed by the very justice system that creates the miscarriages in the first place. Trial by jury and beyond reasonable doubt are for some inexplicable reason out the window. One person, commonly one with ongoing commitments to and from the System, decides on guilt or innocence not beyond reasonable doubt but purportedly on the balance of probabilities. It’s an extraordinary assault on the New Zealand self-image as a bastion of justice, civil rights and civilised law.

The System at work: Rex Haig
Rex Haig is one who could describe how it feels to spend ten years wrongly locked up for murder. He was released when the Court of Appeal found that there was “an evidential basis" to suggest some-one else was the killer. As is on the cards for Bain, he too found that his ten years in prison didn’t matter because a ‘go-to’ QC hired by the System said he had probably done it anyway, in the face of the Court of Appeal quashing his conviction altogether, no new trial, proceedings permanently stayed. Haig was wrongly tried, wrongly convicted and wrongly imprisoned but it doesn’t matter. His ten years inside are justified because, despite the view of the Court of Appeal, the Ministry’s hired man said he probably did it in company with someone else. This saved the System’s blushes and the community’s money. The someone else indicated by both the Court of appeal and the go-to lawyer has never been charged, presumably because of a deal he had done with the police to implicate Haig.

The go-to lawyer who declared against Rex Haig for the System? Robert Fisher QC, the former counsel for the police and former judge of the Court of Appeal who also declared against David Bain for the System, announcing that Canadian Judge Binnie was wrong to find that Bain is innocent. It now seems that when she hired Fisher the Minister had given him a total of 34 reasons from those Crown agencies mentioned earlier, to declare against Bain. So much for justice in New Zealand.

The truth is that in these cases we, the community, are the wrongers. Bain and Haig are the wrongees. They lost their freedom, wrongly, and we are the ones who are guilty for that. It is surely our duty to apologise and compensate them whether or not they can persuade a System lawyer to say they probably didn’t do it.
I don’t know who made this cabinet rule, nor when or why it was made. It has to have been after AA Thomas was compensated in 1980 for spending ten years in prison after a corrupt trial, because he didn’t have to show he was probably innocent. He was released from prison after a lawyer told Robert Muldoon what he wanted to hear, simply that he, the lawyer, thought the Crown case against Thomas was insecure. After that a Royal Commission was held, not to have Thomas show he was probably innocent but to see what went wrong with his trial. Thomas’s innocence was taken to be a given. So it should be with Bain and Haig and everyone else found to be the victim of a miscarriage of justice, whether they are probably guilty or probably innocent, and whether or not the System might be accused of buying the view of a System lawyer. My guess is that those who ran the System at the time changed the rules because they were pissed off when a Royal Commission gave Thomas a million dollars in compensation without asking them first. Evidence of that reaction is daily news still.
Our present process is unjust, unfair and uncivilised. So are those who run it and buy into its unjust rules. Haig is a repeat victim of justice denied and with the Minister against him Bain is lined up to be the same. Watson is there already, confronted by a Ministry determined to deny him justice, driven only to save face. Lundy will follow for sure.
It’s time to change the process and allow for justice to rule rather than pride. The responsibility for addressing miscarriages of justice must be taken from the System that creates them and given to a new miscarriages office divorced from it. That new office’s first task should be to replace the present cabinet rule with one that reflects a 21st century civilised society and not the dark ages.
KH

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Posted 21 June 2013
While they await the forthcoming Privy Council decision on Mark Lundy, visitors to this page should contemplate a nicely relevant series of similarities:

  • Four months after the murders of the Crewes the police investigation had stalled. Then, as fortune would have it, a controversial inspection of their garden turned up the tiny forensic evidence that created the case that convicted AA Thomas.
  • Six weeks after a first inspection of the 390 hairs found on the ‘tiger blanket’ taken from Scott Watson’s Blade found none from the missing pair, the police inquiry had stalled. Then, as fortune would have it, a controversial second inspection turned up the microscopic forensic evidence that provided a scientific foundation for the case against him and is now the only evidence connecting him with the missing pair;
  • Fifty eight days after the murders of Lundy’s wife and daughter, the police inquiry had stalled. Then as fortune would have it, a controversial inspection of materials found in Lundy’s car turned up microscopic evidence on a shirt he had not been seen or said to have been wearing, providing the only strong evidence against him.

The extraordinary, just-in- time chicken dinner-related story of the unsupported, unreviewed wacko science that convicted Lundy is to be found at http://www.ihcworld.com/_newsletter/2003/focus_jan_2003.pdf

Even more intriguing is what may be a world first, the co-authorship of the chicken- dinner, brain matter report that was sent out to the scientific community. Visitors to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12464804 will learn that one of the authors of the objective scientific report that caused Lundy’s conviction was R.Grantham, who may well be Detective Sergeant Ross Grantham, the policeman who ran the inquiry that identified Lundy as a killer capable either of flying from Wellington to Palmerston North and back in an aero- vehicle with four wheels and no wings, or of beaming from town to town.

As a nation we are so lucky that luck contributes so much to the controversial outcomes of our most controversial high-profile crimes.

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Posted 13 June 2013

Trevor Mallard’s attack yesterday on Deputy Commissioner Bush’s prattle in praise of the late evidence-planter Bruce Hutton is well justified. Bush was not speaking at a ‘private function’ when he glorified Hutton, and even if he were it would be irrelevant. His support for the utterly discredited Hutton was a public declaration of the police position on the Crewes case. He was essentially articulating the police myth that no evidence was ever planted in the Crewes case and that AA Thomas is guilty.
Bush’s performance reminds me of a criminal prosecution I witnessed in court in Auckland in 1998. The case sticks in my mind because in it the police had the benefit of some special luck.

It was a drugs case. The accused was said by the police to be a dealer. Indeed, in appearance he was your average, archetypal low-level drug dealer - a weedy, dodgy, dishevelled-looking guy in his mid - late twenties. The evidence against him was found by the police outside his bedroom window, during a raid on his home in Auckland’s Beachhaven. They had surrounded the house one night and at 2am had pounded on the front door yelling ‘Police, Open Up!' Charging in, they found two men in the house but the only drugs they discovered inside were in a paper bag full of ‘low grade marijuana leaf’, drugs of no commercial value but sufficient to enable a charge of ‘possession’. This is where luck played a hand.

Immediately the police announced their presence at the front door, a light turned on in a bedroom at the back of the house, said members of the police team. The bedroom had bare, uncurtained windows, so they could see into it. A man rose from his bed, naked I think, went to a shelf visible from outside and took something from it. Then he opened the uncurtained window and threw the ‘something’ out. It dropped to the ground beneath a fruit tree and beside members of the waiting police team. The thrower was the accused The 'something' was a small film canister containing tabs of ‘speed’.

The luck was that the stupid drug dealer, knowing that the police were on to him at the front door, didn’t cotton on to the possibility that they might be on to him at the back too. So stupid was he that he didn’t just grab the film canister and throw it out. He turned the light on first. If it were me I would have dumped my drugs in the dark because doing it with the light on is like saying ‘look at me, I’m dumping my drugs’. Putting the light on didn’t strike me as fitting a guilty conscience or a fear of discovery. All it did wwas allow the police waiting outside the window to identify him beyond doubt and to see everything he did in the lit room - through the uncurtained window. Given another chance they might have caught the canister. Unfortunately the accused man didn’t give evidence on his own behalf so the court never learned whether he confessed to putting the light on and throwing a film canister out the window as the police team testified he did. Nor did he bother to give evidence about the uncurtained windows. He just pleaded ‘not guilty’.

Luck aside, the matter that makes the case memorable to me is that, although the canister of speed tabs flew out the window and dropped at their feet, the police didn’t pick it up and confront the accused with it while they were at the house. They searched the house, arrested him and took him back to the station. Only then did they pull out the canister, put it in front of him and accuse him of possessing drugs for supply. That has always struck me as an unusual sequence. I would have expected the evidence to be put before him immediately it was found at the scene of the crime. I would have thought that when they found little inside the house but had seen him throw something out the window, they would have put everything aside and searched outside the window. But it seems they didn’t. In fact although the canister landed at the feet of the waiting cops almost as soon as the police announced their presence and before the house itself had been searched, it didn’t feature in the story as a physical item of evidence until everyone was back at the station. I recall wondering how many canisters of speed were held at the station from other busts and how often the drug squad went out on a raid and came back with nothing but a paper bag full of low grade leaf.

The detective who ran the case has been impossible to forget. He was a Hollywood casting agent’s dream cop: mid-late thirties, very good looking, very broad-shouldered, very articulate and very authoritative on the witness stand. When he spoke you knew the words were to be respected. His name was Detective Sergeant Mike Bush, of the Takapuna police. He’s plainly a lucky cop for whom bad guys make stupid mistakes and he may go far in the force. But the luck only went so far this time. For whatever reason, the jury found the accused not guilty.
KH

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Posted 17 May 2013

COMB's first birthday passed last month without any response to its claims from the police Crewes Review team. Neither the Commissioner's promise that Detective Superintendent Lovelock would 'contact you directly with a response' nor the detailed letter (here) sent to Mr Lovelock last October have had effect. Consequently last week a second letter was sent to Mr Lovelock seeking that response:

Letter to Det Supt Andy Lovelock, 6 May 2013

Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock
Crewe Homicide Review Team
Manukau Police Station
PO Box 76 920

Dear Superintendent Lovelock
Re : The Crewe Murders and The Case of the Missing Bloodstain

It is now a year since the publication of my book The Case of the Missing Bloodstain, which shows that the murderer of the Crewes can only have been Jeannette Crewe’s father, Len Demler, and that the axle found in the Waikato River beneath Harvey Crewe’s body was put there by Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton. The book also explains the so-called ‘mystery sightings’ outside the Crewe residence in the days after the Crewes were found to be missing, showing that they were evidence of Demler’s guilt. I advise that no-one has sought to rebut the book’s revelations with genuine argument or evidence.

After I sent a copy of the book to you last June, Detective Senior Sergeant Lendrum wrote to tell me that you had taken it with you to read while overseas on holiday. In November I sent further documentation to the present Commissioner, who informed me that you would “consider the matters you have raised in your correspondence and will contact you directly with a response”.

Now a new informant, one Queenie Edmunds, has reportedly come forward with new information relating to the Crewes inquiry, namely that in 1970 she overheard members of the Crewes team in a public bar planning to plant evidence in the case.

In 1981 the then Police Commissioner Robert Walton made it clear in public statements that the case would be re-opened if and when new evidence was put forward. There are now two sources of undoubtedly new evidence, the new witness and my book. Consequently I suggest that there is now no alternative to reopening and I assume that you will now make that recommendation.

I submit that sufficient time has elapsed since receiving my book for you to offer a response to it, particularly in the light of Ms Edmunds’ new evidence. I ask that you provide the response promised by Commissioner Marshall in his letter to me of 5 November 2012, quoted above.

Yours Faithfully

Keith Hunter
Author and Publisher of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain

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7 April 2013
What a joke!.
With the passing of former Inspector Bruce Hutton we have just seen a re-run of the process that kept his infamy from the courts. After the 1980 Royal Commission found that he had planted evidence against an innocent man, the then Commissioner of Police, Robert Walton, announced that there was no case against Mr Hutton. The Royal Commission was wrong, said the Police Commissioner right across the nation’s front pages - as he passed the case to the Solicitor-General for determination. The Solicitor General, knowing in advance from the Police Commissioner what the truth was and what the outcome of his investigation would therefore be, announced a year later that there was no case against Mr Hutton. Thereupon Mr Hutton settled down to thirty years as a horse breeder, apparently a wealthy one after the accidental death of his second wife in her bathtub.

Yesterday history repeated itself. A police review of the Crewes case is to be published ‘very very soon’, according to a newspaper which has comforted him over his final year. Yesterday the same newspaper gave us a preview of the review’s presumed editorial line.It is a great tragedy and irony that a man of such great character should have been subject to those accusations..” the New Zealand Herald reports Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Bush as saying. That means Mr Hutton is innocent of any evidence-planting according to our police force. It’s what the force has been saying for the last thirty-three years, ever since Commissioner Walton told the Solicitor General in 1980 that there was no evidence against him. That police view is reported in The Case of the Missing Bloodstain repeatedly. It’s why justice has been on holiday in the Crewes case for forty years. Thomas did it, so there. No evidence was planted by the nice policeman (who allegedly scared off the country’s biggest newspaper with a threat of defamation but refused to sue his defamer when the defamer begged him to do so).

In the normal course of events announcements of guilt or innocence are not made by policemen. They arise from the views and verdicts of our courts of law. Not here. Not with the man who is more responsible than anyone else for the destruction of our justice system’s reputation, previously spotless in the eyes of the people at large. The verdict of the court that never tried the once high-ranking Hutton is re-announced by another high-ranking policeman, aping Robert Walton’s performance in 1980.

What does this mean for the imminent police ‘review’? What are the odds on it disagreeing with the Deputy Commissioner? Or to put it another way, now that the reviewers know it is a tragedy Hutton was subjected to those accusations, what are the odds on them acting against the instruction they received publicly yesterday from Deputy Commissioner Bush?
What a joke!.

In the circumstances it has always been the duty of the police to bring the now deceased Hutton to court to test the evidence for or against him. What chance the review will now cast a stone of any sort against him when the Deputy Commissioner declares him innocent of ‘those accusations’, innocent not because of the evidence, which Mr Bush has not read or studied, but because Hutton was a man ‘of such great character’? Even if the report were now to expose Hutton to the law it’s too late. The report would be seen as having waited until it was knackered. .

Mr Bush plainly has a big mouth. Someone should have told him to keep it shut and his PR views to himself so that the upcoming report could have the opportunity of at least claiming to have some sort of integrity. What a dolt!

What chance Mr Bush will be rebuked by his boss, Commissioner Marshall, as he should be for giving such a plain face to a review which few expect to be honest anyway? In fact Bush should not be rebuked by his boss. He should be disciplined by him, and by the Ministers of Police and Justice. Who needs courts when we can have Waltons and Bushes in command of the fuzz. .

When is our justice system, or any part of it, going to own up to getting, or doing, something wrong, as justice systems do in other parts of the world these days?
When will our justice system grow up?

What a joke.
KH

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30 November

A scam is a scam is... coincidence or two guilty minds and the BBC?

The Jimmy Saville documentary on Television One earlier this week demonstrated the means Saville used to deflect suspicion he was a constant child molester and to protect himself from investigation and attack. He developed a national reputation as a community benefactor, often portrayed on BBC television leading marches in support of charitable causes for children. A lovely, generous man was Jimmy, especially to children. No-one who watched the BBC could ever view him as anything else. That man could not molest children.

Bryan Bruce is a lovely man too, a man who is devoted to children's welfare, like Jimmy,. Bryan is a man so publicly generous and caring in support of hungry children that he could never be accused of secretly being a police puppet using New Zealand On Air funds to pervert the public mind, or of using the BBC to promote himself as a philanthropist to camouflage the truth. Here's a quote from his webpage at http://www.redsky.tv/news.html.

"...News:

We are on our way back!

On July 25 this site was hacked by someone who called himself Voldemort.  Our profits go to feed hungry children in New Zealand ( you can read about it here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19093945 )...."

A lovely, kind, innocent man!

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Posted 19 November 2012

Modem problems have kept this site quiet for a little while. However it's pleasing to read (Sunday Star Times et al from 19 November) that Chris Birt has discovered a smoking gun document that nails the late Police Commissioner Robert Walton as the man who had the planted cartridge case taken to the Tuakau tip . It's pleasing to see that Hutton didn't propose it himself and that he is innocent in the matter. Bob told him to do it. Bob must have told him to plant the cartridge case in the first place too, and the axle as well. Bruce wouldn't have done any of these things if Bob hadn't told him to. A man of his word, Bruce is. If, way back in the seventies before he was revealed as liar and a perjurer, he said Bob told him to get rid of the evidence then plainly Bob must have told him.

It doesn't matter that Hutton couldn't even tell the truth about who dumped the evidence. He telexed Walton (telex 6 Sept 1973 provided by Chris Birt in 2001) that he had done it with Det Sgt Keith. Det Sgt Keith said he didn't. Det Sgt Keith was an honest cop whose word was accepted by the Royal Commission. Hutton wasn't.

And it's great to find a smoking gun of real value and real integrity amongst police records that sorts it all out just a year or two after Bob died. However the transcript of the Crewe Inquiry team's 19 October1970 conference transcript is now available below, headlined "Smoking Gun".

Much has been reported recently by the Herald's Crewes team about the Thomas family's call for legal action against Hutton. That call deserves the support of all New Zealanders. However the likelihood of such legal action is less than zero. Nothing could more demonstrate that than the revelation that Det Supt Lovelock is still chasing Thomas- by looking for any girlfriends he may have had fifty years ago. As this website and COMB have maintained repeatedly, the System will never admit that the police planted evidence, nor that Thomas is innocent. The Herald's ongoing suppression of the words "The Case of the Missing Bloodstain" furthers that purpose. It should be reporting that Lovelock's actions are, if not illegal, both offensive and inappropriate. It's not the innocent we want to investigate. It's the guilty.

Arthur Thomas's responses are also worthy of comment. His family has poured money, energy and focus for forty years into sorting out what happened, on bringing the guilty to justice. The issue is no longer about Arthur Thomas. It's about the integrity of our police force, of our courts, and it has been for many years. AA Thomas should get in behind with everyone else, take the self pity blinkers off and get involved. His 'getting on with life' response is pitiful.

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Posted 2 November 2012

Following a press report last week that the police team reviewing the Crewe case was about to complete its review, I wrote to Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock seeking his response to The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. The letter included a concise outline of the cases now available against both Jeannette Crewe's father Len Demler for murder and Detective Inspector Hutton for a variety of charges including conspiracy to pervert the courseof justice:

Letter to Det Supt Andy Lovelock, 25 October 2012, copied to Minister of Police, Minister of Justice, Attorney-General, Solicit or-General

Dear Mr Lovelock

Re: The Case of the Missing Bloodstain (COMB)

 

On 12 May I posted you a copy of the above book. Another copy was delivered to you via the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Police, the Commissioner of Police, and Det Snr Sgt Lendrum. Mr Lendrum advised that you intended to read it while on leave overseas in June. While press reports now claim that your review of the Crewe case is almost complete, I am disappointed that you have yet to respond to that reading.

 

You will have found that the book provides a solid case against Len Demler for murder and against Bruce Hutton for planting evidence against Mr Arthur Thomas, the planted evidence being a cartridge case in the Crewe garden and an axle beam in the Waikato River.

 

For the avoidance of any doubt or confusion I will lay out the issues briefly in both regards:  

1          Against Mr Demler: 

Means:

Demler conceded at the Royal Commission hearing that the double-barrelled firearm known to have been owned by the family of Demler’s wife, the Chennells, had been in his possession and that it was a shotgun on one side and a rifle on the other (COMB p159ff). Statements to the police by Joseph Steven MacKay were strongly suggestive that the rifle side was .22 calibre, (COMB p92), the calibre of the bullets which killed the Crewes.

 

This rifle was a single shot weapon. Its lack of any automatic reload capability provides a clear reason for the injuries to Jeannette, as described in COMB at page 160.  The Chennells rifle was never found.


Opportunity:

Demler alone had open access to the Crewes and their farm. He lived next door and commonly moved on horseback through the bush between their farms. He visited for dinner at least once a week and could come and go at will.

 

Only Demler could have taken the ‘burned tarpaulin’ (COMB p 63ff) thought to have lined the wheelbarrow the inquiry team considered had carried the bodies of the Crewes. Anyone else who risked being seen outside the Crewe house in the days after the inquiry began would have had no excuse for being there. Police evidence to the Royal Commission that the tarpaulin completely burned away leaving no post-burning debris after a cigarette butt thrown on it was properly derided by the Commissioners. It would have been laughable had the period been the hottest midsummer. This was immediately after a storm in midwinter.

Since Hutton had been unaware of the tarpaulin during his inquiry, as he stated at the Royal Commission hearing, this argument also provides a strong new line of evidence against Demler which was not examined at either trial.

 

The Missing Bloodstain

The scenario first put forward in COMB’s Conclusion chapter and later partially copied by Chris Birt onto his website as “The Welcome Visitor Scenario’ provides irrefutable argument and evidence against Demler relating to opportunity. That scenario arises from an analysis of several inter-related issues. It proposes that no-one but Demler could have left the scene of the murders as it was found. The issues are the Crewes’ lifestyle, that Harvey was shot from behind, that a storm was raging outside, that the lounge furniture was set up in a television-watching formation that was used only when Demler was there, and the missing bloodstain.

 

Contrary to Birt’s claims, this scenario has never been put forward before. It is completely new evidence and argument.

 

Motive:

Demler wanted to sell his farm and retire. This is indicated by his discussions with members of the police team, by a new relationship with the woman he would later marry, and by the fact that he sold the farm two years later. However, under his late wife’s will if he sold the farm then her share of it would go to their daughter, Jeannette. If both Jeannette and Harvey were deceased he would have control of both his wife’s and his daughter’s wills as sole trustee of each (see COMB Ch 4).

 

This motive has been neither proposed nor examined before. You will be aware of the television documentary “Who killed the Crewes?, by Bryan Bruce. At 8’15” into his film Bruce stated that :

 The arrangement gave Len the use of the use of the land for life.. but if he sold it however he would only get half the money. But was this enough of a motive, the police wondered, for him to murder his daughter and son in law,?”

 

Bruce’s observation is factually incorrect. He implies that this motive was known to and considered by the inquiry team. It was not. The police analysis of a motive for Demler was described in full by Mr Hutton at the 19 October 1970 conference meeting with the visiting senior officers Baker and O’Donovan:

“As far as Demler is concerned, taking the motive, I agree with you Wal (Baker), that the motive is weak really. There is the suggestion of $12,000 worth of shares with perhaps in addition the transfer of the motorcar being a possible motive – the cause of an argument between Demler on the one side and Jeannette and Harvey on the other, and the fact that Jeannette of course has entered in some way into the running of the Demler estate in the form of a trustee As a result of May Demler’s will. So much for the motive.”

 

As you will be aware, this meeting on 19 October 1970 was the last time the inquiry team discussed a motive for Demler. Thomas was charged and arrested three weeks later.

An analysis of the will of the deceased Mrs Demler permits no doubt that it had the potential to provide a powerful motive for a man in Len Demler’s position and of his disposition to commit murder. However the inquiry did not conduct that analysis and so was unaware of the motive I have proposed. The motive is therefore new evidence against the man who was the inquiry‘s sole suspect for at least three months and who was then excluded without cause.

The excerpt I have quoted above is from page 2 of the 11 page conference transcript. Bryan Bruce displayed a copy of that transcript in his film, and also referred to the same 19 October meeting in his narration. It is thus impossible for him to have been unaware of the truth and so his false implication was deliberately made. I make this point here because his film includes a great many departures from the truth, all of which undermine calls for the case to be re-opened and all of which are patently deliberate.

 

 

Demler’s Attempted Alibi

No explanation has ever previously been put forward for the strange sightings which I have referred to in COMB as the ’Mysteries’. COMB offers an explanation fully consistent with them. It is that they were arranged in an attempt to construct an alibi by delaying the apparent time of the murders for three days. Demler’s movements were such that he would have gained from such a delay. No one else involved in the case was in that position. The book quotes (p54) a comment by him which strongly supports the accusation against him in this context.

The alibi explanation relies on the last of the sightings occurring on Saturday 20 June. This timing is contradicted in Bryan Bruce’s film, which incorrectly records the last of the sightings, of the child Rochelle by Ms Queenie McConnachie, as being on Friday 19 June, thereby undermining COMB’s alibi explanation. The transcript of the first Thomas trial at page 39 records the sighting as follows:

 

Remember the Saturday, 20th June, the day on which there was a football match at Tuakau?

Yes

Did you and your husband intend to go and see the match

Yes

... What time did you leave home?

About 1.30.

…To get to the match you travelled along Highway 22, which goes past the farm of the Crewes?

Yes…

…On the basis that you left home a 1.30, what time would you pass the Crewe's property? 

About 1.40.

Looking at photo 3, as you were coming past the gate of the Crewe property did you notice anything? 

Yes I saw a small child.

Whereabouts looking at photo 3 was the child? 

She was standing at the gate.

Photo 4, would you indicate where the child was? 

There (indicates).

There is a milk box, are you pointing to a spot just right of milk box looking at photo?

 Yes.

What was the child doing? 

She was standing holding on like that.

Describe the clothing se was wearing? 

She was wearing a pair of trousers with a bib front.

 

All other references to Ms McConnachie’s sighting of the child are consistent with this excerpt.

Bruce’s film goes on to record incorrectly the timing of the sightings as a whole. He has the first sighting on the day after the murders, when in fact there was no sighting at all that day. His treatment of the whole series incorrectly confines them to the two days following the murders, Thursday and Friday 18 and 19 June, when the evidence is unanimous that they all occurred over the two days Friday and Saturday 19 and 20 June. This evidence is fully consistent with COMB’s alibi scenario and is the cause of it.

 

Claims that the evidence excluded Demler.

Bryan Bruce’s film makes repeated claims that the evidence, including forensic evidence, excluded Len Demler. This is incorrect. I enclose a copy of the transcript of the police conference referred to above, held on 19 October 1970. The transcript copy came to me from Chris Birt in 2001 as provided to him under the Official Information Act by the late Stan Keith. The film and Birt’s correspondence with me indicate that Bryan Bruce acquired his copy from Birt in January 2012. The conference was the last for which a transcript was made available to the Royal Commission. Inspector Hutton told the Commission that no subsequent meetings were transcribed and so this transcript is the last record of the police case against Demler. The following day Thomas’s rubbish tip was searched and Detective Johnston found in it the stub axles which redirected the entire inquiry away from Demler and towards Thomas.

            Bryan Bruce’s film said of this meeting:

“For when D/I Hutton reviewed the case with two experienced colleagues on 19/10/70 he told them that due to lack of evidence against Len Demler he was now looking at a new suspect.-Arthur Allan Thomas..”

 

The conference transcript identifies the ‘two experienced colleagues’ as D/I Baker and D/S/S O’Donovan but nothing in it supports Bryan Bruce’s claim that Hutton looked at Thomas because there was a lack of evidence against Demler. The transcript specifically lays out the entire case relating to Demler. Hutton is revealed as suppressing the.key evidence from Joseph Steven Mackay that associated Demler with both the axle and a .22 rifle. While the inquiry was plainly unaware of the new evidence and argument put forward in my book, there was no evidence of any sort whatever that excluded Demler. Again Bruce’s claims are false.

 

2          Against Mr Hutton

Planting the cartridge case

Hutton’s involvement in planting the cartridge case was indicated by the evidence of Julie and Owen Priest, neighbours of the Crewes. Their evidence is transcribed at p.892ff of Volume 4 of the Royal Commission transcript and was accepted by the Commissioners as probative both of the planting of the cartridge case as put forward by Messrs Booth and Sprott, and of Hutton’s involvement in it. Bryan Bruce’s film depicted Thomas counsel Gerald Ryan saying he knew of no evidence against Hutton. Mr Ryan has now stated that he was unaware of the Priest evidence and discovered it only on reading COMB, and that he would no longer give the reply Bruce acquired from him.

 

Planting the axle.

This is a brand new development in the case. It is supported by the evidence of multiple witnesses, including the team members present when Harvey Crewe’s body was recovered. It is also strongly indicated in the evidence of Det Sgt Parkes and Professor Mowbray in relation to the recovery of the stub axles from the Thomas tip.

However the strongest evidence that the axle was planted is provided in Chapter 25 of COMB, especially in the commentary on the diagram on page 245. Hutton was the only person in a position to plant the axle and can only have done so during the 45 minutes it took the divers to retrieve the body. While he claimed to have felt “an iron object” hanging under the body when he reached under it, only after the body had been secured did he tell the team he had done so perhaps half an hour earlier.

COMB addresses the axle planting issues at length. The only contrary evidence has been put forward by Bryan Bruce in his film, where he stated that:

“Det Hutton later told the court that when he reached down to try and unsnag the body he felt a heavy iron object slip from his grasp.  He said he immediately instructed a diver to search for it..  (And moments later an old car axle was  brought to the surface.)”

 

Bruce’s assertion allows no time for the axle to have been planted and is thus an impediment to the proposition. However his claim is untrue. Nowhere did Hutton ever claim to have “immediately instructed a diver to search for it”. He made no such statement to any court. On the contrary, he invariably testified that he had not given such an instruction until after the body had been retrieved and secured aboard the punt the team had taken with them for the purpose. The evidence is that he did not even tell anyone about his alleged feeling the iron object until that point.

Hutton’s evidence to the trial processes is encapsulated in the following transcript excerpts:

Depositions, p151:
Whilst Constable Spence was endeavouring to force the cradle under the body I reached over and place one hand under the shoulder of the body nearest to me…

..At that precise moment, I felt an object under the body and close to it and at the same moment, Constable Spence forced the cradle and tugged at the body itself. The body came free all of a sudden and the object slipped from my grasp. …

The object I felt, felt to me like iron or something very solid but the weight was such that I had little chance to pull it towards me. Following the recovery  of the body itself I directed the police diving team to carry out an extensive search  immediately below the body for the weight…

 

Trial 1, p151

Once you got body into cradle did you have that taken ashore? 

No. The body was in the cradle and lifted on board the boat and I instructed the divers incl. Consts. Spence, Doyle and Frost to dive in an effort to locate the weight in which I had lost.  Const. Spence in a matter of minutes recovered a car axle directly below where I lost contact with the weight I had previously mentioned.

 

Detective Inspector Gaines confirmed this sequence of events at the Royal Commission hearing.

RC p1255. D/I Gaines

Tell us what Detective Inspector Hutton did …

 As Constable Spence moved in put his arm over the top of the body, I stepped back and Inspector Hutton put his hand over the side of the boat, down through those weeds you see, and actually had his hand in the water alongside the body.

Did he make any comment at that stage, about anything …

No.

What happened next …

When I say no comment, tension was running pretty high because of the fact, that the least disturbance was going to - could possibly loosen the body and all the evidence with it.  So there were comments going but precisely what was said, I don’t recall.

He didn't say anything about the nature of the obstruction …

No.

You've told us the body bobbed up …

Yes.

Do I take it from that, that it was then free of the obstruction …

It appeared to free itself up at that stage, what we did then was to slip the cradle completely under the body and then very gently roll the body in the cradle over onto its back.

 

P1256  

I think your immediate concern was to put the cradle into the duck punt …

Yes we covered the body with the overflow nylon and the divers lifted the body onto the duck punt.  Yes.

Can you tell us roughly how long that all took … I would think about ¾ of an hour, at least, it seems an awful long time…

…Was it after that, that attention was turned to the question of the obstruction, what it had been

Yes, that is correct.

Who bought that subject up?

 … Everything we did with divers, immediately we discovered anything, there was a pattern search to be done immediately below any suspect area.  Constable Spencer was designated to immediately search the area below where the body was.  He made one dive, came up with nothing, made the second dive and came up with an axle, which is looking at photograph 5, and there is a blow-up of that which I will show you.

 

P1265   

From the point the axle was recovered, the point Hutton touched something solid and lost to the time the axle was identifiable recovered, what would be the time interval …

Half an hour, maybe a fraction longer.  We took a long time recovering the body with care but immediately after that, in 2 dives and the second dive it was recovered it would only be a matter of 3 or 4 minutes at the outside……..

 

 

Summary

The Case of the Missing Bloodstain is the outcome of a meticulous review of the documentation relating to the case. It identifies the murderer on the basis of existing evidence and concludes that the police inquiry, the press and the public were constantly misled by the inquiry’s leader. It also demonstrates that the evidence planted against Arthur Thomas was not confined to a cartridge case.

The book has been supported by Peter Williams QC, Thomas’s counsel at the Royal Commission Hearing and arguably New Zealand’s most noted defence counsel of the last thirty years. No criticism of the book’s findings has been identified by anyone except by implication in Bryan Bruce’s film. This played to hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders and may well now represent the state of the nation’s knowledge on the Crewe case.

However, the film’s message is false and it must not influence your review. It contradicts the evidence so consistently that misleading New Zealand seems to have been Bruce’s deliberate purpose. The quality of his work is reflected in the matters described above but nowhere is his ill purpose better demonstrated than in his attempts to support Hutton. The incongruity of these attempts is most remarkable in the film’s claim that Thomas was pardoned in December 1980, when the Governor General was the late Sir David Beatty.. This would have the pardon occurring after the Royal Commission hearing, presumably as a response to it. In fact the opposite process occurred. The Commission was called up in response to the pardoning, in December 1979. Bruce’s claim is patently intended to support a blatant lie by Hutton who claimed, to the press in May 2010, that Governor General Beatty had told him he had been unwilling to sign the pardon. The most elementary research into the case would quickly discover that Governor General who signed the pardon in 1979 was Keith Holyoake. Not even a researcher of Bruce’s ilk could miss that. The truth is laid out on page 12 of COMB.

 

I forwarded the book to you as evidence that the case is capable of being brought to a conclusion and that it is now appropriate to re-open it

 

It is the duty of the police force to inquire into criminal matters and bring them to court. There is no longer any circumstance under which the murder of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe should remain a closed case. Please have the case re-opened.

 

As is my normal practice, this letter will in due course be posted on my website, hunterproductions.co.nz, in accordance with my view that developments relating to this and other such cases should be made transparent where possible. I will also copy it to the Commissioner and the Minister of Police, and to others who have, or who in my view should have, expressed an interest in COMB.

 

Yours Faithfully

Keith Hunter

 

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Back to the subsequent 6 May 2013 letter to Mr Lovelock

=====================================================================================================================

SMOKING GUNS : The 19 October 1970 police meeting notes:

The transcript of the 19 October 1970 police conference which was sent on 25 October to Mr Lovelock with the above letter has beeen posted below. This is the conference Bryan Bruce quoted when he told New Zealand:

“For when D/I Hutton reviewed the case with two experienced colleagues on 19/10/70 he told them that due to lack of evidence against Len Demler he was now looking at a new suspect.-Arthur Allan Thomas..”

The transcript lays out Hutton's version of the entire case against Demler - motive, means and opportunity. It represents the last time the police looked at Demler. After this meeting he exited the inquiry. According to Bryan Bruce the transcript should:

  • Satisfy the sentence quoted above;
  • Support his film's version of why Demler was put aside - that there was forensic evidence that excluded him;
  • Record that Hutton was aware of the motive COMB puts to him, that he wanted to to retire and sell his farm but if he did half the proceeds would go to Jeannette. It should record this motive because Bryan Bruce's film implies that the police were aware of the motive: The arrangement gave Len the use of the use of the land for life.. but if he sold it however he would only get half the money. But was this enough of a motive, the police wondered, for him to murder his daughter and son in law,?”

The meeting transcript does none of these, proving Bruce a liar and a carrier of police propaganda - a police stooge. It also demonstrates that Hutton lied both to his team and to the two out-of town experts about the evidence available against Demler: he kept silent about the statements by Steve McKay that indicate that the axle had been on Demler's farm Demler and that the long sought rifle held by his wife's family fired .22 bullets.

If there are smoking gun documents that condemn Hutton, this meeting transcript is one of them. Along with the MacKay statements, it was put before the Royal Commission but their significance was not recognised by the Commission or by anyone since until COMB, although the documents were also acquired in 2001 by Chris Birt. Together these documents provide a complete case against Hutton for misleading his team, the press and the public, and demonstrate conclusively that he had a strong case against Demler which he put aside not for reasons related to the evidence but solely because he could not locate the killer's rifle. Arthur Thomas's innocence can reasonably be inferred from these alone.

The transcript can be seen and be read below at Meeting 19 October 1970 .

The Steve MacKay statements will also be posted here shortly.

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2 August 2012
A distinguished New Zealander resident in London has written after reading COMB.
Denis Linehan  spent most of most of his working life in Australia as a public servant, mainly for the Commonwealth but at the end for New South Wales. In the 1970s he worked for a time on the Australian Royal Commission on Drugs headed by Mr Justice Sir Edward Williams (as he later became) of the Supreme Court of Queensland. At the end of the Royal Commission, Denis assisted Williams when he became the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Brisbane in 1982.
In a lengthy email he has written …
            …..“I wonder if I might also comment on some of the issues you raise in your book. Later in the '80s and the '90's I worked successively for the National Crime Authority, which locked up a few corrupt police officers (one for 26 years),  the NSW Police Royal Commission and the body which succeeded it the NSW Police Integrity Commission, which is still going. So I have some relevant experience.
            You complain rightly about the absence of any action on the Royal Commission report by way of charging people. The police involved will never be charged, as only another body with the power to do so would take such action; and there is no such body in NZ - I note that the Independent Police Conduct Authority can only make recommendations. As some of its investigators are ex-NZ Police, it cannot have even the appearance of being independent. The body is immediately compromised. The NSW body is forbidden by its act to employ in any capacity serving or former members of the NSW Police. The Authority needs to have the same powers as the police - eg to tap telephones - if it is to be effective.
"

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17 July 2012

Who killed theCrewes? – A review of Bryan Bruce’s film last night.
The Bryan Bruce film last night looked like a rush job, providing a litany of factual errors and, inexplicably, exonerating Len Demler on the ground there was no evidence against him. It also claimed there was no ‘planting’ evidence against Bruce Hutton and that Johnston may have put the cartridge case in the garden by himself. In fact  the evidence that they were both involved in the planting of the cartidge case is identical, supplied by the same witnesses and the same arguments.
            The factual errors included the insignificant and the meaningful. The insignificant included discovering Jeanette’s body a month earlier (“Then almost a month to the day after the murders came the breakthrough..) , liberating Arthur Thomas a year later ("In December of 1980 Thomas  was pardoned..") and giving false importance to the discovery of two rifles that could not be excluded (the 17 August police conference “was a defining moment in the investigation"). In fact the police were totally focused on Demler at the time and the initial followup on the two rifles was no more than perfunctory. Hutton put all his effort into finding a Demler rifle.
            The meaningful errors included:

  • Det Hutton told the court that when he reached down to try and unsnag (Harvey’s) body he felt a heavy iron object slip from his grasp. He said he immediately instructed a diver to search for it. ..”. No he didn’t. He didn’t mention feeling an object until the body had been retrieved and manhandled into a punt that he mentioned it. That was perhaps half an hour later. The delay is significant. Why he didn’t mention it immediately is something a competent, accurate and more honest inquiry would have addressed.
  • Several references to a young man who had access to the other unexcludable rifle as “The Crewe’s farmhand..” and to the rifle in question as “the farmhand’s gun..” To the best of my knowledge that man was once employed by Harvey Crewe to do a specific job. He was not “the Crewe’s farmhand”. I’m surprised TVNZ’s lawyers allowed this. Perhaps they didn’t know. To say, incorrectly, that the Crewes had a farmhand who had access to one of the rifles that could not be excluded is in my view quite extraordinary. That man would have become the prime suspect immediately. He didn’t.
  •  Several times, of Len Demler, “They couldn’t connect him to the axle found in the river”, “…weigh it down with an axle to which he  has no established connection”, “ The trouble was that none of these three pieces of silent evidence pointed to Demler… The truth is that Hutton never tried to connect the axle to Demler. He had strong evidence that the axle may have been Demler’s but hid it from everyone – his team, his boss, the press and the public.

The Case of the Missing Bloodstain shows that there was always a strong case to be put against Demler that included the classic trio of means,  motive and opportunity.
            There’s also a quite odd error, either by Bruce or by Jeanette’s sister Heather. Bruce said Heather had written to him “stating that when she returned to NZ from an overseas holiday in 1970..”  Heather hadn’t been on an overseas holiday. She was living in America at the time..
            My responses to the film were that it was made in a hurry and that it did as I predicted – muddy the waters. It used incorrect, or false, references to a man which install him in the viewer’s mind as a new suspect despite there being not one jot of evidence, nor a case of any kind,against him. At the same time it misrepresented the case against the true suspect as being non-existent. It also took the heat off Hutton.
            Overall I thought it trivial, uninformative, and out of date. The words of Bryan Bruce himself, chosen for his own conclusion, categorise it aptly. They were delivered to the camera with impressive pomp. Since they provided the most profound statement I noticed in his film, I’ll quote them in full:
“In my view, if  it wasn’t Len Demler, or Arthur Allan Thomas,  or a murder suicide we have to ask – could it have been someone else? I think the answer to that is - Yes.

KH

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For those interested in intrigue and tawdry but meaningful backbiting, keep an eye on this page for a forthcoming series special: COUQ. It will contain a wiser and much more detailed view of Bryan Bruce's film.

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16 July 2012

Bryan Bruce documentary tomorrow, 17 July.
News this morning that Television One will broadcast a Crewe case documentary by Bryan Bruce tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
I have been aware for a couple of months that Bryan Bruce was making a Crewes programme. It seems that he has a new suspect. A new suspect was put to me too, several weeks ago by a couple of Aucklanders who have followed the case for many years - unknown to me until they made contact. Their murder scenario is interesting because it has the Crewes shot with a handgun. They had several reasons for this, amongst them the claim that a handgun is much louder than a rifle and more likely to have been heard during a storm by the witness Julie Priest, who heard shots that night from her bedroom in a house several hundred metres away.
The suspect was investigated in the late 1970s, but the informants who came to me have carried out research far beyond that ever undertaken by the police. Their theory does not take account of all the evidence available against Demler so it does not turn me away from him as the murderer. But it is certainly an intriguing line of thought.
TVNZ and TV3 websites record Bryan Bruce as complaining that police have obstructed his attempts to discover new documentation – but that he has found it anyway, where others have tried for decades to find it, apparently without success. “I have uncovered several things that I am sure will surprise viewers who have followed the case over the years….Quite simply the known forensic evidence is against Demler being the killer”, Bruce is quoted as saying.. That’s also what Bruce Hutton has been saying for decades to justify his part in the police investigation that changed New Zealand. I don’t think it exists but I will not be as surprised as Bryan predicts when he reveals groundbreaking documentation of which there has never been a hint before.
Personally I look forward to Bryan delivering a programme on one of the major, high-profile miscarriages which does not which carry an underlying pro-system message. It will be the first in a series which in my view could not exist without police support.
My principal hope about the Bryan Bruce film is that it does not divert attention from the action that the police should have taken thirty years ago and should take now if they are indeed pursuing the truth. Their first target should be the man who deliberately planted evidence against the innocent Arthur Thomas. There is a wealth of evidence against Bruce Hutton. It will be an opportunity lost if Bryan Bruce does not deal with it – as a first priority.
KH

20 June 2012

The Commissioner of Police has acknowledged receiving the book from the Minister of Police. He has forwarded it to 'the Review Team' led by Det Supt Lovelock. Det Supt Lovelock has not acknowledged receiving the copy sent to him on 14 May. He is on holiday overseas and has taken the Minister's copy with him to read. "The evidence (I) elude to in (my) correspondence will be considered by the Review Team"

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11 June 2012

I should earlier have noted Rodney Hide's Herald On Sunday views of a week ago. Hide has a new spot as a columnist on the HoS. He is a strong supporter of all three publications to which this site is devoted. On 3 June he wrote:

The 1980 Royal Commission into the wrongful conviction of Arthur Allan Thomas for the 1970 killings of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe declared that "[Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton] and [Detective Lenrick] Johnston planted the shellcase, exhibit 350, in the Crewe garden and that they did so to manufacture evidence that Mr Thomas' rifle had been used in the killings".

It's hard to imagine a more damning finding from the highest possible level of inquiry a government can undertake. And what happened?. Nothing. No police officer charged. No changes to police culture or operation.No police apology.

I suspect the police never accepted the Royal Commission's findings. And there lies the problem.

Every murder conviction that lacks a smoking gun or a clear confession is now suspect. The police planted evidence once. Therefore, they are capable of doing it again.

Police top brass this week patted themselves on the back following a report that "paints a picture of an impartial, corruption-free, independent and high-performing police service"

I'll believed it when the police apologise for planting that cartridge case and lay charges against those responsible..

The full piece is at:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10810307

 

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10 June 2012

  • Former Detective Inspector Hutton has not yet responded to pleas that he take action for defamation. (This bulletpoint may last forever)

Receipt of The Case Of The Missing Bloodstain (COMB) has not yet been acknowledged by the Commissioner of Police, who several weeks ago received the copy forwarded to him by the Minister of Police, who received the copy forwarded to her by the Minister of Justice. Nor has receipt of the copy sent directly to him a month ago been acknowledged by Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock, the policeman alledgedly handingly the Crewes Case, .

However there have been several other developments, one of them of considerable importance:

A police response?

Just two weeks after the publication of COMB I (KH) was told that a documentary-maker "has now been commissioned by TVNZ to produce a Crewe documentary". That's a remarkable coincidence.

The documentary will not have been at TVNZ's instigation. The programme commissioning system doesn't work like that. Programme proposals on specific topics are made by the programme makers, not by the channel. Furthermore for over ten years TVNZ has repeatedly rejected the Crewe case as a documentary subject, even when it was offered a miniseries of two programmes for the cost of one. The narrative it has so often rejected is the one presented in COMB. Now it is suddenly to play and help fund a Crewes documentary. Presumably that documentary will have a different editorial thrust.

The new programme-maker is Bryan Bruce. I have no doubt that Bruce will have considered the subject over the years but I find it astonishing that he would propose a Crewes film, or be involved in creating one, just when a book is published on the subject which is so clear and forceful in its message of police corruption.

It seems to me that the stimulus for the documentary must have come from somewhere else. I recommend that when it arrives viewers should assess for themselves how it compares with COMB as being editorially "police-friendly". If it is warm to the police position (that there was no planting of evidence nor any evidence that should provoke re-opening the case) that would suggest an editorial attitude not just of the programme-maker but of TVNZ as well, considering the corporation's constant rejection of the COMB storyline. This would indicate an uncomfortable alliance of the nation's publicly owned television network with its police force.

My own view of Bryan Bruce's "Investigator" series has long been that it could not be produced without police consent and approval, nor without ready access to police files.

It's a pity that the police have still not acknowledged the existence of COMB and its call for reopening the case on the basis of its evidence and argument. The omission tends to underline the relevance of the Crewe case in the eyes of the police hierarchy.

KH

=============================================

 

Another new Crewes book:

Journalist Chris Birt has today announced another book on the Crewes, publishing next week. I've known for some time that he had a book coming and look forward to it. However it's disappointing to see that he has printed a version of COMB's denouement on a new website he has opened today.

In keeping with the standard detective story genre, COMB's final chapter reveals the murderer by identifying the evidence and argument which make him that. The analysis is taken solely and entirely from testimony given to the courts between 1970 and 1980 and thus has been available to Birt for the whole thirty five years he has been researching the case. It was available to him when he published a book on the Crewes in 2001 but it is absent from that book. Had he known it then he would surely have included it. It is after all a way to the solution to the murders his book addressed. On the other hand it is an analysis I have provided in all of the documentary proposals TVNZ has rejected since 2002 but which were only made public just two months ago in COMB. I conceived of the analysis after studying the trial transcripts and crime scene photographs in 2001. My first notes of it are computer-dated 28 August 2001.

Birt's website version of COMB's final chapter uses the same witnesses, the same testimony and the same arguments as are quoted and provided in COMB. He has never used them, or apparently been aware of them, before. He has made it abundantly clear in email correspondence in recent weeks that he has not appreciated the publication of COMB when he was himself writing another Crewes book. It is to be hoped that his purpose in publishing as his own what another writer conceived of and intended to be the sensational denouement of a detective story is not just spite.

KH

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31 May 2012
Copies of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain have been sent to several opposition MPs and also to the Minister of Justice, Ms Collins, the Attorney-General Mr Finlayson and to the Solicitor-General.
Ms Collins forwarded her copy to the Minister of Police. Ms Tolley.
Ms Tolley referred it to the Commissioner of Police.
To whom the Commissioner has referred it is presently unknown.

On 14 May the book was also sent to Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock, the policeman with responsibility for reviewing the case file. Mr Lovelock, who has recently renewed calls for fresh evidence, has yet to acknowledge receipt of the book.

The covering letter to Ms Collins, forwarded by her to Ms Tolley and thence to the Commissioner of Police is posted here.
The letter to Mr Lovelock is here.

No Defamation Action as at 31 May
On 27 April a letter to former Detective Inspector Hutton begged him to take defamation action against The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. At 1 June he has yet to respond, despite having told the New Zealand Herald two weeks earlier that he would indeed sue .
He has been entirely silent on the matter, which indicates an acceptance that he would have more difficulty in demonstrating he is not a liar or a perjuror or a planter of evidence than the book’s author would have in demonstrating all three.

The following emailed notes tell their own story.They were circulated by email to the New Zealand Press and to many personal and professional contacts They follow the NZ Herald's last minute decision to pull a front page lead story on the Saturday afternoon before The Case of The Missing Bloodstain was published. There are two documents, the first being an introduction to the second. The second (below) is the letter to Mr Bruce Hutton, the leader of the police inquiry that led to the wrongful conviction of Arthur Allan Thomas for the murders of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe. Mr Hutton received the letter on 27 April. As at 1 May he has not responded.

The first note was addressed to the email's many recipients. It read:

Hello. Please take a moment to read this note:

 On the morning of Friday 13 April the New Zealand Herald had its Saturday morning front page well planned. The lead story would cover the imminent publication of a book which had earlier seemed to present legal issues. The problem was that the book defamed a former policeman. But the Herald’s legal advisor pointed out  several reasons why a defamation suit would fail. He said the book’s claims were the author’s honest opinion and the ex-policeman’s reputation could not be damaged because he had no reputation capable of being damaged in the context of the book’s subject.

That morning the Herald contacted the ex-policeman and told him of the book’s claims. The policeman said he would sue for defamation.  The Herald immediately decided to pull its Saturday issue’s lead front page story. It was apparent that the lawyer had meant that there was no chance of  defamation action succeeding providing no-one took action for defamation. It was also apparent that neither the lawyer nor the Herald’s editor had read the book. 

With a single magic word, ‘sue’, the policeman successfully suppressed information that should have seen him in court for criminally corrupt conduct thirty years ago.

 The attached letter was put in the ex-policeman’s letterbox last Friday, 27 April. It takes this narrative a stage further by suggesting a way to resolve issues that have plagued New Zealand for those thirty years. If you appreciate the letter and its purpose please copy it and this email to others, asking them in turn to copy it to others and so on..

 Regards, Keith Hunter

 

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.

Letter to the Minister of Justice, 14 May 2012

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice
PO Box 18 888
Wellington

cc Hon Christopher Finlayson, Attorney General
Solicitor General

Dear Minister

I enclose a copy of my recently published book, The Case of the Missing Bloodstain.  

The book addresses the Crewe murders of 1970 and responds to widely reported calls for the case to be re-opened. It is the outcome of a compete review of the documentation relating to the case and concludes that the police inquiry, the press and the public were constantly misled by the inquiry’s leader. It also demonstrates that the evidence planted against Arthur Thomas was not confined to a cartridge case.

I have forwarded the book to you as evidence that the case is capable of being brought to a conclusion and that nothing now stands in the way of its re-opening.

 Please act to have the case re-opened.

Yours Faithfully....

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Letter to Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock, 14 May 2012

Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock
Auckland Central Police District
Private Bag 92002, Auckland

Dear Mr Lovelock

In response to your call for information about the Crewe Murders, I enclose a copy of my recently published book, The Case of the Missing Bloodstain.  

The book is the outcome of a compete review of the documentation relating to the case and identifies the murderer on the basis of existing evidence.

It also concludes that the police inquiry, the press and the public were constantly misled by the inquiry’s leader. It also demonstrates that the evidence planted against Arthur Thomas was not confined to a cartridge case.

I have forwarded the book to you as evidence that the case is capable of being brought to a conclusion and that nothing now stands in the way of its re-opening.

Please have the case re-opened.

Yours Faithfully..

Keith Hunter....

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27 April 2012

Former Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton
60 Longford Park Drive
Takanini

Dear Former Detective Inspector Hutton,

I understand that the New Zealand Herald informed you on 13 April of the imminent publication of my book, The Case of the Missing Bloodstain. You reportedly responded with a promise to take action for defamation when you learned the book accused you of planting an axle in the Crewes case.
The Herald was influenced by your response and so did not publish the story it had intended for the following day, a front page lead story on the book and its claims. However the book has been published and has been available throughout the country since 16 April. As its author and publisher I have taken part in media interviews about it, both live and recorded, on both radio and television.  I am sure you will be aware of that and that you will have acquired a copy in order to ascertain whether or not damage has been done to your reputation. You will have found that the book unquestionably defames you.
            I have awaited your legal action but I have heard nothing from you. This letter is the result. I’d like to move things along in the public interest. I look forward to your suit. Please sue me.

You were told by the Herald that I claim that you planted an axle in the Waikato River and then ensured it could be used as evidence against Arthur Thomas. The book also claims that you knew he was innocent of the crimes you would arrest him for. You will also now know of the book’s claims that as leader of the inquiry team investigating the 1970 Crewe murders you continually and unconscionably deceived your team, the courts, the Royal Commission of Inquiry and the country at large. You will know that you are branded a liar in the book and that this is verified on page 12 and repeatedly elsewhere. Obviously you are aware that the Royal Commission of Inquiry found that you also planted a cartridge case against Thomas. The book supports that finding.
 
I urge you to take action for several reasons, many of them favouring my case in reply.

  • While you dither, any damage you might allege is being done to your reputation must be increasing in severity. At the same time, I suggest, your tardy response must already be reducing your chances in court. If it were important to you, you should have acted immediately the book was published.
  • Matters relating to the Crewes case and your part in it have awaited a hearing since 1980 but our Justice System has repeatedly refused to address them. My estimation of the reasons for that are described in the book’s epilogue.
  • This is your chance to absolve yourself and recreate a reputation, and the country’s best opportunity to have the Royal Commission’s findings that you are a perjurer and planter of evidence investigated, clarified and decided at last – by the justice system.
  • Your failure to take action while at the same time you threaten the press has unquestionably suppressed the book, its message and its information. This constitutes a profound attack on freedom of speech in New Zealand, especially on an apparently timid press;
  • Your threat’s success in intimidating the Herald has drastically reduced the public awareness the book might otherwise have gained and this has had a profoundly negative influence on its effectiveness and on my income.
  • Putting aside your inquiry’s corruptness, I would like to expose its incompetence as widely as possible, so as to inform young policemen who might otherwise follow in your footsteps.

For both your and your lawyer’s information I advise that my case in defence will include the following lines (the list is not necessarily exclusive):

  • The claims of the book are my honest opinion;
  • The causes of the opinion are clearly set out in the book;
  • While you are undoubtedly defamed in the book this has caused no damage to your reputation because you do not have a reputation that can be damaged, both in general and in this particular context. That is, the accusation in a book that a man who is known as the policeman who planted evidence in the Crewe case planted evidence in the Crewe case cannot cause his reputation damage.
  • Your actions must be seen characteristically to match your words, and you are an easily demonstrated liar whose word can have no value;
  • My opinion is published in the book in the public interest.

There are several specific issues that should encourage you to act:

  • Should you worry that taking action against me can promise little or no return to you, I advise that in general terms I have no legal protection against a defamation suit, and that my house is valued at $1,050,000, is but modestly mortgaged, and is held in my sole name;
  • I expect to seek advice but perhaps not representation in court, so your legal counsel may well be opposed by a layman.
  • I will copy this letter to the entire New Zealand press, to all of my personal and professional contacts, and to everyone I know to have read my book, with a plea that they all copy it to all of their contacts, and that those contacts copy it to their contacts and so on, in the public interest. This process might well cause everyone in the country to know of the new claims against you. Please consider the effect this could have on your reputation, if you are found to have one.
  • I understand that the then Minister of Justice, Jim McLay, protected the Royal Commissioners from defamation suits by tabling their report in Parliament before it was released publically. I have yet to put my book before any parliamentarian with that in mind. However if I find that the same action can protect the press today, I will forward copies of the book to a selection of MPs with a request that they table it as cause for the Crewes Case to be re-opened and to make it available for public discussion. If that occurs before you take action against me it may be that you will be unable to do so at all.

You will need to hurry. I expect to seek parliamentary support during the coming week beginning 30 April.

 
Yours Faithfully
Keith Hunter

Author and Publisher of The Case of the Missing Bloodstain

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