Thursday, October 14, 2010

Second that emotion

The only child of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe has broken her silence to ask the police to re-investigate the unsolved murders of her parents 40 years ago.

Rochelle Crewe - just 18 months old when found crying in her cot five days after the Crewes were last seen alive - has written to Police Commissioner Howard Broad to request that the case be reopened.
Stop. Now. This story fills the entire front page of the New Zealand Herald: a story about an unsolved murder committed forty years ago, a story prompted by the reaction of the victims' daughter after reading a book by Ian Wishart, a book which puts the blame on a man who is now dead and which offers no new evidence.

So, what reason does Ms Crewe (called throughout the Herald's story by her forename) have for asking that the case be opened again?
Rochelle told the Herald that it "concerns me that the Solicitor-General unilaterally usurped the role of the court".
No, he did not. There was no court. The Solicitor-General looked at the evidence and decided it was insufficient to prosecute the policemen. That was his job. The Herald should know this. But in a tear-stained editorial the Herald concurs with Ms Crewe, apparently believing that it is just and proper to prosecute people without sufficient evidence, on the grounds that it would get everything out in the open. And the Herald persists:
The Police Commissioner may respond to Rochelle Crewe by suggesting there is no new evidence to warrant a new investigation. If so, the Minister of Police should appoint an independent investigator to re-examine the evidence. The chances of the truth being uncovered may be slim. So slim, in fact, that there is little point in pouring taxpayer dollars into the likes of another royal commission. But Rochelle Crewe is surely owed one last effort to try to find the truth before it is too late.
We owe it to Ms Crewe to spend millions of dollars pointlessly re-examining insufficient evidence, it seems.

Meanwhile, important stories - about South Canterbury Finance, the Telecom sale and arming the police, among others - fester on the inside pages.

But then, a story about a orphaned baby found in her cot who grows up not knowing who murdered her parents has so much more sob value, as well as an outrage bonus. So hold the front page.


Sam said...

good example of why I don't buy the pathetic tabloid rag...

Jeremy said...

they prosecuted Chris Kahui without sufficient evidence - what's the difference?

Uroskin said...

Not just the Herald. This morning at 7am, when Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, Sky and even Fox were reporting from the Chilean mine site, TVNZ 7 had a cuddly story about a man who refused to grow up. Must be a metaphor for NZ news gathering in there somewhere.

Ian Wishart said... are exposing your ignorance. The book contains a large amount of new evidence, which is why it has had an impact. Constantly repeating your mantra "no new evidence" makes you look silly to people who've actually read it - thousands of them so far.

Richard said...

I have to admit I've not read Ian's book but have also dismissed for having no new evidence. Of course, I'm doing this on the basis that no credible media outlets have told me there's anything new.

Then again those same sources didn't seem to think that Jevan Goulter story was credible and we can all see what a paragon of credibility he is.

Perhaps I should give Investigate another go. I haven't picked up a copy since the first issue and its story about how NZ's constitutional basis was entirely illegitimate.

Will Rowe said...

Wow! This would have to be probably the most ignorant, bigoted blog I have seen on this topic yet!

To paraphrase you, the point of "spending millions of dollars re-examining evidence" is that by manufacturing the bulk of the evidence against Arthur (which the taxpayer also forked out for!), the officers involved made a cynical attack on the faith all New Zealanders are entitled to have in their justice system. The fact that the evidence was manufactured is just that. It is indisputable.

If one has not read Ian's book, nor at the very least the Royal Commission minutes, one is in a position of thorough ignorance as to how disturbing the acts of the Police were in this case, and the depth of hurt Rochelle is suffering.

Ian Wishart said...

Will, you are preaching to the brain dead here, my friend.

Richard (and Paul): Meurant, being a former detective inspector (ie, one tasked with investigating crimes like this) has acknowledged there is significant new evidence in the book. As have others.

As for the constitutional position, I stand by the constitutional crisis argument, and am supported by some of Australasia's top jurists who have also been considering the issue, as I reported and quoted at the end of Absolute Power two years ago.

Just because comprehension is a challenge for you Richard, doesn't make my arguments wrong. Perhaps if I used shorter and simpler words...

Richard said...

Meurant, another paragon of credibility. So many of your arguments seem to rely on evidence supported only by small fringe groups or the opinions and testimony of those who lack widespread credibility, I wonder why that is.

Good to see you stand by a view that no one has bothered to test in the courts. Why is it that this incredibly important issue has been ignored by everyone who has a stake in it? Another conspiracy of silence no doubt.

Just because comprehension is a challenge for you Richard, doesn't make my arguments wrong.

Oh dear, had to resort to personal attacks quite quickly there. Jesus wouldn't approve.

Paul said...

Ian, perhaps you could provide a summary of the facts, to show what new evidence you have uncovered.

Ian Wishart said...

I have, it's called a book. It's about 110,000 words, full of facts. After carefully setting the scene throughout the chapters, the final two provide the denouement of Johnston's role.

The Herald journalist Laxon made grievous errors in just his first 100 words today. I've seen numerous other journalists make stupid errors on basic facts in the past two days. I wrote a book precisely to carefully and accurately document the case and my new evidence against Johnston. It includes eyewitness I'm not re-litigating it in paraphrases here.

Borrow it from a library if you can't afford a copy.

Paul said...

You mean you have anecdote and hearsay, but no evidence that would stand up in a court. Otherwise, one of the many journalists who covered this story would have mentioned your new evidence, surely?

Ian Wishart said...

No, I don't think a person's direct testimony as to a conversation with a suspect is usually described in court as "anecdote" or "hearsay".

A Commission of Inquiry heard this kind of evidence in 1980. Courts hear this kind of evidence every day.

Would this be "one of the many journalists" who claims Thomas shot Jeannette through a louvre window, "then went inside..smashed [her] in the face with a rifle butt" and then "shot her dead as she lay on the floor" - all of this repeated shooting and bashing taking place while Harvey dozed in his armchair, and the Herald journalist then says "before shooting Harvey".

I mean, seriously Paul, you are questioning my abilities against those of daily hacks?

Keep taking the dunce pills, they appear to be working.

Richard said...

those of daily hacks... Keep taking the dunce pills, they appear to be working.

He's a grumpy little bunny at times. Then again there's more evidence for the Herald journos being hack than there is for intelligent design. Perhaps a book from Ian on the MSM might be quite entertaining.

Ian Wishart said...

We did actually publish one, RIchard, called "The Extortionist" by Simon Jones..quite a ripsnorter as I recall.