Friday, October 15, 2010

"Who Killed My Parents?"

Arthur Allan Thomas: then and nowEveryone likes a good murder mystery book.
NZ's biggest "whodunnit" has fed conspiracy theories for 40 years. The unsolved murders of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe in 1970 saw Arthur Allan Thomas lose his freedom and reputation in not one but two trials (he was finally pardoned after nine years).
This week the Crewe's daughter, Rochelle - just 18 months old at the time of the murders and a central feature of the story - asked the government to re-open the case, to resolve the burning question once and for all: "who killed my parents?"
But Pat Booth - who revealed the police corruption in the case - thinks that's unlikely and expects the Govt will take a cautious approach similar to 1980, when the Solicitor-General opted not to prosecute the officers responsible for framing Thomas. Prime Minister John Key is making similar noises.
However Police Commissioner Howard Broad is considering it after receiving Rochelle Crewe's plea. While he thinks it's a very long shot to expect any court action to transpire, many people want answers and some may be gained from such an investigation. Police Assn president Greg O'Connor agrees the case has been a black mark against police and should be re-opened.
Ian Wishart's latest book, Arthur Allan Thomas: The Inside Story, debunks the commonly-held belief that Jeanette's father was the murderer, and provides more fuel for the fire by fingering a now-deceased cop.
Even Thomas's ex-wife wants the case re-opened: she feels she too has been tainted by findings in the first trial.
Perhaps the last word should go to Arthur Allan Thomas - the innocent man framed for double murder because it was easier than pursuing the truth. He was exonerated by the Royal Commission, but feels Rochelle has not had any justice at all. He supports any move to see justice done.
I'm definitely in favour of a full and final Commission of Enquiry - New Zealand wants it. New Zealand needs it.
It's too late now for convictions but it's never too late for the truth.
PS: 21 October 2010 - Police have now decided to review the case. They stress it's not a re-opening or re-investigation, but a modern look at an old case.
PS: 09 April 2011 - Thomas' ex-wife Jeanette has died after a short battle with cancer.
PS: 15 Oct.2011 - Police are now appealing for any new information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It WOULD be nice to get some final closure on this. Even then, not everyone will be happy with the outcome (just as in the Bain case), but at least the central players will know where they stand. for the rest of us, we're really just voyeurs hoping for a last drop of blood perhaps.