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The Sounds Murders back in the News


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Looks like there is hope that justice for Scott Watson might finally be served.  
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300043462/sounds-murders-scott-watsons-case-sent-to-court-of-appeal

I wonder after all these years how Rob Pope sleeps at night.  He must know deep down he is largely responsible for destroying the best years of an innocent man's life.

I'm about halfway through this documentary this morning.  I can't stop shaking my head at what Pope's outfit got up to as they set about framing the yachtie Scott Watson.  Sickening really.

 

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Can't get parole if he doesn't admit to doing it.

kind of a problem if he didn't do it.

I've got no opinion on if he did or didn't. But this admitting guilt before parole thing is a bit of an issue...

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My great Aunt lives on Mangere mountain and saw a ketch matching the description the police put out .

it anchored in the manukau near the yacht club about a week after New Year’s Eve . She took a lot of interest in the boat because it’s very rare to see an out of town keeler of all things up there . She called it into the police more than once  and they didn’t follow her up .

i was surprised to read somewhere a few years ago that a ketch matching the description was spotted heading north off the Taranaki coast , just a few days after New Year’s Eve . Again no follow up and pretty high chance it was the same boat my aunt saw at Mangere .

who knows what the hell happened but the police missed a glaring oppurtunity with flashing bloody lights on top not following up on those two sightings of a boat matching the description taking an unusual route north .

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The tiger blanket hairs linked to Olivia found weeks later after an initial forensic inspection have a lot in common with the Hutton & Johnstone planted shell casing belated found four months later that screwed Arthur Alan Thomas.

Be your worst nightmare banged up for 20 years for a crime you never committed and this case along with others lays great weight for the urgent the need for an independent legal mechanism than can test for injustices prosecuted by the state although now far to late for Peter Ellis.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, RushMan said:

Quick question from the article...

sentenced in 1999 for 17 years, why is he still in jail?

Not sure what the sentence was but the non parole time was 17 years.

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Wot fish said catch 22.

Very very suspect that they took two goes at finding 2x blond hairs at 150 & 250mm apeice.

Would be interesting to follow the paper trail, email, ph calls around the whole tiger blanket scenario.

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5 hours ago, Priscilla II said:

That's a very interesting read, Priscilla.

While you feel for Gerald Hope, the guy is just so naive after all these years, both in the way the Police framed the whole bunch of crap, and also the maritime side of things.

For example:

"Like the scrub marks on the hull: he could explain how he’d genuinely cleaned his hull, but Hope could always claim this was covering up for where the bodies had rubbed weed off the hull"

Jaysus christ, he actually believes the bodies could have floated up and scraped the side of the Blade's hull, when any sailor knows that's complete bullsh^t and that to scrape a hull you need physical force with a scraper or some similar instrument to remove fouling.....if he honestly thinks floating bodies rubbing against a steel hull removed weed fouling, then this guy, Gerald Hope, is nuts, sorry.  

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Found guilty on 2 of Olivia's hairs found on his vessel?? Now if the police at the time tested every person/vessel who was there and had made contact with Ben/Olivia how many would possibly hair some of there hair on clothing??

My cat has never been in the truck yet I have cat hair purely from brushing against the cat, transmission by association?

 

 

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I was there (anchored out, never went ashore) and gave evidence at the trial.

A book or TV program spun entirely from the police/prosecution side would be an interesting read or watch. Or even a balanced program. But we will never see that will we.

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I  remain of the opinion that whether or not he did it he should never have been convicted on the evidence presented at the trial. Too many speculative opinions ,changed evidence  and police shenanigans. Read the transcript and it doesn't make enough to convince you beyond reasonable doubt. I read about Guy Wallace in the media the other day saying he was pleased Watson was there because Wallace reckoned he was next on the list for a conviction. Watson is reported to sometimes be sullen and angry in gaol and that's why he's not ready for parole after 22 years. Just say he didn't do it and put yourself in his place . You'd be sullen and angry too ?. IMO there's too much doubt. He's done 22 years, parole him now....no new (expensive) trial and no payout if a new trial finds him not guilty

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Sounds like the grounds for appeal hinge on the hairs.

Advances in testing point to their origin being control samples from direct relatives and not Olivias.

Jail house snitch evidence used to nail home convictions like Scott Watsons mirror the David Tamihere case which now also heads to the Appeal Court.

Now is the time to remove such perilously suspect evidence from ever being used in a court of law.

 

 

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There is one and only one reason why Watson is not being released. Purely and simply, he will not admit remorse, because he will not admit guilt. I think that tells you a lot about the guys character. Choosing to remain somewhere you don't want to be purely because you want to remain honest with yourself and everyone else. That's real integrity in my book. He is one of only a few that have basically a true life sentence where one can remain locked up for ever, with the only chance of Parole being subject to acknowledging one's guilt.
      Our legal system is no different to many other Countries around the World. We can't call it "Broken", but we sure can say it needs to be changed. Once a jury convicts a person based n the evidence presented, that evidence can no longer be re questioned. No matter how silly the evidence is. Only new evidence can ever be heard. In this case, the new evidence is in relation to the handling of the Blanket and if it is possible the Hairs could have been introduced to the Blanket accidentally during the Lab tests. Not that the hair was unlikely to be Olivia's, which has already been considered by the Jury and cannot be revisited.
Personally I don't like the way our legal system works. But it is what we have and we have to live with it.

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4 hours ago, harrytom said:

Found guilty on 2 of Olivia's hairs found on his vessel?? Now if the police at the time tested every person/vessel who was there and had made contact with Ben/Olivia how many would possibly hair some of there hair on clothing??

My cat has never been in the truck yet I have cat hair purely from brushing against the cat, transmission by association?

 

 

My cats a real untrustworthy bastard too so yeah I'm with you on this, the cat did it.

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39 minutes ago, Nzgrant said:

Just another bunch of honest cops right

No I don't think they were dishonest. But certainly not what we today would consider as "Good" Detective/Policing skills. All those Detectives bringing about similar results of many wrongly convicted people are all gone from the force today. They were old school. Bad habits, non professional. They viewed a suspect as if they were judge and jury and convicted them in their own minds, instead of looking at and for facts and facts alone. Today, our Police tend to be a lot more "professional", receive much better training and have had many examples of very poor Policing history which has actually resulted in major improvements today.
The rest comes down to the ability of the Defense and Prosecution providing and arguing those facts. To be honest, I really think if the Watson case was presented in court today, we may actually have a very different outcome. There are so many holes in the story, you could drive a bus through them. Not being privy to the defense info presented in court, I can only assume many of those points were never argued. The main hole in the story I see is purely time. There is simply no possible way that Watson could have traveled the distances that were described within the time stated. And that time discrepancy is by no means small. It is huge. Absolutely impossibly huge. A complete physical impossibility. The only way it could have been done is in a power boat. Was this ever argued??

The main area I still have real concern with though, is the Gvt Officials and their seemingly poor ability to view facts and say something is wrong with this case. But then again, if they are bound under the same way the law works with needing new evidence, maybe it is not their fault entirely either.

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The compensation for being wrongfully convicted has a start / reference point of $100,000 per annum after 20 years Scott would stand to collect $2 Mil which is a paltry sum considering the ordeal he and his family have had to and continue to weather.

I would not have a clue regarding his guilt or innocence but it is pretty damned difficult to see off the entire legal might of the state as an individual if unfortunately you are plucked from your normal daily existence and convicted and subsequently imprisoned for a crime you did not commit.

https://www.innocenceproject.org/

 

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2 hours ago, wheels said:

No I don't think they were dishonest. But certainly not what we today would consider as "Good" Detective/Policing skills. All those Detectives bringing about similar results of many wrongly convicted people are all gone from the force today. They were old school. Bad habits, non professional. They viewed a suspect as if they were judge and jury and convicted them in their own minds, instead of looking at and for facts and facts alone. Today, our Police tend to be a lot more "professional", receive much better training and have had many examples of very poor Policing history which has actually resulted in major improvements today.
The rest comes down to the ability of the Defense and Prosecution providing and arguing those facts. To be honest, I really think if the Watson case was presented in court today, we may actually have a very different outcome. There are so many holes in the story, you could drive a bus through them. Not being privy to the defense info presented in court, I can only assume many of those points were never argued. The main hole in the story I see is purely time. There is simply no possible way that Watson could have traveled the distances that were described within the time stated. And that time discrepancy is by no means small. It is huge. Absolutely impossibly huge. A complete physical impossibility. The only way it could have been done is in a power boat. Was this ever argued??

The main area I still have real concern with though, is the Gvt Officials and their seemingly poor ability to view facts and say something is wrong with this case. But then again, if they are bound under the same way the law works with needing new evidence, maybe it is not their fault entirely either.

Spot on Wheels.  Yes, the time issue IS the biggest hole of all in the prosecution case.  Simply impossible for a boat that would make 5 knots max under power.  This is best covered by Keith Hunter in his documentary and book. Once I saw and read Keith's work (many years ago now) , I knew the whole case was bullshyte.

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Planting evidence is not dishonest?

Not in my book, and it is also illegal & perverting the course of justice.

Hutton definitely, and perhaps in SW's case.

Why weren't the hairs found on first examination?

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3 hours ago, lateral said:

Why weren't the hairs found on first examination?

They simply did not exist.

Those that were “discovered” at the second ESR forensic examination would have stuck out like dogs balls originally.

This guy never got the support of the legal nor sailing community due to a heavy overlay of character smearing by the NZ police plain and simple.

I fully expect when Inspector Pope finally pops his clogs a sea of endearment will wash over him and his teams dodgy dealings as they did with Hutton.

 

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4 hours ago, lateral said:

Why weren't the hairs found on first examination?

But even this critical evidence was surrounded by controversy. Around 400 hairs were taken from the blanket, mostly short and dark. On an initial examination, an ESR scientist failed to notice any matching Olivia’s long, blonde hair. But, six weeks later, after reference hairs had been taken from Olivia’s clothes, the scientist re-examined the blanket hairs and discovered 15cm and 25cm blonde hairs that ultimately proved to be from Olivia or someone from her maternal blood line.

Complicating this was the fact that the scientist had examined the sample hairs from Olivia’s home and the tiger-blanket hairs, on the same day at the same table, leading to concern about accidental contamination. Doubts about the hair evidence were further compounded by the discovery of an unexplained 1cm slit in the bag holding Olivia’s reference hairs, the scientist only able to suggest she’d inadvertently cut the bag when using scissors to open the envelope it was in

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13 hours ago, lateral said:

Planting evidence is not dishonest?

Not in my book, and it is also illegal & perverting the course of justice.

Hutton definitely, and perhaps in SW's case.

Why weren't the hairs found on first examination?

What evidence was planted?
If you are referring to the Plastic bag and Olivia's hairs suddenly being found, that has not been proven as tampering. It is only speculation.

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"Hutton definitely, and perhaps in SW's case."

Personally I'm convinced of the former, for reasons I'm not going to divulge, especially as for someone that can't defend himself. (His mo on others)

 Pressure to get a result (and play god) I suspect is a lot more prevalent than one would expect.

Just look at the fellow humans out there than want to exert their power and convictions over you.

These type jobs attract these sort of people, maybe it is an potential human trait in all of us?

The saying, Power tends to corrupt.............

"If you are referring to the Plastic bag and Olivia's hairs suddenly being found"  and that doesn't bother you?

If it doesn't smack of convenience, it does of gross incompetence.

 

 

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At the moment, it is speculation. I am not saying it was not purposeful, but proving the evidence was tampered with is not going to be easy. However, incompetence, well yes and that is the loophole in which they are using to bring this case back to trial. The evidence was not handled in the way that it should have been under normal lab prceedures.


We should not paint all in such positions as corrupt. There is always going to be situations where someone may well be. But if we just give in to a view that all Police are corrupt, then we are in a worse situation. It brings about anarchy and tears apart a society. And I also have several close friends in the Police Force and they are great guys and totally honest and saying the Police are corrupt is an insult to them and others good cops in the force.
But as this is not in the open discussion forum, I will not take this argument further.

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3 hours ago, Black Panther said:

blanket hairs and discovered 15cm and 25cm blonde hairs that ultimately proved to be from Olivia or someone from her maternal blood line. Obviously SW was having an affair with Olivia's mother.😁

All joking aside, the hair testing is not sophisticated enough to know 'blood lines" as anything more than a bit of a guess.
I mean - blonde hairs are unlikely to be those of Maori woman, so its easy to say that therefore it is "250,000 times more likely that the hair was Olivia's than the Maori lady".  And yeah, Ok, before any smart alec says anything, no that is not a verbatim quote from the case files, it is just an paraphrasing of something similar that the forensic hair lab lady said at the trial - if you want to know her exact words, go read Keith Hunters book.

The jury were basically dumbo's eager to believe whatever some clown with  a fancy sounding medical degree has, so when they hear "250,000" times more likely they get all impressed, when in reality it is pure junk science.

And why only two hairs?  For godsake - she would have shed hairs everywhere if she really were inside his boat, no matter how much cleaning he did, any forensic team worth their salt would know something is very fishy that the investigative team only found two hairs.

The whole hair thing was / is bullsh*t, as is everything else the prosecution put together for this case. 

 

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Wheels here’s the reality, you plod off one day ambling along in your usual daily existence and wham all your worst nightmares strike you like a biblical plague of confusion loss of control and chaos all state funded by the police force you never ever thought  would come at you hell bent on putting your arse in jail guilty or not.

You mention anarchy well there is no place for false imprisonment in a society I will support ever.

Open your eyes this sh*t goes on and will continue to whilst we turn a blind eye to police empowerment.

Recent events and activities like Task Force Raptor refusing to support the wearing of body cameras and the subterfuge regarding a push to militaristic general arming shine a clear light as to the intentions of your great bunch of guys.

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For all the failings of the NZ police force the one that sticks the most for me is Peter Ellis.

Crikey his mum lived the lasting years of her life sharing his nightmare fark nobody came to their assistance none of us ever made a effort to assist this gay childcare worker that was a victim of a state driven witch hunt Salem style.

Makes me sick to think about the son that burdened his mum with a state funded injustice.

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Quite right Priscilla ---- and general DISarming of the population, or at least the law abiding  population. We're all exposed to the same sort of threat of the individual facing the might of the State.. And individual rights are under continuous threat in favour of the so called common good.

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Nothing common or good happening for the victims of state funded injustice.

The recent refusal to invest  in attaching body cameras to the NZ  police force sounds alarm bells for me.

Having ready access to live evidence would be of such benefit to justice outcomes so why did the police not agree.

I have whanau and employees that are regularly subject to race based interest to put it politely by the police usually whilst driving surely a body cam would simplify matters.

 

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Biased views, just like Racism come about from ignorance. Biased views of the Gvt or Police or whomever comes about in exactly the same way.
Maybe the evidence was tampered with. Maybe it wasn't. We don't know and we should not jump to silly conclusions based on the past. That is paranoia.
Yes we need to use the past to learn from and one can only hope that we have used those past situations and have seen improvements. If we don't, then we are no different than the idiots in the US that believe they have the right to own assault rifles to protect themselves against their Gvt.
The SW evidence situation needs to be worked out in court. If you understand how hard it would have been to tamper with that particular evidence, and if it did in fact happen that way, then we have to consider a situation of extreme conspiracy and an operation of the calibre that one would expect from an SAS secret raid. I consider that scenario as the least likely. But I could more easily believe incompetence due to lack of skill and procedures in a Forensic lab back in those days.

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2 hours ago, wheels said:

Biased views, just like Racism come about from ignorance. Biased views of the Gvt or Police or whomever comes about in exactly the same way.
Maybe the evidence was tampered with. Maybe it wasn't. We don't know and we should not jump to silly conclusions based on the past. That is paranoia.
Yes we need to use the past to learn from and one can only hope that we have used those past situations and have seen improvements. If we don't, then we are no different than the idiots in the US that believe they have the right to own assault rifles to protect themselves against their Gvt.
The SW evidence situation needs to be worked out in court. If you understand how hard it would have been to tamper with that particular evidence, and if it did in fact happen that way, then we have to consider a situation of extreme conspiracy and an operation of the calibre that one would expect from an SAS secret raid. I consider that scenario as the least likely. But I could more easily believe incompetence due to lack of skill and procedures in a Forensic lab back in those days.

Not bias as such, just based on observations of previous and current police practises. they have their share of the good, bad and the indifferent. Pope thought he was destined for greatness, SW in jail was a feather in his cap, (he thought) try as he might, he never made it to the top???? maybe his superiors knew or saw something that wouldn't have done the image any good. They are very sensitive about that image, see Wally Haumaha, ask Louise Nicolas, the late Peter Ellis, David Bain, SW,  Rex Haig, etc. etc. One can only hope the new commissioner is their is a new broom, just in the door who will give us reason to see things differently. A huge job and not for the faint hearted, after all the current police culture takes no prisoners. Civilians excluded.

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