The Police never worked out why the Crewes were murdered mainly because they failed to come up with a logical motive. The one they thought had a motive slipped through their fingers and the one they convicted never had a real motive . . .
Up till now I’ve left plenty of clues but I’m not ready yet to join up all the dots. There is more to come yet as further beneficiaries have yet to be scrutinised. The net does tighten now though as more possible motives appear.
When I first decided to tackle this now infamous cold case, real facts were in short supply so it was important to carry out in-depth research to find the necessary evidence to flush out the real criminals.
The failure of the authorities to dig deep enough is what led to wrong decisions and fabrication of evidence. That was embarrassing enough but the public are still not aware of the real reason why the Crewes were killed. They actually know very little!
In an attempt to untangle what really went on, one has to resort to a mixture of fact and opinion. As I have not had access to Police files, I have to rely on what other authors have written or from other official reports.
Sadly, most of the millions of words already published have now become irrelevant as they have no connection with the information that I am presenting. For example, the bulk of the Arthur Allan Thomas trial is of no use although I do believe that at least one member of the Thomas family tree is still involved in this mess.
THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG
My opinion will be from what I see looking in from the outside and from what my research indicates. I could be slightly wrong on some counts and perhaps way out on others. My thinking on this issue is that most of the truth will be found in what I call logic and common sense. In the confusion at the time of the murders I believe the Police, in hindsight, should have assessed the crime scene by standing back for a moment to get a better view of the true situation, rather than taking a narrow stance.
Serious mistakes were made from time to time which in the circumstances are best left alone while I concentrated on taking a different path where there were a number of people involved in the crime and resulting cover-ups. Only some had the motive to mislead or fabricate away from the truth.
IT’S WHAT HE DIDN’T SAY
Len Demler, the Police’s number one suspect, tends to come within that category. While I believe he was definitely a major ringleader (if not THE ringleader) present during the four day cleaning-up process and while he was a ‘master’ at answering “that is right” in almost endless monotone, Len tried very hard to avoid the truth coming out. In my opinion it was what he didn’t say that led everyone on wild goose chases, and shows his complicity.
At the first trial Len squirmed around during cross-examination trying to find non-committal answers to the questions put to him by defence counsel Paul Temm QC and while Temm came close to making a breakthrough, the Police had him cornered by not releasing all the information they had as, at the time, it didn’t fit their agenda (or was it because they didn’t want anyone ‘stuffing around’ with their agenda?)
The fact that Police were able to withhold information is, to my mind, a complete failure of the justice system. My reasoning is that if everyone was really serious in finding out the truth, then both sides (prosecution and defence) would share information and eventually nail who was actually responsible.
In a real and honest world that would be ideal and in this sense I respect the inquisitorial justice systems as opposed to the adversarial systems, but the New Zealand law allows for the smartest criminal lawyer to win regardless of whether all the facts have been presented. It sometimes seems to be just a game that everyone plays to justify their income and to me the charge against Arthur Allan Thomas can be seen to fit this scenario.
Despite the fact that Thomas was eventually acquitted, after twice being found guilty, this proves to me that the prosecution were short on real facts. I will still point the finger and say they didn’t try hard enough or put in the effort to dig much deeper to find the truth–a blinkered approach that has continued until today with the 2014 Police Review [Ed: 2016].
PROFESSIONAL INPUT NEEDED
Readers who have reached this chapter may wonder why I am making these rather “big picture” uncomplimentary remarks about our judicial system. The answer is simply that my “bushman’s mind” is at the stage where it needs a lot more professional input to make sense of the cold hard facts presented in previous chapters.
I am willing to admit my failures and in doing so I want to say that my knowledge of what really happened to cause this double murder cannot be fully published as I lack all the facts that I set out to find. However, there should be enough information on these pages for the professionals to follow up and to take appropriate action–if they want to. They should be able to gain access to the archival information that will take this saga to its next level.
Quite honestly, it could be the professional mind, one that has intimate knowledge and understanding of the legal system (able to read between the lines) that could ever bring the culprits to justice. The phrase that I discovered in many wills were the words “as far as the law will allow” and to me, while maybe standard legal text, it held most of the secrets that I was unable to fully untangle.
I keep thinking that this will be territory where angels fear to tread and I do realise that there will be people who won’t want their names connected to this. They will probably be relations of some sort or may carry the same surname or have someone in their family tree who could be involved through no fault of their own.
In saying that, the guilty ones will know how deep they stand in what the cow has dropped.
EDUCATED GUESS OR GUT FEELING
My intention in bringing these thoughts forward is to warn readers at this point that events being covered in following chapters may, on odd occasions, lack hard fact and will carry some doubt or be open to interpretation. In other words I may be taking an educated guess or trying to explain a gut feeling but I will be endeavouring to make it clear. If I don’t know, I will do my best and say so. Some may think I’m trying to cover my butt but it is quite the opposite. I have reached the stage where I had to make a decision to go with what I have or try a little harder to discover those elusive facts. My health has taken a hammering in recent times [Ed: 2016] and I may not get to see the light at the end of the tunnel but I am determined not to waste all the effort (and cost) of an undertaking I have been committed to since the early 1980s.
It was always going to be a toss-up whether to publish and be damned or to simply publish most of what I already know and more importantly, feel confident enough to put my thoughts into simple language. However difficult it is, all I ever wanted was justice, especially for Rochelle.
Hopefully the facts I am presenting will provide a part of the justice! I can’t help thinking that it’s really the legal system that needs a shake up as it has prevented the truth from coming out.
FACING MY FACTS OF LIFE
It seems quite strange to be writing these words halfway through a book (instead of in the introduction) and while I feel that time is running out, I have to face the fact that I may not be in a position to answer the questions that will undoubtedly arise. Or, at its very worst, being shot as the messenger instead of the justice system doing the right thing by following up on the clues being given and to lift the lid on this infamous cold case.
The following chapters will be the most crucial in finding the real offenders and while I am unable to prove everything beyond reasonable doubt (as the criminal law demands), I am placing it before the reader. Although that didn’t seem to matter to the upholders of law in this country!
As a result, I won’t feel guilty in expressing some opinion while presenting my views on what officialdom has failed to do with all the resources they had access to.
The events in the few days prior to 18 June 1970 were fairly well documented but nothing was explored along the line of “the facts” that I have discovered. The public had no idea what was going on behind the scenes and I often wonder how much the Police knew. I can tell you that it must have been a lot more than what they were letting on.
I also wonder if readers have worked out yet why both Crewe parents had to be killed and why their daughter Rochelle was kept alive.