While the primary questions asked of Rochelle Crewe are who fed her and who killed Harvey & Jeannette, her parents, John has raised more questions in his recently released book, I Fed the Baby. It’s a sensitive issue talking about Rochelle, but let’s go there. Take a deep breath now . . .
I’ve never met Rochelle. I would if she wanted, as I would anybody who wanted to be brave and face someone like me, and I seriously considered it. In fact I’ve had an email prepared for sending to her lawyer with a heads-up to the findings (and questions), but in the end I chose not to initiate contact. These are some of the issues.
Why Not Initiate Contact?
Prior to publishing, I was required to choose between initiating contact with Rochelle directly or letting others do so. John Ingley had gone through the same exercise many times too during his research. At the end though he chose not to. The times that he could have, he was denied this opportunity (Chris Birt reported that Rochelle did not want to talk to him) or he chose not to.
Rochelle herself has reportedly asked to be left alone, many times over the years. For example:
Rochelle requests that members of the public and media alike continue to respect her right to privacy and do not seek her out for photographing or comment.Source
If she is still alive and well, and I’m happy to accept that but note that we can only trust lawyers, Police and a compromised journalist on that matter, that’s her choice.
Personally I would have liked to meet Rochelle prior to getting the book out there. I’d like someone to do that for me after all but professionally though John had set the scene – his total independence and distance. I maintained that stance.
The Police say that she was informed prior to release of the 2014 Review. While I don’t trust them over this case as far as I could kick them, I’m prepared to take them on their word over this. If they deem it important this time around (i.e. if they want to look as if they are being straight-up) then they surely will contact her. Whether this is after the publication or before – that’s their business.
Rochelle has chosen a Police prosecutor operating in South Auckland for her legal representation. Personally I would consider that WAY too close for comfort if I was in her position but I guess if you trust the authorities then it would seem to be a good choice – lucky for her. Who’s paying for that lawyer might be an interesting question to ask. My problem is this; if somebody is receiving their primary income from one particular source then it would be VERY hard if not naive to think that they could or would be happy to undermine that source should corruption be found. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink and a friendly judge or senior police could easily influence Rochelle’s lawyer to look the other way, or worse.
That’s how it works!
One of the reasons I activated the Dead Man Switch for publication of I Fed the Baby immediately prior to my spilling the beans to the NZ Police was because I know and understand very well how things work in business, power and politics. The legal profession claims to be above board, has a lot of power, deals with high value items and is a business. That’s a lot of strikes in my book. They self-regulate and don’t have a good reputation on the street. Is that three strikes yet? Look I’m not saying that Rochelle’s lawyer IS a crook or that she WILL go the dark side if she finds herself compromised . . . it is too close though for my comfort. [Update Q4, 2020: Since publication here I have received multiple ‘negative stories’ about this woman’s past. All unverified but this is in keeping with my analysis and concerns.]
If it be found that Rochelle was informed of John’s claims and questions prior to release of his book, I’d consider that very professional conduct and will eat my words. If however nothing happened, or somebody kept the matters hush-hush until some nosey journalist asked them difficult questions about their following up of my notice of publication warning Rochelle of what S would HTF, then I rest my case. Politics (or more) within the Police Head Office will be suspected protecting their own, yet again!
Questions, Assumptions & Answers
So let’s ask the questions then looking directly at the key questions. John’s ‘book answers the question, “Who fed the baby?” emphatically. Pamela Howard (b. 6 October 1947, Whangarei) and her cousin Leslee Sinton (nee Howard, b. 1949, Whangarei) fed Rochelle. Anyone who doubts that needs their head read or hasn’t read the book. If they need still more proof, ask me and I’ll show them more that we couldn’t get into the book due to space reasons. John has hundreds of pages that will all in due course come out, but trust me – their identities are as clear as daylight.
Now there have been many assumptions about Rochelle and her whereabouts since the murders. Do not necessarily assume that she was in her cot the whole time, nor even at the same house all the time either. Nor that the people there did not want to be seen post the murders. Nor that they came in the front drive. Nor that they weren’t popping over the back section to and from Len’s home nor that they never stayed there at times with Len. Len wasn’t in the Crewe house for sure but did that mean that Rochelle and some or all of the others weren’t at Len’s.
Please do not assume ANYTHING unless it is based on facts and especially if the assumptions came from people out to deceive – Len Demler, the crooked cops or the people involved in the murders.
Think carefully about the treatment of critical evidence by vested interests. Photos at the outset of the investigation can probably be relied upon, but much critical evidence “went missing” and MANY people have more information than they are (and have been) letting on.
Questions of Pedigree
John reports in his book that Kevin Ryan, a top lawyer who was intimately connected to the case calls Rochelle, “Rochelle Thomas”. John also spoke emphatically to his editor that Kevin is reported to have instructed his team that it NOT be changed when the error was pointed out to him. Tell me please, that this is not grounds to question somebody’s parentage, when a top lawyer, who in his biography (that incidentally gives two entire chapters over to the Crewe murders) inserts a deliberate critical error like this. This sounds like the Nazi confessions at Nuremberg (if you are into independent thinking) if you ask me. Top lawyers don’t make those sorts of mistakes, sorry! They are paid big money to . . . get it right.
So if Rochelle’s fatherhood is to be questioned, is it possible that Rochelle is adopted? John doesn’t go there in the book but he does know that his girlfriend at the time Leslee (actually the younger Pam posing as Leslee) had stretch-marks and didn’t have any child around her? Is it possible that one of the Howard girls bore a girl, who was then adopted . . . by the Crewes? The age matches.
Sure it’s possible, but is it realistic? Jeannette was in maternity hospital though so she must have had a child, what sort of crazy thinking would suggest that it wasn’t Rochelle? Well perhaps in the 1970’s still-births, cot deaths and adoptions weren’t really talked about openly? Perhaps this is the secret that half of Pukekawa and the Thomases don’t want to talk about and are still trying to keep from getting out?
I do know that at one stage the Thomases lived next door to the Howards. It wouldn’t be the first time that “a boy jumps a fence and gets the girl next door pregnant”. Remember that we’re talking conservative-city in conservative-times here. Remember also that Arthur Allan had more than one brother too . . .
Look, I don’t know.
Neither did John know and any DNA test would sort this out once and for all but I would not trust any information from the Police on this matter, and I’d be VERY careful before I called it definitively one way or another. John does though, raise an interesting thought and the two pieces of evidence that do point to something amiss in this department are very strong in their own right – enough to give justification to at least ask the question.
Now if, and I say, “if” very firmly here, IF Rochelle’s father was a Thomas (and even more if her mother was a Howard and thus she was adopted), perhaps the significance of this would ripple out among those who knew? Is this not good reason to keep out of it all; mind your own business; shut up; cover it up; and not ‘go there’ . . . even for 50 years?
John had a soft spot for two women – Leslee and Rochelle. He never wanted to hurt either of them, of that I can assure you, but Rochelle (while she says that she doesn’t “feel like a victim”) is one. You cannot watch others speculate about your parents murders for fifty years without being challenged emotionally. Good on her if she is speaking truthfully by saying that she doesn’t feel like a victim, but it must be hard no matter what.
The emotional challenges that confront anyone (as long as they are still breathing) are huge – “We lived next door to millionaires who travelled the world, had a boat, batch and drove a Ferrari for fun, when we could hardly afford to buy food!” What a trauma to overcome. “My father never showed me love, nor never said anything nice to me and he raped me repeatedly. My mother was a drunk, or lazy . . . or was murdered!” It must hurt.
I conclude this post with a few short words to Rochelle in the case that she has not been informed by the Police of the findings from (and questions posed in) John Ingley’s book:
Rochelle, regardless of the answers to questions about your pedigree or regardless of your reported feelings of relief when the 2014 Police Review exonerated Len Demler, please understand that a lot of John’s energy (dare I say it his deepest desire) was to first find the truth, then to get the truth out there. That’s all – so that justice can be done – for you.
It is mine too.
In the next post we get our teeth into the background to the wealth upon which the greed grew that in due course spawned the Crewe murders.