Detective Chief Inspector Hutton was found to have planted evidence that convicted an innocent man, Arthur Allan Thomas in the murder of Jeannette & Harvey Crewe.
In the 1970s as interest in the Crewe murders came to fever pitch, many weighed in on the corruption revealed within the NZ Police force.
The impact upon the NZ society of these revelations has lasted to this day with our trusting innocence destroyed spectacularly and permanently.
Hutton was a tough guy who went to his grave saying that he had gotten his man. He was wrong and he was what can be rightly called a “crooked cop”.
Commentators have opined that it was the culture at the time, or that the political necessity for a conviction overruled old-school ethics. The NZ Police certainly did have a few high-profile unsolved murders on their hands back then, but one has to view this corruption in context to understand why it happened and how things really worked.
My research into the Crewe murders took a different path from the usual journalist one. I ignored all Police comments and conclusions because I knew that some in the Police (the Crewe investigation was under Hutton’s leadership) had shown signs that they knew from the earliest hours the significance of these murders.
Jeannette’s mother Maisey had been a ‘rural banker’ in the Pukekawa region. Farmers indebted to Maisey were being asked to pay up to her murdered daughter Jeannette as she and her husband Harvey planned to move out of the district. Proof that some in the Police wanted some things hidden comes by way of the missing cow cover, photographed on the Monday (22nd June 1970) yet missing in the aerial photos taken the next day on the Tuesday afternoon.
Money, sex and power are three powerful forces for evil.
While the focus of media attention was on the hunt for bodies, Len Demler’s unusual conduct, identifying the ‘mystery’ woman who fed the baby and the arrest, trials and pardon of Arthur Allan Thomas, scant attention fell on those who benefited from the murders – Len Demler, those who owed money to Maisey and the fact that missing evidence within the first few hours points to inside information within the Police & much deeper corruption than is widely perceived.
A senior community leader charged with investigating a Police investigation gone very wrong found that Detective Chief Inspector Hutton’s money driven conduct in planting the .22 shell (Exhibit No.350) that convicted an innocent man and put him behind bars for nine years was “an unspeakable outrage”.