This post continues a series in which I give a big-picture account exposing the events surrounding the murder of Harvey & Jeannette Crewe in Pukekawa (actually Opuatia as I am told) in 1970. It is utterly impossible to understand these murders without understanding what Autism is, what causes it, how it affects people who have it, and in particular how Len Demler’s Autism caused him to engineer these murders and then successfully “get away with it”. Len Demler, was the first person of Police suspicion for very good reason, even though he never pulled the trigger and wasn’t even there when the deed was done.
I have previously claimed that Len Demler initiated the Crewe murders. It is well proven that he benefited financially but this Autism has been rarely talked about. Many have been touched by these crimes. Let’s pick a few at random . . .
This particular case, with its planted evidence etc etc etc, is what destroyed my faith in the New Zealand police force. A faith that I have never fully recovered. Pity – I’ve known quite a few cops who were pretty good people (and the odd arsehole as well). But the organisation as a whole I now view with a degree of cynicism. Subsequent political interference had the same effect on my diminishing faith in the independence of the judicial process.
This is a typical sentiment for many who lived through the 1970s in New Zealand. Pat Booth did incredible work in the early, heady days but his murder-suicide theories (which he held until his death) do not hold any credibility, other than in the minds of those he directly influenced and cannot or will not adjust their opinions:
Mr Booth remained certain it was murder-suicide, and the woman seen at the Crewe house after Harvey Crewe was dead was his wife Jeannette, who had shot him.
Mr Crewe had punched his wife so heavily he broke a bone in her face and knocked out teeth. She shot him as he sat in his favourite chair in front of the fire.
A few days after the murder she shot herself, and her father put her body into the river, plus a rifle, then staged discovering the house and called the police.
No. John Ingley was the partner of the woman who fed the baby. The people present at the murder executed Jeannette with a .22 pistol after taking care of Harvey outside, and therefore any reference to a rifle is wrong and Len deliberately kept right away from anything that could incriminate him in the murders or their cover-up.
Up until now, Len Demler I feel, knew about the murders and helped dispose of the bodies. I thought that he dumped Harvey’s body in the Waikato and when Janette killed killer herself he dumped her body there also. That scenario is now probably not what happened at all.
This comment shows huge credibility BECAUSE of the change of mind.
… Tells us more about Hutton than he understood about himself. An acutely paranoid individual who seems not to have believed in the idea of the most basic Justice. Arthur was the enemy and anyone helping him was therefore also the enemy can be taken from Hutton’s comments, it’s frankly amazing that he could have risen in the ranks so readily – unless his personality characteristics and ‘dirty tricks’ were approved of and in the passing of time one must assume they were.
They were. Listen to his colleagues at the time and consider carefully what they say about him, if you doubt this.
> I will always find Bruce Hutton abhorrent for the police caravan alone, however well he brought up his daughters. It is ironic that he instilled such a strong sense of justice in his daughters when he didn’t seem to have any in regard to the Arthur Allan Thomas case.
It was Justice as he saw it, and nothing to do with the general concept of Justice. He essentially had a secret life that he had justified to himself as being right, but never the courage to disclose it.
From Andy Lovelock’s 2014 Police Review
Lenard DEMLER’s unusual behaviour and inconsistencies in some of the statements he made to Police led the 1970 investigation team, and specifically Detective Inspector HUTTON, to believe he was responsible for the murders.
He was, although he did not pull the trigger! In 1970, Autism was not widely understood.
This firm view on the part of Detective Inspector HUTTON meant that other equally significant persons of interest were not appropriately considered. It was not until 20 October 1970 that the gathering of evidence changed the direction of the investigation towards the THOMAS farm, and in turn, Arthur THOMAS.
In 1970, there was heavy reliance placed on ‘gut feeling’ on the part of Police Officers engaged in the CREWE homicide investigation.
Good, and this also occurs today. The 2014 poo-pooing of an experienced DI operating in 1970 is clearly a setup and justification for persistent covering up. Hutton knew things that Lovelock and his team knew and thus the light has to go onto Lovelock’s review. I do this later.
Detective Inspector HUTTON unquestionably influenced others in his early belief that Lenard DEMLER was responsible for committing the murders.
How this effected the objective assessment of any information inconsistent with this position can now only be a matter of conjecture.
There are examples of a number of potentially significant witnesses (persons of interest) who were not interviewed. Of those that were, only a limited number were invited to make written statements with the balance recorded by way of a Police jobsheet.
These comments assume that the Police today (well, in 2014) have it all together and that they didn’t way back when. This position is nonsense as human nature does not change just because of 50 years of Policing!
Len was guilty. Hutton knew it. Half of New Zealand either believes it or has good reason to suspect Len of it and if they don’t they should! The only people that don’t believe it are those with a vested interest in maintaining belief otherwise.
The Autism Label
The difficulty with using a label is that it categorises a person into a box. This is particularly important in using the label that involves a psychiatric condition such as ASD. One has to be aware that even the professionals disagree about generalities, let alone individual diagnoses! Is something genetic or cultural? Was it caused by vaccinations or other environmental factors like upbringing or adversity or traumas. To what extent is that trauma caused by the person’s own actions or inactions or (in a biblical sense) their faith or pride, or lack of faith or humility?
And what is more important – to get the label right with a correct diagnosis, or to understand a person in order to engage with them meaningfully and to help them through their challenges constructively? When looking back at past events (like I am with regards the Crewe murders) how does one’s current view of the general medical understanding at the time influence our views today?
All that said however, I do have a strong experiences in assessing various situations regarding the psychiatric issues relating to Autism – a disorder or a condition best described as a spectrum, or scale. This spectrum is not directly linear as many people affected can show dyslexia, depression, low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, a wide range of various learning difficulties and human relationship challenges or uniquenesses.
It is possible though to [cautiously] apply generalities to Len Demler’s situation and to come to some firm conclusions. This is my take:
Len’s Autism was genetic, thus he had it from birth. I conclude this because of reports that he had a hard life, with a tough father. Autism induced from vaccinations came in around the late 1970s and early 1980s, thus most people suffering from Autism before this large swell of vaccine-induced Autism got it through their parents. Father to son inheritance was the most common source of non-cultural Autism as far as I can determine. Clues will be seen in Len’s father’s challenges parenting Len, and his school mates perceiving his differences when he laughed at socially inappropriate times.
None of this matters much on the surface but the fact that Len’s expectations were not met in regards to land ownership leads to a vitally important understanding of the reason why he pestered his wife Maisie so much on her deathbed. For those of us in the know, this makes perfect sense. Please bear with me as I try to explain.
One of the common clues that always alerts me to Autism is a difficulty with human emotion and relationships. It doesn’t matter whether it is what they call High Functioning Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome) or straight Autism, the normal human capacity to feel is reduced, twisted, or suppressed. This can result in what to others is seen as a callousness, or an uncaring or self-centered approach to human dynamics. Let me give you a couple of examples . . .
I was told of a local political figure whose son has been diagnosed with Autism. When people talk about this man their eyes roll. They kind-of-like him, but don’t trust him. They don’t understand that he, and his father, and probably his father’s father all had Autism, and when I explain this, they will repeat scenarios where this dude has demonstrated immaturity in a social context. In one situation he observed the attention that music was getting from the public and brought his stuff outside to get the same attention. Perceived as childlike behaviour akin to a 4 year old shouting, “Me too! Look at me!”, it was only a perfectly natural act to a man with Autism. He had no idea of the inapproriateness of his conduct as the crowd condemned his attention seeking activities without his understanding in the slightest.
Likewise a crook that had been terrorising and travelling the world causing mayhem in a particular industry that I tracked down in South Africa confessed to me that he had zero empathy skills. “Daniel, please tell me about your capacity to lie and distort to rip people off!” I asked him once. “Does your Asperger’s cause you not to feel anything?”
In his reply he explained that it was like a butcher who can kill animals all day then go home to pet his dog. He had no problem distancing the two aspects. Sure, he enjoyed his dog’s company but if he had to shoot it, no problem! I was later following his path through Germany when an informant explained to me that he had challenged the conman with direct proof of his crimes, but that Daniel had simply carried on with his new con attempt as if the knowledge of his intended victim didn’t even exist. The German guy of course at that stage recognised that the conman was full of BS (a bit different ‘up top’), even though he couldn’t name the psychiatric disorder.
It is a hundred times more important to understand the significance of a psychiatric condition in a specific situation (like Len Demler’s) than to identify or get the label right. Furthermore the use of assumptions (as I have already explained) based on wide categorisations or based on common conduct can lead us astray, and sometimes badly. Let’s apply this error into the common assessment of Len Demler. So many people say to me, “But how can a man kill his own daughter?”
“You have to understand how Len thought!” I will reply. “When a dog is sick, you take it out the back paddock and shoot it, don’t you? Problem solved! The same with Jeannette then too. She refused to cooperate with her father’s corruption the day before, so he got rid of her. Simple! What’s wrong with that? It’s what you do isn’t it? Certainly logical in his mind!”
Is it right morally? Not to us, but of course it is, if you’re Len Demler! But then the question of whether it is legally OK to ‘sort Jeannette out’ once and for all is the next question. Len was no fool so he would have known this, thus all his conduct to cover up and to protect himself from those “dopey policemen” asking “stupid questions”. Understanding this all helps us to make perfect sense of previously viewed weird events. Len wasn’t even there and “had nothing to do with it” so of course he was arrogant and acted weird! In Len’s mind, he was innocent because he believed that he had every moral right to do what he did. All he had to do was fend off, then buy off the cops in order to carry on living his life the way he felt he had every right to do.
To my knowledge this understanding of his mindset has NEVER drawn out in any Police, criminal or media event, report or analysis – ever. Understanding Autism AS IT APPLIED to Len Demler cracks the case wide open in terms of the who, what and particularly the why of the initial crimes.
Autism & Maisie
I’ve previously explained that it is more important to understand the implications of having a psychiatric condition on the ASD scale that it is to identify or label it. Len Demler’s Autism can be seen in greater detail in his relationship with his dying wife and the best way of understanding this is to apply the knowledge, picking up on a few clues, and project our current understanding back into the events of the 1970s.
In 1970 Autism was not fully understood, and phsychiatric treatment in New Zealand generally consisted of popping “mental people” into mental homes, and in some circumstances giving them electric shock treatment – that’s if they didn’t function well in the greater society. Len did but the contempt that many had for him was guarded, because they didn’t understand his differences.
The nurses at Maisie’s aged care home were no different. Nurses care. That’s their job after all but their contempt for and mistrust of Len mirrored wider society at the time. The best way to understand this is to go through a simple scenario, probably quite accurate but fully guesswork on my part.
Maisie is dying. Len lives in his own world but he misses her at home. He goes in to see her, possibly quite regularly and merrily greets the nurses then walks down the hallway to her room. He knows from experience that speaking what is on his mind straight away causes social problems so he talks about what is important to Maisie first. Her guard is dropped and while she may be cautious initially. Eventually she opens up a little but she knows him very well – after all he is her husband. Within a short time the topic turns to what is important to Len – his farm. Give it back to me! Change your will! It’s not fair! How can you do this to me! Eventually, You’re a b*!”, kind of thing. Tensions raise. A repeating disagreement ensures as Maisie says, “No Len. You know that control of the farm goes to Jeannette. You can stay on it but she owns it!” He insists. She resists. Tears flow and the nurses know what’s going on, time after time; visit after visit. Len is persistent and the trouble he causes is put down to him being an a****hole. He is therefore not liked.
Any married person knows how this kind of thing plays out and while I know that this is a hypothetical situation this scenario is highly likely when one party has it all together and the other has Autism. From Len’s perspective though he simply sees that he was entitled to owning the farm. It came to him from his side of the family. He had worked for years to get it and while he had lost it to his wife through tax evasion in his eyes it was his. Sure, he may have stretched the rules a little over some historical tax matters but it should be in his ownership. It was Maisie who was being pig-headed and unreasonable, not him.
From Maisie’s perspective however she knew the real score. She knew that her husband was a crook and had diddled the tax-man. She knew that Jeannette had a good head on her shoulders and could be trusted. She also knew that Heather had hooked up with a man she did not like and did not trust. Her wishes were the cause of stress for her widower Len to eliminate his problem later in the year. Maisie was a smart woman who knew the score. She knew who was who. She knew what the real score was and she understood the world around her. This was why she hushed up the arsons and thefts.
People naturally want to know who pulled the trigger that killed the Crewes. They want to know who set the house and hay on fire. They want to know who fed the baby and how the whole thing went down. I get that, but central to solving the Crewe “cold case” is to understand the mindset and psychiatric situation as it related to the perpetrator Len Demler. IMHO, who Len used or called to affect the deed and what Hutton & Johnston did are actually secondary matters to truly understanding why Len and Hutton did what they did.
Please let that one sink in for a minute.
Do you truly understand the significance of the psychiatric condition Len had? Do you truly realise how you/we have been led up the garden path for decades by failing to question our hidden assumptions?
Let’s recap then before we move onto the details of the crime and an analysis of Crooked Cops and Bruce Hutton the man who first came up against Len Demler . . .
- Police corruption (at least in regards to some within the Police leadership at the time) can be evidenced back to within 26 hours (but probably less than 6 hours) of the balloon going up;
- Assumptions therefore that the Police didn’t know who, what or why it happened, and that they were “all honest until proven to be otherwise” are unrealistic (some within the Police did know more than they let on);
- If any evidence and information provided by the Police has been proven to be controlled or filtered (it has) then ALL evidence and information needs to be questioned from the same source and from the point of proof of corruption;
- Len Demler had a form of Autism (ASD), a psychiatric condition that was not well understood in 1970, particularly in the wider community but also in the medical fraternity as vaccine-induced Autism had yet to kick-in;
- Understanding Len’s “uniquenesses” along with a revisit of core assumptions enables a good understanding of the entire matter;
- Putting the events that occurred into proper context requires us to understand Len’s Autism and to remove ALL assumptions. When we do exactly that, the Crewe murders “make perfect sense”.