Glenys Stanton and John Mowatt on their trip to the Pureora
Forest Park at Queen's Birthday weekend. Photo NZ Herald
A year ago, John Mowatt was a self-confessed "broken-down
man". He had split up with his wife and been made redundant
from his job as an analyst.
But an "inspiring" home renovation project and a new love
interest gave him a renewed lease on life - until last week.
Mr Mowatt (51) shot himself dead in front of police at
Woodhill Forest mountainbike park near Helensville early
Detectives investigating the fatal shootings of new couple
Trevor Waite and Glenys Stanton at the weekend had been
trying to locate Mr Mowatt in the hours before his death.
He was a recent boyfriend of Ms Stanton (47) and police
wanted to interview him as part of the ongoing homicide
They have stopped short of saying Mr Mowatt killed the pair
but confirmed there is a "strong inference he was connected
with the homicide".
The Herald can reveal Mr Mowatt, a father of three, had been
seeing Ms Stanton since at least June. It is understood the
pair had dinner together last week.
It is unclear how they met or how long they dated, but both
were members of the social networking website meetup.com, the
same site through which Ms Stanton and Mr Waite met.
Mr Mowatt was a keen mountainbiker and a regular on the
Woodhill tracks, near where he parked his black Ford Falcon
before his death.
He had joined Ms Stanton on rides, including the Timber Trail
in Pureora Forest Park near Taupo at Queen's Birthday
A woman who went on the trip said the couple were very
attractive and at the time were still in the "honeymoon
period" of their relationship.
She said Mr Mowatt was extremely kind and "absolutely
The woman said the whole situation was very sad and she felt
for the families of all three dead people.
After the trip to Taupo, Ms Stanton posted on the website how
much fun she had had.
"Fantastic weekend! Real adventure, beautiful scenery,
challenging ride. Shame were only 3 of us, but wouldn't have
missed it for da world."
In earlier discussions, she had referred to Mr Mowatt as her
Another meetup.com member, David Griffiths, said he met Ms
Stanton and a tall, blond man she called her boyfriend at a
party in Waiuku in June.
Ms Stanton, a mother of two, and Mr Waite, a father of three,
were killed on his bed in his Ponga Rd home at Opaheke, near
Papakura, last weekend by someone who knew one or both of
It has been suggested that Mr Mowatt told friends he was
upset because he believed Ms Stanton was seeing someone else.
That could have been the catalyst that provoked the three
The Herald has also learned that Mr Mowatt was depressed over
a house in Te Atatu he was renovating.
Last September, he bought the $516,000 property at auction
and spoke about his plans to renovate it.
In an interview with the Herald about the project, he said
was a fan of the television renovation programme The Block
and - being "very much" a do-it-yourself man - was inspired
to have a go himself.
"I guess it's a broken-down man rebuilding his life and
building a house at the same time," he said.
He was looking forward to the project, but accepted it would
"I think that's a part of the journey for me. I've got a lot
of things to learn, and not just do things the same old way
the whole time."
Yesterday, neighbours said they had seen Mr Mowatt as well as
professionals renovating the house, which "had a lot of
One said Mr Mowatt had recently bought a Ford Falcon GT and
once chatted to him about cars.
On his online profile, Mr Mowatt said in April that he
enjoyed good wine, music that "moves your soul and hips",
dining, dancing, laughter and "hanging with my kids".
He was looking for a "soulmate who enjoys honesty and
laughter to share this journey called life".
"Life is an adventure to be lived and shared."
- Anna Leask of the NZ Herald/additional reporting: Amelia
Wade and Morgan Tait