Crewe killings: Report to be released today

Harvey Crewe and Jeanette Crewe on their wedding day June 18 1966. Photo / SuppliedA report of the internal police review of the Crewe murders investigation will be made public today.

Rochelle Crewe broke her 40-year silence in the Herald in October 2010 to ask police to reopen their investigation to find out who killed her parents, Harvey and Jeannette in 1970.

The request was refused but police bosses agree to conduct a "thorough analysis and assessment of the Crewe homicide file in an endeavour to answer questions raised by Rochelle Crewe".

The review was announced by then Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope shortly afterwards.

A report will also be released today by David Jones QC, who provided independent oversight and assessment of the review.

Harvey and Jeannette Crewe were murdered at their Pukekawa farmhouse in 1970.

Arthur Allan Thomas was found guilty of the murders in 1971 and again at a retrial in 1973. But in 1979, after he had spent nine years in prison, he was granted a pardon on the basis that the police case against him was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

In 1980, a Royal Commission of Inquiry found that the police planted evidence that was used to wrongly convict Mr Thomas and that the farmer should never have been charged with the murders.

The commission said neither Mr Thomas nor his rifle was involved in the murders, which remain unsolved. He was later paid $950,000 compensation.

- By Jamie Morton of the New Zealand Herald


The Crewe murders

1970: Harvey and Jeannette Crewe are murdered at their Pukekawa farmhouse, south of Auckland. Their only child, 18-month-old Rochelle, is left in her cot. Arthur Allan Thomas charged with their murders six months later.

1971: Arthur Allan Thomas is convicted of the crime. His supporters protest his innocence.

1973: Thomas is convicted again at a retrial.

1979: Thomas receives a pardon after an investigation ordered by Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.

1980: A royal commission concludes that police planted a shellcase in the Crewes' garden to frame Thomas for the murder. But the case is never reinvestigated.

2010: Rochelle Crewe breaks her 40-year silence in the Herald to ask police to re-open their investigation to find out who killed her parents. The request is refused but police bosses agree to conduct a "thorough analysis and assessment of the Crewe homicide file in an endeavour to answer questions raised by Rochelle Crewe".

2013: Herald reveals Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush's eulogy for Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton, who led the original Crewe murder inquiry, at his funeral. Mr Bush is now the Commissioner but was removed from playing any part in the Crewe review. The Herald later reveals the police have reinterviewed Thomas and other members of his family, asking for alibis.

TODAY: The findings of the Crewe review are released


 

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