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« New Arthur Allan Thomas book just over a week away | Main | I hate Ian Wishart because... »



Defaming a dead man is a new low for you Ian. I'm very disappointed, and I've been supportive of you in the past. The clips from the Herald show nothing but innuendo and plausibles - no proof of anything.

Other details cited as evidence by Wishart include the claim that Johnston was behind an arson at a police station with the intent of intimidating fellow officers.

Where's the evidence of that. Not a claim, Ian. Evidence.

Wishart also said that Johnston matched the US Federal Bureau of Investigation profile of an "anti-social personality".

What? From their website I guess. Was Johnston ever assessed by a psychiatrist? What's this based on, apart from "belief"?

Wishart said that Johnston investigated a burglary at the couple's house in 1967 and "would have known the layout of the house".


It was also "highly likely" he asked Jeanette Crewe the location of the spare key.

How do you know this? Jeanette Crewe couldn't have told you, neither could have Johnston. Why is this "highly likely"? I attended many burglaries in my time as a police officer and it is not a standard question at all.

Wishart also asks: "Did he rape her then execute her afterwards?"

A disgusting smear of a dead man, unable to answer it.

Wishart said Johnston would have had a "female criminal acquaintance over whom he exercised power", possibly a prostitute.

Who is this person? What's her name? Who told you this? What a bizarre statement.

In a chapter called "The New Prime Suspect", Wishart writes that Johnston "confronts the couple and kills them to shut them up and protect his own career and reputation". Wishart said that Johnston's knowledge as a detective would have allowed him to "create the perfect crime scene".

Yep, and that pig flying past my window could have come from the moon on the way down here.

Ian Wishart

Nick, for a cop you are being a little obtuse. Do you seriously think potted snippets in an 800 word news report captures the entire case built up in a 115,000 word book?

Yes, I have "evidence", both eyewitness and circumstantial.

In fact, the evidence in favour of Johnston as a suspect is about ten times stronger than the police case against Arthur Thomas.

Secondly, Johnston doesn't get himself off the hook just because he's dead. He was in fact the architect of the false prosecution of Thomas and I'm entitled to raise the same questions about him as he did about Thomas.

Thomas spent nine years behind bars because Johnston set him up. He lost his marriage, his farm and his family in many respects.

Why did Johnston set him up? The answer is in the book.

You seem to forget: A Royal Commission has already found that Johnston and Hutton acted corruptly. By rights, both men should have been behind bars for up to 14 years.

I suggest you read the book before shooting your mouth off again.


I suggest you come up with evidence Johnston was at the crime scene; had a gun; shot the Crewes; and fed the baby before you shoot yours off.

I wouldn't spend $40 on your book if I won $18mill in Lotto.


I've read what Arthur Allan Thomas has said about the book. He is broadly supportive on the basis that it gives him the opportunity to highlight corrupt police activity. But if there was corrupt police activity, it was surely concerning police work. To suggest the police performed a double murder seems very fancifal.


Nick - you're embarrassing yourself.

I too find it hard to believe that Johnston killed them - but Ian wouldn't have wasted his time and put his reputation on the line if there wasn't some reliable evidence to suggest that it could have happened.

I'm sure you're a great policeman (if you are still in that profession) - but I hope you don't jump to such quick conclusions in that role as you have done here.


Ben - You refer to the reputation of Ian Wishart - but surely his reputation is largely based on denial of climate change, fundamentalism and anti-Labour politics? The Winebox writings seem a long time ago now. Regarding the latter, in my opinion we have seen too much "hit and miss" journalism regarding Labour Members of Parliament who look like rising too the top or near the top.


Peter - the point I was making when making reference to "reputation" was Ian's management of his own reputation. From his perspective, its in his best interests to avoid publishing anything full of incorrect facts and loose assumptions, as he obviously wants to be known for presenting accurate information from reliable sources. I wasn't making an assertion on his current reputation (which obviously varies depending one who you're talking to anyway).

Regarding your above statement on his 'reputation' - those are representative of only a certain group of his readers/critics. I personally believe (along with a significant group of those who read his material) that he is well-researched and, although I don't necessarily agree with every word of the material published by Ian and his colleagues, they do uncover a lot of hidden agendas and 'dark secrets' that other journalists choose to either ignore or not put the time into investigating.


My quarrel is that he not even-handed when dealing with the right and the left. I know that one is naturally inclined to run with one's backers - but was it not Ian who tried to haul Annette King and David Cunliffe through the mud at one stage? Meanwhile Don Brash ...

Chuck Bird

Nick would you please say if you accept that Thomas is not guilty.

Also do you accept that that the cartridge case was planted and if not why not?


Yeah - I think its probably fair to assume that the Left's misdemeanors generally do get more attention than the Right's.

However, Ian does have the right to choose to focus on for whatever issues he chooses - and as long as the information and evidence is accurate, reliable and he presents both sides of every story, I don't see too much of an issue. He's not forcing anyone to agree with his views or read his material - he's simply trying to investigate issues that he feels haven't been reportedly accurately or investigated properly. People can choose to take it or leave it.

I guess we can agree to disagree on what his role is and whether he is obligated to focus on the Left and Right equally.

Chuck Bird

Ian is extremely balanced compared to John Armstrong of the NZ Herald


Ben - great sport! But really - you say as long as he is presenting both sides of the story - yet with a (negative) focus on the Left ? Evidence accurate and reliable - is that the case? If you take climate change - has it not been been one-sided advocacy, not true investigative journalism?


Chuck, yes and yes.


To be crystal clear Chuck, yes I accept his innocence and yes the cartridge case was planted.


Peter - I can't speak for Ian - but I'm sure he would be critical of a lot of what is happening/happened within the Act Party over the past few years. I don't think its a case of him simply targeting the Left and turning a blind eye to the right.

Regarding climate change - I think its quite clear that both sides of the story were investigated (and it seemed as if he actually started off as someone with a proclivity towards man-made global warming). I don't think he can be accused of not giving fair attention to both sides.

I don't think we can make a general statement on whether he provides is accurate and reliable evidence - its up to us to evaluate each piece of evidence individually to determine whether it is accurate and reliable.

Chuck Bird

Nick, thanks for the reply. I thought I should check. Unfortunately, there are some police who do not accept when they are proven wrong. The David Dougherty is a good example. When DNA excluded David as the rapist some police floated the theory maybe he had a partner when no such theory was raised before.

There are some people still who believe he did it and some of this comes from the police or so they say.

I think most people would agree that the police should never plant evidence. However, I can understand why they do it in some cases. Suppose they are 100% convinced that a killer or serial rapist is guilty they may justify the planting of evidence to themselves and their colleagues. They may have evidence obtained through an illegal search and cannot use the evidence in court.

It they are correct and the person is in fact guilty one may say no harm was done. The public may be safer if a serial offender is put away. There is however a lot of downside. The most obvious is the police get sloppy and take shortcuts like in the Thomas case.

This case has caused the police irreparable harm. I believe that Johnson and Hutton should have been charged. Every killer who has not had an eye witness to his or her murder claims they are innocent.

I have read the whole book of Ian’s as I read the Yallop one years ago before Thomas was released. To be clear Ian has not said he is sure Johnston did it. He points to another likely killer but thinks Johnstone is a more likely candidate.

The reason I can see Johnston as a good possibility is that I cannot understand how the police could have thought Thomas’s alibi was not sound. Thomas was a farmer not a member of the mongrel mob. The likelihood of his wife lying to protect him was very, very slim. There is also his cousin Peter who was there and another Thomas who phoned the house that evening. Put this together with the noisy car. I cannot see how anyone could think he did it.

I can believe that say in the case of a hit and run that a wife might lie to protect her husband. However, in the case or Thomas or Dougherty I cannot believe their wives would have lied because of the crime they were accused of.

I followed the case at the time and could not believe he was found guilty.

I would have thought it would be obvious to anyone including the police that Thomas did not do the murders. That makes me wonder what motive any police officer would have for fitting an obviously innocent man.

As a current or former police officer have you come across a case of a man’s wife lying to protect him when he is accused of murder or rape? I would exclude people with a serious criminal history.

Ian Wishart

Nick is Nick Kearney of Act, so he is no longer a police officer...he has bigger problems to deal with at present.

The thing that irks me Nick is the ad-hom founded on a policy of "I won't read".

The context of naming Johnston as the most likely killer of the Crewes is based on a substantive thesis of circumstantial and eyewitness evidence that builds throughout the book.

This kneejerk, defend-the-brotherhood-at-all-costs mentality is a strategic error of judgement, with respect.

Anybody who speculated on murder-suicide by the Crewes "defamed" the dead couple (Are you reading this Booth?)

Anybody who speculated on Len Demler likewise defamed a dead man.

Then I name someone based on better evidence than Booth could muster, (and if you actually read the book you'd realise this) and suddenly it's my problem?

Chuck Bird

Ian. If you allow people to post without using their full names do you think it fair and reasonable to name Nick and his association with the ACT Party?

I think people should normally be prepared to use their full names. However, there are good reasons why some people choose not to. I certainly think Nick had a good reason.

What logical reason do you have for disclosing Nick’s association with the ACT Party? I cannot see how that relates to this debate at all.


What about your rape suggestion Ian? What is that based on?


Okay Ian, I am willing to accept that a few snippets off the Herald review is poor analysis.

Here is what I will do.

I will buy your book and read it. My police background (including my dad who spent 30 years in the police and who worked on the Crewe homicide) and my 10 years as a lawyer gives me sufficient experience to write an account of your theses in the book.

I acknowledge that I should do this before passing judgment - and I will do this. It may take a while but I will do it. Then I will find a way to publish my account of your observations and analyses in your book.

Let's see where this takes us in a few months.

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