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




Surely we can all see that the whole case was worked through on a balance of probabilities, reasonable doubt and all the rest. We don't know absolutely. It was a case of which theory carried the most weight.

I would be interested to know if Bruce sees it this way too and your question to him therefore Ben is most pertinent. Can he explain the double murder?

In fact the whole case was so grey that I am surprised that Ian has not offered divine intervention or retribution or whatever as the cause of murder. I think he believes in miracles?

It is just like the bible. It was written 40 years and more after the events that it seems to document. Legends grow over time!


Peter - there is some rock solid evidence to show it wasn't Arthur Thomas. It's not a case of he probably didn't do it...he didn't do it. Read chapters 7,8 and 11 if you disagree.

I don't expect to hear a response from Bruce Howard - especially if he's anything like his colleagues at the Otahuhu CIB in the 60s/70s. But I would love to know whether he thinks Hutton, like Johnston, "would have had no part in arranging a crooked raffle" and "was a decent man". Those comments are laughable.

Ian Wishart

Read the book, Bruce. I have a number of eyewitnesses to Len Johnston's dark side, including a former police colleague.

Apply the duck test.



"Wishart's report of Detective Sergeant Len Johnston's brazen arrogance collecting items for later use as evidence from Thomas's farm - pieces of wire, .22 shells and axle stubs - exposes a dark and scary side to our guardians. Through the book Wishart lays the ground for his claim that Johnston was actually the murderer and by his position on the inquiry team and proximity to Hutton, was able to influence an outcome which saw Thomas convicted twice of a double murder.

Wishart's conclusions are disturbingly possible in my view. The question of to what extent Hutton had the wool pulled over his eyes by Johnston is moot. Based on Wishart's debunking of transcripts and evidence previously recorded, I think Hutton could well have been fooled by his best mate.

Which means so too were the rest of the team deluded - but when one looks at the disgraceful tendency of several detectives to extrapolate signs of guilt by Thomas from irrelevant comments or actions, one can appreciate how these people lost their way."



How are you associated with Ian Wishart?

You speak of police "losing their way" and I agree that people frequently lose their way. But it is a huge jump to then say a double murder was part of losing one's way.


Peter - the above was a quote from Ross Meurant in the article. Those are not my words hence the quotation marks.

As I've said numerous times, I've got absolutely no affiliation with Ian (or any of his colleagues) at all.

Also - have you read the book Peter? It's well worth a read if you are genuinely interested in the case.


Ross "flak jackets" Meurant!!

From Wikipedia
"In August 1995, Meurant refused to comply with a directive from the Prime Minister to relinquish a position that he had as a director of a Russian-owned bank (PROK) domiciled in Vanuatu and was subsequently dismissed from The Executive of the nation. Meurant nevertheless continued as a Coaltion partner of the government as his support at the time was critical to its survival"


Have you read the book Peter? Or are you being stubborn simply because you're not a fan of Ian Wishart, and you know it will challenge your perspective?

Ian Wishart

Peter...and this Meurant excerpt is relevant to his training as a detective inspector, how exactly?

I'm all for giving people a good whack when it's relevant, but you are pushing the proverbial up hill here. At least when I targeted politicians their personal dealings were directly relevant to their portfolios.


Ian .. I think it is indicative of the reputation developed by Meurant of being somewhat "on the edge" politically.

I am trying to remember an episode regarding school parking too but memory is failing, and so is google on this occasion! I thought I had the right bloke.


Peter you might be thinking of Ian Revell

"Northcote National MP, Ian Revell, may lose his job as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, for threatening to get rid of a police chief whose staff gave him parking tickets outside Chelsea Primary School, Birkenhead." Primary School&d=nsnw-NNI-AAC-3558



I bought Ian's book with some Christmas money & just finished reading it. Also have a copy of Yallop & seen movie of same.

There seems to be clear linkage between the "intimidations" leading up to the murders and the Crewe's marriage/family. Intimidations seem to be designed to break up/resent Jeanette Demler's marriage.

I guess we will always be speculating now, but after reading Inside Story, A> I don't think Johnston did it and B> it occurred to me that Thomas wouldn't have been the only local with a crush on J.D. Why does it have to be either Demler, Thomas, Eyre or a mystery stranger from out of town? Why not other locals who might have had a crush on J.D. or resented her marrying an outsider?

Similarly, there were more women in the area than Vivienne Thomas(Harrison), Norma Demler, Rita Eyre. I think Mickey Eyre had one or two sisters within the right age group, so why was the focus just on his mother?

Like others, the natural reaction is to see the police fraud as being not to drop another (murder) ball. The evidence would have been planted much earlier if it was part of a plan to frame Thomas.

RetroFoam Toledo

To be extra ordinary Throw, yes I take his purity and yes the tube case was placed.

Maxwell Merryvale

Mr Wishart's book is mostly conjecture. He proposes a very complex scenario. The dispicable behavior of the police remains, how can we ever trust them again, imagine yourself in AAT's shoes.


From what I've read, the Arthur Allan Thomas case changed the face of investigative journalism into judicial affairs, and how NZers themselves viewed authority. At the time of the case, newspapers were reluctant to take up cudgels against the judicial system and jury verdicts. They were only beginning to learn to question authority (and would have not done it at all a decade earlier). Terry Bell had to resign from the Auckland Star in order to publish Bitter Hill, a book critical of the case, because the Auckland Star was unwilling to buck the judicial system. Pat Booth struck similar reluctance with teh Auckland Star, but it is striking that the Auckland Star did publish his articles that were critical of the case. From the sound of it, it was breaking new ground in journalism. Yet these days we have newspapers, books, journalistic websites and reporters querying juries' verdicts and credibility of evidence all the time.

Moreover, before the Thomas case, NZers were proud of their police and no lawyer would dare make claims to a jury that the police planted evidence, no matter how strongly they suspected it. But nowadays accusations of manufacturing evidence are more open, and the case has left lingering anti-police feeling and distrust. And it is all thanks to the people who planted the case (and in a very amateurish manner that gave the whole game away) and other things against Arthur Thomas. Boy, did they live to regret it!


The brave will live and the weak will die.


"I'm quite sure if the public knew how a police enquiry of this nature [into the fabrication allegations in the Thomas case] is conducted they would feel very comforted indeed....The attitude of the men in the police force, right down through the ranks is: 'If there is a bloody rogue there then let's get rid of him.' They'll turn on their own mates as soon as they are convinced that this particular police officer has broken the rules. They'll turn and hunt him like a bloody dog." - Bruce Hutton, Beyond Reasonable Doubt.

I wonder how many people who read that passage believed Hutton? I never have.

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