Will to Kill: The Barlow trial and other notable New Zealand murders
Author: Fred McLean
Format: 210 x 148 mm portrait, softcovered
Weight: 280 grams
On a fine summer evening in 1994, businessmen Eugene Thomas and Gene Thomas were gunned down in their Wellington offices in a mysterious 'gangland' style slaying. The police's principal suspect, John Robert Barlow, was to undergo three controversial trials for their murder before being finally convicted the following year.
Fred McLean here examines the facts and myths of this and 15 other solved and unsolved New Zealand murders, including:
* The Ormondville massacre
* The Mangeweka massacre
* The case of Dennis Gunn, the first person to be convicted solely on fingerprint evidence
* The saga of Westland mass-murderer Stan Graham
* The unsolved case of the murder of homosexual Miles Herbert Radcliffe
* The enigma of Marie Emily West
* The infamous case of teenage schoolfriends Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker who bashed Pauline's mother to death with a rock in a stocking in a Christchurch park (subject of the film Heavenly Creatures)
* The trial of "teenage dominatrix" Renee Chignell and her boyfriend for the murder of connoisseur sado-masochist Peter Plumley Walker
* The Aramoana massacre of 1990 in which 13 people were shot dead through the actions of a "survivalist" gunman.
(scroll down for Lust to Kill)
Lust to Kill: Notorious New Zealand murders
Author: Fred McLean
Format: 210 x 137 mm, portrait, softcovered.
Weight: 420 grams
Fred McLean here takes eight famous cases from the period from the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi to just after World War One, and with creative construction fully explores the emotions and thoughts behind the actions of those involved. The results are stories that make absorbing and even at times entertaining reading.
* Thomas Hall - a gambler who married into money, then to get his hands on it poisoned his father in law - then tried to dispose of his wife the same way. Yet he escaped the gallows. Was this because he was the nephew of a well-heeled former premier?
* John Caffrey - the boozey, moody merchant navy master who, when his financee stood him up in favour of another man, planned to abduct her and carry her off to a South Pacific island together with his "bosum mate" William Penn and his sleazy girlfriend. The plan went shamefully wrong and both Caffrey and Penn ended their days on the gallows.
* William Good who after a lifetime on the run from English, French and Australian authorities killed a man on a ship in Wellington harbour. He was caught and publicly hung, while a crowd of onlookers ate refreshments.
* Richard Burgess who came to New Zealand in the 1860s and formed a gang which preyed on travellers and gold prospectors in the South Island, robbing and murdering them. They were caught and executed in Nelson - except for the most vicious member of the gang who was reprieved.
* Two men, both aspiring to be rich, teamed up to search for gold near the lawless Westport of the 1860s. One was brutually murdered, the other convicted for it on circumstantial evidence.
* Mary Dobie, a talented 29-year-old artist whose murder in Taranaki fanned the embers of the recently ended Maori Wars.
* Lionel Terry who shot dead a Chinaman in Wellington in 1907 to publicise his belief in the "yellow peril", becoming a cause celebre in the process. He escaped the gallows but but spent half a century incarcerated in mental institutions.
* Dan and Martha Cooper, 1920s back street abortionists and "baby farmers" who did a roaring trade until the police became suspicious.. Both were tried: Dan was hung, Martha wasn't.