Tuesday, January 27, 2009

North & South - recommended reading

This month's North & South magazine has a feature on the Lundy Murders that makes for very interesting reading.

For those who have been in a news vacuum, or my overseas readers, Mark Lundy was convicted for the murder of his wife and seven-year-old daughter back in 2002. The fact he was found guilty baffled me back then as the evidence presented was rather flimsy and the time-line explanations offered by the police always seemed far-fetched to the point of physical impossibility.

At the time, nationally, popular opinion was divided, but around our dinner table the other night, a discussion of the case with our guests, based on information the general public received, our informal opinion trumped up 5-0 for Mark Lundy being innocent. As an aside, it's not our normal dinner time entertainment to discuss grizzly murder cases with the guests, it can put you of your BBQ, but then, this can be a strange household at times.

Anyway, I would recommend the North & South article as an interesting view on what was a high profile true crime in NZ.


The Paradoxical Cat said...

Yes, another high profile case that we all have our own opinion about!

I think Lundy did it. (David Bain, I think is innocent.) Yes I read the news reports of the court cases. No I didn't attend the court or read the transcripts.

I don't agree that nobody could have done that return trip to Palmerston North in a short time. Anyone who has done that journey many times knows it's possible to do it much more quickly than North & South suggests. There were all sorts of short cuts known to locals, and nobody who tries to reconstruct the journey, breaks the law by excessive speeding.

I expect that someone who is going to commit a murder won't bother to observe the speed limit either!

Vanda Symon said...

I always thought a few basic laws of physics and time and motion applied, let alone bringing traffic into play. David's greatest crime, perhaps was the jerseys.

I think what disturbs me the most with this case, and the Bain case, and the Peter Ellis case is that nagging thought, what if the jury did get it wrong? What if we have incarcerated the wrong men and a huge injustice has been performed because of the need of society to be able to rest easy in the knowledge someone has been convicted, even if it is the wrong someone.

I have never been on jury duty, so I don't know the pressures brought to bear, or the mind numbing detail they need to assimilate and make sense of before coming to an informed and bombproof decision. It would be interesting to sit through a complex murder trial one day, especially for someone in my line of work, for many reasons - criminal, technical and social.

Mike said...

Very interesting documentary on TV One last night about this case. I've always had doubts about the ability not just to do that trip in that time, but also commit two horrendous murders, clean yourself up and get back to Petone in 3 hours. All this without one person noticing the maniac going at breakneck speed. I've done a lot of driving in my work, up to 50,000km a year for several years, and I've done that trip many times. I don't think it can be done when you add in everything else he had to do.

I also had doubts about the fact that two people noticed lights on in the house around 11pm, and that his wife and daughter were in bed for the night at 7pm.

The theory presented last night was that Lundy drove to Palmerston North as late as 12:45am the following morning, and that the time of death was around 2am. This would certainly give him enough time to do all he had to without driving at a noticeably fast speed, and evidence was presented from a renowned pathologist who cast grave and credible doubts over the use of stomach contents to determine time of death. It is apparently perfectly feasible for it to take up to 8 hours for food to start leaving the stomach in certain circumstances. If this is true then so many of the other pieces of the puzzle fit - the early retirement (7pm for a mother that usually retires around 11pm, and a dughter who's a big fan of Shortland Street) just doesn't make sense. The lights being on at 11pm - no problem now. The frantic drive through traffic without anyone noticing him? Much easier to drive after midnight if you want to make good time, and yu then have all the time you need to get back. Oh and Bain? He definitely did it.

Vanda Symon said...

I missed the doco, Mike. I'll have to have a look and see if they have it on-line. Curious...