Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Lundy and Me.

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  • David MacGregor, in reply to Damian Christie,

    The whole point of your post is about guilt and innocence and the reason it will be re-litigated. It's a bit of an Aunt Sally argument to throw in yesterday's stabbing (perhaps it was Aunt Sally running from the house that fateful day? Or a straw man in a wig?).

    Flippancy aside. Lundy is now not guilty of the crime. He is the accused. It is probably more fair to say, in the light of proceedings, that he was found guilty in a very limited legal sense.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mark Thomas,

    Legal question: If/when this goes back to court, does the prosecution have to stick with the 7pm murder theory or are they allowed to put forward the alternative late night murder story?

    IANAL, but I presume they could with something of the order of "but IF the time of death is presumed to be later, our evidence still shows Mr Lundy is guilty."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    What if...
    Another scenario for both the Bain and Lundy murders (and maybe even the Crewes) - could there be the possibility of a totally disassociated person (in all senses of the word) involved in them - a homicidal stranger passing thru...
    - ie someone and something completely random - with other 'evidence/facts' getting in the way... signal to noise, and all that.
    - Lundy's tools used? - found on site and used by person(s) unknown
    - Bain's gun - found on site, and used by person(s) unknown
    Just because someone can be shown to have reasonable cause/ weight of circumstance, etc - doesn't preclude them from not doing it.
    I know, fanciful, but has to be one end of the continuum of possibilties, doesn't it?

    I am of course not hampered by, nor privy to, the whole gamut and minutiae of evidence presented in the trials...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to David MacGregor,

    t’s a bit of an Aunt Sally argument to throw in yesterday’s stabbing

    I was just pulling out the most recent person I could think of who also stands accused of a crime, and is therefore "innocent". He stands accused, just like Lundy. It sounds like you have your doubts about that man's innocence? Don't leap to conclusions, you haven't heard the evidence yet, just the media reports.

    No, you're the one who's twisted the legal presumption of innocence, which is about burden of proof, and tried to make it apply to the wider meaning of the word "innocent".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Clue-doh!

    I guess I’m saying it’s never been regarded as a contentious fact in the whole thing

    Ta for the clarification.
    As a DA*, I'm not trying to refute the evidence per se, just feeling out the parameters of possibility - and I guess I'm influenced by all those movies and books where phones are used at a remove (auto dialling/answering, taped together, all that kinda devious spy stuff) - usually where there are fixed processes, there can be work-arounds... with or without human agency.
    Probably a lot easier to do now than in 2000, admittedly...


    *that's Devil's Advocate - not District Attorney!
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    IANAL, but I presume they could with something of the order of “but IF the time of death is presumed to be later, our evidence still shows Mr Lundy is guilty.”

    Given that their job is to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, I don't know they'd be doing them any favours taking a "but if you don't like that, how but *this* one, huh? we got dozens of these, just pick one" approach... especially as they then have to also say "disregard that stuff we said about the computer... disregard the eyewitness, she's mad... disregard etc..."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'm really uncomfortable with people judging someone for not crying (or not crying "properly") at a funeral. There is a huge range of human responses to shock and grief. I have no idea whether Lundy is guilty, but let's stick to examining the evidence.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I'm pretty sure 90's Nokia/Ericsson phones usually had a computer interface that would have let you do just that. You could certainly text from your computer using the phones of that era.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    in light of the times given, perhaps there was a way to make the later call, without physically being there

    Without a whole lot of quite complicated jiggery-pokery, it's bloody hard to do that now. Rewind to the start of last decade and it was also bloody hard to do as well as much less accessible to technical neophytes; a class to which, as best I can ascertain, Lundy firmly belonged.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    Movies would have conditioned us to be sympathetic to the innocence of the accused if he/she is a goodlooking intelligent victim. The bad guy/girl is less likeable and we are glad when the bad guy gets his/her come-uppance?
    But what if the accused is not an attractive person. Nor articulate and with un-luck on his side? Mark Lundy (or me or you) is damaged by public perception and please let the facts be the verdict.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I’m pretty sure 90’s Nokia/Ericsson phones usually had a computer interface that would have let you do just that. You could certainly text from your computer using the phones of that era.

    Sure, but it's a whole new level to make a remote connection to said computer from another location, then initiate (and sustain) a telephone call. Dial-in capabilities are a bloody nuisance now, and worse if you're trying to organise it through (presumably) a motel's switchboard. No 3G data sticks, remember, and the remote connection software of the age was quite ghastly at the consumer level.
    Lundy was never portrayed as any kind of computer genius, which at the time was what was required to make that kind of configuration function. He made a phone call, he didn't just send a text, and the technology of the day meant that was really only achievable by lashing phones together as seen in the worst kind of B-grade spy movie.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here. Are you saying the same as I’m saying above? The rest of the night’s events as outlined by the prosecution have everything taking place between two phone calls from Petone at 5.43pm and 8.28pm – that’s what requires the land-speed record trip.

    Yes. It will be interesting to see if the prosecution does re-arrange their approach completely to fit a timeline involving a later departure from Wellington as per Bryan Bruce's proposed change to the way things happened. Taking out the need for a high speed trip surely must increase the credibility of the prosecution's case? If the main point of the defence's new evidence is around forensics and brain tissue origin then would the prosecution concentrate on re-confirming that one bit rather than resetting the whole approach to the timeline?
    Dunno....

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Job Jesse Rustenhoven,

    For several weeks, months even, I read everything I could about every questionable aspect of the Lundy case

    I was relieved with the direction your story eventually took, as this sounds like an awesome starting point for confirmation bias

    Since Feb 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey, in reply to Lilith __,

    I’m really uncomfortable with people judging someone for not crying (or not crying “properly”) at a funeral.

    I feel exactly the same. It's really creepy when people start to judge others by the way they behave in grief.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I have no idea if Lundy killed his family or not. But what is emerging is a constant pattern of police over-reach with evidence that amounts to incompetence.

    The police over-reach because they think they can – in trials they actively expect the connivance of juries drawn from a public radicalised by a sensationalist, crime porn driven media. Over-reach results in retrials and compensation, paid for by the taxpayer. The police are never held to account by the minister (who nowadays is simply the cheerleading apologist in chief) or by their own hopelessly compromised “independent” investigators. The upshot is the police know they can get away with over-reach more often than not, and if they are caught there will be no meaningful punishment to them individually or as an organisation – in fact the Kim Dotcom fiasco and the subsequent GCSB bill has taught them that if they do get caught, the government of the day will simply change the law to exonerate their illegal over-reach.

    Since the police nowadays consider themselves infalliable and untouchable, we can rinse and repeat this Lundy malarky in plenty more case yet to come.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The police over-reach because they think they can

    I'm not necessarily saying this isn't the case, but it's important not to conflate the police with the Crown (prosecution), whose job it is, if not to 'over-reach' exactly, to put together the best interpretation of facts and events it can to achieve a conviction.

    One thing Lundy didn't seem to benefit from at his first trial was a particularly robust defence. I'm not saying that's the fault of his lawyer, but from my understanding, the lack of legal aid hours to mount a murder defence in the first instance can leave something to be desired.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    But what is emerging is a constant pattern of police over-reach with evidence that amounts to incompetence.

    Damian's caveat about the prosecution aside, there's a clear decade-ish starting with David Tamihere and roughly ending with Mark Lundy where a number of high-profile murder investigations appear to have been conducted with the killer firmly determined very early on in the piece. Whether that period has totally ended is hard to tell, but it is quite starkly obvious that after Lundy there haven't been any cases that spring to my mind where there were big unanswered questions or spectacular leaps from what was provable to what was prosecuted.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Whether that period has totally ended is hard to tell

    How can you say it has ended? Oversight of the police has got worse, and legal aid has been stripped. All that could have happened is the police are no longer getting found out in even high profile cases, let alone the dozens of nickel and dime framings they get up to all the time.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Oversight of the police has got worse, and legal aid has been stripped.

    "got worse"? Really, Tom? Really?! You mean, it's worse now with an actual, statutorily-independent oversight body, than it was when the police literally investigated their own? Actually, really, got worse?

    As for legal aid, that's a fairly recent occurrence. There's a big gap between Lundy, and National's "adjustments" to legal aid. Many years. You're trying to claim that there's a whole heap of dirt in those seven years which just hasn't come to light? The Bain, Watson and Lundy cases were considered flaky as the cell doors closed. I was 10 at the time of Tamihere so I don't know if the case was considered dubious at the time, but it's been considered questionable for a lot of years.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    with an actual, statutorily-independent oversight body

    You know what? I've got this bridge for sale....

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The Bain, Watson and Lundy cases were considered flaky as the cell doors closed

    I'd throw the Peter Ellis (Christchurch Creche) case in with that lot too.
    That was very disquieting, and I knew a lot more about it than the three you list.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The Bain, Watson and Lundy cases were considered flaky as the cell doors closed.

    Were they? Or is it that these three trials were some of the biggest to take place since we allowed cameras in the courtroom? (It was 1995, the same year as the Bain trial, though I can't recall if cameras were there in that instance). People were able to watch the evidence unfold night after night, back and forth, and obviously many were swayed by the defense counsel arguments in those cases, even if the jury wasn't. We saw the same thing again with Ewen Macdonald recently - was this another 'flaky' case, or a damn good defense lawyer doing his job well?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    “got worse”? Really, Tom? Really?! You mean, it’s worse now with an actual, statutorily-independent oversight body, than it was when the police literally investigated their own? Actually, really, got worse?

    Agreed. It’s empirical fact that formal oversight of the police has improved in recent years. It needed to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Stephen R,

    I’d throw the Peter Ellis (Christchurch Creche) case in with that lot too.
    That was very disqui

    Very disquieting indeed..."A City Possessed" by Lynley Hood is essential reading
    for those who doubt Ellis's innocence.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Damian Christie,

    People were able to watch the evidence unfold night after night, back and forth

    I was always worried about the process that selects which bits got into the 2 minute nightly news item. I realise a lot of what goes on is slow and can be summarised fairly quickly, but I have a nagging suspicion that prosecution evidence tends to be more mundane and boring and hence less newsworthy.

    Even the newspapers which had more space seemed to focus on the "exciting" evidence and not necessarily on all the evidence.

    The problem for me with all those trials is that the tea table discussions often came to the opposite conclusion to that of the jury which suggests the jury saw (important) evidence we did not.

    That has left me very reluctant to pass judgement myself on these cases ... because I don't have enough knowledge to make a judgement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

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