Pioneering investigative journalist Pat Booth dies, aged 87

Journalist Pat Booth
Journalist Pat Booth. Photo credit: Newshub

Veteran investigative journalist Pat Booth - the man who investigated the Crewe murders and Mr Asia drug ring - has died in Auckland, aged 87.

Mr Booth spent nearly 40 years at the Auckland Star and rose to editor, but is best known for his crusading on behalf of Arthur Allan Thomas, who was wrongly convicted of murdering Harvey and Jeannette Crewe on their Pukekawa farm in 1970.

Thomas served nine years in prison, before Mr Booth's campaign helped overturn the conviction, and he was eventually granted a Royal Pardon and NZ$950,000 in compensation. A Royal Commission found the primary evidence against Thomas had been fabricated.

Mr Booth's investigation was detailed in his book Trial by Ambush and he later helped uncover the Mr Asia crime syndicate, writing THE MR ASIA FILE: The Life and Death of Marty Johnstone.

He also wrote an authorised biography of Mt Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary, entitled Edmund Hillary: The Life of a Legend and was managing editor of Suburban Newspapers, writing his "Off Pat" column until three years ago.