Grove Road: The murder

From Newshub comes a new investigative podcast, Grove Road.

This is the story of the murder of Arthur Easton and the arrest of Alan Hall, a man with no alibi or answers.

But it's also a story about our system of justice - the power and trust we give to police and prosecutors… and their ability to find the truth.

Episode one goes back to the evening of October 13, 1985 – a Sunday night in suburban Auckland.

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On the evening of October 13, 1985, a peaceful street in suburban Auckland became a scene of horror.

In what would take only minutes, a father-of-five would be murdered, his two sons wounded and taken to hospital, and the bayonet-wielding intruder would disappear into the night.

That Sunday night, 16-year-old Papakura High School student Brendan Easton was studying in his room. His dad, Arthur, was watching TV 20 feet away in the living room, and his older brother, Kim, was in his own bedroom listening to his stereo.

Brendan heard the back door click. He put down his notes and stepped into the well-lit hallway to have a look. At the end of the hall stood a silhouette – the man took a step forward and, on instinct, Brendan charged at him.

According to his police statement, Brendan screamed for his dad, and Arthur rushed to the hallway to try and restrain the intruder - it was then Brendan noticed the knife.

Grove Road: The murder

Kim later told detectives that he also rushed over and punched the stranger. He smashed a squash racquet down on the offender’s head until the frame snapped in half.

During the attack, Arthur Easton was stabbed multiple times. The offender managed to escape, leaving behind three pieces of evidence – a bloodied bayonet, a woolen beanie and a single muddy footprint.

On September 27, 1986, a man called Alan Hall was found guilty of Arthur's murder. Prosecutors said Alan had broken into Arthur’s house, fought with him and his teenage sons in their hallway, and stabbed Arthur to death before escaping.

For three decades, Alan has maintained his innocence.

Grove Road is made with help from Newshub Nation, which is supported by NZ On Air.

Got a question or tip? Email it to groveroad@mediaworks.co.nz