Grove Road: The scene of the crime

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 two explores the family house in Grove Road, Papakura. Some of the current residents in the neighbourhood were around when Arthur Easton was murdered. Neighbours knew neighbours then, and they still do.

Subscribe to Grove Road, an eight-part investigative podcast, on iTunesStitcherSoundCloud and Spreaker, and all major podcast apps.

The Easton family home on Grove Road, Papakura, had become the scene of a murder.

The house is in a typical suburban neighbourhood. Some of the current residents were around when Arthur Easton was murdered on October 13, 1985. Neighbours knew neighbours then, and they still do.

On the night of the murder, a masked intruder stabbed Arthur Easton to death and left Arthur’s two sons, Brendan and Kim, injured in the attack.

The killer managed to escape into the night.

Near the back door of the house, the intruder left two key pieces of evidence – a bloodied military bayonet and a brown woolen hat.

Grove Road: The scene of the crime

Much of the house remains the same now as it did more than three decades ago. There’s a basketball hoop hanging from the shed, which appears to be the same one that hung in 1985. A significant change, however, is an imposing six-foot wooden fence separating the property from a public alleyway.

In 1985, it was a hedge that separated the Eastons from the alley. It was in this hedge that investigators later found fibres, some blue, which matched a witness’s description of a man wearing a blue-hooded top. It was near the hedge that the intruder left another piece of evidence – a single shoe print from a Bata Sparx sneaker.

Other evidence, from a man known as Witness A, and initially the Easton brothers, identified the intruder as a 6ft tall Maori man.

But in the days after the murder, the brothers’ evidence began to shift. It was this shift in description that would set in motion the sequence of events that, in December 1985, led police to the doorstep of a local, slim 5ft 7 Pakeha man – Alan Hall.

Grove Road was created in partnership with Newshub Nation, which is made with help from NZ On Air.

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