This time last week, police called an historic press conference to tell the country what they had discovered about the 1970 killing of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe. After four years reviewing the case, this was their chance to set the record straight.
In the end they had no definite answers, but what they effectively did was point the finger back in the direction the man who was convicted of the crime and then cleared and pardoned – Arthur Allan Thomas.
The new police review of the case shows the bullet connecting the murder to another suspect may have been substituted while in the national archives.
This has infuriated the Thomas family, and for decades one member has been collecting his own evidence. But Arthur’s brother, Des, says he has vital information that the police have never properly investigated.
He says the police have failed to properly investigate it, and yet it goes to the heart of the question – whose gun was used to murder the Crewes?
Two experts have tested the rifle of "Farmer X" (so called because 3rd Degree has decided not to reveal his name) and come to two different conclusions. One said it fired sixes – six lands, six grooves. The other said it fired fives. But Thomas's brother, Des, has gone along with a scientist to see for himself.
Could the barrel have been changed? At the press conference last week to announce the results of their review into the case, the police said: "The [Farmer X] rifle was not, and never can be, the murder weapon."
Archives New Zealand says brother Des was closely monitored while examining the exhibit in 2004. He denies any tampering.
But Des says the police should have done more to investigate Farmer X. 3rd Degree has spoken at length to Farmer X's family and they have politely declined to appear in the programme.
They say they have spent four decades living with false accusations and they are sick and tired of them. They say their rifle is the most tested weapon that hasn't ever been used to commit a murder. They also say there's no way the barrel has been changed, which is exactly what the police said at their press conference last week when they announced the results of their enquiry.
Should the police have done more to investigate Farmer X? You would think at the very least they could have fingerprinted him.
There were several prints at the crime scene, which still haven't been identified after all these years. Thomas was fingerprinted, but his prints weren't found at the scene.
Watch the video for the full report.
- Reporter: Melanie Reid
- Producer: Phil Prendeville/Keith Slater
- Camera: George Murahidy
- Editor: Paul Enticott
source: newshub archive