High profile shootings in New Zealand

Last updated 18:10 01/09/2014

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The slaying of two WINZ workers in Ashburton has slammed home the sad reality that New Zealand is not immune from the kinds of workplace slayings more often seen overseas. Other high-profile shootings here over the years:


In 1934 near Te Kuiti, Henare Hona killed four of his family members. The 20-year-old also shot police constable Thomas Heeps while he was being arrested. Hona then killed himself.


In 1941 in Kowhitirangi (near Hokitika on the West Coast) farmer Stanley Graham shot and killed seven people. The 41-year-old had refused to hand over his rifle to police as part of the war effort. Among the dead were a police sergeant and three constables. Almost two weeks later, he died in the bush from gunshot wounds.


In January 1963, Detective Sergeant Neville Wilson Power, 25, and Detective Inspector Wallace Chalmers, 46, were both shot by Victor George Wasmuth when they attended a shooting in west Auckland. Wasmuth also shot dead a neighbour and wounded another man.


In 1963 in Lower Hutt, constables Bryan Schultz, 21,  and Jim Richardson, 24, were shot by Bruce Douglas McPhee. The officers had been attending a domestic callout at McPhee's address. He fired at the men from his front bedroom window. The shooting was a catalyst for the creation of the armed offenders squad, and forever changed police procedures.


In 1970, Jeanette and Harvey Crewe were shot dead at their farmhouse in Pukekawa northern Waikato. In one of the most controversial and celebrated murder cases in New Zealand history, neighbour Arthur Allan Thomas was twice convicted of their murders, then pardoned after nine years in jail. Police  said they still did not know who killed the Crewes, but they did conclude that a key piece of evidence - a rifle cartridge - was planted at the scene, likely by police.


In 1990 in Aramoana near Dunedin, 33-year-old David Gray killed 13 people, including police constable Stewart Guthrie - one of the first to respond to the shooting spree. The next day, Gray was shot dead by police during a siege. To date, this is the deadliest criminal shooting in New Zealand history.


In 1992 in Paerata, south of Auckland, Brian Schlaepfer got into an argument with his wife which ended with him murdering her, their three sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson. The 64-year-old then killed himself. Schlaepfer's granddaughter Linda, 9, survived by locking herself in a bedroom.


In 1994 in Wellington, John Barlow, an antique dealer from the affluent suburb of Karori, was accused of killing father and son businessmen, Eugene and Gene Thomas. The men were found dead in their central Wellington offices. Barlow was later sentenced to life imprisonment for a minimum of 14 years for the murders.

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In 1994 in Dunedin, five members of the Bain family were killed. David Bain, then 22, was the only survivor, and convicted of murdering his mother, father, two sisters and younger brother. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, from the start of the case there was controversy over whether David's father was responsible for the murders and his own death. Following a retrial, Bain was acquitted in 2009.


In 1995 in Christchurch, 33-year-old ACC beneficiary Craig Welsh killed his estranged wife Sonia Rebecca Welsh, 27, and Dean Buzan, 33, after firing through a bedroom window. Welsh was sentenced to 10 years for murder.


In 1997 at a ski lodge in Raurimu, south-east of Taumarunui, Stephen Anderson went on a cannabis-fuelled shooting rampage, killing six people and wounding another eight. The dead included his father. The 22-year-old was found to be legally insane, and was committed to secure psychiatric care. In 2011, he was recalled to a psychiatric hospital, two years after being freed to live in Upper Hutt.


In 2001, at Mt Wellington RSA in Auckland, William Bell committed triple murder. He shot one of his victims, and brutally beat the other two. He was sentenced to 33 years' imprisonment without parole - the longest sentence ever handed down by a New Zealand judge.


In 2002 in Auckland, Ese Faleali'i was high on methamphetamine when he shot dead a pizza worker and a week later a bank teller. Falealii's double slaying was one of the first high-profile incidents where P was involved.


In 2009 in Napier, Jan Molenaar shot three policemen and a neighbour - killing one policeman and seriously injuring the others - during what was described by police as a regulation drugs raid. He then shot himself.


In January 2014 in Dunedin, Edward Livingstone fatally shot his two children, 9-year-old Bradley and 6-year-old Ellen, in their home. The 51-year-old corrections worker then killed himself.

- Stuff

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