Fresh leads into 30-year-old unsolved murder

ALFRED ANDERSON: Found by his son Neil on Queen's Birthday Monday, 1982.
ALFRED ANDERSON: Found by his son Neil on Queen's Birthday Monday, 1982.

New information has been revealed in a 30-year-old unsolved Christchurch murder, as investigators pursue fresh leads into the violent death of Alfred Anderson in his Hastings St apartment.

Anderson was found by his son Neil on Queen's Birthday Monday, 1982, lying on the living room floor of his Waltham unit in a pool of blood, his throat slit. He had also taken a savage beating.

Police believe Anderson was attacked not long after he arrived home.

He had prepared a mug of Milo, indicating the killer arrived soon after. It is likely Anderson knew him. There were no signs of forced entry.

What has not been not made public until now was that a duvet had been thrown over the body - an aspect regarded as ''interesting'' by Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald, who has carried out more recent reviews of the case.

He said the covering of the body could indicate a certain respect for the victim, slight remorse and clearly a desire to avoid witnessing what he had done.

''This has certainly given an insight into the profile of the killer,'' he said.

This suggested, for example, he was not psychotic, gaining a perverse pleasure from seeing the result of his actions.

A sheepskin rug was also found beside the body.

''There was a large amount of blood in the house. It was clear the offender had washed himself before leaving.''

After several reviews of the case in 2008-2009, Fitzgerald took a number of exhibits from the house which required further examination. He declined to make public the nature of those exhibits.

These yielded new data - and a positive DNA profile.

''We found no matches on our current database, which shows us he was not a re-offending criminal in volume crime.''

Based on new genetic data, however, Fitzgerald believed ''that people needed to be spoken to''.

One man in particular, described as a person of interest, had since died.

A number of steps were then taken to obtain familial DNA - that is, from first-order relatives - parents, children or full siblings.

''However, there has been no co-operation for that,'' he said.

Fitzgerald still holds the file. That file remains open. Inquiries continue.

''Circumstances change. People who have knowledge should come forward.

''Someone who is still alive knows.''


A close relative of Anderson has said she wanted his killer brought to justice.

It was the first time in 30 years that his daughter-in-law, who asked to be known only as Lorraine, has spoken out.

Lorraine, 52, remembered the morning she went with her then husband Neil and their 4-year-old son to visit ''grandpop''.

She hoped that revisiting that day might prod someone who has remained in the shadows into helping advance the investigation.

The family had arranged to meet Anderson at home that day to organise dinner with him that night at the Oxford on Avon restaurant.

''It was a holiday weekend so we had to catch the bus that stopped at Brougham St.

''We walked through Brougham Village to his unit.

''Our son tried jerking the ranchslider door around the back to try to open it as he normally did when he visited grandpop. We couldn't get in. I had to tell him to leave the door alone because he was yanking on the lock. So we went to phone box at the corner to ring Neil's sister.

''She would normally know where he was. But she didn't. I had a key to the door at the Hastings St entrance. It turned in the lock but I couldn't get the door open.

''Neil went back around to the ranchslider that opens into the living room and was somehow able to get in.

''He walked in, turned around and said 'don't come in, don't let (their son) in. There's a mess here'.

''My first thought was he'd fallen over and gone into diabetic coma.

''He said 'I don't think so'. I said 'check if he has a pulse'. He said he was cold. I told him to ring an ambulance.

''We told [our son] grandpops had fallen over, then Neil rang his sister from inside then rang my mother to pick up our son.

''Police got there before the ambulance.''

Lorraine and their preschooler sat in the police wagon until her mother arrived.

''I was crying and crying and crying. Neil had come out and said there was blood everywhere, all up the walls.

''He was very calm - it was probably shock.''

The couple were taken in separate cars to the central police station.

''No matter what pop had or hadn't done to hurt anyone, he didn't deserve to die.''

The Press