Murderer Mangels soon eligible for parole

Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012

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The man convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering an Arrowtown woman 25 years ago is eligible for his first parole hearing early next year.

Jarrod Allan Mangels, 40, was sentenced to life in 2004 when a DNA match in an unrelated crime was used to link him to the cold-case murder of Maureen McKinnel.

She was 38 when she was strangled on or about Boxing Day 1987 in her parents' holiday home, then her naked body was dumped over the Arrow River bridge onto a riverbank. Mangels was 15.

Parole board spokesman Alistair Spierling said he was eligible for his first parole hearing in February, or possibly March.

No information was available yet about whether Mangels engaged with counselling services or other programmes while in jail, he said.

The board would report on any progress he made while imprisoned and whether he posed any undue risk to the public.

Mr Spierling said it was the first time that the victim's relatives had a chance to talk to the board about the murder.

They were aware of the hearing being scheduled for early next year and it required them to deal with the trauma all over again, he said.

"The board will be interested in whether he should be released now and what he has done in prison.

"For victims it brings it all up again. They have gone through a hard time, it's been nine-odd years. Suddenly it brings it all up on the basis he could be released. The victims' journey never finishes."

Legislation means a potential parolee must be given a rehearing within 12 months of an initial hearing although there is discretion to postpone hearings for up to three years.

The murder shocked the community and led to one of the most high-profile and lengthy investigations in New Zealand criminal history.

When Ms McKinnel's sunburned body was discovered a few days after the murder, police launched an inquiry which at its height involved more than 70 investigators.

More than 500 people, including Mangels, were interviewed but it was not until DNA profiling improved that a match was found.

Mangels' profile was stored in a database after he provided a sample when he was arrested for disorderly behaviour in Nelson in 2003.

DNA recovered from under Ms McKinnel's fingernails was found to be four billion times more likely to be Mangels than that of any other unrelated male.

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- The Southland Times

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