Family of killer to hold service

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 20/03/2014
Edward Livingstone
KILLER: Edward Livingstone shot his two children.

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Family of Dunedin double-killer Edward Livingstone want to hold a memorial service for him after they have come "to grips" with what he did.

The 51-year-old prison administration officer turned up at his estranged wife Katharine Webb's St Leonards home and shot their children, Bradley, 9, and Ellen, 6, while they were asleep in their beds on January 15.

He then turned the shotgun on himself.

Karen Scott said her step-brother's body had been cremated, but no funeral was held.

The memorial service for Livingstone would be held "well down the track", neither in New Zealand nor Australia.

"It's all too raw. It will be done at a later time," she said.

"It's all under wraps."

Scott, who lives in Australia, said the two months since Livingstone shot his children had offered little comfort for family there or his California-based sister.

They had been the target of "upsetting" threats from Kiwis who were angered by the children's killings.

Scott said strangers had put "horrible" posts on her Facebook page. Some had phoned her workplace.

She had deleted most of the Facebook posts, and changed her privacy settings so no more could be added.

The messages mostly consisted of people calling her stepbrother "evil" and saying there would be consequences "if you ever come over here [to New Zealand]".

"It's been really bad. As if we didn't have enough to deal with," she said.

"I've known Ed 30-odd years. I grew up with him, so I know he wasn't evil. He was the nicest guy god ever put on this earth."

"I know he did a really bad thing, but he's not evil. He loved his kids with all his passion."

The killings came after what a neighbour called a "vengeful campaign" by Livingstone against Webb. He had threatened to kill Webb and breached a protection order she had against him on two occasions before the murders.

Despite media reports saying otherwise, Scott did not believe Livingstone was mentally unwell.

"He didn't really have depression. He had no history of problems," she said. "He snapped, I know that."

Livingstone's California-based sister, Suzanne, was also "still coming to grips with it all".

"She's having a hard time. That's her last family member gone," she said.

Livingstone's will has not yet been admitted to probate.

The executor of his estate could not be reached, but Scott said another family member had taken care of the legal proceedings.

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Police will not say how Livingstone obtained the shotgun, despite not holding a firearms licence.

- The Press

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