'Evil enough to kill again'
There are four murderers Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae has locked up who he believes are evil enough to kill again.
Scott Watson is one of them.
"I believe he's a psychopath. He could kill again, easily."
Rae was second in charge of the homicide investigation dubbed Operation Tam – launched after Ben Smart, 21, and Olivia Hope, 17, both from Blenheim, disappeared from Endeavour Inlet in the Marlborough Sounds on New Year's Day 1998. The pair were never seen again.
Watson was found guilty of the double murder and jailed for a minimum of 17 years.
He is scheduled to appear before the Parole Board for the first time next year.
Speaking publicly about the case for the first time, Rae told The Press this week that Watson should never be released from prison.
"He [Watson] has got no social conscience at all and if he doesn't get his own way he could kill someone.
"His greatest power is knowing where the bodies are and not saying. You could try some outrageous torture or what-ever-else and he would go to his grave laughing knowing you'd never got the information out of him."
This week, as the veteran investigator retired, he talked to The Press about his career which spanned 39 years across three police districts.
The Hope-Smart murder inquiry was the biggest case he worked on.
It was also the most controversial. Watson has maintained his innocence and people have questioned whether he was in fact the mystery man seen with Hope and Smart before the trio boarded a yacht and disappeared.
Rae has no doubt police locked up the right man.
"People have become fixated with the case.
"It was the last major case of the millenium, it was circumstantial so lots of people have got queries and questions about 'did the police get it right?' and I've got no problem with anything."
Two blonde strands of hair on a blanket recovered from Watson's sloop Blade were key to the Crown case. The defence argued they could have got mixed up in the laboratory with hairs taken from Hope's bedroom. Rae said this week that cross contamination "didn't happen".
"They've got such high quality assurances they don't even do those things in the same room."
A mystery ketch identified by a key witness early in the investigation was located and inquiries found it was not in Endeavour Inlet when Hope and Smart disappeared, he said.
"There's nothing new that's come up since the presentation of that case – not a jolly sausage."
Watson was sexually motivated, Rae said. He lured the tired young couple on to his yacht with the offer of a berth for the night. When they were asleep he cast off and quietly motored away. Police never found a 15kg winch and a length of chain missing from Watson's boat. The pair's bodies were likely dumped overboard in a sleeping bag in Cook Strait, Rae said.
"The aim was to find Ben and Olivia and we failed with that. We got as close as we could because he wouldn't allow us any closer."
Rae said three other convicted killers were also capable of doing so again.
Richard Lyall Genge was one of three men who raped and murdered Anne Marie Ellens, 22, in the grounds of Christchurch East school in 1994.
Rae worked on the case and said Genge’s ‘‘actions at the scene as to how the girl was treated and the callous way in which she was killed’’ were chilling and because he ‘‘exhibited really outrageous behaviour’’ he feared Genge was evil.
Richard Tuhoro and another man murdered bottle-store attendant Glen Payne, 23, who was shot dead at the Caledonian Hotel in 1997.
‘‘He instigated the aggravated robbery at the Caledonian’’ and before the group committed the robbery he fired the gun and ‘‘thought it was a great joke’’.
‘‘He was right into this killer music. Outrageous crap from the States. He certainly is a real serious risk.’’
Jeremy George McLaughlin murdered Jade Bayliss, 13, before torching her family’s Barrington St home in 2011. He had previously killed another teenager in Australia.
‘‘He killed once in Australia and then he was quite happy to murder a defenceless young girl in New Zealand.’’