Muddied Waters


I agree entirely with you re David Bain but not re A A Thomas.

In the Thomas case fanatical supporters kept hammering away about the cartridge case and created doubt.

I don't mean to put Jim Sprott in the same category as Joe Karam but he never proved his allegation that the police planted the cartridge case, he just created doubt.

If the cartridge case had never been found at all, the case aagainst Thomas was still overwhelming.

Thomas was pardoned because fanatical supporters had succeeded in getting public support for their one sided campaign.

It all became political and expediency became more important than the facts. Muldoon stepped in and Thomas got his pardon and a million dollars. He was never proven innocent.

The police at the time said they had got their man and I think they would stil be prepared to say that.


In reply to by JohnR


Interesting and brave words.The Thomas case has become a sacred canon so to speak where the findings of JJ Sprott and Pat Booth were and are still unquestioned.Indeed  JJ Sprott did possess charactersitcs similar to JK in terms of single minded devotion rather like his Cot death theory ( now discounted). Again no one has been brave enough to go out on a limb to date and challenge their findings.

In reply to by Ralph


Quote from "Mask of Sanity".A Royal Commission set up in 1980 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of David and Jeanette Crewe found that a vital shell case had been planted in the Crewe garden by the detective inspector in charge of the case,Hutton,and that the police in destroying exhibits and obstructing the defence in other ways behaved improperly.

There is much more.But to finish off McNeish writes"This was a genuine miscarriage of justice--evidence manufactured,exhibits destroyed,perjury by police officers,etc.He goes on to say that there is no evidence that the Dunedin police behaved improperly in the Bain case."

McNeish is comparing the two cases.The ramifications of that manufactured evidence in the Thomas case is still with us today,as we saw with Thomas making an appearance at the Bain retrial.

Was Thomas guilty?I doubt whether a jury would find him guilty today.Booth,in an article in a North and South magazine a few years ago points to a murder/suicide.Jeanette Crewe kills her husband,enlists her father's help to get rid of the body,then a day or two later commits suicide,and her father finds her and gets rid of the body.And don't forget,Jeanette's father,whose name eludes me,was a prime suspect in the murders.

I was a young man and of course not legally qualified when Thomas was tried.  I had my concerns and wrote to Kevin Ryan.  The things that I believe set that case apart from the Bain case are firstly, the involvement of a recognized scientist and journalist, secondly a book by a world renowned crime writer, thirdly a commission of inquiry and lastly that it was fairly well established that police had planted evidence.  Of course I do not know whether Thomas was actually innocent but I accept the final outcome given those circumstances.  That case sparked my interest in criminal law and I have avidly followed cases since.  When the Lindy Chamberlain case was being tried I was the only person at a dinner party in Wellington that insisted she was innocent.  My wife of the time was of the opposite opinion.  When I lived in Sydney for a time I was threatened with violence by people who insisted Lindy was guilty even after the mattinee jacket was found and she had been pardoned.     I was intrigued at how many urban Sydneyites are "dingo experts".  I have always insisted that Peter Ellis was innocent and do have my concerns about Scott Watson's conviction.

Bryan,I agree re Arthur Alan Thomas in that the police had little evidence against him and tried to manufacture some.He still may have committed the crime and I understand there are a number of people who live or lived in the area still think he is guilty.But I think he had to be pardoned and paid compensation because of the way the police tried to frame him.

So far as Lindy Chamberlain is concerned,I honestly can't remember what my first thoughts were.I do seem to remember some expert from the UK demonstrating how scissor marks were made on a jacket,or whatever,which turned out to completely erroneous.

Peter Ellis innocent,I agree.

Scott Watson .I have to say guilty.Olivias' hair found on Watsons boat,I am sure it wasn't "planted".a one in 28000 match is good enough for me.Plus the fact that he had wiped down all the 46 or so covers of all his cassettes,plus appearing to have removed the gps system and radio and wiped behind them,there was not a fingerprint to be found in the cabin.Plus the fact that apart from the shoes he was wearing on New Years' Eve,none of the other clothing that he was photographed wearing that night has ever been found.And his reason as to how those scratches appeared on the underside of the bulkhead cover was pretty far fetched,in my opinion.


I fully love this, I can't wait to buy it from a shop.  Please publish!!!  I think David Bain is totally guilty but agree with the other person who commented.  Arthur Allan Thomas was innocent.  But that's a whole other kettle of fish.  Thanks for the chapters, but publish the rest, there's  a huge market for non-Karam post-retrial book.  

I too reckon there would be a market out there,Random House Publishers will know.Probably best to wait for Karam to publish,then counter with Muddied Waters,but the publishers[we hope!]will best decide that.Don't quite agree re AAT[hey,that rhymes!]but reckon I would give him benefit of the doubt.

A book written by Bryan Forrest, covering the David Bain Case, it's main player Joe Karam, and the justice system in general.

Bryan gives a very good account of Karam's character and methods as well as an analysis of the retrial from a legal perspective. He describes Karam's uncompromising style, his penchant for 'obfuscating' the facts of the case and his tendency to play 'Justice' like a game of rugby using the rules of the game to maximum advantage.

This book is online again with a Foreword and new chapters.