Friday, February 5, 2016

Wishart's book Elementary? Not so much.

I've read Ian Wishart's book with much interest, taken notes in order to blog and assemble my thoughts in response. I had looked forward to something new and conclusive about the deaths of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope along with the conviction of Scott Watson. When it became apparent that the new book Elementary had concluded Watson was more than likely guilty I was keen to read the reasons for that conclusion. I expected an impartial logic particularly because IW has previously co-authored a book which made the claim that Watson was not guilty.

That impartial logic doesn't exist in Elementary. The book has a basic design to convince a reader that IW's conclusion is correct which is not evidenced based. It starts with descriptions of the character of psychopaths which Ian Wishart seeks to link to his apparently impartial and professional position as an investigative journalist. That doesn't work for me. Neither a Jury nor a Court decide guilt on the opinions of an investigative journalist assuming the role of a trained Psychiatrist on a person/patient whom they do not even consult. In fact a journalist is not a Psychiatrist. The only thing IW's opinion does is confirm a bias and give a preliminary warning that his 'diagnosis' of Watson is going to rely on the psychopath label to cover the cracks in the Watson guilty narrative. If this effort to paper over the cracks wasn't intentional then IW showed an alarming naivety if he believed it would not be seen that way. He refers to his diagnosis many times throughout the book as though it is backstop when the logic of his opinions lag.

Foremost, his need to rely on his opinion of Watson, is not the only crutch he takes into his analysis. Another is police tapes never released before. I had heard claims about these tapes and was obviously interested to know the contents. They are revealed toward the opening of the book and one can only consider that was another deliberate attempt to set the tone. In commenting about the tapes IW reveals his wont to allowing a reader the information while putting a spin on it which doesn't match the information. In the tapes Scott Watson's mother makes comments about Olivia and her parents which are unflattering, even perhaps exposing a jealousy. As IW continues his narrative commenting on the contents of the tapes he points out that the comments are callous and disturbing (my words, not his.) My thoughts had already jumped to the question as to whether Bev Watson had been aware that Olivia had been killed such was her language so removed from comments that one would expect. Near the end of the tape Bev Watson comments about the cost of the inquiry and who will have to pay for it when Olivia 'turns up.' Bev Watson had clearly considered that Olivia was not dead and would reappear. She was never gloating about the death of Olivia or Ben despite IW spinning it that way, he never retracted those comments perhaps hoping a reader would reach the same conclusion.

So IW attempted to paint a portrait of the Watson family which wasn't consistent with the secret tapes. The tapes also include talk of Watson shooting the head of the inquiry Rob Pope, in my opinion it was all just talk and didn't warrant inclusion in the book as I'm sure it would likely have been excluded from evidence at any trial as prejudicial and not helping the Crown case because the Watson family at least early on were convinced that the couple were not dead.

The 3rd backdrop to Elementary was IW's inability to hide his contempt or jealousy of Keith Hunter's work on the case. He appeared to write on the basis that for his conclusions to be accepted that he needed to belittle Hunter's work. He made some accusations against Hunter, conclusions which had a number of possibilities and not just one that appeared to be the best choice to devalue Hunter's work. I will give examples of this later. In the meantime to the notes:

According to IW psychopaths are around in numbers equivalent to about 4% of the population allowing to him to conclude that there were several psychopaths at Furneaux Lodge on New Years Eve 1997. Already IW had leapt to use of his diagnosis of SW as a psychopath, not with evidence or clinical support but from the expertise of an untrained layman. He then goes onto develop the theme that 'star' witness Guy Wallace, as IW calls him, recollections of dropping Olivia and Ben that night were compromised because he had discussed them with other witnesses right from the start. This allows IW to pull apart testimony that doesn't fit his theory while somehow stopping him applying the same restraints to testimony which suits him. He calls witnesses liars freely, when in fact they may simply be mistaken or as is the case most frequently, restricted to what IW claims they are saying. A reader is given no choice it's either IW's opinion or the highway.

Moving on, a PI Quintin working for the Watson family, asks members of the Watson family questions which they mention on the tapes, there is a sense in reading that some of the questions might have been asked on the behalf of the police - for some reason IW does pickup on that, nor indeed even mention it. Quintin says to Sandy, Scott's sister that someone is scared 'shitless' of Scott but she replies that she can't imagine that. Bev says that there is talk that Andrew, a friend of Scott, is scared of Scott. Sandy questions the veracity of that by saying 'but, he knew Scott' - reinforcing that because he knew him, and therefore his real character, it wouldn't be true.

IW writes that because SW stabbed someone is prison it fits the definition of psychopathy - however he doesn't bother to point out that his lack of supporting evidence that SW did actually stab someone when in prison. We find out that the man named Andrew above claimed to have been told by Scott to keep his mouth shut. Later on we discover that there is no reason connected to the murder revealed by IW that indeed, if it were true, was why Watson had told his friend to shut his mouth. This leaves the possible conclusion that Watson, Andrew and others may have been involved in dealing cannabis or some other criminal activity. In fact from the book it becomes clear that Watson's circle was shaken up by the police looking for evidence as would be expected in a murder inquiry and if they were involved in crime there was presumably plenty they should shut up about. There are allegations of Watson showing stress around this time and IW asks why. Well the answer is abundantly clear his boat had been seized and he was the centre of a murder inquiry.

Moving back to the PI Quinten he was told by Andrew that Scott was always stealing things, or he suspected he was but that the items always turned up again. This falls short of the mark IW was trying to make but he included it nevertheless to show SW as an untrustworthy thief. Andrew also reportedly didn't like Scott's attitude because he believed it was hard. My comment here would be that from what I've read SW made a point of trying to appear that way. He was however a small man and may have felt the need to present himself bigger and tougher than he was, none of which makes him guilty. Andrew asked SW if there was anything on the boat that he could be in trouble for after it had been seized. SW is claimed to have said no, 'that it was all cleaned up.' Taking into account the drug use and dealing alleged against Watson there are a number of conclusions as to what had been 'cleaned up.' Earlier Andrew described Scott as holding a hammer, and in another instance a rope 'like a garrote'. Taking into account there is no evidence known to me, and certainly not alleged by IW, involving Andrew in the deaths of Olivia or Ben, then Andrew must have been concerned about other dealings he and Scott may have been mutually involved in. IW reports that Andrew said that SW made inappropriate comments against women, something he also claimed about Guy Wallace who, a reader might think, was a target of IW to ensure belief of the validity of his theory. Going further one almost gets the impression that IW is suggesting that Guy Wallace was involved in the disappearance of the couple although he says that Wallace had a alibi.

IW writes about SW making comments about raping women and snuff movies. This, as far as the book goes, is not substantiated in the book other than by hearsay. There is another unsubstantiated claim by IW that a crewmate of Watson said that Watson would murder someone for the crewmate. How that finds its way into a credible book is a mystery. We find out that Scott changed the name of his boat frequently to avoid paying mooring fees - of course that is not proof that he killed Olivia and Ben. In fact I don't believe IW provides any proof of that, so the problem of the SW conviction continues on despite this book. Notable here, at about the same place in the book, is that SW talked about changing the colour of his boat long before New Years.

IW has Watson always carrying a flick knife yet we never heard this from Andrew or the reason why SW was allegedly threatening him. We do not know what Andrew might have known that Watson wanted him to remain silent about. A reader gets to read about a feud between Watson and another man over the shared ownership of a boat along with an allegation 95% 'sure' was 1 of 3 men yelling at another yachtie  but who couldn't see properly in the night to identify him. It is revealed that feud was settled between the 2 men amicably.

There is much written about witnesses impressions of Watson 'left out by Hunter.' No idea where this is meant to take IW because there is much revealed already about Watson changing when drunk - something not that unusual with young men, and those older - with all the elements of bravado or insecurity perhaps. SW is even said to 'hate' Christians, hardly uncommon - check out general debate on any interactive blog.

We come to a stolen rifle said to be in Watson's possession. This comes from a person called Ryder in whom SW obviously had confidence in to trade stolen property. This group including Ryder, Andrew and others when picked apart seem to have dwelt in a twilight world  where committing crime, or benefiting from it was not unusual.

Soon we happen upon North and South journalist Mike White, along with Hunter again, being attacked for not mentioning an unconfirmed incident some 9 years earlier that the New Year's Eve at Furneaux Lodge with a young lady at what appears to have been a skin heads pad. The event, if it happened, is said to reveal that despite what both men having said that SW had moderated his behaviour, in fact he had not. Relying on an unconfirmed incident following which no charges were laid is very odd, it was after all nearly a decade earlier than the disappearance of Smart and Hope. Another example where IW choose controversial alleged events to draw his picture of a psychopath his book relies upon. The public need hard evidence, not speculation, nor attacks on the shortcomings, or not, of other journalists.

We have conflicting reports that SW didn't drink much, or did, but that he smoked dope. I think the public already know that. Along with the fact he is or was a bit of bastard. What I expected the new book to bring, after it was announced that the author now felt Watson was guilty, was some substance. I don't think the book produced that. None of the contents go deep into proof of Watson's guilt, they are speculating on a foundation built by IW as SW bad, mad, even dangerous.

A sword incident is discussed, something also unreported to police as adding weight to an argument for guilt that has no weight. Dean Ryder, from that same circle as Watson, dealers, thieves from the narrative, says that Watson was capable of killing the couple and dumping them in the sea. On that subject I was reminded of the forensic insight of IW into psychopathy. We soon return to another tactic of the book, having the opinions expressed that some claimed Guy Wallace would rather lie than admit being wrong. It was important that Guy Wallace was wrong to suit the weak theories of IW, but that he relied upon it so much, and so blatantly, cast doubt again on his objectively - his investigative journalism. In general descriptions of Guy Wallace he reduces the man in a way many might feel unfair. He even fails to understand the consequences for Wallace of being a suspect in the murders. His view is ruthless to his cause of finally solving the case and it appears not to matter what gets in the way. For this reader, however, I needed clear evidence and not speculation or aspersions about character or motive of those not fitting the dialogue IW has attempted to sell. Often where IW excitedly reveals information from the police files he fails to appreciate that much of the information was not volunteered but resulted from questions from police. In other words to suit the case being built against Watson.

We hear about Wallace lying about going to Nelson. To IW this means that the man cannot be trusted, it never occurs to him that Wallace may be feeling the heat of being a suspect, or a star witness relied upon by police. From having this raised by IW it looks as though Guy Wallace was fortunate in having an alibi that night, one which IW appears to consider suspect because Wallace according to IW is a liar, refuses to admit being wrong, is a womaniser who makes lewd comments and who (my words) doesn't fit the IW world view of a good guy - even, one could suspect, not a christian. It seems to be missed by IW that Wallace wasn't keen to be framed for a crime to which he was connected as a suspect.

What does emerge from the wandering of IW's logic is that police were interested in Watson right from the beginning because he was well known to them. No surprise there apart from the failure of IW to connect that if Watson was so well known many local witnesses would have been a source of information - particularly as to identifying Watson being in the company of the deceased couple. That didn't happen before the book Elementary, and hasn't done since its publication. That information is more important than a character analysis of one of the witness and a psychiatric evaluation of Watson. On that basis the book is a let down, reads as something developed for a captive market, a milking of a cash cow.

Rather than repeat each time that IW relied on his interpretations of what witnesses or those making statements had said any reader may have hoped that IW have found proof positive of Watson's guilt rather than a stretched out analysis of what witnesses said from which IW could choose that which most suited his narrative. The middle of the book is bogged down with IW underlining of criticisms of Hunter in particular and the repetitive descriptions of eye witnesses. He didn't seem to realize that the main point he was making is that there is a lot of confusion among the descriptions none of which promote the Crown case, but which, alternatively weakened it for its lack of being able to clearly put Watson with the couple on his yacht or any other vessel. Over this was the point that IW was diverting from the key issues of the case, the questions that needed to be answered without the character attacks on some witnesses, police and journalists. Proof was needed not repeated criticism.

I noted at 33% of the way through the book that I didn't consider IW has made in progress in support of his headline 'Watson guilty.' We read account after account in which Watson is clean shaven, or unshaven, his height, his manner, his eyes, the length of his hair. Yawn really, people already know about  the discrepancies in the evidence of witnesses to identity. People really need to know about the critical time when Watson, according to his theory, was on board his boat - along with the couple who were silent while Watson woke up people on other boats he was tied up to in order to continue the party. I wanted to know about the absence of screams, how the up front and dangerous Watson  backed off every single time his behavior was called out that night. Watson might have been acting lecherously, though why if he had his victims somehow stowed away on his boat was he going onto other boats looking for company. Doesn't make sense, Nor does the silence from the couple, their decision to go aboard the yacht of an apparent, lecherous stranger. If they, according to this scenario, were alive in the morning why didn't they wake when their temporary bed set sail. It's hard to buy that they didn't, just like they didn't scream, or fight back when Watson had attacked them, also doesn't explain why he was seeking out female company on other yachts soon after or before he apparently attacked the couple. This is weak ground for the case of Watson's guilt and which IW totally ignored, preferring to rely on his psychiatric analysis of Watson and his ability to explain the identifications of witnesses of people and things he never witnessed himself.

IW brings his own argument and SW not being clean shaven by saying that the majority of witnesses said that he was not clean shaven. On IW's own theory of eye witness corruption because of witnesses talking to one another (and in fact police, reading in the media etc, gossiping) his argument or opinion renders the ids hopelessly unreliable. IW has done this in his book, even turning the process into a majority argument as to which witnesses are right and which witnesses are not. This is not investigative journalism but rather adjusting information that is reliable and unreliable into shape to suit a theory.

'Imagine what are the chances of 2 identical looking me, both psychopaths (underlined again by the author), being in the same bar at the same time and attracting the same attention from different witnesses.' In fact many of the witnesses said different things so the same attention idea does not apply, asking people to 'imagine' applies even less weight because throughout his book, and indeed right from the start, IW has deliberately created the picture he endeavors to make his readers imagine starting with a psychopath, parents allegedly supporting him despite knowing that he was the killer, a sex pervert, people in fear of him (but still somehow working with him and being friends) and so it goes on - no need for imagination as Mr Wishart has indicated what must be imagined, in fact arranged in order that there may be little other choice unless one is interested in how and if the couple went aboard the Blade, ie positive proof.

There is evidence of Watson apparently falling over drunk, swaying on his feet, having drunk a bottle of rum, being clearly intoxicated and stoned. How therefore did he convince an aware young couple to go with him to his yacht, have them remain silent while he went to wake up neighbors on other yachts to party in the small hours, propositioning  women. In fact proposition women when it is claimed he already had one captive on board his yacht along with a man apparently bigger than the diminutive Watson. We read about the fiery exchanges between Olivia and those that allowed her bunk to be used on the Tamarack, a bunk she had paid for, of others sleeping on the decks. When did she become suddenly silent and compliant, the evidence is lacking to say that happened on Watson's yacht The Blade. Considering that Watson was inviting women from the boats his yacht was tied to - where did that put the couple. Wishart entirely misses that point as I did until just now.

All the evidence about  persons in the bar that may have been Watson is a red herring, he admitted being in the bar. A reader is asked to jump from Watson's conduct (or some one that perhaps was Watson) on the prowl in the bar to therefore believing that he and the couple were dropped off to his boat in silence, no voices, no laughing, no screaming, no yells of rage, sounds of fighting - absolutely nothing and no witness saying that they saw that group go aboard the Blade led by the drunken Watson. And, as we now know, thanks to IW's book, inviting other women onto his boat during the time the whole police case argued that the couple were on his boat. Big fail there.

IW tries to convince a reader that the photo of Watson being clean shaven is only as good as the person camera and lens. When something favours Watson it is illusionary, in fact photo shopped IW later claims. When Watson isn't placed going aboard with the couple by Guy Wallace it is because Wallace is an unreliable liar who might only be reliable if he was prepared to agree with IW. When witnesses deny seeing SW they are unreliable their memories corrupted recollections enhanced from speaking to other witnesses.

Popping back to the secret tapes I have to wonder why IW question Bev Watson about her comments on the tape regarding Olivia and her parents. Logic would suggest only 1 answer, because she had already vindicated her position on the tapes themselves - she had not believed that Olivia was dead and IW knows that. That is a long way from a mother distressed that he son was in trouble and that she somehow supported him knowing he was guilty. None of that stops IW from overlooking what favours Watson by deliberately turning facts into something they are not.

IW blames the police for not clearing up that there was no mystery ketch. However, because IW has taken a point of view, one that less than subtlety is to upsurp Keith Hunter and therefore sell his book, IW has only added to the lack of clear and pivotal evidence against SW. Ted Walsh, like Guy Wallace and Roz McNeilly before him becomes unreliable - in fact a target of the pen of IW. This criticism is from a person who was not there, and who is trying to convince the public that he was mistaken in his former view that SW was not guilty. IW appears to have a condescending view of readers and witnesses alike. If the witness does not say something in support of IW theory, IW simply explains why the witness is wrong and tells the reader what the witness actually saw. Where doubt lingers, phrases such 'criminally psychopathic personality' 'snuff movies' etc are rolled out again and again to fill the gaps.

Despite the volumes of criticism of Hunter and White as journalists from IW the author takes emotive language and conclusions to a new level in his claim to be critical, another example 'so what are the odd? We have 2 psychopaths prone to violence, and rape and murder fantasies, drunk and on drugs, with a Jekyll and Hyde personality matching the description of the missing man?" A reader will know that Watson has apparently no arrest record for rape, backed down each time when confronted with people telling him to 'f' off, and that rape and murder fantasies may not even exist. Again why would 'Wallace be hearing voices in his head or gilding the lily' as IW puts it? Emotive nonsense. Guy Wallace could have done himself a big favour by remaining compliant with police and his first accounts. He gains nothing from the conflict that has ensued since he retracted his identification of Watson being with the couple, in fact he loses from it and IW demonstrates this in a most ruthless way in order to sell his book. More on that later.

Calming down from the tirade against Guy Wallace, what the forensic psychiatrist/investigative journalist somehow overlooks in forgetting about his readers, and his job, is that all the controversy surrounding Wallace is reason for a retrial. Indeed, something for a jury to evaluate, along with the retracted position of Roz McNeilly (who IW fails to land a punch against) and the retracted statement of the prison inmate who heard the confession. No mention of that confession which apparently did not have any detail supporting the new position of IW regarding accompliches.

IW goes into a lot of drivel about gangs. A line that the police obviously investigated and turned away from. That doesn't stop IW, if mentioning snuff movies won't help convince a reader then surely the mention of gangs will help. Another demonstrable flaw is the claim by IW that the reason Guy Wallace 'lied' to police was because he could not afford $2000 an hour to pay for a lawyer. 20 or so years ago its arguable than no lawyer in NZ charged out at that rate, it would be rare if indeed credible that such a rate would even apply today. IW made stuff up.

'Elementary' generally bogs down in the middle of book on either side are repeats of descriptions, no substance other than comparing the descriptions time and again. If had decided to blog about the book I would have skipped to the end rather than read what had been repeated again, and again. We hear about SW height going from 5ft 8 to 6 foot, slurring his words, swaying back and forth, inebriated and having trouble standing. Nothing about the key factors of this case, no break through no support for the fact that even on IW's account Watson's conviction is suspect because there may have been more for the Jury to consider. There are changes from a 't' shirt to a grey jumper, from drunkeness to being sober. A bloody mess. I wanted to know about hairs on the blanket which are not even mentioned in the book, I wanted, expected Wishart, to step back and bring into play the way Watson's Application for the Prerogative of Mercy had been dealt with, real evidence, not confusion in order to make Wishart right but others wrong.

In Chapter 17 we see another example of IW blatantly overlooking what a witness says. The water taxi driver Mullen says 'I do no recall taking only 1 passenger on my water taxi out to the yacht. The procedure we adopted was to fill the taxi with as many people as it could possibly take, in a safe manner. I doubt that I would have left the wharf with only 1 passenger, although it could have occurred but I can't remember doing it.'

IW takes that statement literally but entirely overlooks the qualification. He uses the statement to claim that Watson is a liar and then attacks Hunter for overlooking it. As in other places he frequently overlooks what a witness actually says in order to promote his theory. That is unfair. Particularly because Wishart damns the defence lawyer at the trial for doing (in IW's opinion) exactly the same thing. It is worrying as to why a journalist so blatantly twists the facts, particular where the reader can read them and see that what the author says is in conflict with what the witness has said.

Scott Watson says that he didn't speak to anybody on the yacht the Blanco the Blade was tied up to that night, that is after he was dropped off from the Lodge. However a female witness says she woke up and looked toward the cabin door asking 'what are you doing in here?' She says the person who responded sounded really uneducated and either drunk or drugged. As the conversation continues, the woman's partner becomes involved, by now in his narrative IW has decided that the man at the door is in fact Watson, it no doubt was. The man, Watson, offers to 'look after' the woman for the man. He is told to 'f' off and leaves. Watson in his own statements admits going aboard the other yachts that The Blade was tied up and looking for a party, calling the sleepers 'pikers' and so on. That he may have confused 1 yacht for another does not make him a liar as IW zeroes in onto convince the reader but ignores the real evidence - that Watson could not have afforded another woman or man to come aboard his yacht had the couple been there.

The investigative journalist is completely silent as this point on making any comment about the apparent absurdity of Watson already having a silent couple on board going looking for a partner. What a reader learns is that Watson when told to go away, just as happened many times on shore, actually left. Confusion follows as to what time The Blade left it's mooring later. What there is absolutely no confusion about is that there had been no noise indicating anyone else was aboard The Blade with Watson and there remains not one witness to this day who puts the couple together with Watson on board The Blade. Every re-interpreted description in the world, every aside about Bev Watson, about Watson himself cannot, and has not bridged the gap, of putting Olivia and Ben with Watson on his yacht that morning. When I speak about noise, I mean no laughing, loud talking as those drunk might do, no music, no screaming or thuds of violence.

Instead IW makes great purchase of his belief that 'no one drunk, who was awake nearly 24 hours, falls asleep and then wakes up in the space of an hour, noiselessly unties his boat and slips away before sunrise.' That's an opinion readers will judge from their own experiences. That lack of noise is definitely inconsistent with the sounds of murder or a young couple being woken by the thud of a diesel motor only a few metres from where they may have slept.

In Chapter 20 we go into details about SW painting his boat. This is a tired old argument. IW himself admits that Watson had been talking about repainting his yacht in the months leading up to New Year's Day. I think IW confuses the matter further than it has been already. I've reached a point recently in accepting that because Watson and The Blade were so well known in the area, fresh paint wasn't going to fool anybody. If you knew Watson you knew his yacht whatever color it was painted. Around this time the character attacks on a friend of Watson, Zapper and his children, begin with a disturbing feature with which IW finishes his book and which I will write about toward the end here. According to IW most of those Watson associated with were in his control in some way. Because of the fact Zapper would be convicted of growing dope we should not forget Watson's other friends in Picton and consider that Zapper most likely supplied Watson with dope and he could have on sold to others. Jumping to a scenario that Zapper would place himself at risk to help Watson hide his involvement in murder is a jump too far. It was far more likely that Zapper would have been offered a deal to 'rat on' Watson and have his cannabis operation/conviction handled in a manner less destructive to himself and family.

Later we read about a young lad saying he saw 2 men on The Blade but IW can't produce this 2nd person or any evidence reliably supporting it. He mentions some possible candidates but frankly admits a cold trail. That doesn't stop his theory however, or his attacks on the drug dealer zapper and his 2 children. He accuses zapper of enlisting his children to being 'accessories after the fact to murder.' As for the 2 men theory a reader must wonder why that information wasn't in the withdrawn confession Watson is claimed to have made to a prison inmate. IW backs up the claim of the 2nd man theory on using the evidence of Sam Edwards, another water taxi driver who knew Watson and The Blade well. Looking at what Sam Edwards says however is that he saw The Blade from a 100 to 150 meters away, that Watson waved to him and that he was 'pretty sure' he saw another person on board. That was all the desperate IW needed, pretty sure is proof positive in his book. He of course makes no comment on Watson drawing attention to himself when he is in the depths of either dumping bodies or painting his boat in order that persons such as Sam Edwards will not recognise him.

It gets more bizarre. 'If Watson did kill Ben and Olivia, was he planning to to rendezvous with someone who could help him get rid of the bodies, and/or was he dropping off the mystery man on board?' IW asks. The planning for such a rendezvous required that Watson found somebody to take back to his yacht, that there was someone willing to involve themselves in a terribly sick act and be waiting at some pre-planned place and a pre-planned time beggars belief taking into account there is no evidence to support such a theory to this date, probability zero. That zero undermined further because Watson invited others onto his boat to have a 'good time' after the couple had been allegedly dropped off there. Rendezvous planned? Bloody daydream.

Final chapter in a book without surprises, well at least no surprises that weren't signaled from the outset and did not continue to regurgitated, tediously, throughout. We hear about 2 men handling corpse size bags one passing each corpse to the other in a dingy. I know that dingies are easy to tip, but I know more about handling heavy weight. Moving decomposing bodies with rigor mortis setting in, lifting them over a rail and down to someone in a dingy might be impossible. Assuming that the couple weight around 65 to 80 kgs I have to ask whey IW did not conduct a practical test on this claim, it would have taken little time and be easy to achieve. I think there is only 1 answer for that. I won't dwell here on the 'body bags' others have mentioned sails, I've wondered about freshly cut marijuana been whisked away in anticipation of heat going on in the area from police. I have no proof, but I'm more than confident about the handling of bodies (or something of equivalent weight) so easily as IW wants a reader to accept is pure bs. But I'll challenge Wishart to do the experiment, maybe he could invite Keith Hunter along/

IW for his faith leaps, pyschiatric evaluations, conclusions about people lying when they clearly could be simply mistaken might have shored up confidence in his impartiality had he conducted the body moving experiment before going to publication - that is what I believe a investigative journalist would do. He accepts himself that it would be difficult in the extreme and chaplinesque in execution - but that doesn't stop him from using it.

One final, disturbing point. I read recently details of claims that Watson had sent intimate photos of himself to a young girl, When the Justice Department investigated they found that they were  sent from a prison in which Watson was not housed - a set up in other words. Here is something a reader might think is similar. It is in a PS to the book Elementary - presumable just for good measure.

Postscript: As this book was going to press, former Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Stringer told me that Watson had not just 'confessed' to Zappa about the murders, but actually boasted about it, in the same breath making barely veiled lewd threats about Zappa's 13 year old daughter. Zappa told Stringer this directly, years later.


Friday, January 29, 2016

New book finds Watson guilty.

I guess it is breaking news that a book by Ian Wishart due for release today claims that Watson is guilty along with 1 another of the murder of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart. It is only in recent weeks that the existence of the book have been revealed. I read about it on Kiwi Blog where, not unexpectedly, many commentators lined up with their favored positions - in particular those in the Watson guilty camp decried Wishart's ability to find the truth while many on the other side presumed that Wishart would conclude Watson's innocence. Having been around a little myself my only comment was that the findings would be of interest and my hope was that they were evidenced based,

At this point I don't know. What I do know from a press release by David Fisher is a fairly contradictory position taken by Wishart which apparently claims that Watson is not the public persona that he has been portrayed to be (an odd position because it public persona has most often been portrayed as his being particularly evil and dangerous) as a decent bloke whereas Wishart says the opposite. I think the coin gets flipped on that - any analysis of a person's character in a controversial case should never over shadow evidence, even when it is clear that the accused's character is of concern Justice cannot jump to conclusions one way or the other. The test foremost always remains the evidence.

Wishart is also reported to claim that the police botched the investigation, so immediately there is no side of the for and against Watson arguments that emerge with credibility. On the face of it, and for no small reason that Wishart claims that Watson is guilty with 1 other person, the case made by police is now under attack because they apparently did not discover 1 other guilty offender. It may of course be deeper than that, Wishart may be claiming police knew about the second person and overlooked it for some reason. From history in some controversial cases that is not exactly uncommon, most recently Teina Pora's false imprisonment for 20 years showed evidence of that, as did the David Bain conviction.

At this early stage Wishart looks to have uncovered some controversial material which could indeed confirm Watson's guilt and the details of a 2nd offender, who may now be dead but who was at least according to Wishart either deliberately ignored by police or possibly even a fortunate escapee from police attention because of ineptitude.

Really what the Wishart book will need to show to benefit either, or both sides, of the argument of Watson's guilt or evidence will be answers to what has fallen apart since Watson's trial. That he was never put with the couple in any conclusive matter apart from witnesses who said they were duped by police and withdrew their identification of Watson with the couple. He will have to explain the mystery ketch, which could be part of Wishart's theory. Wishart may say that the couple were taken to the mystery ketch after all and Watson and another were eventually there with them after which the couple were killed. If anything like this is expounded upon the hairs found on the blanket in the laboratory said to link Watson to Olivia will need a clear explanation because their appearance was not only shady (the hairs not being found on an earlier search by a scientist despite being distinctively blond and long) but if it is claimed that Olivia was not on Watson's boat but on another - then how the hairs fit in becomes even more dubious.

Of course there is a recanted confession said to have been made by Watson to a stranger he met in prison and who he allegedly confessed to - the new theory may also contradict that alleged conversation relied upon by the Crown.

Frankly I'm cynical, as one should be with emotion put aside. But I remain very interested in any new facts relied upon by Wishart in order to analyse what affect they might have on the Watson conviction but not necessarily on the theory of Wishart. All cases of false convictions or allegations have 'leap of faith' components that get white washed by the horror of crime, or distaste or sympathy for the accused. Ultimately lets look at the evidence, see if disquiet about the Watson conviction is reasonably satisfied or in fact, in cool deliberation, becomes of even greater concern. Any such concern is not allayed by serious proof that the police botched the case, because after all a discerning observer might see the mistakes as overall favoring Watson and the claims of another offender supporting this. Anyway, more on this in due course.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Where Joe Parker and Kevin Barry find themselves as 2016 begins.

When Joe Parker had 1 fight left last year he, as with all his other fights, arrived an improved boxer. We have yet to see Parker with an off night, apparently fighting injured or out of sorts. As expected we saw him laying down on his punches with great power from the 1st opportunity as he has displayed in his latest fights - going up a notch or 2 by again displaying a fast start at close to full power. It was all over within the first round.

Before the fight Kevin Barry revealed that he had given up on Parker lifting weights, instead concentrating on body weight exercises. The changes to Parker's appearance was evident. Some readers will know that lifting weights in many particular exercises doesn't emulate specific movement an athlete will use in his or her competing. At no stage in boxing will a boxer use his or her muscles in anyway that directly and consistently corresponds with weight training, they will however completely use their own body weight and strength throughout their contest. Weight lifting is not a natural way for a boxer to train and many boxers, as Parker seems one, will not benefit as compared to training with body weight - their weapon in the contest. Additionally, what is a good way of training for one boxer may not suit another. An advantage for Parker early in career, as it has been with some greats, is that picking up weight between fights is not a problem. When he is in pre-fight training it is not to shed weight, rather to heighten his skills and fitness for the next fight.

His other advantage is his partnership with Kevin Barry, as dedicated trainer as Parker is fighter. I saw Lance Revel recently going about his day job of fixing a fence and wondered what he thought of Parker's progress. He had always been negative about Tua's chances at the top but never from memory about his power. Of similar build if not height to Parker Lance came late to the heavy weight ranks in his career, I'm fairly positive he would approve of the progress of Parker if not the calibre of his opponents. How distinctly different the world is now for young Kiwi boxers compared to the past. Tom Heeney more than likely paid his own fare to the states before eventually being the first NZ boxer to fight for the heavyweight crown. By the time of the Tua and Barry partnership there were training camps held in the states. An overall impression, that despite that era being a pioneering base for the entirely professional training of Parker, could be that David Tua did not fully appreciate his opportunity of what the professional efforts of Barry meant to his career and could have meant to his career had they been fully embraced. At times Tua appeared to think that what was happening for him was to be expected - his destiny as he sometimes put it.

Whatever different opinions are Barry has been at the forefront of putting NZ boxers on the world stage, if not each individual boxer - then the blueprint or format. Barry no longer wears his heart on his sleeve as he often appeared to do with Tua. What has cost him dearly is now his reward, experience. That experience with respect to Parker looks to be melding into the perfect partnership no matter how far Parker travels in his career, the partnership, training, and mental application looks capable of taking him as far as his training, talent and skill will allow toward a world title. Whereas many critics bemoan the development of Parker, in particular the hand-picked opponents etc, the reality is of the tried and tested route. To look for the benefits one need only look at Parker's record, his standing in the rankings - but most of all his constant development and improvement. Such is his improvement that even his doubters cannot deny it, whilst many commentators from afar including boxers and ex champions confirm the progress of the young, gifted with speed, heavyweight.

Parker in 2 short years no longer looks so wide eyed with excitement and opportunity. He is fully, and menacingly focused in a way that not only draws attention but exudes bitter determination. Klitschko should overturn his defeat to Fury mainly because the latter looks to untidy in his personal life, pick Klitschko to turn the tables by out thinking the British heavyweight long before their scheduled fight. Whatever the outcome of that fight, I anticipate steady progress for Parker again this year, more of the same - credible opponents, some chosen for their style and the prospect of Parker gaining experience by the match. Look for a continued steady climb from the busy fighter that Parker has proven himself to be - certainly higher rankings and perhaps a career defining fight either this year or next. He's got the goods, he's being finally tuned and honed physically and mentally. Not all boxers have that opportunity or mental state of mind, they are relatively few and far between. Parker is certainly one, as is Klitschko another. Soon however, it will be Parker's turn to enter the elite world where Klitschko has ruled, as others have before him. Most boxes look likely to be ticked in his favour and he will know what we all know there is no certainty apart from the fact he continues to make the very best of his chances.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Was Scott Watson proven guilty?

Was Scott Watson found guilty is a good place to start. Well yes he was, absolutely.

Though since then a core of evidence offered to the Jury that found him guilty no longer stands. No doubt it's a given that evidence must not only survive scrutiny at a trial but also the scrutiny of time. The Watson conviction is a ship wreck, one cast aground in no man's land where an agent for the Crown, without the benefit of any new reports, primarily relies on 2 hairs said to have come from Olivia, found on a blanket in a laboratory.

I've written here about the 2 hairs extensively before having had the benefit of a letter to this blog from a forensic scientist (source 1 below) and correspondence from Keith Hunter which supports the scientist's opinion (source 2). A reader will note that Keith points out a mistake I made in my own interpretation of the evidence. Others will agree that he is a remarkable man and that his understanding of the case against Watson is at a level few may be able to attain. I've no idea if Keith received his information regarding the DNA from the same source that later forwarded it to this blog - but the truth of it is that this evidence remains unanswered which was exactly what Kirsty McDonald should have done with reviewing the safety of the Watson conviction.

Source 1: 

Probability in nDNA is based on matching 9 of 13 loci in one chromosome then calculating the number of searches needed to find another person on a population the same 9 of 13 matching loci. For instance,if you start with 65,000 people and do a pairwise match of all of them, you are actually making over 2 billion separate comparisons (65,000 * 64,999/2)or a probability 2 billion to 1. If you aren’t just looking for a match on 9 specific loci, but rather on any 9 of 13 loci, then for each of those pairs of people there are over 700 different combinations that are being searched, so all told, you end up doing about 1.4 trillion searches!

The probability in the Sounds nDNA was given 28,000 to 1 or 28 thousand searches so given an unrelated population [female] of 2 million the number of matching locus was likely only 2-3 of 13 possible matches so in fact the DNA evidence is very weak as there would be several thousand females who would match at 2 loci. To find two unrelated people who matched at all 13 loci would be 114 trillion to 1 Only Identical Twins have identical nDNA though siblings can be identified and biological relationship to a parent identified because the number of locus likely to be the same is known but in forensic science DNA testing it is never to be assumed the sample and control are related as that eliminates the need to search multiple times. All the tests in the sounds testing proved was that the hair alleged to have been found on Blade was from Olivia OR Amelia Hope as the Mitochondrial DNA [mDNA]testing and they were both their mothers daughters. The mDNA was contaminated by foreign nDNA and as the same hairs were nDNA tested those tests contaminated as well. The usual source of hair contamination is a shared comb or hair brush. Given the control hairs were also contaminated it is very likely they had a common source, Olivia hair brush where the control samples were from and was delivered to the ESR lab about a half hour before the hairs were "found". 

Source 2:  Keith Hunter 2 years ago. 

•             I have covered several of the matters you raise in an article for North&South magazine, probably January edition, available in the bookstores from mid- December.

•             My personal view is that the hairs came from Olivia and that they were planted by the police, probably through a contact within the ESR.

•             The ‘common source’ reference must  refer to two hairs from one source- namely that both the hairs under examination came from Olivia.

•             Over the years I’ve lost some detail of the DNA case in court (memory issues) but the major  defence stance was that the identification of the hair DNA was suspect. The slit in the sample bag and the hairs’ late discovery late muddied the waters re their integrity as  evidence but I’m sure the defence didn’t go further re planting.

•             There is no suggestion of a transfer of some sort from Mrs Hope. You have misinterpreted the issues relating to mitochondria DNA, which indicates historic and therefore present day relationships via the heredity of the female line. The indications were that the hair inspected shared the same mitochondrial DNA as Mrs Hope. As a means of identification it seems to me to be of some limited statistical value but little more than that.

•             Somewhere I have a transcript of some of the defence closing but not all of it so I can’t be more definitive on it. The attached court transcript will aid you in this.

•             To understand the McDonald report you must understand that it has neither truth nor integrity. It’s a bought opinion, paid for in advance. It was designed and written specifically to decline Watson’s petition. It’s expensive rubbish.

Source 2: (Added later) 

I should have noted that one hair provided mitochondrial evidence in the UK while the other had already provided a nuclear link in Australia – the substantial evidence. An issue for me is that the police (as I recall) went to the UK with a hair they knew did not contain enough DNA for a nuclear result  after getting the nuclear evidence from the other hair in Australia, ie knowing that there was no possibility of a nuclear result from a hair that lacked root DNA and so could provide less than they had already -  only  mitochondrial evidence which identifies the female line going back maybe thousands of years but not the individual.

I made that point in TxT. 

A quote of known facts:  

I'll just touch on a few 'knowns' here, both (now ex) Minister Collins and Ms McDonald QC have publicly stated after a recent review using the powers of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, that the 2 'hairs' are the bonding agent which holds 'together' the case against Watson. Both the Watson case and that of Pora share the same prosecutor. The Watson case, along with those of David Bain and Arthur Thomas share the common fact of critical 'evidence' being found on subsequent searches that was apparently missed earlier. 

If the DNA is so convincing against the counter claims, such as though above, that it is not, then a referral for independent confirmation would have been in order under the petition by Watson earlier, it would have been in the public interest. As the identifications were recanted, the description of the vessel, along with the goal house confession - then really it is for a Jury to confirm or reject the evidence against Watson because it looks collectively weak, also in the public interest and the safe exercise of Justice for a Jury to consider this case again. For that reason it is probably no surprise that there is focus here on his previous convictions, his sending of intimate pics to an ex girlfriend, having a phone in prison, an assault conviction etc, unwilling like Pora and Ellis before him to admit his guilt and so it goes on.
The effort put aside the new evidence regarding the DNA the withdrawal of the identification evidence, the alleged confession defies all logic and fairness. All this material supports the contention that Watson is falsely convicted or at least needs a retrial. The material does that both individually and collectively. The collective impact appears to gut the Crown case. I'm not easily convinced by conspiracies and any suggestion that eye witnesses recanting, at least 1 other vessel that fits the 'stepping up' required to board has been located and noted by other witnesses never called to give evidence, that the DNA's suspect arrival on the blanket after an earlier search proved that the hairs could have come from Olivia or her sister and were found the same day a hair brush taken from the sister's room was taken to the laboratory, consider also the full text of Keith Hunter's book  about the hatch cover, the wiped tapes etc, - all this material from different sources and see with clarity it is not a conspiracy at all. Rather is proof of the failed Crown case opposed by what Keith Hunter says was a report that was expensive rubbish.
I've written before, and I hope it is in the capacity of Scott Watson, or his father to have a Barrister test the McDonald report by way of Judicial Review. If the money is not available - then perhaps a petition  to Parliament, help is needed on this for the integrity of the Justice system and to correct the myopic exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. The Thomas, Bain and Pora cases prove this. As does that of Lundy, although convicted again (controversially in my opinion) his first conviction was found unsafe. I think I am correct to say that none of the above had their convictions overturned as a result of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, each needed to go outside NZ to the Privy Council. A court which incidentally this country should still benefit from as an appellant court by leave on Judgements of the Supreme Court. NZ hasn't got it right yet, as those named above and others such as Allan Hall having spent collectively show with somewhere near a 100 years in prison on convictions that later were seen to be unjust.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bain compensation: what's the hold up?

Somebody asked me this question today knowing of my interest in the case and I could only answer that I didn't know. What I could say however, having thought about the delay for some time, was that it most probably indicated 1 of 2 things, perhaps both.

No longer in an inquiry can the inquirer make his or her finding without consideration of the harm that might befall any person that might feel they didn't have a right of reply against pointed decisions that arguably might make those reading the report, the public, conclude that the had acted improperly in some way. In other words one might be concerned that Milton Weir in the Bain case could object to claims that he allegedly planted evidence at some time, despite there being Court cases in which he had been able to defend himself from that position. Ian Binnie pointed this out, that the allegations he levelled against some involved in the police investigation into the Bain murders had been defended by those police directly years before his finding that David was factually innocent.

For example ex Detective Sergeant Doyle might still wish not to call a strip search a strip search. As to this most people would agree that common sense prevails. However, it may be the case that correct names put to situations such as David Bain being strip searched and no scratches being found on his chest, or that his father had blood on his palms despite allegedly not being the killer of his family, then himself - are weighing on completion of any finding that David is innocent on the balance of probabilities.

I agree that people should have a right of reply to accusations levelled against them but would argue that none, or few, allegations as to the misconduct of police in the case have not already captured responses. For that reason is underlined why the application for compensation is not decided in a Court is foolish at the least, calculatedly contrived at the worst. No Court case would be allowed to be held in secret, such as it is, most, if not all of the case for compensation would be heard by the public. More on that later perhaps.

To the second probability. Very obvious to most keenly looking for logic are the forensics of this case. The forensics have continued to grow in favour to a clear perspective that David couldn't have killed his family, while plainly his father could have- and did. Much like individuals involved in the investigation and now criticised for their performances are held to demand another right of reply - so too the forensics. The Crown and police can't escape the forensic clarity in the case of the Bain murders and the suicide of Robin Bain. But they will try, as I believe they do now. Anything to delay, anything to keep secret the extent of the injustice against David Bain, his mother and siblings.

Those can be the only reasons why this inquiry is on extended time, and why it hasn't been open to public scrutiny from the outset.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Trump Soup

                                                       Trump Soup

Get a wall built right over there to keep them Mexicans, Muslims, out.
Build it brick by brick, take time to bomb their airports and tunnel contractors.
Don’t let no one in.

They’re everywhere all around.
Even aliens could come but he will keep them out with a super shield.
A bubble of impenetrable glass will do it.
Right over the whole USA.

No need to travel in here or leave.
It’s Hotel California.
A Day at the Races.
Those Marx brothers could think a thing or 2 falling over while walking about.

No one is coming in here or going out till he knows what’s going on.
He’ll be your honey man if you will be his baby tonight.
It’s a soup.

A thick Irish one cooked during the  potato famine that got kept back.
For another famine time come soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Scott Watson unconvincing.

In what is possibly Scott Watson's first ever interview he comes across as complex in this months issue of North and South. He seemed to have been busting to tell his side of the story and why not of course. But unfortunately it appeared to me that in describing the police case manufactured against him he has brought too deeply into needing to explain something uncomfortable to the public - that he was framed more by rumour and deliberate misinformation than by evidence. He came across at times as though arguing that the entire police force and even the prison administrators were against him when that is simply not the case.

Such descriptions took the emphasis away from the main doubts about his convictions. I think he needed to be hammering them, rather that trying to convince the public of a plot against him rather than a lack of evidence. While he may be well justified, as he appears to be, to denounce the police investigation - that unfortunately doesn't resonate broadly in the public mind. The public I think are given the option to either accept that Watson is obsessed to the point of fuelling suspicion against himself or confirming already held opinions of his guilt rather than accepting his argument that the entire police force is corrupt. For example had he merely said that officer in charge of the police case had only been able to put Watson and the young couple together by employing an apparently deliberately deceitful manipulations of 2 prime witnesses and photographs which now longer stood, a telling aspect of the failure of the case would have stood firm - giving a strong, inescapable   argument for a retrial.

Of course Watson is not trained in public relations as he clearly told Mike White from the North and South magazine. Nor is his father. Scott Watson also showed he does not have the single mindedness of arguing how the case against him has now failed, compared to the time of the trial. Again he has brought into the rhetoric used by the police to arguing in circles on the periphery of the evidence, rather than right at the heart of the unsoundness of his conviction. That suits the police, they take advantage of the misinformation against Watson because Watson himself raises it time and again.

What do the public need to know? Something simple, easy to follow rather than an over burdened picture with details they might find scary or even bizarre. It is at this point that the complexity of Watson himself works against him. I think that is entirely understandable on the 1 hand but very destructive on the other. I for example wanted to hear about his recent failed application under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. I looked forward to a tight argument based on tight facts as to why that application is, or should be, taken for Judicial Review. Though it cannot be a surprise that Scott Watson perhaps is unable to appreciate the simple detail of the failing Crown case against him when so much about his conviction is over burdened with pointless detail and insinuation.

The Crown needed to put Watson and the deceased Ben and Olivia together. Whilst they did to that at the trial through 2 witnesses, the water taxi operator and the bar manager both recanted and now say they were tricked into their identification of Watson being with the couple. That is a simple and crippling point in the Crown case. Watson cannot be reliably placed with the deceased couple before or after their deaths. Moving forward from that is the description of Watson's boat compared to the much bigger vessel the couple were dropped of at after leaving the hotel. The descriptions are not the same, even remotely. The Crown argue that Watson came ashore after alone being dropped off to his boat with the couple, however that is a theory they have been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

Where Watson explains point by point the dismantling of the evidence against himself, he either fails to appreciate, having brought hook line and sinker the report into his failed application for The Royal Prerogative of Mercy, that the dismantling of various facts once held against him not only need to be looked at in isolation but in continuity. For example the recanted identifications cannot be relied upon to prop up the case against Watson in other areas. The bar manager and the water taxi driver that put the couple together with Watson no longer stands, that is from the witnesses themselves. There is no longer any credit the Crown can take from evidence that has been withdrawn and this indicates the real Miscarriage of Justice that is now the Watson case. The Crown in Law cannot rely upon evidence that no longer exists to prop up other evidence  that is contingent upon the failed evidence. In short what puts the couple on Watson's both if the water taxi driver says it wasn't he that put the couple on Watson's both but on a large ketch and not in the company of Watson but another man? Nothing. If the 2 witnesses are mistaken in their recantation let a Jury make heads or tails of it, let a Jury decide having first heard the witnesses evidence and cross examination, don't allow their evidence to a credit to the Crown in a case which has failed.

Following those recalled identifications there really are only 2 other issues in question about the purported validity of the Watson verdict. Firstly his 'confession' to a stranger in prison which has also been recanted. Because the Crown could not find the witness the investigator of Watson's application for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy allowed the evidence to stand. Well hello, if the police no longer have positive identifications of Watson with the couple that can't be support for the police being unable to find their own witness who has recanted anyway. This is the systematic failure in the case against Watson, doubtful or recanted evidence used to hold together other doubtful or recanted evidence. Watson, in his interview, didn't focus on that - instead he gave breath to peripheral stuff which included a media campaign. Well, the media campaign, if it can be called that - doesn't put the couple together with Watson, only hard unimpeachable evidence can do that and it does not exist.

I've written before about what appears to be keeping Watson from his freedom 2 hairs found on a blanket in a lab. While the blanket had been taken from Watson yacht and over 400 hairs removed from it 2 distinctive, blond and long hairs were not found. The 'hair search' was conducted by a scientist in a laboratory situation. It was only after a second search, and following hairs being uplifted from the home of Olivia and delivered to the same Laboratory that 2 hairs from un unknown number of introduced hairs were found on the blanket in a subsequent search. Those 2 hairs at Watson's trial backed up the identifications of Watson being with the couple. However when those identifications are withdrawn the 2 hairs become something entirely different, evidence in isolation that 2 hairs were found on a blanket already carefully searched and only found after a bag containing an unknown number of hairs was introduced to the laboratory.

On the subject of the hairs and the mystery ketch, elsewhere on this blog has been submitted a photo of a ketch which really ought to have been seen by the Jury and put to witnesses at the trial as in fact the vessel that the couple went aboard. Also elsewhere on this blog is an analysis of the forensic value of the 2 hairs. That analysis, and perhaps this is not known to Watson, shows that the 2 hairs indicate the same hereditary line of Olivia and her sister, that they were both the daughters of their mother - the conduit of that hereditary line. They could have been the hairs of one sister or the other I understand, that is a could rather than a definite. Something else that favours Watson since the identifications and so called confession no longer stands, not only are the couple  not put in the company of Watson by witnesses, or on is boat but that 2 hairs apparently pivotal to the validity of Watson's conviction prove neither to be those of Olivia beyond reasonable doubt, or in fact not to have been absolutely unable to have arrived on a blanket in a laboratory 'between' searches other than by some kind of evidence contamination. The case against Watson is in tatters. The credibility of the Exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Crown's own agents is in tatters and should be taken to the Court for Judicial Review.

Scott Watson should be paroled in the meantime. It is an absurdity that his lack of admitting being responsible for the deaths of Ben and Olivia is held against him for parole. This is a form of witchcraft belonging to the dark ages - 'confess and be forgiven otherwise rot in hell.' There is not place for such sentiment in controversial cases. Watson is smart enough to know that his bucking of the system is working against him, stealing 1 year after another. He is trusted enough to be in minimum security to have worked in prison forests. He may be obsessed with the crisis that has been brought upon him,  how a system works against the innocent and guilty equally and most often against the innocent more so - but that too does not make him guilty. It makes him frustrated and no doubt unbelieving that a system cannot correct itself.

Watson built his own yacht in quick time, spoke about building his own home. He is no doubt a practical and methodical person, those building skills and method now need to focus on an absolute truth that Ben and Olivia cannot be put in his company beyond reasonable doubt on the morning of their disappearance, or on his yacht, take that to the High Court for review.