Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mark Lundy: New Zealand: (Part Three): Reporter Jono Galuszka's account in 'Stuff' of eighteen years of legal battles and police work - all because of a dirty polo shirt...From a reporter who covered Mark Lundy's retrial and subsequent appeals)...""No husband should have his wife's brain on their shirt." No-one has summed up the case against Mark Lundy better than Philip Morgan did when delivering his closing address on behalf of the Crown in the 2015 retrial of the twice-convicted double murderer. Two stains on a XXL striped polo shirt, named C30003/3 and C30003/4 by police, are the reasons for Lundy's troubles. They consign him to a prison cell, to a life sentence, to forever be known as the man who murdered his wife Christine and their daughter Amber, just 7 years old, in their Palmerston North home on the night of August 29, 2000. The Supreme Court, the final stop on his long road to freedom, closed the gate on him on Friday morning."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "No husband should have his wife's brain on their shirt," Prosecutor  Phillip Morgan. (Closing address).


PASSAGE  ONE OF THE DAY: "Justice Mark O'Regan took just six minutes to say what can be said in five words: Mark Lundy is a murderer. What evidence gave five judges of the Supreme Court, home to the finest legal minds in New Zealand, confidence to say such a damning thing? Two stains on a shirt. The shirt leaned against a table at the front of the High Court at Wellington's courtroom one during the retrial, in the eyeline of the Crown prosecutors and jury members, something of a daily reminder as to why everyone was there. If it was not for work done by Texan cancer researcher Dr Rodney Miller, which found brain or spinal cord tissue was in two stains on that shirt along with Christine Lundy's DNA, running a case against Mark Lundy would have been almost impossible. They are the only things tying him to the scene, which is something of a minor miracle when you think of the state of the Lundy house, on Karamea Cres in Palmerston North, following the murders. Police video played at the retrial showed no trace of the gruesome crimes through the sunroom and kitchen. Even the shot of the hallway, where Amber lay bleeding from her head after being bashed with a tomahawk-like weapon, did not tell the full story. The footage of Mark and Christine's bedroom fully illustrated the horror of what took place. Gore covered every surface, but clean shadow stood out from the blood on one wall, illuminating where the killer stood as they swung again and again and again and again at Christine Lundy's face until it was not a face any more. It is miraculous when you think about it, the fact someone managed to cover themselves in blood, bone and brain yet leave none of it in the hallway, kitchen or sunroom on their way out."


PASSAGE TWO OF THE DAY: "Police tore through Lundy's life after the murders. They checked the Fairmont. They checked his house. They even checked the drains of the room he slept in at the Foreshore Motor Lodge in Petone the night his family were killed. They found nothing. If anything, they have Lundy himself to thank for their case. He told them he was wearing the XXL polo shirt the night of the murders. Everything else is circumstantial. "


PASSAGE THREE OF THE DAY: "It is no wonder people doubt the work by Miller, a brash Texan who boasted in an email to police of wanting to do anything he could to get the killer. The fact Miller violated strict regulations about the handling of body parts when obtaining the brain he used to test his tissue-finding technique – which has only been used in Lundy's case – does not help the veracity of his findings. But no lawyer has properly attacked his test. Lundy's lawyers at the first trial accepted the stains contained his wife's brain, blaming police contamination or corruption for the findings. Lundy's new legal team for his second trial also failed to properly attack Miller's findings."

COMMENTARY: "The Lundy murders: Eighteen years of legal battles and police work because of a dirty polo shirt,"  by reporter Jono Galuszka, published by Stuff on December 20, 2019. (Jono Galuszka covered Lundy's retrial and subsequent appeals).

The entire commentary can be read at:

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com.  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;


FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices.""

Lawyer Radha Natarajan: