Home' Greymouth Star : April 2nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
In the Garden
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 7
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1801 - British fleet under Horatio Nelson is
sent to Denmark because of Danish action on
Elbe River and is victorious off Copenhagen.
1852 - A gang of robbers steal 8000 ounces
(226.7kg) of gold from the vessel Nelson,
anchored off Williamstown,
1872 - Death in New York of
Samuel Morse, developer of the
1932 - US aviator Charles
Lindbergh turns over a $50,000
ransom to an unidentified man
in a New York cemetery in exchange for his
kidnapped son; the infant is found dead a
1966 - Death of C S Forester, author of the
Captain Hornblower novels and The African
1982 - Argentina invades British Falklands
1992 - Mafia boss John Gotti, nicknamed
the Teflon Don, is convicted in New York
City of murder and racketeering.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charlemagne, Emperor of the West (742-
814); Giacomo Casanova, reputedly the world’s
greatest lover (1725-1798); Hans Christian
Andersen, Danish writer (1805-1875); William
Holman Hunt, English artist (1827-
1910); Emile Zola, French author
(1840-1902); Sir Alec Guinness,
British actor (1914-2000); Jack
Brabham, Australian motor racing
champion (1926-2014); Marvin
Gaye, US singer (1939-1984);
Penelope Keith, actress (1940-);
Emmylou Harris, US singer (1947-); Linford
Christie, British athlete (1960-); Michael
Clarke, Australian cricketer (1981-) .
“ Life is short. Live it up.” — Nikita S
Khrushchev, Soviet leader (1894-1971).
“Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and
rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with
meekness the implanted Word that has the
power to save your souls. “ — ( James 1.21).
Though she was
rushed to the
by a passing motorist,
a six-year-old Kaiata girl died shortly after she
had been struck by a car on the Kaiata straight
at 5pm yesterday. She was Colleen Mary Perrie,
daughter of Mr and Mrs P G Perrie of Main
The accident happened about four miles from
Greymouth when a car driven by a Stillwater
man hit the child as she was cycling home with
her father. It is believed that the child swung
from the side of the road into the car ’s path.
The highway on which the girl was killed
yesterday has had an unfortunate recent history
of road accidents. On November 22, a four-
year-old girl was killed one and a half miles
east of Greymouth when she ran out in front
of an oncoming car.
The bridge at the entrance to the Kaiata
straight was the scene of a near-fatal accident
on January 10. A motorcycle ridden by a Kaiata
man Mr Charles Edward Watson crashed into
the side of the bridge. Mr Watson is still in the
On Friday next one lucky West Coast person
is going to break open an envelope and find he
or she has won a return air trip to Sydney. The
envelope will be one of 9000 which will be on
sale from early Friday morning.
Sellers will include members of the
Greymouth Municipal Band which will
be playing its part in a nationwide mystery
envelope drive designed to raise funds for the
forthcoming tour of Australia by the National
Band of New Zealand. In every area one
envelope will carry the glamour prize of an air
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
e know more about
their deaths —
the violence of it,
swinging some sort
of axe in the dark
bedroom — than their lives. But we know
and remember their names. Christine
and Amber Lundy have been given the
same kind of wretchedly sad immortality
as Ben and Olivia, Sophie Elliott, the
Crewes, the Bains.
Once upon a time they walked to school
together. It took three blocks from their
home at number 30 Karamea to the end
of the street, then around the corner and
over the railway line to Roslyn Primary
School — the same familiar journey, the
same deep happiness of mother and child
together. They last walked it on a Tuesday
morning in winter.
The flatlands of cold, rivery Manawatu,
the edge of town in Palmerston North.
“They lived in a modest little home,”
as Crown prosecutor Philip Morgan
described it, “in a blue-collar suburb.”
The letterbox and windowsills had green
trim. There was a set of swings and a
tramp in the front yard, a trailer parked
out the back.
Amber was seven. She was born on
July 9, 1993, at 1.25am, by emergency
Caesarian after Christine was in labour
for 20 hours. Everyone said that her
parents adored her; no one needed to
point out she adored them. Mark Lundy
told police, “She used to put on little
concerts for us. We would be watching tv
and she would appear in a pair of plastic
shoes, and dressed up with a little feather
boa around her neck, and do a little
She enrolled at Rocket dance studios
when she was three. Christine took her
there on Tuesday after school. She wore
her favourite outfit — a pink and orange
leotard with blue tights — and Christine
waited in the same seat where she always
sat. There was a show coming up, and the
girls tried on their costumes.
The class lasted an hour. When it
finished, Christine drove her to Pippins.
Amber was third-generation in her
family to go Guiding; her grandmother,
Christine’s mother Helen Weggery, was
active in the movement in Tokomaru, and
Christine, too, had gone through Guides,
and met her husband at the 1978 Gang
Show. “Fantastic dancer,” he said of her.
They were engaged at Easter 1982, and
married in May the next year.
There was $11.19 in change in the
kitchen, and a collection of 83 bottles of
wine. Mark and Christine belonged to
the Manawatu and Bacchus Wine Clubs,
but she did not drink much. She liked
the company. They were a popular couple.
They had the D urhams, Stewart and
Caroline, over for a barbecue the previous
Saturday night; they played cards, and
stayed till midnight.
Mark Lundy’s favourite author was
Wilbur Smith, Christine was an avid
reader of Mills and Boon. Her habit
was to read in the conser vatory with
her lunch. She also read New Idea
and Woman’s Day, sometimes the
Australian Women’s Weekly. The tv
shows she enjoyed most were reality
shows Changing Rooms and Taste New
Zealand, and medical soaps Providence
and Shortland Street. In the first trial,
in 2002, the police said that the murders
occurred at about 7pm, when Christine
was in bed. The defence argued that she
never missed an episode of Shortland
When she walked back to the house
after taking Amber to school on Tuesday
morning, Christine and Mark drove
in separate cars to Lighting Direct.
She wanted a lampshade for the spare
bedroom. She chose something in
blue. Mark had to drive to Petone, on a
business trip; they kissed goodbye in the
Last kiss, last walk to school, last supper
at 5.43pm when Christine and Amber
ordered McDonald’s. Pippins had been
They ordered nine chicken nuggets,
a chicken burger, a fillet of fish burger,
medium fries, and two apple pies.
The family were big people. Christine
weighed 112kg, Amber 45kg. A verbose
pathologist said at the trial, fairly
unnecessarily, “ They had a body mass of
44 and 31, which you would say is obese.”
Christine did not cook. Her friends
conceded she was not the tidiest person
in the world, either.
But she was brilliantly organised. She
was the brains behind her husband ’s
kitchen-sink business, and worked on the
accounts until late at night. After wards,
she would play Patience and Solitaire on
the computer to wind down.
She turned off the PC at 10.52pm that
Amber fell asleep at about 8pm. She
always put on her pyjamas just after
7pm, was always in bed by 7.30pm.
“She was the easiest child to babysit,”
Helen Weggery told police. Sometimes
her parents read her a bedtime story,
sometimes she read it to them.
She slept with a soft toy of Rollie,
a jowly dog who featured on tv
commercials for toilet paper.
The dance lessons and swimming
lessons, Pippins, friends, school, family —
she loved her life. It was safe. Her mum
and dad looked after her.
She spoke to her father for the last time
on Tuesday night, when she asked him
over the phone whether it was okay to
have McDonald ’s for dinner.
“Of course,” he told her. The exchange
was read out in court. A smile touched
Lundy’s face, the memory reaching back
to him after 15 years of a little girl saying,
“ P lease, Dad?”
After she put Amber to bed, Christine
worked on her brother’s GST accounts.
Glenn Weggery had called around that
morning to see if she had finished.
He called around the previous morning,
too, and then on Wednesday morning,
when the curtains were still closed.
Mark Lundy appeared on the witness
stand at his trial in 2002, when he was
first found guilty of murdering his wife
and child, and was asked, “ What do you
miss most about Amber?”
“Everything,” said her father, who will
be known and remembered for the rest of
his days as her murderer.
A girl and her mum
As Mark Lundy is found guilty for the second time of murdering his family,
STEVE BRAUNIAS of the New Zealand Herald looks at their life behind closed doors.
Mark Lundy with his wife, Christine, and daughter Amber.
The central ner vous system tissue
found on Mark Lundy’s polo shirt
Crown says: It demonstrates “clearly and
unequivocally” that Lundy was the killer.
The sample was one billion billion times
more likely to belong to Christine Lundy
than anyone else.
Defence says: The tissue on the
shirt could have come about through
contamination. There were several
shortcomings in the way the crime scene
and evidence were dealt with. The cells
could also have been food.
The alleged ‘secret journey’ back
to Palmerston North to commit the
Crown says: Lundy parked his car away
from the motel so as not to disturb other
guests when leaving in the early hours of
the morning. Odometer readings from his
car nine days before the deaths, compared
with his return to Palmerston North, left
a discrepancy of more than 400km —
enough to make ‘the killing trip’.
Defence says: Bored of being cooped
up in his Petone motel room, Lundy took
a short drive to the foreshore to read a
book on the night of the killings. The
discrepancy on the odometer readings
was easily explained by Lundy’s job as a
sink salesman, his busy social calendar
and the many activities in which Amber
participated. With the petrol in his car, he
could not have made a secret trip to and
from Palmerston North.
Blue and orange paint flakes found in
the victims’ wounds
Crown says: The flecks of paint came
from Lundy’s tomahawk, which he used
to kill his wife and daughter. He regularly
used those colours to mark his tools and
the paint chips were embedded in skull
fragments due to the force of the blows
rained down on the victims.
Defence says: The Lundys were
redecorating at the time and any flakes
of paint could easily have come from the
within the house, which was known to be
quite messy. The killer could have picked
up the weapon which might have been
lying around inside the home. No murder
weapon has ever been found and Lundy
did not own a tomahawk.
The stomach contents of the victims
Crown says: The contents of the
stomachs included potato chips and fish
and chip-style chips, which must have
been eaten after an original dinner of
McDonald’s. Christine was known to
warm up leftover McDonalds which
the pair could have eaten late at night, a
couple of hours before they were killed. In
any case, pinpointing time of death from
stomach contents is notoriously difficult.
Defence says: The stomach contents
show they would have eaten less than two
hours before they were killed. Considering
they had McDonald’s some time after
6pm, Amber’s bedtime was about 8pm
and the Crown says Lundy committed
the murders in the early hours of the next
morning, he could not be the killer.
Mark and Christine’s financial issues
Crown says: The pair owed money to the
bank, their parent company Duratech and
were on the verge of facing a $100,000
interest payment and bankruptcy.
Christine was deeply concerned about the
winery venture and that combined with
the mounting debt drove a wedge between
Defence says: Lundy was well aware
of the precarious financial position but it
did not overly concern him. Bankruptcy
would not have been the catastrophe the
Crown painted it to be. Christine was the
one with the business acumen so it would
make no sense to kill her.
The Lundy family dynamic
Crown says: The couple had stopped
having sex and Lundy was using
prostitutes because the relationship was
Defence says: Lundy was very much
in love with his wife and Amber was the
‘apple of his eye’. The pair had wanted
another child together.
Witness X — a former inmate who
served time in prison with Lundy
Crown says: Lundy told the man he
would not have been in prison had Amber
not disturbed him killing Christine. The
prisoner had no reason to lie as he had
been told there would be no perks to him
Defence says: Th e man is a liar and a
criminal with a long history of offending
to his name. Lundy could not have been
discussing an appeal, as the witness
suggested, because he had not even been
convicted when they allegedly spoke.
Chris Weggery — Christine Lundy’s
Crown says: He was the first on the
scene because he was a regular visitor to
the house. Police thoroughly investigated
him and there was nothing to suggest he
was the killer.
Defence says: He had a scratch on his
nose which he could not explain to police.
There was blood seen on a towel in his
home and some found in the boot of his
car. The police investigation suffered from
‘tunnel vision’ once they decided to pin the
blame on Lundy. — New Zealand Herald
Key evidence in the Lundy trial
Nearly 15 years after their gruesome
deaths, the house where Amber and
Christine Lundy were murdered stands
As evening settled on Palmerston
North yesterday, the curtains at the
Karamea Crescent home were drawn, its
Neighbours said the property, on a
quiet street of mostly single-storey
houses with gardens, had not been
occupied for several months.
“I think they ’ve been doing work on
the house,” one said.
She and another neighbour said they
had seen people visiting the house only
The property is now understood to be
on the market.
One regular visitor to the
neighbourhood, who was staying near
the Lundy house, said it would take “a
very strong person” to be comfortable
She believed Lundy was guilty and said
she felt sorry for the home’s owners.
But another neighbour said he moved
into the area years after the murders, and
was comfortable living in the street.
Others in Palmerston North and its
surrounds had strong views on the case.
Zoe Waldman, a salon owner from
nearby Feilding, said she welcomed
yesterday ’s unanimous guilty verdict.
“He so obviously did it,” Ms Waldman
“Forensics don’t lie,” she said, referring
to the brain matter the Crown said was
mashed into the fibres of the convicted
killer’s polo shirt.
“ Where do you get brain matter if
you’ve not just bludgeoned your wife and
Ms Waldman said taxpayers had
forked out big time for the retrial.
“I don’t feel that we should be paying
to retry someone who’s so obviously
Registered nurse Jamie Stout said
the murders were ‘hideous’ and Lundy
deser ved to spend a long time in jail.
She said the sentence of 20 years was
longer than many other murderers
seemed to receive.
“I actually think 20 years was pretty
good for New Zealand.”
But Ms Stout said people would
never be comfortable with Lundy
living in their neighbourhood, if he was
eventually released on parole.
“I almost think he should be
“If he gets out, how will he be
monitored?” — New Zealand Herald
Lundy house of horrors sits empty
The Lundy house, Karamea Crescent, Palmerston North.
Links Archive April 1st 2015 April 4th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page