Home' Greymouth Star : January 24th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, January 24, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1547 - Earl of Surrey, poet and cousin of
Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard, is
executed for treason.
1798 - Irish rebellion breaks out.
1848 - James Marshall finds a gold nugget in
the US state of California, touching
off the Gold Rush.
1895 - Death of Lord Randolph
Churchill, British politician, and
father of Winston.
1907 - First Boy Scout troop is
organised by Sir Robert Baden-
Powell in England.
1915 - In World War One, a British fleet,
including HMS New Zealand, under Admiral
Beatty defeats the Germans under Von Hipper
at the battle of Dogger Bank and sinks the
armoured cruiser Blucher killing 870.
1965 - Death of Sir Winston Churchill,
Britain’s World War Two prime minister, aged
1989 - Serial killer Theodore Bundy is put to
death in Florida’s electric chair.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Hadrian, Roman Emperor, born Publius
Aelius Hadrianus (76-138); Ethel Sibyl
Turner, English-born author of Seven Little
Australians (1872-1958); Ernest Borgnine, US
actor (1917-2012); Neil Diamond,
US singer (1941-); Sharon Tate,
US actress (1943-1969); Helen
Morse, Australian actress (1946-);
Warren Zevon, US singer (1947-
2003); John Belushi, American
actor (1949-1982); Nastassja
Kinski, German-born actress
(1961-); Jimeoin ( James McKeown), Northern
Irish comedian (1966-); Callan McAuliffe,
Australian actor (1995-).
“ Honesty is the best policy, but he who acts
on that principle is not an honest man.”
— Richard Whately, British theologian.
“ My grace is sufficient for you, for My power
is made perfect in weakness.” — (2 Cor 12:9).
It is likely to be
a month before
of Inquiry sits to
investigate last week’s Strongman State
mine disaster. The Government still has to
appoint the commission members and no
announcement of the personnel is expected for
several weeks, according to the spokesman for
the office of the Minister of Mines.
All details required are not expected until
after officials have reopened for inspection the
section where the fire has raged since the blast.
This study should be possible in three weeks,
according to the under-secretary of mines
Mr P M Outhwaite.
“ Every coalmine must be regarded as
dangerous,” the past president of the British
Mine Workers’ Union, Sir William Lawther
said in Auckland today. “ Mining is the job
which everybody thinks the other fellow
should do,” Sir William added. “Mining is the
dirtiest, filthiest, most dangerous job in the
world. Disaster is the price which must be paid
The popularity of the West Coast Skelton
brothers in New Zealand racing can be
assessed by the response by race followers to
a free offer made yesterday by the Greymouth
Jockey Club. The club decided to dispose of
500 extra copies of the racebook printed for its
November meeting at which all five Skelton
brothers rode, charging only postage fees.
The response was immediate. Included in
the first mail were 28 applications followed by
another 43 airmail replies yesterday morning.
This morning’s mail brought the number of
replies to 147 — all received within 24 hours of
the offer being advertised.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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osing on the roof of London’s
Millennium Dome, they look
like any other young couple
enjoying a big night out.
It is a Saturday evening in
September, and the duo are
five months into a whirlwind romance.
Having met via a dating website, they
had formalised their relationship in
June, in a series of images posted on the
photo-sharing network Instagram. One
showed them cuddling in bed, with the
23-year-old man (who had just departed
for a fortnight’s summer holiday) playfully
grabbing his scantily-clad, 21-year-old
companion by the neck.
“My man and I having cuddles before he
left,” she wrote.
“It’s going to be a tough two weeks
without him. I love you baby xxx. ”
Another image showed the lovers
holding hands, fingers intertwined, while
the young man’s pet puppy, a black cross-
breed called Louell, rested his chin on
her naked thigh: ‘#mummydaddyandbaby
#familylife #myboys’ read her caption.
Yet a long shadow has now been cast
over these scenes of domestic bliss.
For the man in the pictures is Corrie
McKeague, the RAF ser viceman at
the centre of perhaps the most bizarre
manhunt in recent years.
He disappeared six days after the
romantic weekend break in London,
during a night out in Bury Saint
Edmunds, Suffolk, in which he wore the
same pink shirt and white jeans. He drove
there in his blue BMW convertible, which
he left in a pay-and-display car park.
The night saw him visit two bars,
before being asked to leave a nightclub
by bouncers because he had ‘consumed
He then visited a takeaway, before falling
asleep for two hours in a shop door way.
Then, at 3.25am, he was recorded on
CCTV film walking into a loading bay
behind a branch of Gregg’s.
Soon after wards, in a town dotted with
security cameras, McKeague vanished. He
has not been seen since.
Detectives are baffled, saying the chances
of him managing to slip out of the centre
of the cathedral town without being
caught on camera are as low as 1 or 2%.
A huge PR campaign, run by his family,
and with thousands of supporters on
social media, has failed to shed any light
on the mystery. Adding to the intrigue,
meanwhile, are recent revelations about
McKeague’s relationship with his 21-year-
old lover, April Oliver.
Despite extensive media coverage of
McKeague’s disappearance, her existence
was kept quiet for months.
Her profile was mysteriously removed
from the RAF man’s social media
accounts, while his family described him
as ‘happily single’.
That all suddenly changed on January
10, when Oliver gave a tv inter view
making the shock announcement that they
were not just a couple, but that she was
pregnant with his child.
The plot then thickened considerably on
Thursday when it also emerged that both
Oliver and McKeague had for some time
been living an astonishing double life,
trawling the internet looking for casual sex
McKeague had been active on a website
called Fab Swingers since 2014, when he
had created a profile saying he wanted to
arrange anonymous liaisons with straight
and lesbian couples and single women
aged between 18 and 60.
The site listed among his interests
‘ blindfolds’, ‘making videos’, ‘group sex’ and
He then set up a second, joint account
with Oliver in August, declaring, “ We
are a young couple but we know what we
want ’ and listing a string of depraved sex
acts they wished to carry out with random
men and women. Their profile carried a
photo of a woman wearing lingerie.
Its existence was reported in the Mail
after the RAF man’s mother, Nicola
Urquhart, revealed details in a statement
on a Facebook page dedicated to his
disappearance called ‘Find Corrie’.
Around the same time, McKeague’s
brother, Darroch, described the
‘dating sites’ as ‘ just irrelevant ’ to his
However, the police appear to take a
different view, saying that McKeague’s
use of Fab Swingers is now ‘part of our
investigation’. It emerged yesterday that
they are inter viewing contacts the couple
made on the site.
That is not surprising, given the
inherently dangerous nature of the sexual
encounters that McKeague appears to
A typical one is chronicled in an
endorsement carried on his page on Fab
Swingers, which is illustrated with a
topless photo of the RAF man next to
the caption ‘hello all, come say hi’. Dated
April 15, 2016 (when he was supposedly
dating Oliver), it was written by a 28-year-
old woman from Cambridge using the
moniker ‘pinupchick88’ who describes
herself as ‘quite brutal’.
She recalled their encounter by saying
that McKeague ‘turned up looking and
smelling amazing, didn’t take long for
me to take his clothes off, and he didn’t
McKeague then posted a review on her
page saying “met this lovely lady yesterday,
she was straight down to business”
before graphically describing a series of
unconventional sex practices.
Police are now investigating about 20
other ‘friends’ whom he knew via the
website, including eight women, four
transsexuals or transvestites, two men
and six couples. Of particular interest
is believed to be ‘Oriental-transvestite’,
a user of Fab Swingers who claims to
live in East London, not far from the
McKeague’s unconventional sex life
has prompted speculation that his
disappearance could be linked to a casual
liaison on the night he vanished. Such an
encounter could either have occurred in
Bury Saint Edmunds, or somewhere he
travelled after possibly being picked up in
His mobile telephone was traced to a
spot near Barton Mills, a village 12 miles
north-west of the town (and a well-known
location where strangers meet for alfresco
sex), in the early hours of that morning.
It was moving at a speed consistent
to being in a vehicle, though stopped
transmitting about 8am, suggesting
that it either ran out of batteries or was
Detectives are also looking at claims that
McKeague was active on Grindr, an app
used by gay men for casual hook-ups. It
made headlines during last year’s trial of
serial killer Stephen Port, who drugged
and murdered four men he met on the site.
In October, a month after his
disappearance, a member of the public
exchanged messages with a user of Grindr
called ‘BiLad21’ who had what appeared
to be a previously unpublished image of
McKeague as his profile picture.
Screenshots of the account, set up two
years earlier, were reported to the police
shortly after wards. It remains unclear if
the picture or the page was genuine.
McKeague’s family deny speculation that
he might be gay, and his Fab Swingers
profile described him as ‘straight ’.
The date of the alleged Grindr
sighting has nonetheless prompted
another explanation for McKeague’s
disappearance: that he might be alive and
well, having decided for some reason to
On September 28, just three days after
going missing, his uncle, Tony Wringe,
pleaded for information on Fill Your
Boots, a Facebook chatroom for the
It read: ‘Corrie is my nephew and the
family are genuinely worried now. He was
out on the p*** in Bury on Friday night
and hasn’t been seen since. He’s been
suffering with depression recently — so
The post was shared by 1600 people.
However, it was deleted from the site
a couple of months later, without any
Military sources confirm that McKeague,
who joined the RAF in October 2013 and
ser ved as a gunner in the RAF Regiment,
had been given time off to be treated for
mental health problems. Yet they say that
treatment took place some time ago and
he was ‘ jovial as far as we are aware’.
McKeague’s mother, meanwhile, has
denied her son was at all emotionally
troubled, writing on Facebook this week:
‘Q uite a few people have asked if Corrie
was suffering from depression and or
mental health issues. NO he wasn’t. ’
That post has also since been deleted.
This curious episode highlights another
strange feature of the manhunt — just
how many of the public statements made
since McKeague vanished appear to have
subsequently been either contradicted or
Take, for example, whether he might
have come to grief while attempting to
drunkenly walk home to RAF Honington,
the base where he lived about eight miles
away. Initially, this was seen as the most
credible explanation for his disappearance.
On September 28, Suffolk police said:
‘He’s known to go on nights out with his
friends and make his way back to wherever
he’s based on foot. O ur belief is that he’s
attempted to walk from Bury to RAF
Honington.’ Five days later, they repeated
McKeague’s mother initially appeared to
agree. In mid-October, she was reported
to have said: ‘He did not regularly walk
the long distance back to his base, but had
done so in the past. ’
However, on November 8, she posted
on Facebook: ‘Corrie has NEVER walked
back from Bury to Honington.’
Similar apparent inconsistencies —
assuming she was accurately quoted by the
newspaper — are also evident in public
comments she has made regarding her
son’s love life.
In October, she described him as
‘very happily single’, but then reacted
to reports of his relationship with April
Oliver in another (subsequently deleted)
Facebook post, saying they were in a
casual relationship: ‘Corrie and April
were on dating sites, they are young and
were enjoying themselves. They were both
seeing other people, this has not been
Quite how those remarks can be
squared with Oliver’s varied social media
posts (which describe McKeague as her
‘ boyfriend’ and date back to June) is
This week, McKeague’s mother also
wrote a post on Facebook (again later
deleted) discussing Oliver ’s decision to go
public about her pregnancy.
“Last week, April had to publicly tell the
world about her private life, something
we all tried to keep private for both her
and their baby, predominately at April’s
insistence . . . Sadly others would not leave
her alone . . . She was really left with no
choice as it was coming out anyway.”
Again, that version of events seems at
odds with other comments.
For on December 21, when McKeague’s
mother said that the intention was to
keep Oliver’s pregnancy ‘private’, the latter
had publicly announced it on Instagram,
with a picture of her belly along with the
caption: ‘Little blob I love you xxx.’
Meanwhile, there have been a series of
fallings-out between McKeague’s family
and Suffolk police. They stretch back
to early December, when his mother
(who works as a police liaison officer in
her native Scotland) told the BBC that
officers were failing to investigate his
The family has since raised more
than £50,000 ($NZ86,240) via a
crowd-funding website to pay private
investigators to look into the case.
They are believed to now be scouring
McKeague’s social media accounts, plus
his profiles on dating sites. It emerged on
Wednesday that his Fab Swingers page
had been active last weekend, leading to
speculation that he was alive — only for
police to establish that the account was in
fact being accessed by his family.
Of course, the disappearance of a loved
one is understandably stressful, and some
erratic behaviour is perhaps to be expected
by those close to McKeague.
Equally, his family can be forgiven for
attempting to protect his privacy. But five
months after he vanished, there remain
important unanswered questions.
Why, for example, have none of the
friends who, it was said, he was out with
on the night he vanished been named or
Why have no RAF colleagues discussed
their missing comrade, or made pleas for
Why, if he intended to go on a drunken
late night out, did McKeague park his
BMW in a pay-and-display car park
where he would have to collect it by 9am
the following day — rather than find a
free parking space a short walk away?
Above all, why are so many astonishing
revelations continuing to emerge?
For with every new detail we uncover,
the less the disappearance of Corrie
McKeague appears to make sense.
— New Zealand Herald
Missing man mystery deepens
Corrie McKeague in his air force uniform
CCTV footage of Corrie McKeague shortly before his
April Oliver. with a scan she claims is of her and Corrie McKeague’s baby.
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