Home' Greymouth Star : February 24th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, February 24, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1633 - English diarist Samuel Pepys (peeps)
was born in London.
1836 - e siege of the Alamo began in San
1848 - e sixth president of the United
States, John Quincy Adams, died in
Washington, DC, at age 80.
1863 - British explorers John
H Speke and James A. Grant
announced they had found the
source of the Nile River to be
1870 - Mississippi was
readmitted to the Union.
1903 - President eodore Roosevelt signed
an agreement with Cuba to lease the area
around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
1944 - United States forces secured Eniwetok
Atoll from the Japanese during World War
1945 - United States Marines on Iwo Jima
captured Mount Suribachi.
1970 - Guyana became a republic within the
Commonwealth of Nations.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
1417 - Pope Paul II (Pietro Barbo)
1583 - Jean-Baptiste Morin, French scientist
1633 - Samuel Pepys, London England, navy
1646 - Tokugawa Tsunayoshi,
1648 - Arabella Churchill,
English mistress of James II of
1685 - George Frideric Handel,
Halle Germany, baroque composer
1700 - Wilhelmus Schortinghuis, Dutch
1723 - Richard Price, Welsh philosopher
1730 - Christian Joseph Lidarti, composer
1734 - Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Frankfurt,
founder of House of Rothschild.
" ere are no eternal facts, as there are no
absolute truths." --- Friedrich Nietzsche,
German philosopher, poet and composer.
"Some take pride in chariots, and some in
horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord
our God." --- Psalms 20:7
Despite the fact that
1964 being a Leap
Year provides for the
girls to do the asking
when it comes to marriage, most Greymouth
young women of marriageable age are
emphatic that they would still want the beaux
to do the proposing. is was the consensus of
opinion when the Evening Star made a snap
survey of their views on the who-asks-who
Dale, a typist, said she would not ask a man
to marry her --- Leap Year or not. Although
engaged herself, she still considered it was the
man's prerogative to do the asking.
Susan, a factory worker, was leaning towards
the idea that it might not be a bad thing for
the girl to do the proposing this year. "If I
didn't think he was acting fast enough I might
give a hint. I don't really know whether I would
come right out and ask the boy," she added.
A Greymouth woman is the only female
employee on the hostel ship Wanganella in
Deep Cove. Sister Bernadette McCarthy
moved in a week ago to join the workforce
of 280 men on board as chief assistant to the
medical o cer Dr P T L Hitchings.
Before accepting the position as nurse on the
Wanganella hostel ship for workers engaged
on the £9.38 million Manapouri tailrace tunnel
contract, sister McCarthy was a district nurse
Ten year old Boddytown girl Wanda Bell is
among the nalists in a talent search being
conducted by a Christchurch store. Wanda
sang last night in the under-12 section of the
Usually backed by the Tremors Greymouth
dance band, Wanda was accompanied by a
pianist and sang Bobby's Girl.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Ed Livingstone, brother-in-law,
mate and killer-of-children.
"People will make him out as
a monster," he says of the father
who killed Bradley, nine, and
Ellen, six, on January 15 before
"And probably, in the last
minutes of his life, he was. But
the guy we knew? Absolutely
It was a monstrous act. at
nal hour of Livingstone's
life would eradicate any good
he had ever wrung from his
existence, including the lives of
"Monster" comes from a
Latin word which describes a
disruption of the natural order
--- some perverse malfunction
unrecognisable at the end. In a
corruption of nature, he killed
the children he raised.
Left alone was the woman he
fell in love with at rst sight.
Katharine Webb --- she uses
her maiden name now --- was
robbed of everything except that
which would torture her.
If he was a monster, Ed
Livingstone was one whose
roots were in New Zealand. He
was born in Christchurch in
1962 and moved to Australia
when very young. His father,
Duncan Livingstone, a Scottish
merchant seaman, went to New
South Wales with his son and
daughter Suzanne (Suzie) in
search of work in the mid-
ere is no record of the
children's mother travelling with
them and he was not long settled
in Australia before marrying
Shirley Crease, whose daughter
Karen Scott expanded the family
"He was part of a family," says
Pete Scott, who married Karen
years later. He remembers a
young Livingstone leaving school,
working as an unskilled labourer
or o ce worker, before shifting to
"We all showed each other
respect. ere was nothing out
of the ordinary way back then,"
says Mr Scott, a train driver.
ey rocked around the Central
Coast, north of Sydney, socialising
together, even after the marriage
with Mrs Crease dissolved. "Life
was pretty good." Considering
how it ended, looking back is like
"putting a jigsaw puzzle together"
but none of the pieces t. "We just
knew him as Ed," says Mr Scott, a
Livingstone's best mate ---
really, now, his only mate --- was
Rob McFarlane. ey met in 1984
and worked together at clothing
chain David Jones. Livingstone
was assistant o ce manager while
Mr McFarlane, another New
Zealander, worked as assistant loss
ey had a solid foundation for
friendship. "At one stage, he saw
me having a bit of a hassle with
a client. He dumped everything
and came to give me a hand. In
the process, he almost got stabbed
with a paper spike."
Others piled in to help but
the bond forged lasted. ey
would work together three times,
twice with Livingstone as Mr
Livingstone worked at David
Jones for several years, then turned
to working in pubs.
He was still doing that more
than a decade later when he met
Katharine Webb, the woman
who became mother to Bradley
and Ellen. She caught his eye as
she entered the pub. "He actually
turned to one of the bar sta there
at the time and said: 'See that girl
there? I'm going to marry her'."
Until then, no relationships had
really stuck. is did. Bradley was
born and New Zealand beckoned.
For Livingstone, the appeal was
"It was all about bringing
Bradley up in a quieter
atmosphere ... Plus, all of
Katharine's family are here and Ed
doesn't have much of a family."
ey started in a rented house
on Franklin Street, high on the
hills in the north of Dunedin, an
easy commute for Ms Webb to her
public service job in the centre.
Her parents lived just up the
road. "I don't think there was a lot
of love lost there," Mr McFarlane
says of Livingstone's relationship
with his in-laws.
It was a big shift, not just
geographically but in lifestyle. "It
was very late for them to have
children, both of them. ey were
both in their forties when Bradley
For Livingstone, the move was
the beginning of an isolation
which lasted until he died. As Mr
McFarlane says: "He was fairly
much a loner. He did not have a
lot of mates down there."
Across the fence at Franklin
Street was Geo rey Vine, retired
Presbyterian minister, and his wife,
Gillian, who also worked in social
services. ey recall the family of
three, as it was then, moving in
about nine years ago.
Livingstone, who was not
working, would farewell Katharine
each morning and turn to caring
for Bradley. e Vines watched
him grow into fatherhood and,
when thinking on it after the
killings, were confounded as
news reports wove the threads
of January 15 into a horrifying
tapestry. "It was a totally alien
picture," says Mr Vine. "It was
hard to believe that someone
could have changed and become
diametrically the opposite of what
"He was a lovely man. He was
just the sort of neighbour you
hope to get."
Livingstone was a " rm father",
says Mr Vine, but not in a
restrictive or rough way. Mrs Vine:
"He was an absolutely devoted
father and that's why what he did
is incredibly inexplicable. One
wonders what pressures drove him
to do what he did."
Mr Vine: " e only thing I could
think of when this happened is he
couldn't handle being separated
from Bradley because he'd been so
devoted to him."
ey would chat over the fence,
share a cuppa, watching Bradley
growing. ere was a dog, Spencer.
"He always had to be busy,"
says Mr Vine. ey watched
Livingstone spend hours in
the garden of the rented house,
learning about local plants and
growing conditions from green-
thumbed Mrs Vine. He pruned
with vigour --- and having
pruned his side, asked if he could
hop the fence and do the other.
He was quick to help out --- and
good with computers.
When the Vines got a new one,
he came up with training videos to
help them navigate new software.
It became a project, eventually
stretching beyond their capacity to
Bradley grew and Livingstone
gloried in it. Far too early, he was
trying to teach his son how to kick
For Guy Fawkes, he delighted
Bradley with a stack of reworks,
although the Vines suspected it
was Livingstone who drew the
most joy from reworks, which
are banned in Australia. "He was
really so excited about it," recalls
It was a bright point among
mundane daily tasks, with
Livingstone preparing meals,
often as not, doing housework and
"Edward didn't have a lot of
friends," says Mr Vine.
He did not know anyone locally
and as a stay-at-home parent, had
limited opportunities to meet new
"He didn't know anyone here,"
says Mr Vine. And, says Mrs Vine,
it's di erent for men --- dads at
home don't slot into the co ee
groups and social circles mothers
Asked if he was clever, Mr Vine
said Livingstone "persevered with
"He was prepared to give
anything a go. He had a
curiosity about things. He wasn't
intellectual but neither was
he a dummy. He was a good
He hunted for work, says Mr
Vine, straining against his inability
to nd a job in New Zealand.
"When he was looking for work,
he wasn't the type who sat around
twiddling his thumbs.
He really did want to work. One
of the things that delighted him
about the job at Milburn (at the
prison) was that he was going to
have people to socialise with."
Not even that, adds Mrs Vine.
"Contact with adults," she says.
Court documents list
Livingstone as earning $58,000 at
the time of his death, working as a
property o cer on reception at the
Otago Correctional Facility about
30 minutes south of Dunedin.
e job came about the time
Ellen was born and about the time
they bought a home. Property
records show the Livingstone
family buying the house on
Kiwi Street in 2008 (the listed
settlement date is June 17).
ey had a home. Livingstone
had a job. e children had the
rest of their lives. eir mother
Mr Vine: " e big unanswered
question for me is what drove
the transition from a thoroughly
nice man to a monster. You don't
become that overnight."
ere's that word.
e house on Kiwi Street is plain
to look at.
Like many in Dunedin, it sits
hunched into the land, braced
against the weather. One storm
blew in late on January 15, 2014,
through the back door, bringing
with it fatal results.
But before then, the bungalow
o ered hope and opportunity.
Seen in the media images that
followed, the pale blue house
looked as if it were shrinking from
the violence that had happened
But turn the other way and
there were wonders to behold.
Livingstone's friend Rob
McFarlane captured the best of it
His photograph looks across
Otago Harbour, the sea calm and
still, stretching o towards the
distant harbour mouth. Above, a
wide sky is azure-blue fading to
white-blue on the horizon.
McFarlane posted it to Facebook
and Livingstone wrote on August
2: "Rob, what made you post a
photo of my front garden, nice
isn't it :-) You are making me
By then, it was no longer his
front garden. He was banned
from the St Leonards home he
once lived in, with only super vised
access allowed to his children.
e relationship ended in early
2013. Livingstone moved next
door to Chris and Mel Foot's
home for a few weeks but it didn't
work. He would pace and mutter,
eyes turned to the house just up
the hill. Ellen's bedroom looked
down on his temporary exile.
As in the bedroom of any girl
just starting school, a mosaic of
stickers climbs up glass.
e separation escalated on
May 27, when Livingstone visited
the house, an argument followed
and he tried to stop Ms Webb
from leaving. e court was later
told "he would not let the victim
take the family vehicle when she
became concerned for hers and
her children's safety due to the
Livingstone was put in the care
of Southland Health Board's
emergency psychiatric service. It
was here a protection order was
actually served on May 31. e
temporary protection order was
made permanent on June 18.
ree days later, Livingstone
made contact with Ms Webb
through her Facebook site. "Your
are beautiful (sic)," he wrote at
11.14pm, tagging the comment
to a picture of her with her
arms around their children.
Livingstone's access to his children
was now restricted to visits
supervised by Barnados.
ºPart 2: tomorrow
--- New Zealand Herald
Tragic puzzle with
no pieces that fit
PICTURES: Otago Daily Times
Bradley Livingstone, nine, and his sister Ellen, six, lived and died in the family home on Kiwi St, Dunedin.
"Edward didn't have a lot of friends."
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