Just like you, but different
NOTE: This is an opinion only and not a judgement piece, it is my opinion only from what I read, saw and took to understand from that.
Just after I arrived in NZ there was quite a sensational murder mystery that unfolded. The “Swedish Backpacker Murders” And the Starring role was taken by one David Wayne Tamihere. Today I was reading an “exclusive” article in Metro Magazine, adn so it’s time I got my thoughts together on this. For me.
Also assaulted a 62 year old woman in her home in 1985.
Also has some other sexual assault and assault convictions on record, including a conviction for assaulting another woman in her home in the 1980s
And so to the 1989 conviction of Murder of Sven Urban Höglin, 23, and his fiancée Heidi Birgitta Paakkonen, 21, both from, Sweden, travelling in NZ as tourists. For which he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 10-year non-parole period in December 1990.
The body of Heidi Birgitta Paakkonen remains missing at this time.
Some of the background;
On 8 April 1989, backpacking tourists Höglin and Paakkonen from Storfors, Sweden went into the bush near Thames. They vanished and were reported missing in May.
The disappearance led to an intense police investigation under the name Operation Stockholm, and attracted substantial media interest. Police, local residents, search and rescue and military personnel carried out the largest land-based search undertaken in New Zealand, performing grid-searches centred on Crosbie’s Clearing, 12 km from Thames.
Tamihere, a fugitive for skipping bail for a 1986 rape, admitted stealing the Subaru car belonging to the couple. There was only one known key to the car that was found in the possession of David Tamihere, and he claims to have broken into the car with a bit of #8 wire and found the key in the glovebox. It would seem that there are 3 “experts” who were unable to replicate the feat of getting into the car with the same method.
He was arrested, and tried for their murder starting in October 1990. At the trial three witnesses (fellow inmates of Tamihere’s, granted name suppression by the court) gave evidence that Tamihere had confessed the murder to them.
Two trampers also identified Tamihere as a man they saw with a woman believed to be Paakkonen in a remote clearing. The court also heard Tamihere tied Höglin to a tree and sexually abused him before raping Paakkonen.
In October 1991, ten months after the conviction, pig hunters discovered the body of Höglin near Whangamata; Paakkonen’s body has never been found. Höglin’s body was recovered 73 km from where police alleged the murders took place.
With the body was a watch which police claimed at his trial Tamihere had given to his son following the murders. Discovery of the body also contradicted the testimony of a (Secret) prosecution witness who said Tamihere had confessed to cutting up the bodies and throwing them into the ocean.
I understand from reading an article in Metro Magazine that in prison David Tamihere told various stories and variations on a theme to various people in an effort to cath outr anyone who “ratted on him”.
In the book Hard Cases, the theory Tamihere did not act alone is forwarded, on the basis that as there were no defensive cuts to the bones of his hands, Höglin may have been held from behind while being stabbed from the front.
Most bizarrely is this contention:
Documents obtained from the estate of a deceased Investigate reader have thrown new light on a 23 year old cold case – the disappearance of Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen.
The couple disappeared in April 1989 on the Coromandel peninsula, and David Wayne Tamihere was arrested soon after on suspicion of their murders. The body of Urban Hoglin was subsequently found by pig-hunters at the foot of a bluff in the Coromandel ranges in 1991, but Heidi’s body has never been found.
For years it has been presumed Heidi Paakkonen is also buried somewhere in the Coromandel bush, but the documents passed to Investigate suggest that is not the case – she was last seen alive north of Auckland.
The story begins on Kawau Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, and a Christian couple’s suspicions in the mid 1980s that a local criminal with drug and organised crime connections had constructed a house complete with a large underground facility. The couple, who’d accidentally discovered the facility while visiting the property on business, felt the complex could have been used to hold people against their will, and because of its remote position primary access to the outside world was via the sea and a private jetty.
Well yes of course, secret underground lair. Having said that undoubtedly the Police did botch up parts of the case. But I would be very surprised if David Tamihere was not responsible for the killings or has other knowledge that for reasons unknown he hasn’t or will not share.
David Wayne TAMIHERE Released on parole on November 15, 2010, currently denies involvement in these murders. Current a cause célèbre with Metro Magazine and some other media outlets.
The jailhouse informer who gave false evidence at David Tamihere’s 1990 double murder trial has been jailed for lying under oath, but will keep his name suppression for now.
However a judge has ruled the man can be named once he has exhausted his options for appeal at the Court of Appeal.
“Witness C” was sentenced to eight years and seven months in prison for eight counts of perjury at the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday morning..
Tamihere’s lawyer, Murray Gibson, said he would approach the new Prime Minister and ask her to follow the same process Rob Muldoon did in the Arthur Alan Thomas case.
Mr Gibson described today’s sentencing of Witness C as another brick in the wall of evidence against his client that is slowly being dismantled.
Witness C told Tamihere’s trial that Tamihere had made a number of confessions to him, including that he had sexually abused the Swedish tourists Heidi Paakkonen and Sven Hoglin and that he had dumped their bodies at sea.
At this point it’s all unravelling;
David Tamihere’s backpacker murder convictions will be heard by Court of Appeal again
David Tamihere’s double-murder case is heading back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little says.
It follows acceptance by the Governor General of advice from Little last year on a Royal Prerogative of Mercy application made by Tamihere.
Tamihere spent nearly 20 years in prison after being found guilty in 1990 of murdering Swedish backpackers Urban Hoglin, 23, and Heidi Paakkonen, 21, in the Coromandel.
He has always professed his innocence.
This is an opinion only and not a judgement piece, my opinion only that I’d like to be balanced and fair.
1989: Paakkonen and Hoglin disappear on the Coromandel Peninsula
1990: Tamihere is convicted of murdering the Swedish travellers and sentenced to life imprisonment
1991: Hoglin’s remains are found near Whangamata
1992: The Court of Appeal rejects Tamihere’s appeal
1994: Tamihere denied leave to appeal to the Privy Council
1995: Witness C swears an affidavit retracting his evidence
1996: Witness C retracts his retraction
2010: Tamihere is released on parole
2016: A private prosecution alleges Witness C lied at Tamihere’s trial
2017: Witness C appeals the perjury convictions and sentence and fights to keep his identity hidden
2018: Witness C drops his appeal against the perjury convictions and is later revealed as Roberto Conchie Harris
2020: Justice Minister Andrew Little announces David Tamihere’s case is heading back to the Court of Appeal after a Royal Prerogative of Mercy application