Just like you, but different
Scott Watson who was convicted in May 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope on his boat Blade on 1 January 1998. The bodies of Smart and Hope have never been found.
Watson is serving a life sentence with a non-parole period of 17 years and is expected be released on 8 July 2016
On New Year”s Eve 1997, young holiday-makers Ben Smart and Olivia Hope dissapeared from a party at Furneaux Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds, and were last seen boarding a mystery yacht with a mystery man.
The boat that they were last seen boarding was described by witnesses as a 40ft wooden ketch (two masted yacht) with high freeboard. When Scott was photographed earlier in the evening before going ashore, he had short hair and was obviously clean shaven. His yacht “Blade’ is a 26ft steel sloop (single masted yacht) with very low freeboard.
Doubts are explored here : http://www.freescottwatson.org/northandsouth/northandsouth.pdf
However you’ll find assertions of guilt along the lines of “I found the DNA evidence along with the fact Watson scrubbed his yacht so thoroughly it was cleaner than a hospital ward the main indicators of guilt.”
Couple of things.
I also have a memory of a conversation with someone who asserted that he’d probably be in jail for something else if it wasn’t for this.
As an aside: Watson married Coral Branch in Paremoremo Prison in 2004. They separated in 2007.
It’s getting close to release time for Scott Watson. No closure would have been served to the parents, or friends of Ben and Olivia.
Scott Watson may well be free in a couple of years, however will always be walking with a shadow over him, and a bunch of people who will want answers and the elusive closure.
Scott Watson may also not be released, or released with some severe and strict conditions. It depends on how much ‘remorse’ he shows, and his likelihood of re-offending.
It’ll be an interesting time, we’re not known in NZ to let a sleeping dog lie, and living in the spotlight might have some interesting side effects.
The upshot though is that despite appeal and further appeals there is no new evidence, or ability to show tainted evidence in this case.
And finally …..
There’s one question, one question … it is a fundamental one: how did Scott Watson get back to his yacht Blade, moored off Furneaux Lodge, just before 4am on New Year’s Day, 1998
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