What's Your Verdict - Lundy Truth

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What's Your Verdict

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From the FACTUAL Team – www.lundytruth.com
24 March 2005

The FACTUAL team have previewed the documentary called “What’s Your Verdict”, to be screened on TV3 on Thursday March 31 st. We declined involvement in the making of this documentary as it was based on the same incomplete and misleading evidence presented to the original jury.

The FACTUAL Committee, whose aim is to establish the TRUTH, was formed following the incarceration of Mark Lundy. It consists of a team of experts and concerned citizens from throughout New Zealand, who believe that the guilty verdict is unsafe.

Whilst initially pleased at the predominantly not guilty verdict of the mock jury, we are concerned at a number of factual errors in the programme. We offer corrections as listed below, in order to provide a more accurate account of the events. Our information comes from the original trial transcripts, and documents disclosed by the police. The lundytruth website has further details on many of the items listed below.

Despite our serious misgivings about this programme, we welcomed the opportunity to have the plight of Mark Lundy brought to the forefront of people’s attention.

“What’s your Verdict?” Implies

Truth

Motive

Mark pulled over to the side of road when stopped by police.

Mark was stopped in the middle of the road.

Police officers parked the car, moved, and handled items inside the car.

Christine was depicted reading a book without her glasses.

Christine wore glasses at all times. Her glasses were found folded in their case on the bedside table.

“No stranger could have such hatred” quoted

It could have been someone else she knew
OR
The attack was fuelled by methamphetamine “P”, as for other extremely violent offences. The effects and consequences of “P” induced attacks were not as well understood or documented in 2000.

She made no effort to get out of bed

The covers were thrown back even though it was a very cold night, and there was an injury to the back of her head.

Implied that Mark phoned to get Christine in bed naked at 7pm.

Christine’s routine was to sleep naked in their waterbed.

There was no Telecom record of any such phone call on cell or landline, inwards or outwards.

It defies belief to think any husband could lure a wife into bed at 7pm under these circumstances.

The bedroom was shown as tidy.

The bed was a waterbed, and the whole room was very cluttered.

Mark owed $2.5 million dollars, and was going bankrupt.

Mark was only liable to lose his deposit of $10,000
If he defaulted the deal fell through.

The judge, Justice Ellis, noted “the police accountant only presented indebtedness and ignored assets in his analysis“ (Trial Transcript page 206)

Prostitute as an alibi

Why use a prostitute for an alibi when a simple phone call or video surveillance in a supermarket would be sufficient?
Also, if you commit an offence at 7pm, why get an alibi for 11.30pm?

Insurance had been increased as a motive.

The insurance agent initiated the annual review and recommended an increase to $1m.

Mark reduced the contract to $500,000.
Mark was aware that the increased insurance was not in force

A business colleague, who was aware of the increased insurance, initiated the insurance claim the day after the murders.

Mark was liable for large penalty interest.

It would not have been enforceable if Mark declared bankruptcy or if the land resold.
The land was indeed sold for a higher price shortly after Mark defaulted.

Timing

Amber called Mark at 5.30 – 5.38 pm on a landline.

Amber phoned Mark from Christine’s mobile phone, probably from the car.

The return trip was 2 hrs 58 minutes

The actual alleged driving time was much less, as the 2:58 had to include a one kilometre run, the murders, computer manipulations, faking a break in, cleanup, and disposal of evidence.

It was dark

Not at 5.38pm. Civil twilight was listed that night as 6.25pm.
Any alleged journey would have the first hour in daylight/dusk through Wellington peak hour traffic.

Description of car

Mark’s car was leased and as such, had a speed governor allowing a maximum speed of 180kph.
Calculations show speeds well in excess of 180kph would have been necessary to maintain the required average speed.

The police did the drive in an identical car.

The police used performance-enhanced cars with no governor restrictions, and the drives were not conducted during rush hour traffic.

Average speed was 120kph

The defence showed that the actual speed was an average speed of 154kph, for every single kilometre – requiring peak speeds of well above 180kph.

The car was said to be “running on empty” on return

The onboard computer showed that there was at least 75km (approx 7ltrs) left in the tank.

The comment was made that only head lights would have been noticed.

In fact tail lights during high speed overtaking would have been more noticeable with the possibility to record a registration number.
No vehicle was reported.

Speed cameras showed a number of vehicles, but not Mark's car.

FORENSICS

Evidence that Time of Death was one hour after eating

The pathologist admitted time of death could be up to six hours after eating.

When asked for supporting evidence of his gastric juice theory he could not provide any.

Given more time by the court to research the issue, he still could not support his claim.

None of the usual tests for Time of Death were done (Algor mortis, Rigor mortis, Livor mortis, or Potassium tests).
The actual time of consumption of the meal is unknown.

Time of Death +/- 10 minutes

No pathologist could accurately give a +/- 10 min time frame, even with all the above tests conducted correctly.

The manipulation of computer clock

The method that is shown on the TV programme is detectable, whereas the method alleged by the police requires the use of a diskette and a complex procedure. The defence showed that the computer clock was never manipulated. There was also no blood or other forensic matter found on the computer.

Orange and blue paint was said to be “identical.”

The forensic scientist actually stated that it was “indistinguishable” which is considerably different to “identical”.
In fact 12 of the control samples showed no significant similarity.
There were also paint fragments that did not match Mark’s tools.

Only Mark Lundy had access to his tool shed.

Christine had keys that were on the kitchen bench that night. Any offender would have had access to these keys.

Brain tissue was fresh on the shirt with no deterioration

Defence showed that tissue could have been up to two weeks old without significant deterioration

Test on Brain tissue

This was the first time that this test had been used, and did not conclusively find human tissue.

The test was devised one week earlier using a chicken dinner, and was not peer reviewed.

All other international forensic laboratories stated that they were not able to make such a determination.

Potential Cross contamination

Police were shown to be lax in their handling of evidence.

ESR had had a number of cross contamination issues well publicised at the time.

The polo shirt was not in the boot of the car

It was in a suit cover in the back seat of the car.

“It was clearly her brain matter”

Not proven as human tissue, and it is normal to find DNA from a spouse on clothing. ( ref. FBI trials )

Eye Witness

Eye witness came forward

The eyewitness was found on an area canvas several days later and after Mark’s photo had been in the media.

This witness was a self-professed psychic.

Her statements to police had numerous additions and alterations, over a period of time

Polo shirt vs Business shirt

The eyewitness had the ‘runner’ wearing a business shirt, tie and leather shoes. (As Mark appeared in newspaper articles prior to her original statement.)

Marks Behaviour

Hallway reaction

Mark naturally reacted when he saw the large blood stain in the hall, which had not been adequately cleaned.

Jewellery box reaction

This was the largest and most valuable item on the dressing table and was conspicuous by its absence.

No evidence of a break in

There were two pair of prise marks on the outside of the window.

Noticed the window latch change.

The window was at waist height adjacent to the door that was opened, and part of a glassed conservatory.

All other windows were black with finger print dust, but the new window was clean.

Police had the catch replaced with a different type.

Mark built the conservatory so he noticed an obvious difference.

“If not Mark – who?”

Many suspects were not eliminated from the case.
Some were incorrectly or prematurely eliminated.
The original jury requested a list of other suspects and the Court denied this.

For our previous press release and Donna Chisholm's article in the Sunday Star Times click here

 
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