Thursday, December 27, 2012

Missing Pieces by Ian Wishart

Investigative Journalist Ian Wisharts new book on the case of Heidi Paakkonen and Urban Hoglin who went missing in 1989 is well written and very well researched, everything you did or did not want to know about the case is here and frankly for all the screads of paper used in media reporting of the case, it is a wonder that a full length book about this case hasn`t been written before now.
The book is very readable, the illustrations however are pathetic, poorly done to the max and Wishart has a habit of repeating the same thing over and over which gets very tedious.
Is there much new stuff in here? Not really and except for deconstructing the police case and throwing in the possibility of a new suspect, Wishart puts very little out there that would change peoples minds re the verdict at trial unless you are anti police.
I would have to say that the original police case as presented in Court probably in reality did not unfold as alledged especially as Hoglin`s body was found so far from where it was alledged the crime had been committed, it does not however make Tamihere innocent, a rational person would be able to come up with another scenario and be correct, there is no doubt in my mind that the police made a case in terms of the actuality of the crime but did they stitch up an innocent man? probably not in my opinion, although I think a retrial after the discovery of Hoglin`s body would probably have seen him go free simply because the scrutiny of the police case would have seen it fall apart.
What I do find interesting and in the light of the trial of Ewen MacGregor for the murder of Scott Guy is how the police do have a habit of building a case around the character of the accused, I think that this needs to be seriously addressed and while I think in Tamihere`s case his priors were an indicator of likely guilt, I think that rock solid cases are the only way to go and unless you have physical evidence you don`t charge anyone.
All in all a reasonably good read, certainly worth your time if you are interested in this case.

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