Double slaying at $2m mansion

By Edward Gay, Anna Leask

Police and forensic investigators at the Mt Albert house where the two men were found slain. Photo / Dean Purcell
Police and forensic investigators at the Mt Albert house where the two men were found slain. Photo / Dean Purcell

One of the men killed at a $2 million mansion in an upmarket Mt Albert street may have tried to jump a fence seconds before he died.

Police found his body near a wooden fence in a garden beside the driveway of the Stilwell Rd property just after 11am yesterday.

Another man reported to be seriously injured inside the house died despite the efforts of St John paramedics.

Neighbour and former Labour Cabinet minister Michael Bassett said he saw what is believed to be the second body in the main entrance of the house.

Dr Bassett said the man was lying spreadeagled with his legs sticking out the door, and an ambulance officer was wheeling a stretcher up the driveway.

Police are refusing to give any details about who the men were, or how they died.

But they said two weapons were found inside the house, and a Toyota Rav 4 SUV parked outside was sealed with police tape as officers examined the scene.

Another car at the house, a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, is registered to a Mt Roskill address.

Late last night, a man at that address said his sister-in-law had phoned to say she would be spending the night with a friend who had picked her up from the police station.

She did not go into details about the slayings, but said she had been the one who phoned the police.

Earlier, at the Stilwell Rd property, officers led a woman from the mansion before forensic scientists started laying stepping plates to preserve evidence.

They paid special attention to the front steps leading to the house, where it is understood a trail of blood was found.

They laid a trail of orange markers from the front steps, across the driveway to the body, which was covered by a white sheet.

Last night, no charges had been laid in connection with the deaths, but a man who lived at the house was assisting police with their inquiries.

Detective Inspector Bruce Shadbolt said police were not seeking anyone else.

The four-storey house has a quotable value of $2.2 million.

Built in 1929, it has four bedrooms, an indoor spa pool with mirrors, and 180-degree harbour views from the top balcony.

It is one of many upmarket houses on the pohutukawa-lined street.

The Weekend Herald has learned the house is owned by a woman now based in China.

Her former husband, a builder, is understood to be still living in the house. A source close to the couple said they separated last year.

Neighbours yesterday said the house occupants kept to themselves.

Donna Turner said there was "an occasional hello over the fence" but not much else.

Another neighbour, Gill Williams, said there was a lot of "coming and going" but no more than in her household, which has teenagers.

Her son Chris had done painting and landscape work at the house.

He said he had heard arguments coming from the property.

"It's a pretty well-respected area, so it is pretty freaky," he said, referring to the deaths.

The mansion used to be owned by property investor Barrie Cardon, who owned buildings that housed striptease bars on Karangahape Rd.

Dr Bassett said the street was "as quiet as a mausoleum" when he moved in 36 years ago.

"And then Barrie moved in."

He said Mr Cardon used to garden in the nude and have parties that involved his spa pool.

Dr Bassett said Mr Cardon was robbed at least twice at the house of his rent from the striptease buildings, and died after falling from the third-floor balcony.

- NZ Herald

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