Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

14 years apart, but killings chillingly alike

Like Blessie Gotingco, Kylie Jones was murdered after getting off a bus.
Like Blessie Gotingco, Kylie Jones was murdered after getting off a bus.

The father of a woman murdered 14 years ago in similar circumstances to Blessie Gotingco says the pain of losing his daughter will never go away.

Kylie Jones, 23, got off a bus near her Glen Innes home after work on June 6, 2000, shortly after 6pm. She was grabbed, taken into a park and murdered.

Barry Jones said the similarities between his daughter's and Mrs Gotingco's cases were striking.

He had nothing but sympathy for the family of Mrs Gotingco, who was killed after getting off a bus after work a week ago.

"My sympathy is certainly with them. Kylie died a horrible death, and for them it's the same," he said. "It's horrible to think about it, that people can go out and do this to another human being in this day and age."

Last Saturday, Mrs Gotingco, 56, got off a bus near her home shortly after 7pm.

She was found dead in bush at Birkenhead-Glenfield cemetery on Monday.

Police have charged a 27-year-old man with her murder. He was known to authorities and was under supervision.

In 2000, 30-year-old killer Taffy Hotene had been out of prison for two months when he raped and murdered Ms Jones. He was on parole, having served two-thirds of an eight-year sentence for rape.

At his sentencing, it was revealed Hotene picked his victim because she looked as if she would have money. He stole her money cards and PIN numbers and ordered her to strip and dance, before raping her and stabbing her 17 times.

He was sentenced to life with no parole for at least 18 years. He was found dead in Wanganui Prison in 2009.

"When Kylie was murdered he [Hotene] was fresh out of prison and wasn't monitored properly," Mr Jones said. "He was a bad one ... he was vicious. There's a percentage of [people] that never want to be part of society."

The pain of losing his daughter never ceased, Mr Jones said, and it would be something the Gotingco family would also now go through.

"It never goes away for us. We've got one [other] daughter - he took away 25 per cent of our family. There's more to it than taking a life. Kylie would have had kids and a whole family. I can't even get over it."

On Thursday, Mrs Gotingco's husband Antonio said the family was struggling to cope with his wife's death. "Right now, we are just trying to pretend that everything is okay, but deep inside, we are broken-hearted," he said. "I can't describe how awful the past few days have been for our family."

The man accused of killing Mrs Gotingco received name suppression when charged in court.

This week, Stephen Couch, the brother of Susan Couch, the sole survivor of the 2001 Mt Wellington RSA massacre, said suppressing his name wasn't fair on the community.

Susan Couch was bashed and left for dead by William Bell - who was under Corrections supervision at the time - after he murdered William Absolum, Mary Hobson and Wayne Johnson.

Mr Couch spoke out after learning Mrs Gotingco's alleged killer had also been under supervision.

"You should be able to feel safe in your neighbourhood," he said.

- NZ Herald

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