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Crewe murders: Daughter pleased grandparents cleared

By Jared Savage

Rochelle Crewe, as a toddler and her grandfather Len Demler. Photo / Herald file
Rochelle Crewe, as a toddler and her grandfather Len Demler. Photo / Herald file

Rochelle Crewe, the daughter of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe, says that although a review of the police investigation into her parents' murders has not shed any new light on who killed them, she's pleased her aunt and her grandparents have been cleared once and for all.

Ms Crewe broke her 40-year silence in the Herald in October 2010 to ask police to reopen their investigation to find out who killed Harvey and Jeannette in 1970, when she was just a toddler.

The request was refused but police bosses agreed to conduct a "thorough analysis and assessment of the Crewe homicide file in an endeavour to answer questions raised by Rochelle Crewe''.

The review's findings were made public today.

Responding to the review, Ms Crewe said through her lawyer Natalie Walker that she was disappointed there were shortfalls in the original investigation which led to missed investigative opportunities.

Ms Crewe was, however, grateful police had finally acknowledged the shortfalls and had apologised both for them and for not reviewing the investigation into her parents' murders earlier, Ms Walker said.

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She thanked police for their work on the review.

"Although Rochelle is saddened not to know who was responsible for the murders of her parents, she is pleased that both this review and the report of David Jones QC definitively state that her aunt, and her grandparents Lenard and Norma Demler, were not involved in any way."

Ms Crewe was still digesting the report and would give her full response to it tomorrow morning through the Herald, Ms Walker said.

Statement in full:

Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity.

The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since.

In that time only a small number of people, including journalists, have discovered Rochelle Crewe's true identity. On each occasion, her wish not to be photographed, or to have her name and addressed disclosed, has been respected. She has been extremely thankful for that.

Although she is considered by many, including our law, to be a victim, she does not regard herself to be one. Instead she considers herself lucky to have been able to lead a normal and happy life in New Zealand, where her identity and right to privacy have been protected.

Rochelle would like to thank Detective Superintendent Andy Lovelock and his team for all the hard work that they have put into the Crewe Review.

She has been thoroughly appraised by police of the content of the investigation file and the progress of the review throughout and is appreciative of that. Rochelle has also been given the opportunity to look behind the report at all the evidence. As a result she has been able to form her own view of the original 1970 police investigation, and all that has happened since.

Rochelle is disappointed that there were shortfalls in the original investigation, which led to missed investigative opportunities. She is however grateful that the police have finally acknowledged these shortfalls and apologised both for them and for not reviewing the investigation into her parents' murders earlier.

Although Rochelle is saddened not to know who was responsible for the murders of her parents, she is pleased that both this review and the report of David Jones QC definitively state that her aunt, and her grandparents Lenard and Norma Demler, were not involved in any way.

Rochelle is still digesting the report. Tomorrow morning, through the New Zealand Herald, she will give her full response to it. As a result, I am not in a position to answer questions on her behalf this afternoon.

Rochelle requests that members of the public and media alike continue to respect her right to privacy and do not seek her out for photographing or comment.

She also hopes that you will understand why she has chosen not to be present today.

- NZ Herald

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