An old friend of a New Zealander killed by police in an anti-racist riot in London 40 years ago is about to reveal what he says authorities have known all along - Who Killed Blair Peach.

New Zealand playwrite Dean Parker played football and socialised with Kiwi protester Blair Peach in the 1950s.

Peach died after he was hit in the head as he opposed a neo-Nazi march through an London immigrant suburb in 1979.

The New Zealander's death - eventually accepted to be at the hands of riot police - made headlines around the world for decades after his killing.

More than 10,000 people attended his funeral, tens of thousands marched in his honour and a school in Southall, London, still carries his name.

Six members of the Special Patrol Group - London's elite riot squad - were involved in Blair's death.


All were inside a police van that pulled into Beachcroft Ave, Southall, on that April day in 1979. They jumped out of the van with the intention of dispersing protesters.

One of the officers hit Blair in the head with such force his skull was crushed. He died later in hospital.

Despite a reported 14 witnesses to the incident, no one was ever charged with Blair's death.

Now, almost 40 years to the day of Peach's death, Parker hopes his play Who Killed Blair Peach? can provide some answers.

The drama includes scripted accounts of Peach's life in Napier and in London where he was a teacher at a special needs school in the East End.

Well-known actors Michael Hurst and Donagh Rees will read the script.

"I asked them and they both came back immediately and said yes, they definitely wanted to be involved," Parker said.

"They both remember Peach's killing."

The play will be performed in Grey Lynn, Auckland, on Easter Sunday - days before the 40th anniversary of Peach's death on April 23, 1979.

Events on the day of the killing will be laid out; police will be cross-examined.

The audience can then make up its own mind on the killer. And Parker said: "It's pretty clear who it is."

Because he knew Blair Peach from growing up in Napier, football games and then meeting again in London, Parker had a special interest in the case that played out in the media around the world.

At the coroner's inquest, the six officers were referred to by the initials E, F, G, H, I and J, but their names were well known and plastered on 'Wanted' posters all over London.

In a suppressed internal police investigation, released 30 years after Peach's death, the names were listed in order of suspicion.

Donogh Rees.
Donogh Rees.

Peach's partner Celia Stubbs and his family in New Zealand campaigned tirelessly for the release of the investigation.

The police also released 3000 pages of forensic documents, witness statements, interviews with officers and legal analysis.

That included all the detailed evidence gathered by police in the months after Peach was killed.

One pathologist concluded Peach's skull was crushed with an unauthorised weapon, such as a police radio.

Parker has read all the material available on the case and said the startling thing about the internal police investigation was that officer "F", PC Chalky White, was listed last.

"He was driving and so it is likely he didn't even get out of the van - the killer was one of the first out of the van," Parker said.

Michael Hurst.
Michael Hurst.

After his research Parker was bewildered as to why no one had been held accountable for Peach's death.

"It is clear from the investigation who killed him, and with what, but no one has ever been charged.

"That person is still alive and living quite a nice life; he's done nicely for himself."

Who Killed Blair Peach?, upstairs at the Grey Lynn RSC, 1 Francis St, Grey Lynn, on Easter Monday,April 22, 7.30pm; one performance only.