The file picture of David Tuhua Poumako looks like any one of hundreds on police files.

There is a blankness about the eyes, a half scowl on the face. That is all such pictures have in common - there is no such thing as a defining image of a murderer.

Or a defining image of a victim. That is one thing victim and murderer have in common.


The other, now that Poumako has died in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo, is that victim and murderer will be forever frozen in those images captured in the last photographs taken of them.

Many will be glad to learn that there will be no more pictures taken of Poumako. It will be lifelong regret to many that there will never be another taken of his victim, Beverly Bouma.

Her husband, Henk Bouma, has said that he believed natural justice had been done.

"What goes around comes around. I have always been a believer in that. I am just so relieved that we don't have to go through the parole process.

"We don't have to face him again.

"My children still don't have a mother."

Poumako died, aged 27, on Thursday. He was serving a mandatory life sentence, with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

He had been to the gym on Thursday morning. He then suffered a heart attack as he played chess with a fellow convicted killer in the afternoon.


Beverly Bouma died, aged 45, in her Reporoa home during an armed robbery in November 1998. Poumako and three other young men broke in, wearing masks and gloves.

She died after being shot in the side of the neck by Poumako, who used her husband's rifle. She died naked. Poumako told one of his accomplices that he had asked her to perform a sexual act but she refused.

Now Poumako's life has also ended. It was a life which was shorter, less brutal in its end, and one which will be much less lamented.

Still, murderers have families too. Poumako has a partner, Robyn, and three children.

His lawyer, Harry Edward, believes that they have stayed loyal.

Kind words come from unexpected quarters. At the time of his arrest, Poumako, known locally and affectionately as "old Blue Boy," was described as a "likeable rogue"' by Senior Constable Eric Grace, who had been nabbing him for petty crime since Poumako was 14.


From the Murupara police station, Sergeant John Wilson says that when he arrested Poumako in 1998, for being unlawfully in a forest, he was "as good as gold."

He was "a fairly inconsequential local, just stealing cars and doing the odd burglary. There was nothing to indicate what was going to come later.

"There was nothing threatening about 'Blue Boy' at all. Nothing to write home about."

In truth, there was not much to write about - not for anybody looking for answers.

At 12, Poumako crept into a local teacher's house and cut her hand with a knife. At 25, he was jailed for life for murder. In the years between he was arrested for growing cannabis, for stealing cars, for burglary.

He came from a "good, strong family unit," police said, the fourth of seven children.


His mother, Raewyn, did not attend court. She did not listen to the news. "He was just a typical blimmin' teenager," she said. "I'm just trying to keep out of it."

Mr Edward said: "He did not present as a violent and vicious individual. He was a surprisingly warm-hearted person who was family-oriented, who had a sense of humour. He did express significant remorse and sorrow and he could not believe what he had done."

What he and his accomplices did do was hammer the term "home invasion" into the public consciousness.

"The only way the incident could be explained is excessive alcohol, consumption of drugs. Maybe the pack mentality. It's just beyond any real analysis. It was just a crazy, unfortunate and sad incident," Mr Edward said.

There is not any why - there hardly ever is.

Which is why "crazy, unfortunate and sad" might just have to do as an epitaph for a "likeable rogue" turned brutal murderer.