Dave Gunn has about five letters addressed to the New Zealand Parole Board.
The ex-firefighter hasn't sent them. The language he's used is "a little rough" so he will try again, he said.
In July last year, the man who murdered Gunn's daughter Teresa Gunn and her partner Andrew Grabner in Tauranga in 2005, was released from prison. No one told Gunn or his family that Jason Reihana, who had been sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 21 years, had been freed on compassionate grounds. No one told them anything.
Read the original story here.
Gunn and his family found out when one of his grandchildren, one of Reihana's two sons, visited a cousin's house and found him there.
Now, a few months later, Gunn and his family are trying to move on. It's difficult, hence the unsent letters expressing his upset at not being notified of Reihana's release, and the fact the killer remains being cared for a few streets away from the Gunns' Hamilton home "when he should still be in prison".
"He's still at home," Gunn said.
Gunn doesn't expect much from his letters but it helps him cope with the grief of losing his daughter in such horrendous circumstances, and the "kick in the guts" of having her killer freed into the same town having only served 12 of those 21 years.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"It still hurts."
Reihana was released on July 17 due to a serious illness he was not expected to recover from. Gunn doesn't care. He's still fuming but has found other aspects of life to help shift his focus and take away some of the pain.
Gunn has become involved in horse racing and in November took part in a firefighter's fishing competition, he created about 10 years ago, in Coromandel. The fishing competition was a roaring success, with Gunn and his friends catching their limit both days.
"There was a lot of fish," he said, laughing.
This year, Gunn and his wife are planning a holiday "to get away from it all".
Meanwhile, Reihana is not expected to last much longer, Gunn said.