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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Scott Bainbridge, Cold Case Investigator

Scott Bainbridge, writer about unsolved murders and missing people

I was delighted to see in Craig Sisterson's great column Crime Watch (link to the right) that in the upcoming Hamilton Crime Festival, Hamilton's own Scott Bainbridge will be giving a presentation.

Scott is one of New Zealand’s foremost investigative and true crime authors. A self-employed journalist and investigator, he lives and works in Hamilton and has a close association to members of the New Zealand police.

He is regarded as the New Zealand expert on missing persons and is often asked to comment on cases by the media.

"There are murderers out ther who have gotten away with their crimes," he has famously said. "Any renewed publicity causes them stress. My aim is to keep these cases alive."

His first two books Without Trace and Still Missing led to several cold cases being re-opened and inspired the acclaimed TVNZ series The Missing. In his third book Shot in the Dark, Bainbridge accessed old murder files to examine unsolved New Zealand murders of the 1920s and 30s, dispelling decade-old myths and uncovering hidden truths.

One of the cases he has investigated as part of his research for his books was that of Sara Niethe, whose cold case was recently in the news after police arrested a man for her murder. Another is the Jefferie Hill cold case of a Tokoroa boy who disappeared in 1968, which led to a formal re-investigation. Even where mysteries remain unsolved, his books give insider information into the background of all involved, the searches, suspicions, police theories, photos and other evidence -- which may (who knows?) trigger memories and lead to a successful conclusion.

His presentation is guaranteed to be fascinating.  I had the privilege of meeting Scott and his lovely wife, Puna, at his  goodmate Alastair's house last month in Hamilton, and was impressed not just with what he has accomplished, but his obvious emotional involvement with the cold cases he investigates.

I asked him if he found solving these ancient crimes and missing persons cases satisfying.

Yes indeed, he said with a smile.

He was kind enough to give me a copy of his latest book, Shot in the Dark, and I look forward to reading it, once I have managed to pry it out of my husband's hands.
You can watch an interview with Scott here

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