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Beyond Reasonable Doubt

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I was nine years old at the time. The Crewe Murders is a famous case in New Zealand that gripped a nation for a decade. There were three assassinations that June day in 1970 - Jeanette and Harvey Crewe, and the character of a falsely accused man, Arthur Allan Thomas. This ballad is dedicated to him. 

Pictures show Jeanette and Harvey on their wedding day and Arthur Allan Thomas above.

 Bang! Bang! Who shot and killed
   Jeanette and Harvey Crewe?
 By whose hand was their blood spilled?
   The cops, they surely knew!
 Two fatal shots rang out that day
   and to a grisly murder led.
 Alas no clue or trail to point and say
   who shot them cold and dead.

 Dumped in the Waikato River mire,
   Jeanette would first be found:
 trussed in a duvet tied with copper wire,
   her body wrapped and bound.
 And Harvey upriver of Devil's Elbow
   given up by the murky tide,
 weighed down by an axle beam below
   far from where he fell and died.

 Yes, the coppers they had their man
   in one Arthur Allan Thomas.
 They fitted him up and so it all began...
   but for the grace of God go us!
 They searched his Pukekawa farm
   and took his rifle from inside,
 but said Arthur "I did them no harm,
   I swear I have nothing to hide!"

 Search my home and land he granted
   for all evidence and trace:
 and on the third search they planted
   the damning cartridge case.
 Exhibit 350 would magically appear
   for the coppers at their behest:
 now they had their prey in their snare
   and issued a warrant for arrest.

"Were you rabbit shooting that night
   and return before the risen sun?
 Did you have them both in your sight
   and kill them with your gun?
 Did you their bloodied corpses carry
   to the river after the fatal shot?
 Was it you whose conscience took pity
   and spared the baby in the cot?"

 Arthur Allan Thomas was put on trial
   and for double murder blamed,
 but the cartridge case refuted his denial
   and was well and truly framed.
 Twelve of his peers did the law mock
   with a heart of bias to convict,
 and the accused sat fearful in the dock
   as the jury returned its verdict.

 Thus twice tried for murder was he
   in the highest court in the land;
 yes, and twice a scapegoat found guilty
   by the lies on the witness stand.
 Forty five years on and yet unsolved
   still suspicions upon him fall!
 Yet no charge was laid to those involved
   who falsify proof and stonewall.

 By Royal Pardon his injustice spared
   and after nine long years let out.
 His marriage over but his name cleared
  "beyond reasonable doubt!"
 Bang! Bang! Who shot and killed
   Jeanette and Harvey Crewe?
 By whose hand was their blood spilled?
   The cops, they surely knew!


             December 2015


     

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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Date: 1/26/2016 10:10:00 PM
Keith, Congratulations on your winning poem. XOX - LINDA -
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Date: 1/20/2016 2:37:00 AM
I'll call your piece docu-poetry - it's a documentary imagery written in verse. Congrats Keith, on your well-deserved #1 placement in the contest!!! ;-)
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/20/2016 8:22:00 PM
Cheers Teddy. Lovely to hear from you.
Date: 1/18/2016 8:47:00 AM
Hey, Keith, Congrats on your any poem win. ** SKAT **
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Date: 1/17/2016 8:07:00 AM
Excellent write Keith, tragic yet fascinating.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/17/2016 8:25:00 PM
A bloody disgrace is what it is! Thanks James for reading and taking the time to comment. Cheers.
Date: 1/17/2016 3:19:00 AM
What an interesting tragic write - congrats on your first place win - Ron
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/17/2016 8:19:00 PM
Thanks Ronald. Appreciate your comments.
Date: 1/16/2016 5:01:00 PM
Such a tragic story in so many ways Keith - congrats on your win:-) hugs Jan xx
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/17/2016 8:20:00 PM
There but for the grace of God go us!
Date: 1/16/2016 3:46:00 PM
Congratulations on your #1 win. Interesting, well-thought out, couldn't stop reading it if wanted to. A 7
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/17/2016 8:18:00 PM
Glad you found it interesting. Happens far too frequently all over the world. Cheers.
Date: 1/16/2016 2:39:00 PM
I am so happy to see this wonderfully written poem be recognized in first place and I feel quite honored to be in your talented company Keith. Congratulations! #7
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