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7 Dec - Speight J47 10 | by Archives New Zealand
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7 Dec - Speight J47 10

Gang-style crime came to leafy Remuera in Auckland #on this day 7 December 1964 when two bullet ridden bodies were found in a house on Bassett Road.

 

Sly-groggers Kevin James Speight and Frederick John Walker had been machine gunned to death in their beds, and the grisly crime scene drew 32 detectives to investigate the murder. The crime caused a sensation, marking as it did the first gang-style killing in New Zealand, and newspapers had a field day running stories with headlines such as “The day Chicago came to Auckland”. The murders were almost immediately linked to the underworld of illegal alcohol trading. Career criminals Ron Jorgensen and John Gillies were arrested on New Year’s Eve, tried and found guilty. Jorgensen came back into the public eye after his release from prison. His car was found crashed at the bottom of a cliff in Kaikoura in 1984 suggesting he had died there, but it was suspected that he had staged his own death and gone to a new life in Australia. He was however officially declared dead in 1998

 

Shown here is the entry for Kevin James Speight in the 1964 coroner’s inquest register. George Frederick Walker is listed on the next page but the killers aren’t identified as they are in Speight’s entry. Walker’s reads: “Died from gunshot wounds. Not known by whom. He was shot Murdered” The word murdered is in red ink as was common practice for all entries for murder victims.

 

ACGS 16232 J47/10

www.archway.archives.govt.nz/ViewFullItem.do?code=5075238

 

More information can be found here:

nzhistory.govt.nz/new-zealands-first-gang-style-killings-...

 

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Material supplied by Archives New Zealand

 

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Taken on November 22, 2018