Larnoch Road murdersThe Larnoch Road murders were a high-profile double-murder case in Auckland, New Zealand. On 21 August 1989, Deane Wade Fuller-Sandys, a 21-year-old Auckland tyre-fitter, left home to go fishing. He never returned. His body was never found and authorities initially believed he probably drowned after being swept out to sea at West Auckland's Whatipu Beach, where his car was discovered shortly afterwards. Five days later, on 26 August 1989, Leah Romany Stephens, a 20-year old Auckland sex worker, also disappeared. Her skeletal remains were discovered in a forest near the Muriwai Golf Course three years later, in June 1992. Police enquiries at the time did not lead to an arrest in her case either.
It was not until police received a tip-off years later that the two deaths were related that Fuller-Sandys' disappearance was upgraded to a murder inquiry. After a two-year investigation, another sex worker, Gail Maney, was convicted of commissioning Stephen Stone, a gang member, to kill Fuller-Sandys over what was portrayed as a drug-related dispute. The murders allegedly took place in Larnoch Road in the suburb of Henderson where Maney used to live. Stone was also convicted of the rape and murder of Leah Stephens, a witness to the killing of Fuller-Sandys. Two other men were also convicted of being accessories to the murder of Fuller-Sandys by disposing of his body.
The case is unusual in New Zealand legal history because of the decade-long gap between the crime and the conviction, the securing of a conviction despite a lack of forensic evidence, and the legal immunity granted to key witnesses. The case is also contentious as Maney continues to state she is innocent and that she never even met Fuller-Sandys, and because two key witnesses who testified at the trial have since recanted their original trial testimony. Provided by Wikipedia
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