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Hero image for Life Sentence - The Crewe Murders

Life Sentence - The Crewe Murders

Television (Full Length) – 1994

Presented by Brian Edwards, this two-part documentary explores a case that rattled the faith of New Zealanders in their police and legal system. Pukekawa farmer Arthur Allan Thomas was twice convicted of the murders of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe, before receiving a royal pardon in 1979. Thomas' ex wife Vivien and his supporters discuss their grassroots campaign to overturn his convictions, while journalist Pat Booth offers his view of who killed the Crewes. Ex Prime Minister David Lange sees Robert Muldoon's decision to pardon Thomas as the action of a man who "knew the provincial pulse pretty well".

Why would Muldoon take it upon himself on the basis of that report to pardon a man who'd twice been convicted of murder? And the answer I think lies a lot in the complexity of the Muldoon psyche...
– Lawyer and former Prime Minister David Lange on Robert Muldoon's decision to pardon Arthur Allan Thomas in 1979

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