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Q&A: True Crime writer Scott Bainbridge

Interview
Q&A: Scott Bainbridge
Interviewed by Vaughan Rapatahana

VR: Why does your latest book, The Missing Files, have only some new cases, i.e. why is there rather a lot of repetition of cases from your previous two books on missing Kiwis, namely Without Trace (2005) and Still Missing (2008)?

Scott Bainbridge is one of New Zealand’s foremost investigative and True Crime authors. His first two books; Without Trace and Still Missing about missing persons, 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 NZ murders of the 1920s and 30s, dispelling decades-old myths and uncovering hidden truths. His latest book is The Missing Files.

Scott Bainbridge is one of New Zealand’s foremost investigative and True Crime authors. His first two books; Without Trace and Still Missing about missing persons, 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 NZ murders of the 1920s and 30s, dispelling decades-old myths and uncovering hidden truths. His latest book is The Missing Files.

Scott: When I re-visited those two earlier books and the television series, The Missing, which followed on from them, I realised that there had been progress since then, across several of the cases. For example, in the Marion Granville case, her own Mum had no idea that Marion was on heroin, and was dealing in it too…

I also now have less of a closed shop reaction from the NZ Police. I obtained far more details.

So, my new book is an update from these earlier books.

More, I feel that I have now moved on from these cases.

VR: ‘Realistically’, for which cases from The Missing Files do you see any resolution? For example, the cases of Heidi Charles? Sydney Patrick Fisk? Craig Hampton, all of which I found rather intriguing.

Scott: I had a meeting with Missing Persons Bureau last month and we had what is termed ‘anniversary reviews’ of certain cases, yet – unlike previously – there was no new information forthcoming from any source as a result of this new book.

However, in some cases there has been some progress. For example, a whānau desire to resolve the case. The Wharton whānau want to find Betty. The belief is that indeed she is buried on a Tatuanui farm property.

About Heidi Charles, I have no idea. There is still a strong lead in the tale of her husband attending a boy scout camp and supposedly threatening his son there that he would do to him (the son) what he did to his mother, although the son has no such recollection about this comment. Heidi may well have left Rotorua willingly – after all she did have NZ$400, which would be worth several thousand dollars back then (1977)…

VR: Was there perhaps a serial killer in Rotorua? For example, what about the case of Olive Walker?

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Rā Maumahara: Q&A Tom Roa

Interviews
Rā Maumahara: Q&A Tom Roa

This is the first of several posts at Scoop Review of Books to help mark Aotearoa New Zealand’s first official Rā Maumahara (28 October) to remember the New Zealand Land Wars. In the second, Vaughan Rapatahana reviews Sleeps Standing/Moetū, by Witi Ihimaera with Hēmi Kelly, a novel about the battle at Ōrākau, and, finally, he also reviews Vincent O’Malley’s Great War for New Zealand.

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In May of this year, a talk and panel discussion with author Vincent O’Malley about his book The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800 – 2000 was held in Te Awamutu, the Waikato town that sits amid several battle sites of the New Zealand Wars. One of the panelists, Tom Roa (Ngāti Apakura) spoke with Alison McCulloch in te Reo Māori and English after the event about O’Malley’s book:

Q. He aha ngā kōrero i puta mai ai ngā iwi o Waikato, (o Ngāti Maniapoto) mō te pukapuka nei?

A. Mīharo. Kei te nui te mihi ki a Vincent te take nā te arotau o ana rangahau i puta mai ai te pono, te tika o ngā kōrero a ngā tūpuna, ngā kōrero i tuku iho ki a mātou, engari kāore i te kōrerotia, kāore i te wānangatia e te ao Pākehā. Nā reira kei te nui te mihi ki tēnei Pākehā e whai nei i te pono i te tika o ngā kōrero i tuku iho.

From left, historian and author Vincent O’Malley; Tom Roa (Ngāti Apakura); local historian Alan Hall and Waipa District Councillor Susan O’Regan, taking part in a panel discussion in Te Awamutu in May this year about O’Malley’s book, The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800 – 2000. (Photo: Alison McCulloch)

From left, historian and author Vincent O’Malley; Tom Roa (Ngāti Apakura); local historian Alan Hall and Waipa District Councillor Susan O’Regan, taking part in a panel discussion in Te Awamutu in May this year about O’Malley’s book, The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800 – 2000. (Photo: Alison McCulloch)

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Q&A: Hard To Find Books

Interviews
Hard to Find Books: Fundraiser

An email asking for help showed up in our in-box this week from Hard to Find Books, so we reached out to the owner, Warwick Jordan, to ask him what’s up.

Q. Can you give us some background about Hard to Find Books, like when you started up, why and what you do?
outsideA. The bookshop began as a hobby in a garage back in 1983, a real bookstore in 1984, and found its present home in Onehunga, Auckland, in 1988. It was founded on my passion and obsession for books of all kinds, and I believe we have created a store with an essence of magic, pleasure and surprise, a repository of learning, knowledge and entertainment. The books in the shop are complemented by the store itself — a several storey 19th-century chaotic shambles of a timber building with well-worn wooden stairs and original wallpaper still hanging (just) from the walls. It is both a cultural icon and an economic anachronism with a unique bookish atmosphere available to all incomes and tastes.

Q. You’ve recently started a fundraising campaign. What’s the reason for that? Read more »

Q&A: Prue Hyman on ‘Hopes Dashed?’

Q & A | BWB Texts
For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality

 

bwb7760_text_cover_hopesdashed_highresSRB: Can you start by giving me a brief biography, with respect to your background in gender inequality issues?

Prue: I taught feminist economics and economics generally, but specialising in feminist economics, where I could, at Victoria University for many years. I worked for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for two years on secondment. That, obviously gave me a background in feminist economics and on a couple of sabbaticals, I worked with people who were working in the field and just gradually read and wrote about it myself.

SRB:    So how did this book come about now?

Prue:    Bridget Williams did a book edited by Max Rashbrooke, called “Inequality” (click here for the SRB review) and it had very little gender stuff in it to my surprise, because it’s still one of the major aspects of inequality. And she got me to have a look at the small amount there was in there, and I said it was all right as far as it went, but it wasn’t detailed enough. Bridget Williams published my earlier book in 1994, “Women in Economics: A New Zealand Feminist Perspective,” and we agreed I’d do an update essentially for the Texts series.

SRB:    Early in the book, you briefly mention the state of feminism today and have some positive things to say, including about the commitment of many younger women and the diverse issues they’re active in, including rape culture, body image, unionism, anti-racism and more. But I wonder, given your focus on gender inequality, do you distinguish among the kinds of feminism? In particular, between, for example, so-called “choice feminism” or “neoliberal feminism”, which is perhaps less focused on women as an oppressed class than on women’s individual identities and choices?

Prue:    To me “choice feminism” or “neoliberal feminism” is almost a contradiction in terms. I think it’s an abuse of the term feminism and I think it’s unfortunate that some modern women who get prominence, that that’s all they mean by feminism, because to me, feminism is about women as a class, and not only about women as a class — I must use a broad term, but it can’t be a feminism of the type I’m writing about and keen on without also dealing with the intersections, i.e. race and class and disability and all the rest. At times, I think, ‘well, I’m less concerned with all women than I used to be.’ It’s really the women who are most disadvantaged by other facets that I care about most. Read more »