Shadow Of Doubt

Shadow of Doubt

Shadow of Doubt

For a short time in the early 80’s I lived with two mates from the railways, Mike Jeffries and Lance Eavestaff.

Mike was a thrill seeker. He rode a big fast bike, jumped out of airplanes every weekend and was a male stripper for hen parties. He liked to live dangerously. We all called him Jaffa.

Mike’s father was Detective Sergent Murray Jefferies of the Otahuhu Police Station who had a bit part in the book below.

I hadn’t taken much notice of the Crewe Murders to be honest as the trials unfolded, but you couldn’t really ignore the efforts of the Thomas retrial committee as they fought to free an an innocent man.

Mum was a wardsmaid at Middlemore while Thomas was hospitalised during his imprisonment. I remember her coming home to Buckland Road one night and telling me ‘He is innocent, I can tell by his eyes, he couldn’t have murdered anyone’

That was good enough for me.

Anyway, once Thomas got pardoned there was a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the case and the police all got together before it. Mike’s father was working in Gisbourne at that time I think but he was called up to Auckland for the pre hearing briefings and came around to visit Mike at my house.

I showed him this picture and he asked for a copy of it.

I also told him I thought Thomas was innocent and had been fitted up.

He wasn’t as keen on that, but he took the photo all the same.

As it turned out Mum was right about Thomas, he never murdered anyone, and the cops framed him with planted evidence.

He did ten years in jail.

Arthur Allan Thomas is the reason I oppose the death penalty.

Mike went on to form a tandem skydiving company in Taupo. He’d take people up in his areoplane and harness them to himself and take them down to earth again safely. He was a really experienced jumper, 1000’s of jumps. One day it all went wrong and he and another guy died when both chutes failed to open. Bloody tragic.

R.I.P Jaffa.

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