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The Auckland ‘ Herald’ understands that Mr Dancan, J.P., who was a brother-in-law of the late Mr Pook, murdered with his family at Waipiro, on the East Coast, learning that the Maori condemned to death for that affair, Haira Te Piri, had made a confession to the Rev. J. Parkinson, wrote to that gentleman concerning it, as it would be a melancholy satisfaction to the surviving relatives to know the sad story. He has received a copy of it. A large portion of Haira’s confession is occupied with accusations against his brother Hohepa, but no evidence has been obtained sustaining such statements. The confession or statement was forwarded to the Minister of Justice, who directed inquiries to be made by the police, but no additional clue was obtained. Mr Parkinson, in his note to Mr Duncan, says that when Haira made the statement he showed him by his own confession he was an accessory, and thus his life was forfeited to the law. He was careful to press this upon him, as he did not wish him to say anything in the hope a reprieve would be given. Haira fully realised this. It would be unfair to give Haira’s accusations and statements publicity against the living, unsupported as they are by evidence; but this extract from Mr Parkinson’s letter has some interest, as showing the attitude assumed by the condemned convict before his execution “ Haira, from the very first, maintained the same story, and a few minutes before the execution, on my asking him if he had anything further to say to me on the matter, anything to alter or to add, replied: ‘No, my heart is open ; I have told you the truth. If I had not I would tell you, as I know if I did not that not only my body would die and perish, but also my soul would go down and perish too, I have been tried by man’s law, and my life is to be taken away; bnt there will be another trial before God, and then it will be seen I told the truth, and the true murderer pointed out. My body is going to be laid in the ground, and my spirit will go away to another world, but I shall leave the murderers behind me.’ ”

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Bibliographic details

THE POOK MURDERS., Evening Star, Issue 7920, 30 May 1889

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THE POOK MURDERS. Evening Star, Issue 7920, 30 May 1889