2 May 2013

Ex-flatmate tells of cold case killer's admission

8:54 pm on 2 May 2013

A former flatmate of the Turangi cold case killer says Menzies Hallett told him in the 1980s that he had shot and killed a man.

Hallett is awaiting sentencing for murdering 31-year-old Rodney Tahu at the service station where the victim worked in August 1979.

At the Rotorua High Court on Wednesday a jury found the 72-year-old guilty of murder after after a law change allowed his former wife Susan Sharpe to testify against him.

Hallett had confessed to her hours after the shooting.

Warwick Nunns flatted with Menzies Hallett and was a journalist at the time. He gave evidence for the prosecution during the trial.

He told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Thursday he was shocked when Hallet told him about the shooting, but decided not to go to police.

Mr Nunns said Hallett would only have denied it - and that could have impacted on his credibility and the newspaper he worked for.

Mr Nunns said police have since told him that his testimony would not have made a difference to the situation in the 1980s.

Police relieved case now ended

The detectives who arrested Menzies Hallett over the killing almost 34 years ago are relieved to finally be able to put the case to rest.

Doug Scott, of the Taupo-Turangi CIB at the time, said it was frustrating not to be able to get Hallett convicted many years earlier. He said there are cases that never go away and this was one of them.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper who led the current investigation, told Morning Report the many detectives who worked on the case in the past were kept in mind throughout.