How do people become murderers? Are they born with some kind of rogue gene for evil? Or, has the life they’ve lead bought them down the wrong path and tipped them over the edge? What is it that makes a man a murderer? In this gritty and engrossing documentary series, Forensic Psychologist, Nigel Latta, examines the lives of some of New Zealand’s worst murderers to answer these questions. This is an extraordinary series that takes you behind the headlines to the real stories. People who grew up with these murderers along with victims who have survived and the families of those who have not give highly emotional accounts of the kind of people these men were and what they were capable of. All, have been forever scarred by their association and their stories make for a gut wrenching journey into the darklands
William Bell was born in Mangere in 1978. Both his parents had gang connections and neighbours have described the household as the real Once Were Warriors. Bell was a precocious offender from the age of 8 and by the time he was in his twenties he was serving a 5 year sentence for the vicious aggravated robbery of a service station. Bell was on parole in 2001 when he carried out his violent attack on 4 people at Mt Wellington, Panmure RSA. He killed Wayne Johnson, Mary Hobson and Bill Absolum. He left Susan Couch for dead.
Jules Mikus was born in Wellington in 1958. His parents came to New Zealand as Hungarian Refugees and Mikus’s father would later be convicted of rape and accused of several sex offences against young girls. Mikus even claimed that he’d been abused between the ages of 5 and 12. Jules Mikus served time for an attempted rape of a young Naenae girl and then, in 1987 he raped and Murdered Teresa Cormack in Napier. Because of errors in the police investigation, it took 14 years to bring him to justice and Mikus but in 2002 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Paul Bailey was born in the English Midlands and was problem to his family from the beginning. As he grew older he became a thief and a drug addict who surrounded himself with younger people he could control. In the small town of Ettrick in Central Otago, he repeatedly raped a 12 year old girl, but went undetected until the attempted rape of an older woman in 1991. While out on bail for the latter offence he abducted 15 year old Kylie Smith in Owaka, South Otago. She was brutally raped and then shot in the back of the head as she was dressing.
Terry Clark wanted to be a gangster and, by the end of his short career he had caused dozens of deaths and amassed a major fortune from drug dealing. His story is one of a bad boy gone worse – as a boy he was cruel and manipulative and, as a man, he extended his repertoire to include torture and murder. In 1980 he was convicted of the murder of his former partner, Martyn Johnstone and sentenced to life imprisonment in Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight. He died mysteriously 2 years later.
Taffy Hotene was born in Murupara in 1970, but was brought up in a chaotic and abusive foster home in Mangere. By the age of 16 Hotene was being arrested for attempted rape and when he got out of prison he immediately offended again with a series of brutal attacks on women in Wanganui. Hotene was sentenced to 12 years for these attack and, only seven weeks after being released on parole in 2001, he raped and murdered Auckland journalist, Kylie Jones in a frenzied attack in a Glen Innes park.
Bruce Howse was born in 1963, and brought up in the small Hawkes Bay town of Dannevirke. He was the youngest of six children in a very dysfunctional family and he started thieving at an early age. He had children to two partners and he was known to abuse both the children and their mothers. On the 4th December 2001 he murdered Saliel Aplin and Olympia Jetson in the sleepout at their Masterton home.
When six-year-old Coral Burrows went missing on September 9, 2003, the nation stopped. For 10 days, people flocked to Featherston from all around New Zealand to search for the little girl who had failed to return from school. The truth, when it was revealed, was dreadful. Coral had been bludgeoned to death by one of the few people she should have been able to trust, her stepfather Steven Williams. He then stuffed her in a sack and threw her in a clump of toi toi. Williams blamed his brutality on the drug P, claiming he’d spent the three nights before Coral’s disappearance continuously smoking methamphetamine. However, as Beyond the Darklands reveals, the reality is far more complicated and sinister than that.
Bernard McGrath was born in Christchurch and entered the Australasian Catholic Order of St John of God as an eighteen year-old. In Sydney he underwent religious training and qualified as a teacher. In 1974 Brother McGrath returned to New Zealand to teach at the Order’s school for special needs boys, Marylands School, in Christchurch. However soon after he began working at Marylands, he started sexually abusing the boys in his care. Clinical Psychologist Nigel Latta examines why Brother Bernard McGrath started abusing children, how he managed to silence his victims for, and how he continued to abuse for over two decades.
How could a seventeen year-old boy execute two defenseless men in cold blood? In March 2002 Ese Faleali’i robbed the Pizza Delivery Company in Pakuranga in Auckland. Marcus Doig’s boss had already handed over the night’s takings when, for no apparent reason Faleali’i shot Marcus in the back of the head. A week later Faleali’i held up an ASB Bank. Teller John Vaughan obeyed all Faleali’i’s demands, when without warning or provocation Faleali’i leaned over the counter and shot John in the head.
Not only did he kill two people, he spent almost his entire life persecuting those around him. But he would only ever pick on people smaller than him. Tauranga 24-year-old Natasha Hayden and toddler Aaliyah Morrissey were two such people. Curran strangled Natasha in 2005. Then, when he was on bail for killing her, he murdered his neighbour’s neighbour’s two-year-old, Aaliyah Morrissey. Beyond the Darklands’ forensic psychologist Nigel Latta has worked with criminals for 18 years and describes Curran as one of the worst bullies he has come across.
The murder of Reporoa farmer Beverley Bouma in 1998 shocked New Zealand. It was the first time the idea of “home invasion” seeped into the public consciousness. Suddenly no one was safe in their own homes – and everyone was asking: what sort of criminal would terrorize innocent victims and murder a defenseless woman in cold blood? Beyond the Darklands clinical psychologist Nigel Latta probes the background of Poumako. It’s the story of someone who wanted to be a “big man”.
When Graeme Burton killed Karl Kuchenbecker in the hills above Wainuiomata there was a national outcry; Burton had been released from prison on parole for another murder just a few months before. Clinical Psychologist Nigel Latta explores Burton’s development as he began to exhibit psychotic behaviour, which eventually led to murder. In Beyond the Darklands, Clinical Psychologist Nigel Latta explores Burton’s development as he began to exhibit psychotic behaviour, which eventually led to murder. Burton was just twenty-one when he stabbed Paul Anderson to death in May 1992 in Wellington. His prison term was marked by violence and drug abuse but after 2002, when he was first eligible for parole, Burton’s record was clean and in 2006 the Parole Board released him. So how did this extremely brutal, dangerous man manage to contain his violent tendencies enough to convince the parole board he should be freed?
The nation was captivated when Antonie Dixon turned up in court sporting a pudding bowl haircut and pulling strange faces in an attempt to look mad. During a P-fuelled rampage in 2003, Dixon attacked two women friends with a samurai sword and left them fighting for their lives; and then shot and killed a total stranger, James Te Aute. Tonight on Beyond The Darklands, Nigel Latta takes a look at Dixon's life, and attempts to understand what made him commit the crimes he did.
Tracy Goodman is one of the most complex criminals in New Zealand. Brought up with abuse and neglect, Goodman went on to treat others the same way. She abandoned all five of her children, and beat and abused her partners. Criminal Physcologist, Nigel Latta covers the first female murderer of the series. A serial burglar with drug issues, Goodman habitually robbed the elderly. One of them was Marton pensioner Mona Morriss who she beat and then stabbed to death
Criminal Physcologist Nigel Latta takes a look at the life of Daniel Moore, the man who killed his business partner, Tony Stanlake, in an attempt to live out his elaborate fantasy, and become a big-time mafia-style don.
Criminal Physcologist Nigel Latta takes a look at the life of Mark Lundy, who was convicted for killing his wife and seven-year-old daughter in 2000.
Nigel Latta takes a look at the life of Bert Potter, the cult leader whose Centrepoint dream collapsed amid convictions for drug dealing and underage sex.
Nigel Latta looks into the life of Travis Burns to try and understand why he killed Joanne McCarthy in front of her 11-month-old baby.
Paul Joseph Dally
Nigel Latta takes a look at the life of Paul Joseph Dally. The man who abducted and killed 13-year-old Karla Cardno.
The life of Gavin Hawthorn, one of New Zealand's deadliest drink drivers.
Nigel Latta looks at the life of George Baker, who beat 17-year-old Liam Ashley to death in the back of a prison van.
Nigel Latta looks at the life of Joseph Reekers who murdered Auckland hairdresser Marie Jamieson in 2001.
Shannon Flewellen is serving a life sentence for the brutal killing of Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim.
Forensic psychologist Nigel Latta explores the mind and motivations of Steven Williams who brutally beat his six-year-old stepdaughter, Coral Burrows, to death in 2003.
The man charged with killing deaf woman Emma Agnew, allegedly told his girlfriend he raped and killed her, did not regret it and would do it again.
Nigel investigates the life of Brad Callaghan. A young, successful engineer who, seemingly out of the blue, beat the mother of his child, Carmen Thomas, to death, then proceeded to dismember her body.
Dean Wickliffe is a repeat offender who has twice-escaped from a maximum security prison. Nigel asks why punishment hasn't deterred Wickliffe from a life of crime, and what could.
Nigel Latta looks at the life of Cyndi Fairburn, who killed her ex-partner by colliding with another car while he clung to her car bonnet.
The Mark Brothers
Nigel Latta looks at two brothers, Ron Mark and Tui Mark, whose lives turned out very differently.
Nigel Latta looks at the death of 3 year-old Nia Glassie.
Nigel Latta looks at the life of convicted murderer and paedophile Peter Holdem. Nigel tries to understand Holdem and other sexual abusers, and examines if they are ever redeemable.
Nigel investigates the life of Jason Somerville, an illiterate loner and necrophiliac, who murdered two women and hid their bodies under the floorboards of his home.
Nigel Latta looks at how normal people cope when faced with a real life nightmare - losing a loved one through a violent crime.