Murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope

Ben Smart and Olivia Hope, two young New Zealanders, disappeared in the early hours of the morning on New Year's Day, 1January 1998. The two friends had been celebrating on New Year's Eve at Furneaux Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds with other partygoers. The pair accepted an offer from a stranger to stay aboard his yacht in the early hours of the morning, and it was the last time they were seen alive. The disappearance of the duo sparked one of the most publicised and controversial investigations in New Zealand's history.

After a five-month investigation the police arrested Scott Watson, a resident of Picton. At trial, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of seventeen years.

The police investigation and subsequent trial generated considerable media attention and public debate. Watson has maintained he is innocent and has filed several unsuccessful appeals. In June2020, it was announced that his case would be referred back to New Zealand's Court of Appeal. The case remains the subject of on-going speculation in New Zealand as a possible wrongful conviction and has been the subject of several books and documentaries. Provided by Wikipedia
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    Published 2010
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