David Tamihere case: Key witnesses' doubts about murder of Swedish tourists

by Donna Chisholm / 23 July, 2017
Urban Hoglin, 23, and Heidi Paakkonen, 21.

Nearly 30 years after young Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen disappeared in the Coromandel key players in the saga say the mystery haunts them.

Key witnesses in the David Tamihere murder trial have told North & South of their reservations about the police investigation.

While they think police “got the right man” for the killings of Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen in 1989, they have enduring concerns about the inquiry.

The case is back in the news ahead of a perjury trial next month against one of the jailhouse informants who gave evidence that Tamihere confessed to them that he’d killed the pair.

Former farmer Eddie Corbett, who found a luggage label belonging to Paakkonen on a fence adjacent to his property in the Tararu Creek Rd, Thames, around the time of the couple’s disappearance, says he wouldn’t help police again.

“No way I’d go through that again…  I’d go to jail before I’d be back at court.”

And hairdresser Merilyn Round, who the trial heard was the last person apart from the killer to speak to Hoglin and Paakkonen,  believes Tamihere was “set up”.

“I thought the cops had set him up. I think he’d done it all right, but they were trying to make a case.   He was set up by the police because they wanted a guilty verdict. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to help the police again because they make you feel guilty.”

North & South writer Donna Chisholm also speaks to two witnesses who are certain they saw Hoglin and Paakkonen alive at the time the trial heard that Tamihere had already killed Hoglin and abducted Paakkonen.

Chisholm’s investigation is in the latest North & South, out now.

 

This was published in the August 2017 issue of North & South.


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