SCAN Case Study: Mark Lundy
Following his conviction for the murder of his wife and daughter, Mark Lundy’s supporters established a committee (“FACTUAL”) and a web site to maintain his innocence. A visitor to the site wrote a message inviting Lundy to give his “side of the story in his own words”. Whilst incarcerated at Kaitoke prison in Wanganui, Lundy replied on 6 April 2004 with the following statement:
“To all website visitors.
For over three years now, I have professed my innocence. Nothing has, or ever will, change.
In 2000 I thought that the senseless taking of Christine and Amber’s lives was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but I was wrong. When I realised that I was seriously being accused of killing them, I went into a state of shock. On the evening the jury returned the guilty verdict, the shock was so great, I had to use all my powers of concentration just to make my legs work. As if losing my girls wasn’t enough.
I fully realise that it has been easier for people to accept the court’s decision than to question it. For that reason alone, I must thank the committee members of F.A.C.T.U.A.L. for their courage and fortitude. I also praise them for their goal, the TRUTH.
As to what happened to Amber and Christine, the truth is as important to me as it is to anyone else, probably more so. Without the truth, I cannot get the closure that my life so dearly lacks.
My big mistake in 2001/2002 stemmed around my belief in the truth and that I believed in the Justice System. I still believe in the truth, and that one day truth will prevail, but not in the New Zealand Justice System, which has failed so many in this country.
It has bothered me why so much of the evidence in the trial was inaccurate. I also refuse to accept the reported time of death, as do virtually all of the people that knew us. As for the supposed evidence on my shirt, I still prefer to believe its presence is due to accidental cross contamination. The alternative has always left a desolate feeling in my heart, as I will always love this country and what it stands for.
On a personal level, I have not cared about the thoughts and attitudes of others, which has hurt some. I reached this juncture after many months of prayer and meditation. I know the truth, God knows the truth, and I am adamant that the loves of my life are up there with Him and they know the truth. So what do I care about the opinions of others.
Again, I thank the members of the F.A.C.T.U.A.L. committee, as I also thank those who are assisting and supporting them.
To those who have been offering their messages of support, I thank you.
To the few who feel the necessity to offer abuse, I thank you also for the strength your ignorance encourages.
I look forward to the truth one day surfacing and my resumption of a normal life.
Yours in innocence,
- The subject didn’t say:
- “I didn’t do it” or in any way deny committing the crime.
- That he was framed or targeted wrongly.
- Or express any emotion in response to losing the victims.
- The subject said: “In 2000 I thought that the senseless taking of Christine and Amber’s lives was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but I was wrong.”
- “In 2000 I thought…” – using past tense indicating that it is over. This indicates that the subject does not now perceive the taking of the lives of his wife and daughter as the “worst thing”
- “…senseless…” – how would the subject know the intent of the one who committed the crime?
- “…senseless taking of Christine and Amber’s lives…” – not “murder”.
- Note that “taking life” is a phrase usually used in suicide cases = “taking your own life”. It is not usually used with respect to the ending of another human life.
The word “taking” has a possessory element. It means that once you “take” something you have it for yourself. By the subject using the word “taking” for “murder” he is talking about what was in it for him. The intent behind the act, not the act itself
- The subject said: “When I realised that I was seriously being accused of killing them, I went into a state of shock.”
By distinguishing between “accused” and “seriously accused” the subject indicates that he was willing to accept and tolerate some accusations as long as they were not serious, i.e. being charged.
- The subject said: “It has bothered me why so much of the evidence in the trial was inaccurate."
This is a very important paragraph, please notice the following:
- “It has bothered me…” - very mild term to describe emotions.
- “…was inaccurate…” - not “wrong”. “Inaccurate” is a very mild description and actually indicates that it is partially accurate.
- “…was inaccurate…” - How would the subject know that?
Note that in the previous paragraph the subject was talking about being accused, his belief in the Justice system, and that he would be acquitted. He then went straight to the evidence which convicted him. The fact that he didn’t mention anything that happened in-between, (i.e. the trial) indicates that it was of no interest to him. A trial is of enormous significance to an innocent person.
- The subject said: “I also refuse to accept the reported time of death…”
But does so without giving us the reason why he refuses to do so, for example, without giving us the time he thinks is more accurate. Is that because he knows what time they were killed?
- The subject said: “As for the supposed evidence on my shirt, I still prefer to believe its presence is due to accidental cross contamination.”
- While for the time of death the subject used “reported”, here the subject used “supposed”. In addition, for the time the subject used “inaccurate” while here he does not. This is a change in language and a change in language indicates a change in reality
- “I prefer to believe…” - not “I believe”.
- “…accidental cross contamination…” - but no indication of by whom.
- “…accidental…” - excludes intentional
- The subject said: “On a personal level …”
Does this mean that everything before this point was business?
That up to this point the statement was not a personal one?
The subject didn’t deny committing the crime.
The subject knows the intent of the one who did commit the crime.
The time of death is very important to the subject. It was clearly of importance to the case but was it of even more importance to him because he knew the actual time of death, and believed the reported time of death would result in an acquittal?
The subject gave credibility to the evidence on the shirt.
Being a suspect is more important to the subject than losing his family.
The subject does not perceive the “taking (of the) lives” of the two as the “worst thing” in his life.
The subject indicates that he was willing to accept and tolerate some accusations as long as they were not serious, i.e. being charged.
The subject regarded the crime as minor compared to being accused and being found guilty.
The subject mentioned “love” in relation for the country and not in relation to Christine or Amber.
The subject looks upon himself as a “victim”.
Being truthful Vs. being deceptive
The subject has been given the opportunity to give his side of the story, 57% of the content relates to him, 17.8% to the evidence and 10.7% to the system that convicted him. If this was a wrongful conviction one would expect that the majority of the content would relate to the evidence and the Justice system. Instead it relates to the subject and his outrage and disbelief at being convicted.
In addition the “truth” is hardly mentioned. This means that the “evidence” is more important to the subject than the “truth”. The truth is not the subject’s goal.
Is it possible the subject committed the crime at a time other than that presented by the prosecution during the trial? And that the surprise for the subject is he was still convicted? Is this the real punishment the subject is experiencing?
April 2015 Update: The SCAN analysis above was prepared by PVL and uploaded to our web site on 8 January 2008. It has remained unchanged. Since we completed our analysis more than seven years ago, the following developments have occurred:
- October 2013:The Privy Council quashed Lundy's convictions and ordered a retrial. Lundy was released on bail.
- February 2015: Retrial of Lundy began. The prosecution no longer asserted Lundy made a high speed return journey from Petone to Palmerston North to commit the murders soon after 7pm, but that he made the journey much later in the evening, or possibly in the very early hours of the following morning.This Crown argument is now consistent with the 2008 PVL published SCAN analysis of Lundy's own words.
- April 2015: A jury unanimously convicted Lundy of the murder of his wife and daughter and he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment.
If you have an unsolved case where you need the truth, contact PVL for investigative leads and analaysis of written and verbal statements.