Monday, October 05, 2009

Update X: Community Notice: Update on crazed gunman

As Granny Herald uses some gratuitous licence in repeating Police notices tarting the storyline up a little by saying that there is a crazed gunman on the loose in the 'lower half of the North Island', I thought an update would be appropriate.

Norsewood is a small village split by State Highway 2 about 20 minutes north of Dannevirke. The Police notice refers to a Butchers Creek supposedly about 4Km north of Norsewood. I suspect this unGoogled location where the crash occurred is on 65km/h corner just off the Manawatu River bridge just north of Norsewood heading north. Suspect has absconded up steep hill onto Vaughan road and then across SH2 down Whenahou Road.

It has rained steadily the last 30 hours here at 25km south of the area, so I suspect the area, being relatively flat dairy farms on a windswept treeless plateau above Norsewwod at 1100' (360m) is sodden. The wind has been a freezing
cold southerly since yesterday lunch, so the suspect will be cold and wet. There has been snow here to 500m yesterday afternoon, the Desert Road 75Km away was closed last night.

I think I heard the cavalry head north past here hugging the ground (it is clagged in to 500m here) toward the area about half an hour ago at 0700. An Iroquois chopper is so distinctive in its whack-whack-whack sound, even from 5Km away. Suspect a chopper from Ohakea, or maybe Linton, has come out at first light. Hopefully it has a FLIR.

A detour above Norsewood is still in place, it is narrow gravel road. I
say avoid the area.

Instead of reading the tarted up Police notices that the MSM parade as breaking news here are a couple of links.

0107 Police notice

0458 Police notice, with picture of suspect. I do note he has been a previous client of Mr Plods by the orange overalls. (Have found out later today maybe not a previous client, may be freezing works overalls)

ps Stuff has blown up the pic, cropped the wide roadblock pic for effect

end of Community Notice

Update 0930

Another Iroquois has gone northward to the area.

Update 1200
Dannevegas cop shop a hive of activity this morning. Must have turned out the Police College in Porirua. Rain recently stopped here, solid snow line at 600m. 6 deg outside currently.

Update 1430

Federated farmers has asked media to stop contacting local farmers as the welfare of their stock is of greater concern given the poor weather. Nothing seen of gunman since 1700 last night. I do wonder if he is actually still inside the cordon.

Update 1600
Cavalry changeout a short time ago - 2x south, 2x north? Only saw one going north well to west of SH2. WX still clagged in and raining. Stuff reports
single shot inside cordon around 1450. All over? Situation upgraded to homicide as car with body removed.

Update 1745
SH2 re-opened and 2nd single shot reported by Stuff after 1600. What's the betting some high ranking Plod makes Te News as a breaking story to make him look good. Can hear cavalry going southward to home. Must be all over.

Update 1915
As promised, a high ranking stiff was superimposed on a live backg
round of the road down to the Manawatu River, the now infamous Butchers Creek, during Closeup to give the impression of the dreaded live cross. Stiff as a board was the Super, cap askew, with a firm grip on his mike and the fringing due superimposition very evident. A shocking 'live' performance on his part on Closeup. (Caught the end of TV3 interview - on the spot interview - much better)

Temperature outside is under 4 degrees, raining heavily, southerly wind bitter and snow conditions likely for another 15 hours. Stuff reports Southern Star Abbey (yes, there is a local monastery) below Whenahou Rd / Manawatu River has just recently been searched so Plod obviously thinks he is still in the area inside the cordon, but a couple
of Km away from SH2, hence the cordon lift earlier. Plod found some of his clothing on riverbank. Could be moving further south toward Dannevegas, but unlikely to break the quickly placed cordon. Ground coming south is extremely steep, broken country with many rivers and small streams swollen by 40 hours of solid rain and snow.

Update 6 Oct 0830

0709 Police first update in 18 hours

Wx much better in area today - still low snow on hills, visibili
ty relatively good, dry.

Note: While commenter pdm correctly notes the Southern Star Abbey is on Kopua Rd, the area being cordoned appears to include Kopua Road northward, the Manawatua River bed and up to the south side of Whenahou Road being open relatively flat dairy country up there. IMHO the area of most interest is the river bed from SH2 to the Takapau-Ormondville Road, being rough and scrubby.

Update 1105 Breaking News

Stuff reports suspect found alive. Media Conference with the Super
in Dannevegas at 1200. (Plod has removed this notice, was up for less than 5 minutes) Was found very close to SH2 (inside cordon?) at Norsewood and Districts Golf Club on Kopua Rd. Very close to where he initially crashed the vehicle.

Update 1145

A general area map for your info

Well done to all the ground staff on the scene at the cordon. Must have been damned cold bitter nights, but again thanks for you excellent efforts. As for your superiors and the media, what else could I say as we await their feeding fest and backslapping at the Dannevegas Council Chambers in few minutes.

Well done ground crew!

Update 1155
Stuff has reported that the Golf Club was outside the cordon.
The building where Bourke was found this morning was about 500m away from the car crash scene, across the other side of the Manawatu River. It is understood the building was outside the cordon zone.

Wonder how the Super will explain that away at the press conference???


KG said...

Thanks PM--it's nice to get some real info.

pdm said...

Note - The Southern Star Abbey is about 1k up Kopua Road which is about 2 ks south of Whenuahou Road. They run roughly East West parallell to each other as does Otawhao Road between SH2 and the Takapau Ormondville Road.

The T junction where Otawhao Road meets the Takapau Ormondville Road is where the photo's initially shown were from Otawhao Road.

Over the years Butchers Creek has been the ecene f some horrific accidents. There used to be a very narrow bridge there.

PM of NZ said...

pdm - Cheers for that.

Have again looked at SSA on Google Earth - although the entry off Kopua is 5 km plus from SH2, the actual abbey appears to be north of the Manawatu River bed up on the windswept Whenahou Road plateau.


Any idea what is the story behind Butchers Creek and its name?

sheriff said...

I have to say the locals were really top notch. Most of the cops on the cordons were getting regular deliveries of thermos and sometimes even scones. They were often very graceful in the face of some really stupid media questions. I asked a couple of those ;-)

Yep, it was cold. Especially at 4.00am on the first night.

The strange thing was you could drive from the SH2 cordon to the Kopua/Ormondville-Takapau cordon along Kopua Road, which was meant to be the edge of the cordon. You wouldn't see a single cop on that entire road (although they could well have been there, just that I couldn't see them), and I wondered a couple of times as we drove along it what I would do if I saw some scruffy guy running across the golf course.

You would often see locals racing up to cordons, trying to get in to their animals, either for milking or feeding. A couple I saw were distraught that all their show jumping horses were sitting in their stable, unfed and unwatered. You tell there was a real sense of frustration. But despite the stress they were all under, they were mainly polite, funny and generous. You know you're in a good part of the country when the local John Deer dealer lets the STG and AOS use his shed as a command centre.

pdm said...

Amazing Kopua Road wasn't within the cordon as it intersects SH2 virtually at Butchers Creek.

You are right Southern Star Abbey is north of the Manawatu River. You cross it in a gully a few hundred yards short of the Abbey entrance. The Abbey itself is on flat land, river terrace I guess, below the Whenuahou ridge. It is probably a k to 1.5ks from Whenuahou Road in a direct line.

Sorry I can't tell you more about Butchers Creek except a chap I know was almost killed there in the early 1990's when he lost control and went under the front of a Farmers Transport Truck. I also know the driver of the truck as he is a distant relative of Mrs. pdm. It took him years to come to grips with it. The road was realigned in the mid 1990's as I recall - about the time the Golf Club moved to Kopua Road I think.