Friday, 30 November 2007

Olive Walker II

Some random googling produced something interesting, a newspaper story from 2005 (1), about a cop who was involved in the investigation into the Olive Walker killing, featured in the first season of Sensing Murder (2).

Why is this interesting?

Because I recall a claim, made in that episode, that the Olive Walker case was very obscure, and only one reference to it could be found, in a book dedicated to New Zealand killings.

But this newspaper article gives the lie to that statement. Walker was killed in 1970, but the killing was still significant enough to warrant mention in 2005. The newspaper article states that "The brutal killing was front page news for weeks" (3). So someone researching unsolved deaths would most likely have come across reference to it, in spite of Sensing Murder's claims to the contrary.

Even more interesting is the timing of this newpaper article. It is dated 24th of July, 2005. The Episode of Sensing Murder that examined the Olive Walker case was broadcast in January 2006 (4). This begs the question, when was it actually filmed? Obviously, there would be a gap between the filming and the broadcast, but would that mean the filiming was prior to July 2005? .... Or (suspicious mind working overtime) just immediately after?

I susppose it is conceivable that the story was planted as subliminal publicity for the upcoming show. New Zealand's media establishment is small and cliquey, and it isn't impossible that someone at Ninox knew someone at the Daily Post. But the onus is on Ninox to demonstrate that they filmed before the article was printed.

Even if the episode was filmed prior to the newspaper story, and no-one passed the 'psychics' a complimentary newspaper to read on the plane, the claim that the murder was obscure is shot to pieces. But Sensing Murder making dubious claims is nothing new.

Incidentally, a few months after the broadcast of the Olive Walker episode, Deb Weber returned to Rotorua for a live show in May 2006 (5).Deb Weber wouln't have gone to Rotorua if she hadn't been on Sensing Murder. Her appearance, so soon after the broadcast of the Sensing Murder episode featuring Rotorua, is shameless milking of the publicity that she gained from her appearance on the show. It is exploiting the brutal murder of a teenaged girl.

Olive Walker's killer remains unknown, inspite of Deb's supposed contact with her spirit.

1 - "It's hard to leave behind an unsolved murder - retired cop," by Kelly Blanchard, in the Daily Post, 24th of July, 2005. (
2 - As described previously on lefthandpalm:
3 - Blanchard, op. cit.
4 - The 24th of January, 2006, to be precise. According to, anyway. (
5 - "Popular television psychic heads to Rotorua," unattributed article on the Rotorua District Council website, dated the 13th ofApril, 2006. Yes, I know. Always first with the news, me.(

UPDATE: The administrator of the official Sensing Murder website (6) has advised that the Olive Walker episode was filmed in April 2005 (7). Thus, it pre-dates the Daily Post article. The question still remains about how genuinely obscure the case was, however.

6 -
7 - The administrator's response can be read on the Sensing Murder website, in the sub-forum dedicated tot he Olive Walker case. (

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