Mike Watson at Stuff reports:
To many who knew him, he seemed an affable and outgoing, if not overly successful, real estate agent.
But for three decades Menzies Reginald John Hallett had been nursing a terrible secret – he was also a cold-blooded murderer.
Now many of his friends and associates around Taupo and Rotorua are left wondering how Hallett could have lived with the knowledge that he killed a man he did not know in a fit of rage.
As one of them put it: “How has he been able to sleep for the past 30 years?”
Hallett, now 72, shot petrol station attendant Rodney Tahu at close range in Turangi one night in August 1979 because Mr Tahu had closed up and would not serve him.
To kill a man in cold blood because his store had closed is monstrous. All murders are evil, but one can understand murders with a motive such as a failed business or personal relationship or a drug deal gone bad. But who shoots someone for not reopening their store?
Hallett is now 72. He should have gone to jail when he was 38
48 or 39 49. He would have been out by now probably. Instead he will now probably die in prison.