The Herald reports:
An author-on-author scrap has broken out over the Marlborough Sounds murders with Ian Wishart’s new book being pulled from bookshelves under threat of legal action.
Author Keith Hunter, who has also written on the case, told Whitcoulls he would sue Wishart and anyone connected to selling Elementary if it contained criticisms of his professional conduct.
Hunter produced the documentary Murder on the Blade? in 2003 and then published Trial By Trickery in 2007.
He said he had heard Wishart made claims this morning that the book was critical about Hunter’s research on the case.
“I told Whitcoulls that if that is true that he did say that in the book that I would sue him and anyone else who helps him distribute his book. If he has defamed me — lowered my reputation — I will undoubtedly sue him.”
Hunter was in the process of reading Elementary when called by the Herald, having bought a copy at a Ponsonby bookshop chain which was among those he had contacted this morning. He said the other chain should also pull the book from shelves. As for Whitcoulls, he said: “Good on them.”
Not a good look to threaten a book chain with defamation over a book you have not even read yet. It comes across more as trying to prevent an alternative argument be read.
What I find interesting is that Wishart had previously wrote he thought Watson was innocent, but the evidence he gained has now convinced him the other way around. Stuff reports:
Wishart says the sheer amount of new material he had access to led him to conclude Scott Watson was guilty – a complete turnaround from the findings of his first book on the case.
Ben and Olivia: What really happened?, published in 1999, supported the theory Watson was innocent.
Wishart said he had access to 7000 extra documents for Elementary, including evidence the police had possessed and discarded, and that had led him to a different conclusion.
“I’ve had to retract what I’ve previously said and say ‘I was wrong’.”
This must be a rare event – to publish one book supporting innocence and 16 years later publish another concluding guilt.