When asked if he killed pregnant mother Angela Blackmoore, David Hawken said “my conscience is clear”.
That was last year. Now the former debt collector and gang associate is one of three people charged with her murder.
Hawken, 47, was arrested at his Wānaka home on May 5.
A suppression order keeping his identity secret lapsed on Monday, following a successful challenge by Stuff.
Blackmoore, 21, was nine weeks’ pregnant when she was bludgeoned and stabbed 39 times at her Christchurch home on August 17, 1995.
Jeremy Powell, 45, and Rebecca Wright-Meldrum, 48, were arrested in October last year after a Stuff investigation – Dark Secret – revealed new information about the cold case, and the police offered a record $100,000 reward.
Powell was jailed for at least 10 years in June after admitting his role in the killing.
Hawken and Wright-Meldrum will defend the murder charges at a trial that was due to start in February, but was delayed at a hearing last week. A new trial date is yet to be set.
Last year, prior to any arrests in connection with Blackmoore’s murder, police told Stuff that Hawken, the former owner of Debt Collectors International and an associate of the now defunct Templars Motorcycle Club, was a “person of interest” to their inquiry.
He had been interviewed on numerous occasions, but denied involvement.
In two recorded interviews with Stuff last year, Hawken, an old school friend of Blackmoore’s ex-husband, William, said he was at home with his heavily pregnant partner on the night of the murder when he received a phone call from her mother, who “hated my guts”. That call gave him an alibi.
“I didn’t kill her. That’s been proved,” he said.
“We got hauled over the coals … and that’s a fact. I’ve got nothing to hide. My conscience is clear.
“If I ever found out who did it … God help them.”
Hawken said he was involved in brokering a settlement between Blackmoore and her ex-husband, potentially worth tens of thousands of dollars, in relation to a home they owned in Cashel St.
He said he was living in the property at the time of the murder because he’d loaned the pair up to $10,000 to help pay the mortgage, and when he fell on hard times he needed a place to stay.
In April, a judge granted police a search warrant to obtain copies of Stuff’s interviews with Hawken.
According to the Crown’s summary of facts, Powell went to Blackmoore’s Vancouver Cres home with a bowie knife and a bat hidden under a trench coat he was wearing about 9pm.
After she invited him inside, he attacked her in the kitchen, striking her numerous times with the weapons in the head and neck.
Blackmoore was found lying dead on the floor in a pool of drying blood when her new partner, Laurie Anderson, arrived home from working at the University of Canterbury about 11.20pm.
Her 2-year-old son was asleep in bed and unharmed.
Powell, who grew up in Oxford, confessed to the killing last year after police, acting on a tip-off, brought him and Wright in for questioning.
In an interview that stunned investigators, he told them he’d been offered $10,000 to kill Blackmoore, a former prostitute whom he knew through acquaintances. It’s unclear whether he ever received the money.
At Powell’s sentencing, it emerged he was a reluctant hitman.
In the days before the murder, the then 20-year-old went to Blackmoore’s home intending to kill her, but couldn’t go through with it.SuppliedA boot print collected from the scene of Angela Blackmoore’s property, which police believe belonged to her killer. Blackmoore was murdered at her Christchurch home in 1995.
In sentencing Powell, Justice Cameron Mander described the crime as “dreadful and monstrous”.
It involved a high degree of planning and was a “cold-blooded execution of a defenceless woman”.
A suppression order prevents Stuff reporting details of Wright-Meldrum’s and Hawken’s alleged involvement in the murder.
Wright-Meldrum was one of Blackmoore’s friends.
At the time of the murder, she and Powell, then a nightclub bouncer, were in a relationship and living together at a property on Linwood Ave.
They have a daughter together, but split up before she was born in 1997.
A month ago police said they had not paid out the $100,000 reward. It’s unclear if that remains the case.
“Should any payment be made we will not be able to comment for legal reasons,” a police spokesperson said on Monday.