Bombshell development in Sounds murders
Bombshell development in Sounds murders: Guy Wallace identifies Scott Watson as mystery man in radio interview today
There's been a bombshell development in the Scott Watson murder case on the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope.
Water taxi driver Guy Wallace has named Scott Watson as the mystery man he encountered in the Furneaux Lodge garden bar just after midnight on New Year's morning 1998.
Wallace, who told police he did not know Scott Watson, also told police in 1998 that he met the mystery man in the garden bar near the beer fridge that night, and that was one of his key revelations about the mystery man in his courtroom evidence.
Investigative journalist Ian Wishart, who has authored three books on the perplexing mystery, says he just about fell off the couch in shock when he heard Guy Wallace being interviewed by Newstalk ZB's Tim Dower.
Wallace told Dower just after 7am today that he had seen Scott Watson near the beer fridge in the garden bar tent that night, an incident that 20 years ago he insisted was the mystery man - the killer of Ben and Olivia.
The bombshell is that Wallace told Dower he remembered seeing Watson's beer in the fridge - when at trial he said it belonged to the mystery man. The incident was unique because bar staff were not supposed to look after customers' beers.
"This is a dynamite revelation that blows this case wide open," Wishart said tonight. "For two years I've been saying Scott Watson is the mystery man and Wallace is confused - now we have proof. Wallace has today subconsciously linked Scott Watson to the mystery man in his memories. They are indeed one and the same. This didn't happen by accident. The continued media interest in this case is stirring long forgotten memories in Wallace's brain.
"Guy Wallace swore and declared he had never met Watson, so how can he now tell a radio station he saw Watson in the bar if he didn't even know the guy at the time? Obviously his brain has made the connection that he stubbornly refuses to, and subconsciously he knows the mystery man's face is Scott Watson's face. He has finally remembered the name on the mystery man's beer bottle in the fridge."
Wishart said the ZB interview also saw Guy Wallace changing his story yet again, when he claimed the mystery ketch arrived after dark late on New Year's Eve. A pre-midnight arrival for the ketch doesn't fit Wallace's long held claim that he saw the mystery man from that ketch drinking during daylight at 8pm.
Wallace also told ZB the mystery man's hair was below his shoulders, but on 3 January 1998 he signed a police witness statement saying:
"The guy on this ketch would have been about 32, about 5’9” tall, wiry build. He was unshaven but didn’t have a moustache. He had short dark wavy hair" - 3 January 1998, statement to police
Wishart has called on Guy Wallace to come clean and explain these major changes in his story.
"It's time for the media to apply the blowtorch to Guy Wallace. The families of Ben and Olivia deserve answers. This whole mystery ketch wild goose chase is entirely the fault of Guy Wallace. Now he's made a direct link between the mystery man and Watson. The public interest in this case is at boiling point - the public have a right to know more."
What follows are the transcripts of Wallace's changing story:
TRANSCRIPT OF ZB INTERVIEW 1/1/18
Dower: Did you see Scott Watson at all that night?
W: Yeah I think I saw him in the tent, because he had, he was drinking out of a rigger, and he had the rigger in the fridge where the band was playing until someone poured a jug of beer on their amp and that stopped that
D: So that was back at the Lodge?
W: That was back - outside the Lodge they had a marquee set up out there for the band
D: Did you give him a ride that night?
W: Nah, didn't even see him, really
D: So he was in the tent and that was it.
Transcript of Guy Wallace 1999 high court evidence on Garden Bar incident:
Q: did you see that person somewhere else other than in front of the bar that you were working in in the main lodge….yes
Whereabouts was that….down at the garden bar
And what were you doing at the time that you went down to the garden bar and saw him there….oh I’d be going down to check out, um get another till bag
Just looking at photo 16 now, see the bar in the centre of that photo in the garden bar, whereabouts in relation to that view if you can was it that this person was when you saw them on that occasion … there was a pole in front of the Garden Bar and there is one directly back from it and in this photograph he would have been standing directly behind the pole against the wall
Use your finger and indicate that to His Honour and the Jury please. So on the right hand … side of the bar looking at it
End of the bar as we view it in the photograph. Was he alone or with anyone else when you saw him there …. Alone
Was there any aspect of his appearance in particular his eyes that caught your attention … yes his eyes appeared, didn’t appear to be very trust worthy, you know how you can get an impression on somebody.
Don’t tell us so much about how you interpreted the appearance but what did they look like his eyes …. Untrustworthy
Were they bright sparkly eyes or something else… dark, brown
Were they wide open eyes or something else …. Pretty slantly really not like a fully opened person, just more of a closed aspect, but not closed.
About what time was it do you think that you saw him down there in this position you have indicated in photograph 16 … it would have been well after midnight becos the bar had thinned out a lot and it was quite a popular place to stand
When you saw him there when you saw the bar had thinned out do you mean the Garden Bar … I do yes
So it was pretty quiet or less busy than it had been … less busy than it had been by far yes
And as best you can when was it in the morning that it became less busy how long after midnight did it tail off like that …. 1, 2, 1.30 2 o’clock or something
Just tell us about the person you encountered near the Hoby cat …. It was the same man from the bar that we have been discussing previously
The same man who introduced himself to you as coming from Picton … that’s correct
And what about in relation to the man that you had seen in the Garden Bar … same man
Upon the occasion that you were in the Garden Bar and you saw him, I don’t what you to tell us what you were told by anyone else, but on that occasion when you were there did you see something there in the glass fronted fridge in the Garden Bar … yes there was pub pet in there with somebody’s name or something written on it.
These pub pets are clear plastic are they … that’s correct
Could you see whether it was full ….. it was half full, probably what drew my attention to it.
That it was half full and had a name written on it … that’s correct
Can you recall now the name or anything of the name that was written on it … no
And I don’t want you to tell us what was said but when you saw it there did you ask people there something about it … I did
And who did you speak to about it ,…. Mike Cronin or Dave Furneaux
Were they there at the time … yes
Both behind the bar … both behind the bar
TRANSCRIPT OF MICHAEL CRONIN FIRST STATEMENT TO POLICE
I don’t recall anyone being difficult at the bar that night except I recall a guy with a denim shirt. I can remember a guy in a denim shirt drinking a rigger of beer and asked if we could keep it in the cooler and get it out when he wanted it. He seemed okay so we did it for him. He wasn’t any trouble though. I would describe him as 5’6”, slim to medium build, short hair, male, Caucasian. He wore jeans and a denim shirt light blue and jeans. I would recognise this person again. He just stood there, had a beer and didn’t cause any trouble.
TRANSCRIPT OF MICHAEL CRONIN SECOND STATEMENT TO POLICE
In my first statement dated 10.03.98 I described a guy in a denim shirt who was drinking a rigger of beer. I identified this person later in a photo montage [identified Scott Watson].
When I saw this person he was in the garden bar. I was working behind the bar.
I cannot remember when I first saw this guy in the garden bar but it was busy at the time so I would think it was after 10 pm.
At this time he was standing near the corner of the bar. I have indicated on a sketch where we was standing.
He was just standing there having a beer. He was not causing any problems. I spoke to him a couple of times but it was difficult to hear. I cannot remember what was said but it would have been general conversation.
I cannot remember how long he was there for but he did leave and returned later on.
When he came back it was a lot quieter. I am not sure of the time but I think the music had stopped so it would have been after 2 am.
When he came back there was only Dave FURNEAUX, a couple of security guys and a couple of patrons.
At this time he was standing further down the garden bar (indicated on sketch).
I can’t remember what was said but he didn’t cause any problems. He had obviously had a bit to drink at this stage.
TRANSCRIPT OF GUY WALLACE INTERVIEW WITH POLICE DENYING HE KNEW SCOTT WATSON
F Other people have described this guy that’s picking up women as a local guy called Scott WATSON.
F You’re aware of that now aren’t ya.
W Aware of it now?
F You’d been aware it, well you were aware of it before I said.
W I’ve heard his name over at the Blenheim CIB press up.
F Yeah. Do you know him?
W The WATSON name rings a bell, the Scott doesn’t.
F Do you know him?
F You don’t know him.
W Nope, not as Scott WATSON, I dunno he might have another name, I don’t know Scott WATSON.
F So you reckon you’ve never met him?
W I don’t think so. I might’ve met him in a pub but a lot of people in Picton you just say gidday to.
W Did not know their name, might have a nickname.
F What if he comes and tells us he knows ya?
W He can say anything he wanted to. I’d like to have a look at the guy and say I know him, or I don’t know him, one way or the other.
F The guy you described is very similar to him.
F And he was on a yacht there that night.
F He was in the bar, a lot of the barmen knew him, I’m surprised you didn’t, he’s a local. He’s a local yachtee, you know, you know just about every local yachtee here.
W No way mate.
F Well you know a lot of them don’t ya.
W I know a few of them.
F You know a lot.
W And through Waikawa Bay Boating Club.
F You told me the other day you knew a lot.
F And you’ve said a lot, you’ve met a lot.
W Well there’s a lot of people in the Waikawa Bay Boating Club.