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Story Behind Ben And Olivia's Dissappearance Told

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NEW BOOK TELLS THE STORY BEHIND BEN AND OLIVIA'S DISAPPEARANCE

Wellington writer John Goulter has written a book on the disappearance of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope which will be released as soon as the Court Of Appeal reaches a decision on the appeal now being heard.

Silent Evidence, published by Random House, tells the story of the disappearance of Blenheim friends Ben and Olivia, the police investigation and subsequent legal proceedings that gripped New Zealand.

The book was nearly two years in the writing and includes a foreword by Detective Inspector Rob Pope, who headed Operation Tam.

Silent Evidence tells the whole tragic story for the first time, including previously unreported police activity and fresh insights into the parents' ordeal.

"I received very good co-operation from the police, and the book shows a lot of what went on behind the scenes in what was one of the longest and most exhaustive inquiries conducted by the New Zealand Police," John Goulter said.

"But in the end it is not just a police story. It is a story about people facing every parent's nightmare, and how a whole community was changed by the events of New Year's morning 1998.

"New Zealanders will now always link the Marlborough Sounds with the disappearance of Ben and Olivia. It shattered the myth of an innocent paradise."

John Goulter was born in Blenheim and has a background as a journalist. He spent ten years in the Press Gallery in Parliament, mainly as political editor of The Evening Post. His subsequent work includes columns and articles in The Press and Metro, and a television documentary, Crown V. Calder. He wrote No Verdict: New Zealand's Hung Jury Crisis, also published by Random House. He is chief press secretary to Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley.

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