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Cold Easter Case Wants Information

Cold Easter Case Wants Information

New Zealand Police National News Release
11:14am 13 April 2006

Just a few days over 26 years ago - 3am on Good Friday, April 4, 1980, to be precise - Simon Paulus Buis, a 54 year-old Mt Eden resident, was beaten to death in Gribblehurst Park, Sandringham. His killer or killers have never been found.

Auckland City Police reactivated the investigation file recently due to new information coming to hand and would like people who lived, worked or socialised in the area where Mr Buis was killed, to cast their minds back 26 years to see if there's anything they can think of that might assist the inquiry.

Simon Buis was found dead on the roadway adjacent to the clubrooms of the Eden Rugby Football Club, by a motorist who was driving through the park. Police believe he had only been dead a short while before being discovered.

He was Dutch but had lived in New Zealand for some years and worked as a building officer with the then Department of Education. He was married with two adult children at the time of his death.

Police have traced most of his movements on the night before he was beaten. At 8.30pm he was at the Leopard Tavern in Freeman's Bay. At 10.30pm he was in the La Cava Coffee Lounge in Customs St, where he stayed until about 2.30am.

At that time he caught a taxi from La Cava to Symonds St, near the Khyber Pass/Newton Rd intersection.

About 20 minutes later - 2.50am - residents near Gribblehurst Park reported hearing a man screaming, the sound of punches being delivered and a car being driven off at speed towards Sandringham Rd.

Shortly after that, Mr Buis was found lying on his back, dead, and Police were called to attend. He had not been robbed and no weapons were used to assault him.

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Beard of the Auckland City CIB says one of the mysteries around his movements is how Mr Buis got from Symonds St to Gribblehurst Park - which was not in the direction of his home.

"It's unlikely he walked there in 20 minutes and it's unlikely he got into a car with strangers," Mr Beard said.

"We'd like to hear from anyone who saw him in the Symonds St/Newton Rd area at about 2.30am on Thursday, April 3, 1980, or from anyone who was in Gribblehurst Park between 2.45 and 3.30am on Friday, April 4, 1980."

On the night, Mr Buis - who was Caucasian with dark hair, a bushy beard and glasses - was wearing a brown corduroy jacket, a grey jersey, a green shirt, brown trousers and brown suede shoes.

"This is very much a cold case which needs a few more ingredients added to it to heat it up a little. We had reports of a large, 1950's style vehicle with a loud exhaust and a yellow car - possibly a 1950's Holden - leaving the park around the time Mr Buis was killed.

"It may be that someone remembers someone who owned a vehicle like that in Auckland at that time. If so, we'd like to hear about it."

Mr Buis' wife has since died, but he is survived by his children.

Information should go to Detective Senior Sergeant Beard on 09 302 6788 or 0274 986 051.


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