Case 16: The Lundy Murders (EPILOGUE)

PALMERSTON NORTH. MANAWATU. Four months into his sentence, in August of 2002, Mark Lundy took his case to the Court of Appeal based on the belief that he was convicted on “bad science”

Upon upholding the conviction, the Court added an additional three years to Mark’s non-parole period; bringing the total non-parole term to 20 years. The reason for the increase was due to the Court of Appeal believing the original trial judge was too lenient and didn’t fully take into account the horrific circumstances of Amber Lundy’s murder, “She must have died with the awful injuries to her mother as her last living memory … we have to say that Mr Lundy’s murder of his daughter in these circumstances, coming on top of the murder of his wife, requires denunciation and demonstration of society’s abhorrence at a very high level“.

While Mark continued to maintain his innocence. The legal avenues to express that innocence were running out.

Visit for additional information on this case. Including a transcript of this episode, with supporting pictures, sources, and credits.

Hosted by Jessica Rust
Written and edited by Sirius Rust

Music sourced from:

Kevin MacLeod (
“Ascending the Vale”, “Dark Pad”, “Day of Chaos”, “Fresh Air”, “Indore”, “String Impromptu Number 1”, “Sunset at Glengorm”, “Thunderbird”, “Unpromised”, “Vanes”
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0

The podcast version is the intended way to consume this story but we make a transcript available for those that would rather read instead. This can be found below.

6th of April 2004

For over three years now, I have professed my innocence. Nothing has, or ever will, change.

In 2000 I thought that the senseless taking of Christine and Amber’s lives was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but I was wrong. When I realised that I was seriously being accused of killing them, I went into a state of shock. On the evening the jury returned the guilty verdict, the shock was so great, I had to use all my powers of concentration just to make my legs work. As if losing my girls wasn’t enough.

I fully realise that it has been easier for people to accept the court’s decision than to question it. For that reason alone, I must thank the committee members of F.A.C.T.U.A.L. for their courage and fortitude (F.A.C.T.U.A.L. is an acronym; For Amber & Christine – Truth Uncovered About Lundys). I also praise them for their goal, the TRUTH.

As to what happened to Amber and Christine, the truth is as important to me as it is to anyone else, probably more so. Without the truth, I cannot get the closure that my life so dearly lacks.

My big mistake in 2001/2002 stemmed around my belief in the truth and that I believed in the Justice System. I still believe in the truth, and that one day truth will prevail, but not in the New Zealand Justice System, which has failed so many in this country.

It has bothered me why so much of the evidence in the trial was inaccurate. I also refuse to accept the reported time of death, as do virtually all of the people that knew us. As for the supposed evidence on my shirt, I still prefer to believe its presence is due to accidental cross contamination. The alternative has always left a desolate feeling in my heart, as I will always love this country and what it stands for.

On a personal level, I have not cared about the thoughts and attitudes of others, which has hurt some. I reached this juncture after many months of prayer and meditation. I know the truth, God knows the truth, and I am adamant that the loves of my life are up there with Him and they know the truth. So what do I care about the opinions of others?

Again, I thank the members of the F.A.C.T.U.A.L. committee , as I also thank those who are assisting and supporting them.

To those who have been offering their messages of support, I thank you.

To the few who feel the necessity to offer abuse, I thank you also for the strength your ignorance encourages.

I look forward to the truth one day surfacing and my resumption of a normal life.

Yours in innocence,

Mark Lundy


Four months into his sentence, in August of 2002, Mark Lundy took his case to the Court of Appeal based on the belief that he was convicted on “bad science”. The Court rejected his appeal, proclaiming there was ‘powerful evidence of guilt’, “When viewed in combination, the presence of Mrs Lundy’s brain tissue on Mr Lundy’s shirt, the paint fragments found on her skull, and the forensically established time of death at about the mid point of Mr Lundy’s suggested absence from Petone, constituted powerful evidence of his guilt. The jury were also entitled to take the view the Crown had established that it was physically possible for Mr Lundy to have committed the crimes. For these reasons we are not persuaded that the jury’s verdicts were unreasonable or unable to be supported having regard to the evidence”.

Upon upholding the conviction, the Court added an additional three years to Mark’s non-parole period; bringing the total non-parole term to 20 years. The reason for the increase was due to the Court of Appeal believing the original trial judge was too lenient and didn’t fully take into account the horrific circumstances of Amber Lundy’s murder, “She must have died with the awful injuries to her mother as her last living memory … we have to say that Mr Lundy’s murder of his daughter in these circumstances, coming on top of the murder of his wife, requires denunciation and demonstration of society’s abhorrence at a very high level“.

While Mark continued to maintain his innocence. The legal avenues to express that innocence were running out.


In 1976, businessman Geoff Levick owned a chemicals and raw plastics importing company. During these years he would travel between clients around the North Island. One such client was the Unilever factory found on the eastern end of The Esplanade in Petone; which manufactured personal hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste and shampoo.

Once Geoff had completed his work in Petone he would travel to Palmerston North to visit the building product manufacturer James Hardie. Over the next 19 years, Geoff would make this trip countless times; it always took him about an hour and fifty minutes.

When Geoff heard about the three hour ‘killing journey’ Mark was accused of, his attention was peaked, “I remember saying to my wife, ‘They’re going to have to stitch this guy up because you just can’t do the trip in that time – it’s just absolutely impossible.’”

Geoff Levick created the For Amber Christine – Truth Uncovered About Lundys (F.A.C.T.U.A.L) committee sometime in 2003. Geoff found himself spending the next years and thousands of hours researching the Lundy case.

F.A.C.T.U.A.L. created the ‘Lundy Truth’ website. The website argued that the evidence Mark was convicted on was flawed. The website is extremely critical of Mark’s trial and some of the police work highlighting ‘areas of doubt’.  The ‘about the case’ section reads in part:

“There is no evidence that the high speed drive took place. A Police reconstruction took longer and used 40 litres more petrol, and this reconstruction did the North bound leg late at night, not in the rush hour as they had alleged Mark had done. There is no evidence that the computer clock had been manipulated. This was simply suggested by the prosecution as an explanation for why the alleged time of death did not concur with the computer shutdown time. In addition only one of the two computers was cloned and examined. The laptop that Christine was to use to prepare her brother’s tax return,  the Police have advised, was never cloned or examined by the Police or e-crime laboratory. This laptop was released to the family to use, and important evidence may have been lost as a result.”

The time frame in which Mark was accused of committing the murders was a focal point of Lundy’s supporters. Could the drive from Petone to Palmerston North and back be completed in two hours and fifty eight minutes, at peak traffic? 

Many have tried to replicate the journey but none were successful. Private investigator Paul Bass attempted the northern journey three times; the fastest he could get from Petone to ‘Palmy’ was an hour and fifty six minutes. Leaving Mark only 55 minutes to commit the double murder, manipulate the computer, clean up, dispose of the evidence, dash back to his car and drive back to Petone.

Paul concluded, “I just don’t know how he was able to make the trip as alleged, without people being on their cellphones pushing *555… Because you would have to be driving like an absolute lunatic. And you are going to bring an awful lot of attention to yourself. If your focus is to go and do something discreetly and give yourself an alibi, it doesn’t make sense that you would then draw attention to yourself.”


The speed in which Mark needed to commit these crimes became a part of popular culture in NZ. On the 31st of July 2009, Victoria University student magazine Salient announced it would be holding an event dubbed the Lundy 500. The Lundy 500 was a variation on the popular Undie 500, an event where members of the University of Canterbury Engineering Society Inc. purchase vehicles for under $500. They then proceed to decorate vehicles before driving the cars from Christchurch to Dunedin; crawling pubs while they travel.

The Lundy 500 was to be in a similar vein. Scheduled to take place at noon on August the 29th 2009; the ninth anniversary of Christine and Amber’s deaths. Participants would drive from Petone to Palmerston North to “draw attention to some of the inconsistencies in the NZ legal system”. While participants would be required to sign a contract stating they would not break the law, the event was widely criticised for being disrespectful to the victims and potentially endangering lives.

The event was cancelled three days later after Salient’s editor Jackson Wood received emails from members of the Lundy family urging the magazine to cancel the event. Jackson apologized and said, “The event was not intended to offend the Lundy family but to make a point about failures of the justice system”.


A North & South article titled ‘What the Jury Didn’t Hear’ written by journalist Mike White was released in 2009 questioned more of the convicting evidence; specifically the time of death. 

The time of murders was estimated based on the ‘fullness’ of the stomach contents with no observable food in the small intestine. Furthermore, due to the fact that Dr. James Pang could not detect any ‘gastric smell’, the time of death was estimated between 6.45pm and 7.15pm. 

Christine Lundy took a phone call from someone from the Manawatu Wine Club asking if Mark would be available for a wine tasting event at 6.56pm the night of the murders. Therefore, the theory was that the murders occured in the sometime between 7pm and 7.15pm.

Mike White questions the validity of that conclusion. Mike spoke to British forensic pathologist Bernard Knight about how basing time of death on the ‘fullness’ of the stomach. Bernard claims it is ‘unreliable’ to base time of death a lack of any gastric smell, “In my view there would be a general consensus amongst forensic pathologists that estimating time of death from stomach contents with an accuracy of within half an hour, as is suggested in this case, is simply impossible. My personal opinion is that estimating time of death to an accuracy of within half an hour based upon stomach contents amounts to little more than quackery. There is to my knowledge no scientific literature with respect to stomach contents’ smell and time of death, and the comment on this matter is incomprehensible to me”.

Professor Derrick Pounder who wrote a paper on this subject said that when estimating time of death three factors needed to be considered; evidence from the body, evidence from around the body and evidence from the deceased’s common habits.

In this case it would seem estimates were given only based on evidence from the body; in particular the ‘fullness’ of the stomach which is notoriously inconsistent according to gastroenterologist Dr. Nicholas Diamant who told North & South that, “Solid food can be recognised in the stomach for up to 10 hours after it is eaten. The stomach accommodates to the size of its contents, which also includes gastric secretions and would look ‘full’ as long as content was present. Furthermore, types of food markedly affect gastric emptying. For example, fat significantly delays emptying”.

There was some evidence that Christine may have been baking the night of the murder. A newly cooked batch of muffins was observed by detectives on the kitchen bench; along with a freshly cut banana on a kitchen board. 

Most interesting is a note written in Detective Constable Brett Calkin (who attended the post mortem of the victims) in his notebook, “It definitely appears that the potatoes [found in the stomach] were chip/fries thicker than shoestring”. We know that Christine and Amber ordered shoestring fries with their McDonalds meal. Could this note suggest maybe the twosome baked some chips up later in the night? But with a window of 10 hours, it could also mean they ate thick cut chips earlier in the day.

When it comes to examining evidence from the deceased’s common habits, it was said by Christine’s mother Helen that Amber put on her pyjamas (which she was found deceased in) just after 7pm and would go to bed after Shortland Street at 7.30pm. Helen testified at the trial that Christine would tend to go to bed around 11pm, usually a bit later when Mark was out of town.

Furthermore, there was the issue of the office computer that was shut down at 10.52pm; the explanation at the trial was that Mark manipulated the shutdown time by copying another computer’s time/date control panel onto a floppy disk. He then opened the ‘floppy’ on the family computer and changed the time to 10.52pm and then shut it down. When Mark restarted the computer he entered the setup mode and changed the time back to normal before shutting the computer down once more. This left no evidence of tampering. The question was: could Mark (who didn’t know much about computers according to anyone who knew him) complete such a technical procedure?

Interestingly, Christine’s brother James Glenn Weggery told police that Christine would complete his Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns on the laptop which had the relevant software. Although, there is no evidence the police ever investigated this laptop, it was returned to Mark and it eventually crashed; losing all the data from it. 


The North and South article raised enough eyebrows that following its release, two lawyers contacted Geoff Levick and offered to work on the case pro bono. Mark’s new legal team wanted to take the appeal to the Privy Council, the highest court of appeal in the British Empire.

In 2003, the Supreme Court Act was passed and was formally brought into being on the 1st of January 2004. This new Supreme Court brought with it the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council. Although, crimes committed before 2004 still could be taken to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, England.

Progress moved slow. Mark Lundy would serve 11 years in prison before his defense team were given their time in front of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. On the 8th of October 2013, they returned a verdict. The Privy Council found that the method to establish the time of death was discredited as bad science, “… now a welter of evidence available from a number of highly reputable consultants which, if accepted, would nullify the claimed scientific support for the time of death which was so central to the Crown case.”

Furthermore, they concluded that the ‘immunostaining’ method used to test the ‘brain matter’ found on Mark Lundy’s shirt was controversial and therefore questioned its accuracy.

Finally concluding:

“The board will therefore now humbly advise her majesty that the appeal should be allowed, that the convictions should be quashed and that the appealant should stand trial again on a trial of murder as soon as that can be conveniantly arranged.”


The retrial of Mark Lundy for the double murder of Christine and Amber Lundy commenced on the 10th of February 2015. The prosecution’s theory had changed since 2002, the Crown now alleged that Mark Lundy killed his wife and daughter sometime around 3am on the 30th of August, instead of the original 7pm time of death theory that convicted Mark 13 years prior. 

The theory now went:

After sleeping with the prostitute in the early morning hours of the 30th of August 2000. Mark left his motel room and travelled across the road to his car. Having thought ahead, he had parked the car away from the motel to make his departure undetected and to not wake any other motel guests.

Mark snuck away into the night and drove the infamous 150km journey to 30 Karamea Crescent, Palmerston North. He arrived sometime around 3am, murdered his wife and consequently his daughter. This new theory leaves Mark an opening of four hours to clean up, stage the robbery, dispose of any evidence before returning to Petone. Mark Lundy wasn’t seen again until 7am by Foreshore Motor Lodge manager Bruce Sloane when Mark asked if he had any batteries for his electric razor. 

The motive remained the same: Christine Lundy’s life insurance pay out. Time was taken in court to establish that Mark was more or less bankrupt at the time of the murders. Mark’s financial commitments were $439,000; he had taken out loans against his house which was only valued at $115,000.

Dr. James Pang took the stand on the 17th of March 2015, he was grilled by the defense about his original findings that the twosome most likely died within one hour after their last meal. James defended himself saying that the time of death was only an estimate and “… at present, the only thing I can say with any certainty is that Christine and Amber died some time in the 14 hours between when they were last known to be alive, and when their bodies were discovered.” When asked when he had changed his mind about the estimate, Dr. Pang reluctantly answered, “I would think it was after reading the Privy Council judgment.”

The next day on the 18th of March, Mark’s polo shirt was in the spotlight. The prosecution called forensic neuropathologist Daniel du Plessis to the stand. Daniel explained to the court that he had replicated Dr Rodney Miller’s earlier tests and concluded, “… Incontrovertible evidence of tissue of central nervous system origin [brain or spinal cord].”

The defense did not contest that the sample originated from the nervous system; only whether it was from human or animal. A beef and chilli pie wrapper was found in Mark’s car the day it was seized. The defense argued the ‘brain matter’ could have come from the ground beef in the meat pie. 

Around the turn of the millennium, meat processing plants began using machines known as advanced meat recovery systems which were used to squeeze every bit of meat from the bones of the animal; in particular the back and neck. This process was being preferred over traditional deboning by hand. The new machine process resulted in an increase of bone marrow and spinal cord material being found in beef products. 

Could Mark have been eating a pie and some of the contents fell on his sleeve containing spinal cord tissue? Then did Christine in an attempt to remove the stain, use a common technique of spitting on a hanky and rubbing the stain? Explaining how her DNA ended up on the shirt.

Crown prosecutor Philip Morgan QC in his closing statement referenced the importance of the shirt evidence and concluded, “Put it all together and Mark Lundy has Christine Lundy’s brain on his shirt. Put aside all the other evidence for a moment. It’s brain tissue and Christine Lundy. Not an animal. There is no other rational explanation other than he is the killer.”

The jury retired to collect their thoughts. Two days later, on the 1st of April 2015 they returned a verdict: guilty. Mark Lundy was resentenced to life in prison.

20th of July 2017

To all,

I am guessing that most people think, as I used to, that scientific evidence given in court is exacting. Well it is not. It is all derived from someone’s opinion… DNA still took eight years of research with hundreds of tests done globally, before it was permitted near any court of law. A ESR (NZ forensics) scientist, at trial two. Stated that all their DNA testing is always done twice. The result must come back as identical matches. If it is not repeatable. It is not permitted in court as evidence.

This detail is just one of a number of factors that make up the legal standards for scientific evidence to be admissible. Some others include: peer review and publication of results; general acceptance within that scientific field; known error results and rates, like false positives. The two sciences that convicted me (Immunohistochemistry [IHC]) and messenger RNA [mRNA] are not robust. They were experiments, invented for my case and never ever used for any other case, anywhere in the world. In the view of many they are not acceptable for use in court.

In 2000 the ESR found something on my polo shirt they called a stain, which was invisible to the naked eye, the police were determined to have it identified as brain tissue. A leading NZ neurosurgeon said “forget it, it is too deteriorated”. So the police contacted the brest forensic labs in the world, asking them to ID brain tissue. They all said “can’t be done”. The police then found a pathologist in Texas who was very good at identifying cancer cells. This guy did a test with a chicken and said ‘come on over’. Using the cop, who delivered the sample, as a lab technician he performed an experiment using IHC. He stated that his experiment identified central nervous system (CNS) tissue at trial one and I was convicted as a result.

Friends found experts around the world who said this experiment was flawed and when they explained it to the Privy Council, they agreed and quashed my conviction. I am guessing, but i was probably the ‘chicken test’ that brought about the voodoo science comments. For trial two the guy was back, with support, but this time IHC was not species specific. The CNS could have come from any animal. However, we believe that the admissibility factors mentioned above are still not met. IHC has been denied access in court in America. The pathologist in question cannot even give such evidence in court in Texas because he is not a forensic scientist. When this was put to him (in 2014), he said “lucky it’s in a NZ court then”. But who cares right? Well I do.

For trial two the police found a lab in the Netherlands that uses mRNA to identify spermatozoa and other bodily fluids. They had 0.00000006 of a gram, worth of material to test. They invented an experiment that supposedly identifies human brain tissue. Our experts disagree on this supposed species specificity. Their new experiment came back with inconclusive results. So they did it again and again. The results were different every time. So their opinion was that it was probably human brain tissue. Remember the ESR standards mentioned above? Even their ‘control’ test gave odd results. But who cares, right? I certainly do. The defence experts pointed out the flaws in this experiment, but it was all very confusing. It was noted that certain jurors actually slept through some of the evidence. We also believe that this experiment meets none of the admissibility factors mentioned above. One of the defence experts compared advances in mRNA to those of DNA. When DNA has been around for twenty years, there were globally recognised standards and accepted DNA kits used around the world. mRNA has now been around for twenty years and you would be lucky to find two labs to agree on any process.

Other scientific aspects of the case seem to have been ignored. They include:

  • At trial one it was noted that there were 50,000 fibres removed from under Christine and Amber’s fingernails. No one knows where they came from, other than the certainty that it was not from my clothes.
  • At trial two there were two DNA signatures found with Y chromosomes (male). These were again from under Christine and Amber’s fingernails. They have never been identified, but tests have proven they were not mine. I don’t recall this in trial one.
  • In 2014, the police took some residual material to the University of California Davis Veterinary Lab, for animal DNA testing. They thought to prove no animal content. This is a highly regarded forensic lab that is used in a lot of court cases. Their results came back as finding pig, cow and sheep, consistent with fat spatter from processed food such as sausages. So doesn’t that explain the ‘stain’? I guess not… 

But then I suppose it is okay to forget all of this, isn’t it? I most certainly do not think so.

Yours in innocence,

Mark Lundy


Mark Lundy continues to maintain his innocence to this day. In December of 2019, Mark Lundy was denied a third trial by the Court of Appeal. With Justice Mark O’Regan giving the reason that the Court was satisfied Mark was guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

Mark Lundy will remain in prison until at least August 2022, when he becomes eligible for parole. Although, he will not be considered for release until he admits his guilt and shows remorse for his actions. Therefore, Mark’s stint in prison could be upwards of 25 years unless his account of the 30th of August 2000 changes.

Whatever the truth may be, it is important to remember the tragedy that lays at the centre of this story. Two innocent people murdered in their own home, mother and daughter, only 38 and 7. We hope they have found peace at their final resting spot; located 3km from their home at 30 Karamea Crescent inside the Kelvin Grove Cemetery

Buried together, their headstone reads:

Christine Marie Lundy. 1st of May 1962.
Amber Grace Lundy. 9th of June 1993.
Taken 30 August 2000.
Forever loved by husband and father Mark.
Unforgettable, that’s what you are.

This podcast is dedicated to the lives and memories of Christine and Amber Lundy.
We hope you are at peace.



Steve Braunias, The Scene of the Crime, 2015
Dr. Cynric Temple-Camp, The Cause of Death, 2017
North & South, Murder (We Wrote), 2015
North & South, Murder (We Wrote) #2, 2018

Wikipedia, Undie 500,
NZ Herald, Students call off Lundy 500,, Mark Lundy to stay in prison after Supreme Court declines appeal,
NZ Herald, Mark Lundy retrial: Dr Pang’s long day in court,
NZ Herald, Lundy loses appeal, sentence increased,
Forensic Language Investigators, SCAN Case Study: Mark Lundy,
Lundy Truth, About the Case,
Lundy Truth, Lundy’s Last Chance?,
Lundy Truth, Letter,–5.pdf
NZ Herald, Mark Lundy trial: 15-year search for justice for Christine and Amber,, The Lundy Murders,
Murderpedia, Mark Edward Lundy,
Wikipedia, Lundy Murders,
TVNZ, Mark Lundy a bad actor who tried to lie his way out of jail – Nigel Latta,
Salient, Something big has arrived: Salient announces Lundy 500,
Wikipedia, Supreme Court of New Zealand,
Salient, One thing we can all agree on: Mark Lundy sure is fuckin’ fat,
Wikipedia, Immunostaining,
Wikipedia, Immunohistochemistry,
TVNZ, Talk of psychic powers in Lundy case,
NZ Herald, Lundy neighbour describes ‘man dressed as woman’,
RNZ, Lundy convictions quashed, retrial ordered,,-retrial-ordered

New Zealand Public Television, The Investigator – Mark Lundy Case,
The Evidence Locker, New Zealand – The Lundy Murders,

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