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Curator's Casefile is a series of 10 stories about objects in our collection, covering policing history, escaped convicts, unsolved murders, sly-grogging and anarchists.
The stories have been researched and written by Victoria University of Wellington intern Danielle Campbell.
During the early hours of 17 November 1933, Donald Fraser was killed by two shots from a double-barrelled shotgun while his wife Elizabeth lay asleep in bed next to him. ... more
The development of fingerprinting in New Zealand can be credited to Walter Dinnie, former Chief Inspector of the London Metropolitan Police, who became New Zealand Police Commissioner in 1903. ... more
The McRae family, who produced the original Hokonui Moonshine, have gone down in history as New Zealand’s most famous whisky bootleggers. ... more
On 27 March 1984, Ernest Abbot was killed by a bomb hidden inside a suitcase that exploded at Trades Hall in Wellington. ... more
This enamel dinner plate belonged to Detective Edward Eade. In the centre of the plate is a depiction of Lyttelton Heads, said to have been painted by a prisoner at Lyttelton Gaol who had a view of ... more
At a time when CCTV cameras, internet surveillance and digital data storage were virtually unknown, New Zealanders were deeply concerned with the development of a computer thought to be the country ... more
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, there were a series of riots relating to unemployment throughout the country. The incidents, known as the 1932 Depression Riots, took place in Dunedin, ... more
The New Zealand Police Pipe Band is based at the Royal New Zealand Police College near Porirua, Wellington. The band performs at police functions, ceremonies, cultural festivities and community ... more
On the morning of 24 September 1888, warders at H.M Prison in Invercargill discovered that Rudolph Radka, an inmate awaiting trial for arson, was not in his cell. ... more
On 20 July 1965, a large scale riot erupted at Mount Eden Prison following a failed escape attempt by inmates Daniel McMillan and Jonassen Sadaraka. ... more