Murder that wasn’t – the case of George Gwaze

by Felicity Goodyear-Smith


Book cover: Murder that wasn’t - the case of George Gwaze

  • A gripping account of a miscarriage of justice
  • Meticulous detail
  • Written by expert medical adviser at trial

This book tells the story of the case of George Gwaze, twice charged and twice acquitted of the rape and murder of his ten-year-old adopted niece, Charlene Makaza.

When Charlene is found unconscious one morning, gasping for breath, with a high fever and lying in a pool of diarrhoea, her family rush her to the Christchurch 24-hour clinic. She is treated for overwhelming sepsis and transferred to hospital. Sadly her life cannot be saved and at 1.00am she dies.

During the course of Charlene’s short illness the diagnosis shifts from infection to sexual assault and homicide, and her grieving family find themselves publicly engulfed in a criminal investigation. What unfolds next is a surreal set of events so improbable that they seem fictitious. Murder that Wasn’t meticulously explores the facts surrounding this case, based on scientific, medical and court records and individual interviews, to give a true account of this family’s extraordinary story.

Otago University Press
Paperback, 230 x 150 mm
224 pp approx. plus 12 pp photos
ISBN 978-1-877578-99-1, $35


February 2015

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