When John Hughes, a meat factory worker in Makarewa, near Invercargill, New Zealand, went missing in March, 1955, police wanted to routinely question his friend, fellow-factory worker Harvey Allwood. But Allwood, it seemed, had vamoosed.

When he was found on the other side of the country, police asked him about the Rover car he was driving, which had belonged to Hughes. “I bought it from him for £1,000,” Allwood replied.

And the blood all over the interior of the car?

“I went hunting pigs with some buddies, and we killed one and put its head in the car.”

And where did he get all the money he was carrying, and why was he using the name “John Hughes” to make withdrawals from a Post Office savings book?

Allwood had no ready answers to these questions, but he held out against nine days of intensive questioning before finally admitting that he shot his friend and buried him at Te Anau, 100 miles from Invercargill.

“We were both drunk at the time,” he said. “We’d been on the booze when I fired the rifle. I fired the second shot after he was dead.”

It was all an accident, he told the murder trial jury, but they didn’t believe him. He was hanged on Thursday, October 13th, 1955, in Auckland Prison.