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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Murder of E. S. Nelson

On 9 June 1936 Ernest Severin Nelson, of Waihou Valley, Northland, a wealthy 55-year-old farmer married to an 18-year-old Maori girl, was found shot dead at his roadside gate. The whole Northland district was scoured by the police and a £250 reward was offered, with immunity from prosecution for anyone not the murderer, but the mystery was never solved. Fifty persons made statements to the police, but in the vast file of the case there was no evidence on which the police could prosecute. The young wife of the victim, an unwilling bride from the outset, was in love with a cousin of her own age and had scarcely lived with her husband, despite strong parental disapproval. The police inquiries produced some compromising information concerning certain people who were considered to be suspects, but little of it had any direct bearing on the shooting of Nelson. The case remains another unsolved crime.