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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.



Mystery of Marie West

A curious and baffling mystery was the case of Marie Emily West, who disappeared from her home at 13 McIntyre Avenue, Wellington, on 7 July 1947. Her body was found on the scrub-covered slopes of Mt. Victoria three months later. She was a young woman in her teens, and the question was then, as it is today, how did she die, and how was her body conveyed to where it was found and concealed. The complexities of the affair may be measured from the fact that officially it has never been conclusively determined whether it was a matter of murder or suicide, but all the indications point to suicide. The police investigations were so exhaustive that the file of the case in the Headquarters Office in Wellington stands about 30 in. high. Abundant evidence was disclosed to support the theory of suicide, while on the other hand the official opinion was that there was not “one jot or tittle” of testimony to suggest murder. The suicide conclusion was based on the considered opinions of two noted pathologists. But if suicide it was, how did the body get to Mt. Victoria? That was one of the perplexing problems. A Mr X came very much into the calculations of both police and public, but the police were finally satisfied that there was not an iota of evidence to connect him with the disappearance of the girl.