Story: Violent crime

House of horror

House of horror

Police stand outside the Christchurch house where the bodies of two women were found buried in September 2009. One of the bodies was that of Rebecca Somerville, who had lived there with her husband, Jason Somerville. The other was Tisha Lowry, who had lived a couple of doors away until she disappeared in September 2008. After reporting that his wife was missing, Somerville admitted killing both women in anger and having sex with them after they died. In January 2010 he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 23-year non-parole period. The semi-detached house in which the women were murdered became popularly known as the 'house of horror', and was set on fire on numerous occasions before it was finally demolished by the New Zealand Fire Service. The family next door moved out soon after the bodies were discovered.

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Photograph by Martin Hunter

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How to cite this page:

Greg Newbold, 'Violent crime - Trends in violent crime', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/26483/house-of-horror (accessed 24 October 2019)

Story by Greg Newbold, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 18 Mar 2019