Newsroom

Book highlights the following issues

The transnational police investigation:

Exposes and examines the reluctance within the Queensland police hierarchy to pursue the case;

Exposes the decision made by the Queensland State Coroner to close the case without a coronial inquest being held. The coronial and police investigation only continued beyond this decision because the coroner running the investigation, David Glasgow insisted the matter be pursued;

Responds to criticisms of the police investigation – including the infamous testing of the dive computer and accusations that the investigators had tunnel vision;

Discusses the different stages when each of the lead investigators, Detective Senior Constable Kevin Gehringer, Detective Senior Sergeant Gary Campbell and Lieutenant Brad Flynn (Alabama), believed that a homicide charge against Watson was a likely outcome of their investigation.

The contentious Queensland plea deal:

Exposes and examines important questions surrounding why the deal was made and whether it was a true reflection of Watson’s culpability;

Exposes and asks questions regarding the conduct of the lead prosecutor in the case, including whether he misrepresented significant facts regarding the plea deal to the victims, police and the court;

Exposes and examines significant questions regarding when the deal was made, as opposed to when the prosecution officially claimed the deal was made. The implications of this extend to the legitimacy of the plea deal and sentence imposed on Watson in Queensland, as well as some of the legal decisions made in Alabama;

Exposes and asks questions over the agreed summary of facts determined as part of the plea deal – including why the police were refused access to the summary, why the facts did not appear to be reflective of the outcomes of the police investigation;

Explores suggestions from those involved in the case as to the lead prosecutor’s awareness and acknowledgement that presenting additional information in the summary of facts would result in the Queensland ODPP having to run a trial.

The controversial Alabama Trial:

Examines the contentious decision made to prosecute Watson “again” in Alabama;

Exposes and examines how Alabama gained jurisdiction and avoided double jeopardy;

Examines significant questions surrounding several of the decisions made by the judge during the trial, including to not admit important prosecution evidence, and the timing of when the decision to acquit Watson was made;

Discusses the extensive resource constraints that restricted the prosecution’s case;

Responds to criticisms of the prosecution’s dive evidence, including the highly publicised comments of Dr Carl Edmonds and Mr Michael McFadyen;

Examines how this trial might have compared to a trial run in Queensland.

Jefferson County Court House

Jefferson County Courthouse in the United States where the trial took place

19th February 2013