A westside murder mystery unravels

By Leo Horgan

Gone Fishing is a new true crime podcast and a joint production between Stuff and RNZ. To listen in full, click here.

On August 21, 1989, Blockhouse Bay resident Deane Fuller-Sandys, 21, told his parents he was going fishing.  They never saw him again. 

Almost a decade later, West Aucklander Gail Maney was arrested after police accused her of ordering the murder of Fuller-Sandys over a drug theft.

She was found guilty of the murder in a High Court trial two years later.

Gail  Maney

However, Maney, now out on parole, insists she has never even met Fuller-Sandys.  “I thought police were just running around on some fantasy story that happened. It was crazy.”

There is no physical evidence connecting Maney with Fuller-Sandys’ disappearance.  Maney doesn’t think he was even murdered at all. 

She thinks he’d  just... gone fishing.

“I believe he possibly drowned when he went fishing and it was an accident.”

Deane Fuller-Sandys

Now, in a collaboration between Stuff and RNZ, an 8-part podcast series titled Gone Fishing examines the case in detail, interviewing key players, associates and police involved in the case and expertly picking apart the supposed timeline of events with devastating effect.

The results are disturbing and could elevate Fuller-Sandys disappearance into the realm of the Bain family killings or alleged murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope in the New Zealand public consciousness.

“Gone Fishing is engrossing,”  says Stuff Editor in Chief Patrick Crewdson.  “It’s a fascinating story, deeply reported, and the audio is beautifully produced.”

“As well as examining the shady characters, conflicting stories and outright lies of the Deane Fuller-Sandys case, the podcast raises troubling questions about police methods and how some of the incriminating statements from witnesses were procured.”

“It’s great to be able to share our expertise in audio storytelling and the integrity and quality of RNZ journalism,”  says Glen Scanlon, RNZ’s Head of News and Digital.

The first three episodes of the series were released today,  with a new episode added daily till Saturday. 

The podcast is available now on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify.