Theo Kriel

Libby on the beach

The name of the boy that killed British school girl Libby Templeman has now been released. He is Hermanus Theodorus Kriel, known as Theo Kriel.

For some unknown reason his image has been suppressed until sentencing next month.

Just how this is going to work in practice is unclear because he has posted videos of himself on the net and they’ve been there since the middle of 2008. Is he technically in breach of his own suppression order and doesn’t this highlight just how flawed New Zealand’s suppression laws are?  One of the videos was even broadcast on NZ news this evening with Theo’s face blanked out, but the website on which the film was hosted could be seen clearly.

According to a report on Stuff:

“A separate suppression order prohibiting publication of his image will remain in place until his sentencing on March 26. The court heard Kriel had moved with his family from South Africa to New Zealand when he was eight-years-old. He attended Kerikeri High School with Liberty, but told the court the pair had not been close friends.

They had both been in Year 10 at school and would occasionally text one another. “

Immediately after the verdict yesterday Liberty’s father said:

“Since the first of November, 2008, when the life of our beautiful daughter Liberty was stolen, our lives have been in turmoil.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that their child should die at the hands of someone else. We still struggle to see her without – I can’t say his name until 12 o’clock tomorrow – just being there in the background.”

The family did not understand why they had to go through the traumatic trial process after the boy had confessed so early in the case, Mr Templeman said.

He rejected the defence’s claim the killing was manslaughter.

“For us there could not have been another verdict. If his only motive was to hide Liberty’s body believing her to be already dead, then why did he drag her semi-naked through the shrub and into the stream and then hide her under the ginger [tree] when the long grass surrounding her would have already have hid her?

“Libby gave so much to so many and wanted nothing in return. Her big heart, her warm smile, vivacious personality will be missed by all who knew her.”

The officer in charge of the case, Inspector Martin Ruth, said it had been a gruelling police investigation. “It was a tough job right from the start. At the end of the day there are no real winners, this young boy’s going to get what’s coming to him.”

I’m just pleased for the Templemans that they got some justice in the end.”

We’ll reserve judgment as to whether the Templemans, and Libby, have got justice until the sentencing hearing next month.

Update 26 March 2010

Kriel was given a ‘life’ sentence with  11.5 years minimum before parole, a pitifully short period for such a callous murder. It was called a “token” sentence by her parents, we agree. Theo Kriel will be back on the streets and enjoying life again at the age of 27 whilst Liberty’s family and friends are condemned to a lifetime of unimaginable grief for the loss of a very talented and bright young woman who died in horrific circumstances.

Kriel will likely spend the first few years of his sentence in a youth facility before being transferred to an adult prison. His chances of passing his first parole hearing are slim.

A youth, who was 14 when he beat Scottish woman Karen Aim to death with a baseball bat in Taupo in 2008, was given a comparable punishment. He  got ‘life’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12.5 years. Karen’s father has vowed to fight any parole bid the youth may make in future, even though he lives in Scotland

It’s a reminder that, despite’ justice’ being handed out, families of murder victims seldom know a moment of true peace and are forced to re-live the anguish of the crime every time a parole hearing is scheduled.

We have been following  events since Liberty was murdered, for all our posts click HERE

Kriel a product of a bullying culture?
The trial verdict has been the subject of a thread on the NZ Yahoo message boards. One comment by caught our attention as it may go in some small way to explaining why Kriel reacted in the way he did:

“I feel sorry for the boy since he was the focus of relentless bullying at Kerikeri High School. I don’t actually know him but lots of students there who said his life was made hell. No wonder he as terrified to be mocked yet again! Why did this not come out in the trial? Kerikeri High School management and teachers should take a look at themselves!!!”

See also other posts:

Theo Kriel jailed for 11.5 years

Templeman parents call for revision of immigration laws, sentence a “mere token”

Today’s posts – click here

34 thoughts on “Theo Kriel

  1. I have known Theo since we were at primary school and I am telling you now, he was NOT relelntlessly bullied at Keri High, im sorry but thats a crock of sh*t. It makes me mad seeing all this stuff about him being bullied. Yeah he was quiet but he was not bullied. My love goes out to Libby and her amazing family. ❤

  2. I know these posts are now a year old. but i really feel i must have my say – and for you all to read it.

    I am/was a close friend of Libby’s and i knew Theo.
    Firstly, Theo’s parents are in no way to blame for what happened. They are good parents and were well liked members of our small community.

    Theo was never a target of “severe” bullying. The average amount of flack that kids throw around – yes. Just as Libby was exposed to when she first moved to NZ. Bullying isnt okay, but it isnt unusual – and it cant be used to explain his actions. I was bullied, i know other who were bullied to the point of being hospitalized, isolated and changing schools – however, I, nor they, ever took anyone’s life as a way of “lashing out”.

    None of what happened – the murder, the hours after her diappearance, the week after she was found, right up until his sentencing, is at ALL straight forward.

    I helped search for her. I talked to Theo about where he last saw her (and took his lies as gospel). I sat in the same room grieving for her with Theo. I was with close friends when we heard the news that he had been arrested – well that a 14yr old boy had been arrested – however, being a small town – we all knew.

    We were in total disbelief. Theo was polite, quiet, respectful and just a normal 14yr old small town kid, who liked to ride his bike and hang out at the skate park with mates. He was never the violent trouble-causing type.

    I know for those not connected to the case, it is easy for you to see it as manslaughter or a kid “lashing out”. However, I ask you to please consider how you would feel, after 6days of communicating with him, grieving with him, feeling sorry for him that the police kept questioning him, how would YOU feel when you find out that he not only beat your friend unconscious, but that he then ripped her clothes to try make it look like rape, dragged her half naked body to a stream and then lay her face down in the water. To realise that right from the minute we knew she was missing he told us a string of lies, detailing a story of where he left her, where she walked. knowing that he was with you and helping you search for her, when really, he knew exactly where she was all along.

    I dont wish for Theo’s family to ever have to go through the grief that we have gone through. Theo needs to pay for his horrible actions. Whether he will ever be a safe, normal member in society – well that will be up to the courts to decide in 11years.

    I do not wish any harm to Theo, or to his family. I extend my deepest thoughts and love to his parents, brother and extended whanau. No one could have ever have seen this coming.

    I also ask that although we all are entitled to our own opinions, be weary of the things you write on the internet about any story that includes the delicate topic of someone’s life. Family and Friends can see what you post. I’m not angry at anyone for their comments, or accusing anyone of anything – it is just nice to be able to give you a side of a story, from someone who loves and misses Libby, and has to live with this story every day.

    Kia kaha to those who have loved ones who are the victims or are the accused in violent crimes.

    Aroha nui

    • Thank you TheFriend. Please accept our condolences for your loss of Libby and pass our thoughts and best wishes onto Libby’s family and friends. She was a wonderful young woman and she lives on in the hearts of many.

  3. Where do I start??? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if children obeyed our every command, and grew up to be exactly what every parent hoped for? I for one am NOT raising my son to be a murderer or a rapist and I am sure that EVERYONE will agree with me.

    I think it is Stupid to say that Kriel’s parents should be sent back to SA. He did a terrible thing ( I repeat terrible! ) and there is no way to justify the lies to police and Libby’s parents. I also think that his sentence is too light. In some of the earlier comments Joe mentioned that jail is not the correct place for rehabilitation. I agree, but prison time is also not a vacation from the world where you get to have counselling and education until you are better and ready to face the world. It is also a PUNISHMENT and you should pay for your crime.

    I think that to keep having this immigration debate is such a waste of time. It was a choice to come to NZ and yes it isn’t easy to start a new life. We can not constantly be blaming immigration for people’s attitude to life, it is great in New Zealand. I also don’t think that the violence in SA can be blamed for such a terrible crime. There are also things like mental illness and he has displayed a lot of signs that I think points towards perhaps being a psycopath. Bullying because he was from SA – I don’t think so there would have been other reasons!?!?

    My heart goes out to Libby’s parents and I hope and pray that you will find the strength to carry on with your lives and even maybe one day smile again. To the parents of Theo Kriel I can only keep praying for you, because you have a huge task with your other child to keep him/her from falling down the cracks and to keep such a tragedy from happening again.

  4. I am amazed by the UN that critise NZ on Tasers – I am amazed by the UN that said violence against children must be stopped and people should be jailed. Children under 15 in NZ are untouchable – they have all rights – parents have none and teachers have none – look at the violence on police by youngsters – civilians may not protect them as police may protect them – look at the man who fatally injured the tagger. I would like to know how a judge can actually make a sentence if he did not know what exactly happened that day? The boy was out of character – a 15 year old girl goes alone with a 14 boy to a river (females are about 3 years more matured than a male at that age) somebody said this girl was well known to use drugs – drugs and sex often goes together. I see people mention the parents raised this monster – parents, teachers and police have basically no rights to stop a child under the age of 15 (now called a monster)on there premises untill a murder happens. What about the 2 young guys in Wanganui that kill the two old people in a car accident – police spoke to the boys several time the fornight before the event – police removed the number plates of their car, but still had freedom to kill an elderly couple. Many people are caught in the UN system (at last police is in disagreement with the UN rules) unfortunately and we can only cross our fingers that our children will determine between right and wrong and stay away from drugs that the police and government can not get under control. How can bullying be effectively stopped if underage bullies know their rights? (and plenty they have)

    Enough said – the system (government (UN)is unfortune to blame here for 2 lifes wasted) This case is not a one of event in NZ – it happens weekly. Caneing was in 20 years plus ago at schools and none of these events lately was heard of. Now caneing is out and all reasons are given to these events – the lawyers are the only ones scoring out of these events – because lawers also use the system to enrich themselves.

    • wow, my heart just ached when i read that.
      i would like to correct you, for the honour of Libby for she does NOT deserve this sort of bullshit.
      Libby was NOT a known user of drugs, and I find it rude & insulting that you could make such claims with absolutely NO idea what you are talking about!

  5. Our family moved to NZ from South Africa in 2008 for the same reasons many Saffers do – to offer our children a better safer future. We did intensive research before we made the move and thought we were well prepared for the inevitable bullying. However when the bullying started and my fun loving kind hearted young 8 year old boy started being sad and frustrated coming from school we were surprised at the hurt it caused. We immediately got into gear and started dealing with it – talking with the school who were very helpful and implemented a safety plan for our son. Now almost two years later our son is part of the school and most of the kids accept him for who he is – there are always the others and they will bully anyone who is different however the school has a tough stance on bullying and it shows. I work in the mental health field and I can tell you now that bullying can break a child to the point of no return. South Africans is historically well respected in NZ as we are seen as hard working ‘good’ people and personally I have not experience any racism from Kiwis since we’ve been here. When news break that Theo was a South African my heart just sank. We literally fled out of SA when the xenophobic violence broke out and I was scared as to what peoples reaction to the news that a young South African boy killed a Engish girl would be. But Kiwi friends were supportive and reminded me that this is one of the very few times that Saffers were connected to something negative in NZ. I feel so sorry for Libby’s family and I feel sorry for Theo’s family as well. Both sides hopes and dreams for their children have come to a grinding holt. What a sad sad story.

  6. @refilwe. Children from even the best families can do horrible things. If you think that children can be raised so that they will not make mistakes you fool yourself. There are no guarentees in parenting, you can only do your best (and pray). Children’s bahaviour is in most cases a reflection of their upbringing but there are times (like this seems to be) when it is not. There is no evidence to suggest that the Kriel’s made Theo a monster. The Thompson’s tirade against Kriel family (and other South African immigrants) are unfounded in this case and in my view a reflection of their frustration with the justice system.
    As an ex-South African, I trust that this is an isolated incident, but I do share the concern that violent criminals (of which South Africa is the capital in the world) may find their way to my country.

  7. I agree with Refilwe. I am a South African living in South Africa (I tried NZ for a while and decided to come back home where I belong), but I fully understand why people make the decision to leave SA. What I don’t condone or fully understand is why they feel the need to slate the country from afar. If my children turn into violent murderers, I will not be blaming SA. Murderers are bred in every country. According to reports this kid was bullied mercilessly at school because of his Saffer-status. Don’t you think that had something to do with his violent rage? My heart bleeds for his poor parents (as well as hers). All they wanted was a better life for their children and they thought NZ offered that, and this is how it turned out.

    • Tanya, I am having some trouble finding the post and sentence blaming South Africa per se for creating this situation. Perhaps you can assist me? Hannes did say and I quote “We do our best to isolate our children from the violent environment that they were born into and to help them to grow up as balanced and respectful adults”. Now I don’t see him saying anything else other than that the kid was born into a violent environment. South Africa with its 20 000 murders per year certainly qualifies as a violent environment see links


      Being number one in the world for murder by firearm and second for general murder would most certainly to any rational person denote a violent society, and not the type of place you would or should raise children..

      Personally I agree with your suggestion that the bullying might have been more of a contributory factor. Give this some more time, the truth will out. I think Refilwe did not read Hannes’ comment properly and just had the normal kneejerk reaction. If there are problems in that home due to the “upbringing” maybe the welfare agencies should be looking at the other Kriel child before he goes on a murder rampage 😉 (Note the tongue in cheek)

  8. @Hannes.Please stop blaming South AFrica for your children’s “violent” behaviour. Theo left South africa at 8yrs old. He was 14 when he committed the murder. Stop making excuses for a bad upbringing!!!!!

  9. @Chris. As an ex-South African this murder reflect on all of us even on us here in Australia. We do our best to isolate our children from the violent environment that they were born into and to help them to grow up as balanced and respectful adults. Theo does not have a violent history and during the trail an expert testified that this murder was out of character. He has been demonised in the press (rightly so because he is a murderer) and no-one know what motivated him to commit this shocking murder. To their credit the Kriel family stood by Theo and has also been through hell. As a parent your soul is exposed by everything your children do wrong. The Templeman’s have the right to feel sad and angry, they might think to attack the Kriel family that they may get the justice they were denied during the sentencing, but they are wrong. There are no evidence that even suggest that the Kriel’s brought Theo up to become a monster, actually the evidence points in the opposite direction. In a tragic situation like this, there are only losers. Theo created this situation and he should pay for it, not his parents.

  10. I am truly so sorry for what happened here, his parent should be looking at themselves as they raised this boy to what he has become. I am sooo angry that words can’t explain how angry I really am. I am South African, and we come to this wonderful country to be safe, to protect our children from what HE has done to you…. I am really ashamed to be known as a South African today, and even though we don’t know each other I would really like to tell you that I am very vey sorry.

  11. Today I am ashamed of my nationality, for what one individual has done in this lovely country I call home. Shame on you and most of all your parents for raising a monster like you. To take a innocent girls life, you should hang for that and your parent send back to South Africa as you are the product they created.

    • Interesting post Chris. Would you propose that every immigrant who’s family member commits a crime in NZ be sent to their original country? Using that logic (or lack thereof) a lot of people in NZ would have to be sent back especially since most of the people currently in NZ are or were in fact immigrants from another country. This argument is so flawed as to border on the ridiculous. The Kriel’s have been here since Theo was 7 which means that they were here for 7 years when this crime was committed. The probably already hold NZ Citizenship so for all accounts they are Kiwis who originated from SA. According to your argument, even if a person committs a crime when they are 30 years old but arrived in the country when they were 2 their FAMILY (did the family commit this crime??? There is no evidence that the Kriel’s were bad parents) should be sent back to their country of birth. Didn’t think that one through did you.

      • Another question. How many of the family members should be sent back? Just the immediate family or the extended family as well? I mean all of them could be guilty if they had any contact witht his ‘monster’. You have second and even third generation Saffers living in NZ – should they all be sent back when one of the family members commit a crime? Or do you want to pick and say, the mom and dad must go but the brother and sister can stay (if they are old enough to be on their own of course). Or maybe since the criminal spend most of his/her time with the gran the gran should go back but the rest of the family should stay??

  12. Firstly, I condemn this senseless murder.

    Secondly, the sensationalistic “Daily Mail” style NZ media is of a level much like that of a paperback thriller or Victorian morality tale, fashioning clear-cut “heroes” and “villains” in order to titillate its simple-minded readers. Serious sensitive analysis is rare, because abstract thought is distrusted. I doubt that the poster above was asserting that the press literally called the boy Manson. Example of how this case is being portrayed:

    Scoop: Details of underage Keri Keri rape case emerge
    8 Feb 2010 … The final terrifying moments of a Keri Keri schoolgirl’s life have been described to a jury. – Cached

    “Underage rape” is an instant attention-getter. But both were migrant teens. From some of the gossip I hear, the poor girl (a cheerful, talented, gregarious soul who had integrated better than many) had been doing drugs at whatever party she had been to (in media, no drugs mentioned, just a “bbq with friends”). Heavy drug use is common here, and at early ages. The boy (doper status unknown) was troubled, had been a friend of hers once, and had a crush on her. The poor girl had not been raped, but she had been beaten. The social isolation of migrants, the pressure cooker survival conditions in New Zealand, and the especially negative treatment that South Africans, many of whom have already fled a crumbling, crime-filled homeland, do receive here (including and especially their children, in the schools) surely contributed to this event to some tiny degree. His parents being in community jobs would no doubt have caused them to have that positive don’t rock the leaky boat because we can all be friends here outlook, a well known attitude having no resemblance to the nasty, dog eat dog reality of NZ. I am sure he was told how lucky he was to be here hundreds of times. SA is portrayed to Kiwi children in schools in terms similar to the 1975 film Mandingo, or She-Wolf of the SS. Given the intellectually immature treatment of this issue in the schools, the disparity between his personal bad experiences and the rosy facade he would have been urged to adopt would have seemed like a chasm. Not in any way to excuse him or his parents for the murder, coverup or refusal to acknowledge the emotional pain of the other set of parents. They should step up and do this. They seem to be acting like zombies, or deer in a spotlight.

    This heart-rending and needless murder does point out that one does not simply fly over to New Zealand and settle in smoothly. Many people have problems, and too much migration is leading Kiwis to circle their wagons. The government’s policy is to persist in attracting migrants and tourists as an important revenue source. What happens to these people after they arrive is their own problem.

    • I would like to reply to your post as I found in it a number of intellegent and all too true statements. Being an SA immigrant to NZ myself I can echo a lot of what you say. We often told our kids how lucky they were to be in NZ – we often ‘let things go’ because we didn’t want to rock the boat (as we were ‘only immigrants and should just be thankful that the NZ immigration services felt we were worthy to let us into the country). When we were sad and things weren’t going so well we couldn’t talk to anyone. Many of our family in SA were against us immigrating to NZ so you didn’t want to tell them you were going through a tough time for fear of the inevitable ‘I told you so’. You also didn’t want to talk to Saffers already in NZ as you would inevitably hear ‘If you don’t like it go home’. So you tend to isolate youself and ride out the low times looking forward to better times. We continued with this attitude until my son started being bullied in school. Something happens to a parent when their child is being victimised – all the above statements started to take a back seat. For the well being of our child we rocked the boat until we thought it was going to fall over! It was allright though as we knew we could swim. Immigration is probably one of the toughest things to do and we felt that if we could survive that (as well as surviving the violent society that is SA) we could certainly survive the boat being rocked. However not all immigrants do this and some continue for years just shutting up and putting up because they feel they have to put up this facade of perfection for everyone as well as the fear and reluctance of many Saffers to return to SA. I’m not saying that this is what the Kriel’s did – I do not know them or their situation so it is difficult to comment intelligently on their context. However as you say in your post it is certainly a possibility.

  13. Libby Templeman was also “an immigrant kid” more so than Theo Kriel and had only lived in NZ for 3 years. Her family came to NZ looking for a better life, as did Kriel’s probably.

    One could argue that because Theo Kriel has lived in NZ since the age of 7 and is now 16 he is more “kiwi” than immigrant. He may even hold a NZ passport for all we know.

    If your theory about the jury being biased (I want to emphasise that I DO NOT agree with you that it was biased) is correct let’s test that and see if it holds water. Here’s the question: if the jury was biased against Kriel because he was an immigrant why would they care that he’d killed another immigrant kid? After so long in New Zealand and with parents in community centric jobs (environmental health and teaching) and himself attending local schools for a good many years Kriel is probably every bit a ‘Kiwi’ and probably came across as such in the witness box.

    I wasn’t aware that the media was “painting him to be a junior Charles Manson” and I’ve not seen the comparison drawn anywhere in the media, please show me where it’s been published.

    • that soo called ‘immigrant kid’ has a name.. in face she did have a life until that disgusting human being decided to have her life.. i couldnt care if he was or wasnt a immigrant that does not change the fact that he is a murderer.. You take a life then you should give up your own.. simple.
      I dont even want to talk about that pathetic little low life anymore. I am here to pay my respects to the beautiful liberty templeman.

      She was a beautiful youne lady with a passion for life and all she ever wanted was to become a star… When she was in england and was at school with us we all knew when she was coming down the corridor you would hear her beautiful voice and outrages laugh before you saw her.
      She was an amazing young lady and i miss her dearly.
      My heart is with her day in day out and also with her mum, dad and brother.

      She is sleeping with the angels.
      Smiling down on us every day.
      I will forever love you liberty.
      Lots of love always
      Sam xxx

      • Hi Samantha, Libby was fortunate to have a good friend in you.

        It’s almost three years since she died on the 1st November but the years have not dulled the pain of her loss for the people who knew and loved her.

        Thank you for leaving the poem for her.

  14. I dont mean to be a troll, but do you seriously believe a NZ jury would be an unbiased “jury of your peers” when you are an immigrant kid? Please dont get me wrong, I am in no way excusing his actions and he must be punished. I just take exception to the media frenzy and commentators painting him to be a junior Charles Manson. I’m probably going to get roasted for this, but indecent assault is also a long way from sexual assault. I get the feeling you are emotionally involved in this to such an extent that your objectivity is taking a back seat – would you qualify as a jury of his peers? I rest my case.

  15. I have to disagree with you on the murder. In my opinion this is aggravated manslaughter at worst. Admitting you have killed someone does not mean you had intent. Take the story in the news today of the kid that bashed another one and broke his skull. Now if that kid dies we for all intents and purposes have the same scenario other than that this kid does not have the opportunity to try and hide his crime. I am flabbergasted that this child (Theo) should even be tried in the way he has – for crying out loud the crime was committed when he was 14. He had no prior history of any kind of crime. To be honest I perceive a lot of xenophobia in some of the comments I have read and would even go as far as saying thay this kid didn’t have a rats arse chance with a NZ jury. I am sorry for Libby’s family, but destroying another family wont bring her back. I have no connection with any of this other than an innate fear of the kind of kangaroo justice I have observed in NZ. – Lets hope the sentencing reflects the fact that this is in effect a child. And by that I mean not the hoodie wearing/smoking/graffiti painting monsters that have forced the justice system into even trying this kid in an adult court.

    • “Admitting you killed someone does not mean you had intent” – intent has to be proved to secure a murder conviction. But a jury of your peers doesn’t agree with your opinion about it being aggravated manslaughter, if there are any grounds for appeal against that no doubt his legal advisor/s may pursue it.

      “The crime was committed when he was 14” – from what we’ve been told by the press he was almost 15. He was ‘old’ enough to beat senseless a girl (who was older than him) with his bare hands, strangle her, sexually assault her and drag her body down to a stream, hide it beneath a ginger plant, leave her to drown face down in the water and then go out later in the evening to help look for her. Press reports lead us to believe that he has shown no remorse for his actions. He has to accept responsibility for what he’s done and be ‘man’ enough to accept an appropriate punishment.

    • in reply to Joe

      The crown proved intent by Kriel’s actions of dragging Liberty’s unconscious body to the stream and deliberately placing her face down in the water knowing she was breathing and would drown. He admitted to knowing she was still breathing before he dragged her to the water. What the hell more do you want. He took her life in a way that must have been absolutely terrifying for her. Oh and don’t forget he beat her up first and attempted to strangle her. He deliberately and consciously wanted her dead how can anyone feel sorry for a cold blooded heartless killer, who cares about his bloody age or whatever his nationality or his religious beliefs are he shouldn’t be allowed to come in contact with decent human beings again. Ever. How can anyone trust an animal like this to be in the company of anyone. If he does adult crimes, he does adult time. Get with the program, he will serve his sentence in a youth facility until 18yrs old. I’d say beware if you have a child in there with him. If you think he should be treated differently to anyone else cause he is an immigrant, then my answer to you is “GO HOME” WE DON’T NEED YOU HERE EITHER. It’s not only people who wear hoodies that commit murders you need to take off those tinted glasses you must be wearing. As Paul Henry says to the idiots “Are you Stupid?” I bet you’d feel different if it was your daughter who was murdered and then degraded in the disgusting way he treated her body, or wouldn’t that bother you?
      A hurt 12yr old lashing out does not bash, strangle then drown someone. May be you should get a TV you will learn a lot more about the world. And a biased jury … good god, you are out of the ark, 12 people who have never met before all decided to be biased??? but hell it took them 30 hrs to make that decision. To all of you that say you feel sorry for him and his family, what about Liberty, she must have been absolutely terrified knowing she was going to die at the hands of someone she had been so trusting in. Give her a bit more of your thoughts she deserves it.

      • Clicker – Of course we should feel sorry for Theo! As a society we should feel sorry for anyone who have committed a violent crime (and yes I have been a victim of violent crime myself and I still feel sorry for the criminals) because something happenend in that person’s life that cauzed that person to feel and react to situations in a way that cauzes harm to another. I do not believe that people wake up one day and just kill someone – there is a lead up, it might be abuse it might be that something is mentally wrong – whatever the case may be this person will most probably never live a life that is positive and fulfilling. And because if this other people will be directly or indirectly affected by their actions. This is a major problem for us as a society as, if these people are not ‘felt sorry for’ and helped either before they commit a crime or after (so they don’t go and do it again – even in prison) our society will continue to deteriorate and turn more violent. Theo obviously had anger management issues which had never been addressed – these are not going to go away over night and need to be managed before a similar incident occurs wherever he is being incarcerated and another parent mourns the death of their child. An how on earth can you not feel sorry for his family!!!!??? Do you have any kids of your own? I have and if one of mine did this to someone else my world would be shattered! They have to live with what their son did for the rest of their lives! They have to live with the fact that their son has caused another set of parents untold miseray and sadness. I can only imagine how they must feel. Just because people feel sorry for Theo and his family does not mean in any way that they minimise what he has done or want to see him get away with it. Quite the opposite in fact – he needs to be punished as this is part of justice and a natural aspect of cause and effect. BUT having empathy for both families shows peoples ability to look at an event wholistically taking into account all facets of the emotional trauma it has. Looking only at the victim of a crime as the one who suffers is not conducive to bring about change and healing to anyone.

  16. Most of us only know what Theo Kriel is like from the reports the press give us about him, even our knowledge of the trial proceedings was filtered in that way.

    You’re correct when you say that he doesn’t seem to be like the ‘typical NZ teen’ and there are significant differences between him and the kid from Rotorua – they only really have their age and the nature of their crimes in common. However, we can only suppose that Theo ‘lashed out’ and we only have his word for it that the indecent assault was perpetrated to make it appear that someone else was responsible.

    You must know that for murder to be proven so must intent and he’d already admitted to killing Libby. So we are left with the supposition that trial was held because the only defence open to him was to try to show provocation. The jury didn’t buy it and decided that Kriel did intend to kill Libby Templeman. Why? we may never really know. I’m sure her family, who were forced to endure a trial and the glare of media publicity, would like that burning question answered too.

    There are all sorts of rumours around as to the nature of Kriel’s personality, talk of him being bullied and of him keeping a scrap book about Libby. But, it’s just that – nothing more than rumours, maybe we will know more about him and his thought processes when mitigation and pre-sentencing reports are presented next month.

  17. Having been a 14 y/o boy myself once and being father to a child that is not as “forward” as some NZ kids, I have my doubts as to some aspects of this story. By all accounts Theo was not a hoodie wearing/ smoking/ boy racing/ tagging typical NZ teenager. We have chosen not to have TV in our home and I have noticed that as a result my son is not as “mature” as his peers – nothing wrong with his cognitive ability though. My point with this rambling discourse is that despite his physical size, the actions of Theo on that fateful day appear more in keeping with a hurt 12 year old lashing out than with the hulking tall 16 year old we have the media portraying him. Whilst I do not condone what he did, I do not believe this is in any way or form the same kind of thing as the 14 year old baseball bat bashing kid from Rotorua. That one had a long history of social problems. I really feel very sorry for this family and dont think this is being fairly portrayed in the media at all. Murder has in my mind, and through some limited study of law required a certain amount of motive and pre-meditation, does this really meet those criteria?

  18. Exactly, yet another reason why New Zealand’s existing suppression laws need to be revised

    In our opinion NZ’s custom of continuing name/image suppression after the defendant has been found guilty is counter-productive, it draws more public attention to the perp than would have otherwise been the case. Anyone able to use a search engine can find out the identity within minutes. It doesn’t help either when politicians pique the public interest further by declaring they “know who it is” as in the case of the ‘NZ Muso and TV stations show fuzzed-out videos that clearly reveal the identity of the hosting site.

  19. Why does image or photo suppression only apply to NZ but the other countries are allowed to publish a photo…..

    • Thanks for the link, as soon as the restriction on publishing his image ends we will restore it. It looks like it’s been taken directly from one of the videos Kriel posted on the net. There is always a chance, however slim, that these videos could be hoaxes.

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