Author(s): Michael Bennett
Teina Pora, a 17-year-old car thief, was wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Susan Burdett, who had been beaten to death with the softball bat she kept next to her bed for her own protection. Tim McKinnel, en ex-cop turned private investigator, discovered the long forgotten case 18 years later, saw an injustice had been done and set out to win Teina's freedom.
Reaching from the mean streets of South Auckland to the highest court in the Commonwealth, this is the story not just of Tim's quest, but also of how an innocent man who was left rotting in a prison cell for two decades found the inner strength to rise above the dark places to which he had been condemned.
Winner 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award - Best Non Fiction
Michael Bennett (Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Whakaue) is a writer and filmmaker. His short films and feature film Matariki have screened to acclaim internationally, including Cannes, Berlin, New York and Toronto film festivals. In 2013 Michael made the award-winning documentary on Teina Pora's case, The Confessions of Prisoner T. Michael lives with his partner and three children in Auckland. In Dark Places is his first book.