Murder That Wasn't: The Case of George Gwaze

Author(s): Felicity Goodyear-Smith

NZ - History

This book tells the story of the case of George Gwaze, twice charged and twice acquitted of the rape and murder of his ten-year-old adopted niece, Charlene Makaza.


When Charlene is found unconscious one morning, gasping for breath, with a high fever and lying in a pool of diarrhoea, her family rush her to the Christchurch 24-hour clinic. She is treated for overwhelming sepsis and transferred to hospital. Sadly her life cannot be saved and at 1.00am she dies. During the course of Charlene's short illness the diagnosis shifts from infection to sexual assault and homicide, and her grieving family find themselves publicly engulfed in a criminal investigation. What unfolds next is a surreal set of events so improbable that they seem fictitious. Murder that Wasn't meticulously explores the facts surrounding this case, based on scientific, medical and court records and individual interviews, to tell this family's extraordinary story.

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Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith is a qualified general practitioner and forensic physician. Over the years her work has included police doctor, prison medical officer and ship's surgeon. She has acted as expert witness or medical adviser in a number of trials, including the hearings involving George Gwaze, the topic of this book. She is now the Academic Head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is also the founding editor of the Journal of Primary Health Care. When she is not working she enjoys tramping, kayaking, swimming and overseas adventures with her family.

General Fields

  • : 9781877578991
  • : Otago University Press
  • : Otago University Press
  • : January 2015
  • : 230mm X 150mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 236
  • : 12pp photographs
  • : Felicity Goodyear-Smith