A woman sentenced to life in prison for the 1989 murder of a man says she is innocent, and she’s fighting to clear her name.
The new true crime podcast series, Gone Fishing - a joint production between Stuff and Radio New Zealand - examines the case against Gail Maney and her co-accused Stephen Stone. They were arrested for the murder of 21-year-old Deane Fuller-Sandys in 1997 - eight years after he disappeared.
In Gone Fishing, Maney speaks extensively about the case against her, the events that led to her arrest - and the consequences.
The podcast raises several red flags about the evidence used to convict Maney during her trials in 1999 and 2000. It will also explain in detail the doubts raised about her conviction and speak to the former police officer who headed the investigation - Mark Franklin.
Maney was convicted for ordering a hit on Fuller-Sandys after he was said to have burgled her home in Henderson, West Auckland, nine years earlier. The court heard that Stone carried out the murder, and that two men got rid of Fuller-Sandys’ corpse. His body has never been found.
Maney has maintained her innocence since her arrest. She has spent 15 years in prison, and is currently serving out the remainder of that sentence on parole.
Stone remains in prison serving out his life sentence, and was declined parole in December 2017.
In Gone Fishing, Maney tells of her shock at being arrested in 1997. She said she never met Fuller-Sandys and had nothing to do with his disappearance, or murder.
“I thought police were just running around on some fantasy story that happened. It was crazy,” she said.
At the time of her arrest, Maney gave a statement to police, but maintained she did not know what they were talking about - so, she kept quiet during the investigation.
“I never thought that by not talking to them, or telling them to piss off, that I was jeopardising my own freedom.”
The former detective who led the investigation, Mark Franklin, explains in the podcast how he built the case against Maney and Stone.
“If someone asks me what was your most interesting case or the most fascinating, well this is it. This is the first story I tell - only because it’s so fascinating, it’s not a run of the mill homicide, it’s quite unique in a lot of ways,” said Franklin.
Franklin, who left the New Zealand Police more than a decade ago, is adamant his investigation was thorough. But, he admitted, he sometimes asks himself whether he got it right.
Read more about the case, watch extended video interviews and keep track of the case with a summary of the characters, a timeline and map.
To find out more, you can subscribe to the full eight-part Gone Fishing series at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or any other podcast app. Or, you can go to the RNZ homepage and click on Podcasts.