The 2012 acquittal of Gabe Watson, “dubbed the Honeymoon killer”, for the murder of his wife of eleven days, Tina Thomas, provided a controversial ending to an almost nine-year transnational quest for ‘justice’ that began on 22 October 2003 on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and concluded on 23 February 2012 in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Alabama. A gripping new book, A Second Chance for Justice written by criminologists, Dr Asher Flynn from Monash University’s School of Political and Social Inquiry and Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon from Deakin University, provides a unique insight into the two prosecutions of Gabe Watson for the death of his wife.
A Second Chance for Justice was officially launched on Tuesday 26 February 2013 at the County Court of Victoria by prominent Victorian barrister, Mr David Galbally QC, and the primary police investigator involved in the case, Detective Senior Constable Kevin Gehringer of the Townsville Criminal Investigation Bureau. Professor Sharon Pickering, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from Monash University’s School of Political and Social Inquiry, was the Master of Ceremonies. Over 90 people from a range of academic, stakeholder and interest groups attended the launch, including various members of the legal community such as Chief Judge Michael Rozenes, Justice David Harper, members of Victoria Police, policy and strategic advisors from the Department of Justice, victims’ rights advocates and a range of legal practitioners from the Office of Public Prosecutions and the private sector.
Media Spotlight on A Second Chance for Justice:
A Second Chance for Justice has received much media interest. Asher provided a live television interview on Channel Nine’s, Weekend Today Show on Saturday 2 March 2013, and both Asher and Kate were interviewed on the ABC National Breakfast Show on Tuesday 26 February 2013. Asher and Kate were also featured guests on ABC 774′s The Conversation Hour with Jon Faine with co-host former leader of the Democrats, Lyn Allison on Wednesday 27 February (podcast available http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/03/01/3701624.htm) and were interviewed on Radio Australia’s The Breakfast show with Phil K on Tuesday 26 February 2013.
Several news articles have also discussed the findings of their book (see: Hatch, P (2013) ‘Top investigator says family of honeymoon killer victim Tina Thomas was robbed of justice’, Herald Sun, 27 February 2013; Hatch, P (2013) ‘New Book says tight justice system let honeymoon killer, Gabe Watson, off the hook’, Herald Sun, 26 February 2013; Hume, A (2013) ‘Killer case for local author’, North Central Review (in italics), 12 March 2013, p.5; McDonald, E (2013) ‘Spotlight turned on double prosecution’, Townsville Bulletin, 21 February 2013), and a discussion of the book features in the ‘real lives’ section of the Australian New Idea magazine issue 49 (Marions, S (2013) ‘Honeymoon Dive Death: Searching for Justice’, New Idea, p.43). An excerpt of the book was also exclusively released by the Herald Sun online (see:http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/new-book-says-tight-justice-system-let-honeymoon-killer-gabe-watson-off-the-hook/story-fnat7jnn-1226585289574).
A Second Chance for Justice: The Prosecutions of Gabe Watson for the Death of Tina Thomas (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) is available for purchase online at: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/A-Second-Chance-for-Justice–The-Prosecutions-of-Gabe-Watson-for-the-Death-of-Tina-Thomas1-4438-4202-8.htm, http://www.amazon.com, http://www.amazon.co.uk and selected bookstores.