Daughter of pair murdered in their Waikato home believes released killer could be a threat to her

The daughter of the victims of released murderer Gresham Marsh believe he could be a threat to her.

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Margaret and Jock Jamieson want to keep the man who killed Margaret's parents in jail, but, after 26 years inside, he has just been released. Source: Sunday

Margaret and Jock Jamieson want to keep the man who killed Margaret's parents in jail, but, after 26 years inside, he has just been released.

The pair have spent 15 years trying to keep the the killer in jail, but now he's been released they’re worried he could be a threat to them and all they want is a photo.

The Jamiesons should be enjoying a peaceful retirement together instead, they're still haunted by the horror that befell their family 26 years ago.

John Harrisson was a World War II veteran who distinguished himself for bravery, Margaret’s mum Josephine was a florist, they'd been married since the war.

“They decided, let's see what it’s like to kill a human,” Mrs Jamieson explained.

The Jamiesons battled for two decades to keep Gresham Marsh and Leith Ray behind bars.

“They’ve done this horrendous crime, they’ve not shown remorse,” Mrs Jamieson said. 

“It’s not about vengeance. It’s about protecting other people. We don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we went through,” Mr Jamieson said.

Mrs Jamieson says her parents “were real good soulmates and one couldn't do without the other”.

“Dad was, dad was a softy, he, you know he didn't growl at us unless mum told him to,” she remembered.

“Mum was tough. she kept us on the straight and narrow.”

The Harrissons owned an orchard in Henderson, West Auckland, but when the kids grew up and left, John and Josephine moved to a farm in Te Akau, an isolated rural community west of Ngaruawahia.

On May 28th, 1994 John and Josephine celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Margaret pulled out all the stops to bring them to up to her place in Auckland for the big day.

“Our family weren't huggers, but when dad was leaving that day, he gave me such a big hug, I was shocked, that was the last time we’d see them just, unbelievable really,” Mrs Jamieson said

“We didn't believe that it was mum and dad, it was not them, no they've got the wrong place but as that word murder formed in my brain, that was it.”

Local police detective Rex Miller couldn't believe what he was confronted with.

“I vividly remember walking into the bedroom at the house and, you know those things you don’t forget,” Mr Miller said.

“It was an execution as far as I'm concerned, it was, something that we hadn’t sort of seen before.

“I walked into the bedroom there, there was an elderly lady, she was sitting up in bed and, with gunshot wounds and it was, it was just horrendous,” Mr Miller remembered.

Mrs Jamieson later learned how her parents had been murdered.

“Ray followed dad down the hall and shot him in the back,” she explained.

“Dad was on the floor moaning, couldn't get to the phone, they shot him in the face.

“Mum said ‘something like why are you doing this to me?’ and so he shot her in the stomach.

“They were just house bound in the middle of the night and it was execution.”

“Margaret's parents have been killed Who’s doing that, your mind just goes crazy? And I actually felt a bit of a fear really. Could we be next?” Mr Jamieson said.

Just three days later, New Zealand got to see up close the face of evil, Marsh and Ray.

“They just had a real bad attitude and thought they could do what they liked,” Mr Miller said.

Marsh, 22, was the ringleader, Ray, 19, the yes man.

Two drifters on a crime spree who'd targeted the elderly, vulnerable Harrisons for a reason.

“[They] had the cheek to say mum and dad had lived long enough,” Mrs Harrison said.

Margaret and family were at court to see Marsh and Ray plead guilty, the judgement was swift, life.

“We sort of said ‘well thank goodness they’ve been sentenced to life’, we just thought life meant life. We didn't know it meant 10 years,” Mrs Jamieson said. 

Margaret and Jock couldn’t just accept it and incredibly, neither could Marsh's family.

“I just know from my gut from my heart, that Gresham cannot be rehabilitated, I know the way my brother thinks,” Sharon Marsh said in 2004.

The Marsh family adopted Gresham as a child, but Ms Marsh said, as he grew up, the family became alarmed at his increasingly violent behaviour.

“The family started to really think my god he's going to kill somebody very soon,” she said.

Ms Marsh and Mrs Jamieson became close.

“She was more of a sister I would say, because my sisters departed, wouldn’t have anything to do with me because I was speaking to the media,” Mrs Jamieson said.

When Marsh and Ray came up for parole in 2005, the Jamiesons and Ms Marsh, fought to keep them in prison, they haven't stopped fighting since.

“For a period of 16 years, we have been in the face of the Parole Board, eyeball to eyeball, we’ve been battling all these years, fearing that one day they would let him out, and hoping that we’d have an influence so they would actually keep him in,” Mr Jamieson said.

“Finally they stopped listening, they made a decision, and we’re stuck with that decision now.”

Ray was released in 2015 and a fortnight ago, Marsh was released from prison, after 26 years inside.

“It’s not about vengeance, it’s about protecting other people. We don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we went through,” Mr Jamieson said.

“The Parole Board have put into writing that he is a very high risk of reoffending, why would you let him out?”

When Ray was released, Corrections provided a recent photograph of him to the Jamiesons.

“We asked the same question for Marsh and we’ve been denied a photograph,” Mr Jamieson said.

The last image of marsh that Margaret and Jock is from decades ago.

“If we bumped into him, how would we know? Should we know? I think we should,” Mr Jamieson said.

Sunday asked Corrections for an interview, which they declined.

In a written statement, National Commissioner Rachel Liota says corrections has offered to show the Jamiesons a recent photo of Marsh but won't let them keep one.

Corrections says it’s required to protect personal information including that of offenders.

Marsh is residing in the South Island with 29 parole conditions and is being electronically monitored

“They believe they’re doing us a favour by offering for us to have a supervised view of a photograph. If you see an image of a photograph today can you recognise the guy in a couple of years’ time? Of course not,” Mr Jamieson said.

“A photograph is what we actually need.

“Margaret and I have for 26 years tried to keep him inside, if he was to feel aggrieved could we potentially be at risk? Yes we could, and we have no protection whatsoever. So our right to recognise the offender should supersede any right to his privacy.”