WINZ double murderer 'person of interest' in unsolved death of Kirsty Bentley

Police have confirmed to 1 NEWS that the Ashburton Work and Income double murderer Russell John Tully is a "person of interest" in the 20 year old Kirsty Bentley investigation.

Fifteen-year-old Kirsty Bentley disappeared while walking her dog on New Year's Eve in 1998.

Two weeks later her body was found in scrub in the Rakaia Gorge, 40 kilometres from her family home in Ashburton.

Detective Inspector Greg Murton says there were "literally hundreds" of persons of interests during the initial investigation into Bentley's death and "they're either eliminated from the list or they stay there".

He said police wouldn't confirm at what stage 51-year-old Tully appeared on the list.

Tully has been sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum non-parole period of 27 years. Source: 1 NEWS

Russell John Tully killed two employees in a cold-blooded rampage. Source: 1 NEWS

Tully is currently serving life imprisonment for the 2014 murders of WINZ receptionist Peggy Turuhira Noble and case worker Susan Leigh Cleveland.

Tully's lawyer, Craig Tuck, said his client was "horrified that his name is linked to Ms Bentley's murder, based on no evidence at all".


The brutal murder of the Ashburton teenager in 1998 remains unsolved. Source: 1 NEWS



High profile prisoner Arthur Taylor denied parole

One of New Zealand's most notorious prisoners Arthur Taylor has been declined parole.

The board says Taylor "is assessed as being at high risk of general reoffending and a moderate risk of violent reoffending".

The board also expresses concern that due to the length of his sentence, Taylor may be suffering from institutionalisation making it difficult for him to adjust to life outside of prison.

The career criminal is on of New Zealand's best known convicts, he's been convicted 152 times and has spent about 38 years in prisons.

A Corrections Department inspector has apologised to Arthur Taylor after the prisoner complained he was denied his right to exercise. Source: 1 NEWS

Since a young age he's been inside for crimes including armed robbery, fraud, burglary, kidnapping and escaping custody.

The career criminal claims moving a young man into a gang-free unit at Paremoremo helped prevent a murder. Source: 1 NEWS

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One cyclist dead, one critically injured in car smash near Twizel

A cyclist is dead and another fighting for their life after a serious car crash in the Tekapo/Twizel area this morning.

The crash occurred on the Tekapo-Twizel Rd, near the Mount Cook turnoff, around 6.20am.

Police initially said two people were critically ill, but one has since died. 

A helicopter was called after serious car crash in the Tekapo/Twizel area
A helicopter was called after serious car crash in the Tekapo/Twizel area Source: 1 NEWS

A helicopter has been dispatched from Christchurch.

Delays are expected.

Cyclists' bikes lying on the side of the road, one left in piece after car smash near Twizel
Cyclists' bikes lying on the side of the road, one left in piece after car smash near Twizel Source: 1 NEWS