How The Queen was almost killed when a bullet whistled past her head on a tour of New Zealand in 1981 as police officer and lawyer reveal the attempted assassination was hushed up

  • Christoper John Lewis attempted to murder the Queen with a .22 rifle in Dunedin
  • He missed, but two years later tried to kill Charles when he returned with Diana  
  • Police did not charge teen with treason as case was 'politically too hot to handle'
  • Former Dunedin police officer Tom Lewis said then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon feared the Royals would not return to New Zealand if word got out

  • A new report reveals how the government of New Zealand attempted to conceal just how close a young man came to assassinating the Queen during a diplomatic trip to the country in 1981.
    As the Queen paraded in front of adoring crowds Christopher John Lewis, a 17-year-old local boy from Dunedin, took aim with a .22 rifle.
    The Queen had stepped out of a Rolls-Royce to greet 3,500 well wishers when the deafening crack rang out across the crowd.
    The shot flew past her head. 
    Lewis had missed and aside from a brief moment of distraction the parade continued, the crowd unaware of what had just almost occurred. 
    The young man from the nation's South Island had become obsessed with exterminating the Royal Family and, worryingly, the self-styled terrorist had come incredibly close to killing the British head of state.  
    In the aftermath shamed New Zealand police launched a cover-up operation to disguise the seriousness of the event, a new investigation reveals.

    Christoper John Lewis (pictured) tried to kill the Queen with a .22 rifle in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1981
    Christoper John Lewis (pictured) tried to kill the Queen with a .22 rifle in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1981
    According to a former Dunedin police officer, Tom Lewis, who worked on the 1981 case, police tried to play down the the attack.  
    'You will never get a true file on that. It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on,' he said.  
    Tom Lewis said then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon feared the Royals would not return to New Zealand if word got out about just how close the rogue teenager had come to killing the Queen, reports Hamish McNeilly for the website The Stuff.
    He revealed the teenager's original statement was later destroyed in an official cover-up.

    The incident was swept under the carpet by New Zealand police who did not charge the teen with treason because the case was 'politically too hot to handle'
    The incident was swept under the carpet by New Zealand police who did not charge the teen with treason because the case was 'politically too hot to handle'

    Murray Hanan, the would-be killer's former lawyer, said police decided not to charge the young man with treason - which in 1981 carried the death penalty - because they had received an order from 'up top'.
    They believed it would draw undue attention to the event and cause deep embarrassment.
    He said: 'The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand... it was too politically hot to handle. I think the government took the view that he is a bit nutty and has had a hard upbringing, so it won't be too harsh.' 
    Lewis later claimed in a draft autobiography (entitled 'Last Words') that he had been visited by top brass from Wellington during the interrogation process who told him never to speak about the event.
    In the manuscript he sent to US publishers Howling At The Moon Productions he described how police threatened him.
    'If I was ever to mention the events surrounding my interviews of the organisation ... they would make sure "I suffered a fate worse than death"', he wrote.
    Lewis's charge was later downgraded to possession of a firearm in a public place and discharging it. 
    However, questions were asked of police at the time.  In the hours after the shooting officers were questioned over what had occurred.
    They told press the distinctive noise was just a council sign falling over.
    Later, under questioning, another narrative emerged. They said someone had let off a fire cracker nearby. 


    According to a former Dunedin police officer, Tom Lewis said then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon feared the Royals would not return to New Zealand if word got out

    According to a former Dunedin police officer, Tom Lewis said then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon feared the Royals would not return to New Zealand if word got out


    Lewis (pictured) fired on the Queen from half a kilometre away, missing by just metres
    Lewis (pictured) fired on the Queen from half a kilometre away, missing by just metres
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    Christopher Lewis was interviewed eight times by police after the incident.
    The young man said he had been ordered to kill the Queen by an Englishman known as 'the Snowman' - of who he was immensely scared.
    'The Snowman' had told Lewis about far right groups in Britain like the National Front and said he could take refuge in similar groups in new Zealand. 
    Two years later the same teenager attempted to overpower a guard and escape from a psychiatric ward where he was being held in order to murder Prince Charles, who was visiting the country in April with the Princess Diana and their young son, William. 
    Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, visit Auckland in New Zealand in 1983
    Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, visit Auckland in New Zealand in 1983
    His school career was marred with a number of expulsions: tipping over desks, playing with matches and showing porn to his classmates.
    He left school for good at just 15.   
    By the tender age of 17 Lewis had a history of armed robbery, arson and animal cruelty.  
    His idols included Australian bandit Ned Kelly as well as cult leader Charles Manson - who ordered the murder of American actress and model Sharon Tate.
    After the incident Lewis was sectioned and police found clippings of the Royal family in his grimy flat, as well as a detailed map of the Queen's route that day.
    Written on the map were the words 'Operation = Ass QUEB' - assumed to to be the name he had given his 'mission'.  
    And in 1995 when the Queen returned, the New Zealand government sent the man on a tax-payer funded holiday to the Great Barrier Reef.
    'I started to feel like royalty,' he wrote in his memoir. 

    When the Queen (pictured during her trip to new Zealand in 1995) returned the government sent Lewis on a beach holiday to ensure he would not launch another attempt

    When the Queen (pictured during her trip to new Zealand in 1995) returned the government sent Lewis on a beach holiday to ensure he would not launch another attempt

    In 1995 when the Queen (pictured this year) returned, the New Zealand government sent Lewis, now 33, on a tax-payer funded holiday to the Great Barrier Reef

    In 1995 when the Queen (pictured this year) returned, the New Zealand government sent Lewis, now 33, on a tax-payer funded holiday to the Great Barrier Reef


    They thought it safer to have him idling on a beach far from trouble. He was given free accommodation, spending money and a vehicle.
    Lewis, however, was not under surveillance during this period.  
    He would later go on to kill himself in Mt Eden Prisons in Auckland in 1997 - at the age of just 33 - while awaiting the trial of a woman and the kidnapping of her child. 
    On the day he was found sat upright, dead in his cell, Lewis had previously been visited by his girlfriend.
    She notice nothing out of the ordinary apart from the fact Lewis turned down an offer to put money into his bank account.
    Lewis's shared cell had an easel and paintbrushes as well as TV and a typewriter in one corner, where he had begun working on his memoir.
    At 3.15pm when a corrections officer checked opened his door he was found slumped in a metal chair 'in a lifeless state', told the New Zealand Herald.
    The guard initially though Lewis was asleep before he noticed the man's colour.
    At 33, the Christopher John Lewis, infamous for attempting to assassinate the Queen in Dunedin, was dead.

    At 33, Lewis (pictured in 1996) killed himself in his shared cell at Mr Eden prisons in Auckland
    At 33, Lewis (pictured in 1996) killed himself in his shared cell at Mr Eden prisons in Auckland

    1 comment:

    1. This doesn't pass a very basic smell test.

      "Lewis (pictured) fired on the Queen from half a kilometre away, missing by just metres" - with a .22 rifle?

      Really?

      The lethal range of a .22LR handled by a trained shooter is 300yd, tops.

      In fact at 300yd a standard load would have very little residual kinetic energy and would be unlikely to kill anything it hit. A high-performance load 22LR can be lethal out to 450yd in the hands of an absolute expert marksman (at more than 200yd most seasoned shooters would not back themselves to even keep the round off the ground - i.e., they would not be able to properly account for gravity and the loss of momentum of such a light round).

      Seriously, people who make up stories like this piece of nonsense should spend five minutes on Google before they hit 'Publish', because their readers deserve for the narrative to be at least borderline plausible.

      That said: the assassination of some soi-disant 'ruler' is never a bad thing. I have no particular beef with Lizzie Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and I don't wish her any personal harm, but the whole "Ruler" schtick needs to be got rid of (and all the property her family stole should be handed back to the nation to which it rightfully belongs). The entire institution of hereditary monarchy is based on a lie - i.e., that an invisible Sky Maniac decreed that her ancestors were to rule - and lie-based institutions are social cancer.

      It's bad enough that the vestiges of the 'divine right' persist in so-called 'democratic' governments (which are nothing of the sort: getting the biggest number of seats is not the same as accurately reflecting the aggregate preferences of a society). It's all about maintaining a centuries-old scam - a scam that enables the highest-functioning sociopaths get to live in palaces by bilking the populace under the pretence of furnishing a 'corrective' to purely-private voluntary interaction.

      Look at the politicians of the world - parasitic megalomaniacal vermin to a man - and the state of public finances the world over... then dare suggest that I'm wrong.

      ReplyDelete

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