Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Zealand: Police Say They Could Have Done Nothing to Save Czech Tourist, 31, Raped, Murdered

COMMENT: New Zealand police contend that nothing they could have done would have saved the life of Czech tourist Dagmar Pytlickova, 31,  who was raped and murdered by New Zealander Jason Frandi, 43, at least according to Coroner Richard McElrea who said it was highly unlikely that any additional steps police could have taken would have saved Ms. Pytlickova. 

The bodies of Jason Frandi, 43, of Waimate, and Dagmar Pytlickova, 31, of the Czech Republic, were found in a remote forest area not far from Waimate in May 2012. Frandi, a career rapist, killed himself after murdering the young Czech.

Pytlickova had been working on vineyards near Cromwell for several months before hitch-hiking to South Canterbury to meet up with her sister on May 26.

Cyclists taking part in a fundraiser trail bike ride discovered the two bodies in the Pentland Hills forestry area on May 27, 2012.

Coroner McElrea determined that Frandi had cut major arteries in Pytlickova's neck and throat after he raped her.

Unfortunately, Ms. Pytlickova was abducted while hitchhiking to meet her sister and was subsequently restrained by seatbelts cut from Frandi's vehicle and then forced to walk 4.61 kilometers into the forest. 

Waimate police had been looking for Frandi after becoming aware he knew he was the subject of an allegation of child abuse. A complaint of indecent assault was made against Frandi by a 5-year-old girl in December 1999, but he denied those allegations. Police later found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Frandi, but never explained what steps they had taken to investigate the child's allegation.

In January 2000, Frandi abducted a 19-year-old woman who fortunately managed to escape from him and file a complaint. Frandi was subsequently arrested and told police he had intended taking the woman to a wooded area and having some "fun with her."  He was later sentenced to three years in prison. 

After being released from prison Frandi came to police attention several times and was charged with offenses including assault, cultivating cannabis and various motor vehicle violations. 

It appears that in New Zealand police are able to easily escape accountability and responsibility by simply saying it is so or using a coroner's inquest to shield their culpability.

Actually, there are a number of steps New Zealand police could have pursued if they had been so inclined:

1. Police could have put out a country-wide "lookout" for Frandi's vehicle registration which they had access to for a number of years; and

2. New Zealand police have publicly stated that they have no written policy concerning travelers and citizens engaging in "hitchhiking." If this is true, they are no doubt among a small number of countries that don't foresee a criminal risk for people who engage in such  high-risk behavior. 

As I have said so often in the past, for its small population, New Zealand is hardly a low-risk destination. Thus, it is essential that our readers review all postings in the past under the words "New Zealand" to fully assess the threat confronting foreign travelers.

See full text of  NZ press account: