Brought to you by NZCity

 | main | news | security | policing 15 Jul 2024 | 
 Main NZ law and order news
Send a link to this article to a friend via email
 Sexual Crime
 White Collar
 Child Abuse
 Political & Misc.

 Crime news
 Home security
 Business security
 Security services
 Policing NZ
 NZ Parole Board
 Kidz Korner
 Firearms in NZ

 For Victims
 Drug Abuse
 Alcohol Abuse
 Legal Resources
 Crime Statistics
 Family Violence
 Support Services
 About Us
 Contact Us

Click here to add to your NZCity Personal Start Page

Malcolm Rewa (Auckland Serial Rapist)
As police broke down the back door of a Mangere house on the night of 13 May 1996, a man sprung out of the front door wrapped only in a towel, right into the armed offenders squad surrounding his home. Malcolm Rewa was wrestled to the ground by police dogs and was arrested. Sitting bleeding and silent at the Otahuhu police station, finally his nine-year reign of terror was over. Another serial rapist from Auckland behind bars.

Soon after he was born in 1953 near Kaipara Harbour Malcolm's mother died in a car accident. He was just over a year old when a childless aunt and uncle from Glen Innes took him in and he took on their surname 'Rewa'.

By age nine, he had been convicted of stealing woman’s underwear and continued after that with mainly burglaries until 1974 when he decided to join the army. He was discharged 18 months later and soon after committed his first rape.

Rewa’s wife was in labour at the time, so he took the opportunity to break into a nursing home and rape one of the nurses living there. He was soon tracked down after leaving behind incriminating items; clothing, a complete palm print and a friend’s license, so it didn’t take long to trace the crime back to him. After pleading guilty he was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.

His next rape also nearly landed him in prison when the woman he had raped saw him on the street two days later and reported him. Using a false alibi, he managed to get off the charges and learnt his lesson... and that lesson was to disguise his appearance better. Using caps, balaclavas and black hair dye his appearance changed often.

Joining the Highway 61 gang, Hammer (as he became known, due to the hammer that he kept on his bike to 'sort out trouble') became the 'Master at Arms'. His rapes continued, often late at night or near dawn.

Malcolm chose his victims carefully. They ranged in age from 15-43 and tended to be young attractive single professionals, home alone. A regular patterns of the attacks also begun to appear.

Almost all his 27 attacks followed this pattern:
He would enter the house of woman on their own (not once was there a man in the house). After overpowering them he would tie their wrists behind their backs and lay them so their legs draped over the side of the bed. He would then ferret through the house looking for cash, cheques and money machine cards. Stripping the woman from the waist down, he would gloat over their helplessness by shining a touch over their naked bodies.
Throwing something (usually a bed covering) over their heads he would attempt to get an erection by masturbating. Sometimes he had difficulty reaching penetration. Any protest from the victim was met by physically injuring them or screaming abuse at them. These combinations of factors were evident not only in the rapes he confessed to but to those he denied.

One of his victims was a friend of his de facto wife’s. The two had attended the same school and had recently re-established the friendship. On 23 April 1989, the woman had fallen asleep on her couch in her Mountain Rd, Mangere, when Rewa crept through the unlocked back door. In the early hours of the morning, she awoke to lock-up and go to bed. Rewa was hiding in the dark and grabbed her from behind and dragged her back on to the couch, binding and gagging her. After raping her, he left with the terrifying parting shot "I’ll be back".

Returning to Rewa's house to confide in her friend (his defacto wife), the victim said she thought the rapist was still watching her and was consoled by the fact that if she needed help, Rewa could come out to sort things out.

Many more rapes followed this incident, sometimes surprisingly close in proximity to one another. On one occasion a woman he raped sought comfort at her next door neighbour's house who had been Rewa’s victim the year before.

After January 1991 there was a steady onslaught of rapes until after an assault on woman on 27 Oct 1993, there was a break until another failed attempt again on 5 January 1995.

'Operation Harvey' was set up that year (1995) to find a criminal behind several rapes (including a rape and murder of a woman, Susan Burdell) in the time frame from 1988-1992. By using the criminal profiling that had been pioneered by the team that had been hunting Joe Thompson (South Auckland’s Serial Rapist), the ‘Harvey’ team not only reduced the possible suspect profiles from 146,000 to 5,000 but also became aware that the man they were looking for was responsible for more rapes then first expected and another operation team “Operation Atlas” were also looking for the same man. The two teams merged.

By May they figured that they were on to the right person and were just waiting for the forensic results to be returned. They had linked Rewa to the areas where the rapes had taken place and also a shoe print taken from a scene matched a pair of Rewa’s. After his first rape, Rewa left very little evidence at the scene and no fingerprints were ever found. It even took 4 years after the death of Susan Burdett before another spot of semen was found at a crime scene, this sample on a bathrobe after an attack of a Mt Eden woman. The police were able to link it to Malcolm Rewa after his father gave the police a blood sample.

Meanwhile Rewa struck again. This time the victim was a 15-year-old girl walking her dog. The young girl fought back and Rewa assaulted her so severely that her nose was broken, eyes blackened and mental plates inserted in her jaw. Her screams alerted her father who managed to get the registration on the car as it sped away.

When the registration was traced back to Rewa’s wife, the police decided they could wait no longer for the arrest of this predator. Tracking him to his home, he tried to escape out the front door but was hauled down by the police dogs, who bite him on his bare thigh. The arrest came 9 ½ years after his first attack

In early 1998 a trail was held in Auckland High Court. The prosecution was such that it took 3 months to for all the evidence against Malcolm Rewa to be given. Finally the verdict was returned at the stroke of midnight 29 May 1998.

Malcolm Rewa was found guilty of the majority of charges that he was up against but the jury could not agree to the murder and rape of Papatoetoe accounts clerk Susan Burdett in her home in March 1992. Rewa had alleged that he had been having any affair with the woman and the reason Rewa’s semen was found on her body, was that they had slept together at his house the evening of her death before she left to go bowling. (Rewa was finally convicted of the rape of Susan Burdett in Dec 1998.)

The Monday following the trail, Rewa’s lawyers read an apology live on the Holmes show indicating that Rewa was remorseful but only for the rapes he had confessed to, not those that he had been found guilty of that he didn’t confess to.

Malcolm Rewa, Auckland Serial rapist is serving a sentence of preventive detention with a 22-year minimum non-parole period for 24 rapes committed between 1987-1996 plus 14 years to be served concurrently for the rape of Susan Burdett.

Back to Sex Related Crime Index

The story of Malcolm Rewa, the serial rapist from Auckland who had a nine-year reign of terror

© 2024 NZCity
For marketing opportunities contact: