The Bassett Road machine gun murders resulted in the death of two men and were carried out using a .45 calibre Reising submachine gun. This was back in December 1963 at 115 Bassett Road, in the Auckland suburb of Remuera.


As Wiki describes the event: “The crime received considerable media attention and captured the public imagination for many years. Although the weapon was set to single and not rapid fire for the killings, word spread quickly of a “Chicago-style” gang murder previously unheard of in New Zealand”.

But there are some interesting aspects to this quite bizarre case.

Firstly, it had long been assumed that the weapon involved entered the country as the trophy of a serviceman returning from war. In truth…

The gun was smuggled into the country in the petrol tank of a car.

The link above is to a very interesting interview regarding the case.

It discusses John Banks, our former Police minister. The man behind the betrayal of shooters with the Arms Amendment Act that has caused us such needless misery.

His father was a serious and notorious criminal. It turns out that Banks acted as the get away driver for his father who was blowing a safe. Banks claims to have been unaware of what was happening and was just shopping for the family. Getting some meat.

At night time.

While parked up the road.

John Banks of course went on to be convicted in a court himself.

He also once held the murder weapon involved in this famous case and was even invited to shoot it.

The myth of the murders is that they were caused by a turf war involving illegal drinking dens. When NZ had 6 O’Clock closing of bars. Another example of a government thinking that it knew best for it’s citizens.

It fact the killings were over a girl.

One of the two men convicted of the crime was named Gillies. He was later involved in a movie style prison escape.

This after a gun was smuggled into Mt. Eden prison.

The criminals involved crashed their car during the escape and took hostages. The victims were soon traded for whiskey.

The other man responsible for the killings may have faked his death after his release. Or been murdered himself.

Oh and technically the nation has never had a machine gun murder. Apparently the victims were killed in the semi auto mode. We are sure this was of little relief to the parties involved.

Of Note

The Kiwi Gun Blog has recently reported on the arms being smuggled into the country by criminals.

It is interesting to note how this weapon arrived.

Likewise how another illegal arm was smuggled into a prison.

If criminals want a gun…….

Both men had significant criminal records.