Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses (2015) Movie Script

Oh. I can still see it...
Beautiful girl.
She was quite a sickly
baby when she was born.
She ended up being
an asthmatic child,
but when she became a mum,
she was a beautiful mum,
absolutely beautiful mum.
Always smiling,
she'd always wave,
"Hi Auntie," you know.
Just what happened
to her is so sad
you know, it still hurts today,
it'll probably hurt forever
what happened to Janet.
-...and your pappa. Hello.
- You know one day maybe
the girls are gonna ask us
and we haven't got an answer.
What do you say to two beautiful
girls when they ask you,
"What happened to our mommy?"
They were a nice family.
We all went to the
same school together,
played together, we did
things together you know.
I was quite close to
some of Janet's aunties
on that side.
I'm still in shock a bit,
that they let this happen.
That they went that far
to try and heal her.
It was shortly
after five p.m. on a Friday
when outplace
communications center had a call
requesting that police attend
at an address in Wainuiomata.
My name is Tusha Penny,
I was a detective
sergeant in Lower Hutt,
second in charge
of the operation.
What we could never
have appreciated
when we first walked
through the door
was that what was
about to unfold
was something incredibly unique,
something incredibly tragic,
and something very challenging.
Whenever you work on any
case, any case at all,
it's a privilege, you have
a really big job to do
and we worked very
hard to understand
how a family could do
that to one of their own.
There were conflicting stories
about how Janet had died.
Although some of
the family members
had said she had actually
died hours earlier
and from a mental
illness or sickness.
It was a matter of trying to
unravel what had happened,
trying work back.
We talked to an
excess of 70 people,
we let them tell their story.
One person saying it probably
doesn't have a lot of weight,
but when a whole lot of people
are telling you the same story
then there's something in that.
Take a seat.
What can you tell me
about making a promise?
A promise is...
being truthful
to the person you
made the promise to.
So do
you promise me everything
we talk about in this room
today will be the truth?
Yeah, if I can remember.
what I'll get you to do
is just read card out
aloud please.
I Glenys Wright do sincerely
and truly declare and affirm
that I will tell the truth
during this interview
here today.
I John Tahana Rawiri
sincerely and truthfully affirm
that I will tell the truth
in this interview here today.
This family
cooperated fully
with the police.
My name's Phil Mitchell,
I was defense council,
tasked primarily with
researching the case.
They genuinely believed
there was something
very malignant and
dangerous within her.
You can't just
act on bizarre beliefs
and kill someone
and nothing's done about it.
My name's Grant Burston,
it was my responsibility
to lead the team of
Crown prosecutors
who conducted the case against
the people charged in relation
to Janet's death.
What have you
come to talk to me about today?
Things that
happened last week.
About Janet Moses.
Should we start there?
I'm just...
from the 21st when we were
at... the Palisa Hotel.
On Saturday night
there was a 21st function
for Janet's sister at the
Palisa Hotel in Wainuiomata.
You have close families
but this was extraordinary.
A close-knit family
might be a family
that gets together for lunch
every Sunday, but these people,
they lived together, they had
their own family sports team,
they socialized together.
I can remember numerous
times during the trial
people saying they're best
friends with their cousins.
They did everything together.
Janet had a very difficult time
in the weeks leading
up to her death,
it would seem to be a complete
and total change in her.
And Jan was just... sitting,
gazing at the wall.
She didn't look right.
This was quite a shock
to everybody around her,
it seemed to have
come on very quickly.
My name is Dr. Rees Tapsell,
I'm a consultant
forensic psychiatrist
and I'm also of Maori origin
and have through my life been
involved in the... interface
between particularly psychiatry
and cultural practice.
Janet had a very close
and loving relationship
with her grandmother
and her grandmother passed
away relatively recently
and she'd also had some
fairly major stresses
in terms of a relationship.
And I think the
combination of those things
are likely to have
put a huge amount
of pressure and stress on her.
Who is Shane?
That's Janet's partner,
they've been together for
around nine years I think.
Tell me about
him, about him that night.
Hello my darlings.
Come on we'll go.
I'm just gonna hang out with
the boys for a little bit.
Come be with the kids.
Bye Louise.
She learned of an
infidelity with her partner
and after that she
became very withdrawn.
Did you
drop Janet off somewhere?
We went over to Jan's aunties
and we ended up staying
the night there.
They're coming,
they're coming, they're coming.
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming,
they're coming, they're coming.
Hey, come on, come
back inside now,
come on, you're okay.
Our girl was in danger,
we decided to take her
down to my brother Johnny's
and get the family together
for a hui,
to discuss her, why
she's not acting right.
Hey, you, come here.
They I think had
regular family meetings
to discuss anything
that popped up,
which is quite a
lovely traditional way,
I mean maybe it's the way
we all were generations ago.
And unfortunately the
grandmother had died
and she had been a great
matriarch of this family
for a long time and she
would always take charge
in situations like this,
but she wasn't there.
At those
meetings is there someone
who is in charge or does the
talking, how does that work?
Yeah, that's John, he's
like the head of our family.
Everyone put their
ideas together,
to work out what the
problem was with Jan.
Normally she's
happy go lucky, yeah.
We all knew something
was very wrong.
Something deep.
She didn't have
no tears or nothing,
she was just sitting there
and as hot as she was
she still wouldn't
take off her jacket.
People were just coming
up to her saying,
"I'm sorry if I hurt you in
any way," stuff like that,
"We're all here for you, we
all love you," and everything.
And did
Janet talk at the meeting?
She was just staring
at the ground and stuff.
It's very difficult
to be certain
about what was actually
happening to Janet,
but all of the
evidence that I saw
suggested that she
was becoming psychotic
and that she was having
extreme changes in her mood.
It's very common for people
to incorporate the things
that others are saying
and the things that others
are doing into your psychosis
and that reinforces for
people around that person
the way in which they might
have understood that behavior.
It might
be depression.
You can imagine then
how it's very easy
to get in a bit of
a vicious cycle.
But it's important to remember
that whilst I might have
a particular medical paradigm
of the way in which I view
and approach mental illness,
not everybody shares
that paradigm.
is my ancestral mountain.
is my tribe.
where I live.
and Pouroto Ngaropo was my name.
I've had the privilege and
honor to be a cultural advisor
to the prime minister
of New Zealand,
the very honorable Helen Clark.
You can only run so far
from a spiritual world
and from
a Maori point of view...
we are both spirit,
and human,.
Over the last 200 years
there has been a
process of colonization
where a lot of our
own beliefs and values
have been replaced.
It's important to hold fast
to traditional Maori beliefs,
Maori culture, Maori
customs and practices,
in particular...
Maori spirituality.
Those that are believers,
those who have the knowledge
and recognition and respect
for the spiritual realm
know there are things
in the spiritual world
which are positive
and there are also spirits
that are of a negative nature.
What else was
talked about at the meeting?
There was a lion statue
which had actually been
stolen several weeks before
from the Greytown Hotel.
Jan's sister,
she had taken it off
from Greytown, which was
a lion, a white lion.
- It's so heavy.
- Oh it hurts my muscles.
My recollection was is
that they stole the lion
because they thought it
would be a meaningful symbol
to have decorating the house.
John had a tattoo of a lion,
the lion in fact was one
of the family symbols
and a symbol of
their sports group.
My name is Heather Kavan,
I'm a lecturer at
Massey University.
I research extraordinary
religious experiences.
I made a study of the
Moses manslaughter trial
and felt a connection
with the case
because I was raised
on Wainuiomata
and Wainuiomata is a
place, well it's suburbia,
it's surrounded by three
hills, very cutoff,
but there are pockets
of intense spirituality.
My name is Tamati Cairns,
I'm from Wainuiomata or
resident of Wainuiomata
and have been since 1981.
I used to deliver the social
work program back home.
At one particular session
we had Hohepa Kereopa,
took us down to the little
stream in Waymanner, he said,
"Choose a little
stone," he says,
"Now name your
stone around someone
or something special
in your life."
So we all did
and then Hohepa
conducted traditional karakia
I named my
after my ,
who's in this photo,
and after karakia he said,
"Well, if your heart is
where you decision was
and you believe
in the power of karakia,
then that stone is now a
In the case of the
lion Janet believed
that there was something wrong.
That condition is in the
eyes of the believer.
Not in our interpretation
and translation,
or what we think it
is, it is what it is.
members accompany Janet
to the small flat in Wainuiomata
which was actually the
home of her grandfather.
We set up the bedroom
for Janet to sleep in,
but she didn't want
to sleep in there
and she slept in Karl's
bed in the lounge.
I was brought up to know
about spirits and all of that,
but how I was brought up,
when you take something from
or wherever it was taken,
yes she would be hit,
something will happen to you,
but it always hits the weakest.
And because Janet being
the sickly one
out of all of them,
yes, it would have hit Janet.
-About midnight Alene rang,
says we've got to
get 'round to Dad's
'cause sister Ollie,
or Janet's mom,
she was starting to get scared.
No no no...
No no no...
- We were up all
Sunday night with her.
- They contacted an
uncle, Jimmy Rahi,
a tohunga, a Maori
priest if you like.
The prosecution
didn't question
the calling in the tohunga.
It was entirely appropriate
in Maori culture.
Tohunga is the medium
between the spiritual
and the physical,
the axis mundi.
It's like consulting
the pastor of a church.
They would trust absolutely
in the tohunga's
advice given them.
That advice was, you
know, was like cause root.
It was only until
Jimmy came out
that were told that it was...
me about the curse,
what do you mean when
you say the curse?
like a Maori curse.
It kind of makes you...
mentally sick I think it is.
It's kind of hard to explain.
Makutu is not something
that might be
regarded as an oddity,
it is simply part and parcel
of a Maori
understanding of life.
In traditional times makutu
was used as
a means of protection
or a revenge mechanism
if someone had killed
or hurt your family.
It's really cursing them
and damaging their soul,
their mind, their
heart and who they are.
It's extremely difficult
for a Pakeha
New Zealand European person
to get information from Maori
about makutu
but I did manage to find
one piece of information
which is a PHD thesis
written by Clive Clinton.
Maori told him that
they often thought
that white Pakeha doctors
misdiagnosed makutu afflictions
as psychiatric illnesses.
What happened next?
Blessed her with water, you
know like a church christening
and the karakia
to ward off the evil.
You never talk about
this sort of thing, you know.
In 1814 our ancestors were
introduced to Christianity
and only in the Bay of Islands
and now that's become
sort of one of the ways
in how our people
see our own concepts.
There was a whole shift away
from the spiritual
structure of Maori society
and now we are confronted
with makutu,
how well do we understand
actually what's happening.
And what is it that we're doing
to ensure we have
the right advice
around us?
At this point Jimmy Rahi
had a revelation,
a revelation
that would change the course
of events dramatically.
He said that he had a vision
of three claws and Janet.
He advised the family
that they had to return
the stone lion to Greytown
because it had a mate
there that was missing it
and that it was very important
that they were reunited.
Jimmy said
the lions had been together
for over 100 years.
what did Jimmy do?
I think he blessed the
and he said the
lion had to go back.
A spiritual possession
is a very serious matter,
it's a life and
death thing, isn't it?
The tohunga's role
is to protect life,
to look after the spiritual
and protect the family.
So the
following day on a Tuesday
there was a convoy, about
eight or nine vehicles
went over to the Wairarapa
from Wainuiomata,
back to the Greytown Hotel.
From that point
on many of them
didn't in fact even
go to work for a week,
they were with her all the
time, they kept watch over her,
they were dedicated
to her welfare.
Janet was there, Jimmy Rahi
was there, Janet's namesake,
her paternal
grandmother was there,
we know that because
there was an incident
that alarmed a lot of people.
No no no no no no no no no no,
no you, no you, no
you, no you, no no,
you shouldn't even be here.
What're you doing here?
- No no no no.
- Come on girl calm down.
No no no no.
Calm down,
are you alright?
- When this car stops I'm gonna kill you.
- Janet!
When this car stops
I'm gonna kill you,
I'm gonna kill you.
I'm gonna kill you!
I'm gonna kill you,
I'm gonna kill you.
And what
happened over at Greytown?
We had parked
outside of a pub
...and we walked around the back
and the lion was taken out.
In the spiritual
domain of Maoridom
it's all about goodness
and love, not about death.
It's done now girl.
I believe
within my heart
they would know
within their family...
You're alright girl.
...that through
the power of prayer,
through the power of goodness,
all these curses can be lifted.
Apparently in the hours
that followed she improved,
everyone felt like there had
been quite a weight lifted
and things were going to
improve from that time on.
We came back to
Wainilly from Greytown
and I think everybody
went to Karl's
and then we had feed
of-- of fish and chips.
The tohunga said to
them, "Well, you know,
I've done what I can now,
you've returned the lion
and she looks much better."
I think this is one of
the tragic turning points
of what happened.
What Uncle's been
saying is that Janet's...
Out of the three
things that were in her,
I think two of them
was to do with the lion
and the last one was
to do with...
her... Shane.
It had to do with her partner
and she was getting mental
and verbal abuse from him.
Uncle Jimmy said that
he'd done his part,
but he wouldn't do the
relationship with Shane part,
that was for the family to do.
Unfortunately some
scheduled medical treatment
required the tohunga
to be hospitalized
for a number of days
so that took him
away from being able
to be brought back
in to help the family
when things didn't go well.
We were a close family
and we'd always get together
to solve our problems.
And the people who've passed on
are always there to guide you.
Go with peace and love
Go with peace and love
Go with peace and love
Go with peace and love
Addressing the demon that
they believed was inside her,
they said over and
over and over again.
Go with peace and love
Go with peace and love
Coming, they're coming,
they're coming, they're coming.
The money, the money, the money.
That's that's that's that's
that's that's that's
that's that's that's.
Go with peace and love
She was trying
to tell us something,
it was like a jigsaw,
trying to put the pieces
together to work it out
and then when we did,
it would write itself out.
Go with peace and love
Go with peace and love
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Lord Jesus we have come
together in your name
and it is written that
whatever we ask shall be given.
We ask for complete and full
healing for Janet Moses.
We ask this
in your name, Jesus,
thank you lord.
We have received your blessings
for this child...
...and love.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
to do their waters
and clear themselves first
before the karakia.
Then in the middle of the circle
surrounded by everyone
holding hands,
saying the karakia.
Jan's waters to be done.
Go with
peace and love.
- Drink it.
- Go with peace and love.
This family had a long
association with water,
they had rituals of
which they'd learned
from their grandmother and
they used to talk about,
I can remember during the trial,
they would talk about
doing their waters
to safeguard themselves.
Everyone must
believe in their heart
that this will happen,
not just in their heads
or saying the words,
it takes just one person not
to believe in their heart
and it will not work.
But they all seemed to do it
and the defense generally was
she consented
to being involved
in this process
and they, the participants
genuinely believed
that what they were
doing was to help her.
But this is a family that
deeply respected their elders
and who's Janet to question
that they're doing what they're
doing in her best interests?
They didn't ask or
consider the question
whether Janet was consenting.
She could have said, "No,
I don't want any part of this."
From time to time she
was sitting outside
having a cigarette
with her cousins.
She could've just got
up and walked away.
And she didn't.
There were two Janet's,
there was the Janet who went
outside, had a smoke break,
was happy to go back inside
when it was time to start again
and then there was the Janet
who screamed, she yelled.
There were two Janets
so who do you decide is
the one that consented.
No no no no no.
No no no no no.
No no no no no no no.
No no no no no no no no
no no no no no no no.
No no no no no no no no no no.
Get out, get out of her!
You leave her alone.
You cannot have her!
Go with
peace and love.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
My name is Viv Bebbington
and I live right
opposite the house.
I could hear everything,
chanting inside and stomping,
boom boom boom boom,
over here you know?
It was deafening here.
Go with peace and love.
Mind you there's so
many people, it was apes there,
that place was chocker,
but some of them
couldn't get in.
One of Janet's paternal
relatives suggested,
"Let's get in another tohunga."
The Rawiri family
didn't want to do that.
Certain one's
weren't allowed
at the place where Janet was.
Certain one's
weren't allowed in,
I'm talking like ministers
and all of that, I mean why?
These people could've helped.
When John come past,
he said,
"I'll keep my daughter
company," he come past,
they wouldn't let
him in the house,
it's bloody sad because
John would've got other help
I'm sure, I'm sure, he
would've got other help.
I'm not a minister but
I'll normally do that,
address people who are sick,
that's why I went up there,
but a lot of it was,
they weren't too sure
what was happening.
A lot of people want to
know more about their...
, culture?
They want to know more
about their culture.
But they don't know the language
and they don't know the protocol
and they think they can just
do this, they're gonna do that,
if you don't know, well
you do it the wrong way,
well, that's what happens.
Wednesday evening things
really started to intensify
within that flat.
There's mixed testimony
over why Janet wanted
to be in the shower.
One theory is that
because she frequently showered
her grandmother who died,
she wished to, you know,
go back and recreate
that nostalgic
experience for herself.
When Janet got up,
she'd head to the shower,
she turned it on, hot you know,
and I turned it back to cold.
They were saying that was
our weapon kind of thing
against the demon.
Was cold water.
Keep the water cold.
Keep it cold, no no no girl.
We love you girl, it's
all good, it's all good.
Come on, we love you girl.
- You could see the blackness
rising up from her eyes,
and they would...
just get real big.
Don't fight,
don't struggle, we love you,
stay under the cold, that's it.
But who said,
"Evil spirits don't
like cold water?"
-She did come right,
spit up all this mucus.
- It was wiped up with--
using a towel
and then it was decided
that the makutu was on the towel
and that no one else
could use the bathroom
where the toilet and
shower were located.
Out came the vomit,
out came the demon.
The purpose of the water,
then turned from the
purification of the body
to an instrument to cause
vomiting and so it escalated.
Janet, Janet!
Where did,
Shane was around.
Did Janet want to see him?
Nobody had asked her.
She couldn't make
decisions for herself.
He was
part of the problem.
That's what we've
been doing as a family,
to keep him away from her,
to get her well again.
She don't want to see you.
We're taking care of your shit.
You don't need to be here.
It started a downward
spiral if you like,
the family lacking any
sort of external contact.
It was so closed and...
insular and suffocating.
Look at her eyes,
look at her eyes.
You lie down, come on girl.
Whoever wasn't in there for that
at that time will
never understand.
Come on girl,
come on, come on.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Just imagine the pressure,
the fear, the anxiety,
the panic that comes down
to your-- actually--
you know,
your love for that person
to stay there and to endure it.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
These people were
so sleep deprived,
some of them hadn't had
sleep for four, five days.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
They was carrying
on doing their thing.
All of us here
were used to
the quietness of the place,
not all that noise.
Go with
peace and love.
But what can you do?
No one called the police, pull
the curtains, and you know...
I've seen enough, that's it.
I said we needed to get
together again as a family.
Some of us hadn't seen
our children for...
two, three days.
It was about
a dozen of our babies.
Me and Jan's mom,
we tried
to make them comfortable.
She kept wanting
to go to the shower.
Something was saying the evil
spirits wanted hot water.
She didn't like the
cold water really.
it girl, come on.
You will not give in to this
Throw it up, girl.
We were in there
with her for ages,
felt like bloody hours.
The power was so strong
and here's us fighting it.
And the father was there,
him too.
You gotta get out.
Do you know who I am?
Do you know who I am?
I was so exhausted when
I came out of there.
It seemed to go
on for ages, yeah.
But then suddenly she--
she just came back,
good as gold.
With the Janet of old.
Good as gold.
You need to come home with me.
Several times
Gerald Moses asked Janet
to leave with him.
He vowed that he was going
to return the next morning
and collect his daughter
regardless of her reluctance
to leave with him.
When things calmed down,
we got our baby back in the bed,
and we tried to pacify her
even though we knew
she wasn't right.
Everyone was crying,
we were so relieved
that she'd calmed down.
We let her get some rest.
We felt that she was
coming back to herself.
We sat around waiting
for her to wake up.
And she'd wake up,
walk around,
go back to sleep.
Janet changed again.
I went to sleep
and when I woke up
it was a catastrophe.
Hey Janet, you alright, Janet?
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming.
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming.
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming!
It was at that point
Janet made quite a large change.
She said that she wanted to lay
down her life for her family
to sacrifice herself during...
this immanent battle.
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming,
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming.
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming.
What happened?
They're coming,
they're coming.
They're coming, they're coming.
They're coming, they're
coming, they're coming.
Leave us alone.
She had a necklace
like a bone carving
that she got from her nan.
They were saying that...
the demon
was getting all its strength
from the bone carving.
Johnny, get the scissors.
Okay, just-- no, come on,
just a moment,
you'll feel better come on.
Come on.
Come on you'll feel
better, come on, come on.
That's it.
Lie down, come on.
Get some water.
Yep, come on Janet, some
water, drink some water.
Come on, come on.
Come on. This
is good for you, alright?
That's gonna clean
it out, come on.
- One more.
- One more.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
- Give me some water.
- Go with peace and love.
- Go with peace and love.
- More water.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
The children had no
access to the bathroom,
in fact nobody had any
access to the bathroom.
When people needed
to relieve themselves
they did so into... diapers
and nappies and towels
and just into... the clothes
that they were wearing,
so it became an increasingly...
strange behavior.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Come on Jan,
come on baby, come on.
Go with
peace and love.
We love you, we're
gonna get it from you now.
Come on girl, good girl,
have a bit more.
Go with peace and love,
come out from her now!
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
It was initially Janet
that was fighting him.
It was the demon
inside of her...
and... the demon was like
pretty feisty and everything.
I can remember her
"Fuck this."
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
You know we kept
thinking it was Shane
that was doing
this to our niece.
He said, "no no
it was that lion."
It was revenge
for splitting them up.
The room was
intensely hot, a furnace.
Everything by
this stage was drenched.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Water was rising
in the kitchen
so I stuck steel and
put a hole in the floor.
Go with
peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
Go with peace and love.
All the eyes of our children
were going strange,
and you could see all these
things racing around in them.
You've got something in your eye
and it's racing around in there.
How would you get it out?
Without putting your hand
in there to grab it out?
Go with
peace and love.
Some of the people were
thinking to themselves
we should take
Janet to a hospital,
but they weren't the leaders.
To even think about saying,
"stop, this might not be right,"
they felt they couldn't do it
because if they did well
then perhaps they too
were gonna be cursed
and they might end up
in Janet's position.
It is the power of the
group and what's happening.
I think evil was in
each and everyone of us
'cause we were doing things
we wouldn't normally do.
And then they made a rule
that you weren't to
look into Janet's eyes
in case you too
became possessed.
And was Janet talking?
Did she say anything?
There was one part where...
Janet goes,
"Auntie stop, just let
me have a breather."
Then what happened?
They were doing Joshi,
trying to make him, spit up
all the yucky stuff in him
then I remember they
did it to Les, did her,
and then I remember...
they... done it to me too.
I don't feel like they
were trying to hurt us.
They would've had their reasons.
Get off me it hurts, fuck off!
They continued on with
the teenage girl for hours.
She finally broke free
at the same time
that Janet also managed,
with half a dozen
people holding her down,
to break free.
However the group
interpreted this as
the makutu...
doubling its strength
by unifying the
teenage girl and Janet
and so these young women
who had broken free
were pulled back.
She became the
second lion from Greytown
and it was her and Janet...
working together.
These were... sensible people,
they worked, played sport
and lived great kiwi life.
Everyone just got
caught up in it.
Hysteria is not
an uncommon state.
Most of us at times have
felt a bit hysterical
and world history is
littered with examples,
where very very
extreme things are done
on the basis of a set of beliefs
that to many might
not make any sense.
I think
what's going on here
is what would
happen to any of us
if we were stuck in
a room over five days
with no sleep having little
to eat, rhythmic chanting,
40 degree heat,
stomping, intense fear,
I think we would all go
berserk in that situation.
This is... the human condition.
I know most people
won't understand.
Makutu is evil.
You have to find a way
of putting it right,
to get the person
back to normal again.
I wish I had someone
who could relate this
to the police, 'cause...
I'm finding it very hard
to do on my own.
The mechanism
in dying through drowning
on dry land or through a
motion in water is the same.
The water gets into the lungs,
that causes the membrane
in the lungs to froth up
and produces a frothy liquid
that gets absorbed
further into the lungs
that collapses some
of the air sacs.
That compromises the ability
to circulate oxygen in the body.
Vocal chords go into spasm,
the heart goes into
abnormal rhythm,
she swallows her tongue.
At one
point her jaw locks
and instead of thinking,
"Perhaps we've gone too far,"
participants thought that...
her jaw
had been locked by the makutu
to stop them from getting
even more water into it.
So they pried her jaw open...
So when
did you realize that Janet
was getting to the point where
her body was passing away?
I didn't.
When did
you notice she'd passed?
I still didn't.
We were just trying
to get the other girl right.
The whole place
was full of evil.
I tried to do CPR.
I'm glad I know how to do it.
Then I turned to my wife...
"I love you darling."
Because I thought, yeah
I was meant to go too.
Because I've been...
a leader for the family,
and I thought they'd get me too.
Jan was on the floor,
there was all my brothers
and sisters around,
trying to bring
her back to life.
We were trying to work out
if it was in the house.
All of the children...
This makutu was in the house.
As soon as they
realized Janet had passed,
they amped up the efforts
on the teenage girl.
Get out of there
you will not have her.
You will leave, you will
leave her alone, you get out.
lost one, you know,
- ...don't need to lose another.
- You will leave her!
That went on for some
hours after Janet had died.
You get out, you get out!
Come on, come on girl.
I was actually scared.
I said, "You're scaring me,"
and then she said,
"Well you're scaring me."
Yeah, they were trying
to hold down my arms
'cause I was like scratching
and punching and kicking people.
And how
come you tried to do that?
I think it was 'cause
of the demon inside of me.
I just went pretty psycho.
Did you say anything?
I can't exactly remember,
but I was going something like,
"Stop, you are fucking
drowning me,"
something like that,
"I'm gonna die."
It's just, you know,
I went blank
I just went total blank
and I think that's when
they nearly lost me
when I went total blank.
I don't know, I
actually don't know
what the demon looks like.
I don't know what
they were looking for,
what they were saying
and everything.
About lunch time
or late morning...
one of the local Maori
was telephoned and he
went 'round to the flat.
A man who they
called Pakika Dave
who is a white European man
who is...
a spiritual conduit
and a man whose
spirituality they respected.
He said he felt a sense of evil
and a spiritual message
came through to him
seemingly from the
deceased grandmother.
It's gone.
We just love our
family so much, you know,
that we would never ever
do this sort of thing
to our kids.
Tohunga says that
Mom's very angry...
because we had the kids
bottled up in there for...
I don't even know how long for.
And after blessing
everybody who was there,
including Janet,
he advised
that the other member
of the family should
be taken to a hospital.
It was a desperate plea
from a 14 year old girl,
"Stop it you're drowning me,"
as relatives forced
water down her throat
during an exorcism.
Janet Moses.
Janet Moses,
Janet Moses died during a--
Killing a young mom.
- Killing Janet Moses.
- During an exorcism.
- Exorcism.
- Exorcism ceremony.
This has been a very
controversial case.
Torture and death
are just not acceptable.
I've seen dozens...
Family members desperate
to hide the faces
of the accused.
Don't fucking
take photos of me.
We're already in enough
fucking tragedy as it is.
Janet was young mother
who lost her life.
It is absolutely critical
that we understand
how this happens
and inevitably hold people
to account
for what has happened.
What are the authorities to do
when a human being is killed
in those circumstances.
You have two charges,
and one charge of
cruelty to a child.
There is no suggestion whatever
that any of the people
charged for Janet
had been using drugs.
The odd thing about the case
was deeply held spiritual
Maori beliefs were being aired
in such a formal white...
colonial, if you like, system.
The court bends over
backwards to be sensitive,
but when they described
what had happened
it was like reading a scene
from the Salem witch trials.
The family belief was
based on misconceptions
and misinformation,
none of the expert
witnesses had ever heard
of pouring large volumes
of water
into the person afflicted
as a way of dealing with makutu
and as it turned out the lion
was one of a pair of
concrete garden ornaments
that had been purchased new
by the owner of the hotel.
He had smeared yogurt on the
statues to try and weather them
and make them look
older than they were,
but they certainly weren't
objects of antiquity at all.
As the trial progressed
their most precious
spiritual experiences
were described repeatedly
as fixed false beliefs.
It just got to the point
where I couldn't look at them,
it would make me cry.
I think all of the
lawyers involved,
both prosecution and defense,
could see the family dynamic
and we all felt
for these people.
Public opinion was divided,
but the jury looked...
To breaking news now,
and the jury in the Janet Moses
exorcism trial in Wellington
has just returned
with a verdict, Simon.
It's been a long
wait for that jury
to come back with their verdict,
lot of people at court
wanting to hear that verdict,
here's what happened.
guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty.
Not guilty, not
guilty, not guilty.
These five defendants
found guilty of manslaughter
after a five week trial
and almost two days
of deliberation.
Three other family
members were acquitted
and walked free from court.
The two family leaders John
Rawiri and Glenys Wright
received community detention
allowing them to live
at home under a curfew.
They and their co-offenders
all aunts of Janet Moses
also sentenced to
community service,
supervision and to undertake
cultural education programs.
This was a just response
to a tragic death.
The jury by their verdicts
held the family members
who killed Janet criminally
responsible for her death
and it's a recognition
of the sanctity of life.
Typical sentences
for manslaughter
are four to six years
but none of the justifications
for sending people to prison
seemed to be present here.
There was deterrent value here.
Punishment, well, what
purpose would that serve?
And I know a lot of
people are very cynical
of our system of justice
but as misguided
as it appears to us
in the cold hard light of day,
they genuinely believed that
they were assisting her.
Must've been
about a week after.
We had a meeting at the ma-lay
And we all decided to
knock the place down,
knock it down.
I was sad to see that, man,
it's bloody sad.
Every morning I get up and I
look straight out my window
and see nothing, see nothing.
Yes, bloody...
real sad news.
Sometimes you can go
past those flats
and you can still see
a cloud that's above it.
You don't do those things.
You don't muck around
with all those things.
I've heard that
they still believe
that the curse is alive in
their family and it's passed on.
It's understandable that
they could believe that.
Beliefs really are nothing
more than conclusions
that we've drawn on the
basis of our experience.
There is still the possibility
that a makutu
did in fact attack Janet.
Nobody knows, they could've
been right all along.
There's no doubt in my
mind she was possessed
either from a Maori or from
a clinical point of view,
she was unwell,
and the curse
it's an attitude the family
continued to carry on.
What they will hand on
to the future generations
is really in their hands.
They have to deal
with the fact that
despite the best that
they tried to do for her
in that situation,
she died.
I didn't know Janet,
I knew Janet through--
through the investigation
so you only ever know Janet
through the eyes of other
people, from what they tell you,
but as a mother myself
it really resonated with me.
We had two young children
who for the rest of their
lives don't have their mom
and in fact they were so
small that the only memory
they will ever have
of their mother,
is memories that other
people give them of her.
She was
a wonderful mother,
that's what I would tell
them, how much she loved them
and how much she
cared about them.