Having been on the run since 8 October, when he had killed or fatally wounded five men at his Koiterangi farm, Stan Graham was shot by Constable James Quirke of Auckland. He died the next day.
Those involved in the massive manhunt for Graham were instructed that, if armed, he was to be shot on sight. Two home guardsmen had been killed while trying to capture Graham on 9 October. Quirke was to later tell the coroner that he ‘was quite satisfied as to [Graham’s] identity and the fact that he was carrying a rifle’. According to Quirke, Graham said, ‘I am done. I was going to chuck it tonight, I am done, I have paid in full’.
Graham died of his wounds in Westland Hospital, Hokitika, the following day. The Graham home was burnt to the ground four days later, and Dorothy Graham and her children left the area. Several novels later portrayed Graham as a victim of society and there was some feeling that he could have been captured without being killed. The 1981 film Bad blood was based on his story.
Image: Stan Graham (DNZB)