Mov­ing on from place of heal­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Four years af­ter her daugh­ter was bru­tally mur­dered in Ti­tahi Bay, Dianne Pekama is ready to leave the sub­urb that helped her heal.

Joe­lene Edwards, 21, and her 16- year- old flat­mate Jashana Robin­son were beaten to death by Joe­lene’s ex-part­ner, Joseph Ogle, early on June 26, 2009.

Ogle beat Joe­lene with a base­ball bat, then bashed Jashana to death in front of her be­fore killing Joe­lene, too.

He then left the Morere St house for two hours, be­fore pre­tend­ing he had just dis­cov­ered the grisly scene and call­ing 111.

In the in­ter­ven­ing hours Joe­lene and Ogle’s two in­fant daugh­ters had dis­cov­ered their mother’s body.

Ogle had been re­leased a month ear­lier from a prison sen­tence for beat­ing his mother and sis­ter, and was jeal­ous that Joe­lene had a new part­ner. He was im­pris­oned for life with a min­i­mum of 19 years be­hind bars for the dou­ble mur­der.

The Ti­tahi Bay com­mu­nity poured out its grief and love af­ter the mur­ders, hold­ing a vigil at the mur­der scene, said Joe­lene’s mother Miss Pekama.

Many lo­cals at­tended Joe­lene’s fu­neral in Ro­torua, as did Porirua’s en­tire po­lice homi­cide team.

‘‘That showed me that the Bay had a lot of love for th­ese girls,’’ she said. Miss Pekama sin­gles out neigh­bours the Adamses and the Matthews-Moenoas, her land­lord and her friend Michelle for their sup­port since Joe­lene’s death.

Af­ter Joe­lene’s fu­neral and Ogle’s trial, Miss Pekama moved with her small grand-daugh­ters to Ro­torua, but felt suf­fo­cated by her fam­ily’s con­cern.

‘‘It was like I had no time to grieve. My griev­ing was com­ing back here. I needed to go back to where it hap­pened and face it,’’ she said.

Ev­ery day she walked on Ti­tahi Bay beach, some­thing Joe­lene did in all weather.

‘‘Joe­lene loved it here. This has been a beau­ti­ful place for me to heal,’’ she said.

Two weeks ago, Miss Pekama and her fam­ily moved back to Ro­torua.

Re­minders of Joe­lene were all around their Ti­tahi Bay home when Kapi-Mana News vis­ited, from her jan­dals still sit­ting in the hall­way to the large tat­toos of her name on the fore­arms of her mother and sis­ter.

‘‘I went through the most trau­matic, hard­est trial in my life, los­ing my daugh­ter,’’ Miss Pekama said.

‘‘When I was told, I just let out this roar.’’

Her worst mem­o­ries from 2009 in­volve vis­it­ing the mur­der scene for a Maori bless­ing.

The fam­ily had asked po­lice to clean away any blood, but ev­i­dence num­bers re­mained all over the walls, floor and ceil­ing, show­ing the bru­tal­ity of the crime.

Be­fore her death, Joe­lene had been her hap­pi­est in years, Miss Pekama said.

‘‘She met some­one and she fell in love with him.

‘‘This guy made her feel loved, some­thing that [ Ogle] never showed her.’’

De­spite know­ing of Ogle’s jeal­ousy, Joe­lene re­fused to move away from the Bay.

‘‘She wasn’t go­ing to let him con­trol her or scare her.’’

Joe­lene was sup­posed to at­tend a bar­be­cue at her mother’s house the night be­fore the mur­der, but her last words to Miss Pekama were over the phone, can­celling their plans.

‘‘That was the first time I ever heard her say, ‘I love you, mum’.’’

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

Fond farewell: Joe­lene Ed­monds’ fam­ily is ready to leave her beloved Ti­tahi Bay af­ter four years of griev­ing her mur­der. From left, Joe­lene’s niece Shazia Begg, 1, sis­ter Ste­vieanne Ed­monds, brother-in-law Afraaz Begg, daugh­ter Iezha, 5, brother Ringo Wharepapa, 16, mother Dianne Pekama, and daugh­ter Vanesti, 6.

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