Monday, August 16, 2004

Great Olympic Moments

The cost is estimated at $8 billion, for this.

Poor attendances aside, the opening weekend added fresh material to the compendium of outlandish Olympics tales. A convicted child killer whose inclusion in the New Zealand boxing squad caused uproar at home took a beating in the ring.
The defeat of Soulan Pownceby, who was found guilty nine years ago of causing the death of his five-month-old daughter, went unlamented by most Kiwis.

Well, not most. It's actually debated here, here, and here

The "champ's heroism" -- his first victory against Baby Jean.

The autopsy revealed that Baby Jeanette, barely five months old, may have been the victim of a savage beating. She suffered broken ribs, severe bruising on the head, and a cracked skull. Her father, Soulan Rikihana, was arrested and charged with the murder of his only child. Rikihana, immediately claimed that his child had accidentally fell from his arms – while in the shower – hitting her head on the tub. But his story would later change, and so would the charges.

The charges of homicide were reduced. A jury would find him guilty of manslaughter, and he would spend the next three years behind bars.

He changed his name after he got out of jail. New Zealanders thought this was manslaughter deserving of three-four years.

She was commenting on a report yesterday that 5-month-old Jeanette Rikihana had suffered a severe chest injury just weeks before Pownceby, then aged 19, killed her.

An autopsy showed she had a cracked skull and head injuries so severe her brain had split, and that she had been seriously injured before.

The baby was healing from six fractured ribs caused by a chest injury at least two weeks before her death.

Evidence at Pownceby's trial in 1995 had described Jeanette as malnourished with wasting buttocks and thighs.

And there's more after he was released.

But in the next two years, Pownceby would continue his run-ins with the law, and be convicted a total of seven different times, ranging from battery, including a two-year string of assaults on women. His last stint in prison ended in early 2000.

Leaves you breathless with rage, doesn't it?

UPDATE: Nice to know that he was eliminated in his first bout.
Not so easy when they're not five-months-old, is it?

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