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Operation TAM - Olivia Hope and Ben Smart
One of New Zealand’s highest profile investigations began on 2 January 1998 after young friends Olivia Hope and Ben Smart disappeared in the early hours of New Year’s morning.
Ben, (21) and Olivia, (17) were last seen by Furneaux Lodge water taxi operator Guy Wallace who ferried them, along with a mystery stranger, to a yacht moored in the Marlborough Sound’s Endeavour Inlet. In spite of massive official and private searches of the Sounds, few clues have been found to indicate what happened to them.

A history of the trial of Scott Watson can be read by clicking here.

Introduction - OPERATION TAM
What's happened to Olivia Hope and Ben Smart  read story...
The Disappearance
Olivia Hope and Ben Smart disappear in the early hours of New Years Day 1998.  read story...
The Victims
Close-up Profiles on Olivia and Ben  read story...
The Investigation
Overview of the Police Investigation  read story...
Dectective Inspector Rob Pope assigned to head investigation
The story behind the enigmatic Detective and the media.  read story...
Sloop seized by police
A yacht is taken by police for forensic examination  read story...
Media names seized yacht's owner
Scott Watson of Picton is named as the owner of the seized yacht.  read story...
Family Determination
Gerald Hope's high media profile.  read story...
Mystery Man
Police appeal for information regarding the man that was last seen with Ben and Olivia.  read story...
Media Criticism
A look at criticism of the police investigation by the media.  read story...
Witness Pressured
The Furneaux Lodge water taxi-driver , Guy Wallace, feels pressured.  read story...
Hoax Call
Hoax radio call angers  read story...
Screaming and shouting heard  read story...
Maritime Equipment
Maritime search equipment considered  read story...
Dinghy confiscated
An aluminimum dinghy has been taken for testing by police  read story...
Private Detectives
Former police enter mystery  read story...
Anonymous Letter
Anonymous letter 'might be important'.  read story...
Garbage Sifted
Garbage sifted at the Picton tip for evidence  read story...
What chance of success???  read story...
Still Unaware
New info on sloop's movements. Not all New Zealander's have heard of the disappearance - incredible but true....  read story...
Sounds Like Murder
A 10,000, 21 page chronology of events to date - constantly updating....  read story...
Dinghy Theft Arrest
All the information about the dinghy theft and the man involved.  read story...
Navy Underwater Search
Police authorise new searches of the seabed.  read story...
Suspect List shrinks
Potential suspect list has now shrunk to 'fewer than 10'  read story...
Only now a Homicide
Accidental death now ruled out and Operation TAM becomes a homicide investigation  read story...
Imminent Sounds arrest ‘speculation’
Police annoyed at media reports  read story...
Father ‘needs to know where Olivia is’
Gerald Hope needs answers to his daughter's disappearance.  read story...
Three specific inquiry areas hold the key
These are the three critical remaining elements of the investigation into their deaths.  read story...
Operation Tam base to shift to Christchurch
Operation Tam’s base is to shift from Blenheim to Christchurch  read story...
Man arrested for the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope.
Scott Watson arrested for the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope.  read story...
Soft drink can thrown at murder accused
Former Gore police officer and now company director Alan Henderson threw a full can of soft drink at Operation Tam murder accused Scott Watson  read story...
The Watson Depositions Hearing
The Depostions Hearing into Scott Watson, and whether he is reponsible for the murder of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope  read story...
Scott Watson To Stand Trial
Watson to stand trial for the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope - Judge McAloon's Ruling  read story...
Scott Watson Trial - Guilty Verdict Returned
This section provides an up-to-date record of the trial of Scott Watson, the man accused of the murders.   read story...
News following the conviction of Scott Watson
  read story... news related to this article
10 Jun 1999 : Final preparations for Scott Watson trial start today

Back to Murder Index

Operation TAM - One of NZ's highest profile investigations

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