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Karla Cardno
This page is dedicated to Karla's grandfather, John, whom the writer had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions. He and his family have suffered terribly and only through their eyes does a person start to understand what it is like to lose a loved one to murder. John is a remarkable individual and a battler. His love for his granddaughter is something this writer will never forget.
The Cardno family's nightmare began on the evening of Friday 26th May 1989 when 13 year old Karla set off from home to go to the Taita shops. These shops were only a few blocks away and it was a journey she had made many times before. As time passed, Karla's mother became concerned that she had not arrived home and went looking for her. As she came to the intersection of Churton Crescent and Taine Street, she found the bicycle Karla had been riding to the shops, and after checking the surrounding streets, she hurried home to phone the police about her daughter's disappearance.

The police had received disturbing reports from witnesses in the local video parlour who had seen Karla that night in a highly distressed state in the shopping centre. Fears for her safety were now valid. Police began a large scale search including a door to door canvas, questioning all residents in the surrounding area. By Sunday, 28th May, Karla had still not been found.

The Police inquiries led them to question Paul Joseph Dally who was living in Churton Crescent, Taita. He
Police began a large scale search including a door to door canvas, questioning all residents in the surrounding area. By Sunday, 28th May, Karla had still not been found.
told police he was at home with his wife and three children on the night Karla disappeared. When the police approached him, he was vacuuming the boot of his car. Upon further investigation, it was established that Dalley's wife and kids had left him three weeks before.

Witnesses told police they had seen Dalley at different times on the Saturday and Sunday after Karla's disappearance around the Pencarrow coastal area. He was re-interviewed and attempted to commit suicide by pill overdose.

Police then conducted a comprehensive search of Dally's home, where forensic examination of the hair and fibres taken from the house were found to be those of Karla.

On the 8th of July, 1989, Paul Dally was charged with murder. He confessed to killing Karla and led police to her body on a beach at Pencarrow Head, at the entrance to Wellington harbour.

He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. It is believed that Dally was put under protection from other inmates while in jail, however his victim had no such protection from him....


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The tragic story of 13 year old Karla Cardno, who was brutally murdered by Paul Dally.

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