For two weeks he took on the police, the media and the public to deny knowledge of the whereabouts of his girlfriend.
John Tanner played with his long hair and pimples the concerned friend and insisted that he last saw friend Rachel McLean at the train station in Oxford, where the nineteen-year-old student was.
But behind the extensive stories he made up for the police was a sinister truth – Tanner, 22, Rachel had strangled and hid her body under the floor of her flat.
The case of the murder of the young student became one of the most notorious murder cases in Britain and Tanner's test was daily fodder for the tabloid press.
It would have remained in the history books if the Sunday of the TVNZ 1 had not been heard of another serious violent attack, haunted known, in which the same perpetrator was involved 27 years later.
A look back at "the case of the body under the floor slabs" that fascinated the tabloids in Britain 27 years ago.
Tanner, now 49, had assaulted his partner violently for a period of six months last year.
In the first incident, the couple stayed in a motel in Whanganui when Tanner became angry with the woman and they argued. She brushed her teeth and he followed her, dragged her out of the bathroom and threw her into bed.
He jumped on her and put his hands in her neck, which made her breathe less.
In another incident, when the woman told Tanner that she would leave him, he threatened to kill her.
The worst of the violence took place when they quarreled at Tanner's house on the rural Pauri Road on the edge of Whanganui.
Tanner held his partner by the wrists and spread her out. He yelled at her to tell him about her ex-partner and then hit her in her head. She suffered from grazing and bruising.
The woman left the house and went to a motel. She sent Tanner a text message that left the relationship with, but he showed up and they argued. She slumped into bed and pulled down her pants and took off her underwear with the announcement that he wanted sex. The crown says that the woman tried to get away and fell to the ground, where Tanner hit her head several times.
She began to cry and Tanner said, "Look what you let me do."
The Whanganui District Court was told that the victim of Tanner, who can not be identified, knew about his assassination attempt. She is standing next to him.
Judge Philip Crayton said that Tanner & # 39; & # 39; has a tendency or potential, in certain circumstances, such as here, to lose control & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Prosecutor Michele Wilkinson-Smith said there were similarities between the British murder of Rachel Mclean and Tanner who was in violation last year.
"The loss of control and the limitation of breathing, and the similar kind of domestic relationship."
Mrs. Wilkinson-Smith said the victim had been reluctant to see Tanner being prosecuted for some charges he had made in court.
"Although I will always consider the opinion of a victim, the role of the Crown is to prosecute on behalf of the community." I must make the necessary accusations about the evidence that I have, taking into account the public interest in prosecution and with a view to on security issues for the community. "
Tanner was recalled in prison to end his life sentence if he had lived in the UK when he was again insulted.
He was deported back to New Zealand in 2003 after serving 12 years in prison.
Tanner resumed his studies at Victoria University and later became a personal trainer at a gym in Wellington. But by 2010 he lived again in Whanganui and worked as a baker. He played football for the Wanganui Collegiate Old Boys team, his former school.
Tanner did not speak to the police about the incidents and refused a Sunday request to be interviewed.
His lawyer explained that Tanner was dumped in New Zealand 15 years ago & # 39; dumped & # 39; without any support outside of his family.
Tanner has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for the attacks and is eligible for release in February.