I stand at the spot near Barrow Creek where Peter Falconio disappeared

I stand at the spot near Barrow Creek where Peter Falconio disappeared 10 Years ago.

Ten years after British backpacker Peter Falconio vanished on a dark night in the Australian outback, the man convicted of his murder has challenged the police  to ‘show me his body’.

As the mystery remains about what happened to Mr Falconio after his girlfriend Joanne Lees claimed she heard a gunshot at the rear of their Volkswagen campervan, Bradley Murdoch continues to insist he did not kill the 28-year-old Briton at that lonely spot at Barrow Creek.

Miss Lees, then 27, and Mr Falconio were travelling through the outback, heading north from Alice Springs towards Darwin on the night of July 14, 2001, when she claims a stranger in a white four-wheel drive tricked them into stopping, with the pretence that something was wrong with the exhaust of their Volkswagen campervan.

After Mr Falconio got out to inspect the rear, she heard the two men talking, then heard what she believed was a shot. The stranger then tossed her into his vehicle after a fierce struggle but she said she managed to escape through the rear and hide in nearby bushes.

Murdoch, prisoner number 257128, shudders in an icy winter wind sweeping in from the surrounding desert as we sit in an outdoor visiting area in the Alice Springs Correctional Centre and claims that it is these very same conditions that made it impossible for him to have murdered and buried Mr Falconio.

‘The police say that after I shot him I must have buried his body – but the ground is so hard out there at this time of the year that you’d need a mechanical digger to bury someone so well that they can’t be found. And there was a time frame against me, making such a thing impossible.

‘The police have had all the time in the world to find Falconio – 10 long years to search while I, according to their case had just hours to hide him.. They haven’t found him. Yet they’ve convicted me of murdering him.’

In an extraordinary chat with me, the tall 52-year-old former drug courier who is serving life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 28 years, revealed he still held out hope of freedom, despite losing all his appeals. Speaking at length for the first time since his conviction, he disclosed that legal and forensic experts from around the world were working on the evidence and discrepancies in the prosecution case and ‘there remains a good chance for me yet. I can only repeat to you that I didn’t kill Peter Falconio because I wasn’t there at Barrow Creek.’

Two other people with an intriguing role in the affair have also added to the mystery of Falconio’s whereabouts – if his remains are not lying in the desert somewhere. Melissa Kendall, 32, insists that she and her partner, 33-year-old Robbie Brown, served a man fitting Peter Falconio’s description at a petrol station in the outback town of Bourke a week after what has become known as the Incident at Barrow Creek.

‘Robbie and I have had since 2001 to think about all this,’ she said, ‘and not a day goes by without us remaining convinced that the man we served was Peter Falconio. His picture was in the Sunday paper that very same day and we were both left shaken to see him walk into the store and buy some chocolate.’

The mystifying ongoing Peter Falconio case has intrigued lawyers, scientists, police officers and armchair detectives around the world. For based on forensic evidence presented at Murdoch’s trial in Darwin in 2005 – his DNA was said to have been found on Miss Lees’ T-shirt and in the campervan – he was the man responsible for the murder of Mr Falconio, from Huddersfield.

But according to discrepancies in the events as described by Miss Lees, the Australian could not have been there – her description of her attacker did not match Murdoch, his dalmation dog or his vehicle. And several police officers had serious doubts about her account of the attack on that bitterly cold night with the temperature hovering around zero.

Added to the intrigue was the revelation during Murdoch’s trial that Miss Lees had been having an affair with an Irishman called Nick Riley, whom she had met each Friday night for sex in Sydney before setting off for her outback travels with long-time boyfriend Mr Falconio. She was forced to reluctantly admit in court that she had even written to Riley just days after Mr Falconio’s disappearance suggesting they meet up in Berlin.

‘You put her entire story together and there’s only one conclusion – it doesn’t add up and you can’t have a case that doesn’t add up and then convict a man of murder without even a body,’ says Murdoch as he sits at the table, decorated with an Aboriginal motif, in the visitor’s area of the prison. His short-cropped once-sandy-coloured hair has turned grey and his face is deeply lined. Under the cuffs of his blue sweater are traces of the tattoos that run up his arms. His two front teeth are missing – a startling feature that Miss Lees did not mention when she described her attacker to police.

‘Joanne claims that after I shot Falconio I dragged her into my vehicle and that while I was looking at ways to get rid of the body she managed to clamber into the back of the vehicle and escape through the rear,’ he says. ‘Well everybody who knew me knows my cab was sealed – you can’t get into the back that way. In fact the police admitted they had found only a couple of vehicles in the whole of Australia that had access from front to back.

‘And then, when she was challenged on this in court she said she might have been mistaken and that I had pushed her in through the canvas sides. She was wrong about that, too, because underneath the canvas I had a steel mesh. She talked about hiding in bushes while I came looking for her with my dog, but believe me if it was me there my dog would have found her.

‘And how come the police and the Aboriginal trackers found traces of her footprints in the bush but no traces of anyone else’s? Yet I was supposed to have been looking for her for hours.’

Murdoch remains calm as he goes over what he says are the numerous discrepancies – he has had nearly six years since his sentencing to go over the claims against him and his anger has subsided. ‘But I still wonder how they could have possibly thought that after claiming I had shot Falconio – and there was no gunshot residue on the back of their van – I drove off with the body, leaving a witness, Joanne, hiding in the bushes.

‘Why on earth would I have decided to drive all the way back to Alice Springs – what, 300kms – to buy fuel, as the police claimed, with a body in the vehicle? How was I to have known that Joanne hadn’t raised the alarm before I even got there and that police had already set up road blocks?

‘It’s another aspect of the case against me that doesn’t make sense and neither does the fact that not only did they not find any trace of a body being picked up or dragged into another vehicle at the scene – they haven’t even found the body.’

Northern Territory Police say that there are no active searches for Mr Falconio’s body, but if they received credible information it would be investigated. Murdoch holds out hopes that the DNA evidence used against him will eventually lead to his freedom.

Referring to the speck of DNA said to be his on Miss Lees’ T-shirt, the convicted murderer says that if it was he who had dragged her from the VW and thrown her to the ground to restrain her, his DNA would be all over her – and it wasn’t. He also says that traces of his DNA said to have been found by British forensic scientist Dr Jonathan Whitaker using a controversial technique called low copy numbers should not have even been allowed in his trial.

‘The FBI refuses to use this very same technique because it’s unreliable and when it was used against Sean Hoey who was charged with the Omagh bombing in Ireland in 1998 the case collapsed after the judge criticised Dr Whitaker’s evidence.

‘Yet this technique was used against me when Dr Whitaker said he found traces of my DNA in the VW because I had presumably driven the vehicle into the bush to hide if from passing traffic.

‘The holes in the case against me are huge but one day I hope it will all turn around. None of us knows where this business is going to turn next.’

Nearly 800 miles away Melissa Kendall says the day the man she insists was Peter Falconio walked into the petrol station in the remote outback town of Bourke where she was working with Robbie Brown will remain imprinted on her mind.

‘The police made a mockery of us, one detective saying he hadn’t seen Elvis yet, either, after we reported seeing Peter Falconio – because that’s how I’ll always refer to the man.’

The Falconio affair is replete with red herrings and alternative scenarios but Miss Kendall’s ‘sighting’ of Falconio fits in with rumours that Mr Falconio faked his own death because he had money troubles at home – and never expected his disappearance to make international headlines. But they are rumours, whispers, guesses, and Mr Falconio’s family and Miss Lees have often pleaded for them to stop.

Murdoch’s lawyer, Grant Algie, raised the possibility of the ‘fake death’ scenario when he said at Murdoch’s trial that the British couple had stopped by the side of the road near Barrow Creek to meet a third man who, it had been arranged, would take Peter away alive.

‘When the man I say was Peter Falconio walked into the petrol station, he was with two other people who behaved really strangely,’ recalls Miss Kendall. ‘He didn’t say much, but I think he had an accent, which might or might not have been English. I was just stunned at seeing this man whose face I had been looking at in the paper just a short time before.

‘The people he was with – a man and a woman – were in an open-back truck which they parked out of sight of the office part of the petrol station and they had to stretch the fuel hose right out to make it reach. It was as if they didn’t want us to see the vehicle.

‘But Robbie and I both went out, very carefully, to look at them all. The other man who was with “Peter Falconio” matched the photo-fit pictures the police had put out in the hunt for the man who carried out the attack at Barrow Creek.

‘It was really weird and rather frightening. “Peter Falconio” had a bit of an injury to the left side of his mouth, like a scab, just below the corner of his mouth. When they drove off, they didn’t drive out into the main road. They went up a back lane which led off in the direction of Brisbane.

‘Nothing will convince me that the man I saw wasn’t Peter Falconio. It was him all right and Robbie and I will continue to swear it for the rest of our lives.’

Today Miss Lees lives in a house she has bought in the north of England. She has declined to comment in any detail about the incident, adding that she and the Falconio family would prefer to remain out of the spotlight now that 10 years have passed.

At Barrow Creek today there is no longer any sign of the patch of blood on the road which forensic scientists said matched Peter Falconio’s – despite one analyst claiming it was mixed with animal blood.  It has long since been erased by thousands of tourist vehicles and the single complete footprint that police said matched Miss Lees’ in the sandy surface near the road has eroded with the weather.

But hawks circle overhead, looking for animal prey – dead or alive. And Aborigine trackers – first called to the scene in the hours after Miss Lees’ raised the alarm by waving down a passing truck in the dead of night – said if there had been a body or a wounded man lying in the bush at the time, the birds of prey would have hovered over it.

But they saw no hawks. Cadaver dogs found no body.

Peter Falconio had disappeared, leaving behind a mystery that has endured for 10 years.

46 Responses to Peter Falconio 10 Years On – Where is His Body?

  1. Daniel Boulon says:

    I spent 27 days in a cell next to Bradley in Darwin, before being deported back to England. i spoke to this man on many occasions during that time, and as a backpacker myself at that time found it funny that the Australian authorities would put myself in that position. From what i could see of him, he was a dangerous man, but in regards to Peters death, i believe him to not have done it.

  2. maryjane says:

    I’ll believe the investigators over some dude and some chick in a back of Bourke servo anyday.

    They think they see Peter Falconio with a couple? and possible injuries, go outside to eyeball them but don’t get the number plate?

    The outback can be quite a boring place really and famous for the great aussie yarn. A quite boring incident of 1 sale of chips, lollies and fuel has turned into a tale of international intrigue and fake murder

    I can only imagine the amount of time wasters in a high profile case like this.

  3. angiebrewin@hotmail.com says:

    interesting article

  4. yoda says:

    Remember Azaria Chamberlain and believe that investigators do get it wrong!

  5. Dee says:

    It’s a very odd story. What struck me about the original case reports was the absence of any traces of the claimed dog. According to Joanne’s story, she was right up against this animal in the front of the presumed killer’s vehicle. Brad Murdoch’s dog usually travelled in the passenger seat, or else slept in the back of the vehicle, where Joanne said she had been before she escaped. The killer is also presumed to have driven the kombi into the bush so there was a good chance of a few dog DNA traces being found there. However, not a trace of dog DNA or even a single dog hair appears to have been found on the back of Joanne’s green tee-shirt or the seat of her shorts. Neither was any trace of dog found in the front of the kombi. The skilled Aboriginal trackers were unable to find so much as a paw print from the dog, let alone any other trace, yet Joanne said that the killer and the dog had spent quite a time searching for her in the scrub before the killer gave up and drove away. The curious case of the dog in the night time? This dog certainly “did” nothing, like the one in the Sherlock Holmes story, which is why its behaviour was so curious.

  6. James says:

    An heavily biased recount of the Falconio case. No balance at at all and no mention of the rape of a 13 year old that Murdoch escaped conviction on ..due to a technicality. Anyone that has examined the facts ‘carefully’ and disregarded the rumours would take the view that Murdoch is the person that stop Lee’s and Falconio that night..

  7. Daryl McCulloch says:

    The body should be somewhere around the murray downs turnoff road.
    No experienced crim is going to cart a body around for more than is necessary, or dispose of it directly off a main road
    That Joanne’ s version of events is muddled, only advises the effects of the Dope she was on.Looking at it logically, she was obviously pushed back into her own vehicle, not Murdoch’s, as apparently Murdoch’s blood was also on the gearstick in the Kombi van. As for the people at Bourke categorically thinking they saw Falconio,they were obviously mistaken. He had no reason to go missing& keep in mind Murdoch not only changed his appearance,but also his vehicles.
    Ask yourself, how many of your friends & acquaintances have done that in the last 40 years?? none ,correct…

  8. Karen says:

    The trouble is Joanne Lees seems to have changed her story so many times, The car was wrong, her discription was wrong, the dog was wrong, the timing was wrong. Something happened out there and hopefully one day we will all find out the truth. I find it very hard to believe just about every author who has published a book on the subject, all got it wrong. Brad Murdochs blood wasn’t found anywhere and only LCDNA suggested it was. That has been found to be very unreliable even by the FBI. They don’t use it. None of us know the truth but I think for myself I have to keep an open mind. As the saying goes, “Theres something rotten in Denmark”.

  9. Barry says:

    One of the problems with this story is in the absence of factual information people fill in the gaps with assumptions and rumour. The internet being what it is, it doesn’t take long for assumptions and rumours to propagate and appear in forums, chat rooms etc. Then the assumptions and rumours become so called facts, they appear in books, magazines and before you know it the actual story has evolved into a mixture of facts and fiction. This case, unfortunately, stands as a very good example of that. Joanne Lees, Like Lindy Chamberlain did not present as the typical grieving woman that just lost a love one. Their demeanour did not sit well with the public, so because of that the public looked upon them with suspicion. Joannes story, just like Lindys, seemed incredulous and together with their suspect demeanour people thought she must be guilty, at least in some way.

  10. Brian Wyborne-Huntley says:

    I recommend the reading of this very well formatted book. (2011)

    FIND PETER – DEAD OR ALIVE !
    By :- KEITH ALLAN NOBLE

    Keep an open mind, for it is only when something of this callibre happens to you that you relise, the powers of state are out of your control, including corruption, if they want you they have the powers in place to get you, no one is exempt.
    This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a statement of fact.

    You will “NOT” beat the state system, you are not powerfull enough.!
    The best you can do is play them at their own game.
    To do that you need to know the rules of the game.

  11. Matt says:

    Hi Richard,

    You and Andrew Fraser should get together and write a book. Between your face to face interview and Fraser’s phone interview – broadcast on the Sunday program, I think they are the only two interviews Murdoch has given…..I wonder why? Would it be becuase your both sympathetic to Murdoch’s plight? What a joke! The mail is Murdoch isnt telling where the body is until he exauhsts all the legal avenues still available that might help him beat the case i.e. A current amendment under consideration to a law that – if passed – would throw out the DNA evidence used in the Falconio case becuase of its low strain count. This would mean he would probably get off. If he dosent get that then, he will look to bargin with the authorities using the location of the body to get transferred to WA – or wherever his mum lives. Stay tuned folks. The big reveal is yet to come. Will make great TV too!!

  12. Samantha says:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3691717/New-twist-in-Brit-backpackers-outback-murder.html

    I just noticed this link above and wondered what people think? I’m so intrigued by this whole case and do not think Bradley Murdock should be in prison for it. I wish I could find the answer like everyone else – is it bad to say that maybe the whole family could be in on it!? (if it was a faked death like some say) I mean at the time they didn’t know but in later years found out what really happend as there are so many discrepancies in Joanne Lees accounts of what happened??

  13. anita says:

    l always believed Bradley Murdoch to be guilty of the Peter Falconio mystery only by listening and reading media stories at the time. I recomend reading ‘Dead Centre’ by Robin Bowles. it has completely changed by mind to what happened on that night. Everything that Dee has pointed out, especially all the discrepencies at the incident site do not add up…..Read the book, it has become my most read book as many ,many people have now read it and all but one reader have changed thier oppinions.

  14. Danso says:

    The claim by the couple seeing Peter Falconio days after his death are a load of rubbish.they may have seen someone who resembled him and thats where it ends.I was born and bred in Alice and drive past the spot regularly where Peter lost his life.The fact of the matter is Bradley Murdoch murdered Peter Falconio.He saw them in Alice ,took a shine to her,and the motive was sexual, get rid of the boyfriend, take her in the bush, an do his sick thing.Murdoch makes the statement
    in the interview around the fact that Joanne could have left her hiding place and waved down a vechile 5 miutes after he left for all he knew(( my thoughts exactly) and would have been anxious to part ways with the body.I think Peter Falconio would have been disposed of very quickly after he died (within an hour )and still lies where Bradley buried him.Also bullshit his statement the grounds to hard to bury someone that time of year here there,s infinite creeks ,gullys ,and drains s where someone could do the job,my guess is Peter Falconio is within 50 k,s of the incident and probably about 5 to 6 km,s in on anyone of the hundreds of service roads,firebreaks ,tracks made by aboriginal people for hunting or shortcuts to communities , just in that distance. My guess after all this time and knowing this country its unlikly he will ever be found,so sad for his family Id suggest to all the conspiracy theorists including Richard Shears who I suspect has ulterior motives to keep the debate going .$$$, Leave the poor girl and his family alone to get on with it. Give it up,and get a life.Bradley Murdoch today is exactly where he should be and he knows it. Amen.

  15. admin says:

    Thanks for your comment Danso – I’m happy to listen to and post every point of view. However I do note that you work for the Northern Territory government which brought the case against Bradley John Murdoch, but setting that aside I’m also aware that your comments are based on your beliefs rather than fact. I’ve followed this whole affair from day one and report only the known facts – and to this day there are a lot of facts that have been left floating out there, with no answers.
    I won’t go into the whole case here again but would ask you to look at the discrepancies in Joanne’s story and while a speck of DNA on her T-shirt puts Bradley Murdoch in contact with her on the face of it, her account does not convincingly put him there on the scene. So we have a man who was there and who wasn’t there. The police and Aboriginal trackers have searched the area high and low, including all those places you suggest, without finding a trace of Peter Falconio and I’d ask you to consider this: Of all the people in Britain planning a visit to Australia, Peter Falconio was, based on logic, the only person to approach an insurance investigator to ask how people faked their deaths when they were overseas and what mistakes they made before they were caught. And then Peter Falconio turned out to be the only Briton who actually did disappear months later, his body never to be found. Perhaps it is out there somewhere. Perhaps not. Nobody really knows at this stage. But thanks for your comment. Discussion keeps the case open. By the way – your assumption I’ve worked on this for money is totally wrong. I’m a working journalist and this was a story that was written about by hundreds of others in the same profession.

  16. Danso says:

    Just one more comment before I leave this alone the only reason Joannes footprints were the only ones found at the scene is obvious …. because she was running.

    Thanks for your time Richard

  17. Barry says:

    Hi Richard. You mentioned in your reply to Danso that Peter approached an insurance investigator regarding life insurance fraud. This statement is incorrect and misleading. The so called investigator was Pete’s co worker that was moonlighting collating and processing insurance claims.

    This co worker who’s pseudonym is Mr Chivers actually approached Pete and told him about the fake missing persons / life insurance claims he had heard about from his boss. The fact is Peter did not, at any time take a life insurance policy on himself. This was extensively investigated by police in Australia and in Europe. Lloyds of London were also consulted and they examined their records – nothing.

    Pete did have the standard, basic travellers insurance, the type most overseas travellers have but even so that policy was never claimed against. S o the life insurance scam theory has no substance or basis in fact. Mr Chivers was interviewed at length by the police and his story was later deemed to be made out of spite or an attempt to gain his 15 mins of fame.

  18. admin says:

    Hi Barry, Thanks for your comment regarding Peter Falconio and a possible insurance fraud. I’m well aware that insurance never came into the picture but I can tell you that the reason the claims by the co-worker, given the name Chivers at his request, received so much attention is that he signed an affidavit before a solicitor in which he told of Peter Falconio asking numerous times how people faked their deaths overseas.
    No-one makes claims on an affidavit, a legal document, without being aware of the consequences if it is found to be false.
    I personally checked out the possibility, or not, of an insurance scam by taking that affidavit to senior Australian police who in turn made contact with their British counterparts and the insurance angle was quickly dismissed. In fact Australian police had received several letters making the same claim, but none was more ‘powerful’ than a sworn affadivit, in this case the one made by Mr Chivers.
    There have been many red herrings in this case and I’m sure others will crop up in the future.
    Richard.

  19. werewolf luver says:

    interesting. now where is the food article…:)

  20. Rick Shaw says:

    Dead Centre by Robin Bowles is one of the best books on the Falconio case. It’s not plausible that Murdoch would kiil Falconio with no motive, and then let Joanne Lees get away so easily. Murdoch was dobbed in by his ex drug running partner James Hepi who was hoping to get leniency for his own drug conviction. Murdoch’s DNA could easily have been planted on the Kombi steering wheel, gearstick, manacles and Lees’ t-shirt. It has the all the indications of a set-up. I find it hard to believe Falconio is still alive. If he was, you’d think he would have contacted his family or friends.

  21. Jordan says:

    This case deeply saddens me, an innocent man is left to rot in a scummy horrible prison all because of some ridiculous farce. To those of you who suggest that he is guilty I recommend you to search a little deeper into the facts before making such ridiculous accusations and judgements. Don’t believe everything you hear in the media. The way they handled this case was a disgrace. They had to pin someone for the murder so they went for the easiest target being Murdoch. The bias that was present all over news stations in Australia was very unprofessional to say the least.

    All the best Murdoch, some of us actually do care and can see the huge flaws in this case. Hang in there

  22. Curious says:

    Did it ever even happen? In my opinion it was just a big money making scheme. Lees got payed $50,000 compensation under a government scheme for victims of crime, plus the further millions she got payed for the publishments of her novel! How do we know that she never met up with Murdochs NZ drug runner partner James Hepi and planted the sabotage to frame and set up Murdoch the more facts about this case I find the more skeptical I become it all just doesn’t add up.

  23. andrew says:

    Dead body, blood everywhere, Jo never saw body and she rolled all over the hilux picking up no dog hairs in her clothes, no blood or none (as good as) of Murdochs DNA. It’s a mystery that in the year 2001 a case is as big a shambles as this,crap detective work follows a perfect murder by Murdoch who to me couldn’t pull it off even if he tried

  24. david says:

    After reading this it makes u think but the man they locked up is a dangerous man so he deserves to be locked up,i wonder did the gf have more to do with this than we know,i dont think we will evr know the truth-

  25. narniagirl60 says:

    Very interested in reading abt. the Falconio case; I do not accept for one second the idea that he is still alive. BUT- please, oh, please can u re-jig this blog so that the text is in a dark colour on a light background! Thx. v. much in anticipation..

  26. admin says:

    Thanks for the comment and the reminder. I’ve been intending to swap the background/text around for some time. I’ll try to get down to it soon!

  27. Dudley says:

    @Danso says:
    02/04/2012 at 8:20 pm
    Just one more comment before I leave this alone the only reason Joannes footprints were the only ones found at the scene is obvious …. because she was running.

    ____________________________________________________________

    How can anyone with half a brain honestly believe that?

    So you’re trying to say that she was the only one who left footprints because she was running and Murdoch was walking?

    I find it very hard to believe that a man who has been described many times as “huge” didnt leave any footprints at all because he was not running.

    What about the dog? Do you really believe a dog would walk around slowly the whole time whilst trying to find someone and not run at all?

    I’m pretty sure a man that is considered huge would leave footprints in sand no matter what speed he was travelling at. Unless he was magically able to float through the air whilst he was allegedly searching for her.

    But then again, i’m not an ‘expert Aboriginal tracker’, am i?

    Maybe someone should present this theory of Danso’s to the expert Aboriginal trackers who searched the scene, so they too can have a good laugh about it.

    I dont know if Murdoch is guilty or not, but i do believe he shouldnt be in jail for it.

    Innocent until PROVEN guilty, right? Just like alive until PROVEN dead.

  28. Victor says:

    Travelling on the Stuart Highway this week made me think of this story and where it had gone since disappearing from front line media.

    Remember the story when it happened and that Lees came back to appear in court but nothing more than that.

    Read the Crikey questions and other questions that have been brought up and have to wonder how shut and closed the trial could have been.

    Don’t care who Murdoch is or what he’s done in the past. He may well be a piece of dirt but in this instance I’m frightened by how you can be locked up without a thorough look at everything, especially with the importance of DNA present yet lacking in what should have been.

    Also the Crikey question as to why before heading out on their trip so much time was spent on the lining of the Kombie and not the ‘dodgy’ engine and the links both Lees and Falconio had to drugs.

    Surprising Lees said she was past a few times when in hiding in bushes but no sign of anyone in the vicinity other than herself.

    As much as you’d want to put someone like Murdoch away there are more questions than answers in this case and if nothing else there should be reasonable doubt.

    Was Murdoch’s defense team idiotic?

  29. Leah says:

    Rex Wild, QC, the man who represented Joanne Lees, has said in recent days that she nearly the destroyed the trial on numerous occasions. I believe this man has his doubts now. Doubts that many of us have had since that woman was thrust onto our consciousness. She knows what happened.

  30. DeeG says:

    Lee’s claimed Murdoch punched her; there was no obvious sign of this in the photos taken of her in Barrow Creek, also Murdoch’s hands are huge, combined with his strength I question how she was able to walk, let alone escape. The DNA was on the BACK of her T shirt,it was of ‘subecous'(?) origin ie a scab. Lee’s feet showed no scratches. No dog hair was present on her clothing, as a dog owner I know how much they shed. The DNA on the homemade cuffs was contaminated with the DNA of a police officer. The cuffs were taken to Yatala Prison by two NT detectives in a brown paper bag, thus breaking the chain of evidence. James Hepi can at best be described an unreliable witness and made no secret of his hatred/grudge for Murdoch, he also had access to Murdoch’s DNA through cigarette butts etc left behind by Murdoch at the Riverland property. The rape case; Murdoch was found not guilty. These and other discrepancies leave huge cause for doubt IMO.

  31. Wayne Mailey says:

    NT police are pretty good at manufacturing evidence witness Lindy Chamberlain. An aboriginal friend of mine told me that Azaria Chamberlain was taken by an Alasatian dog that the local copper had let go in the bush. Hence police cover up. He got this from other aboriginals in the area.
    Now getting back to the story here; one comment that I wanted to make is from my experience aboriginals have a vast and expert knowledge of the bush far beyond most white mans comprehension. If they say there were no tracks it means that there was no one there, if they say there is no body in the area it means there’s no body there. Simple as that.

  32. Eh says:

    Murdoch is framed but he is by all lengths of the law an innocent until proven guilty man. EH21

  33. littlegreyrabbit says:

    Have swung around to faking own death theory – Nick Riley and the mysterious Mr Chivers probably red herrings.
    What convinced me was a police officer, Bill Tower, waving a meat pack around the Kombi. Only seems one reason to do so – to create an impression of a crime scene. Only conclusion – there was no crime scene.
    If we exclude life insurance perhaps Peter had some involvement with something in Sydney and needed to disappear? Maybe it relates to something in England – but there seems to be the involvement of Daniel Morcombe investigation style cops assisting the disappearance – which would point to Australia

  34. littlegreyrabbit says:

    Bet you anything you like that “Steph” was not Nick Riley but Peter Falconio. Yes I know that is “conspiracy” – but that is the definition of organized crime.
    A really solid lead to follow though.

  35. littlegreyrabbit says:

    Just to run through a scenario of why Peter Falconio might want to fake his own death and why he might get help from Daniel Morcombe investigation style cops.

    Suppose Falconio becomes the receiver of a large quantity of imported drugs from one criminal syndicate and allows them to disappear sans payment to a different criminal syndicate which has a heavy police involvement. He then becomes wealthy, but also has a price on his head. He needs to disappear and does so with the assistance of the bent cops that he has benefited.

    The point is not to say this did happen, rather there may be reasons why Falconio would receive police assistance to disappear and Bill Towers waving his meat pack around the Kombi must represent that.

  36. ArthurH says:

    It seems Murdoch was convicted largely because of the DNA. However there various problems with the DNA:
    It was only on the back of Lees’ tee shirt.
    DNA experts disagreed as to whether or not it was Murdoch’s DNA.
    DNA is not infallible: some people have been wrongly convicted due to faulty DNA testing.
    The DNA could have easily been planted on her tee and the Kombi.

    A vital question is motive.The official version is Murdoch saw Lees and decided to track her for rape. This is highly unlikely. He didn’t now her, and she’ s not such a hot dish.Murdoch was very professional about his drug running.If it were him, he had every opportunity to rape and kill but didn’t.Even a ‘drugged crazed killer’ would kill her, the only witness, after killing Falconio.

    The best account of the whole case I have seen is Dead Centre by Robin Bowles.She was told that a clairvoyant claimed Lees found a wallet stuffed with notes at Barrow Creek.The owner and two other men caught up with the pair and killed Falconio.

    I would vary the story and suggest Lees did not tell Falconio about the money because they had been arguing and she wanted to keep it for herself. The men knocked Falconio about then Less produced the wallet. The men took Falconio away and threw his body down an old mineshaft. Telling the truth would put her in a bad light, so Lees had 4-5 hours to think up a story.This is pure speculation of course.

  37. bill says:

    The so called rape case was a set up by the junkie prostitute mother and her pimp boy friend so they could sell his possessions when he was locked up which they did. They stole everything and quite a bit of money from him, These people and Hepi were low life’s .It was proven he wasn’t even in SA at the time he was supposed to have committed the rape . The whole thing was set up just like the murder charge, the same people gave evidence in both trials . very SUS wrong vehicle , wrong dog, plus the cops wanted to nail him in WA , NT , SA .seen their chance FRAMED.

  38. Concerned Contributor says:

    I honestly don’t think Murdoch’s defence team got much of a say in how this case panned out or even got a chance to ‘defend’ him, hence why he was so easily prosecuted. Everything in this case is practically hearsay with no pure hard evidence that can convict Murdoch fairly. How can the court uphold liberty and freedom and innocent until proven guilty when the motives of Mr. Murdoch have never been PROVEN! Where was his intent to kill a completely random stranger? The reality is someone needed to be pinned and held responsible for this atrosity and Murdoch was the weakest link. The Northern Territory Courts and prosecution did NOT do enough investigation on Joanne Lees. She’s hiding something and it is so easy to fabricate a story like she did. With all the fear and emotions running through her head at the time of the incident her consciousness and recollection of events is undoubtably questionable! This was not an accurate enough indication that what she recalls occured actually occured or not. She did not grieve like a normal emotional woman would if they had actually just witnessed their boyfriend being murdered. She seemed fake about it all. I mean think about this for a second; Her and Falconio were having relationship issues and were going break up, sell the kombi and go their seperate ways and this way after information on her affair with a man from Sydney was brought up. It would’ve been so easy for her to hire a hitman and have Falconio killed and have the spotlight taken off her because she was the poor defenceless girlfriend who was ‘vulnerable’ and ‘traumatised’ by the events. All I’m saying is I believe there should be a re-trial and the grounds that I believe this case wasn’t researched thoroughly enough and that there is still to much uncertainty and doubt about the case, so many things just don’t add up. And if Murdoch is innocent I believe that it isn’t fair to have him in prison with his life rotting away. Let me know what your guys opinion is.

  39. Concerned Contributor says:

    I honestly don’t think Murdoch’s defence team got much of a say in how this case panned out or even got a chance to ‘defend’ him, hence why he was so easily prosecuted. Everything in this case is practically hearsay with no pure hard evidence that can convict Murdoch fairly. How can the court uphold liberty and freedom and innocent until proven guilty when the motives of Mr. Murdoch have never been PROVEN! Where was his intent to kill a completely random stranger? The reality is someone needed to be pinned and held responsible for this atrosity and Murdoch was the weakest link. The Northern Territory Courts and prosecution did NOT do enough investigation on Joanne Lees. She’s hiding something and it is so easy to fabricate a story like she did. With all the fear and emotions running through her head at the time of the incident her consciousness and recollection of events is undoubtably questionable! This was not an accurate enough indication that what she recalls occured actually occured or not. She did not grieve like a normal emotional woman would if they had actually just witnessed their boyfriend being murdered. She seemed fake about it all. I mean think about this for a second; Her and Falconio were having relationship issues and were going break up, sell the kombi and go their seperate ways and this way after information on her affair with a man from Sydney was brought up. It would’ve been so easy for her to hire a hitman and have Falconio killed and have the spotlight taken off her because she was the poor defenceless girlfriend who was ‘vulnerable’ and ‘traumatised’ by the events. All I’m saying is I believe there should be a re-trial on the grounds that I believe this case wasn’t researched thoroughly enough and that there is still to much uncertainty and doubt about the case, so many things just don’t add up. And if Murdoch is innocent I believe that it isn’t fair to have him in prison with his life rotting away. Let me know what your guys opinion is.

  40. Martin says:

    Yes this article is good & well researched! My own theory is that there is a real serial killer , still on the ‘loose’ around Darwin and this killer is from a prominent ‘Bunyip Aristocrat’ Family from Darwin and the Northern Territory Police are doing all they could to protect this serial killer, just like the corrupt Texas Sheriff in the movie, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. I believe that Bradley Murdoch was set-up by corrupt Darwin (Wolf Creek) Police, who had to please the right-wing , red-necked press, by claiming they found Peter Falconio’s ‘alleged’ killer. I think Bradley Murdoch knows who this real killer is (& well connected killer too) and would fear for his life from now on! I think Bradley Murdoch stumbled upon Joanne Lees, tied up (by the real killer) and un-tied her and drove her away and set her free and told her not to tell the real truth, as their lives depended on it. Let’s hope Peter Falconio also escaped for his life and is hiding out in Australia or Asia somewhere, perhaps he did! The serial killer from Darwin (Wolf Creek) would’ve fed them to the crocs, after he was finished torturing them. Perhaps Bradley Murdoch, despite being a ‘drug runner’, had a social conscience after all and had enough doing the ‘dirty work’ for this killer and after dropping off Joanne Lees, fled for his own life to South Australia. Murdoch knows he’s safer inside Jail than outside. The serial killer is still on the loose and the corrupt Northern Territory Authorities are covering up for the real culprit. The readers know by now, by different cases of evidence presented here, that Bradley John Murdoch is a ‘patsy’ (like Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas JFK shooting). Yes Murdoch was involved in one way or another, is he a killer? I doubt it! Also, my brother went to Darwin for a visit and reckons it’s like ‘Wolf Creek’ or some hillbilly backwater in Deep South in America (Deep North in Aust) . Darwin is full of racist rednecks, drunken Aboriginals and greedy Greek Landlords, who want top dollar for 5th rate, 3rd world accomodation, and also European backpackers are ‘exploited’ by the greedy hillbilly locals, to work for ‘next to nothing'(like Mexicans in Texas), so they can get an ‘extension’ on their working holiday visas. Overall, readers, Darwin sucks and is a dump! Also the Northern Territory Police, are among the most corrupt in Australia, similar to the deep south Dixie Police in 1950’s segregated America . Yes, my native Melbourne and Western District (like Geelong, Colac etc) may be compared to Chicago or Wisconsin, but at least I never had to live in that putrid & expensive hillbilly swamp dump, called Darwin (AKA- Wolf Creek). Compare Darwin to some ‘back waters’ in the US, like in the Misissippi (in the 1950’s, not today), just the right sort of environment to breed in-bred sociopaths & psychopaths, like the horrible Hewitts of the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. Give Darwin a miss! Visit Bali instead! People nicer and everything’s cheaper! (& safer).

  41. little grey rabbit says:

    “The best account of the whole case I have seen is Dead Centre by Robin Bowles”

    Its an interesting book, albeit she is a little bit uncritical of the information she was being feed.
    As I see it the clairvoyants were bogus and being using by the people had supplied Falconio with the drug shipment to direct Bowles to the rendezvous point, as they struggled to work out what had happened and who had swiped their contraband.

    It is possible Falconio is dead, but there seems to only be extremely weak evidence pointing in that direction. Again, I am pretty sure that Joanna Lees was communicating with Falconio by email under the alias “Steph” after his disappearance.

  42. Roxanna says:

    I was really confused, and this answered all my quitesons.

  43. MK says:

    It’s so obvious that there isn’t a word of truth in the evidence given in BradleyMurdochs trial ,I believe that the remains of Peter Falconio are where I’ve indicated tothe police ,Whether anyone will take this seriously enough to investigate is another matter , where was Peter last seen on the 14th ? That is the whole gist of this matter, I don’t believe that he was in that combi when it was driven north from Alice Springs ,MK

  44. Harry Fairweather says:

    This is a very unusual and mystifying case, as a person who has worked in security for over 30 years, i have never seen anything like this, ever..! i have seen many cover ups, many fraudsters, but in this case it appears that there are few knowns and many unknowns, i have not yet read the book….the “Dead Centre”…by Robin Bowles” ….! must have a read..! This case has, and probably will never be fully understood, but most people have gut instincts, and my gut instinct tells me there is much much more to this than meets the proverbial eye. i myself was the proud owner of a kombi van, same model, as the above-mentioned kombi, for 37 years, one does get attached to these wonderful reliable vehicles, i have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles in my kombi, all over this great country, and i can assure you and your readers, that there is no way in the world i would be stopping for a complete stranger in the middle of the outback, completely pitch black dark of night, and in freezing temperatures, so for me personally i think this is the beginning of a whole series of fabrications that leads one to cover up the next. Many readers may or may not agree with me , but have you ever been out in a 0.0 degrees, ( thats even colder than your average kitchen fridge), in the pitch black of night, middle of the outback, in shorts and a tee shirt, and in amongst God knows what sort of creatures are out there, i can assure you you wouldn’t be in too good of shape after one hour let alone 5 hours, i will end this post here, otherwise i could write my own book on this subject, goodnight all from Harry Fairweather..without prejudice..!

  45. disgusted says:

    If anyone saw last nights 60 minutes it was nothing short of a pack of lies. Liz Hayes kept on smirking. That female Detective was hopeless. I feel the ribbon was planted. Put that woman up against some of the old CIB Detectives she would be rated as a Cadet. If anyone read the whole Crikey report they would see how the Police did not wish to go into the matter either the Lawyers. They need a good University amateur sleuths to reopen this case. She had plenty of clothes and hair styled for all her Court appearances. Murdoch she be released immediately and the case reopened. She out collecting money for a statute. Outrageous.

  46. Robert Walsh says:

    I was reading on the internet one of the detietives said that Miss Lees original statement was lost .

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