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The true story of Peter Falconio and his girlfriend Joanne Lees remains one of the strangest crime events to have taken place in Australia.
Falconio mysteriously disappeared in the Australian outback in July 2001, while the couple travelled around in a Kombi van.
Falconio’s body has never been found and he is now presumed dead.
The events leading up to his disappearance, the investigations and court cases are intresting, but has the truth really been discovered?
Falconio and Lees were travelling at night along the Stuart Highway near Barrow Creek (between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek) in the Northern Territory on 14 July 2001.
Ms Lees said that at some point shortly after passing through Barrow Creek about 8pm when it was dark, they became aware that another vehicle was following the van.
That vehicle (a white 4-wheel drive utility fitted with a bull bar) pulled alongside the van. Its interior light was switched on.
It was driven by a man wearing a black baseball cap with a motif on it and a long sleeve shirt with what appeared to be a T-shirt under it. He appeared to have a Mexican moustache that drooped down past the sides of his mouth. A dog was also seen to be sitting on the passenger seat of the utility.
Around 11 km’s north of Barrow Creek, at about 8.15pm, the man waves the Kombi over.
He told them that he had noticed that their Kombi had engine trouble.
After Falconio went to the rear of the vehicle with the man to investigate, Lees said she heard a shot fired.
The man then threatened Lees with a small gun, tied her up and covered her head, and pushed her into the back of his ute.
Lees says she escaped while the man was distracted (apparently while moving Falconio’s body).
She hid for five hours in nearby scrub bushes.
On 15th July Sunday at about 1 am, Lees emerges from the scrub onto the highway, and out in front of a “Bull’s” road train truck being driven by Vince Millar.
Vince stopped about a kilometre down the road and Joanne ran towards the road train. Vince got out of the truck and spoke to Joanne. He started to help her look for her boyfriend but when she told him her attacker had had a gun, he decided it would be best to go for help. He drove her south to the Barrow Creek roadhouse, where they contacted police.
By 7.00am, the NT police had launched a search for Mr Falconio and the gunman.
Quickly they found a pool of blood covered with dirt beside the Stuart Hwy, (This blood was later DNA matched toPeter Falconio, but strangely his blood had been mixed with animal blood)
The police also later found the Kombi driven well off the road into the scrub.
Falconio’s body however has never been found.
Expert Aboriginal trackers, called from a nearby settlement, could find no sign of tracks of anyone, other than Lees’ in the vicinity.
After four years of gruelling investigations, in which over 2500 suspects had been identified, but no real leads, and no body, police tracked down and arrested truck driver Bradley Murdoch.
He was convicted of murder and is still in jail, dispite claiming he did not do it. Many experts on the case agree with him, and evidence of a set up has been reported.
This is the greatest remaining mystery and the lynch-pin of Murdoch’s defence. “Show me the body” is his constant challenge to judges and police.http://coolinterestingstuff.com/mystery-in-the-outback-the-strange-story-of-peter-falconio-and-joanne-lees