A British tourist whose boyfriend was shot dead in one of Australia’s most notorious murders has relived her horrific ordeal.
Joanne Lees and Peter Falconio were travelling in a kombi Servisi van towards Darwin on a remote highway when they were flagged down by Bradley Murdoch in 2001.
Murdoch shot Mr Falconio, 28, before handcuffing Ms Lees and Kombi Servisi dragging her into his vehicle.
Ms Lees, who was 27 at the time, fought for her life and managed to escape.
‘It was either run, or be raped and killed,’ she told Channel Nine’s program in an episode due to air on Sunday.
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Peter Falconio (left) was shot dead on a remote highway in central Australia in 2001. If you have any queries about where and kombi Servisi how to use kombi Servisi, you can speak to us at our own web site. His girlfriend Joanne Lees (right) managed to escape the killer
An emotional Ms Lees said: ‘It was either run, or be raped and killed’
Bradley Murdoch (right) shot dead Mr Falconio, 28, before handcuffing his girlfriend and dragging her into his vehicle
Ms Lees heard a gun shot but didn’t know if her partner had been killed.
She said her will to escape was driven by the thought that Mr Falconio may not be dead.
She fought off Murdoch and made her getaway with ‘the thought that Pete was still alive’.
Murdoch was later convicted of murder, but Mr Falconio’s body has never been found.
Murdoch was convicted of murder, but Mr Falconio’s body has never been found
The British couple had been travelling in a Kombi Servisi van towards Darwin when they were flagged down
A file photo of the camper van that belonged to murdered English backpacker Mr Falconio, in the carpark of the Supreme court in Darwin
Ms Lees, originally from the English county of Yorkshire, has returned to the Australian outback and has vowed to find his remains.
‘I love Pete so much and I want to bring him home… I need to bring him home,’ she said.
Flying in a helicopter in the area he was murdered, north of Alice Springs, Ms Lees said: ‘I know that he’s somewhere here.’
Ms Lees said she is attempting to ‘step into the killer’s mind’ to discover what Murdoch did with her partner’s body.
‘It’s a very alien thing for me to do because I’m not a violent person, I’m not a murderer,’ she said.
‘But if that’s what I have to do and that’s how I’m going to find Pete then, that’s what I’m prepared to do.’
Ms Lees said she fought off Murdoch and made her getaway with ‘the thought that Pete was still alive’
Flying in a helicopter in the area he was murdered, north of Alice Springs, Ms Lees said: ‘I know that he’s somewhere here’
The world was suspicious of Ms Lees’ story that Murdoch had shot dead her boyfriend when she appeared emotionless after the incident
The world was suspicious of Ms Lees’ story that Murdoch had shot dead her boyfriend when she appeared emotionless after the incident.
It was later reported that she had taken Valium to numb her grief.
‘How could they think that? It was like a stab to the heart,’ she said.
Murdoch was convicted of Mr Falconio’s murder in 2006, largely on DNA evidence which included a spot of Ms Lees’ blood on his T-shirt.
Police later found a pool of blood on the road, but were never able to locate Mr Falconio’s remains.
Murdoch, now 58, is serving a life prison sentence in the Northern Territory.
He has always protested his innocence and insists he can’t reveal where Falconio’s body is because he wasn’t at the crime scene.
Murdoch, now 58, is serving a life prison sentence in the Northern Territory and has always protested his innocence
Ms Lees is pictured leaving the Darwin Supreme Court in 2005, after the first day of Murdoch’s trial