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Old 20-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #277
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Peter Marcunt Falconio (20 September 1972 – c. 14 July 2001) was a British tourist who disappeared in the Australian outback in July 2001, while travelling with girlfriend Joanne Lees. Falconio is presumed dead.Falconio was 28 years old at the time of the disappearance. His body has never been found. Bradley John Murdoch was convicted of his murder on 13 December 2005. The case attracted considerable public and legal attention worldwide.

Peter Falconio was born on 20 September 1972 in Hepworth, Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire...Hepworth is a small village to the southeast of Holmfirth and southwest of Jackson Bridge in West Yorkshire, England.It has been extensively used as one of the locations in the BBC's long-running comedy series Last of the Summer Wine. Much of which has centred on the village pub the 'Butchers Arms', which provides a central meeting place for the village residents.The name Hepworth is Anglo-Saxon. It may have been that Heppa, an Anglo-Saxon, was of great “worth”.In 1665 – 1666 the Great Plague struck England. It wrought devastation in London, then spread across the country. Hepworth was the most northerly point that it reached.

Lees stated that while travelling at night along the Stuart Highway near Barrow Creek (between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek) in the Northern Territory on 14 July 2001, the pair were stopped by a man waving for the couple to stop their Volkswagen Type 2 "Kombi" van and indicating trouble with their vehicle's exhaust.At the committal hearing in December 2004 Lees told the court that her assailant then tied her wrists together behind her, put a sack over her head and forced her into his ute (pick-up truck).She also stated that the person forced her between the seats of his vehicle and into the rear of his vehicle. She said she escaped from his ute and fled into the dark, hiding under bushes, while he tried to find her with a torch...In Australia and New Zealand vehicles like the Holden Ute and Falcon Utility are colloquially called utes...

Expert Aboriginal trackers, called from a nearby settlement could find no sign of tracks other than Lees' in the vicinity. Tracker Teddy Egan stated, "I see tracks where she run and fall down beneath tree. She lie there, hiding". It was also noted that a pool of Falconio's blood that had been covered in soil had attracted no ants or flies, considered to be much more out of the ordinary by Territorians than a roadside fire.

Falconio's body has not been found despite a massive police search. Much doubt has been cast on how Lees may have been able to escape from her bindings, as when she flagged down a passing truck for assistance, her hands were in front of her body. Lees however was able to demonstrate in court how easily she was able to bring her bound hands from behind to front. Police, however, found no vehicle that was able to be accessed from the front seats to the rear canopy area without leaving the vehicle.

Some two years after the disappearance, Bradley John Murdoch, a man living in Adelaide and previously acquitted of a rape charge, was found to have a possible connection to Barrow Creek on 14 July 2001. Murdoch was found not guilty of the rape but Northern Territory police applied for extradition to face charges of abduction and murder. Lees identified his photograph as being the man who abducted her after being shown a photograph of a person in custody in Adelaide by a journalist in the UK, and the DNA from the bloodstains on Lees' clothing matched Murdoch's DNA.Northern Territory Director of Public Prosecutions Rex Wild said in court there are three pieces of evidence linking Murdoch to the scene of the crime. His DNA was a match with bloodstains on Joanne Lees' t-shirt, a smear of blood on the gearstick of the couple's car, and DNA located on tape used by the killer to bind her wrists. These assertions have all been disputed by Murdoch's defence team.Algie and Twiggs pointed to the absence of blood at the crime scene, the mix-ups with DNA, the lack of a body, apparent sightings of Falconio in the days thereafter, inconsistencies in Lees' testimony, the poor police procedures in handling evidence, and the lack of a positive identification of Bradley John Murdoch.

Wild suggested that there was no evidence whatsoever of any police corruption, and urged jurors to dismiss any suggestions as an unfounded conspiracy theory that was "plucked out of thin air". He suggested that all of the evidence points to one obvious conclusion: that Murdoch killed Falconio. He stated that while no body has been found yet, it will be eventually, that it was only a matter of time, but that it "may be quite some time".

Red Rooster claim...

During Murdoch's committal hearing, Lees mentioned that she and Falconio had stopped at a Red Rooster restaurant in Alice Springs. Murdoch claimed to have stopped at the same restaurant to buy chicken for himself and his dog, "First thing in Alice, pulled into the Red Rooster... Chicken roll, box of nuggets for Jack...full chicken for the trip." Grant Algie suggested that Murdoch might have cut himself and inadvertently left blood at the restaurant which later transferred to Lees' shirt, explaining the presence of his DNA there...In April 2006, The Bulletin reported that Murdoch had refused to be served chicken while incarcerated during the committal and trial, claiming he was allergic to it, and that he has a standing medical certificate at Berrimah Prison requesting that he never be served chicken.

Subsequent to his conviction, Murdoch appealed the conviction and sentence. On 10 January 2007, the Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeal (NT CCA) dismissed both limbs of the appeal.The appeal comes after the collapse of the case against Sean Hoey, who was acquitted in December 2007 of 58 charges, including 29 murders, related to the Omagh bombing in 1998. The NT Department of Public Prosecutions said they had not been notified of the action, and the Northern Territory Police would not comment.

Evidence against both Murdoch and Hoey was given by Dr Jonathan Whitaker of Britain's Yorkshire-based Forensic Science Service using a controversial technique called low copy number DNA. At Hoey's trial in Belfast, however, several experts said the low copy number DNA technique used to identify the accused was unreliable, and the judge was highly critical in his assessment of Dr Whitaker's evidence.

Starting at the North Pole and heading south to the South Pole,the 1st meridian west hitting land just west of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire...just east of the Isle of Wight, Queen Maud Land, claimed by Norway...The 133rd meridian east passes through the Northern Territory...(The Olympic Dam mine near Roxby Downs in northern South Australia is the largest deposit of uranium in the world, possessing more than a third of the world's low-cost recoverable reserves and 70% of Australia's.)...South Australia..Australian Antarctic Territory, claimed by Australia.

The disappearance of Claudia Lawrence is a missing person case concerning a then-35 year old British chef at the University of York. The last confirmed sighting of her was on 18 March 2009, in Melrosegate, Heworth, York...The last text message from her was sent at 8:23 p.m., and her last received message, from a bar worker in Cyprus, was at 9:12 p.m...Six weeks after Lawrence went missing, the investigation into her disappearance was reclassified from a missing person's case to a suspected murder enquiry, although police have acknowledged they have no proof Lawrence is dead.

Last edited by lightgiver; 20-05-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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