The Disappearance of Peter Falconio

 
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
How did the DNA get onto the jumper or was it planted?
bevans
It was a tiny speck and partially contaminated. The most likely explanation is from a chair at a road house which Murdoch had used, and which Lees had also visited. She denied it but witnesses placed her there. There is no doubt at all that Murdoch was in the general area, and he says so himself to the point of admitting that he was on a cannabis delivery run.

When you come to think of it, what evidence is there that Falconio was killed? One woman who says he was; she didn't see it happen but she says she heard a shot. After that, no evidence at all.

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  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Murdoch is not responsible for the disappearance/death of Peter Falconio.  How did the DNA get onto the jumper or was it planted?
bevans

I watched the second half of the programme but not the Melissa Doyle show.  I feel Falconio and Lees were at the Red Rooster and we know Murdoch was also that should have been enough for a jury to understand cross containination.

The wrong man is jail for a crime he did not commit and the NT government and police force have been professionally negligent and the case should be reopened.  How the appeals have failed is also a disgrace.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Murdoch is not responsible for the disappearance/death of Peter Falconio.  How did the DNA get onto the jumper or was it planted?

I watched the second half of the programme but not the Melissa Doyle show.  I feel Falconio and Lees were at the Red Rooster and we know Murdoch was also that should have been enough for a jury to understand cross containination.

The wrong man is jail for a crime he did not commit and the NT government and police force have been professionally negligent and the case should be reopened.  How the appeals have failed is also a disgrace.
NSWGR8022
Rubbish. The right man is in gaol. He has had 2 appeals which he lost and the High Court of Australia has refused special leave to appeal. How many more chances should he be given. The Channel 7 doco was bollocks promoted by 2 guys who wanted their day in the sun, one of which was a crook. Media Watch gave a particularly good put down of the first and second doco and particularly emphasised that the latest one presented no new evidence.

Bevans, how can you say Murdoch is not responsible for the death of Falconio when a Judge and Jury and 2 failed appeals, topped off by the High Court refusing special leave to appeal must have though otherwise. Stop flogging a dead horse.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Bevans, how can you say Murdoch is not responsible for the death of Falconio when a Judge and Jury and 2 failed appeals, topped off by the High Court refusing special leave to appeal must have though otherwise. Stop flogging a dead horse.
"nswtrains"
All I want to know is when did anyone prove that there had been a murder?  We have the unsupported word of one woman who says she heard a shot. She didn't see anyone killed; subsequently there has been no body, no blood trail or drag marks made by someone disposing of a body, no firearm residue, no spent cartridge case and no motive; in short - nothing. I remain amazed that it ever got to prosecution.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The prosecution proved it beyond reasonable doubt at his trial.

Conviction subsequently ratified on multiple appeals at NT level, and then ratified again by the High Court (which does have the power to override a jury decision on the grounds of there being reasonable doubt, see Pell v The Queen [2020] HCA 12).
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The prosecution proved it beyond reasonable doubt at his trial.
"justapassenger"
That's the bit that baffles me. There is no conclusive evidence that anyone was murdered. I'd love to know what the defence was doing.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

The prosecution proved it beyond reasonable doubt at his trial.
That's the bit that baffles me. There is no conclusive evidence that anyone was murdered. I'd love to know what the defence was doing.
Valvegear
Circumstantial evidence is used in a lot of cases to prove homicide where there is no trace of a body or other direct evidence. If circumstantial evidence was ever abolished there would be a hell of a lot less convictions.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Rubbish. The right man is in gaol. He has had 2 appeals which he lost and the High Court of Australia has refused special leave to appeal. How many more chances should he be given.
nswtrains


The prosecution proved it beyond reasonable doubt at his trial.

Conviction subsequently ratified on multiple appeals at NT level, and then ratified again by the High Court (which does have the power to override a jury decision on the grounds of there being reasonable doubt, see Pell v The Queen [2020] HCA 12).
justapassenger

I have absolutely no doubt at all that you two blokes would have said exactly the same thing in the case of Lindy Chamberlain. Hers was a classic case of Trial by Media and the worst I ever saw. She was doomed before she ever set foot in the courtroom; not just my opinion but shared by a number of barristers here in Melbourne at the time.  She was, of course, completely exonerated when new evidence was found, to wit, the bloodstained matinee jacket.

I believe that Murdoch is in the same boat. The NT media had a similar field day over him.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Circumstantial evidence is used in a lot of cases to prove homicide where there is no trace of a body or other direct evidence.
"nswtrains"
In Australia, between August 1980 and July 2001, there are seven such cases listed, including Chamberlain (later overturned) and Falconio. Compared to the number of murders in that period, I don't think I'd say "a lot of cases", but that's just a matter of opinion.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The prosecution proved it beyond reasonable doubt at his trial.
That's the bit that baffles me. There is no conclusive evidence that anyone was murdered. I'd love to know what the defence was doing.
Valvegear

If the trial were to happen today i highly doubt he would have been found guilty.

Show me the body
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Murdoch faced the same media problem that beset Chamberlain. Hers was "shock; horror; a mother killing her defenceless baby."

This time, from the word go, people had the media telling them that police were hunting for the killer of Peter Falconio. When police caught up with Murdoch, the headlines screamed "They got him". By the time of Murdoch's trial it would have been very difficult to find anyone in Darwin who didn't believe that there had been a murder.

There is still no concrete evidence to say that anyone was murdered.
In both cases the media has, in my opinion, been grossly prejudicial to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The prosecution proved it beyond reasonable doubt at his trial.
That's the bit that baffles me. There is no conclusive evidence that anyone was murdered. I'd love to know what the defence was doing.
Valvegear

Only that he's never been seen or heard from since, a credible (I'll get to that) witness heard a gun shot moments before he disappeared and they found multiple pools of his blood on the road.

It's pretty conclusive he's dead.  It's not just a balance of probabilities thing, any doubt is just not reasonable.

What ever people think of Lees' as a human being is beside the point, she was a credible witness.  She was a credible witness not because she's Mother Teresa reincarnated, but because her version of the pertinent events was corroborated by a huge amount of physical evidence.

To come to any other conclusion is just not reasonable.  Is there doubt?  There always is in criminal trials.  But the alternate version of events involves a conspiracy theory even more elaborate than it is pointless.

That just leaves the question as to whether or not they got the right guy.  I have always been troubled by the veracity of forensic evidence (and it's ability to be properly cross examined) in our adversarial system.  Today, I'd like to see more/better evidence corroborating the DNA, but the fact that wasn't provided at Murdoch's trial doesn't mean anything.  Yes, it creates a shadow of doubt.  But is it a reasonable doubt?  

Even without the DNA evidence, there was enough circumstantial evidence against the accused to convict him.  He fit the description given by Lees 5 years before he was even a suspect, he was in the vicinity, and very few other people of any description, much less one that matched the accused, had the opportunity to commit this crime.  There are plenty of high profile murderers in prison convicted entirely on less *circumstantial* evidence.

I was in the territory immediately after his disappearance (shipping myself) and I remember it well.  I was also there a few years later, and met an English tourist.  One of the first things he spoke to me about was Falconio's disappearance (years before Murdoch as accused), and one of the first things he said to me was "did everyone in Australia think she did it too?"

The fact is, her story was questioned - and openly mocked in the UK press - because people don't get bailed up, dragged out of their cars and murdered by the side of the road on the A1.  Even in sparsely populated South Australia it's hard to hide a body, you need a dis-used bank branch.  But in the NT?  It's so big and so sparely populated there could be a herd of nocturnal dinosaurs up there and no-one would know.  

I'm with you on most things @Valvegear, but not on this.  There was less evidence against Ivan Milat.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Here's a review which is a fair description of the show. It seems these couple of Dorks have had a number of goes with this hot air, talk about raking the coals that are stone cold.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evCg1eNBmBI

The relevant story starts at 4:07.

Murdoch certainly a questionable character, fitted the profile and they nailed him, I have a similar view with Ivan Milat.

BigShunter.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
dfj01's comments remind me of the controversy in the 1960's over whether cricketers were throwing instead of bowling legally. Sir Donald Bradman summed it up by saying that it was an issue where two people of goodwill could view the same thing and come to honest conclusions that were diametrically opposite to each other.

What dfj01 sees convinces him that Falconio was murdered; what I see says there is no solid evidence of any murder.

I am sure that both of us will say that we agree to disagree.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

dfj01's comments remind me of the controversy in the 1960's over whether cricketers were throwing instead of bowling legally. Sir Donald Bradman summed it up by saying that it was an issue where two people of goodwill could view the same thing and come to honest conclusions that were diametrically opposite to each other.

What dfj01 sees convinces him that Falconio was murdered; what I see says there is no solid evidence of any murder.

I am sure that both of us will say that we agree to disagree.
Valvegear
Great post, I’ll bite.
Murily? Is in my view a chucker, umpire Darrel Hare was unfairly fingered.

Believe Falconio was murdered, but not at the crime scene portrayed and certainly not by old mate in klink. In fact don’t believe he was ever there, anyone who has traveled with a dog is aware that on stopping, dog will want to examine scents and mark same. No dog prints.

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