You may remember Peter Falconio’s name being in the news.
On 14th July 2001, the British backpacker became the subject of international press interest after his girlfriend flagged down a truck in the Australian outback and recounted a horrendous ordeal. She said that the pair had been attacked and she had managed to escape, but she thought Falconio had been shot. His body has never been found.
Now a new four-part Channel 4 documentary is re-examining the evidence to try to work out what really happened that night, and to clear up some questions relating to the case.
Here’s everything you need to know about the series…
What is Murder in the Outback about?
The four-part documentary takes a deep dive into the 2001 case of a British backpacker who went missing in the Australian outback. Peter Falconio‘s girlfriend, Joanne Lees raised the alarm when she stopped a truck on a quiet road and said they had both been attacked.
The story was covered extensively at the time all around the world and caused tourists to stop travelling to the Northern Territory in Australia. A police manhunt lasted for 16 months before Bradley John Murdoch was arrested on the basis of a tip-off, but some people close to the case disagree with his murder conviction, which has been upheld on appeal.
Does Murder in the Outback present any new evidence?
The documentary is billed as “one of the most detailed re-investigations of the Falconio murder ever mounted”, assisted by former lawyer, Andrew Fraser. Fraser visits the scene, and looks through the case files, raising questions about some of the evidence. He also speaks to a leading forensic scientist, important witnesses and the truck driver who came to Lees’ rescue on the side of the Stuart Highway, who claims he saw something important on that fateful night – two men bonding a third into the back of a car. Could this be key evidence?
When is Murder in the Outback on TV in the UK?
The series airs on Channel 4 on consecutive nights, from Sunday 7th June – Wednesday 10th June. The first episode starts at 9.15pm.
When is Murder in the Outback on TV Australia?
The series starts with a double bill on Sunday 12th July at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7Plus in Australia and continues at the same time on Sunday 19th July.
Have I seen a film about this case?
You may well have done – Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback was a 2007 film based on the case, starring Joanne Froggatt in the title role.
Murder in the Outback: The Falconio and Lees Mystery begins on Sunday 7th June on C4 at 9.15pm. To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide.