The Parachute Murder Plot

The Parachute Murder Plot


Victoria Cilliers was fortunate to escape with her life on a skydive when she jumped out of a plane at 4,000 feet, but crashed to the ground after both her main and reserve parachutes failed to open.

The resulting police investigation led to the conviction of Victoria Cilliers’s husband, Emile Cilliers, for attempted murder. Fiona Bruce hears police tapes of an inquiry that lasted many months as the circumstances of the sabotage emerged.

But Cilliers’s attempt to kill his wife was hard to prove, says the senior investigating officer, while the prosecution barrister recalls the difficulties of the case: “There was no direct evidence and so that’s quite different from a case where you’ve got direct DNA evidence; it’s pretty straightforward. This wasn’t.”


Fiona Bruce examines the case of Emile Cilliers, who was convicted in 2018 of the attempted murder of his wife Victoria, having tampered with her parachute before a routine skydive. He also deliberately caused a gas leak at the family home. With access to hours of police tapes, thousands of the couple's intimate text messages, unseen home movies and interviews with key people - some of whom are speaking publicly for the first time - Fiona goes beyond the headlines, shedding new light on the crime itself, the investigation and the subsequent prosecution.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Fiona Bruce
Director Christian Trumble
Executive Producer Nick Hornby
Executive Producer Arabella Newnham
Producer Christian Trumble
Producer Rachel Heywood
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