Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Trial of B J Murdoch

NT: The trial of Bradley John Murdoch may be sensational - but for the wrong reason. This trial has had serious flaws in it - decide for yourself...

Pride and Prejudice versus facts and truth.Trial of Bradley John Murdoch.

Since the disappearance of Peter Falconio there are a number of questions that seem to remain unanswered, yet a trial for murder has materialised and a suspect stands accussed of Mr Falconio's murder.

Until these questions are satisfactorily answered, the basis of the trial seems impossible. For a fair trial, leading to a solid conviction, the case against Bradley Murdoch has to be proven. Yet, here are the issues that remain unresolved.

1. Peter Falconio's body has not been discovered - so is he dead? There is a considerable difference between seeing the actual remains of a dead person and making the giant leap forward and presuming he is deceased. Who claimed that Peter Falconio is, in fact, dead? Even Joanne Lees has never stated that she has ever seen the wounded or dead body of Peter Falconio! There is not a shred of hard, definitive forensic evidence to clearly show that Mr Falconio is in fact deceased!

2. Some time after the disappearance of Peter Falconio two witnesses claimed to have seen him, looked at him at a distance of some two or three metres or less, recognised him from the photographs in the newspaper and one witness even followed him out of the store from where he purchased a Mars bar. Both of these witnesses have not sought any recognition or reward for what they declared they saw with their own eyes and if they are not lying, how can the trial of Murdoch take place for an event that could not have occurred?

3. Human blood was found on the road where Peter Falconio was allegedly shot. DNA was extracted from that blood sample and used to identify Peter Falconio by comparing it with the DNA extracted from the Asthma "Puffer" identified as belonging to Mr Falconio, found at the scene of the crime. This comparison in itself does not prove that the blood is that of Peter Falconio - it only proves that these two two blood samples are from the same person. Has the blood sample found on the road ever been compared directly with a known sample of Peter Falconio's blood/hair/tissue OR compared to his real parent's DNA for conclusive identification?

4. Why has the blood sample taken from the road been found to contain DNA from animals? Since no road kill animals were ever found at the crime scene, how did the animal contaminate blood get mixed with Peter Falconio's blood?

5. Was the purpose of mixing animal blood with human blood used to prove that a murder occurred at that particular place? It would be extremely difficult to demonstrate to police detectives that a shooting indeed took place but where no traces of blood were in evidence to corroborate such a story. A sufficiently adequate spillage of blood would be required to justify such a story. However, there appears to be a distinct lack of spillage of human blood at the crime scene so was the scene engineered to look like a shooting had taken place?

6. Joanne Lees stated that the kidnapper had a handgun. If this is so it is difficult to understand how she was able to fight off or resist the kidnapper's attempts to wrap tape around her head and to place a bag over her head. He would only have to threaten to use the gun and, if he had already killed Mr Falconio, proposition Miss Lees with the same fate if she did not comply with his demands.

Yet Miss Lees stated that she struggled to such an extent that the kidnapper failed to bind her up properly and that he finally resorted to striking her on the right temple in order to control her. It seems unbelievable that a man who moments earlier had no compunction executing a man in cold blood using a handgun would then hesitate to use it again, but rather tolerate questioning and physical resistance from a woman who he could so easily have threatened with it if she didn't comply with his demands?

7. Joanne Lees stated that she had been bound by a pair of handcuffs, fabricated from tie-wraps and tape. Supposedly, Murdoch had placed these handcuffs on her. Her hands were bound at this stage of her attempted abduction, behind her back. However, one version of events that she originally gave to the interviewing police officer soon after her escape was that she was able to identify the vehicle canopy by feeling the canopy with her hands. How did she accomplish this feat?

8. Joanne Lees stated that she hid from her attacker in the bushes where she remained for a number of hours. The event took place during the night. To gauge the sort of exposure she would have had to endure, while dressed very lightly and unable to move to keep herself warm in case her kidnapper found her, one only has to look at the map at: National Climate Data Centre
to see the temperature chart for that area.

The green colour indicates that the temperature at the place of the abduction was around the 0 to -3 degrees Celsius (and this is erring on the warmer side of the temperature spectrum for the Barrow Creek/Alice Springs area). The actual temperature was probably closer to -5 degrees Celsius. Surely, a person in the situation would rapidly loose body heat, start to shiver, suffer from cramp, etc. And yet Miss Lees survived this extreme exposure apparently unblemished! Yet, strangely, there is no account of her suffering from any symptoms of excessive exposure from the cold, neither from the lorry driver who rescued her, in her own report or from the police statements - how come?

9. As stated above, Joanne Lees hid from her attacker in the bushes where she claimed he passed within a few feet of where she was hiding. Her footprints were identified yet no other footprints of any other description were ever discovered at the scene of the alleged crime. Why not? Have the expert trackers not done a very good job - locating only Joanne's footprint(s) but unable to find a single or even partial impression from her kidnapper's shoes? Remembering that it was he who was walking about the area looking for her, a man of some 6feet 4 inches in stature who would certainly leave behind a large footprint or two. Surely the trackers would have found some evidence of these huge footprints? Strange that they didn't?

10. Then there is the anomaly of the dog that Joanne said the kidnapper owned. Again, the tracker's found no evidence of any dog being present at the crime scene. Are they missing all the vital clues that Miss Lees' stated should be there?

11. The next point of issue is the actual kidnapper and his dog's combined incompetence. Joanne claimed that although he came close to her neither he nor the dog was not able to locate her in the dark. This was in spite of the fact that she was in a place where the slightest movement would have given away her presence. She also had admitted to taking drugs that same evening of the kidnapping yet had all the composure and stamina necessary to avoid detection from both dog and kidnapper! Such incredible luck and good fortune for her!

12. The next point of intrigue with Miss Lee's account of events is the method by which she was able to manipulate her body to bring the handcuffs from behind her back to being in front of herself. She seems to be a remarkably able woman, capable of avoiding capture from her hunter and his dog, surviving the extreme cold for hours on end and then able to figure out how to manipulate the handcuffs - notwithstanding that she had been drug taking only hours before this event and that she must have been tired, it being the small hours of the morning. Remarkable indeed! Such composure bearing in mind the fact that her boyfriend Peter might be lying dead or dying close by.

Even more remarkable is that after demonstrating such mental competence in escaping from her would be rapist/kidnapper/killer she never indicated any concern about her fiancŽe Peter Falconio - the man she was deeply in love with (so she claims) and for all accounts was lying shot close by. The man she was to marry. Joanne Lees could have implored the lorry driver to at least take a cursory look around for him so did she?

13. Immediately after her rescue Joanne could have used the media to help find Peter or lookout for her kidnapper. She declined to hold a meeting with the press and media and did little if anything to indicate any concern for his predicament or his situation - why not? Is this the responsible actions one would expect from a woman in love toward her deeply missed fiancŽe? What possible rationale would there be to deliberately delaying getting help and assistance to find either Peter or his accused killer?

14. Joanne Lees has fortunately for all to see, demonstrated the caring, concerned person she really is - that is, caring for herself, her future and showing little or no concern for the missing husband to be Peter Falconio. Her real motives and thoughts were exposed when she had to eventually admit to the fact that within 48 hours of Peter's disappearance, she was in secret communication with "Steph" her secret lover. Deception and secrecy combined seems to be a key trait in this lady's modus operandi as amply demonstrated by the lengths she had gone to hide her secret love life from Peter Falconio and the rest of the world.

Yet, she would have you believe that she was really only in love with Peter Falconio while at the same time covering her tracks of her secret love affair. It takes great strength and resolution to deliberately lie under oath while being subjected to rigorous questioning in court but this lady did it! That is unless you are a habitual liar and well versed in the art of lying.

Then it becomes much more difficult to distinguish the truth from lies - fact from fantasy. Only when confronted with overwhelming evidence of her lying was she forced to confess to her secret love affair - a fact that she had previously vehemently denied and tried to cover up. The fact is this lady was bear-faced and deceitful enough to try and mislead the legal proceedings in a place of justice amply demonstrates what she is capable of. What then, is the creditability to be afforded to Miss Lees version of events?

As the one and only key eye-witness whose actions have ranged from:

* down right blatant lying in court
* deceit and deception while conducting a secret love affair behind her fiancŽes back
* citing an incredible escape from her would be kidnapper's vehicle while being handcuffed behind her back
* being able to touch the canopy top with the same hands while handcuffed behind her back
* escape detection from the self-same kidnapper and his dog by hiding in the undergrowth
* inexplicably unable to account for the fact that expert trackers were unable to find any evidence whatsoever of kidnapper and dog's presence at the scene of the purported crime BUT did find her footprints
* exhibit mental and bodily dexterity to extricate her bound hands from behind her back while enduring extreme cold and mental horror
* implausible survival during extreme cold sub-zero temperatures for a number of hours while scantily dressed AND after a recent session involving taking drugs
* deliberately delayed and frustrated the usage of press and media exposure during the first critical 48 hours following the alleged crime
* immediately communicating with her secret lover within two days of her fiancŽe's disappearance - such was her concern for Peter Falconio.

Joanne Lees has, in spite of all these factual misgivings listed above about her own credibility and her account of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Peter Falconio, been granted leave to testify in court - albeit against a man whose past life style tends to pre-judge him.

Would or could you believe Joanne Lees account of events given the above facts? If the basis of a verdict of "guilty " is "beyond reasonable doubt" then the jury will have a difficult time to convict Bradley Murdoch based on the above lack of credibility of the prosecution's key witness, no body and no firm forensic evidence to prove that the dead body of Peter Falconio ever existed.

This will then pose a significant problem for the police - what really happened to Peter Falconio?

By Commonsense Prevails posted 26 October 05


No Murder Weapon, No Body, No Place or Time of Death
NT: Joanne Lees ought to be the main suspect in this show trial. There is no body and no weapon to be found and Joanne Lees had a clear and present motive. She knew him, she travelled with him, she was unfaithful to him and she said that she was the last person to see him on the night she was stoned out of her head. So where does Bradley James Murdoch fit in?

Unfaithful Lees admits taking drugs, court told
AUSTRALIA: NT: Key witness Joanne lees, has testified in the Northern Territory Supreme Court to smoking Marijuana on the night her boyfriend Peter Falconio went missing.

Murdoch: Ambushed by Prosecution
AUSTRALIA: NT-Through the smell of an oily rag - A FORENSIC expert alledgedly has produced vital evidence ahead of the Peter Falconio murder trial linking his alleged killer to the camper van driven by the dead man and his girlfriend, Joanne Lees?

Day set aside for Falconio forensic evidence
More than a day has been set aside in the case of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio to hear evidence from a Northern Territory forensic scientist. Yesterday the Darwin Magistrates Court heard from mechanics and friends of the defendant Bradley John Murdoch.

Mr Bradley Murdoch to go on trial next year!
The alleged man is not the alleged Falconio killer in my book. He's alleged to have committed a crime but the Faloconio mystery remains a secret to be unlocked by time itself and more interestingly may never be unlocked at all.

Falconio magistrate closes court
THE hearing into the murder of British tourist Peter Falconio has been closed to the public. Magistrate Alasdair McGregor has closed the court for part of the testimony of Mr Falconio's girlfriend Joanne Lees.

Ch/9 News? Or Ch/9's Department of Public Prosecutions?
Bradley Murdoch committal, lawyer calls for fair hearing
The lawyer of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio has spoken to the media in Darwin.

Peter Beattie nominated as Australian of the year: Howard
Bradley Murdoch the man alleged to have murdered English tourist Peter Falconio who has been acquitted of rape and abduction charges in the South Australian District Court.

Tourist dollar drives set-up for crime
The man alleged to have murdered English tourist Peter Falconio has been acquitted of rape and abduction charges in the South Australian District Court. Bradley John Murdoch, 45, was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of indecent assault after an alleged incident in South Australia's Riverland in August last year.

Supreme Court rejects Nine appeal
CHANNEL Nine lost a Supreme Court appeal today to have a suppression order on details of the case of missing backpacker Peter Falconio lifted. The Full Bench of the NT Supreme Court today ruled Magistrate Alasdair McGregor had the power to make the order banning from publication some details of the case.

Falconio magistrate closes court
THE hearing into the murder of British tourist Peter Falconio has been closed to the public. Magistrate Alasdair McGregor has closed the court for part of the testimony of Mr Falconio's girlfriend Joanne Lees.

Innocent until proven guilty? Not in Australia's outback!
There is no way that Bradley John Murdoch can get a fair trial in the Northern Territory. The entire jury pool is already contaminated, the general public have accepted the verdict of the Northern Territory News and the NT Police State has turned on the cone of silence. Maybe some of the reporters might want to ask Director of Public Prosecutions Rex Wilde QC just how he is going to secure a conviction when a body has not been found. Surely the NT bureaucracy learnt from the Lindy Chamberlain case that it is not a good idea to jail someone for murder when you haven't got a body. Maybe they have the same people working on the case. The NT Police forensic team certainly do.

Taken "A Dingo Took My Baby!"
They were the words that Lindy Chamberlain had screamed out into the blackness of the cold night in a camping ground close to Ayers Rock, Central Australia, on the night of August 17, when she discovered that her nearly ten-week-old baby, Azaria had been taken by a dingo.

Man Says He Shot Dingo That Snatched Baby SYDNEY, Australia (July 5) - A distraught mother's scream 24 years ago that a dingo snatched her baby from a camp site near Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback ignited one of Australia's most enduring mysteries. An elderly man's claim that he retrieved the infant's bloodied body from the jaws of the wild dog has revived the case and - if true - could finally lead to the discovery of Azaria Chamberlain's body.

Australia to see the light on tourism
A total of $120 million has been earmarked for the campaign's international marketing, which tops up the Australian Tourist Commission's annual budget of $90 million. The inbound and domestic tourism industry contributes $70 billion to the economy and employs 500,000.

Ten reports $76.9 million profit
The Ten television network has reported a full-year profit of $76.9 million. Even if it were down by half on the previous year they're still greedy self-interested people who care little about the real damage done, not just in Australia but the world. That profit is obviously on top of wages and expenses yet they're still greedy enough to turn the news upside down to suit the Howard government's investment in advertising.

DNA Links:

The ABC for good or evil?
He had a suspect that he wanted to find guilty based on the chances of a spouse killing a spouse which were greater in anycase, at least more likely than that of a stranger.

First Grabs To Control Our DNA
A small company in Australia has been subjected to gross denials of rights after DNA database technology was stolen from it's company. This one year saga has spawned them to form a new approach to projects of importance to all people.

Worries over DNA and racial profiling
UK: Black men are four times more likely than White men to be on the national DNA database and there is growing concern about racial profiling in criminal investigations.

Lab's Errors Force Review of 150 Virginia DNA Cases
US: WASHINGTON, - A sharply critical independent audit found that Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory had botched DNA tests in a leading capital murder case. The findings prompted Gov. Mark Warner to order a review of the lab's handling of testing in 150 other cases as well.

Witch-hunt targets scientists
QLD: SCIENTISTS at the John Tonge Centre are being threatened with jail in the wake of a government hunt for the source of leaks highlighting serious problems in the forensic laboratories.

Fresh swipe at DNA labs
Scientist Kris Bentley, whose departure yesterday follows that of forensic biologist Deanna Belzer after concerns about "inaccurate" DNA results and unvalidated equipment, issued a scathing resignation letter leaked to The Courier-Mail.

DNA leads 'CSI' cold-case squad to first arrest?
Frozen case? I don't really know what to say about them until they come up with their case. They say it involves DNA evidence but that's the only stuff we know.

Criminal's DNA filed under relative's name
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an investigation into claims that police have entered DNA data for serious offenders under incorrect names.

DNA fingerprinting 'no longer foolproof'...
The genetic profiles held by police for criminal investigations are not sophisticated enough to prevent false identifications, according to the father of DNA fingerprinting.

PROFESSOR BARRY BOETTCHER: Now, there should be a law enacted within Queensland so that when cases come up like this they can be brought to attention and if an appropriate authority such as a judge of your Supreme Court considers that it merits further inquiry, an inquiry be ordered.

'Rape' officer clears his name
UK: A former policeman has been cleared of rape after protesting his innocence for 15 years. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that Brian Kelly, 47, had suffered a miscarriage of justice over crucial DNA evidence.

New unit investigates unsolved deaths?
A new police unit has been established to investigate more than 360 unsolved deaths in New South Wales, with many of the deaths dating back more than 30 years.

Prisoner's bid for review denied
Prisoner Roger Cheney has lost a Supreme Court action to have a judicial review of his 1993 convictions an 30-year jail sentence. Justice Shaw said he was concerned about the prisoner's claim that DNA evidence held by the police could prove his innocence. Although Cheney had requested the results of the DNA tests, he had been denied access to the forensic analysis.

QLD Prisoners DNA Bid THE curious case of Queensland's "cat lady" murder is set to test the state's legal authorities again, with the man convicted of the killing asking the Attorney-General to take the unprecedented step of releasing blood samples for DNA retesting.

Database clears up crimes?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW. He said the collection of DNA from prisoners and suspects in NSW during the past two years had led to more than 5,400 matches on the forensic database.

A Question of Innocence
Katrina Bolton: The promise of DNA freeing the innocent as well as convicting the guilty has been repeated by politicians across Australia, usually while DNA laws are being expanded. The promise was made as a national DNA database, ‘Crimtrac’ was created, and it was made as NSW introduced legislation giving unprecedented powers to take DNA samples from prisoners, by force if necessary.

Weak Carr Government suspends Innocence Panel
It's a callous disregard for justice! The panel takes applications from convicted prisoners for DNA evidence to be analysed a move that may help in a future court appeal.

JUST BEAT IT! Govt lauds crime-solving technology?
The New South Wales Government says advances in crime solving technology are helping the progress of hundreds of police investigations.

DNA testing causes debate in murder case
The use of voluntary DNA testing in the investigation of a murder case in New South Wales has been applauded by victim support groups who are ill informed about the process said Justice Action's spokesperson Gregory Kable.

Abolition of double jeopardy law a political stunt: NSW Opp
Why draconian laws? What about the re-trial by media that goes along with it? Twice shy?

The NSW government has finally appointed somebody (Justice John Nader) to head up its Innocence Panel and has produced leaflets and forms for people convicted of serious crimes (eg murder) to apply for DNA testing if they believe it may help prove their innocence. You can get the info by phoning 1300 881 717 or writing to the panel at GPO Box 45 Sydney NSW 2001.

Is the Westminster System flawed?
Most people would say Lady Di got the boot and NSW has so much trouble getting the Innocence Panel moving. I said hey, what's going on!

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder Mass DNA testing of prisoners has led to the first NSW case of a person being charged with a previously unsolved murder as a result of a controversial gene-matching data bank. The Herald reported 25 Nov 02 "a DNA saliva swab led to the charging of a former prisoner with the bashing murder of a woman. Police had been unable to find any witnesses or suspects following the murder in Sydney's inner city two years ago. Detectives had admitted they faced a tough job finding the killer."

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

DNA yours or mine?
Now they have isolated two genes that they say tells you if you're more likely to be depressed. What does that mean? It could mean that you should stay in jail because you are more likely than not to continue your offending behaviour according to a Department of Corrective Services Forensic Psychiatrist.

DNA = Do Not Assume - DNA Controversies!
The national DNA database of all known offenders proposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair could mean that innocent people will be accused of crimes they did not commit.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.

DNA - A Shadow of Doubt
One case points to misinterpretation of evidence that helped put a man behind bars. The other shows just how easy it is to plant falsely incriminating DNA evidence. As our forensic techniques become ever more sensitive, so the possibility of abuse continues to grow.