Why has Peter Falconio’s girlfriend secretly returned to Australia

It’s been 15 years since British backpacker Peter Falconio was murdered in Australia’s harsh outback, but now his girlfriend Joanne
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It’s been 15 years since British backpacker Peter Falconio was murdered in Australia’s harsh outback, but now his girlfriend Joanne Lees has reportedly returned to Australia.

Now 43 years old, it is claimed Lees’ quiet return is to raise money for a roadside memorial for her lost love.

Lees and Falconio were travelling in a VK Kombi in 2001 when they were ambushed and attacked.

Bradley Murdoch is said to have murdered Falconio, while Lees his for five hours before she was able to escape. He is now serving a 28-year sentence for the crime.

After the attack and following the imprisonment of Murdoch for Falconio’s murder, Lees is said to have returned home to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England and worked as a social worker.

However, her return to Australia is to build a tribute to Falconio at Ti Tree, more than 200km north of Alice Springs. She is said to have met with Aboriginal elders of the area in August to discus the memorial and it has been revealed the elders are assisting in the search for Falconio’s remains.

Ti Tree is the last place Lees and Falconio watched the sunset together before the crime occurred.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Lees does not want the memorial to be located at Barrow Creek (where the murder took place) because the memories are too painful.

The case generated a great deal of interest at the time, and many suspected Lees was involved in the murder of her boyfriend. She has never publicly commented on the tragedy.

Have you ever experienced a personal tragedy? How are you dealing with the situation? What advice would you give to Joanne Lees in her grief?

  1. maureen@gateway.net.au  

    Sadness never goes away. Questions never answered. We talk and include in memories. If there is an afterlife we just hope she has peace. Years soften the shock, but never leaves your mind, you take it through your life. There are no defined rules of ” dealing with it “.

    • Bob Constable  

      “If there is an afterlife we just hope SHE has peace.” ???

      • Maur  

        Personal experience of “dealing with it” as was asked .

  2. Pamela  

    Trying to appease her guilty conscience!

    I never believed Murdoch did it!

    • Huskydog  

      She’s well aware that Peter F is still alive & I’m guessing that she must have been offered a free trip to Oz.
      Murdoch is innocent of the murder of Falconio.

      • Barney  

        You people are barking mad. Take your pills

  3. Marie  

    There’s been something very odd about her behaviour from the beginning of this case.

    I don’t believe that Murdoch’s tracker dog couldn’t find her, just a few metres from the road. Dogs’ have excellent smell, & hearing, especially THAT type of dog.

    There’s been no body found of Falconio.

    • Glenis  

      Totally agree

  4. desleigh clarke  

    So this oxygen thief is still alive while the poor innocent victim is dead & Joanne Lees is left scarred for life. Where is the justice in this?????

  5. Rrrosco  

    That’s the beauty of the internet . . . NOT! Uninformed and often downright libellous comments can be left without worrying about having to account for your posts – eh, Pamela and Marie? The day of reckoning is coming where all “anonymous” posts on net pages will no longer have that anonymity. Then will you be game to make such comments. PS – the dingo definitely did it!

    • Malcolm  

      Shame you can’t string two words together, or spell!

      You’re obviously jealous of the two folk you mention, as they’ve written their comments’ better than YOU have!

    • Maria  

      Are you a lawyer who deals in deciding what can & can’t be said without consequences?…it’s obvious who the legal moves you refer in the future will be designed to protect.

    • Barney  

      Rrrosco you rattled the ‘pig bucket’ and woke the trolls (our modern day Polydamases). These ‘intellectual giants’ and bullies inhabit the internet because their sad, pathetic lives have contributed NOTHING to ANYBODY E V E R.

      Marie, Malcolm and Maria, take note, you never will contribute; you are sad, you are pathetic and totally irrelevant.

      This is the sum total of your contribution to the advancement of mankind?

      Now take your pills, STF up and crawl back under your rock.

  6. Barbara  

    I don’t believe she did it….why would dhe come back to share a memory if she did it…..if she was guilty she would never return

    • Marie  

      Some people have so much guile……….& she’s one of them!

  7. Ian Rennie  

    The one thing that I have never been able to work out is why the defense lawyer never broached the subject of the dog.
    it is a fact that the dog with it’s keen sense of smell and night vision would have detected Lees if in fact she was hiding and the dog passing as close as she stated with that cold desert air making her breath turn to vapor as it does.
    Very strange.

    • Ele  

      And if you have ever been there you would know the vegetation and scrub is very sparse in that area so I agree it is strange the dog never noticed her.

    • Yvonnne Hudacek  

      And she tied her own hands behind her back with cable ties – get real.

  8. Joan Marshall  

    Joanne Lees hiding behind salt bushes is hard for me to believe that she was not discovered by Bradley Murdoch. Joanne has an affair with Peter Falconio’s friend says a lot about the woman. Joanne has a tryst with Peter’s friend then leaves with Peter. How does this woman do this then come back to Australia to erect a monument for Peter?

    • Jude Power  

      She had an affair so that makes her a murderer, does it? What about the DNA evidence?

  9. Carolyn Mash  

    Oh my goodness, does everyone believe this woman killed her boyfriend and managed to hide his body so well in a rugged country she had no knowledge of?
    I have no idea why the dog didn’t find her, but dogs are not always predictable, and have great sensitivity, they sometimes do things we don’t understand, maybe the dog didn’t want to find her!
    Why don’t we just accept that this is for Peter Falconio and remember that he was innocent and he died, this is for everyone to pay their respects to him no matter who places the memorial.
    Although there are quite a few innocent people wrongly jailed, we are still innocent until PROVED guilty in this country…..or are we?

  10. Mrs. Puddles  

    If there was real grief and trauma, I can well understand the time difference in erecting a monument. I have suffered personal tragedy and trauma. I agree with the first respondent – there are no rules in dealing with grief, it is very much an individual issue, both in intensity and time. I can guarantee grief never goes away, it is the ability to manage the intensity, that enables one to ‘carry on’.

    Whilst not overtly religious, I found solace in the night by saying the ‘Rosary’ over and over. Perhaps It was the diverting of thought that was most beneficial, but all these years later, I still find solace in that prayer – on the down days.

    The Falconio/Lees case was a particularly strange one. If anyone can find the remains the local aboriginal elders probably have the most chance. I’m surprised that this avenue wasn’t pursued by the forensic people or Police at the time.

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