Man claims Joanne Lees hired Bradley Murdoch to kill Peter Falconio
A Mr Geoff Gerald Atkins claims he was at the Barrow Creek hotel on the night of 14/7/2001. Geoff said he played a game of pool with Bradley Murdoch. He also spoke at length to Peter Falconio and Joanne Lee's. Geoff claims Mr Murdoch had indicated he would sometimes be hired to kill people and that Ms Lee's paid him $2600 to kill Peter. Mr Murdoch said Joanne was going to write a book about Peter's disappearance and then he would be paid the balance for the 'hit' from the proceeds of the book..
State of South Australia – Oaths Act 1936
I Geoffrey Atkins
of (address removed for privacy reasons)
do solemnly and sincerely declare that
On Saturday 14th July 2001, approximately 7:40 am, I left Coober Pedy. I had travelled about 3-5 kms on the Stuart Hwy, when I seen an orange Kombi. I said to the kids ‘Look it’s an Abbacromby, it will be full of hippies,’ but on passing we gave a toot & a wave, the kids were a bit disappointed, there was no hippies on board, the two people in the Kombi looked extremely happy, the sort of glow you get after a win. Before we were out of the area mined for opals, I stopped and done a bit of fossicking with the kids, we were only a couple of chain off the road when I heard the Kombi purring down the road towards us. We got another wave and a friendly toot. Ten minutes later we were on the road again, more toots and waves. Then about 20 minutes later, there was a car that had broken down, and was being stripped for parts. Time for a piss and a look what was left, again the Kombi caught up, more toots and waves. 15 minutes later, we passed the Kombi again more toots and waves. Hours later, another wreck, another piss stop, another toot and wave as they pass again. I couldn’t help but think how well that Kombi sounded and looked. The next time I seen the Kombi, it was parked on the wrong side of the road facing back towards Coober Pedy. There was a white Tojo [Toyota 4-wheel drive] with green canopy parked close by. There was a man there between the Kombi and the Tojo, he looked to me like he had Maori in him. He also had a rifle in his arms. I believe it was a Bruno 22. He did not look clean. He had a dark shirt and dirty black pants with a white stripe down the side. He wore a black baseball hat with the desert eagle insignia on it. He was lean build, approximately 5’11” sporting a Zepata mow. [sic]
We tooted to the Kombi, even though we could not see anyone else there. The guy with the rifle gave me a nasty look. I stuck my finger up at him. The kids both said Did you see that dad, that bloke had a gun just like yours.’ The kids were convinced the occupants had already been killed and they wanted me to go back and check if they (Lees and Falconio) weren’t in the back of the Kombi. I told the kids he had a gun, I didn’t. Lorna [daughter of witness] asked me to report it to the police in Alice which was about 15 kms away. I didn’t go to the police in Alice, it would have been about 3:30 pm by now. I had a bit of a shop at Woolies, fuelled up and back on the road. About 2 hours later I saw the Kombi parked at Ti Tree. The occupants were also there. I gave them a toot & wave, they waved back. I knew the road fairly well and had decided to have a break at Barrow Creek. I knew that because it was a Saturday night & the Camel Cup, the odds were that I shouldn’t have much trouble getting set for a game of pool, and I might also be able to get rid of a snake I had on board. When I pulled up at Barrow Creek the kids were sleeping. I parked the car at the bowser [fuel pump] and went into the pub, within seconds of being served I asked two guys that just sat down if they played pool, they both wanted a game.
We introduced ourselves and found out quite quickly that we had a lot in common, as in racist, drugs, jails, and police. I asked him if he was related to Jibba Murdoch. He asked me where I came from, I told him Bendigo Vic. He said no relation to my rellies [relatives], they are all in the West. The reason I asked him if he was related to Jibba is because he was only the second Murdoch I had ever met. After telling Murdoch that I had done time in Queensland for dope he was not backwards in telling what seemed to be his life story. He mentioned his drug dealing with pride it seemed he told me he had been dealing most of his life. But he was right into it now and kicking goals. He told us how he belonged to some sort of club that you bought shares in and got informed of what drugs were on the market and if you put money up front, you got a far better deal. I played one game of pool with Bradley Murdoch. He won, I handed the cue to the other guy and took advantage of the time, and went to check on the kids, and got the snake out of the car, and took it into the pub. I showed it in the bar first. There was a ringer that worked on a station close by that was very interested in it, but he didn’t have enough money. I then went into the other hotel rooms, Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees were sitting at a table, we introduced ourselves and talked about touristy things. Peter had told me they were heading to Darwin, the same as me. He told me they were going to camp the night at Tennant Creek, that he expected to be there about 2:30 am. He asked me where I was going to sleep. I said I was not going to camp anywhere. Once I left the pub I was going to push on for Darwin. He said you must be fucked, you have come from Coober Pedy this morning. I informed him I’d come non stop from Vic. He said you must be on speed. I told him I wasn’t but I wouldn’t mind a bit, you haven’t got any have you? He replied I haven’t got any speed but I might be able to help you with an ecci [ecstasy tablet] if you like. I replied that I had some Endone [analgesic] if I wanted that sort of drug. It surprised me when he offered the ecci for he was wearing a blue sweater with a logo, hugs not drugs.
Joanne left the room and left Peter & I talking. I commented on the logo, I said it must be working for they seemed very happy. He informed me that that wasn’t the case, and that they would go their separate ways when they got rid of the Kombi. I told him where he could get rid of it [in Darwin], and a few places to check out. Joanne was very interested in the snake I had for sale, a territory night tiger, she said it was the first snake she had ever touched. It had only been about 25 minutes before this while talking to Bradley Murdoch, that a little bloke come over to us and said the Kombi has arrived. I said you mean the orange Kombi, he said yes. I said that I had been passing it since early this morning. Bradley Murdoch had called me aside from the other bloke to tell me something. I asked him if he had a bit of Gunja [marijuana] that I could get off him. He advised me that he couldn’t help, that he had sold the last bit to a shiela [woman] a couple of hours ago. I left Peter to go and put the snake back in the car, on returning I couldn’t help but notice Murdoch and Lees having a full on discussion, Brad had his back to me. Lees seemed to be laying down the law to him. I thought what have you got in common with this guy. I watched in awe for quite a few seconds, then went back to the other guy. Within minutes Brad showed up and said that he had just been propositioned to do a hit. He told me and the other guy that a shiela wanted her boyfriend popped. I said was it that shiela that he had been talking to when I came back in, he said yes. I said she wouldn’t be able to afford a hitman. I said they’re only driving a Kombi. He replied no she does. She just showed me a wad of $2600.00. I said that’s not enough to blow someone out. He said it’s a start. I said it is not like buying a car, you won’t get anymore out of her. He said you don’t know how much she is going to make out of this. I said how is she going to get any dough out of it he said, she planned to write a book and the media would pay plenty When Brad’s mate showed up and said the Kombi arrived, all I could think was where the fuck did you come from, a Dickens book. He looked quite evil. I seen him two more times. The second time I saw him was not long after Brad had told me he was breaking into the ecci market. He’s already had a sample $5000 worth, he said he was expecting $30,000 I asked him when did he expect them, he told me, soon. I thought no more about it. At the time Brad seemed a little uneasy. He was keeping an eye towards the door. I seen a glimpse of his little ugly mate Brad quickly disappeared for a split second, returned and said they have arrived there in the Kombi. About 20 minutes later he came up to Brad and said they’re leaving Brad said I’ve got to go, I’ll see you later. I owed Brad a beer, I said, do you want that stubby I owe you. He said don’t worry about it, I will be back soon, you can get it then.
Brad and his little mate followed Peter and Joanne out of the pub, about 8-8:30 pm. He did not return until 11:30-12. He showed me a bad scratch on his arm. He said that fucken woman is mad. She went crazy out there. I said, I told you she didn’t want him dead, he said no she did. She just went crazy, he did not tell me how. He did tell me when I asked where Peter was, he looked at his watch and said he would be 250 kms by now. [sic] He told me his little mate had the body I assumed he was probably dead. I said to Brad you did blow him didn’t you? He said why do you say that. Brad had changed his shirt and pants, but his boots still had blood all over them. I pointed this out to him. He said that he had shot a roo while he was gone. I said bullshit, with a handgun. He replied yes, come out the back and I will show you. I declined, I thought I might be next. He then offered me a smoke if I wanted to go out back with him. It seemed odd only a couple of hours ago he told me that he had none. I think he realized how much he had told me. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to shoot me too. He had told me earlier that he was a professional shooter, when I asked him if it was roos he said no, I said dingoes, he said no, I asked him if it was vermin, he said you could call it that.
If this case is not a police cover up I would like to know why I was not called as a witness. I believe I know more about this case that then rest of the crown witnesses. I made application for a copy of the first two statements I made to police. After approximately 38 phone calls to the N.T. police I received the statements, they had been changed. They would not have been changed if it wasn’t a cover up. I rang Scotland Yard when I wasn’t called as a witness. I spoke to detective Atkinson. He advised me that he couldn’t do anything but to keep on trying to be heard. I tried to get in touch with the Falconio family through the NT News, they refused to publish my advertisement. I rang Father Mac Gillicuddy at St Patricks cathedral in Huddersfield U.K. I sent a copy of my statements to Rex Wild to be passed on to the Falconio family. Everything I know about this case I have not mentioned in this statement. I would like to go on a lie detector test to prove that what I am saying is true and correct.
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to
be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Oaths Act 1936.
Declared at Mount Barker in the State of South Australia, this 11th day of October 2010
signature [G. Atkins] signature [Paul Philip Haverland] JP NO 14188
Signature of person making this declaration Signature of authorized witness
(to be signed in front of an authorized witness) stamp: A justice of the Peace in and for the State of South Australia
stamp: Mount Barker Court, P.O. Box 101, Mt. Barker S.A. 5251
Are his claims true?
Mr Atkins story is plausible yet it remains uncorroborated by anyone or anything. The main issue I have is the timeline he puts forward, it does not match that facts as we know it. He claims he saw Peter and Joanne on the road from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs many times in the morning of 14/7/2001. The problem is Peter was seen many times by credible witnesses in Alice Springs on the same morning. I asked Mr Atkins to think about the timeline and if he could have got the days or times mixed up, but he was adamant, he did not make a mistake. Mr Atkins timeline contradicts statement, testimony and comments made by an accountant that met with Peter, a cafe owner, a worker at a real state agent and others that all say that saw Peter in the morning of the 14/7/2001 in Alice Springs. I believe that these credible witnesses are telling the truth and that either Mr Atkins has made a mistake or his story in in part or whole concocted. Mr Atkins was asked if he would tell his story to media, he said he would if they paid him enough.
At this stage we only have Mr Atkins word that his story really did happen. The owner of the Barrow Creek hotel said he never saw anyone with a snake in his pub on that night and neither did he see Peter Falconio or Joanne Lees there. Patrons that were in the pub that night have never mentioned the snake or seeing Joanne Lees or Peter Falconio there either. No one reported seeing an Orange Kombi outside the Barrow Creek Hotel that night.
There are too many outlandish claims made, too many holes and not a single person can back up his claims. Mr Atkins clearly has some knowledge of the hotel and the general area and seems well read on this case. My personal opinion is Geoff's story has little credibility. The statuary declaration (above) was made only after one writer requested Geoff to make it, to help backup his claims. But it should be noted that there is no proof the statuary declaration has been given to the police or any official. Its easy to make a statuary declaration and have a JP sign it but does that mean what is written is the truth?