Friday, July 8th, 2011
TIM STACKPOOL, the Australian correspondent whose actual reports are featured in the film MURDER IN THE OUTBACK, has spoken about the events surrounding the Peter Falconio murder case, and reporting for the local radio station in Peter Falconio’s home town.

“I had no idea of what impact my reports from Australia would have on Peter’s family and friends until I watched the dramatisation of events in the film,” Tim Stackpool said. “It showed people sitting and listening to the reports, even Peter’s family. It made me retrospectively consider how I had phrased the story each day, and whether that provided an element of either comfort or shock to those affected by the crime.”

When Granda produced the movie starring Bryan Brown, Tim Stackpool was surprised to hear his reports being used as incidental audio throughout the film. “I had been out of the country for a while and returned sometime after the film’s broadcast. I eventually saw the film and was thrilled to hear that the director, Tony Tilse, had the integrity to use actual material that was broadcast at the time to give the movie real gravitas,” Tim Stackpool said.

Early in the investigation, the British media scorned Joanne Lees for the orchestrated manner of her press conferences, and for first appearing in public after the murder wearing a T-shirt printed with the words “Cheeky Monkey.” Tim Stackpool believes Joanne Lees received a raw deal from the start. “It took both the police and the public some time to recognise Joanne as a victim. Where possible, in my reports I always tried to refer to her by her first name only, to try and portray her as a person affected, the only subjective decision I made. Professionally, it was tough-going. I remember one editor in the UK telling me early on, ‘We reckon she topped him’. Tried and convicted by media in the first week…”.

While some other journalists on the story eventually published books on the crime, Tim Stackpool is contented enough to let his reports remain as his record of events. “To be honest, I never had the time after the sentencing to document what happened on paper. Radio was my entire focus at that time,” he said, “and my print colleagues in the press gallery were far better qualified to tell the story on a page. I was pleased to receive a copy of Joanne’s own account as a Christmas present one year. She got it right.”

Not only did Tim provide daily reports regarding the disappearance of Peter Falconio to a local radio station in Huddersfield, but also to a larger network located in Yorkshire, as well as for some Australian services. “The mystery of Peter’s disappearance grew into a deep story that lasted from the early vilification of Joanne Lees; the manhunt, committal of BRADLEY JOHN MURDOCH, trial, conviction, sentence and his unsuccessful appeal. It was an international news story with momentum for years,” Tim Stackpool said.

Peter Falconio, then 28, was killed on July 14, 2001, as he and Joanne drove along the Stuart Highway near Barrow Creek, north of Alice Springs. His body has never been recovered. Today, Tim Stackpool continues to act in the role of Australian correspondent for news outlets around the world.

More info:
Tim Stackpool
0419 244 443
(+61 419 244 443)
[email protected]

Tim is available for media interviews.

Contact Profile

Tim Stackpool - journalist/reporter

Tim Stackpool is an Australian based reporter for radio and television services around the world seeking stories from Australia of international interest.
Tim Stackpool
P: 0419 244 443


Falconio Murder Journalist Stackpool Movie Joanne Lees



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