Woman who went on a Tinder date with Grace Millane’s killer just hours after he murdered the British backpacker reveals he tested the ‘most believable’ theories for the death on her
- Woman went on a Tinder date with Grace Millane’s killer a day after her murder
- She thinks Jesse Kempson was testing the ‘most believable’ theories about Grace’s death
- She told how he appeared clean, wanted to talk about snakes and had big eyes
- The man, 27, was found guilty of strangling Ms Millane from Wickford, Essex
A woman who went on a Tinder date with Grace Millane’s killer claims he tested the ‘most believable’ theories for the death on her.
She told how she met Jesse Kempson on the dating app the day after he murdered backpacker Ms Millane on December 1 last year, while she was travelling in Auckland, New Zealand.
The woman described their date in court during his trial and has now written a blog for New Zealand news service Newshub.
She told how she was struck during their date in the Auckland suburb of Ponsonby by how clean the killer appeared, his eagerness to talk about venomous snakes and his big eyes.’
‘My instincts told me something was not right with this man and, while it took me a long time to write this, I want to share my experience so other women can remove themselves from situations they feel unsafe in,’ the woman wrote.
Jesse Kempson (left), was found guilty of the murder of the British backpacker (right) in New Zealand on Friday
CCTV of Grace Millane inside a hotel lift with the 27-year-old male who is accused of her murder
The woman said he also referred to buying a suitcase – in which Ms Millane’s body was later found buried in a shallow grave outside Auckland – but being frustrated that it was not large enough to fit his sport equipment.
The killer also mentioned his best friend, a Crown prosecutor, was moving from Sydney to Auckland, which interested his date who referred to her previous career as a court reporter, including on a murder trial.
He then said something that seemed strange to her: ‘It’s funny how guys can make one wrong move and go to jail for the rest of their lives.’
‘In hindsight, it was as if he was using this date to process what he’d done in a rather roundabout way – his brain needed to get it out but his mouth held him back. Was he testing theories on me to see which version seemed most believable?’
Dave and Gillian Millane – parents of murdered Grace Millane – give their reaction outside court
The 27-year-old man, whose name is still protected by a court order, was found guilty on November 22 of strangling Ms Millane from Wickford, Essex.
Grace’s final hours on the Tinder date that led to her death
December 1, 2018
5.45pm: Grace Millane was shown arriving in front of the casino’s 20 foot tall Christmas tree, where she stood waiting for her date. She sends a picture of the tree to her parents in Essex. He arrives and they hug.
6pm: The two of them walk into the casino and find Andy’s Burger Bar. He and Grace were seen ordering drinks and finding a table.
7.12pm: The couple left the burger bar and cross the road into the Mexican cafe where they spend the next hour until the defendant came to pay the bill with her standing beside him.
8.27pm: The pair were filmed in the distance crossing Albert Street and moving ever closer to the killer’s home. They headed into the Bluestone Room where the accused had earlier been drinking beer alone. They kiss.
9.41pm: CCTV shows the couple entering the hotel where the killer was living. They enter the lift and head to the killer’s apartment. In the hours that followed she was brutally murdered, possibly in the early hours of December 2, her birthday.
The jury of seven women and five men returned a unanimous verdict after just five hours deliberation at Auckland High Court.
The Crown successfully argued the man, whose name is subject to a suppression order, strangled her and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her in a forested area outside Auckland.
She was assumed missing and her father, David Millane, flew to New Zealand as local authorities spent a week searching until her body was found by police.
Mr Millane and Grace’s mother, Gillian Millane, wept after the verdict was delivered, as did several jurors.
Mr Millane said: ‘Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever.’
Police officers said during the trial that phone data showed the killer had used Google to browse websites for large duffel bags, suitcases and car hire after Ms Millane died.
The defendant’s phone was also used to search for ‘flesh-eating birds’ and ‘are there vultures in New Zealand?’.
Records showed the defendant had searched online for ‘the hottest fire’, ‘large bags near me’ and ‘Waitakere Ranges’.
He will be sentenced on February 21, 2020.
He faces life in prison with a minimum of 10 years without parole, though the judge can increase the latter period.