Chilling signs Grace Millane’s killer showed he blamed backpacker for her OWN death 21 TIMES in police interviews

GRACE Millane's killer blamed the backpacker for her own death 21 times in police interviews.

Jesse Kempson, 28, strangled Grace, 21, in his studio apartment in Auckland, New Zealand, following a Tinder date in December 2018.

Now, in newly analysed footage of the convicted murderer's police interview, body language experts says Kempson let off movements that showed he was lying about Grace's death.

In scenes filmed for new crime documentary The Murder of Grace Millane: A Faking It Special, available on discovery+, linguistic expert Dawn Archer says Kempson attempts to shift blame off himself and onto Grace a staggering 21 times.

At first, Kempson tells cops the Brit died as a result of rough sex gone wrong.

Analysing the interview, Archer said: "I’m calling it the blame shifting strategy, and I’ve found 21 examples.

"I would describe it as making Grace the acting initiator. So, she’s the one doing the asking and he’s the one doing the responding."

Archer explains this becomes more significant when Kempson begins to describe how Grace died.

Focusing on the moment Kempson says Grace told him to hold her throat, Dawn says: "Now that is how she died, and we are told here that it was her idea. These are examples of a strategy rather than an accidental thing, because it’s happening 21 times.

"What he’s wanting the police officer to believe is that this was rough sex gone wrong and the person who initiated the sex to become as rough as it was, was Grace and not Jesse Kempson. It makes him less culpable."

But it's when the New Zealander begins recounting how he tried to revive Grace the following morning that things really began to unravel.

Fellow body language expert Dr Cliffe Lansley says Kempson's behaviour suggests he was angry rather than panicked when probed by cops, further indicating the story about Grace's death was fabricated.

He said: "What he’s mimicking with his gestures and his upper lip is violent anger. So, the upper lip is tightened, the upper margin of his lip has rolled inwards into the mouth. This is anger.

"He seems to be reliving that moment not only cognitively but emotionally, and it’s oozing out of his pours and it’s almost like it’s a replay of the moment. A violent, angry episode, not a sad, desperate, fearful episode."


From the start of the interview, there were clear signs of deception, according to Dr Cliffe.

"As soon as the word Grace is mentioned, he starts to tense up. We see this little tweak under the table of the legs coming together and squeezing his hands in between his thighs," he said.

"The tension is reinforced by him now taking a sip of water. When we get anxious, our mouth goes dry.

"Often, we’ll swallow or lick the lips or take a sip of water when we hit an anxiety point.

"With the combination of dry mouth, hands under the table, clamping the legs, we’ve got three indicators that suggest anxiety and fear. This could be the fear of being caught in a lie."

Another indicator Kempson was lying is when he's unable to give details of the night and pauses for three seconds before answering an officer's question on how the date with Grace went.

"We’ve got a huge hesitation; this is a disfluency. He’s having to think hard about the question that would be simple for a truth teller but would be difficult for a lie teller," Dr Cliff adds.

"He can’t give detail about the evening, so the officer is on to him."


Prof Archer points out that Kempson's tone and volume continuously changes throughout the interview, and says this could be another indicator of his guilt.

Analysing how Kempson reacts to a question about how his date with Grace, Archer said: "If you’ve had a really nice evening, you don’t need to pause for three seconds and then say ‘mmm yeah, pretty good'.

"His volume drops significantly at that point. So, we’ve had a stress indicator through the voice quality and now we have a distance indicator through the volume drop."

When investigators catch him lying about the time he left his apartment, Kempson moves significantly back in his chair.

His hands and legs start to tense under the table and his cheeks redden up significantly.

"We’ve hit a hotspot here. Three indicators across two communication channels is enough for us to have confidence that this is deception and he’s faking it," Dr Cliff adds.

As Kempson's story unravels, police gather more evidence against him, including more CCTV footage and blood stains in Kempson's apartment.

Grace arrived in Auckland in November 2018 for a two-week stay but failed to contact her parents on December 2.

The Brit was then bombarded with Tinder date requests by Kempson before he killed her.

CCTV footage showed Kempson tried to cover his tracks by transporting Grace's body in a suitcase and burying her in a shallow grave. 

In November 2019,Kempson was tried and convicted for Grace's murder and sentenced to life in prison. He will serve a minimum of 17 years in jail.

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