Politics

Chilling insight into Grace Millane’s killer revealed


Like many psychopaths, the New Zealand man who strangled and killed British backpacker Grace Millane used his charm to mask an unsettling and dangerous energy.

Deeper insights into Jesse Kempson’s personality are revealed in a new documentary, where a former Kiwi female flatmate of Kempson admitted that everyone in their shared house said they thought “you shouldn’t be near him alone”.

Tinder killer Kempson was given a life sentence for strangling Ms Millane in an Auckland hotel room in 2018 and burying the 22-year-old’s body in a shallow grave west of New Zealand’s biggest city.
Jesse Shane Kempson at various court appearances, including after first being charged with murdering Grace Millane
Jesse Shane Kempson at various court appearances, including after first being charged with murdering Grace Millane (Stuff / Lawrence Smith)
In the ITV documentary, The Murder of Grace Millane: Social Media Murders, New Zealander Millie Mason revealed Kempson gave off such a creepy vibe that one flatmate had slept with a knife in her bed because she was so unnerved by him.

But Ms Mason, who lived with Kempson for two years before Ms Millane’s murder, also said she could “completely get how Grace fell for him because he’s charming”.

Ms Millane had been backpacking through New Zealand before she fatefully met Kempson on Tinder.

Ms Mason recalled that all her flatmates had started to get “a bad feeling” about Kempson as time went on.

“One night when I wasn’t at the house, neither was one of my other flatmates, so it was just the one girl left alone in the house, he came back, he was drunk and she was scared enough that she slept with a knife that night.

“We eventually stopped wanting to be alone in the house with him, you just knew you shouldn’t be near him alone.

“It does make you wonder, what else he was hiding, what else wasn’t true.”

Grace Millane, 22, was strangled to death by the man she met on a Tinder date. The defence claimed her death was an accident during consensual sex.
Grace Millane, 22, was strangled to death by the man she met on a Tinder date. The defence claimed her death was an accident during consensual sex. (Supplied)

In the documentary, Ms Mason recalled the moment she was told Kempson had murdered Ms Millane.

“It was awful,” Ms Mason said.

“The friend of ours who took the room after Jesse moved out messaged us three girls, and we were all living in London at the time.

“We’d been following the story because people don’t really go missing in New Zealand, let alone a young girl.

“I woke up to our group chat and he said ‘It was Jesse.'”

After Kempson had murdered Ms Millane inside the Auckland hotel he logged back on to Tinder to arrange a date with another woman.

Kempson met that date for drinks while Ms Millane’s body was back at the hotel.

That woman later described Kempson as weird and unsettling, feelings which prompted her to cut short the date and leave.

When police arrested him, Kempson tried to claim it was a sex game gone wrong, that Ms Millane had died during rough sex.

But the jury in his 2019 murder trial found him guilty in a matter of hours.

Readers seeking support can contact the National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000).



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