During her visit to New Zealand, British backpacker Grace Millane met Jesse Shane Kempson on popular dating app Tinder. She was entirely unaware of the horror that awaited her.
On the eve of her 22nd birthday in 2018, Millane was brutally murdered by strangulation. While Kempson initially denied he took her life, a chilling security video has recently surfaced proving he was indeed her killer.
Millane wearing a black dress as she walks through the December streets on her way to meet her Tinder date.
Jesse Kempson drinking alone in the Bluestone Bar before he met Grace Millane
Jesse Kempson meets Grace Millane after arranging a date on Tinder
Grace and Kempson discuss what to order at Andy’s Burger and Bar.
They were seen again walking to a bar after leaving the Sky City complex
The two arrived at the Mexican Cafe in Auckland.
Kempson prepares to pay the bill as they get ready to leave the Mexican Cafe
They were spotted kissing at Bluestone Room bar.
Grace greeted her date with a smile when he returned to their table in the Bluestone Room.
It was while Kempson was left alone briefly that he left a comment on her Facebook profile picture. He wrote “Beautiful, very radiant”, his post eventually led police to track him down as a person of interest.
Kempson has his arm around Grace as they enter the CityLife Hotel where he lives.
This is the last images of Grace alive, as the two are seen together as they head towards his room.
The scene of the crime where Kempson strangled Grace to death during ‘rough sex’.
The next morning, Kempson leaves his room alone in different clothing.
He went to a store to buy a large suitcase.
He also went into another store to buy cleaning products.
Then he rented a car.
As Grace lay dead in his hotel room, Kempson headed out in the afternoon for a date with an ex-journalist he had been texting earlier in the day.
Kempson returns to his room with the rug doctor, a cleaning machine he rented, and more cleaning products.
Then, he parked his rental car outside the CityLife hotel, picked up a trolley from the reception, went upstairs and returned with the trolley, which was now carrying two large suitcases, one of which was the same as the one he bought earlier.
Millane’s body was inside one of the suitcases, folded into fetal position.
He loaded the cases into his rental car and parked it at a nearby car park for the night.
Using his mobile phone, he looked up “hottest fire” and “Waitakere ranges” – the location where he would later try to bury Grace in a shallow grave.
Early the next day, he drove off to Waitakere, stopping only to buy a shovel at a store out of town.
After burying Grace in a shallow grave and before returning the car to the rental company, he was caught on CCTV cleaning the inside and outside of it.
Days later, after Grace was reported missing by her parents and a huge hunt got under way, Kempson was identified as a person of interest after Detective Diana Levinson spotted that he had left a message on Grace’s Facebook profile the night she was last seen alive. He wrote “Beautiful, very radiant” under Grace’s updated profile picture.
Detective Levinson sent him a message and asked him to get in touch.
They spoke the next morning and the killer told her he had met Grace but they parted at 10pm on the Saturday and that was the last time he saw her. But the police acquired the CCTV from the hotel which proved he was lying.
By the time of his second interview, he had no choice but to admit killing Grace, relying instead on the excuse that she had died during sex by accident, after she asked him to choke her in an attempt to make sex more pleasurable.
The jury rejected his claim and found him guilty due to the fact that he didn’t bother to call anyone and ask for help when Grace died. Instead, at 1.30am on Sunday, as Grace lay dead in his room, Kempson carried out a number of internet searches which indicate not just how unconcerned he was about her death, but how he was actively plotting to conceal it.
Fast forward to 2020, Kempson has been sentenced with life imprisonment for the crime.
He was also convicted for committing violent sex crimes against two other women in October and November 2020.
Heartbroken parents: Grace and David Millane addresses the media.
In November 2019, David Millane, Grace’s father, delivered a statement outside the Auckland High Court .
“The verdict of murder today will be welcomed by every member of the Millane family and friends of Grace. It will not reduce the pain and suffering we have had to endure over the past year.
“Grace was taken away from us in the most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives and family have been ripped apart. This will be with us for the rest of our lives.”