In mid July 2001 Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees were fulfilling a backpacker's dream. Both English, the young couple had spent a large portion of their six years together budget holidaying around the world and had come to live in Sydney as a kick-off to exploring Australia. Both were seasoned travellers and confident that in each other's company they would remain safe, continuing to enjoy the adventure holidays that most people never get to experience.
Flagged down by another driver indicating something is wrong with their camper van, Peter Falconio exits the van to investigate. As he moves to the rear of the vehicle, Lees hears what she at first thinks is a backfire of the engine. On an isolated stretch of highway in the Northern Territory, a man previously unknown to the couple takes the life of Peter and attempts to kidnap Joanne, tying her hands behind her and throwing her in the back of his utility. She escapes, spending five terrifying hours in scrub before managing to flag down a passing truck.