Grace Millane killer showed chilling signs of control and power in his behaviour on their Tinder date, expert reveals

GRACE Millane's killer showed chilling signs of "control" and "power" on their fateful Tinder date, a body language expert has revealed.

Judi James also believes brutal Jesse Kempson may have sent "mixed messages" to dupe the young Brit during their night out in Auckland.

Backpacker Grace, 21, spent her final hours sipping cocktails and sharing kisses with Kempson before he later choked her to death.

CCTV cameras captured her being hugged by the brute as they first met before they are later seen embracing in bars in the city.

The final tragic moments show Grace, from Essex, and her 28-year-old killer leaving a lift to go to the motel room where he killed her.

Her body was later stuffed into a suitcase coffin and buried in a shallow grave with a blanket of mud shovelled on top.


Renowned expert Judi has now analysed security footage of Grace's deadly date with "fantasist" Kempson for the Sun Online.

She says the CCTV images show how Kempson may have used "mix-message body language" to dupe his victims.

"Several of his rituals look controlling and worrying here," revealed Judi.

"His initial greeting ritual involves a two-arm hug that he signals from a distance. He is a big guy and already he looks overpowering.

"When they sit at the table in the bar his control gestures intensify and he leans his face closer and places a hand on the back of Grace’s head to kiss her.

"Then winds his entire arm around her neck so that her head is held in the crook of his arm while he kisses her or talks right into her face.

"He repeats this gesture from a standing position as he bends to kiss her again and when we see them walking together his arm is around her shoulders so that her head is pulled into his armpit and he also has hold of her hand.

"His chest is puffed at this point, which exaggerates his size and sense of power.


"All these dominant moves appear to be blended with rituals that might give a contrasting impression though."

Judi believes Kempson may have tried to play the role of the perfect date when they first met in the lobby of his motel.

She said: "As he hugs Grace he keeps his arms bent away from her body and his hands look rigid, which could have given the misleading impression of being a bit of a gentleman.

"This combination of being overpowering but also subtly polite, however flimsily, could have been confusing.

"Even after kissing in the bar, when he gets into the lift he appears to keep his distance in the closest proximity, rather than pouncing."

Judi added: "Part of the human survival response is to imagine we are a good judge of character, although this rarely turns out to be true.

"We evaluate via what’s called the attribution effect or first impressions and that can lead to a bias because we want to be right when it comes to picking the good guys from the monsters.

"We can also have a tendency to look for signs of decency or normality even when there might be alarm bells ringing in our head, because ultimately we want to feel that we are safe and that we can trust people."


During Kempson'smurder trial cops told how they scoured CCTV from licensed venues, street cameras and the motel where Grace was killed.

Surveillance video showed her leaving Base Backpackers hostel and walking to nearby Sky City motel, where she met and embraced him.

She and her killer then went inside to Andy's Burgers & Bar, where they drank together before departing to drink some jugs of sangria at Mexican Cafe.

Cameras on the street showed the pair then walking and intermittently holding hands on the way to Bluestone Room, where they sit at a table inside the front door.

They spend just over an hour at the venue, during which time the defendant leans across and kisses Grace.

They continue kissing and talking for a while, then leave and walk arm-in-arm down the street and into the lobby of CityLife at 9.40pm on December 1, 2018.

They enter the lifts and Ms Millane follows Kempson out of the lift at 9.41pm to his apartment on the third floor. This was the last time she was seen alive.

Kempson could finally be named this week after a court order banning his identification was lifted as he lost an appeal against his conviction and sentence over Grace's killing.

It was also been revealed he raped another Brit tourist eight months before killing Grace and had sexually assaulted his girlfriend in a sickening ordeal lasting months.

Both trials – which took place in October and November this year – have concluded with guilty verdicts.

As a result, Kempson has been sentenced to an additional 11 years to run concurrently with the 17-year minimum he was given for Grace's murder.

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