Today Tonight story on Falconio “breakthrough” filmed 3 years ago

2014-01-31_0127A Today Tonight story broadcast on Wednesday story suggesting it had found the final resting place of murdered English backpacker Peter Falconio was filmed in 2011.

The NT News revealed the story by reporter Frank Pangallo was filmed in March, 2011.

“Tonight, a new lead, which could be the final piece of this gruesome puzzle. Frank Pangallo has our world exclusive report,” said presenter Nick Etchells.

Truckdriver Paul Jackson told the Seven show indicated Falconio’s body was likely to be found at the bottom of a well at a remote station, north of Alice Springs. But the story and investigation could not be completed because the well was full of water.

At the end of the story Nick Etchells told viewers, “When conditions are dry we will return to Neutral Junction Station to complete that search.”

Pangallo told the newspaper he is still waiting to return to the well to on Neutral Junction Station.

“We’ve been monitoring that well since we shot (the show),” Pangallo said.

“Unfortunately there’s been 14m of water down there. Then there’s the fact that (Bradley) Murdoch has lodged his appeal.”

Neutral Junction Station manager Bev Thompson said the well has dried out in the past, but not in the two years she has been there.

But Today Tonight did not indicate to its audience that the story was filmed 3 years ago.

Pangallo said he failed to mention the time factor because it was “irrelevant”.

NT Police said they were never contacted by Today Tonight but did not indicate if they will search the well.

Nine spokesperson David Hurley told TV Tonight,“Only two acts can set this latest Today Tonight travesty right.

“First, the show must apologise unreservedly for the deliberate fraud it has perpetrated on its viewers, and hand in its practising certificate. And second, fearless reporter Frank Pangallo must be lowered into the well to complete his so-called investigation.”

Bradley John Murdoch is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Peter Falconio.

UPDATE: A Seven spokesperson said: “This story has been – and continues to be an ongoing investigation by Today Tonight.  Some vision used in the story broadcast on Today Tonight was shot in 2011 but never before broadcast.  Today Tonight’s story contained new important claims and developments and we will continue to follow the story.”

Reporter Frank Pangallo told Fairfax: “It’s my story to break when I choose. It’s never been broadcast before. It’s not faked. I’ve told the NT News, yesterday, we shot the story in March 2011. Last year we aired a series in Adelaide that I had been shooting for two years.

“We’ve been waiting for the (well) levels to subside so we could return to dig for some evidence. We’ve kept monitoring the situation since then.”

22 Comments:

  1. Maev....Sydney

    They were doing stories on our local shopping centre that fell into disrepair and the fight to bring it back…then it was refurbished…after being shut down for 6 months and just before the grand opening…they were doing another story….strolling through the centre…Trouble is…the footage was some 6 to 12 months earlier…when there were just a few shops there….but gave the impression….they were walking through on that day…
    I just watched for that one story….never again.

  2. Aussie_Austridge

    Mistaken identity. In my previous post the David I was referring to was David Hurley who was quoted on TV Tonight last week as saying that Today Tonight had been cancelled. Apologies if you thought I was having a dig at you.

  3. Aussie_Austridge

    “Nine spokesperson David Hurley told TV Tonight,“Only two acts can set this latest Today Tonight travesty right.”

    But David, didn’t you say last week that Today Tonight had been cancelled?

  4. Geez I hate Today Tonight. Worst show on TV.
    I agree Joe S how does it get its ratings?
    I unfortunately saw a bit of TT a couple of nights ago with the Schapelle Corby prison story, with some blonde chick stating that the prison is fabulous and the Corby family just want to make it look bad. It’s such a bias show. Had to change the channel, at my inlaws house!

  5. cynical old codger

    @Joes

    ” Granted”

    But how many do so after seeing the promos beforehand? , and even with my name of cynical, I often get initially caught out, simply because especially and in particular with TT, ACA, they do occasionally run stories with great merit and inform many as a community service, unfortunately they sometimes exploit the fine line of their viewers honesty and those honestly gullible, which is a shame.

    But this could apply across all networks, where excellent shows are missed and some sh–ers are watched to the end, but David’s pages reduces this risk, but sadly sometimes his contributors reveal I have missed beauties.

  6. It’s just a quality reflection of the high journalism and reporting standards of this show…yeah right. Loves the beat up on studio 10 this morning regarding this story.

  7. cynical old codger

    Not one bit surprised about this, after all this is again Network 7, where it seems that senior management arrogantly and disrespectfully(one level below contemptuously) direct that presenters and programmers deliberately avoid signing off.
    When management attitudes treat viewers as necessary evils, and where it seems EP’s are given the mandate to treat viewers as idiots, it is only a natural progression the longer EP’s are allowed and conditioned to treat us as such, they start behaving like idiots themselves.
    Seems this TT story, is just the latest of many but lessor examples of this idiotic disrespect, and is not restricted to TT, because during Sunrise’s Loove Boat Extravaganza, aprox 1 hour after Eddie revealed they were a few Km’s from Kiama,they still claimed they were somewhere mid-pacific.

    Says much about 7’s pre-election efforts, that delivered Mr Abbott & Co???

  8. “First, the show must apologise unreservedly for the deliberate fraud it has perpetrated on its viewers, and hand in its practising certificate. And second, fearless reporter Frank Pangallo must be lowered into the well to complete his so-called investigation.”

    Haha, love it.

  9. Well done Today Tonight. It would be difficult finding time in your schedule with all of your quality segments. You should be commended for such a quick turnaround on this story.

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