Murder, Lies and Alibis

Murder, Lies and Alibis

Nine’s new cutting-edge documentary crime series, Murder, Lies and Alibis, will dissect some of the most infamous criminal cases from here and around the world in a tenacious, gripping and confronting format. It’s true crime like you’ve never seen before.

A team of highly experienced investigators will re-examine cold cases police couldn’t solve – discovering fresh leads, unearthing chilling footage and audio, as well as securing crucial interviews with witnesses going on the record for the very first time.

Each episode is uniquely recounted through the eyes of the key players, such as victims, survivors, their families and friends, and in some cases, the persons of interest themselves.

Murder, Lies and Alibis is led by Nine’s Creative Director for News and Current Affairs, Mark Llewellyn, and produced by Nine.

So basically Australia’s spin on The Investigator that Seven yanked around the schedule and was a poorly rating dud.

I have a love/hate relationship with these programmes. I love to watch them, the more obscure cases the better, but ultimately these type of shows are so unsatisfying.

Nothing will get solved and certainly not by a team of television detectives with minimal time, resources and man power.

It’s really arrogant to think a tv show will solve cases the Police have tried and failed. Most often the Police know anyway who did it but lack sufficient evidence for a conviction.

I hope it’s nothing like Seven’s abysmal effort where Michael Usher tried to bully and berate a confession from
Leanne Holland’s supposed killer and even tried to elicit a useless polygraph. Just embarrassing and totally ham-fisted something that belonged in A Current Affair.

Still at least it will give the cases wide spread exposure and publicity to help solve the cases.




Monday 4 February and Tuesday 5 February at 9pm

The extraordinary and exclusive inside story of the murder of Australian businessman Phillip Vasyli, stabbed to death on the patio of his paradise island luxury mansion, is a story of fabulous wealth, infidelity, secret recordings, betrayal, death threats and uncontrollable rage.

The handsome podiatrist, who grew up in Sydney’s western suburbs to build a $600 million fortune with his glamorous wife Donna, was knifed in the neck from behind by a callous killer who then stood and watched him bleed to death.

The full story behind this 2015 murder, which made worldwide headlines, is revealed for the first time in cutting-edge new documentary crime series, Murder, Lies & Alibis , screening over two powerful nights on Monday, February 4 and Tuesday, February 5 at 9pm on Nine and 9Now.

The gripping must see first episode contains bombshell new evidence that blows the case wide open. Episode two builds to a sensational climax that uncovers the dramatic secret, which provides a totally new motive for the high stakes murder.

Phillip Vasyli’s blonde socialite wife of 35 years was found guilty of murdering him at their oceanside dream home on ‘billionaire’s row’ in the Bahamas. After serving five months of a 20-year jail sentence Donna Vasyli is currently on bail waiting to find out if she will have to face another jury after her conviction was ruled unsafe and quashed.

Police remain adamant it is an open and shut case and the 58-year-old grandmother is the killer but if the Privy Council, the Commonwealth’s highest court, rules she has no case to answer she will win her freedom and become one of Australia’s wealthiest widows.

Donna, who passionately maintains her innocence, chose not to give evidence at her trial but Murder, Lies & Alibis presents jaw dropping recordings and messages from her in which she lifts the lid on her toxic marriage and rages at her philandering husband and his new lovers.

Murder, Lies & Alibi’s investigates who else, if not Donna, could have got close enough to super fit Phillip Vasyli, a martial arts champion, to deliver the fatal blow?

Award winning journalist Mark Llewellyn, Nine’s Creative Director for News and Current Affairs, travels half way around the world with a team of experienced investigators in pursuit of the truth. Despite being warned off, they go to Nassau and gain access to the high security gated estate where the Vasyli’s lived in luxury overlooking one of the most beautiful and exclusive beaches on the planet.

It’s a rock star lifestyle of private jets, super yachts, Lamborghinis and outrageous parties. They track down Phillip Vasyli’s closest friends at the time of his death and get their startling new evidence on the record. Sunnie Heng, the woman Phillip Vasyli was divorcing Donna to be with, breaks her silence for the first time to reveal everything the court didn’t get to hear.

Mark Llewellyn says: “This is a nail-biting investigation with more twists and turns than a Shakespearean tragedy. The stories we discovered have never been heard until now . At every turn these gripping first-hand accounts brought us closer to the truth.”

Murder, Lies & Alibis will dissect the most infamous criminal cases in a tenacious, and confronting format. It’s true crime like you’ve never seen before, with each episode uniquely recounted through the eyes of the key players: victims, survivors, families and friends, and in some cases, the prime suspects themselves.





It is one of Australia’s most captivating hostage crimes, with a plotline straight out of a Hollywood movie. What started as a routine day for bank robber Hakki ‘Tim’ Atahan, ended up in a hostage drama, a daring escape that saw his hostages used as human shields, and a car chase that shut down Sydney while being broadcast live on TV.

The Bank Job – the second gripping tale in the Murder, Lies & Alibis series – tells the story behind Australia’s greatest bank robber, Tim Atahan; a siege in a Sydney CBD bank where he held staff hostage in a Mexican standoff with more than 100 heavily armed police.

Determined he would escape with as much money as possible, Tim led police on the most bizarre car chase ever seen in Australia, inspired by Al Pacino movie Dog Day Afternoon and broadcast live on television.

Now the hostages, police officers and witnesses at the heart of this incredible criminal event come together for the first time since it all happened to tell their amazing stories of survival.

Using unseen footage, interviews with the hostages who have never spoken and the hero cop who should be dead after being shot between the eyes by the bank robber during Tim’s defiant last stand, the episode culminates in an emotional reunion decades in the making.

Award winning journalist Mark Llewellyn, Nine’s Creative Director for News and Current Affairs, pieces together the events of that day, that still leave dramatic scars on the lives of all involved and yet, incredibly, is a crime that has been largely forgotten.

Mark Llewellyn says: “The Bank Job is the greatest story never told. A story so fantastic it could have come straight out of Hollywood - except it’s real. A heist that turned into a rolling siege that gripped a city, before ending in a deadly hail of bullets.

“We have unearthed the original footage and matched it with the extraordinary first-hand accounts - told for the first time - of the hostages and the insanely courageous policemen who took the ultimate risk to save them.”

On a stinking hot January 31, 1984 Turkish emigrant Tim caught a Manly ferry to the city to rob a couple of banks – an ordinary day for the accomplished robber. He was one of the nation’s most skilled bank robbers, eluding police at every corner – robbing 16 banks in less than a year. He was a master of disguise who would rob two banks in quick succession.

With Tim’s diaries analysed by Murder, Lies & Alibis Forensic Criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett, she reveals a deeply arrogant and ruthless man who writes that he is “the best” robber in Australia and vows no cop would ever take him alive.

On that hot January day, Tim robbed the Sydney CBD branch of ANZ, and then five minutes later walked directly next door to the State bank. But his luck was about to run out. Chased by one of the bank tellers and then two passing police officers, Tim panicked and ran straight into the Commonwealth Bank on George Street in Sydney.

Soon trapped and surrounded by armed police, Tim took the bank staff hostage and demanded a car and a helicopter. Determined that he would escape, he raided the safe and then in a move identical to movie Dog Day Afternoon, he surrounded himself by five of the staff and shuffled his way down George Street. As police evacuated the street, people fled their cars, allowing Tim and the hostages to drive off in an empty car.

What ensured was reality TV on steroids – a slow moving car chase broadcast live on television with crowds lining the streets cheering on Tim, unaware of the mortal danger the hostages were in. Driving through the Sydney CBD to Bondi, across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and down Military Road to Manly and then back to the Spit bridge which was left open, Tim’s final stand ended in a hail of bullets.

With the Spit bridge raised and threatening to topple during protracted negotiations, former Detective Senior Constable Steve Canellis got close enough to the car to stick his head in the window and talk to Tim. Steve was then shot point blank between the eyes. Perhaps the luckiest man in the world, Steve survived and recounts the drama to Murder, Lies & Alibis .

This gripping episode features the hostages in the car including Geoff Findlay, Michael Williams and Stephen Lamb, and their bank teller hostage colleagues Joanne Duffy, Anne DeLutiis and Margaret Hooper who was heavily pregnant at the time.

Other main players in this dramatic day interviewed include Detective Senior Constable Steve Packer, Detective Sergeant John Nagle and legendary newspaper crime reporter Norm Lipson.

They all reveal the scars they have carried since that January day, and take the opportunity to embrace one another during their first reunion in nearly 35 years.

Nine’s Creative Director for News and Current Affairs and EP of Murder Lies and Alibis, Mark Llewellyn has announced he is leaving the network.

Mark was formerly the founding producer of Seven’s recently axed Sunday Night program, and has been with the Nine Network since 3rd April 2018.