Sensational claims that the body of British backpacker Peter Falconio was cut up after his murder and then dumped hundreds of miles from where he disappeared have been made in an anonymous letter sent to Australia from Britain.
The anonymous typed letter was sent to the Northern Territory News, which passed the information to police in Darwin, who have now started an investigation into the claims.
The newspaper said the letter writer, an Australian ex-patriate now living in London, claimed that Bradley Murdoch, serving 28 years in jail for the murder, rang a criminal associate asking to meet him in the outback following the killing, according to theDaily Mail.
The British backpacker disappeared in the Australian outback in July 2001 while travelling with his girlfriend, Joanne Lees. She escaped by hiding in the dark for five hours but Falconio was never found.
In 2005, Murdock was convicted of Falconio's murder, despite the absence of a body.
The Northern Territory News said it knew the name of the alleged criminal associate but had not named him.
"Murdoch phoned [the associate] and ordered him to fly to Darwin at once, hire a car and meet him in the outback," the letter states.
"When they met, Murdoch told [the associate] that he had murdered a guy in self-defence. At the time, [the associate] had no idea who the victim was.
"Murdoch had cut the body up and put it in two large ... bags that were watertight and smell-proof."
The paper went on to say that the letter had described how Murdoch told the associate to go straight back to Perth and dissolve the body parts in acid.
He was then to put what was left into the Swan River, which runs through Perth.
The associate had been ordered by Murdoch to first drive to Adelaide, leave the car there and fly back to Perth.
The letter writer went on: "[The associate] told me he couldn't even open the bags. He was sick and petrified.
"When he got back to Adelaide he didn't fly but got the Indian Pacific [train] back to Perth, thinking that the two large bags would draw less attention on the train.
"Murdoch had connections with Geraldton and Broome [towns in Western Australia] they were always going up there to unload or buy stolen goods and drugs.
"[The associate] told me he went way past Geraldton and buried both the bags unopened in a nice spot and even made up a cross.
"Later he realised who he had buried and was in a bad way about it.
"He knew I had a sister who worked in law and asked what I thought he would get if he went to the police.
"I told him I thought about five years for assisting Murdoch. This terrified him.
"But I did tell him better to go to the police now before Murdoch decides to tell the whole story.
"After that I lost touch and never heard from him again."
The paper said the letter writer pointed out he was once involved in criminal activity with the associate.
At the start of the letter, the author said: "I regret I must stay anonymous, as you read on you will know why. I swear the following is the truth as far as I can recall it.
"I don't know every detail of times, dates, exact places but I know enough.
"[The associate] knew and done deals with Brad Murdoch.
"[The associate] was very scared of him because Murdoch had a lot on him. I never met Murdoch but [the associate] told me a lot about him.'"
The letter writer told the paper that it was wrong of him to betray the trust of the associate but he felt the Falconio family and Miss Lees deserved to know what happened to their loved one.
Northern Territory Police, which has been handed a copy of the sensational claims, told the paper through a spokesman that officers were reviewing the contents of the letter "to determine whether it contains material which should be investigated further."