Atkins' Statutory Declaration It reads as though the events are still fresh in Atkins' mind but the Statutory Declaration was made some nine years after the events it purports to depict. There is nothing in the declaration to indicate that he is using records made earlier although that is possible. Unless that is the case or Atkins has recall very much better than average it is hard to explain the detail present in the statement. If we accept that the events depicted in the Statutory Declaration are broadly true then we need to ask: what were Lees' motives? Was it really that she had fallen out with Falconio? Couldn't she have just dumped him? If every time a woman had a row with her boyfriend she had him murdered, there wouldn't be many men left on the planet. Are we to believe that she would pay in excess of $2,600 to get rid of him when she could have dumped him for free? Maybe there was some pecuniary advantage for her resulting from his death but what would that be to justify an outlay of $2,600? I don't know how you'd hire a hitman - but I wouldn't think of asking the first dodgy-looking guy who I met and who owned a gun to do the deed. The casual nature of the contract depicted by Atkins doesn't only border on the implausible but strays a long way into the realm of total implausibility. (Atkins hints that the $2,600 was a just down-payment and that more would be forthcoming after the deed was done. But how would this additional payment have been made? And did Lees have any more cash?) How did Lees know that the gunman wouldn't just ambush them on the road and steal the money at gunpoint? He could have taken the money and let them both go free or he could have killed them both - either way he gets the money; there seems to be little point in killing Falconio and stealing his body when it would have been easier to kill them both. If the events described by Atkins are broadly correct and Lees had hired Murdoch, then it was risky of her to then identify Murdoch as the killer. She had no way of knowing that, when it became clear that he would be going down for the murder, he wouldn't say something like: "yeah - it was me but it was Lees who hired me". Atkins' declaration could then be used as support. If she had hired Murdoch then he would be the last person she would have implicated.