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Who is Victoria Cilliers from C4’s The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot and what happened to her?

IT WAS a crime that gripped the nation, when a wife’s parachute was tampered with by her own husband.

Now the story of how Victoria Cilliers was almost killed by Emile Cilliers is being told in Channel 4‘s The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot.

Victoria Cilliers’ husband attempted to kill her
Rex Features

Who is Victoria Cilliers?

Victoria Cilliers is a trained physiotherapist who served in the British army reaching the rank of captain.

She now works as a physio for the Ministry of Defence

Victoria is also a highly experienced parachutist.

She married her now ex-husband Emile Cilliers in 2011 and together they had two children.

What happened to Victoria Cilliers when she went skydiving?

In April 2015, Victoria Cilliers plummeted a horrifying 4,000ft at Netheravon airfield, Wiltshire, after her main and reserve parachutes failed to open.

Prior to this, the qualified freefall instructor had completed 2,600 jumps without any problems.

Miraculously, although Victoria suffered a broken spine and pelvis and fractured ribs, she did survive because she landed on freshly ploughed farmland.

The subsequent investigation revealed that her kit had been tampered with by her husband, Army sergeant Emile.

He removed vital parts from his wife’s two chutes, called slinks, causing her to spin out of control.

Victoria was also the victim of coercive control, and didn’t want to believe that the man she loved could be so callous and she herself tried to cover up his heinous crime.

In the new Channel 4 series, viewers will see Victoria explain why she attempted to sabotage the case against her evil husband.

She said: “I didn’t know truth or reality from what was false.

“I felt like a prisoner in my own home and in my own head.

This was wicked offending of extreme gravity. Your offending was extremely serious with your two attempts to murder your wife.

Judge Mr Justice Sweeney

“I said: ‘I want you to drop the case so we can move on with our lives.’ I wanted my husband back.”

It later turned out her husband Emile also tried to kill her by tampering with a gas valve in the family home.

Victoria and Emile Cilliers
Pixel 8000
Emile Cilliers was found guilty of trying to murder his wife[/caption]

What happened to Victoria Cillers husband?

In October 2018, Emile Cillers was jailed for 18 years for tampering with Victoria’s parachutes and a gas valve in her home.

Sentencing judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: “This was wicked offending of extreme gravity.”

He added: “Your offending was extremely serious with your two attempts to murder your wife.

“They were planned and carried out in cold blood for your own selfish purposes which include financial gain.”

PA:Press Association
Evil Emile was found guilty in 2018 of trying to kill his wife twice[/caption]

Describing the impact on Victoria, the judge continued: “That your wife recovered at all was miraculous.

“She undoubtedly suffered severe physical harm and she must have suffered psychological harm in the terror of the fall and since.

“She appears to have recovered from the physical harm but not, having seen her in the witness box at length, from the psychological harm.”

Simon Buck / Channel 4
MyAnna Buring plays Victoria in the reconstruction for Channel 4’s The Fall.[/caption]

How to watch The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot

Channel 4’s The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot will air over three consecutive nights kicking off on June 11, 2024, at 9pm.

The brand new series will lay bare the incidents of the attempted murder of Victoria by her husband Emile.

This docuseries features a dramatic reconstruction starring MyAnna Buring as Victoria, as well as testimony from real-life detectives DC Maddy Hennah and DI Paul Franklin.

'Near miracle' saved Victoria from dying in parachute fall

A soft patch of newly-ploughed field was the only thing that saved the life of Victoria Cilliers after her near-fatal fall.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, the highly-experienced parachutist made a routine recreational jump at Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire.

As she jumped from the aircraft, first of all her main parachute malfunctioned.

A rare but not unheard of problem had occurred where her lines were twisted, and she followed her training and cut away the canopy of the main parachute.

But in an unprecedented incident, her reserve ‘chute then failed.

Two slinks were missing, meaning that the main lines on one side of the canopy were not connected to her harness, with a brake cable the only thing attached on that side.

This caused the reserve to not inflate properly and led to her spiralling out of control and at high speed to the ground.

Describing the final moments of her rapid descent, Victoria said: “The last thing I remember is trying to get some kind of control over it, trying to open as many cells as I could – then everything went black.

“I do not know if it was the G force or the impact but everything cut out.”

Her survival has been described as a “near-miracle” and the only reason she did not suffer fatal injuries was the soft soil of the ploughed field where she landed. Her light weight was also attributed as a factor in helping to minimise her injuries.

But her final piece of luck was that the spot where she landed was just 16ft from a small country lane, which would undoubtedly have caused fatal injuries.


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