GRACE Millane’s killer sent her chilling messages on Tinder in a bid to lure her on a date – before he brutally murdered her.
Jesse Kempson, 29, was found guilty of murder after strangling British backpacker Grace to death after they met on a Tinder date in Auckland.
The 21-year-old's body was later discovered buried in a suitcase in a forest outside the city.
Depraved Kempson is serving a life sentence for the murder of Grace, who had just arrived in New Zealand on a backpacking trip of a lifetime after graduating.
She met her killer on Tinder and the pair went on a date before she was murdered in the early hours of December 2, 2018 – her 22nd birthday.
Kempson sent Grace a message on the dating app and their conversation is a chilling record of how he persisted in his efforts to get her to meet him.
The killer began the fateful conversation by saying: “Hey Grace how are you?? Much planned for the weekend?
She replied: "Hey, I'm good thanks and it's actually my birthday tomorrow but I have no plans."
Kempson then replied "Oh s*** happy birthday for tomorrow. Much planned for this evening then?"
"Ha ha thank you, I haven't," Grace wrote back.
He then suggested they go on a date but at first Grace seemed hesitant saying "yeah maybe".
Persisting, he said "Maybe yes??" to which she replied: "Convince me.”
He then suggested they meet up at a "cool Mexican place up near SkyCity" in central Auckland that does "great cocktails".
"Okay no to the Mexican but maybe to the cocktails," Millane responds.
The murderer then wrote: "Okay there's a few places up there that do great cocktails, how about we meet at SkyCity?"
At this stage Grace is still hesitant but Kempson pushes her for a date, telling him: "I haven't said yes yet?”
But the Kempson, who cops described as a “narcissist”, kept going in his efforts to get a date with Grace as their conversation drags on into the night.
"You haven't said no either. So what's it gonna take to make this happen then? Would be nice,” he messaged.
Grace tells him she only has casual clothes with her and he says that is "fine".
"So that is a yes? Meet up near SkyCity?" he persists.
It was almost 3am when Grace told him "okay" and told him to add her on Facebook, revealing her full name.
CCTV footage showed Grace met Kempson at 5.45pm at Sky City and the pair went to a burger restaurant.
Grace sent a photo of the SkyCity Christmas tree to her family – the last message they ever received from her.
Kempson told police they pair parted company about five hours later but CCTV showed them walking back to his flat.
It was the first of many lies that led cops to believe he had killed Grace.
In the last images of Grace alive, footage showed her and Kempson kissing, hugging and entering the building looking relaxed and happy.
He eventually admitted killing her but sickeningly claimed it was sex game gone wrong.
But cops who knew that Grace had been strangled for up to ten minutes refused to buy it and so did the jury when he appeared in court.
They unanimously found Kempson guilty on November 22, 2019, following a two-week trial.
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