The skydiver who survived an assassination try at 1,200 meters above sea degree | EUROtoday

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“What if we do something together, like parachute?” Victoria Cilliers she took her husband's proposal Emile as an indication of reconciliation after the difficulties within the marriage, particularly for the reason that delivery of their second little one. With greater than 2,650 jumps in his saddlebagsthe skilled parachutist and physiotherapist for the British Ministry of Defense didn't assume twice and stated “yes, I want to.”

They jumped collectively to 4,000 ft (1,200 meters), however her parachute didn't open… “I didn't worry too much because it had happened to me before, that's why we always carry a spare. The chance that the second parachute will not open either is one in a million.. But that was what happened and all my efforts were then concentrated on trying to control the rotation and slow down the fall. “I wished to outlive in any respect prices,” Victoria recently recalled.

The impact was brutal, at an estimated speed of 90 kilometers per hour. But he was lucky enough to fall into a freshly plowed crop field, which served to cushion the blow. Soon she was able to open her eyes and feel intense pain. He broke his spine, pelvis and several ribs. She was miraculously alive, to the surprise of everyone who saw her fall…and her own husband.

A few days after the accident, the Army Paratroopers Association put the case in the hands of the police. Victoria herself remembered how days before there had been a gas leak when she was at home with her two children and how she sarcastically sent a message to her husband: “Are you attempting to kill me?” The suspicions grew, but something inside her prevented her from accepting the cruel reality.

Detectives Paul Franklin and Maddy Hennah took matters into their own hands, and discovered traces of an “abusive” relationship. Emile exercised total control over Victoria. And, behind him, he carried a parallel life with his lover Stephen Groff, whom I met on Tinder. She frequented prostitutes and swinging clubs. He was in debt and tempted to take advantage of the wife's life insuranceestimated at 140,000 euros.

Everything that was behind that dizzying parachute jump came to light while Victoria barely recovered from her multiple injuries and walk again thanks to an exoskeleton. She returned to the family home, with the investigation still open, living with her husband during the day and unable to sleep at night, between the physical discomfort of the wounds and the thoughts that haunted her sleep.

The Prosecutor's Office finally brought charges against Emile, born in South Africa 44 years ago and with a military career before making the leap to the United Kingdom and dazzling Victoria, who was still getting over the breakup of her first marriage when she thought she had found her love. prince charming.

The emotional control that Emile exerted over his wife was such that she suddenly changed her statement so as not to incriminate him in a first trial held in 2017 and declared void due to the jury's inability to reach a verdict. In 2018, in a second trial, he was however sentenced to life imprisonment for attempted murder.

Victoria was able to rebuild her life, and write her book of memories, I survivedwhich has served as inspiration for the Channel 4 documentary The Fall, which swept audiences in the United Kingdom last week. At 48 years old, she is once again the energetic woman of her youth, recovered from the double trauma and in love with another parachutist, Simon Goodmanwith which she has once again jumped into the void without fear: “The noise of the jets, the scent of gasoline or the push of wind when opening the airplane door made me really feel tremendously apprehensive. I remembered every part that occurred on my final flight and the premonition I had that one thing critical may occur… But I let myself go in the long run, the parachute opened and after I touched down I had a deep feeling of aid and liberation.”