“I will sacrafice and give up so much for you.” Was the message UK Army sergeant Emile Cilliers once sent to one of his alleged mistresses. Turns out, Mr. Cillier wasn’t joking. Culliers is accused of attempting to kill his wife by sabotaging her parachute before a skydive he organized as a “treat,” a jury has been told.
The Independent (@independent) reports that Emile Cilliers, 37, is accused of removing two vital components from the parachute rig, leaving his wife, Victoria Cilliers to plunge 4000 feet to the ground during her jump. Mrs. Cilliers survived the fall but sustained multiple injuries in the April 5, 2015 incident at Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire UK. Mr. Cilliers denies attempting to murder his wife.
Winchester Crown Court heard how Mrs. Cilliers sent a WhatsApp message to her husband jokingly asking if he was “trying to kill her” a few days before the skydive incident, after she found that the gas valve in their kitchen had been turned on and was leaking. Less than two weeks later, Mrs. Cilliers jumped out of an airplane on a skydive that had been organized by her husband, only to find that her chute would not deploy. The backup chute also failed to deploy. Mrs. Cilliers was not an amateur skydiver. She was a veteran who had more than 2600 successful jumps under her belt. Mrs. Cilliers used her skydiving experience to somewhat slow her descent to around 30 mph, and somehow avoid landing on a tarmacked road, which surely would’ve killed her. Mrs. Cilliers landed in a nearby field. Mrs. Cilliers was airlifted to the hospital, where she was treated for a broken pelvis, ribs, and vertebrae.
Mark Bayada, a chief instructor of the Army Parachute Association testified that “It was almost impossible for the components of the chute to come off by accident, and it was highly unlikely that the parachute’s tangled lines were the result of an error on Mrs. Cilliers part.”
Prosecutor Michael Bowes told the jury that Mr. Cilliers was having an affair with a woman he met on Tinder, and his ex wife. (two different women.) The prosecutor told jurors that Stefanie Goller was the woman Cilliers sent the message to stating that “he would sacrifice so much for her.” The prosecution also claims that Mr. Cilliers was $22,000 in debt. (sorry, don’t know how much that translates to in U.S. dollars, but I’m guessing it’s close to the same) Cilliers wrongfully believed that he would be collecting $120,000 in an insurance payout after his wife’s death. Mr. Cilliers denies two counts of attempted murder for the parachuting incident. Mr. Cilliers faces an additional count of attempted murder for the damaged gas valve back at the couple’s home.