Never before seen footage of Cowan’s arrest
THIS is the moment Queensland Police ended a great ruse - an elaborate covert operation that finally elicited a confession out of Brett Cowan for the murder of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe.
After months of slowly drawing Cowan into what he believed was a criminal gang, covert operatives convinced Cowan to confess to murdering the 13-year-old and lead them to the place where he'd left Daniel's body.
Cowan believed the only way to stay in the "gang" was to confess his crime in detail so the group could ensure they would suffer no undue police attention from accepting him into their ranks.
Under the guise of ensuring there was no evidence remaining at the place where Cowan had hidden Daniel's body years earlier, covert operatives posing as gang members followed Cowan into a macadamia farm at Beerwah in 2011.
But as they enter a clearing, footage released today by the Queensland Police Service shows officers jump from behind trees and wood piles to shout at Cowan.
"Police!" officers shout. "Stay there Brett! Stay there Brett!"
Two detectives approach a baffled looking Cowan, identifying themselves as their colleagues stand nearby.
"Brett Cowan, Steve Blanchfield, Detective Senior Sergeant from the Homicide Unit in Brisbane. And you know Ross Hutton, is that correct?"
A confused Cowan says he doesn't know the detective.
"Brett, we're here to, we're investigating the abduction and murder of Daniel Morcombe, OK?" Det Sen Sgt Blanchfield continues.
"You've been spoken to before in relation to that?"
"Yep," Cowan replies.
The officers explain to Cowan that he is not required to speak to them before the footage cuts to Cowan on the phone - presumably to a lawyer.
"I'm under arrest am I?" Cowan asks, while on the phone.
Det Sen Sgt Blanchfield tells him he isn't, as long as he is happy to remain with them and speak to them.
"Nah, youse can arrest me then," he tells them.
"All right, you're under arrest for the murder of Daniel Morcombe," the detective tells Cowan.
"Yep, cool," Cowan replies. "I'm under arrest for Daniel Morcombe's murder," he tells the person on the phone.