Deeper insights into the personality of Jesse Kempson are revealed in a new documentary in which a former Kiwi roommate of Kempson admitted that everyone in their shared house said they thought “You shouldn’t be alone around him”.
But Ms. Mason, who lived with Kempson for two years prior to Ms. Millane’s murder, also said she could “fully understand how Grace is in love with him because he’s charming”.
Ms. Millane had backpacked New Zealand before fatefully meeting Kempson on Tinder.
Ms. Mason recalled that over time all of her roommates had gotten a “bad feeling” about Kempson.
“One night when I wasn’t in the house one of my other roommates wasn’t there either, so only the one girl was left in the house alone, he came back, he was drunk and she was scared enough that she slept with a knife in this night.
“At some point we stopped wanting to be alone in the house with him, you just knew that you shouldn’t be alone around him.
“It leaves you wondering what else he was hiding that wasn’t true.”
In the documentary, Ms. Mason recalled the moment she was told that Kempson had murdered Ms. Millane.
“It was awful,” said Ms. Mason.
“The friend of ours who took the room after Jesse moved out wrote to us three girls and we were all living in London at the time.
“We followed the story because New Zealand doesn’t really miss people, let alone a young girl.
“I woke up to our group chat and he said, ‘It was Jesse.'”
After Kempson murdered Ms. Millane at the Auckland hotel, he logged back on to Tinder to set up a date with another woman.
Kempson met on that date for a drink while Ms. Millane’s body was back at the hotel.
This woman Kempson later described as strange and troubling, feelings that made her cut off the date and leave.
When police arrested him, Kempson tried to claim that it was a sex game that went wrong that Ms. Millane died while having sex.
But the jury in his 2019 murder trial found him guilty within hours.
Readers seeking assistance can contact the National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in imminent danger, call Triple Zero (000).