MURDER accused Brett Peter Cowan told his new mate he had revealed his "deepest darkest secret" for the first time when he confessed to killing Daniel Morcombe.

After detailing how he abducted Daniel, tried to molest him and then dumped his body in bushland at the Glasshouse Mountains to the "big boss" of a fake crime syndicate, Mr Cowan told Paul "Fitzy" Fitzsimmons he regretted his actions,

He said they might interfere with his involvement in a "big job" that might net him a 10% share of $1 million.

"I wish I was f***ing 10 minutes later going to get that wood chipper," he said.

"If I was 10 minutes later getting the wood chipper I wouldn't have seen him.

"Ever since him I haven't touched another kid …. it's only 'cause he's struggled and I panicked.

"Otherwise he would still be here today.

"It was a spur of the moment.

"If the bus hadn't broken down he wouldn't have been there.

"If I'd been in the other lane I mightn't have seen him.

"Today is the first time I've ever told anybody.

"That's been my safety net that nobody knew."

Mr Cowan, who also let his ego shine through while talking about the Morcombe investigation, said he thought the Queensland problem was "home and hosed"

"This is what pisses me off, all the witnesses said there was two people … everybody said there was a blue car with two blokes talking to him, this that and everything else," he said.

But there was just him and Daniel, he confessed.

Mr Cowan was obsessing over the half hour to 40 minutes police could not account for his whereabouts and about his drug dealer not providing an alibi.

"I could've been a lot longer, like, if he, if I didn't panic, I could've been there for an hour doing stuff," he said

"I was 10-15 minutes and (then) I was back in the car and driving home."

Mr Cowan had earlier told Fitzy that he was happy to cut all ties with his family to be part of the gang.

"I'm happy. I haven't been happy like this before," he said.

"It's not just the money it's the f***in' … mateship."


Cowan calmly recounts how he abducted and killed Daniel Morcombe

BELIEVING the head of an Australia-wide crime gang was about to drop him "like a hot potato", Brett Peter Cowan calmly recounted how he abducted and killed Daniel Morcombe.

Arnold - the big boss in a fake crime gang police created - told Mr Cowan he could sort out alibis and "clean up" any mess he was in but "I need to know what I need to do".

With his hair slicked back in a ponytail, sporting a brown zip-up jacket and jeans, Mr Cowan lacked any obvious emotion as he confessed his involvement.

"Yeah, okay, yeah I did it," he said in a Perth hotel room on August 9, 2011.

"I never got to molest him at all or anything like that.

"He panicked and I panicked and grabbed him around the throat and before I knew it he was dead.

"I carried him over and threw (him) down the embankment.

"I went down there and dragged him through, don't know how far it was.

"He had all his clothes on. I stripped them off and (gathered) trees and branches and covered his body with that.

"His clothes, I took back with me and threw 'em into the creek."

Arnold, known as covert operative #483, told Brisbane Supreme Court that he made up an email from another fictional character to pretend he had privileged information about Mr Cowan.

"The purpose of my role was to establish, to either exonerate or implicate him in the matter, in the disappearance or murder of Daniel Morcombe," he said.

"If he implicated himself, my role was to try and obtain a confession from him."


Brett Peter Cowan's confession (edited version)

August 9, 2011: 12.35pm

BIG BOSS: I'll let you know that I don't care what you've done, I've got no qualms at all, I've dealt with a lot of real bad c**ts and I've had a lot of real bad c**ts on my books. What they do, what they get up to doesn't faze me at all, all I'm looking for is loyalty, respect and honesty. I'll pay you back as you pay me back.

COWAN: Because I lived in the area in '03 when Daniel Morcombe went missing and I've been interviewed and I was hounded for ages about that. I can guarantee I had nothing to do with Daniel Morcombe's disappearance. Half an hour of alibi they reckon they've shot to pieces cos my drug dealer's now changed her mind that I wasn't at her house. I was brought before the coroner's inquest in March-April this year and I thought that was the end of it. So I was surprised when Craig said to me that there's another warrant, subpoena.

BB: I've got some info this morning ... I pay good money to a lot of people, and I take a lot of risk in doing that, to get the information that I need to keep us safe and clean as a group because ultimately if the heat's on you, then the heat's on Paul, the heat's on Geoff and the heat's on me and I can't afford for that to happen. So what's happened? From the information I've got, I'm told you've done the Daniel Morcombe murder. I'm told it's dead set, that you're the one who's done it. Like I said, it doesn't bother me at all but what concerns me is that I need to, I can sort this for ya. I can sort things out, I can buy you alibis, I can get rid of stuff, all that kinds of things that needs to be done I can do. But I need to know what I need to do, you know what I mean? You saying to me 'I had nothing to do with it', that's not what I've been told and that brings me in a real dilemma and a crossroads. Because I want to move forward with what we're doing but until I can sort this out I can't because you're too hot. I'm told there is a subpoena coming for you. I'll show you the email. From what I'm told, you're good for us, and I want to bring you on board but I've got to weigh up the risks to me. Have a read of that, that's what I got this morning:

"Arnold, Shaddo Hunter, alias Brett Peter Cowan, is the main suspect in the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe who went missing in Queensland December 7, 2003. My sources tell me there's no doubt he's the person responsible for this offence witnesses have placed him at the scene with Morcombe just prior to disappearance he had a 45 window of opportunity where Cowan was unaccounted for he provided a weak alibi two years later in a family court matter. But there's something about this alibi that's not right. I'll find out a little bit more shortly and let you know. The Morcombe case is one of the highest profile missing persons cases in Queensland history and there's a lot of media interest in it. Cowan gave evidence at the inquest under the code name of P7 and I suggest you Google some of the info that I've provided to get more of a feeling for this matter (which I've done). The coroner's inquest will be recommencing shortly and Cowan will then be in the spotlight. If you can't sort this out for him I suggest you drop him like a hot potato."

BB: I can't sort out what I don't know. So look what happened and how can I sort it out?

COWAN: (Sighs) ... I don't know.

BB: Like I said, honesty, trust, respect. If I've got to postpone what we're gonna do for a few months to sort this out, I'm happy to do that for your sake because I'm told you're pretty loyal. You've built up a good relationship with some of the boys and they speak fairly highly of you.

COWAN: I appreciate that.

BB: So what do I need to fix?

COWAN: Yeah, okay, yeah I did it.

BB: Ok so you did it? But what I'm saying is I need to slip ya right back through the whole thing so that if there's anything that ... DNA or that kind of s*** - obviously if they haven't found the f***ing body.

COWAN: They took my car, they searched me car, full forensics on the car, they got nothing out of the car.

BB: Take me through the whole f***ing thing from woe to go then I'll think about things we have to sort and fix.

COWAN: I seen him standing there, I did a loop around.

BB: What time was this? About lunch time?

COWAN: I don't know. Afternoon. I was going up to my boss' father's place to pick up a wood mulcher. Cos I had to do some tree lopping in my yard. I picked it up and on the way home there was a broken down bus, a Sunbus. And then I seen Daniel.

BB: So he was standing on the side of the road? Did you do a u-turn or something?

COWAN: I went up and around and parked in the church car park. My car was never on the road so I don't know how that (got reported).

BB: I heard something about a white four-wheel-drive at the scene?


COWAN: It was not sitting on the highway at all. I've walked back down there. I didn't talk to him at all when I got there. I made it look like I was waiting for the bus. The bus drove past and I said 'I'm going down to the shopping centre, do you want a lift?' and he's gone 'yep'. The bus drove past, presumably given orders not to pick up any more passengers because it was the broken down one. He jumped in. Passenger seat. Instead of taking him to the shopping centre I took him to a secluded spot that I knew of. Up Coochin Creek - Beerwah.

BB: So you knew the area pretty well. How far was that from where you picked him up?

COWAN: Half an hour.

BB: Have you talked to him along the way?

COWAN: Just chatted.

BB: No problems? Like I said I'm not judging you at all. So bear that in mind, just tell me what I need to fix.

COWAN: I went to an abandoned house there. End of Roys Road.

BB: So you've taken him to the house. What happened in the house? I'm not judging you, all right?

COWAN: I never got to molest him at all or anything like that. He panicked and I panicked and grabbed him around the throat and before I knew it he was dead.

BB: How long did it take to strangle him out?

COWAN: It didn't seem long.

BB: Did he spit, leave blood or anything in that room?

COWAN: Not that I know of.

BB: What about clothing?

COWAN: Yes, had clothing on then.

BB: So you choked him out? He's died in that room? What have you done then?

COWAN: Yep. Taken him outside and put him in the back of my car ... the white Pajero.

BB: So he's lying in the back of the car? Was the mulcher there still?


BB: Has he touched the mulcher?

COWAN: Nothing.

BB: Do you reckon you left any prints at the house?

COWAN: The house is gone. I only had to go like from the house 150m cos it's all bush, it's an old sand mining site. Secluded bush in a fenced off area. I was actually gonna lease the property to do sandblasting on. There's an embankment where the sand mining got up to. It's all been grown over with trees and bush again and there's the old sand mining lake. I took him out of the car. I dragged him down the embankment.

BB: How'd you drag him? By the feet or the arms?

COWAN: I carried him over and threw (him) down the embankment. A metre and a half.

BB: Has he left any marks? Right - you pushed him like the old cowboy movies.

COWAN: I went down there and dragged him through, don't know how far it was, until I found somewhere I thought was ...

BB: A good spot?


BB: Did he still have all his clothes on? Did you leave anything behind?

COWAN: He had all his clothes on. I stripped them off and (gathered) trees and branches and covered his body with that. His clothes, I took back with me and threw 'em into the creek.

BB: You threw them into a creek? Which creek?

COWAN: Not too sure. On the way home. I had to go across one of them, like an old logging bridge type thing. There's a creek there, fast flowing.

BB: You just chucked them all in? Did you have to put them in a bag or anything like that? Throw em in one by one or the whole lot?

COWAN: Just threw them in. They sunk and floated away. None of that's has ever been found.

BB: You're lucky, aren't ya? I've heard somethin' about a f***in' watch, that he had a watch of some f***ing thing? Did you have that?

COWAN: The whole lot went in.

BB: So you left him there under the scrub? What have you done then? You've gone home?

COWAN: Yep. I did stop at my dealer's place and pick up so they're lying when they say I wasn't there.

BB: Mind you, from what I understand it's a couple of years later, she's probably so drug f***ed she wouldn't know what time of day it was. So you gone to your dealer's house after you've thrown the clothes? Pick up there?

COWAN: Yeah just 50. Never bought big quantities. Green. Spent about 15 to 20 minutes there, which I was always did ... went home, went inside, said g'day to my wife, told her I was back and went out and started chipping the timber.

BB: Did you go back?

COWAN: Within that week I went back.

BB: A heap of press by then?

COWAN: Yeah as a missing person.

BB: So, what, you're thinking 'f*** I better do something here'?

COWAN: Just in case, I took a shovel back.

BB: So a week later you've gone back and taken a shovel. Same car?


BB: What have you done then?

COWAN: I went down to where I put him, only found a fragment of bone, the rest of it was gone.

BB: In a week? What do you reckon has happened there?

COWAN: There's a lot of yabbies and animals, that sort of thing.

BB: So what was left of him?

COWAN: A little piece of bone left.

BB: No skull, no f*** all?

COWAN: I think that was part of the skull, I buried it, I broke it up with the shovel.

BB: That's gonna cause a problem, we're going to have to grab that. Nowadays they can do wonders with all this f***in' of sh**, DNA, all that sort of crap. I'll have to get you to fly over there with a couple of boys and sort all that sh** out.

BB: Where is the shovel now?

COWAN: Dunno. I took it home with me - used it in garden.

BB: So as far as you know there's nothing of his you've kept?

COWAN: Nothing at all.

BB: Is there anything else you can think of that we need to f***in clean up? Your alibi, this drug dealer of yours, you still talk to her? Can we approach her - pay her some dollars? I'll have a think about that.

COWAN: She's still into the drugs as far as I know so she may be approachable on that side of things but it's the boyfriend that's saying he would have remembered the motor and all that sort of stuff on the chipper.

BB: What's the chipper got to do with all this?

COWAN: Because I did show him the chipper but he's saying ... he doesn't remember

BB: We might have to put you up somewhere tonight. Get you on a plane tomorrow with a couple of the boys ... go and have a look and making sure everything is f***ing good. Cos if we can sort all this shit out now, it'll keep us all happy.

COWAN: I've cut ties with my family before but I've got no problems with cutting ties to everybody, even to the state of death certificate, dead.

BB: You know I f***ing can fix things. We sent Joe away for a while. A few dramas. Not an issue. Have faith in me all right. We'll sort this out for ya and we'll move on. I might have to put this job back a little bit till we sort it out but that's not a problem.

COWAN: Nobody else knows. It's not something I'm going to tell anybody.

BB: At this stage (the other boys) don't know anything. It's up to you what you tell them but I'm going to bring someone else on board obviously. We've been able to do what we've been able to do for so long because we're careful. I've built this business up over a long time and I've got a lot of good contacts all around Australian and internationally. Ultimately if the heats on me, the heat's on them, but if I can sort this out for you, and I'm pretty sure I can, then we can move on.

COWAN: I'm confident they can't pin me for it.

BB: Shit happens but it's those little things ... they can bring us down.

BB: You gotta keep a low profile.

COWAN: That's why I changed me name.

BB: Where'd you get it from?

COWAN: My puppy dog over in Queensland is named Shaddo. Staffy. She looked like a shadow and followed me around like a shadow so I started using it as a nickname so I took that on and then I wondered what surname can I have. Me and Tracey were talking and was like Hunter. That works. My middle name N-unya - none ya f***ing business.

BB: Very clever.

BB: We'll get over there and sort that shit out as quickly and cleanly as we can ... You're in the inner circle now, you know what's kinda happening, I'd rather keep you on board and sort these problems out for you. We can sort it out. I've got no real qualms. I've sorted out worse than this.

BB: When you strangled him - two hands, one hand, elbow or arm? Where was he? On the ground?

COWAN: When he started to struggle I was starting to pull his pants down. He said 'oh no' and started to struggle.

BB: So he's lying on his back?

COWAN: Actually I was standing, squatting, and I grabbed him.

Ends 13.26pm.

SWEET DELIGHTS: New Somerset business aims to go global

Premium Content SWEET DELIGHTS: New Somerset business aims to go global

Toogoolawah’s newest business has plans to take their operation national and...

Closed council discusses Lake Dyer caravan park tender

Premium Content Closed council discusses Lake Dyer caravan park tender

Council sought interest from experienced caravan park operators to take over the...

New bridge to take name of Somerset farming family

Premium Content New bridge to take name of Somerset farming family

A long-standing farming family have requested a road be named after them, but a...