A quest for a new beginning in a different country ultimately led to a fatal conclusion for Lisa Harnum. The 30-year-old Canadian had moved to Australia in search of a better life, and happiness initially seemed to follow her, with a new job and love. But sadly, things never stayed the same. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Web of Lies: Never Let Her Go’ examines the case of Lisa Harnum and how a jealous and controlling boyfriend isolated her from everything, eventually killing her. Are you wondering what happened? We’ve got you covered.
How Did Lisa Harnum Die?
Lisa Harnum was born in June 1981 and was raised by her mother Joan in Canada. Growing up, Lisa was interested in football and karate but loved music and dance even more. Family members remembered her as someone who always had a smile on her face. Lisa was a talented dancer who studied tap, jazz, and ballet. She had even taken part in various competitions in Canada and the United States. Her mother had stated that she was diagnosed with an eating disorder early on, something Lisa had to work through all her life.
Sometime in 2004, Lisa had decided that she needed a change and chose to move to Australia. She got there in 2005 and had eventually settled in Sydney. She was studying and working at Australian Hair & Beauty Salon over there when she met Simon Gittany. The two of them soon started a relationship. At the time of the incident, they shared an apartment together. On the morning of July 30, 2011, Lisa fell off her balcony — going down 15 stories — and hit the pavement. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful and Lisa was pronounced dead. Simon claimed that Lisa slipped and fell over, but an investigation would reveal there was more to the story.
Who Killed Lisa Harnum?
Lisa had met Simon through another man that she had been dating at the time. Sometime in 2010, the two of them had become roommates after she moved in to live in his spare room. Not long after that, they started to date. Lisa was happy with Simon, who she thought was charming and cared for her. But as time went on, Simon had become controlling and abusive. Simon was a shoe importer but Lisa knew nothing of his past. He had previously been convicted of receiving stolen goods and two violent attacks. One of them included him biting off part of a policeman’s ear. In 2001, he was caught with ecstasy as well.
Simon had slowly started to control everything Lisa did. He asked her to quit her job at the salon. He would control what she wore and constantly kept tabs on her. After they moved into their new apartment, he had pinhole cameras installed in the house which Lisa did not know about. He would stalk her with the cameras and the spyware that he had installed on her phone and computer. Simon even forbade her from seeing her friends or doing things that would involve her meeting other men.
As the relationship went on, Simon and Lisa had multiple arguments about his behavior and how he treated her. At one point, he had even threatened to have her deported. The couple, however, were engaged in June 2011. But in the weeks after that, Lisa had decided that she wanted to end the relationship and get away from Simon. She had confided in her personal trainer Lisa Brown and her life coach Michelle Richmond. She packed up some clothes and moved a few things into a storage unit in hopes that she would go back to Canada soon. But Simon learned about it immediately because he read her messages, leading to more abuse. Simon even got Lisa to kneel down in front of him, berating her.
By July 2011, Lisa had enough. She wanted to leave. She spoke with her mother over the phone and was to get out in the morning on July 30. But that was when things went terribly wrong. As she was trying to leave the apartment that day, Simon was recorded by his own pinhole cameras dragging Lisa back with his palm over her mouth. Just over a minute later, Lisa was on the pavement. Investigators later discovered the cameras and his controlling behavior toward her. Simon was charged with Lisa’s murder. He claimed that Lisa jumped off the balcony because she had been depressed. He said that he tried to save her but he could not.
Where is Simon Gittany Now?
Simon stood trial in 2013, more than two years after the incident. One witness, Josh Rathmell, stated that he had heard screams and then saw a shirtless man throw what he thought was luggage from the balcony only to later realize that it was a human body. The prosecution also presented evidence that Lisa’s fingerprints were not found on the balcony but there was Simon’s fingerprint and his partial palm print that was recovered from the railing.
The defense claimed that Lisa had suicidal tendencies and hence had jumped out of the balcony. The prosecution contended that Simon threw her off after he realized that she was going to leave him. Ultimately, Simon was found guilty of Lisa’s murder. The judge felt that Simon killed her in anger. In February 2014, he was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 26 years in prison. If reports are to be believed, then after losing an appeal for his conviction, he seems to be serving out his sentence in Parklea prison. He will become eligible for parole in 2031.
Read More: Where is Lisa Harnum’s Mom Now?