Sunday 17 May 2015

Reality TV star tried to kill his lover in twisted Romeo and Juliet double death pact

Terrified Samantha Holland was bleeding heavily and growing weaker by the second.
She knew her ex-boyfriend Joel wanted to kill her. She already had the tip of a knife embedded in her back, plus he’d told her his senseless plan – he wanted them to die together, like star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet.

But Samantha didn’t want to make that sacrifice. She had one chance to fight back and it would force her to do the unthinkable…
After his attack on Samantha, Joel Betts became famous for all the wrong reasons, but before he’d even picked up a weapon Joel was already a household name in Australia. He first shot to fame when he appeared on the reality TV series Australian Survivor in 2002.
Isolated in the remote wilderness, contestants battled to avoid elimination through a series of trials. The public watched Joel fighting the elements with his resourcefulness, strength and clever strategies, which took him all the way to the final three.
Joel was also charming and good looking, with his floppy fringe and chiselled jawline, so it was no surprise that once he was out he became a media hit, doing public speaking, TV presenting and even hanging out with politicians.
By 2010, he’d been dating Samantha, 23, for two years, but it had been a rocky relationship and the couple had decided to split up.
They’d shared a third-floor flat together in Sydney and agreed that they’d come back at different times to pack up their stuff.
When Samantha arrived on the morning of 17 April, two weeks after the spilt, she was disappointed to find Joel there.
They argued for an hour as he begged her to take him back, but Samantha wasn’t giving in. ‘I’m done,’ she told him.
Samantha tried to leave, but Joel grabbed a bread knife and attacked her. ‘We will die here together,’ he cried, ‘then we can be together for eternity.’
Samantha screamed as Joel stabbed her repeatedly, and when he plunged the knife into her back, he used such force that the tip of the blade broke off. Every time she tried to run, he attacked.
Samantha’s brother was helping her with the move and was waiting downstairs. Joel used her phone to send him texts, saying they were talking things through and that she didn’t need help after all.
One read, ‘We’re looking like staying together, for now at least, I’ll call you soon, thanks for coming today bro x’
Samantha’s only escape route was the balcony, but when she tried to run for it, Joel pulled her back. Then he started to slash his wrists and wildly stab himself in the neck, clearly wanting to die.
After 45 minutes of pure horror, Samantha knew she needed to think fast to survive.
She had to weaken him. ‘If we’re going to die together, I should have a turn with the knife,’ she told him.
Joel wanted them to die and Samantha was offering him the Romeo & Juliet-style end he longed for.
It seemed to work – Joel agreed and handed over the blade. Samantha struck. She plunged the knife into his stomach and twisted. The wound was so severe his intestines were visible. ‘That was a good one,’ he gasped.
As he fell to the floor, he was drifting in and out of consciousness. Samantha saw her opportunity and raced out to the balcony and climbed over.
Terrified, she swung down and fell onto a neighbouring balcony below and screamed for help. All she was wearing was blood-drenched underwear.
At the hospital, Samantha was treated for over 20 stab wounds. She’d been stabbed in the back, neck, shoulder, hand, cheek, chin and arm, but thankfully she would be fine. Incredibly, despite needing major surgery, Joel survived too.
At the crime scene, police found a piece of paper on the kitchen table on which Joel had scrawled lyrics from the Bon Jovi song Every Word Was A Piece Of My Heart.
It read, ‘You know I love you, but I hate you because I could never replace you.’ It spoke volumes about his state of mind.
In 2012, Joel, 32, pleaded guilty to wounding Samantha with intent to murder, and for holding her hostage.

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