60 Minutes March 16

This week the whole 60 Minutes is devoted to Daniel Morcombe.

On the 7th of December 2003, Daniel Morcombe was last seen waiting to catch a bus on the Sunshine Coast. Daniel was a beautiful young boy – trustworthy and punctual, so when he didn’t come home that night, his parents Bruce and Denise knew something was wrong.

His disappearance sparked Queensland’s biggest and longest police case. Detectives pursued thousands of leads, but as the days turned into weeks, and then months, the hopes of finding Daniel seemed extremely remote. The months turned into years, but Bruce and Denise Morcombe never gave up searching for their boy, or looking for his killer, and in 2009 they began calling for a Coronial Inquiry.

Finally they succeeded, and in 2011, the inquest began. It would be the turning point in the investigation, as Police switched their focus to Brett Peter Cowan. Over the next 6 months, investigators carried out a delicate and highly secretive undercover operation which culminated with Cowan confessing to Daniel’s abduction and murder, and leading detectives to his remains. Bruce and Denise had found their son, and now his killer has been put behind bars.

· This Sunday, 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown speaks exclusively to Bruce and Denise Morcombe, Daniel’s older brother Dean, and his twin brother Bradley to get their reaction to the verdict, and the 11 year investigation.

· 60 Minutes gains unprecedented access to the dogged work of the Queensland Police, through thousands and thousands of leads and tip offs, and we’ll speak with the lead detectives and forensic investigators.

· 60 Minutes goes inside the extraordinary covert operation to outsmart and capture the paedophile who eluded authorities for eight long years.

· Viewers will hear what the jury didn’t, about Cowan’s horrific criminal past, and his two previous assaults on young boys. One of the victims speaks publicly for the first time ever, breaking his 27 year silence exclusively on 60 Minutes.

· 60 Minutes will raise serious questions about why Cowan was ever allowed out of jail for a 2nd time, after such heinous crimes, and examines how a national paedophile register may have saved Daniel.

Sunday, March 16th at 7.40pm on Nine.