Skydive Murder Plot: How did Victoria Cilliers survive and where is she now?

 Victoria Cilliers.
Credit: Channel 4

It was meant to be a gift from her loving husband, but it resulted in Victoria Cilliers nearly dying. Nearly a decade on from that fateful day, The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot details how she survived the attempt on her life.

While the story might seem like it was plucked from a best-selling thriller, The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot explores how Victoria Cilliers survived a 4,000ft free fall after her then-husband, Emile Cilliers, tampered with her parachute in a bid to kill her.

Almost ten years on, her story was adapted in gripping Channel 4 series The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot, which aired over three nights. With testimonies from Victoria herself and Downton Abbey’s MyAnna Buring portraying Victoria on screen, each episode makes for binge-worthy viewing.

And now, viewers are keen to know more about Victoria's real story, from how she managed to survive the fall to where she is now.

MyAnna Buring as Victoria Cilliers
MyAnna Buring as Victoria Cilliers

How did Victoria Cilliers survive?

As an avid skydiver, the jump should have been easy for Victoria. It was only when her standard parachute failed, that she realised something was drastically wrong.

Having completed over 2,000 skydives previously, she knew that malfunctions could happen and her extensive training kicked in.

Reaching speeds of 60mph during the her 4,000 ft free fall, she attempted to open the reserve parachute - which also failed.

Victoria 'didn't have time' to consider that she might die in the free fall, defying the odds after managing to land in a soft, freshly ploughed field.

Knowing that she'd barely escaped with her life, she even wriggled her fingers and toes as tried to assess her injuries.

Those who'd watched her skydive from the ground feared the worst though, even approaching her with a body bag.

Recalling the fall years later, she believes "it was a mix of things" that helped her survive.

In an appearance on Loose Women, she explained, "It was a combination of luck, trying to slow it down as much as I could, [and landing in a ploughed field helped]."

A still from The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot
A still from The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot

Though she survived the jump, she did sustain a broken pelvis, back and ribs from her 4,000 ft fall.

It was the second attempt on Victoria's life in less than a week, as the court later heard. Not only had Emile tampered with her parachutes moments before, he'd also caused a gas leak in the family home - endangering the lives of his two young children.

As the investigation continued, it became apparent that he had lead a double life with multiple affairs, mounting debt and spending his wife’s money without her knowledge.

It’s thought that Emile had even hoped to gain over £120,000 from Victoria's life insurance.

The army sergeant was later convicted of attempted murder in May 2018, with him being sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years.

Where is Victoria Cilliers now?

After surviving the attempt on her life, Victoria Cilliers now lives in Wiltshire with her two children and continues to work as a physiotherapist for the Ministry of Defence.

After the incident, Victoria went on to release a book about the ordeal, entitled I Survived

Nearly a decade on from that fateful Easter Sunday though, Victoria still finds it difficult to connect her former husband to his heinous crimes.

Even after his conviction, she still visited him in prison for some time.

During her appearance on Loose Women, she likened being with Emile to being "love bombed".

I Survived by Victoria Cilliers, £13.63 at Amazon

You can buy Victoria's book detailing her horrifying skydive ordeal on Amazon now. View Deal

Victoria said, "I got to the point [in my] early-mid thirties, I’d been married, divorced with no kids…not quite knowing where life was going to go…suddenly, this guy came out of nowhere.

"He just promised me everything I wanted…I thought I’d got my happy ending, it was perfect."

It was only looking back that she realised that he had coercively controlled her throughout their relationship.

She added:, "I think I just wanted the end stage and chose to listen to what he said."

Despite her harrowing experience, she has rebuilt her life and is in a relationship with Marine Commando Simon Goodman.