news

Man sent Facebook message claiming he knew how his young boyfriend had died

Michael Atkins was acquitted of the murder and manslaughter of Matthew Leveson back in 2009

2018-07-31

A middle-aged man sent a chilling Facebook message claiming he knew how his 20-year-old boyfriend had died, which reopened a murder investigation.

Michael Atkins – who was acquitted of the murder and manslaughter of his young boyfriend Matthew Levenson back in 2009 – sent a message to a former boyfriend just a year after facing a jury trial.

But now in a new book, ‘Deal with the Devil’, author and Sixty Minutes producer Grace Tobin detailed how Atkins admitted to knowing what happened to his boyfriend in September 2007 after he was last seen leaving Sydney’s Arq nightclub.

Atkins – who was 45 at the time of Leveson’s disappearance – sent Andrew Danvers, a former boyfriend, a message in 2010 revealing his younger lover had been murdered and buried.

Using the social media name ‘Mikeyboi Atkins’, the electrician revealed what happened to Leveson when Danvers asked if he was still alive.

He wrote: “In spirit yes, in physical being no… Dead men tell no tails. U wanna know how he died? [sic]”

After 40 minutes, Danvers reported the details to the police who reopened the case back in 2014.

However, Atkins was given legal immunity from prosecution two years later for leading police to the remains of Leveson.

The skeletal remains of Leveson were found in June last year – almost a decade after he went missing – south of Sydney.

His bones were found under a cabbage-tree palm following two unsuccessful searches for his remains in November 2016 and January 2017.

Atkins lived with Leveson at Cronulla beach when he was reported missing by his family and he was captured on CCTV leaving the gay nightclub in September 2007.

He was arrested in 2008 and charged with murder however a Supreme Court jury acquitted him of murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter at the end of a four-week trial in 2009.