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True Crime: Lisa Harnum

by Dr. Shakira 5 days ago in guilty
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She was pushed from her balcony

Macha Lisa

“Lisa’s loss to our family is devastating and the pain endless. Whether directly or indirectly, every one of us will be affected by some kind of violence, physical or mental, during our lifetime. Yet we tend to believe it will get better, ignore it, or turn away instead of facing it head on. The only way for it to diminish, for in truth it will never be eradicated, is for each and every one of us to take a stand and say STOP! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. STOP THE VIOLENCE. MAKE A DIFFERENCE! When we witness it, we must report it, or, if the situation safely allows, stop it. A few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. If we know someone who is violent, either in our families or an acquaintance or friend, we must intervene and get that person help before it causes the loss of a life. Please do not turn away for one day you, or a family member or friend, may need the Foundation. You always think it could not happen to you. That is what we thought and now we are without our beautiful Angel.”-A message from Lisa’s family

A text message from Simon to Lisa: “I thought I told you not to wear that???” and “No makeup today. You don’t need it.”

Lisa to Simon: “I always wait at home for you, I don’t go anywhere, I don’t do anything without your permission, without asking you. Without you being OK with everything. And I don’t do anything other than whatever it is that you tell me to do. Nothing.” Simon: “Ditto.” Lisa: “Simon-that is not the truth. Think about this, when I am not with you, I am by myself. I don’t talk.” Simon: “No you are not.” Lisa: “I don’t speak, I am by myself.“

Lisa Harnum was from Toronto, Canada, and wanted to spread her wings and go to Australia. In 2005, despite being scared to leave her family, she decided to take the leap. Her mother and brother were supportive of her decision every step of the way. Lisa was gorgeous, had firecracker energy, confidence, and a go-getter. She was a happy extrovert who always smiled, and loved to dance and entertain. When she arrived in Australia she loved it and wanted to obtain citizenship. Her work visa expired and in order to stay, she had to enter into a career that was approved by the Australian authorities. In 2009, she worked at the Australian Hair and Beauty College in Sydney. She loved the hair, fashion, and makeup aspect and excelled at them. She was looking for a roommate and was introduced to Simon Gittany. He was fun, flashy, luxurious, and enjoyed the finer material things in life. He went to the gym often, wore fancy clothes, and appeared to support Lisa in the beginning. They initially formed a friendship and over time it transformed into a romantic relationship.

In 2010, there was a wedding back in Canada and Lisa decided to attend. She came after the wedding because Simon did not like her at huge parties. He was jealous, insecure, and possessive. Lisa did not want him to feel uncomfortable and accommodated his request regardless of how she felt about it. She was instructed to only visit her family, no friends and she could not attend any parties. When her plane touched down in Canada, she had a new phone. She told her family that Simon gave her the phone and she was to have it on her at all times. Unbeknownst to her, he had installed spyware and tracking software on it. This allowed him to know where she was at all times and he could read her texts and emails. As soon as she made it out of customs her phone was ringing. There wasn’t a moment on the trip where he was not calling her and checking in on her. If he called and she did not answer, he expected her to call back in two minutes. Her cousin invited her to a party on Facebook and Lisa sent her a message to un-invite her immediately. She knew Simon would be checking her Facebook page to read her posts, messages, and comments. Her friends were shocked that she was with someone like Simon. Her friend Sarah says, “She started posting pictures from Sydney and we were thinking what is she doing, who is this guy? He looked 50!”

When Lisa arrived back in Australia, Simon started to buy her clothes and picked out her everyday outfits for her. He made her get rid of her fancy clothes and dresses. Her family and friends started to notice a change in her personality. She was missing the usual confidence and flair that she always had. The things she normally enjoyed, she was giving her family excuses for why she couldn’t do them anymore. She was giving in to his ways and she was accepting the way he wanted things. She was not speaking up for the way she wanted her life to be. He had control over her life, her mind, and she was unrecognizable to the people that loved her. He ended her career by coming to the beauty school, causing a scene and made her quit. She was entering a phase in the relationship where she could not do anything without his expressed permission. She had no career, no friends, no hobbies. Her waking hours to sleep hours were under his control.

Lisa felt trapped and could not get out of the relationship in order to get on with her life to live the way she wanted to. She felt like he was watching everything she did, everything she said, everywhere she went, and everything she ate. She missed her family and friends immensely and felt like she had no life. Her mom became concerned and wondered what Lisa had gotten herself into. Despite their relationship being full of arguing and fighting, they moved to a new apartment for a fresh start. Lisa thought she would be happier, more settled, and more fulfilled-it turned out to be the opposite. Things only got worse. They moved into a high-rise apartment in a prestigious area. She loved the area and it had a park where she could go and walk when she needed to getaway. The moment they moved in, he made sure it was filled with cameras in all areas of the apartment so he could watch her every move.

Christmas 2010, Lisa went back to Canada to visit her family for the holidays. Although she still had her beautiful smile, she was wrapped from head to toe in big fluffy clothes and her clothes were very plain. She did not appear to look like her normal self. She did not have on makeup and her hair was pulled back. This was not in her usual personality at all. She appeared rundown, timid, and docile. Her visit was very short and the agreement was still in place that she would see immediate family only. The relationship was becoming more volatile, it now seemed that anything she did outside of what he wanted, all hell would break loose. She was the one to apologize profusely which gained him more control over her and more consequences. She received messages from him that said: “please don’t let any guy talk to you today and please don’t look at any guys as your eyes should only gaze on me, the one”. Her family and friends tried to assure her that they were there for her at any moment she wanted to talk. Her family begged her not to go back to Australia. He was in another country and she did not have to go back there, she could stay in Canada. She went back to him. Lisa was scared and the level of control he had over her was evident. Simon made her feel that the arguments were her fault. She thought it was up to her to change and be what he wanted her to be.

June 2011-on her 30th birthday she called her mother to let her know she was engaged. Her mother and brother were very upset because Lisa had never expressed any desire to marry him. Her family was not excited for her and did not congratulate her. Simon erased all of her birthday messages from her family and friends. Lisa was very upset that no one contacted her on her 30th birthday. Her family did their best to convince her that they had reached out to her. No one knew why she didn’t get a single message. Lisa secretly wanted to leave the relationship. However, she felt by staying with him, she had a better chance at becoming an Australian citizen. If he let on that he was upset about her leaving him or how it would break him, she would not be able to hurt him in that way. He would make it like her leaving would destroy him in order to keep his control over her. Even if she was in pain or unhappy and wanted to leave, if he expressed disapproval, she would put his happiness or pain ahead of her own and stay. The relationship was not awful all of the time. Sometimes it was filled with love and that is what she hoped would always be. She overlooked the bad times in order to remember the good.

Since she was not allowed to go to the gym Simon got her a female personal trainer. She also met another female friend and was able to confide in them both. She expressed to them that she was ready to leave the relationship. They took steps to help her by taking her clothes little by little to put into storage. Simon found out and this angered him and he cut them out of her life. He sent a message to them both as if from Lisa telling them she didn’t ever want to hear from them again. Both women knew Lisa had not sent those messages. Lisa started to wonder how he knew her every word and her every movement. She started to investigate by looking into his computer. She found out he was tracking her phone and through spyware, able to read her messages and emails. She was officially done with the relationship and her mom prepared for her to come back to Canada the very next morning.

July 30th, 2011

Simon was trying to check the computer and realized the password had been changed. Annoyed, he confronts Lisa about it. She reveals she has changed the password and she doesn’t trust him. Meanwhile, her mom is expecting her to be on the airplane back to Canada. She doesn’t hear from Lisa and started to send messages to her asking if she was OK. She doesn’t hear back and knows something is wrong. Back in Australia, Lisa puts a handbag on her shoulder and tuns to the door to leave the relationship once and for all. Simon rushed behind her and she runs to frantically knocked on the neighbor’s door asking for help. Before the neighbor could help, the two ran back into the unit, and 69-seconds later she is laying on the sidewalk. Lisa has fallen 15 stories down. By the time Simon was downstairs, people were there rendering aid trying to save her. Lisa has tragically died. The police arrive on the scene and he quickly give the police his version of events. He tells them that she had become hysterical and she leaned over the balcony. He goes on to say, he tried to save her and she slipped over and fell. Her family is notified of her death and instantly knew that Simon had killed her for attempting to leaving the relationship. They were devastated.

Simon was not under arrest and was cooperating with authorities. A witness comes forward with information that turns the investigation around. The witness heard a woman screaming and a man yelling in a rage. When he looked up, he saw a man with his arms outstretched holding a woman. The woman was wearing dark clothing in his arms and the witness saw him let her go. Police also accessed Simon’s computer and finds the cameras. The police also find the installed spyware on her phone and her computer. He was tracking her phone, reading her texts, and listening to her phone calls. It was shocking (even to law enforcement) the lengths he went through to control her.

They checked the cameras and found a video of Simon dragging Lisa back in with his hand over her mouth. You could see half of Lisa’s face, she was terrified. His hands were clamped around her face and neck pulling her back into the apartment. Police now had the evidence they needed to charge him with murder. Gittany was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to 26 years in jail with 18 as a non-parole period. It was also discovered that he had a history of violence and his quick temper has landed him in prison in the past.

Each year millions of beautiful, vibrant, and highly educated women and men fall victim to a domestic violence situation. It is hard to observe and understand how someone you love could have gotten themselves in such a situation. If you know someone in a domestic violence situation, it is important not to become angry with them and/or judgmental. Here are some informative articles for understanding victims of a domestic violence situation:

Lisa Harnum Foundation

Related Links and Information

Herald Sun

How Lisa Harnum Almost Escaped Her Deadly Romance

TV: Never Let Her Go

About Dr. Shakira


About the author

Dr. Shakira

🩺Philosopher🌻Freelance Scribe🕵🏽‍♀️True Crime✨Celeb Ghostwriter✨The Missing✨Investigation✨Podcast✨Researcher 🔺

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