Denis Briggs Now Says He Didn't Kill Janine Vaughan, Despite Once Bragging About Her Murder

In an exclusive interview with 10 News First, a man has denied murdering a woman in 2001 -- even though he bragged about it back then.

After a night out with friends in 2001, Janine Vaughan hopped into a small red car, on her way home from Bathurst's Metro Tavern.

The 31-year-old woman from Muswellbrook, in the NSW Upper Hunter Region, has never been seen again.

It's an 18-year-old cold case police are still working to crack, with a $1 million reward currently on the table for any information that may lead to Vaughan's killer.

Janine Vaughan. Image: NSW Police.

According to evidence from a 2009  inquest into the disappearance, former wardsman Denis Briggs told at least three people he was responsible for the young woman's death.

Briggs allegedly confessed to murdering Vaughan by slitting her throat and burying her under a pile of rocks.

The 62-year-old -- who has been a person of interest in the case since the beginning -- was often served by Vaughan at the menswear store, Ed Harry, where she worked.

But now, living on a remote NSW property, Briggs claims he made up the whole story, in all its graphic detail.

Denis Briggs.

Speaking exclusively with 10 News First Crime Reporter Steve Hart, Briggs explained why he would lie about committing murder.

"These people, won't mention any names, they kept bugging me, going on and on and on," he said.

"And I thought I'd just big-note myself thinking I was a big hero, which wasn't very nice and just said that I did these things to stir 'em up and get 'em riled."

Briggs claims due to taking himself off medication for bipolar disorder at the time, he also suffered from delusions of grandeur.

Watch Steve Hart's full interview with Denis Briggs above.