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Ivan Robert Marko Milat (back Packer Murders)

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Into The Dark Forest

The Facts

Ivan Robert Marko Milat was born in December 27, New South Wales, 1944. At a mere age of 36, he was convicted of seven murders that involved local and international hitchhikers. These murders, after sometime became known as the �Backpacker Murders’. He is currently severing multiple life sentences at Golburn Prison in NSW and will most probably stay there for the rest of his natural life.

The Investigation

Carried out between 1988 and 1992 there were seven confirmed murders of similar area and circumstances. The most obvious and logical assumption was that these murders were the handy work of a serial killer, but the idea was shunned away and ignored due to the severity of the implications. It would be later discovered that he shoot his victims with a Ruger .22 calibre long rifle, all at Belanglo State Forest south-west of Sydney.

Milats first two victims were Joanne Walters and Caroline Clarke, both British tourists who got more than they bargained for when they decided to hitch a ride with Milat. Exactly 13 months later a second pair of bodies belong to the deceased James Gibson and Deborah Everist were found, these two had apparently gone missing whilst hitchhiking. By now, the police were very suspicious of the recurring events at Belanglo State Forest. A few months later, a fifth corpse was found and subsequently identified to be that of Simone Schimdl.

In the face of overwhelming evidence, the police finally decided to act on their suspicions. As a result, three days after the discovery of Schmdle, an army of 300 police officers were sent to Belanglo State Forest in an attempt to uncover additional evidence. Their efforts, however, where not in vain at all, during the course of the search, another pair of bodies were found. The bodies identified to be that of German tourists Anja Habschied and Kurt Neugebauer, this raised the tally to a terrifying seven victims. The search also yielded the discovery of .22 calibre rifle shells near where Caroline Clarke was found.

A short time later a British hitchhiker by the name of Paul Onions also found himself hitching a ride with Milat. Walking alone he was offered a ride by Milat masquerading as a man named вЂ?Allen’. During the journey “Allen” stoped to get, some music tapes form the boot. Already suspicious Onions decided to make a run for it. Milat pulled out a .38 Special Revolver and attempted to shoot Onions. Fortunately, Milat missed and Onions escaped unscathed and was rescued by another passing driver. Onions returned to England and decided to keep quiet about the incident.

Apart from the new bodies and empty shells, police had found little else and could not even link a suspect to the crime. As time passed, the investigation started looking very bleak and as a final desperate plea, the police turned to the media and public, pleading to anyone with information to come forward. Fortunately, due to the severity and multinational victims, the story spread worldwide and eventually touched Onions. Stirred by the fact that “Allen” had not been apprehended, Onions came forward with convicting evidence and as a key witness in the persecutions armoury. Onions was flown back to Australia where he identified, Milat from many other suspects. Gaining search warrants, police found personal items directly linking Milat to his victims in his various estates.

The Defence Case

Milats Lawyers skilfully fabricated a story claiming that it was Milats brothers, Richard and Walter, who had committed the crimes. Tho both were at work during the estimated time of some of the murders, but the defence maintained that there was a possibility that either Richard or Walter could have snuck out from work and commit



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