Australian serial killer Ivan Milat died, aged 74, at 4:07am 27th October 2019, while undergoing chemotherapy in the Long Bay Jail’s hospital wing . Milat had been sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences on 27 July 1996 after the bodies of seven missing people (aged 19-22) were discovered partially buried in the Belanglo State Forest. Milat maintained his innocence even on his deathbed stating that he was not the ‘Backpack Killer’.
Police, however, maintain that Milat may have been involved in more murders than the seven for which he was convicted including that of;
- Keren Rowland (aged 20), who disappeared 26 February 1971 – body found in the Fairbairn Pine Plantation
- Peter Letcher (aged 18) who disappeared November 1987 – body found in the Jenolan State Forest
- Dianne Pennacchio (aged 29) who disappeared 6 September 1991 – body found in the Tallaganda State Forest
- Leanne Goodall (aged 20) who disappeared 30 December 1978
- Robyn Hickie (aged 18) who disappeared 7 April 1979
- Amanda Robinson (aged 14) who disappeared 21 April 1979
- Gordana Kotevski (aged 16) who disappeared in 1994
Due to this, and the strong suspicion of an accomplice, the murder cases were kept open. Milat’s former lawyer made a statement before his passing that Milat’s sister (Shirley Soire) had assisted him with some of the murders.
In May 2015, Milat’s brother Boris came forward and admitted that Milat was responsible for another shooting over 50 years ago, Neville Knight – a taxi driver that had been non-fatally shot by a shotgun by a passenger in the back seat, resulting in lifetime paralysis.
Although many people are rejoicing the death of Australia’s most prolific serial killer, there are a few people left disappointed by the secrets that Milat took with him to the grave – How many victims did Milat have overall? Was there an accomplice that was never caught? These questions are unlikely to ever be answered now that Milat is gone.