Solved The Backpacker Murders

Nov 8, 2000
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A serial killer in our midst. Seems flippant to call it our own serial killings as though we embrace it, but to have something like this going on in modern day Australia (1990s), was the stuff of US Movie folklore.

Ivan Milat terrorised the highways around the Belanglo State Forest in NSW, killing 7 backpackers, 5 of which were international visitors.


I read the book 'Highway to Nowhere' about these murders and it is frightening in the way it portrays the Milat family and it seems almost certain that one of his brothers was also involved but never stood trial.

Hardly the perfect crime though. To steal items from the victims and give them away as gifts to family or keep them for yourself, is pretty damn stupid.

Anybody else have recollections of what it was like hearing about another find in the Belanglo Forest back then?
 

Mr Shankly

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Hardly the perfect crime though. To steal items from the victims and give them away as gifts to family or keep them for yourself, is pretty damn stupid.
I know it seems stupid to us normal folk, but a number of serial killers take trophies or souvenirs to keep or give to family. Helps them to continue to relive the crime or feel power over the victim. It's something investigators are always on the lookout for.

I was in my early teens when the bodies were discovered, and at that age I wasn't really able to grasp the scope of it all or the impact it was having. I do remember my parents' reaction when watching the news, though. They'd go really quiet, and I could see how shocked and saddened they were.
 

Aussie Assault

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This is probably the most fascinating crime story of my lifestime in Australia. Snowtown is up there, but this just freaks me the hell out whenever I am on a roadtrip or see a hitchhiker on the side of the road knowing that Milat's victims were once doing that exact same thing without a worry in the world at the time. It is so cold blooded and random to the point where any hitchhiker could have been his (their) next victim. I get chills just typing this..
 

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Nov 8, 2000
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This is probably the most fascinating crime story of my lifestime in Australia. Snowtown is up there, but this just freaks me the hell out whenever I am on a roadtrip or see a hitchhiker on the side of the road knowing that Milat's victims were once doing that exact same thing without a worry in the world at the time. It is so cold blooded and random to the point where any hitchhiker could have been his (their) next victim. I get chills just typing this..
You're telling me. I hitchhiked a couple of times from Brisbane to Mildura, the second time being around about 1991, so the killings had begun. I remember once getting dropped at Goulburn which is not too far from the Belanglo State Forest, so I obviously went through this area. In fact, I only just realised this just now when I googled to see where Belanglo is. Yikes!
 

grizzlym

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My brother had a friend who was involved in covering the case for a newspaper. Said the Onions guy literally had a break down when it all twigged what he narrowly avoided. Also said that there was plenty of stuff that the Milat clan were allegedly involved in.

Wasn't Richard Milat the brother that many people suspected of being involved?
 

Santana

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I believe so, if any of the brothers were involved it would have most likely been Richard. He came off looking very bad in an interview for a crime show a few of years ago.

I've always believed Ivan didn't act alone for some of the murders, but the head of the task force has never wanted any of it.

I've also wondered what another possible murders Ivan did another than this 7. I've heard that there are 3 or 4 cases were they're sure Ivan did but just don't have quite enough to get him.
 

the fly

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I've also wondered what another possible murders Ivan did another than this 7. I've heard that there are 3 or 4 cases were they're sure Ivan did but just don't have quite enough to get him.
I remember hearing that it was believed that he may have committed murders in the Jenolan State Forest west of Sydney prior to those in the Belanglo State Forest, but no bodies have been found there.
 

MC Extra Dollop

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http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/milat/16.html

Richard Milat, when asked by the press if he feared he would be arrested in relation to the murders, replied, "not really, if they wanted me theyd have me by now." Margaret, Ivans mother, was shocked by the sentence handed down on her son, but told reporters, "if he did these crimes then he deserves to be punished."

Other reporters tracked Ivans brother Boris down to a secret location, where he was supposedly "hiding" from his family. When asked if he thought that Ivan was innocent, he answered, "all my brothers are capable of extreme violence, given the right time and place individually. "He continued, "the things I can tell you are much worse than what Ivans meant to have done. Everywhere hes worked, people have disappeared, I know where hes been.

He then asked the reporters if they thought Ivan was guilty, they replied that they did. "If Ivans done these murders," he told them, "I reckon hes done a hell of a lot more."

"How many?" they asked.

His reply was disturbing. "About twenty eight."


http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/milat/16.html
 

Silent Alarm

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My brother had a friend who was involved in covering the case for a newspaper. Said the Onions guy literally had a break down when it all twigged what he narrowly avoided. Also said that there was plenty of stuff that the Milat clan were allegedly involved in.

Wasn't Richard Milat the brother that many people suspected of being involved?
Paul Onions is insane. Lucky and a bit of a champ, considering he probably halted a few more deaths. I called my fantasy Premier League and Dream Team after him.

I remember finding out about these murders through Crime Investigation Australia. I'd usually dismiss shows like this, but I reckon the series was great: Informative, interesting, but absolutely heartbreaking. This episode really stuck with me, just because of the brutality of every single death. I was about 14 or so when I was watching them, and I think it cemented that idea that idea of how animalistic humanity can be. The shit this guy did was the definition of evil.

His family is worthless. One of them was absolutely suss. I dunno what his name was, but he reckoned brother Ivan wasn't that bad of a bloke... and weren't they some vague rumours about incest?
 

Ghostwriter

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2 of the belanglo murders were women from England who were travelling together but they were both murdered in different ways, one was shot and the other stabbed to death, this leads investigators to believe that 2 people were involved, my memory of this is vague and I didn't look it up before posting either.
 

Doss

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Milat's nephew and his friend were recently convicted of killing their friend with an axe in 2010.

Where did they commit the murder? Belanglo State Forest.
 

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The Prosecutor

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Milat's nephew and his friend were recently convicted of killing their friend with an axe in 2010.

Where did they commit the murder? Belanglo State Forest.

Milat later bragged about his actions, telling friends that he was doing "what my family does", and attempted to glorify the murder in a series of poems he wrote in jail and later sent to his mother.
Fair to say that they're not exactly the most stable family going around.
 

bomberswarm2

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Crime Investigation Australia did a great job of this, I'm actully amazed how many people know about what happened then, I ask lots of people at school if they know about them, and most do. When teenagers know about something that happened 20 years ago, it shows the impact it had on the country.
 

Ed_Gein

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The whole Ivan Milat story reminds me of the Murdoch/Falconio/Lees story too. Something to me didn't add up about how Lees escaped, although i haven't done any indepth reading about it i ended up developing the theory that Lees had sex with Murdoch in exchange for her life.
 

Jordie_tackles

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