SERIAL killer Ivan Milat needs to "grow a spine", "be a man" and confess if he was behind the decades-old mystery disappearance of several young Newcastle girls, say the grieving families who want to confront him.

The relatives say the ailing murderer was previously named a "major suspect" at an inquest into the frightening abductions, and now is the time to reveal the truth.

Some want prison authorities to take away the backpacker killer's pain killers for his terminal cancer and instead give him a "truth serum", while others hope he gets dementia and speaks in an unguarded way.

Three girls, including a teen aged 14, all vanished within four months near Newcastle in 1978/1979, during a period that Milat was known to work in the area.

A new police taskforce was announced last month to investigate two of the cases, as well as another missing girl, Gordana Kotesvski, who was taken in 1994.

Families of missing girls Robyn Hckie, left, and Amanda Robinson (right) have plead for serial killer Ivan Milat )centre) to confess if he was behind their disappearances before he dies.
Families of missing girls Robyn Hckie, left, and Amanda Robinson (right) have plead for serial killer Ivan Milat )centre) to confess if he was behind their disappearances before he dies.


Pam Mitchell, whose sister Leanne Goodall, 20, disappeared without a trace at the Star Hotel in Newcastle on 30 December 1978, where Milat had stayed, says she would like to personally speak to him.

"I wish they'd let me have a meeting with him, and record it," she said.

"He was a known psychopath and he was in the area at the time. There's is a great big chance, 95 per cent chance, that it was Ivan Milat.

"I'd just ask him point blank ... just please let us know whether you did it. Just let us know a yes or no whether it was you. Was it you or wasn't it you?"

She hopes his pain medication is withdrawn and that dementia sets in so he "speaks about things he shouldn't speak about".

"He would have flashbacks," she says.

Anne Robinson, 77, whose daughter Amanda Robinson, 14, vanished on her way home from a school dance at Swansea in April 1979, recalls seeing the "despicably evil" Milat stare at her during a 2002 inquest into the cases.

Pam Mitchell is the sister of missing Leanne Goodall, 20, who vanished in 1978. Picture: Justin Lloyd.
Pam Mitchell is the sister of missing Leanne Goodall, 20, who vanished in 1978. Picture: Justin Lloyd.

The families had previously agreed to offer immunity to Milat, hoping get him to confess at the inquest, as at that stage he believed he would win an appeal on the backpacker killings, but the coroner refused the request.

"You can't put words to how vile he was, he had such an evil stare," Mrs Robinson said. "He knew what he was doing, he would not have forgotten. They should give him a truth serum.

"There are four girls out there that need to be found.

"He needs to grow a spine and be a man before he dies, he's going to meet his maker soon.

"Give these families piece of mind so we can find our girls.

"He wouldn't have forget any of them, he would have the memories.

"He's just an evil creature."

She wants the current $100,000 reward to be increased.

Beth Leen, 83, with a photo of her daughter Leanne Goodall who went missing aged 20 years in 1978, with Anne Robinson who holds a photo of her daughter Amanda Robinson who went missing aged 14 years in 1979.
Beth Leen, 83, with a photo of her daughter Leanne Goodall who went missing aged 20 years in 1978, with Anne Robinson who holds a photo of her daughter Amanda Robinson who went missing aged 14 years in 1979.


In his findings, coroner John Abernethy stated: " Most of the establishments where Milat is believed to have stayed whilst working for the Central Asphalt Depot during the period of the late 1970's were either on or in the nearby vicinity of the Pacific Highway or were near the suburbs where the missing girls Hickie and Robinson lived.

"Given the past history of Ivan Milat, his known propensity for violence, his picking up of hitchhikers going back to a period of at least 1971, his possession of a large number of firearms, and other weapons, and his connection with the Hunter Region both in a work and social setting makes Ivan Milat a major person of interest in relation to the missing girls, perhaps more so Leanne Goodall than Robyn Hickie or Amanda Robinson."

Mrs Robinson's ex-husband, Ronnie also remembers Milat's "evil stare" from the inquest - describing the giggling backpacker killer as a "real bad looking mongrel".

"I'd like to tie him up over an ants nest," he said. "Just get a bit of string with honey next to him, that would suit him. And see if he speaks."

The family of Robyn Hickie, 18, who vanished outside her home on the Pacific Highway at Belmont North just 13 days before Amanda went missing, said they welcomed the formation of Strike Force Arapaima by Lake Macquarie detectives.

"We would like to get some final outcome, some closure," a family spokeswoman said.

Former Assistant Police Commissioner Clive Small, who headed the Milat investigation and authored the book Milat, Inside Australia's Biggest Manhunt, was also involved in a previous Strike Force called Fenwick which looked into the Newcastle cases just before the inquest.

"It was a very thorough investigation of the Newcastle matters, Milat was a suspect but there was no physical evidence," Mr Small said.

"I think it's well worth talking to him. I don't think he's going to tell you anything. He might be one of those blokes, who's about to die, and all of a sudden might think, I'll make myself famous again. If that happens, yes, but he sees himself very much as being in charge. He wants to be the boss, in control."

"We have to be careful of attributing too many cases to Milat."

Jim Hickie is the father of Robyn Hickie who went missing decades ago .
Jim Hickie is the father of Robyn Hickie who went missing decades ago .