Ivan Milat’s bizarre new letter
IVAN Milat may have a reputation as Australia's most notorious serial killers but he's somewhat baffled by the nation's fascination with him.
In a letter sent to True Crime Australia from jail, the backpacker killer, convicted of the murders of seven young people in the Belanglo State Forest between 1989-1993, is bemused that even his most banal utterances seem to make national news.
He's regularly shocked when letters he's written in response to correspondence from strangers show up as an item for discussion on panel TV shows.
"They appear on breakfast TV and display my letters around as if it was something akin to getting a message from God," he writes from his cell in solitary confinement.
"I watched one of those morning programs, the TV breakfast personality a handful of pages written by me (sic), such a quizzical expression on her face as she reads stuff that would not raise her grandmother's eyebrows."
Sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences on 27 July, 1996, Milat has spent more than two decades behind bars, kept in a solo cell at Goulburn's high-security "Supermax" prison.
And, he's no too crash-hot on his neighbours, either.
"No friendships developed with fellow prisoners," he writes, "my program does not permit, plus they, fellow prisoners, are terrorists or alleged ones, government policy does not permit my contact, though we (are) all in proximity of each other. They mix and appear quite friendly with each other."
Milat may not be the sort of man most Australians would seek out for life advice but he begins his correspondence with a thoughtful tip: "Some driving advice, when driving about, if you were to hit a were wolf, don't stop," he writes.
The bizarre utterance is not explained but acts as a preface for the next 10 pages in which Milat fastidiously debates the minutiae of his case, and his claims of being an innocent victim of a corrupt judicial system.
"Upon my arrest, trial and since conviction on 27 July 1996 (do the maths to now), I have prosecuted my innocence, ten appeal/review court rejection judgments to date (include two to the High Court of Australia).
"Those banks and other financial companies and, in particular, the churches in Australia, are novices when it came to conspiracies, to protect the system, The Supreme Court judiciary are the masters in protecting the system," he writes.
But it's not just the judiciary that have it in for him. Like President Trump, he claims to have been unfairly treated by the media.
"Trust or not the media!" he proclaims. "Even the USA President is often critical of the veracity of media reporting, "fake news", the often quote.
Despite this, Milat admits to following himself closely in the press and refers to specific dates on which he is mentioned in the news.
"I refer to the Sunday 8 July 2018 True Crime (Australia) story, missing females in the Newcastle region, how did I get involved in it?" he asks, referring to a story published by News Corp in which Milat's name was mentioned as a suspect in the disappearance of Amanda Robinson, Leanne Goodall and Robin Hickie - who all went missing from Newcastle, NSW, between December, 1978 and April, 1979.
"Following my convictions on 27 July 1996, on 28 July 1996, the police commander of the Newcastle area command came up with a most ingenious solution to clear the police books of many unsolved disappearances, since mid-seventies to the mid nineties numerous females aged from 14 to early 20s seemly just vanished off the face of the earth, no trace of them emerged …
"The solution was to lay it all on Ivan Milat and a relentless police campaign abley (sic) assist by all media services accused Ivan Milat for the disappearances/ murder of 8,9 or 11 female young persons. This program to blame me continued on up until late 2000. Not once did any police come to talk to me during all this," he bemoans.
Milat vividly recalls the exact date he was taken from jail to be questioned at the 2001 joint inquest at Toronto Court into the suspected murders of Hickey, Robinson and Goodall.
"It was quite a circus, the transport me operation to Toronto (sic), lots of vehicles guards, helicopters hover above us at times, even snipers on top of car park opposite the court.
"I'm shackled, chained and double cuffed and all morning I'm being asked questions, invited to tell a time I worked in the area," he writes.
Naturally, to a man convinced of his innocence, the high-security precautions seem a little extreme.
After all, this is a well-spoken serial killer, who would hate for others to think ill of him - especially when it comes to his handwriting.
"Please forgive my writing," he signs off, apologetically. "Broke some things in my shoulder a few years ago, no repairs done, and awkward to write at times.