Picture: Brian Raven wearing a red
top at a Justice Action demonstration against
Guantanamo Bay shortly before
his untimely death.
Brian Raven was a good friend and fellow investigator. Some years ago his body was found in his home in mysterious circumstances; he had been dead some weeks. I have not heard whether there has been a coronial inquiry. At the time of his death Brian was working on exposing corruption in a number of high profile cases. He set up a website regarding the evidence against Ivan Milat. This is Brian's take on the evidence against Ivan Milat.
THE BACKPACKER MURDER CASE
Between 29th December 1989 and April 1992 seven young hitchhikers disappeared off the Hume Highway as they travelled to destinations Australia wide. Three sets of couples were from as far afield as Germany and the UK and one set of couples were Australians attending an environmental rally in the border town of Albury. Two girls, the last disappearances, travelled together. On the 25th /1/1990, another UK hitchhiker was picked up at Casula after departing a train at Liverpool in the far west of Sydney.
The route was the Hume Highway corridor that snaked its way past the Southern Highlands. In proximity to the Belanglo turnoff the man driving the 4WD pulled to the side of the road and produced a weapon, a shot was fired in the ensuing struggle and Paul Thomas Onions fled towards an oncoming vehicle, flagging it down and making good his escape.
An occurrence pad entry would record some particulars of a description and we are led to believe a victims statement was taken. Yet it is not until the later discovery of bodies that authorities are alerted to the prospect of a serial killer. The first statement we are led to believe was lost after it was stored at Bowral police station. The second statement was taken by Task Force Air detectives and contained particulars that were so ample as to lead to one man, Ivan Milat.
Since that time a man has come forward who was also picked up by a man in a 4WD around the same time. (I am trying to find a link to his story).
The arrest of Milat for the Paul Onions offence took place on the 22 May 1994 at his home. Other family properties were searched. Detectives claimed items of property belonging to the backpackers were discovered.
So began one of Australias most controversial prosecution cases, with a large entourage of media that seemed joined in the process of ensuring Ivan Milat was found guilty. Allegations of impropriety by both detectives investigating the case and the crown prosecution case continue to attract major headlines.
On the 17/4/1996 K. Sissons was examined by the defence Terry Martin Q.C. during the backpacker murder trail. She gave evidence of her movement during the period 29/12/89 when she had hitchhiked with Mark Wilson to the Albury Festival. They had traveled the Hume Highway corridor that James Gibson and his girlfriend Ms Everist were also presumed to have travelled. The confest was largely a gathering of environmentalists organised by key green activists and was particularly concerned with with the ongoing forestry protests.
Ms Sisson gave evidence that though she looked for the young couple during her stay there she did not run into them. Gibson and Everist were two Victorians who had traveled up to Sydney to stay with friends at Sydney's Surry Hills. They became the first victims of Belanglo.
By late 1993 the evidence of the findings, coupled with other knowledge pointed to the group aspect. Things like the size of a tree placed over the body of one of the victims. A variety of weapons were used by the perpetrators included guns and knives. The method of the murders needed more than one person to maintain control in such dense terrain.
NOTE: Police from Task Force Air seized a Winchester .22 rifle from murder suspect WMK in 1994. It was said by the police that the Winchester was one of several rifles they were searching for that had been fired in Belanglo Forest. The rifle has never been heard of since.
Manoeuvering the vehicle in this terrain would need more than one person to keep control of the situation. The group aspect becomes clearer when it is known that cigarette butts, empty alcohol bottles were found at the scenes. Ivan Milat did not smoke or drink.
NB DNA found at the scene was tested fairly recently due to advances in technology and was found not to belong to Ivan Milat, any member of his family or any of the victims. Furthermore, DNA found on a recent murder victim matches the DNA found in Belanglo. This means a murderer involved in the Belanglo killings is still out there. Are police making a real effort to find them?
Task Force Air gravitated to placing an individual in the spotlight, building a profile around one person. They were intent on building a case on an individual entirely on the evidence of Paul Thomas Onions. This person of main interest was Ivan Milat and the nexus between these crimes was his criminal antecedent, from when he was a 20 years old young man. The group theory was mainly abandoned in pursuit of a softer target - an individual.
Two years ago one of the young women allegedly abucted by Ivan Milat on the road to Goulburn came forward and apologized to Milat family members for the trouble caused to them. She said that her statements and those of her girlfriend were not true. Yet this case was used by the media to demonise Ivan Milat so that people said It must be true - he's done it before. At the time this case was heard, the magistrate remarked that the evidence of the two women was not truthful. Ivan was found not guilty.
Linked story: Terror on the Hume Highway
A SOUTH COAST POLICEMAN
Information concerning a suspect who had been a policeman on the NSW South Coast and the son of a senior inspector of police, caused a sensation when published in the Sydney Morning Herald during 1997.
There was no denial that he had been an early suspect, yet the question asked, is how he could have entered the suspects list with consideration to his hair colour and other personal particulars. How adequate was the police investigation when investigating one of their own. To have done so should have led to a deeper probe. They had not bothered to collect any of the items his fiancee had claimed were camping items. Among the property his fiancee said did not belong to him was a black leather jacket. She claimed she had identified the jacket from an ABC television special.
The young constable from Corrimal, Adam Brooks, had dressed himself in full uniform and killed himself at the Corrimal police station. Brooks father then gathered up his belongings at his fiancees home except for the black jacket which belonged to Gabor Neugebauer. Later, the fiancee was visited by Task Force Air detectives who told her that Adam was a suspect in the backpacker murder case. Police strangely did not pursue this line of investigation. The detectives were only interested in following up on Ivan Milat.
The serious question remains, if police had confirmed that Brooks was a suspect, and considering Onions original statement, how come a fair haired suspect later transfer to a dark haired man, Milat? Could this be why Onion's first statement disappeared.
Both Paul Onions and the other man picked up on the Hume Highway described a man around 6 feet tall. Clearly this could not have been Ivan Milat.
NSW POLICE VS HARRY BLACKBURN
The investigation was inadequate and shared similarities of policeman Harry Blackburn who was pursued as a suspect in 23 rapes.
A 1991 Royal Commission of inquiry headed By Mr. Justice Lee criticised poor investigation techniques used by police. He found there was fabricated evidence, a suspected media walk before the cameras. Proper DNA handling was lacking. The most disturbing feature was the police identification process and the inclusion of two suspect rapes into the investigation. The two women involved stated that they were coerced by detectives into swearing that Harry Blackburn was their rapist. They had attempted to state otherwise. The majority of the other victims said Blackburn was their attacker, but because of the two false accusers, all identification evidence was thrown out.
Whether or not the two alleged victims of Blackburn should have been heard is now a moot point. Would their evidence made a difference overall?
Harry was cleared and awarded a million dollars in damages.
What chance does a 47 year old road worker have against such forces.
BUNDANOON AND MR. PRYOR
Bundanoon resident Pryor had intimate knowledge of the Belanglo Forest where the victims bodies were discovered. He explained to police that he was looking for firewood at the time. He had stopped his vehicle, and walked between 10 and 15 metres off the road and discovered a skull He alerted another man near the entrance to Belanglo, and police quickly responded to his call.
Pryors alleged search for timber aroused suspicion in the minds of the defence. Bundanoon is situated in an area with firewood in abundance. When pressed, Pryor admitted that he had been in to Belanglo on other occasions, and that recent discoveries had grabbed his interest. Was his visit to the Forest due to something he had heard? Rumors and gossip are rife in such communities.
PAGE 49 OF POLICE NOTEBOOK
Around the time of the attack on Paul Onions, a young man fled from a four wheel drive south of the Belanglo turn off. The vehicle had stopped and he saw 3 men and a woman emerge from the bush. They were armed and coming toward him. He escapes and records the details to Bowral police. Task Force Air later dismiss his evidence as not being relevant to their backpacker inquiries. There is clear evidence that the police were reluctant to embrace the group killer theory. Was Paul Onions a victim of the group and fortunate to escape the tragedy that had happened to the other travellers?
However, this attack is the first inkling placing a woman at the crime scenes. It does go some way to explain the sexual nature inflicted upon some of the victims. Female jewellery had disappeared from the victims. Only commonplace camping items were discovered in later police searches.
THE REAL KILLERS' MODUS OPERANDI
Knowledge of Belanglo was essential for the killers to operate with confidence. They were able to enter and leave the forest at will. They were part of the everyday scene. Local rural residents would not notice anything extraordinary with the comings and goings of what would appear to be ordinary people doing ordinary things.
The Hume Highway running past the forest afforded the perpetrators to trawl for victims north or south of the forest. The pool of vehicles available to them was a bonus in that no single vehicle would stand out for identification purposes.
The key of their operation was that they were organised. One individual would make the trawl for a victim and then deliver that person or persons to a pre-arranged spot to his partners in this grisly enterprise.
One victim, Simone Schmidl was abducted from Albury and taken back to Belanglo. Caroline Clarke and Julie Walters were taken by the gang after they had been alerted that they, Clarke and Walters had a drink with one of the members of the gang at a hotel in Bowral. Anja Habscheid and Gabor Neugabauer were taken as they were returning to Sydney. Gibson and Everist were heading for an environmental protest meeting. They were early victims and it is possible that their philosophy did not find favour with those whose jobs in the forest industry may be in jeopardy. Rural Australia was angry at anyone who supported forestry reform.
At the time of the trial police had photos of the two backpackers which placed them in Albury at the time the witnesses, employees of State Rail, saw them there. Police allowed prosecutor Mark Tedeschi to refute the sightings of the backpackers in Albury and to make out the witnesses were not reliable. This means that police perverted the course of justice. Did Tedeschi know this? As an intelligent man shouldn't he have known the Hilton Bombings were not committed by the accused persons, at the time he prosecuted that crime? If a barrister is aware the evidence he is presenting is likely to be false, does he not have a duty not to present such evidence to the court as 'truth'?
Items from some of the victims were found scattered far from the actual murder sites. Obviously, this was an attempt to throw any possible later investigation into directions other than the forest.
ALEX MILATS STATEMENT
At Easter, 1992, Ivans brother, Alex, contacted Bowral police reporting that he had observed and believed to be suspicious. He stated he had seen two vehicles entering the Belanglo Forest containing as many as seven men and two women. His statement was not treated as serious enough to warrant an immediate investigation.
Later, after the discovery of the bodies, Task Force Air also discredited Alexs statement. Alex strongly believes the girls he saw were Clarke and Walters. Sightings of these victims would become an unusual part of the trial of Milat. The attempts to discredit the sighting by Alex Milat led to his evidence not being thoroughly explored. It led to other sighting witnesses being branded as false sighters or mistaken. The movement of the victims had been theorised by Task Force Air, and that theory, false as it was, would prevail.
Alex Milat had identified two vehicles similar to many he had seen in the area over some time. He had seen one of the vehicles before that Easter sighting. He was disbelieved without good cause.
HONEYMAN AND BURNS EVIDENCE
The examination of Susan Adele Burns and Ms Myrna Honeyman. Their evidence consisted of sightings of the two hitchikers Clarke and Walters. They both had been traveling in the same vehicle on 21st April 1992. They were returning from work and they stopped and gave a lift to the young females. The girls were carrying backpacks. They left them at a service station at the top of Bulli Pass.
Ms Burns would later contact police after seeing a report on the missing girls on television. The time was easy to remember as it was the Easter long weekend when they encountered the girls. This time frame coincided with Alex Milats information.
Police took a statement from them both. No copy of their statement was given to them. Later, a video recorded statement was taken from them and a session with a hypnotist was arranged . They gave descriptions of the hitchhikers dress, accent, and other personal details. Task Force Air was unimpressed as it did not suit their fixation with the scenario they continued to pursue.
Burns and Honeyman were extensively cross examined and their evidence was being challenged that they were guilty of a false sighting. It was vital to the case against Milat that the movements of the backpackers remain within the limited boundaries set by the Paul Onions information.
The local press had been producing stories on the movements of the Backpackers around the Southern Highlands. The Blue Boar Inn at Bowral and a local Moss Vale pub were popular places of interest - but not for the police. I visited these hotels and spoke to staff and customers. Yes, the police had visited these watering holes but they showed little interest in tracing the movements of the victims at relevant times. To suggest that a local or locals would be part of the criminal enterprise did not fit the police hierarchy mind set.
ALBURY STATION SIGHTINGS
Mssrs Bennett and Adams, railway station workers at Albury became according to the crown, another false sighting. They had sighted Simone Schmidl. The sighting of Schmidl occurred on 21 January, 1992. She had been on her way to meet up with her mother in Melbourne. Mr Bennett was adamant in what he saw, and had passed on his sighting to Albury detectives. It took police hierarchy 18 months to respond to the information, when they faxed a poor copy of Simone's photo to Albury. This was remarkable that in such a high profile case they should be so slack. The police did not want,or need, any information that would place the victims out of the boundaries they had set. Another witness, a Mr Lewis, backed up the sighting of Simone. He had seen her at the side of the road at Albury.
Photographs of Simone in Albury confirm these sightings.
The book, Highway to Nowhere, by Richard Shears was an early publication on the backpacker case. He wrote material that had been previously unknown to the public. Shears would divulge that property discovered at Bright Victoria belonged to Simone Schmidl. Items handed to police included a pair of broad rimmed eye glasses and a sleeping bag.
He made reference to Australian police visiting Simone's mother in Germany for the purpose of identifying the glasses. The identification was inconclusive. Only the word of the visiting detectives is available. No statement from Mrs Schmidl was taken.
Simones father was called as a witness at the trial, but no mention of the items found at Bright was ever mentioned. During earlier committal proceedings some attempt was made to ascertain if the items were in fact Simones. If the items were property of the backpacker, it would put a dent in the Liverpool link. Senior detectives denied that such items ever existed. Ivan Milat continues to state that these items were found at his home on the day of his arrest.
The items were found twice: at Bright and then at Ivan Milats home. This can mean only one thing: police planted them there.
Bicycle riders Stephen Mangan and Michael Jones found dumped property belonging to the backpacker Gibson. A Ricoh camera was passed on to police on 31st December, 1989. Backpacks belonging to Gibson and his partner were later found by a motorist and passed on to police.
The significance of these findings was closely similar to the finding at Bright, Victoria. The items were discarded to throw any later investigations away from the Southern Highlands.
The crown attempted to prove that Ivan Milat had been working in the Dural-Galston Gorge area and that he had the opportunity to place the items there. But then, there was the problem of the items discovered at Bright. All of the items were dumped from the police case. The Casula-Liverpool link to the killers was entrenched in the police mind set, that they refused to take into account the possibility they were mistaken. Vital clues and witnesses were being dismissed.
An application by the defence to have trial by a single judge was denied, as was an application to have the Paul Onions matter heard separately. The media laid seige to the court and some protected witnesses were filmed coming to and from the court.
Ian Lloyd Q.C. was replaced by Mark Tedeschi Q.C. after Lloyd had leaked information to the press concerning Milat's past. These matters were a grave concern for the defence team, but should have also been of concern for the administration of justice in NSW.
Only a full enquiry could prove that the police had an agenda directed at Ivan Milat.
To our knowledge the juror who had been threatened was genuinely afraid. The police made very little effort to follow up on this matter.
1. The Benetton top was purchased from a Sydney retail outlet. This evidence was known to both the crown and the defence. The Benetton top worn by Ivan's girlfriend was not of the same design as the one worn by the murder victim.
2. Property belonging to Simone Schmidl were taken from the home of a Ms Murphy at Guildford.
3. Property belonging to Simone Schmidl was found at Bright, Victoria. Some of these items were later re-found (planted) at the home of Ivan Milat.
4. The blue day pack allegedly belonging to Simone Schmidl discovered at Walter Milats home could not have belonged to her. A family photo of the backpack was taken prior to Simones death.
5. Arresting detectives were captured by the television news carrying fully formed cartons into the Milat home.
Where did all the backpacks come from? Caroline Milat says 'Out of the back of a police car.' These backpacks held up in court were in fact new and unused. Police did not even say they were the backpacks belonging to the murdered people. They stated only as each item as held up, This is a backpack SIMILAR to the one owned by...etc.
6. Ivan and Richard Milat explained to police the origin of some items at both their homes.
7. Simone Schmidls mother was not examined nor a statement taken from her regarding certain items.
8. The incompetent handling of the DNA evidence. This was detrimental to the defence case. No description was led as to the colour of the hairs found in the hand of one of the victims.
9. The loss of Paul Onions original statement coupled with the original Joanne Berry statement. These statements were made at separate police stations. Neither the police or the witnesses retained a copy of the original statements. This is suggestive that there was hiding or destruction of these documents.
10. To depict sighting credible witnesses as false was designed to undermine and mislead the evidence that supported a different pattern than the police theory.
11. The police failed to video record the search of the Milat residences. This reflects on the integrity of the police searches.
12. If the second statement by Paul Onions was so credible, why was Ivan Milat not arrested sooner? Indeed, in how did police link an attack on Paul Onions with the Backpacker Murders? There is no proof that there was a definite link. The Paul Onions attack may have been random. There's a huge jump in credibility to believe that 1) Paul Onions was attacked on the Hume Highway 2) Therefore he was an intended victim of the Belanglo murderer.
13. Only one item of evidence was produced with a fingerprint on it. For the police and crown to suggest that Ivan wiped all of the items free of prints or wore latex gloves was ludicrous considering the amount of property concerned.
14. Forensic evidence showed neither the Bowie knife or the blunt sword found at Ivans mothers place could have been used in the attacks on the victims.
15. A vital witness, Jock Pittiway, gave Alex Milat a backpack. PIttiway also gave a trailer load of items to Richard Milat. Pittiway should have been investigated by police.
Police planted the bolt of a Ruger rifle and a Ruger rifle handbook in Ivan Milat's home. An expert employed by police later stated bullets fired through that bolt were the ones found in Belanglo. This is not true. In order to establish which gun a bullet came from you need the BARREL of the gun. Of all the guns belonging to Milat family members not one of them was a murder weapon.
Refused to give evidence, fearing he would be exposed as a liar
The cops carried evidence they intended to plant into Milat's house in full view of the media? Get a grip.
Ivan explained nothing to the jury. He refused to give evidence, fearing he would be exposed as a liar during cross-examination. The time to provide a defence for yourself is before a jury. Not through media articles later.
He's as guilty as sin. And may he remain where he belongs until the day he dies.
Could have been several reasons for not giving evidence
Several questions remain unanswered as to why he may have failed to give evidence during his trial:
Maybe because his solicitor may have advised him to do this as the evidence agaist him presented by police prosecutor was too strong and he could not mount a sufficient enough case to defend himself?
Alleged police involvement and higher criminal corruption,ie there are a group of organised operatives that were/are killing back packers and missing persons as part of a satanic ritual abuse occult and ivan may have been framed as a scapegoat as part of a cover up of those perpetraitors?
Ivan allegedly had knowledge of what was going on as he had interests in guns, hunting in the forests, worked in the southern highlands, had a petty criminal past and bad charachter would have fit the right person to frame as a killer known as circumstantial evidence?
possible bad legal advice between counsel based upon the arrest of this WMK and his disclosed criminal past and possible linkage to these murders as allegdly stated by his ex wife and children here disclosed?
Ivan may have been in a state of shock and has an undiagnosed mental illness and may also suffer from terrible anxiety and the pressure of being on trial for serial murder may have sent him into a form of psychosis?
Death threats may have been issued to him by the real murderers and his family if he spoke up protesting his innocence and revealed what he knew?
Ivans family are involved in the murders and he is protecting them?
Ivan may enjoys public attention, notoriety humiliation as a victim at any cost along with the reputation of Australia's worst criminal?
If Ivan is 100 per cent guilty and he knew he may have been unable to offer any reason for committing these crimes?
It's interesting that Brian was friend and fellow investigator
It's interesting that Brian Raven was a good friend and fellow investigator. It's surprising that some years ago his body was found in his home in mysterious circumstances, he had been dead some weeks. It's exciting that the young constable from Corrimal, Adam Brooks, had dressed himself in full uniform and killed himself at the Corrimal police station.
These arguments were shot down thoroughly in Sydney Indymedia's last incarnation.
Do you think everyone forgot about that? Were you hoping to start clean with a "fresh slate", in the hope that this ridiculous submission somehow would be believed this time around?
Shouldn't Milat have provided other names when going down?
It's not very hard to move property from one part of Australia to another. It doesn't always indicate a conspiracy by the police.
The involvement of more than one attacker is a distinct possibility, but shouldn't Milat have provided other names when he realised he was going down?
If an investigation is ever reopened, I would encourage others who escaped from Milat or another to come forward with their stories. I am sure there are others.
Horrid feeling of former husband's possible involvement
I was married to a man who went on and on about these killings and how he owned a firearm exactly the same as the one used. He lived in the Southern Highlands and is a very experienced hunter and shooter. He recently held a firearm to my head and I am in hiding. I live with this horrid feeling of his possible involvement and I kmow I'm not the only one that thinks so.
My concern is that there may have been someone else involved
Don't get my post wrong I'm not saying I don't think Ivan Milat is not guilty. I believe he is as guilty as sin and is where he belongs. My concern is that there may have been someone else involved.
I will contribute to whatever it takes to vaporise this monster
I see the photos of the poor victims of this monster and wonder if it is not time to conduct a nationwide vote to have a one-off execution of Milat. I'm sure the numbers are there to send this horror to hell. I dont want another cent of my money keeping him alive until he dies of natural causes but i will contribute to whatever it takes to vaporise him.
Black leather jacket never identified as Gabor Neugebauer's
I was a NSW Police Officer stationed at one of the Police stations located in the Northern Suburbs of the Illawarra who worked with Adam Brook on many occasions. He was stationed at Bulli Police station, whilst I worked at another small station near by. Due to the small number of officers in that area for safety reasons on night shift we would team up together and do a weeks worth of night shift together. We did this on many occasions.
Adam and I formed a strong bond. In fact sometime in 1991 or 1992 NSW ran a Firearms amnesty, due to the rural location I received numerous rifles of varying type handed in to me. On many occasions Adam and I would go shooting in the bush nearby. We were both young and enjoyed each others company.
Adam was a former Army Officer prior to joining the NSW Police. We talked on many issues together one being that he had been a suspect in an enquiry that had gone on a number of years earlier into the Bulli Rapist. Adam told me that they investigation focused on him because he lived in an area where the Police believed the alleged offender resided and because of his military back ground.
Adam also spoke to me at length about his girlfriend and later fiancée Debbie who was in Yamba. In fact at one stage I was to visit Yamba with him to meet Debbie and some of her friends. I was to potentially hook up with one of her girlfriends. Adam had told me that he was having relationship troubles with Debbie and that he wanted me to come up to Yamba to see if he was making the right decision in staying with her. Adam had spent considerable money on from what I recall Neon lighting / signage for her hairdressing saloon. Adam was concerned that she was using him and that she was about to break off the relationship.
The information above in many areas is fundamentally incorrect. Adam did not shoot himself at Corrimal Police Station, but rather Bulli. The black leather jacket was never identified as Gabor Neugebauer's.
His girlfriend / fiancee Debbie has never shown remorse that would indicate she cared for Adam in the same way he did of her. The comments made by her regarding the camping equipment and black leather jacket possibly belonging to Gabor Neugebauer are unsubstantiated
The detectives involved in Task Force Air did not consider Adam to be a suspect, as the only information ever provided that could link Adam with the Belanglo Murders came from her.
Looking back now Adam was just a kid who from the conversations I had with him was in love with a woman who did not share the same feelings. Adam was distressed enough to feel that the situation was irretrievable and as such choose to take his own life.
Adam was a nice guy and a person that loved life, his one downfall was that from time to time he boasted or told stories to make himself out to be more appealing or more important than he thought he was. What he didn't know was that he was important to those people that cared about him.
May justice be done for the innocent
This is very sad story you have shared about your friend.You will never forget him. God help you to heal the pain as time goes on. My prayers go out to you and those who lost their loved one's to these crimes. I hope that these atrocities may never be committed again. No one deserves to die like that.
May justice be done for the innocent.
I knew from the first moment that he wanted to rape or kill me
I can only sit here after the dreadful news today of another find and agree with you, re other women coming forward and telling their stories....
I only came forward a few years ago, I was terrified of doing so any earlier because of Milat family members living in very close proximity to me. Also, at the time of the news broadcasts before his arrest, everyone that did come forward had their lives ruined with accusations thrown at them, that somehow were involved in it.
I first met Ivan at Bullmers Cider in Campbelltown where he worked for about 5-6 years driving a forklift.
From the very moment that I got into his car, I knew that he either wanted to rape or kill me. I have never felt such terror in my life, as I did that day with Ivan and I will never loose the mental vision that I still have of his eyes, they were burnt into my memory forever.
Looking back now on it and him, one should have realised that he had deep seeded problems way back then. He was a workaholic, would never stop for lunch or morning tea, and would rarely converse with anyone.
He was really into killing animals too, often I would see him driving into work with parts of the animals that he had shot, tied onto his vehicle...
It is sooo hard to read all this, knowing what I know.....
THERE IS NOT A QUESTION OF A DOUBT, NOT ONE, THAT Ivan committed these crimes....NOT ONE !!!!!~!! It is sooo hard to read all of this and the doubts.
Over the years Ivans power over me is diminishing, but my experience with him that day will never be something that I will, or can put behind me....It remains the worst thing that I have ever gone through in my life and I believe, always will be.....
I know there must be a multitude of other Milat victims that have not come forward too,I know how they feel, but that said I would say to them that you will heal just that little bit more by doing so.....
Different to the anti-milat cheer squad/mob mentality
What exactly did Ivan mysteriously do that left such a terrible impression upon you and has left you traumatised for life? I doubt he would have kept his job very long if he was terrorising the staff.
You were obviously very scared of him yet worked with him for over 5 - 6 years without informing your employer of your opinion of him.
It sound's more like Ivan went there to work and did'nt fit into the culture of your organisation. It sounds more like he was busy doing his job and was a dedicated worker to the extreme - not considering his health and work-life balance.
His hunting or shooting or whatever he did may have been his escape from a job that he needed to survive but propably didn't love all too much.
There are billion's of people that kill animal's for sport and hobby and to feed people's faces are they creeps too?
These carcasses tied to his truck would have propably been a food source.
Propably a source of pride and self esteem for a damaged individual.
Growing up in a large family he propably had no choice started stealing and hunting early, for food as I know that the Milat's were extremely poor and had little to go around.
I am not justifying his choices just trying to look at this from a different perspective then the anti- milat cheer squad/mob mentality.
please can the author of the comment regarding ivan milat working at bullmers cidar at campbelltown please contact me.
another made up story by some one anonymous tyring to vilify Ivan with no proof what so ever. its probably someone in the justice system doing a job on him again.
People twist things to fit their own ideas
It is amazing how people twist things to fit their own idea's. Sad ignorance is not a crime.
Yet to be convicted that Ivan is solely responsible
Ignorance means not paying attention to detail rather than not intending to pay attention to detail because they dont fit preconcieved narrow-minded judgements.
All men are created equal and they deserve the same rights as you and I have, especially when thosse rights are taken away by others.
I have no doubt that Ivan's family have suffered a great deal and he grew up in hardship and like most parents they would have wanted the best for their children.
I feel for the parents of all of the victims of these terrible, senseless, horrid crimes.
That is called humanity not ignorance.
I am (according to my opinion and experiences) yet to be convicted that Ivan is the sole person connected to and responsible for these crimes as there has never been any DNA evidence connecting him or his family to the same.
Many agree with this point of view privately even if they never come forward to publicly comment on it.
Regina v Milat Matter No Cca 60438/96  NSWSC 795 (26 February 1998)
Last Updated: 16 February 1999
REGINA v IVAN ROBERT MARKO MILAT
26 February 1998
Gleeson CJ, Meagher JA, Newman J
The Supreme Court of New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal
CRIMINAL LAW - MURDER - EVIDENCE - Photographic identification - witness provides a number of different forms of identification of accused including selecting accused's photograph from a number of photographs of suspects - argued evidence of photographic identification should have been excluded - HELD - judge not in error in admitting evidence of photographic identification.
TRIAL BY JURY - FAIR TRIAL - MEDIA PUBLICITY - argued media coverage investigation and trial resulted in unfair trial - HELD - trial not unfair.
The Queen v Glennon  HCA 16; (1992) 173 CLR 592 applied.
O R D E R
REGINA v Ivan Robert Marko MILAT
GLEESON CJ: Following a trial before Hunt CJ at CL and a jury, which commenced on 25 March 1996 and concluded on 27 July 1996, the appellant was convicted of seven offences of murder and one offence of detaining for advantage. In respect of each of the offences of murder he was sentenced to penal servitude for life. In respect of the offence of detaining for advantage he was sentenced to penal servitude for six years. The appellant appeals against his convictions.
The murders of which the appellant was found guilty received international notoriety as the "backpacker murders". The victim of the offence of detaining for advantage was a backpacker who had an alarming encounter with a person said to be the appellant, but who managed to escape.
Between December 1989 and April 1992, seven backpackers disappeared shortly after leaving Sydney, travelling south. They were Deborah Everist and James Gibson from Victoria, Simone Schmidl from Germany, Anja Habschied and Gabor Neugebauer also from Germany, and Joanne Walters and Caroline Clarke from the United Kingdom. Their bodies were discovered in the Belanglo State Forest over a period between September 1992 and November 1993. The victims were all young, being aged between nineteen and twenty-two years. They were all travelling in circumstances where they were unlikely to have been missed for some time after they were killed. Each set out along the Hume Highway from near Liverpool in order to hitchhike south. All of the bodies were covered with branches and leaf litter and were in an advanced state of decomposition when found. Forensic evidence showed that each victim had been attacked savagely, with a great deal more force than was necessary to cause death, and apparently for some form of psychological gratification. Two of the victims had been shot a number of times in the head. One had been decapitated. Three others had stab wounds which would have caused paralysis, two of them having had their spinal cords completely severed. Two had been strangled. All but one appeared to have been the subject of sexual interference, either before or after death.
The backpacker who escaped was named Paul Onions. He was from the United Kingdom. He reported the incident to the police immediately after he escaped. He gave the police a description of his attacker. That was before any of the bodies had been discovered in the Belanglo State Forest. The incident was treated by police at the time as an offence involving an assault with a firearm. Later, after the bodies had been discovered and there had been international publicity about the backpacker murders, Mr Onions made contact with the police who were investigating the murders, and told them his story. He returned from England to Australia in 1994, and again in 1996 for the trial of the appellant, and was an important Crown witness.
When, following investigations, the police arrested the appellant in 1994, they found a great deal of property linking him directly to the backpacker murders. It will be necessary to set out the details below. For the present, it suffices to say that, in the appellant's house, and in his mother's house (where the appellant had been living at the time of the murders), and also amongst some possessions of the appellant stored in the house of one of his brothers, the police found many articles of clothing, and items of equipment, which were shown to have belonged to the deceased backpackers. The police also found in the possession of the appellant an array of weaponry proved to have been connected with the murders. They found in his possession a bloodstained cord. DNA testing linked the blood to one of the victims. Ultimately, the evidence which connected these articles to the victims of the backpacker murders was so comprehensive, and so overwhelming in its force, that trial counsel for the appellant, in his concluding address, made an important tactical concession. He acknowledged that the Crown had proved that the murders had been committed by a person or persons belonging to, or very closely associated with, the Milat family. However, it was contended that it was not the appellant who had committed the murders but it was probably one or more of his brothers, such as Richard Milat or Walter Milat, acting alone or in company with others.
The evidence of Paul Onions was powerful. Its detail will be set out below. The most important aspects of it were the physical description he gave of his attacker when he first reported the matter to the police, and an account he gave of information the attacker had given to him about his (the attacker's) personal background. As will appear, there were some aspects of the identification evidence of Mr Onions that were relied on by the defence, but the jury were entitled to regard the total effect of his evidence as strongly incriminating. Moreover, the man who attacked and, for a time, detained, Mr Onions, near the Belanglo State Forest, and who matched the appellant's description, had been left in possession of Mr Onions' rucksack after he fled. When the police arrested the appellant they found, amongst his clothing, at his mother's house, a distinctive shirt (referred to as the "Next" brand shirt) which belonged to Mr Onions and which had been amongst the items of clothing in his rucksack. This shirt was found next to a shirt belonging to the appellant.
In his remarks on sentence the Chief Judge at Common Law said:
"The case against the prisoner at the conclusion of the evidence and the addresses was, in my view, an overwhelming one. Although his legal representatives displayed a tactical ability of a high order, and conducted his defence in a skilful and responsible manner, in my view the jury's verdicts were, in the end, inevitable, I agree entirely with those verdicts. Any other, in my view, would have flown in the face of reality".
Before going to the grounds of appeal it is convenient to state, in a summary form, the Crown case, and the nature of the evidence upon which it was based. In this respect, it is to be noted that it was made clear, from the outset, that it was never the Crown's contention that it could establish that the appellant acted alone in carrying out these murders. Bearing in mind that some of the victims were travelling in pairs, and having regard to the way in which they appeared to have been bound or otherwise restrained, it was possible that more than one person had been involved in the murders. Furthermore, because there was an alibi raised in relation to the deaths of two of the victims, there was an alternative Crown case, the detail of which does not presently require consideration, based upon the possibility that such an alibi might have been found to be plausible. This is not a subject which is taken up by any of the grounds of appeal.
As was noted, the essence of the ultimate defence was that, although the Crown had well and truly linked the Milat family, or close associates of the Milat family, to the murders, the Crown had not excluded the possibility that it was someone other than the appellant (perhaps, for example, a brother of the appellant) who was responsible. The concession that the Crown had shown the offender to have been a member, or very close associate, of the Milat family, came in final address, after all the evidence was complete, and after the Crown had addressed. Some of the issues that had been agitated during the course of the evidence might well have been regarded by the jury as losing some, or all, of their importance once that concession was made.
In outlining the Crown case, it is convenient to begin with the charge relating to the detention of Mr Onions. That seems to be the way everybody approached the matter at the trial. There were eight counts in the indictment, arranged in chronological sequence. The charge concerning Mr Onions was the subject of count 3. The relevant events occurred on 25 January 1990.
The Crown case
Paul Onions, who was then aged twenty-four, was an English tourist on a working holiday in Australia. On 25 January 1990, he left Glebe, a suburb of Sydney, and travelled by train to Liverpool Railway Station. His intention was to hitchhike to Mildura to seek employment picking fruit. At around midday, Mr Onions arrived at the Liverpool Railway Station, and walked to the Hume Highway, where he spent about an hour walking in a southerly direction and trying to obtain a lift. At about 1.00pm he arrived at Lombardo's Shopping Centre at Casula. He went into a shop to buy a drink. When he came out of the shop he was approached by a man who offered him a lift. According to the Crown case, that man was the appellant.
In January 1990 the appellant, whose occupation was that of a road worker, was living with his mother. (In late 1993 or early 1994 he moved to a house at Cinnabar Street, Eagle Vale).
The man who spoke to Mr Onions took him to a 4 WD vehicle in a car park and said that it belonged to him. He invited Mr Onions to get in with him. Mr Onions' rucksack was placed on the back seat. Together the pair drove off in a southerly direction.
The man told Mr Onions that his name was Bill. He said he worked on the roads, that he was on holidays, and that he was on his way to visit friends in Canberra. He asked Mr Onions some questions which elicited the information that Mr Onions had no family or friends in Australia, and was travelling around the country. The man told Mr Onions that he lived in the Liverpool area, that he was an Australian but that his family came from Yugoslavia, and that he was divorced. Some of that information was true of the appellant. It is also information which the police recorded later that day after the events about to be described.
When Mr Onions gave the police, later that day, a physical description of the man who had given him a lift, he described the man as having a moustache like the cricketer, Merv Hughes. The following is a photograph of the appellant tendered in evidence.
PHOTO REMOVED AS IT DOES NOT FIT ON DISC. IT WAS A PHOTO OF MR MILAT WEARING A MOUSTACHE LIKE MERV HUGHES.
When, after the appellant's arrest in 1994, he was interviewed by the police, he denied that he had a moustache in January 1990. However, a photograph taken from a passport application made not long before showed the appellant with the same moustache as that depicted in the above photograph. It is not surprising that a young Englishman, seeking to describe the moustache to police, would do so by reference to a similar moustache worn by a well known Australian cricketer.
As the two men travelled south along the Hume Highway events took a nasty turn. The driver began to express vehement and controversial opinions, and Mr Onions became nervous. When they reached a point which was about 900 metres north of the turn off to the Belanglo State Forest, the driver stopped the vehicle. He gave an explanation which Mr Onions regarded as spurious. He then produced a revolver, which he pointed at Mr Onions, saying that he intended to rob him. Mr Onions noticed some rope protruding from a bag under the driver's seat. Mr Onions then took a wise course. He leapt out of the car and ran. The man chased him, and fired a shot. The man managed to catch Mr Onions for a time, but he broke free and ran onto the roadway. He stood in front of an ongoing vehicle forcing it to stop. He jumped into the vehicle. The alarmed driver of the vehicle made a `U' turn and headed back north along the Hume Highway. She drove Mr Onions to the Bowral Police Station, where he reported the incident. Mr Onions' rucksack containing his belongings, including the "Next" shirt, was left behind.
The account of the incident, as given on 25 January 1990 by Mr Onions to Constable Nicholson, who was called as a witness, and whose occurrence pad was available, was in the following terms. The offender was said to be a man called "Bill", who was six feet tall, of slight build, with a dark complexion, black hair, a moustache like Merv Hughes, and black sunglasses. His family came from Yugoslavia. He was divorced. He was said to be in his mid thirties. The vehicle was described as a white or silver 4 WD, possibly Nissan or Toyota. The offender was said to be carrying a four inch barrel revolver which was loaded. He was said to work for the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) at Liverpool.
The appellant is not six feet tall. His height is about five feet eight inches. However, Mr Onions is only about five feet six inches tall, and in the circumstances it is hardly surprising that the aggressor might appear larger than in truth he was.
The evidence showed that in 1990 the appellant was often known, or referred to, as Bill. He owned and regularly drove a Nissan Patrol 4 WD vehicle. He had been employed as a road worker. His father came from Yugoslavia. He was divorced. He had a moustache like Merv Hughes the cricketer. He was not proved to have been on holidays at the time, or to have friends in Canberra. He denied holding certain racist views of the kind Mr Onions attributed to the man in question. Not all aspects of the physical description fitted the appellant. Nevertheless, taking everything into account, the jury were entitled to regard the contemporaneous description which Mr Onions gave of his attacker as strong evidence against the appellant. When to that is added the fact that a shirt which undoubtedly belonged to Mr Onions, and which had been left behind in his rucksack when he fled, was found at the appellant's mother's house with an old shirt belonging to the appellant, it is not difficult to understand how the jury could reasonably have come to the conclusion that the man who gave Mr Onions a lift was the appellant.
In 1994, Mr Onions identified a photograph of the appellant amongst a series of photographs shown to him by video. At the trial, the judge gave the jury the usual warnings about identification evidence, and the problems connected with photographs.
When Mr Onions came to give evidence at the committal in 1994 and the trial in 1996 he gave a description of the vehicle in which he had been given a lift which contained more detail than the description he had given at the Bowral Police Station in 1990, and which, in one respect, did not match the appellant's vehicle. Mr Onions said, in his evidence, that the vehicle had a wheel attached vertically at the rear. Many Nissan 4 WD vehicles have such a spare wheel, but it was shown that the appellant's did not have one in January 1990, although one was fitted later. A similar statement about the vehicle was also made by the rather terrified woman into whose car Mr Onions had jumped. The jury were entitled to take the view that this evidence, of Mr Onions and the woman, was mistaken. Indeed, what may have been at work is an example of the well known displacement effect about which trial judges commonly warn juries in relation to photographic identification. This matter did not emerge as an issue until the defence case. In his evidence in chief, Mr Onions gave a description of the vehicle which included a slightly ambiguous reference to a spare wheel at the rear. He was shown by the Crown Prosecutor, without objection, and in a leading fashion, photographs of a silver Nissan 4 WD with a vertically mounted spare wheel at the rear, and he said the vehicle looked like the one in the photographs. No particular issue was made about the subject while he was in the witness box. When the appellant came to give evidence he proved that in January 1990 his silver Nissan 4 WD did not have a vertically mounted spare wheel at the rear, although it had a spare tyre underneath the rear. A vertically mounted spare wheel was attached to the rear later, but it was not there on 25 January 1990. This raised a factual problem for the jury to consider. What was indisputable, however, was that in January 1990 Mr Onions described to the police a man with a moustache like Merv Hughes, who attributed to himself personal characteristics which matched those of the appellant. Four years later, Mr Onions' shirt was found next to the appellant's shirt. (Having regard to the nature of the case which was ultimately advanced on behalf of the defence, it may be noted that there was no positive evidence that any other member of the Milat family had a moustache which resembled that worn by Merv Hughes, although at p1526 and p1531 of the transcript there is evidence of Richard Milat which could have been regarded as raising such a possibility).
As to the revolver which had been produced by the man described by Mr Onions, the Crown case was that the appellant owned a .38 calibre revolver and a .45 calibre revolver. There was evidence that he was known to carry firearms under the driver's seat. The appellant admitted ownership of a .44 calibre black powder revolver and a .45 calibre automatic pistol. He denied owning either a .38 or .45 revolver. Mr Onions gave an account of seeing some rope in a bag under the driver's seat of the vehicle. When the appellant was arrested a pillowcase containing five lengths of sash cord, one of which was bloodstained, was found in the garage of his home. A length of sash cord was also found on the shelf in the garage.
There was evidence that the appellant frequented Lombardo's Shopping Centre.
The Crown case in relation to count 3 was strong.
I turn now to counts 1 and 2. These concern the deaths of Deborah Everist and James Gibson, both aged nineteen, who left Surry Hills in Sydney to hitchhike to Albury on the morning of Saturday 30 December 1989. They were never seen alive again. However, on 31 December 1989 and 13 March 1990 respectively, a camera, and a backpack, were found at Galston Gorge. Mr Gibson's name and address appeared on the base of the backpack. A similar but less weathered backpack was seen in the area in early January 1990. Both the items were identified as belonging to Mr Gibson. It was admitted by the appellant that they were in Mr Gibson's possession at or immediately before his death. In December 1989 the appellant had been working on the construction of a roundabout at Dural, not far from Galston Gorge.
On 5 October 1993 the skeletal remains of Ms Everist and Mr Gibson were located 25 metres apart in an area of the Belanglo State Forest. The body of Ms Everist was located at the base of a tree and that of Mr Gibson lay beside a fallen log. Both bodies were covered with leaf and stick debris. Post mortem examinations found that they both died from multiple stab wounds.
Count 4 concerned Simone Schmidl, aged twenty-one. Early in the morning of Sunday 20 January 1991 she left Guildford with the intention of catching a bus to Liverpool and then hitchhiking along the Hume Highway to Melbourne. She carried a multi-coloured backpack and a blue day bag. On 1 November 1993 her body was found in the Belanglo State Forest. Around her skull was an elasticised band and around her mouth was what appeared to be a gag. A post mortem examination showed that she died from multiple stab wounds.
It was proved that the appellant could have been in the area at the time of her death. On 16 January 1991 a camera device detected his vehicle driving through a red light.
Counts 5 and 6 relate to Anja Habschied and Gabor Neugebauer, aged twenty and twenty-one respectively. They left a backpackers hostel at Kings Cross on the morning of 26 December 1991 intending to travel via Adelaide to Darwin. On 4 November 1993 their remains were found about 55 metres apart in the Belanglo State Forest. Ms Habschied's body was headless. Mr Neugebauer's mouth had been gagged with cloth, and five spent bullets were found in his skull.
Approximately 165 metres from Mr Neugebauer's body, in an area described as "Area A" at the trial, the following items were found:
(1) 47 Winchester "Winner" cartridge cases.
(2) 1 empty Winchester Winner .22 calibre ammunition box bearing the batch number ACD1CF2.
(3) 43 Eley cartridge cases.
(4) 1 empty Eley .22 calibre ammunition box with the batch number J23CGA or J26CGA.
(5) 1 pair of pink jeans.
(6) A blue and yellow piece of Telecom rope.
Some 61 metres from Mr Neugebauer's body, and between his body and Area A, property proved to belong to Mr Neugebauer and Ms Habschied was found. There was also found a device suitable for use for restraining a person.
There was evidence that about one week after the disappearance of Ms Habschied and Mr Neugebauer the appellant asked his neighbour to repair a hole in the door of his Nissan vehicle, stating that it had been caused by a bullet.
It was in relation to the murders of Ms Habschied and Mr Neugebauer that the appellant attempted to set up an alibi. Detailed reference is made to it in the summing-up of Hunt CJ at CL, and, in the light of the grounds of appeal that have been argued, it is unnecessary for present purposes to go further into the matter.
Counts 7 and 8 related to the deaths of Joanne Walters and Caroline Clarke, respectively aged twenty-two and twenty-one, who left Kings Cross Railway Station on Saturday 18 April 1992 intending to travel by train to the Hume Highway and then to hitchhike to Adelaide.
On 19 September 1992 Ms Walters' body was found on a rock ledge in the Belanglo State Forest. Pieces of what appeared to be a gag were found around her throat, neck and chin. On 20 September 1992 Ms Clarke's body was found 30 metres from Ms Walters' body. Ten spent bullets were found in and around her head and ten Winchester "Winner" brand cartridge cases were located near her body. Forensic evidence showed that Ms Walters died from stab wounds to the neck and chest and Ms Clarke died from gun shot wounds to the head.
There was a good deal of evidence, and argument, at the trial about what have been referred to as "false sightings" of some of the victims, but that matter is not relevant to any of the grounds of appeal. Once again, the subject can be found discussed at some length in the trial judge's summing-up.
At the time of his arrest in 1994 the appellant was living at 22 Cinnabar Street, Eagle Vale. He had previously been living at his mother's home. He also had some belongings which were being stored for him at the house of his brother, Walter Milat. There was a great deal of evidence concerning items of personal property found by the police, some of it at the appellant's house at Cinnabar Street, some of it amongst belongings of the appellant at his mother's house, and some of it at Walter Milat's house. The detail of some of that evidence will be discussed below.
The Crown built up a powerful circumstantial case against the appellant. The circumstances relied upon, and which the jury were entitled to regard as proved, were the following:
(1) The accused was in possession of a substantial amount of the deceased backpackers' property at his house at Cinnabar Street, with his own property in the alcove under Walter Milat's house, and at his mother's house in Guildford where he was living at the time of the murders.
(2) The accused owned the Ruger 10/22 which was used to shoot Caroline Clarke and Gabor Neugebauer.
(3) The accused was in Area A at the same time, or at much the same time, as Gabor Neugebauer was shot there with that Ruger 10.22, because his Anschutz rifle was used there.
(4) The Winchester Winner ammunition located with the accused's property in the alcove under Walter Milat's house had the same batch number as that apparently used in Area A where Gabor Neugebauer was shot, having been manufactured during the day shift at the Winchester factory at Geelong.
(5) The Winchester Winner ammunition with an "H" head stamp located in the accused's bedroom and in the spare room at Cinnabar Street, and the Winchester Subsonic ammunition with a "W" head stamp located with the accused's property in the alcove under Walter's house, were consistent with cartridge cases located in Area A where Gabor Neugebauer was shot.
(6) The batch number on Eley ammunition located with the accused's property in the spare room at Cinnabar Street corresponded with that on an Eley box located at Area A where Gabor Neugebauer was shot.
(7) The bullets recovered from and under the head of Caroline Clarke had a gouge mark, most likely from a silencer fixed to a rifle. The accused had a handmade silencer in his garage at Cinnabar Street, and had stated an intention to purchase a factory made one.
(8) The accused left his Nissan with his neighbour, Mr El-Hallak, to repair the damage caused by a bullet having discharged inside it, just over a week after Anja Habschied and Gabor Neugebauer disappeared.
(9) The accused was in possession of a piece of rope which was used in the murder of Caroline Clarke.
(10) The ingredients of the leash device at the Neugebauer scene were all available to the accused in his home at Cinnabar Street.
(11) Industrial recycled rags were used at the killings of Walters, Habschied, Neugebauer and Schmidl and in the storage of some ballistics.
(12) The accused carried a Bowie knife in his car which could have been used to stab the victims.
(13) The pattern of all seven murders is the same.
(14) The accused's attack upon Paul Onions was a thwarted attempt to take him into the Belanglo State Forest where he was to be killed.
The property referred to in (1) above included the following. Simone Schmidl's blue sleeping bag cover was found in the appellant's garage at Cinnabar Street. It containing a number of her personal belongings. Her sleeping bag was in a bedroom in the house. Her water bottle and pouch were in another room. Her name, "Simi", was on the bottle. Her backpack was in the possession of the appellant's sister-in-law, who said the appellant had given it to her. Caroline Clarke's camera was found in the kitchen at Cinnabar Street. There was found a photograph of the appellant's girlfriend, Chalinder Hughes, shown wearing a Benetton top identical to one Caroline Clarke had in her backpack. A sleeping bag said to belong to Deborah Everist was found in a bedroom at Cinnabar Street. Reference has already been made to Paul Onions' shirt.
It was, presumably, this kind of evidence that led trial counsel for the appellant to say in his final address:
"There can be absolutely no doubt that whoever committed all eight offences must be within the Milat family or very, very closely associated with it."
Even that concession, however, does less than justice to the significance of the precise location of many of the items of property found.
As to (2) above, the evidence showed, and it was not ultimately disputed, that Gabor Neugebauer and Caroline Clarke was shot by a Ruger 10/22 firearm to which a certain Ruger bolt assembly had been fitted. The Crown relied upon the following sub-set of circumstances, which the jury were entitled to regard as established by the evidence, to prove that the appellant owned the Ruger 10/22:
(1) The Ruger parts were well hidden in the wall cavity at Cinnabar Street at a time when the accused knew of the significance of the bolt assembly to the backpacker murders.
(2) A Ruger receiver was found apparently hidden in the accused's boot when the police called upon him to surrender.
(3) The Ruger parts were painted in camouflage colours when no Milat, other than the accused, was in the habit of painting his weapons in that way.
(4) The "Select Fire 10/22" book in his possession explained how a Ruger 10/22 could be converted into a fully automatic weapon.
(5) The fifty shot magazine in his possession was more appropriate to a fully automatic weapon than the standard ten shot magazine provided.
(6) The single fired Winchester cartridge case amongst the accused's ammunition in a bag in the spare room at Cinnabar Street was at least consistent with having been fired by a Ruger 10/22 to which this bolt assembly had been fitted, and (according to Detective Superintendent Prior) actually fired by it.
(7) The Winchester Winner ammunition box in his possession had the same batch number as that apparently used in Area A where Gabor Neugebauer was shot.
(8) Other Winchester ammunition in his possession had the same head stamps ("H" and "W") as that located in Area A where Gabor Neugebauer was shot.
(9) Either the silencer in his possession or one which he was purchasing could have been used when Caroline Clarke was shot.
(10) He was a customer of the Horsley Park Gun Shop at the time when the Ruger 10/22 was sold.
(11) He adopted a procedure when Walter purchased the so-called "new" Ruger 10/22 on behalf of the accused in 1992 which prevented its purchase being traced to him.
(12) He was in possession of a Ruger 10/22 before that time which Walter had unsuccessfully attempted to purchase.
(13) This particular Ruger 10/22 to which the bolt assembly located in the wall cavity had been fitted had been used at Buxton and at the Wombeyan Caves Road property where the accused had been shooting.
(14) The bolt assembly was wrapped in two pieces of cloth which were similar in nature to the rag which the accused had wrapped around the bolt of a rifle located in his locker at Guildford.
There is no ground of appeal which argues that it was not reasonably open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the guilt of the appellant.
Conduct of the appeal
The appellant was sentenced on 27 July 1996. He filed a notice of appeal against his conviction on 5 August 1996.
On 21 February 1997 the appellant filed an amended notice of appeal, together with a document, six pages in length, entitled grounds of appeal. Those grounds were prepared by counsel who had appeared for the appellant at his trial. They were expressed more fully than ordinary grounds of appeal, and included supporting argument.
The court was informed that an application for legal aid for the appeal was made and that on 9 April 1997 legal aid was refused. There was never any appeal against, or application for judicial or administrative review of, that decision.
On 4 August 1997 the solicitors for the appellant wrote to the Registrar of the court stating that they would be representing the appellant pro bono.
On 11 August 1997 the hearing of the appeal was fixed for 4 November 1997 and directions were given relating to the filing of written submissions.
On 15 August 1997 the appellant wrote to the Registrar stating that he would not be legally represented at the hearing of the appeal. Subsequently, written submissions were received from him, which included numerous references to decided cases.
The appeal came on for hearing on 4 November 1997. The appellant informed the court that he was representing himself. He applied for an adjournment in order to amplify his written submissions. He said he had received some legal advice (he did not say from whom) that he should do this. He wanted an adjournment until some unspecified time in 1998. The court declined that particular application, but heard what the appellant wished to say orally in support of his appeal and then granted him a further period of approximately four weeks to put in writing any additional submissions he wished to make. The appellant addressed the court on certain factual issues, and indicated other issues he would prefer to reserve for further written submissions.
On or about 10 November 1997 the Registrar was informed that the further written submissions would be prepared by the solicitor who had represented the appellant at his trial. In due course, further written submissions, of considerable length and detail, were filed. The Crown filed submissions in reply.
The court then listed the matter again on 9 December 1997. The appellant was present, as was the solicitor who had prepared the further written submissions. The court asked the solicitor a number of questions seeking clarification of certain aspects of the written submissions. The court also asked both the solicitor and the appellant himself whether they wanted any further adjournment in order to prepare and present further submissions and they both answered that question in the negative.
The written submissions filed following the hearing of 4 November, and discussed on 9 December, commenced with what was put forward (for the first time) as an argument based upon the decision of the High Court in Dietrich v The Queen (1992) 177 CLR 292. It was referred to as "the Dietrich argument", and will be considered below. The remaining submissions contained arguments supporting the grounds of appeal which had been filed earlier.
The Dietrich argument
The written submissions filed following the 4 November hearing contained an assertion that the funds to pay for the legal work involved in their preparation were provided, on 10 November 1997, by an unnamed benefactor, whose assistance was limited to the preparation of written submissions, and did not extend to paying for a lawyer to argue the appeal orally.
The submissions argued that "the further hearing and determination of the appeal should be adjourned until the appellant has been provided with adequate legal representation". It was not suggested that there should be a permanent stay of the appeal. That would be an unusual application for an appellant to make. Nevertheless, it was argued that the court should leave the appeal on foot, but should not determine the appeal unless and until legal aid funds were provided to brief counsel at a full oral hearing of the appeal.
As was acknowledged by the appellant's solicitor on 9 December 1997, this court, the Court of Criminal Appeal, which is a court of statutory jurisdiction, and has no power to hear appeals or applications for review of decisions of the Legal Aid Commission, does not have before it a comprehensive account of what has gone on between the appellant, his solicitor, and the legal aid authorities in relation to the matter of legal aid for the appeal. We are in no position to form a view, assuming it to be relevant to any decision we have to make, as to the reasonableness of the decision to refuse legal aid. In particular, we do not know, and should not know, what opinions may have been received concerning the merits of the appeal.
We know, because we have been told by the appellant's solicitor, that a benefactor has made some funds available to pay for legal advice and assistance, but we are unaware of the details of that.
We also know, because the Registrar was so informed, that at one stage there was a proposal that the trial solicitor would conduct the appeal pro bono, but, for reasons of which we are unaware, there was a change of intention in that respect.
As the history set out above demonstrates, it is not the case that the appellant has been obliged to present his appeal without legal representation or assistance. Even if that had been the case, however, Dietrich is not authority for any proposition which requires the court to take the course now proposed by the appellant.
The High Court, in Dietrich, rejected the argument that a person accused of a serious crime has a right to be provided with counsel at public expense. If that argument is incorrect in relation to a person facing a trial, it is at least equally incorrect in relation to a convicted person who has appealed against the conviction.
Unlike the original prosecution and trial, the appeal process has been initiated by the appellant. It may be accepted that the court should act, within the limits of its power, to ensure that the appeal is dealt with fairly to the appellant. It should be observed, however, that it is not unusual for this court to decide appeals of convicted persons who are unrepresented because legal aid has not been made available. The same applies to the High Court, which frequently determines applications for special leave to appeal by litigants in person.
The extensive written submissions filed at various times on behalf of the appellant, and the oral argument put to the court, cover all the grounds of appeal originally prepared by trial counsel. The suggestion that full justice can only be done to the grounds of appeal if there is further oral argument is unconvincing.
The appellant has been convicted by a jury of very serious offences. The jury's verdicts are not contingent until confirmed by an appellate court. (cf Chamberlain v The Queen [No 1]  HCA 13; (1983) 153 CLR 514 at 519-520). The appellant is seeking a new trial. Delay in any further trial could produce unpredictable consequences. There has already been substantial delay. Fairness to the appellant does not require that the court should adjourn the appeal indefinitely, or until the appellant, by some unspecified means, forces or persuades the legal aid authorities to reverse the decision that was made back in April 1997.
A suggestion was made in certain submissions that the appellant wishes to have an opportunity, at this stage, to carry out certain factual investigations about the circumstances surrounding the discharge of a juror. That is a matter considered below. No explanation is advanced which would justify further delay to permit such belated inquiries.
This appeal has been pending since July 1996. In the light of the events that have occurred, and in the circumstances of the case, justice does not require that the court should grant the adjournment now sought by the appellant. On the contrary, it is fair and proper that the court should now deal with the matter.
Grounds of appeal
The first ground of appeal is that the evidence of identification given by Paul Onions was received in error. This evidence, it is argued, should have been excluded on the grounds that it was unreliable and, in the circumstances of the case, unfair.
What Mr Onions was shown in 1994 was a video showing thirteen still photographs of males. One of the photographs was a photograph of the appellant taken from a passport application he had made during 1989. The evidence showed that Mr Onions appeared to take considerable care in examining the video and finally selected photograph No. 4, which was the photograph of the appellant. Mr Onions stated that in particular he recalled the moustache, the same narrow squinting eyes, the same hair, and the same facial features.
The appellant was somewhat older than the estimates made by Mr Onions. In January 1990 he was aged forty-six. Other photographs of the appellant in evidence showed him with black hair, having grey flecks in his sidelevers.
The aspects of alleged unreliability relied upon in the grounds of appeal are as follows.
First, it is observed that there was a delay of over four years between January 1990 and the photographic identification. That is true, and it may be added that, according to the woman into whose car Mr Onions jumped when he escaped from the appellant, Mr Onions was terrified.
Next, it is said that there were some discrepancies arising out of the original description given by Mr Onions of the appearance of the appellant. It is true that Mr Onions said that the man was somewhat taller than the appellant in fact was and also that he was somewhat younger. Even so, the jury were entitled to consider that the overall description given by Mr Onions fitted the appellant.
It is argued that the circumstances of the procedure adopted were such as to place great pressure on Mr Onions to make an identification. That assertion is not borne out by the evidence.
Next, it is argued that there was a lack of suitable alternatives on the videotaped photo board from which Mr Onions made his identification. There are, in truth, not a lot of men who wear a moustache of the kind that was worn by the appellant. There were three such men included in the photo board.
It is argued that the act of identification was equivocal. That is not correct. According to the evidence, the act of identification was as follows:
"That's him ...... No. 4. He is identical to the face I see that approached me at the newsagency. He has got the same moustache and face, that's him."
The submissions filed on behalf of the appellant criticise the police strongly for not having videotaped the identification procedure. This failure, it is said, was "unforgivable", and went to considerations both of reliability and fairness. There was a good deal of evidence as to what occurred during the process by which Mr Onions selected to photograph of the appellant. Indeed, substantial argument in the appellant's submissions has been developed on the basis of that evidence. The failure to record the process of identification on videotape did not require or justify the exclusion of the evidence of photographic identification.
Finally, it is put that the act of identification was made by someone who was mistaken about something as unmistakable as the vertically mounted rear wheel on the vehicle. This proposition was elaborated by a submission that it is not part of the defence case that Mr Onions was mistaken about that aspect of the vehicle, but it follows that if he was correct about the vehicle then it is unlikely that he is correct about the identity of the driver.
If, as the jury were entitled to conclude, Mr Onions was mistaken about the rear mounting on the vehicle, it is not difficult to understand how such a mistake could have been made. As was noted earlier, the first time Mr Onions came out with the proposition about the rear wheel seems to have been in 1994, more than four years after the event. It is not clear what photographs he had been shown before then, but it is clear that, in the course of giving his evidence at the trial in 1996, he was shown by the Crown Prosecutor, in a leading fashion, photographs of a silver Nissan Patrol which had a vertically mounted rear spare wheel. That he may have made a mistake is not inconsistent with his evidence being otherwise reliable.
The suggested unfairness of the identification evidence is said to arise out of three circumstances. First, it is complained that the photo board did not contain photographs of any other suspect in the investigation and in particular did not contain a photograph of Richard Milat. Second, it is said that the problem was compounded by a direction which the trial judge gave to the jury in the following terms:
"On behalf of the Crown, it was accepted that Richard's photograph was not included in the video shown to Mr Onions back in 1994, although for whatever reason we do not know. But it was said that, if the accused wanted to suggest that Mr Onions had been led into error because of a family resemblance, it was open to (defence counsel) to have had Richard - or anyone else from the Milat family for that matter - brought into court so that Mr Onions could see whether it was or was not a reasonable possibility he could have made an error through such a family resemblance."
Third, it was said that the Crown submission recorded in the above direction in effect reversed the onus of proof.
The complaints of unfairness are not made out. There is, it may be observed, a measure of inconsistency in one aspect of the submissions concerning Richard Milat. The police were criticised for not including a photograph of Richard Milat amongst those shown to Mr Onions. At the same time it is said that Mr Onions, by reason of what he had told the police back in 1990, was bound to select a photograph of a man with a Merv Hughes moustache. There is no evidence (from the appellant or anybody else) to establish that Richard Milat wore that kind of moustache, and there is nothing to suggest that the police ever had available to them a photograph of Richard Milat wearing such a moustache. There is nothing to suggest that such a photograph ever existed. It was not unreasonable of the Crown, in the course of argument, to point out that, if it had been suggested that Richard Milat's appearance was such that he might have been mistaken for the appellant, the defence should have given Mr Onions an opportunity to deal with that suggestion. The jury saw Richard Milat, who was called at a Crown witness, and were in a position to compare his appearance with that of the appellant, and evaluate competing submissions relating to that subject.
Hunt CJ at CL gave the jury careful and comprehensive directions about the dangers of photographic identification. The ground of appeal does not complain about those directions but contends that the evidence should not have been admitted at all.
In reasons for judgment dated 5 September 1996 Hunt CJ at CL set out his reasons for various decisions he had made during the course of the trial. Between pages 2 and 5 of that judgment his Honour deals with this matter. There is no error shown in his Honour's reasoning, in the course of which he said:
"Although there were indeed frailties in Mr Onions' identification evidence - principally the fact that there were only three photographs in which the man pictured could be said to have had a Merv Hughes moustache, and of those three in only one (that of the accused) did the man otherwise fairly fit the description that Mr Onions had given - it seems to me that this could adequately be dealt by directions leaving it to the jury to determine whether the identification made by Mr Onions in the context of all of the evidence relevant to the third count was reliable.
It was upon that basis that I declined to exclude the May 1994 identification evidence. I should add, as a postscript, that the case was ultimately also left to the jury upon an alternative basis that, in the event that they were not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Onions' identification in May 1994 was reliable, but in the light of the concession that there could be no doubt that it was a member of the Milat family who was responsible for the detention of Mr Onions, they could still be satisfied that it was the accused who detained him based upon the description which Mr Onions gave of his attacker to the police in January 1990, provided that the Crown had eliminated any reasonable possibility that it could have been any of the other members of the family. In my view, that description, in the light of the concession which was made in the final address for the accused, was in any event powerful evidence supporting the reliability of the identification made by Mr Onions in May 1994, although I did not put it to the jury in that way."
In my view no error has been shown in his Honour's decision not to exclude the evidence.
It is convenient at this stage to deal with a related argument not appearing in the grounds of appeal, but presented in submissions to the court. The appellant complains that it was unfair and inappropriate for the trial judge to leave for the consideration of the jury the possibility that Mr Onions had been mistaken about the vertically mounted rear wheel on the Nissan vehicle. The appellant rightly observed that nobody put to Mr Onions, when he was giving his evidence, the possibility that he had been mistaken about that matter.
In considering this argument, it is important to bear in mind the way the issue unfolded at the trial. Reference to this has been made above. At the time of the conclusion of the Crown case, it was not apparent that there was any issue as to whether the appellant's 4 WD vehicle in fact had a vertically mounted rear spare wheel in January 1990. It was only in the defence case that it emerged that the vehicle had no such wheel in January, although one was put there later.
In all the circumstances it was reasonable, and not unfair, to permit the Crown to argue, as one possible alternative (the other alternatives that were put are not presently relevant) that Mr Onions had made a mistake about this mater. It did not form part of his description of the vehicle when he spoke to the police on 25 January 1990, and it appears first to have emerged in 1994. So far as his courtroom evidence was concerned, it also appears to have emerged in the context where he was shown photographs that could have suggested to him something which caused his mistake.
It may be added that it was open to the jury to take the view that the most compelling features of the evidence of Mr Onions, and the evidence about what he told the police, were his description of the man on 25 January 1990, his account of personal details given to him by the man, and his identification of the "Next" shirt, which four years later was found with the appellant's belongings.
The second ground of appeal is that the trial judge erred in a ruling he gave as to the comment that was open to him in the event that the appellant should decide to make an unsworn statement from the dock.
There is a considerable element of artificiality about this ground, which was not developed in submissions.
For reasons that do not require elaboration, the trial was conducted under transitional legislative provisions which meant that the accused was still entitled to make an unsworn statement from the dock, but s407, prohibiting certain comments, was deleted by the Evidence (Consequential and Other Provisions) Act 1995 , and the Evidence Act 1995 made certain provisions relating to comment upon the failure of an accused to give evidence.
At the conclusion of the Crown case it was agreed that the trial judge would hear argument about, and give a preliminary ruling upon, the legal consequences of all this in the event that the appellant should decide to make an unsworn statement. A judgment on the matter was given on 22 April 1996. His Honour's conclusions are expressed on pages 9 and 10 of that judgment. He noted that the conclusion that he reached was in line with the opinion of the Australian Law Reform Commission which had made a recommendation (that was not accepted) that every accused person should have the right to make an unsworn statement.
It is of particular importance to note that, in the course of his reasons for judgment, Hunt CJ at CL drew a distinction between the question of the nature of a comment which was legally permissible, and the related but different question of the substance of the comment that would be appropriate to the circumstances of a particular case. On the latter subject his Honour declined to be drawn. No doubt he had in mind that it could depend upon what happened during the remainder of the trial.
The judge concluded his reasons as follows:
"I am satisfied that, if the accused (Mr Milat) exercised his right to make an unsworn statement rather than give evidence in the present case, the nature of the comment which I am entitled to make is as I have outlined. The Crown Prosecutor took the position, wisely, that abundant caution should be exercised in this matter. I agree.
In those circumstances, now that I have come to a conclusion as to nature of the comment which I am entitled to make, I will hear further argument as to the nature of the comment which caution demands should be made in this particular case. That will need to await the conclusion of the evidence."
In the events that occurred, the appellant gave sworn evidence, and the matter the subject of his Honour's reasons for judgment did not arise.
There is no way of knowing what effect the learned judge's ruling, to the extent to which he gave a ruling, had upon the appellant's decision to give sworn evidence. It may be remarked, however, that in the light of the strength of the Crown case against him, if he had either remained silent or made an unsworn statement, his position would have been hopeless.
It is not clear what exactly is claimed to be wrong about the preliminary ruling given by Hunt CJ at CL, and I can see no error in it. In any event, however, it has not been demonstrated that if there were an error in the ruling it was material or resulted in any miscarriage of justice.
This ground of appeal must fail.
The third ground of appeal complains that Hunt CJ at CL, in his directions to the jury as to the substance of the defence case, failed to put the case fairly, and made various observations which undermined or underestimated the strength of submissions being made on behalf of the appellant.
In considering this ground, and the particulars given of it, it is necessary to bear in mind the sequence of events at the trial. In that connection it should be mentioned that, as is customary in this State, the Crown Prosecutor's closing address to the jury came before defence counsel's address.
Before the appellant was called to give evidence, defence counsel made an opening address. At no stage in that opening address did counsel make the concession, which was ultimately made in the closing address, to the effect that the Crown had established beyond reasonable doubt that all eight offences must have been committed by a member, or a person very closely associated with, the Milat family.
In his opening address counsel said that the accused would tell the jury that he had no connection with any of the offences, and no knowledge of any of the matters the subject of the charges. He had no knowledge of the items found by the police at Cinnabar Street, which was also occupied by his sister (who was not called to give evidence). The appellant would tell the jury that he did not bring into the house any of the items belonging to the deceased backpackers. He had no knowledge of where they came from. In the case of some items he did not know of their existence until after his arrest.
By the time counsel gave his closing address, the appellant had been subjected to a damaging cross-examination, and the Crown Prosecutor had made his closing address.
At a very early stage of his final address counsel for the appellant made the observation quoted above, to the effect that there could be no doubt that whoever committed all eight offences must be within the Milat family or very closely associated to it. A little later he said:
"Whichever way you look at it it is absolutely irrefutable that whoever has committed these eight offences must be either within the Milat family or so very closely associated with it it does not much matter. The question is who is it within the Milat family. Who has committed these eight offences? The question is, do you have a reasonable doubt that it was Ivan Milat as opposed to someone else in the family. Well, that is the starting point. It has to be."
One of the particulars given of this ground of appeal complains that, in his summing-up to the jury, Hunt CJ at CL described this as "an important concession". There is no substance in this complaint. It was an important concession. The point may be illustrated by asking the following rhetorical question. If, in early 1990, someone had approached the Milat family with the description Mr Onions had given the police, and asked which member of the Milat family was being described, what would the answer have been? On the whole of the evidence, the answer would have been the appellant. The lawyers for the defence, at the trial and on this appeal, endeavoured in part of their submissions to suggest that another member of the Milat family, such as Richard Milat, had deliberately set out to impersonate Ivan Milat. That suggestion itself, by implication, acknowledges both the significance of the concession and, importantly, the match between the appellant and the description which Mr Onions gave to the police.
Another particular complains that, in referring to this concession Hunt CJ at CL reminded the jury of when it was made. However, his Honour did so in a context which was perfectly fair to the appellant. He said:
"I should also emphasise that I do not by these remarks intend to criticise the accused or those who represent him for the fact that this concession was made only after the Crown Prosecutor had addressed."
The Crown Prosecutor had not had an opportunity to deal with the concession or its significance. It was made after he had completed his final address. It was proper for the trial judge to remind the jury of the concession, and to explore and comment upon its significance. The way in which the matter was dealt with in the summing-up did not go beyond this. It is argued that, from an early stage of the proceedings, the defence had made it clear that they would seek to implicate one or other of the appellant's brothers in these crimes, and to suggest, for example, that they had planted incriminating evidence at the appellant's house. That, however, does not detract from the argumentative significance of what was described, accurately, as the concession. The judge was not under some misapprehension as to the defence case. He was making legitimate comments on the arguments as they developed at the trial.
The remaining particulars of this ground raise a question that is strictly now academic, having regard to the verdict of the jury on the third count. There was some discussion at the trial, related to the nature of the defence case, as to the significance for the remaining counts if the jury should acquit the appellant on the third count. What was said about that matter seems to have involved a complaint made, not by defence counsel, but by the Crown Prosecutor, and there was no relevant application for redirection by defence counsel.
The question arose out of the directions the trial judge gave as to the relationship between the third count and the other counts. His Honour directed the jury that they must consider the guilt or innocence of the appellant in relation to the third count only by reference to the evidence which was relevant to the third count, and not by reference of the totality of the evidence in the case.
It was never the Crown case that there was only one person involved in all eight offences. The Crown made it clear from the outset that, on the Crown case, there was a possibility that some other person or persons in addition to the appellant may have been involved. Nor was it the Crown case that, in order to obtain a conviction on the other seven counts, the Crown had to prove that the appellant was guilty of count 3.
On the defence case, if the jury concluded that it was a reasonable possibility that all eight offences were committed by only one person, and if they concluded that it was a reasonable possibility that it was a member of the Milat family other than the appellant who committed the offences against Mr Onions, then the appellant was entitled to be acquitted of all charges. That proposition, in substance, was put as a defence argument to the jury in the summing-up. Later, after discussion in the absence of the jury, the learned judge gave further directions in which he said:
"Something else which I apparently misunderstood was the Crown's attitude to this proposition put by (defence counsel) about there being a reasonable possibility that only one person was involved in all eight offences.
The argument was that, if you accept that the pattern is the same in relation to all eight offences, as the Crown has argued that it is, and because he says there is a reasonable possibility that only the one person committed all eight offences, then, if you find the accused not guilty of the Onions' charge, it must have been someone else who committed the murders and thus the accused is entitled to be found not guilty of all eight offences. I said, after dealing with a number of issues, that the Crown disputes that there is any reasonable possibility that only the one person was involved in all eight offences. I referred to what I had said earlier this morning to the Crown's argument that, as a matter of commonsense and experience, it is obvious that more than one person would have been involved in these killings.
The Crown has drawn my attention to a difference between himself and myself as to what he was submitting, and of course you must take into account what he says he was submitting, not how I interpreted it. He said that his submission had been that you will conclude that there was more than one person involved in all eight offences, but that he had not intended to say that there was no reasonable possibility that only the one person was involved in all eight offences. He said, however, that you then move on to consider the explanation put forward by (defence counsel) upon this basis, that it involved a fallacy that you could go from an acquittal of the accused in relation to the Onions' charge into a finding of not guilty in relation to the murder charges, for this reason.
You have been told throughout that you must approach the Onions' charge - the third charge - upon the evidence which is relevant only to that charge, and you will recall that that is how we started when I gave you directions in relation to the Paul Onions' charge, and how I started off in relation to the murder charges. Indeed I recall saying, either yesterday or the day before, that there is a danger that you may reconsider your verdict in relation to the Paul Onions' charge when you come to consider the whole of the evidence in the case. They are, as you can imagine, and as you will have seen, two quite different bodies of evidence.
So the fallacy the Crown puts to you is that, if you find the accused not guilty upon the limited evidence you are entitled to consider, it is not the same as saying that he did not do it when you look at all of the evidence. Now that is not an invitation to you to reconsider your verdict in relation to the third count. Your verdict in relation to the third count must be based solely upon that evidence which we discussed last week. But the fallacy is that a finding by you on a limited body of evidence should apply at all to any findings which you might make of the larger body of evidence. When you think about it, that must be so. The Crown has corrected me in my interpretation of the submission which he made about that particular matter, and that is the way in which you should approach it."
As was said, this entire subject seems now to be academic.
The defence case was put fairly to the jury. The issue, arising out of one aspect of the defence case debated between the Crown Prosecutor and the judge was ultimately resolved. In any event, once the jury found the appellant guilty on the third count in accordance with the directions as to how they were to approach that question (as to which no complaint is made in this appeal) the issue did not arise.
This ground of appeal must fail.
The fourth ground of appeal complains of the admission of photographic and other evidence which was said to be inflammatory and prejudicial, and which was said to serve no forensic purpose.
The photographs in question appear to have been photographs of the remains of the victims, and some photographs of them whilst alive.
It was part of the Crown case, as opened, and as conducted, that there was a pattern to the backpacker killings. The Crown Prosecutor, in opening, said that the Crown would prove that all seven backpackers were killed in ferocious sustained attacks, in which greatly more force was used than was necessary to kill.
In the course of his ruling Hunt CJ at CL said:
"The Crown sought to establish not just that the backpackers were dead. As an important element of its case that the attack upon Onions was part of the same pattern evidenced by the killings of the seven backpackers, the Crown sought to establish that they had been attacked savagely and cruelly, with force which was unusual and vastly more than was necessary to cause death, and for some form of psychological gratification.
The oral evidence of Dr Bradhurst was to be that each of two of the victims was shot a number of times in the head. The third was decapitated, in circumstances which established that she would have been alive at the time. The stab wounds to each of the three others would have caused paralysis, two of them having had their spinal cords completely severed. The multiple stab wounds to three of the seven victims would have been likely to have penetrated their hearts. There were signs that two of them had been strangled. All but one of them appears to have been sexually interfered with either before or after death.
Even such a description does not adequately demonstrate the fact which the Crown sought to establish. Nor did the drawings prepared by Dr Bradhurst on which the positions of the wounds were indicated. Nor did the formal admission foreshadowed (and later made) that the only reasonable inference to be drawn was that the force used on each of the victims was unusual and unnecessary and vastly more than was necessary to kill.
I formed the view that the fact which the Crown sought to establish could only be demonstrated adequately by the tender of those photographs which were necessary in order to see the number and nature of the wounds which had been inflicted. The horrific nature of the photographs which was said to amount to unfair prejudice was actually part and parcel of the very fact which the Crown sought to prove. The evidence was powerful, but the Crown needed powerful evidence to make the point."
It appears that, at the trial, complaint was made about photographs of the live backpackers because they showed the victims as smiling, friendly young people. However, the point of the photographs was to show clothes that they were wearing, cameras that they were holding or backpacks that they were using.
It was a proper exercise of discretionary judgment to decide to admit the material in question, including photographic and pathological material. It is incorrect to say that it served no forensic purpose.
This ground of appeal fails.
The fifth ground of appeal complained of what were said to be irregularities giving rise to a reasonable suspicion as to the fairness of the trial.
One of the alleged irregularities was the screening by the television media, during jury deliberations, of what was said to be emotive material.
Towards the end of the summing-up counsel for the appellant is recorded as saying to the trial judge:
"Your Honour, I am very concerned about the behaviour of the media in the last twenty-four hours and the effect it may be having on this trial. I refer in particular to the publication of flowers being presented to the families of the deceased persons and I also refer to the promotional advertisements that have been aired on television in recent days relating to this matter.
Could I also refer to the coverage whilst the jury is retired in the sense that journalists show all photographs and TV footage of the families of the victims waiting for the jury to return. All these matters in my submission are putting tremendous pressure on the jury and indeed are raising very emotional issues for the jury if they are seeing these things.
The defence finds itself in an invidious position as a result of this. I am not making any application at this stage in respect of the jury, your Honour, but I do not wish that position to be taken as conceding that these breaches could not be seen by themselves as materially affecting the integrity of the trial."
Hunt CJ at CL responded by addressing remarks to the media, with appropriate warnings. He went on to say:
"These breaches could not be seen by themselves as materially affecting the integrity of the trial, but they are nevertheless indicative that, unless checked, the media is minded to do something which really will affect that integrity."
Before and during the trial, the trial judge took great pains to deal, in every legitimate way, with the inevitable problems that arose out of the great interest which the proceedings attracted. I am satisfied that, notwithstanding all of the matters of which he complains, the appellant had a fair trial.
One particular matter of potential prejudice of which complaint is made concerns an incident relating to a juror who was discharged virtually at the end of the trial.
On Friday 19 July 1996, Hunt CJ at CL was about to commence the second day of his summing-up to the jury. It was the sixty-fourth day of the trial. The transcript records a discussion in Chambers between the judge, the Crown Prosecutor, and counsel for the appellant, following a report to the judge by a Sheriff's Officer of some information he had been given by a juror.
The juror was examined in court, but in the absence of the rest of the jury on the voir dire. He said that he had received, overnight, a telephone call from a man which was of a threatening nature. The juror said he had no concern about continuing in the case, and was happy to put the matter out of his mind. He also said he had spoken to no other juror. Counsel for the appellant asked for a discharge of the entire jury. The trial judge declined but, after further discussion with counsel, decided to discharge that particular juror. The juror was instructed not to tell any of the other jurors what had happened. Subsequently the remaining jurors were brought into court and the judge said to them:
"First, members of the jury, unfortunately one of your colleagues is unable to continue as a juror, and we are now obliged to proceed without him. That was a decision which was made with considerable regret. Secondly, I am sorry that Friday was lost. The delay was unavoidable, as it was essential that I clear up a very important matter then and there, and before we proceed any further with the trial. It took much longer to clear up than I had anticipated."
The question which arises is whether the incident gives rise to a reasonable apprehension or suspicion on the part of a fair minded and informed member of the public that the jury had not discharged its task impartially. (Webb v The Queen  HCA 30; (1993-1994) 181 CLR 41 at 53). I would answer that question in the negative.
There is no reason to believe that the juror in question was not effectively quarantined. There is no reason not to accept his evidence that he had told none of the other jurors about the threatening telephone call, and there is no reason to doubt that he complied with the instruction not to tell the other jurors the reason why he was discharged.
This ground of appeal must fail.
The sixth ground of appeal was added by the appellant. The ground is that, by reason of prejudicial publicity before and during the trial, the convictions were unsafe and unsatisfactory and amounted to a miscarriage of justice.
The legal principles relevant to a consideration of this ground were considered by the High Court in The Queen v Glennon  HCA 16; (1992) 173 CLR 592, a case which in one respect was similar to the present. In this case, as in Glennon, certain pre-trial publicity had been held to amount to contempt of court and had been punished.
The pre-trial publicity complained of included publication in the media, in 1994, of certain statements made in court by the Crown Prosecutor in the course of opposing an application for bail. This was one of the principal grounds upon which, in 1996, there was an application to Hunt CJ at CL for a stay of proceedings.
A useful point of reference for an examination of some of the background material is to be found in the judgment of Hunt CJ at CL dated 5 September 1996 under the heading "Stay of Proceedings".
Before the trial commenced, the appellant made various unsuccessful attempts to have the trial conducted without a jury. The legal position was that the appellant was entitled to elect to have a trial without a jury, but in order for the election to be effective it required the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions. That consent was refused. An unsuccessful attempt was made to challenge the refusal on administrative law grounds. Subsequently an application was made to Hunt CJ at CL to grant a stay of proceedings until the Director of Public Prosecutions consented to the trial proceeding without a jury. Hunt CJ at CL declined to stay the proceedings. His reasons are set out between pages 9 and 20 of the judgment of 5 September. Those reasons included references to a number of factual matters, and to some of the legal principles now relied upon by the appellant.
As was mentioned earlier, the disappearance of the backpackers, the discovery of their remains in the Belanglo State Forest, and the police investigation that followed, received worldwide publicity. It was a subject of great public interest, and, naturally, attracted a great deal of media attention. The arrest of the appellant was, understandably, widely publicised.
In 1994, in the course of bail proceedings (about two years before the ultimate trial) counsel who was then representing the Director of Public Prosecutions, in opposing bail, told the magistrate that in 1971, whilst awaiting trial on a charge of rape (a charge of which the appellant was ultimately acquitted) the appellant absconded to New Zealand in breach of bail conditions. He was not arrested until three years later. This received wide press coverage which included statements from both the prosecution and defence confirming that the appellant had never been convicted of any crime of a violent or sexual nature. Hunt CJ at CL extracted some of the media reports in his judgment.
There was extensive media coverage of the case both before and during the trial. The particulars filed by the appellant's lawyers referred to "highly emotive stories concerning the relatives of deceased backpackers" and "the screening during the course of deliberations of promotional material for television programmes concerning the trial, the effect of which may have been to place the jury under pressure to return a verdict".
At the beginning of the trial, during the course of the trial, and in his summing-up, Hunt CJ at CL repeatedly directed the jury about the need to decide the case dispassionately, and solely on the basis of evidence put before them.
In his summing-up his Honour said:
"You must put out of your minds everything which you may have read or which may have been said to you by people outside this courtroom. The trial has, as you have seen, attracted an enormous amount of publicity.
You must decide this case solely by reference to the evidence which has been put before you and upon the arguments of counsel which have been based upon that evidence stated openly before you here in this courtroom. You should take into account only these arguments, together with my directions and your own views of the evidence.
The opinions of other people are completely irrelevant to anything which you have to determine in this case. Your reactions and your verdicts in this case must be determined solely upon the evidence and that alone."
Much of the publicity before and during the trial concerned the presence in Australia of relatives and friends of the victims and their personal anguish. In his summing-up Hunt CJ at CL said:
"At the commencement of his final address (defence counsel) spoke of the pressures under which you have been put. Nobody can doubt that you have been under some pressure, simply from the fact that this has been a very publicly conducted trial. He went on to say that he was putting you under pressure, that the Crown had done so and that the community was putting you under pressure. I would not myself subscribe to that view. The only pressures you have are those which you feel in your mind from the simple fact that this case has been very publicly conducted. There may have been some valid reason why Mr Martin was putting that to you, but if it is your perception that the parties are putting you under pressure and the community is putting you under pressure, I urge you to put that particular consideration right out of your minds. The only expectation on you is that you will do your duty properly. The only pressure of which you should take notice is that of your own conscience."
In our criminal justice system jurors are put in a position of high responsibility. We ought to give them due credit for being able to discharge that responsibility. There is no reason to doubt that, in the present case, the jury observed the clear and emphatic warnings they were given by the trial judge, and decided the case conscientiously, by reference only to the evidence and arguments they heard in court, uninfluenced by extraneous considerations.
Some of the arguments advanced by the appellant are tantamount to saying that, in the events that happened, it was impossible for him to receive a fair trial in front of a jury, and that if he could not have a trial without a jury he should never have been put on trial at all. I would reject this. The criminal justice system, of which trial by jury is an integral part, often has to function in circumstances of intense publicity potentially prejudicial to an accused person. Various mechanisms, including, where necessary, proceedings for contempt of court, are available to protect the integrity of the system. Ultimately, however, it is the capacity of jurors, properly instructed by trial judges, to decide cases by reference to legally admissible evidence and legally relevant arguments, and not otherwise, that is the foundation of the system.
In The Queen v Glennon (173 CLR at 603) Mason CJ and Toohey J said:
"The possibility that a juror might acquire irrelevant and prejudicial information is inherent in a criminal trial. The law acknowledges the existence of that possibility but proceeds on the footing that the jury, acting in conformity with the instructions given to them by the trial judge, will render a true verdict in accordance with the evidence. As Toohey J observed ... in the past too little weight may have been given to the capacity of jurors to assess critically what they see and hear and their ability to reach their decisions by reference to the evidence before them."
The reasons given by Hunt CJ at CL for declining to grant a stay of proceedings were cogent and in accordance with settled principles. His Honour was critical of some aspects of the conduct of the Crown's opposition to the appellant's application for bail, pointing out that it is possible to hand up to a magistrate a document containing information about the previous history of an applicant for bail. He analysed the results of a survey that had been taken in an endeavour to establish the state of public awareness of the appellant. This survey was based on 600 telephone interviews conducted randomly throughout the area from which the jury had been called. After commenting on certain aspects of the detailed results, and some difficulties of interpreting them, he said:
"The survey may have been of more value if the respondents had had explained to them - as jurors have explained to them during the course of a criminal trial where there has been publicity given to the committal hearing - what the purpose of a committal hearing is, that what they had read or heard or seen is only half the story and that is the law that the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise beyond reasonable doubt. The answers given after such an explanation had been given to the respondents may perhaps have given at least some insight into the effect which the publicity given to the committal hearing had had on the minds of the prospective jurors, although responses given spontaneously in answer to questions asked by a stranger over the telephone without the opportunity for any great consideration must in any event be of limited value.
The view has long been held that it is wrong to assume that jurors (including prospective jurors) do not have or will not exercise a critical judgment of what they see, read and hear in the media and that they will not be able to put such statements out of their minds. It is a well known phenomenon that a trial, by its very nature, causes all concerned to become progressively more inward looking, studying the evidence given and the submissions made to the exclusion of other sources of information. Nor is it thought to render a juror partial merely because he or she has formed a tentative opinion upon the merits of the case from the publication of such information."
Particular reliance was placed by the appellant upon the publication of photographs of the appellant, in June 1994, by "Who" magazine. In Attorney General for New South Wales v Time Inc (Court of Appeal, unreported, 21 October 1994), this was found to constitute a contempt of court. An application for special leave to appeal to the High Court was refused.
The reason why the publication, before trial, of a photograph of an accused person in a case where identification is likely to be a critical issue may constitute contempt of court was explained at some length in the judgment of the Court of Appeal. It emerged in evidence in the course of the proceedings relating to penalty that the solicitors for the publisher had warned their clients about this problem and, in a checklist of matters relevant to possible contempt of court, the solicitors had said, concerning cases where a subject has been arrested and will be tried before a jury, "If there could be any issue about identification of the guilty person, do not show photograph."
One of the points that was made in the judgment of the Court of Appeal was that publication of photographs in such cases can prejudice the Crown, as well as an accused. In the present case, for example, we do not know whether there was some witness that the Crown might have wished to have called but whose evidence was tainted by having seen a photograph of the appellant. No suggestion was made in the course of argument in this appeal that the evidence of Mr Onions was tainted in that way. Any such suggestion would have been impossible in the light of the evidence as to the description of the appellant which he had given to the Bowral Police on the afternoon he was attacked. The fact that he then described his attacker as having a moustache like Merv Hughes, the cricketer, meant that it could never be suggested that he got that idea from having seen a photograph of the appellant.
In Glennon the High Court was dealing with a case in which a person had been punished for contempt of court as the result of publication, before trial, of inadmissible and prejudicial material concerning prior convictions of the accused. The High Court rejected an argument that it followed, as a matter of logic, from the conclusion that publication of such material was a contempt of court, that the subsequent trial of the accused was unfair and amounted to a miscarriage of justice.
Mason CJ and Toohey J said (at 605):
"Contempt of court arising from pre-trial publication, on the one hand, and appeals from conviction or from a refusal to order a stay based on pre-trial publication, on the other, differ in at least one important respect. A finding of contempt in such a situation depends upon proof that the publication has, as a matter of practical reality, a real (or clear) and definite tendency to interfere with the administration of justice, that is, to prejudice a fair trial. The question whether a contempt has been committed has `to be determined at the time of publication and not by reference to subsequent events'. ...... That time may well be in advance of the actual trial and even before the date for trial is known. Thus a conviction for contempt depends upon findings of fact and inferences drawn at that time on the basis of evidence then available
On the other hand, a permanent stay will only be ordered in an extreme case and there must be a fundamental defect `of such a nature that nothing that a trial judge can do in the conduct of the trial can relieve against its unfair consequences'. And a court of criminal appeal, before it will set aside a conviction on the ground of a miscarriage of justice, requires to be satisfied that there is a serious risk that the pre-trial publicity has deprived the accused of a fair trial. It will determine that question in the light of the way in which the trial was conducted, including the steps taken by the trial judge with a view to ensuring a fair trial."
As Brennan J pointed out (at 613) in Glennon, if the commission of a contempt of court such as was held to have occurred in the present case produced the result that the appellant could never be brought to trial, then the punishment for contempt of court would be much more severe than it was. The Court of Appeal held that the publication in June 1994 of photographs of Ivan Milat had a tendency to interfere with the administration of justice. It did not hold that the publication of those photographs made the administration of justice impossible, or that the effect of the publication was that Ivan Milat could never be brought to trial. It may safely be assumed that if the court had reached the latter conclusion a penalty in the form of a fine of $100,000 would have been seen as inadequate.
I am satisfied that the appellant had a fair trial, according to law, and that the matters complained of by the appellant produced no miscarriage of justice.
This ground of appeal fails.
The appeal should be dismissed.
MEAGHER JA: I agree with the Chief Justice
NEWMAN J: I have had the advantage of reading the draft judgment of the Chief Justice and I agree with the reasons he gives and the order he proposes.
Surely no more doubts
A very informative submission that you have tendered Anonymous, thank you very much for your efforts ...greatly appreciated !
Anyone who may have had doubts, surely can not walk away still carrying them after reading this.... XoX
The article appears to simply
The article appears to simply rely upon the Prosecution and courts submissions along with hearsay (the inconsistancies themselves) to "rebut" the inconsistancies brough out above.
I have no doubt he did this.. sick man...
i had doubts at first but after reading the submission above i am convinced he is responsible... there is too much evidence staring him in the face. the clothes the guns his wherabouts onions statement... all too coincidental ...although there is some doubt over the police planting the stuff at his house but where did they get the stuff from?? did they murder the victims and plant the stuff. i dont think so..some shonky evidence and vital clues and witnesses not used in the trial and also statements supposedly lost or not taken is a bit wierd too... but i have no doubt he did this.. sick man...
Police may have missed other guilty parties.
I think it is entirely possible that the police 'tightened' up any loose ends that might interfere with the case against Ivan Milat. The fact remains that while the pattern of the 7 murders is similar, the pattern suggests the involvement of more than one person for several reasons: 1. the difficulties associated with carrying out double murders single-handedly, 2. I am not an expert but it strikes me as strange that some of the victims were shot while others were stabbed (I suppose this might make sense if there was apparent purpose behind this, for example male victims being shot for convenience/disposal purposes while the target female victims were stabbed but this doesn't seem to be the case as some female victims were shot while others stabbed). To me this suggests more than one perpetrator. Also going back to my previous point it is interesting that the only apparent surviving victim Paul Onions claims to have encountered Milat alone. How did one man manage to escape Milat while pairs of his other victims (including some males possibly larger than Onions) were supposedly subdued by Milat alone? (I am not sure of the chronology, perhaps if Onions had been his first victim it would be conceivable that Milat had learned from his mistakes and become better at controlling such situations). On the whole, it seems there is still a great deal to doubt about the handling of this case. The above account of the trial evidence does not successfully discredit the previous account which had cast doubt on the Milat case because the previous account acknowledges that crucial evidence was either not pursued by police, or discredited/omitted by the Crown. Lets not forget that once you get to the trial it is no longer an investigation for the truth about the murders it is specifically about the accused on the stand - anything not related directly to the accused is highly undesirable to the prosecution. I think the police got the right man, possibly using means not strictly by the book. However, in the process they may have missed other guilty parties.
Warden's word that Milat is the killer is good enough for me
Goal warden's word that Milat is a killer is good enough for me
Well as members of the public all we have to make up our minds, is what we read. Let me tell you from first hand experince, the Press, especially the Daily Telgraph totally lie about events to sell papers.
So what the public think is truth, is sometimes based on total lies.
I know lie detectors can't be used as evidence in court, but if I was innocent I would want to be subjected to one as well as truth drugs. Just to build a stronger case. BUt you never hear this convicted crimals asking for one do you?
I have met the retired warden from Goulburn Goal and he said that Milat is a killer. That is good enough for me. I think there is more to this story and I don't think we will ever really know the whole truth.
However, it must have been such a shocking experience for those captured watching their partners being tortured knowing they would be next. Just stop and think how you would react. That's why I always lock my car when I full up and never pick up hitch hikers. I always face the door inside in a cafe etc.
Always remember the bad guy has the adventage over you, because he knows what his intentions are and you dont. So by being just that little be more aware of your surroundings, he may move on past you and try someone who is less of a threat in being taken. I have worked in lived in many countries and have had some heavy experiences over the years. Trust no one and I mean no one. That way you at least live another day. I feel for those family memebers left now with the eternal heart ache.
But as I said at the start, we only have what we read in the Press to go on. Lindy lost her baby to a dingo, but the press put her. Away always remember that one folks
Isn't it odd that a victim was shot 10 times in the head?
Now after many years, yet another slaughter has occured in the belanglo state forest, doesn't it seem strange that a relative of ivan milat has been charged with the brutal slaying of a young teenage boy, seem's to me that this sick inherited gene has now been passed on to the third generation of milats. In view of the recent murder that has transpired at belanglo, three teenagers where involved and charged, but the one that was charged with the actual murder (slaughter) of the 17 year old victim is a third generation relative of ivan milat.
His modus of operandi is that he had to have an audience to witness the display of power over a defenceless victim, fortunately in this particular incident, one of the accused went and told the police what had transpired the night before, if he had not done so, this matter could have been treated as a missing persons case, unresolved for many months if not years rather than coming to a climax as it has. Could this relative of ivan milat have given us insight, as to what previously may have transpired in the late 1980's, early 90's. Is it possible Ivan milat had an accomplice or accomplices waiting in the wings as he brought his prey into the belanglo human slaughter house. Doesn't it strike people as odd that one of his victim's was shot 10 times in the head, could this be a case of ivan firing the first 2 or 3 initial shot's then passing the same weapon to the other accomplice or accomplices to have there turn. I believe that this recent slaying could prove to be a template of what may have transpired during the murderous reign of ivan milat. I think it is high time that a new investigation should be re-opened into the possibilities that ivan did not act alone.
1. Relative of Ivan milat took accomplices with him.
2. This same relative used the same state forest to commit his crime.
3. This Relative of milat is a minor, what of the other late teen milat minor's at the
time of ivan's trial, were they questioned or cross examined by the police.
In view of the events now unfolding 20 years later, it show that a milat minor
is capable of carrying out a horrific crime, similar of those attributed to ivan milat.
4. If this is the third generation of milat's, what of the second generation milat's
have they been screened during the DNA testing. they would be men and women in their
5. This same relative of ivan milat, took 3 people with him, but only one weapon, every victim
that ivan milat shot, were shot with the one firearm.
6. During the time of ivan, there were reported findings of alchohol and cigarette butt's located at
the various crime scenes, ivan was reported as to being a non-drinker and non-smoker, but
his accomplice or accomplices may have been. The police report states in regard to the more recent
murder, that the accomplices of the relative of ivan milat went to the belanglo state forest to drink
and smoke celebrating the victims birthday, unfortunately for the victim, it would be his
7. It has been reported that the victim was a sympathetic supporter of the milat clan. How he expressed his
sympathies for the milat family in light of the horrendous crimes that ivan commited, isn't it a shame that
sympathy killed him.
Ivan has been firmly protesting that he is innocent of the crimes that he was tried and found guilty for, during his
stay at golbourne's super max prison cell. In light of the recent events, i believe that his not guilty plea has
somewhat now been completely erroded.
The Benneton shirt argument Is bogus
I am not claiming guilt or innocence or siding for or against Milat. All I want to say is that the Benetton shirt worn by the victim is clearly different to the one Ivans friend wears in a picture. I have watched the story on 3 separate specials and cannot believe it is even raised as an argument. Also printing 500 pages of overblown court transcript does not negate the initial argument made by this website. Furthermore a subjective car ride with Ivan does not make him a serial killer. I found a friends father terrifying as a youngster, that does not make him a murderer.
Let's hope questions can be answered for victims and families
Not making any claims about Ivan Milat's guilt or innocence, however there is some doubt as to whether or not he would be able to have done these crimes alone. After reading the trial transcripts it seems a fair conclusion to make that the judge thought the same thing.
How could have Paul Onions escaped from him whilst he had him at gunpoint but the other backpackers could not? ?
Why does the DNA of someone else at the crime scene match another victim after Milat was in custody and DNA found at the scene of the original murders - but Ivan's nor his families DNA does not according to what is written here.
Why does Ivan continue to claim his innocence that he was willing to bite off his finger in protest?
Who is the six foot tall man who owns a silver four wheel drive and apparently attacked Paul Onions and another hitchhiker who also escaped around the same time period?
Who are the other 3 men and woman who were waiting for the vehicle to dropp off the attempted murder victim?
Lets hope these questions can be answered fully one day soon for the sake of the victims and their families.
Distressed woman was the spitting image of German tourist Simone
Years ago when I was driving to Campbelltown on the Hume for a course I saw a woman being transferred from one car to another. I slowed down cause she looked distressed and stopped. I figured if she ran accross the highway I'd pick her up and take her with me, if mobiles phones where available I would have rung the police. I think one car was a beige 4 cylinder holden torana .But she got in the backseat of the other car and I figured I'd just imagined it. Years later I realised she was the splitting image of the german tourist simone but I had my own problems them. There was certainly more than one male.
What the hell is going on here?
Once again who does the dna belong to? According to all of the information on this case presented here definitely not ivan milat or his relatives.
So there is a family here who thanks to media sensationalism has suffered trauma and now the next generation repeats the example of the other and a kid has ruined his life and taken anothers, because he is supposed to be a psycho as well.
Can only wonder the horror that has gone on in this family and the lack of any social intervention that could have assisted ivan to cope with his mental illness and his families dysfunctionality before he went and started to kill innocent people according to what he has been convicted of doing.
We as intelligent, rational people in society need to take a good long look at this case and wonder whether or not one person was capable of singlehandedly killing fit young men that were men bigger and stronger than him as well as women at the same time?
These poor souls would have been fighting for their lives in an attempt to get away from him as did paul onions but not one speck of dna from these victims bodies matches ivan milat????
If ivan is responsible he recieved justice and should keep silent to suffer the rest of his days, however if he is guilty then why is he continually protesting his innocence? If he alone is the killer then why are there reports of similar incidences involving other cars and various men and women with guns etc? What the hell is going on here?
God only knows the truth and God help these victims families - every life is precious.
Where is the justice in this country?
where is the justice in this country?
The DNA evidence was destroyed in the processing
Ivan may never be granted an appeal to reexamine the lack of DNA evidence that convicted him of these crimes.
The DNA evidence was destroyed in the processing.
The criminal justice system don't seem interested in looking into other possible suspects that have eyewitness testimony regarding involvement in similar crimes. The more this is debated on the internet the more people come out of the woodwork and inturn the "group killer theory" looks more propable.
Why does Ivan believe he is innocent and why does he continue to try to appeal his conviction by such extreme measures?
Behaviour like that is rare in a guilty conscience, however it isn't an impossibility, given the reported psychological effects of solitary confinement.
No qualified answers yet, just empty, negative, derogatory banter thus far.
Police were reluctant to embrace the group killer theory
Police could re-open Belanglo case
Milat lodges 474 Appeal
July 19th, 2005
The Sunday Telegraph (18/7/05) reports that police are considering reopening the Backpacker Murders case.
Friends of Ivan Milat say this would be a good idea, given that there is so little to link Ivan to the case and given the alleged planting of evidence at Ivan's home and the original description of Paul Onions' attacker as a man of some six feet tall driving a car with a spare wheel attached to the back having been conveniently 'lost' by Bowral police and replaced with a new description fitting Ivan Milat, following Paul Onions being shown photos of him by police.
Could it be a co-incidence that the sudden interest by the media in the case has been manipulated by persons behind the scenes keen to see Ivan's latest appeal, a 474 Appeal for a judicial review, quashed as soon as possible?
Police could start by trying to find the perpetrator whose DNA was found under the fingernails of one of the victims. This DNA is not linked to Ivan Milat or any member of his family. This fact is conveniently left out of media reports of the case. In effect Ivan Milat has been cleared by the DNA evidence. As for him attempting to escape from gaol, this has never been proven in court. Ivan says he did not make any escape plans and that swallowing objects was not an attempt to be taken to an outside hospital but to draw attention to the fact that he was receiving no assistance with preparation of his appeal.
Around the time of the attack on Paul Onions, a young man fled from a four wheel drive south of the Belanglo turn off. The vehicle had stopped , and he saw 3 men and a woman emerge from the bush. They were armed and coming toward him. He escapes and records the details to Bowral police. Task Force Air later dismiss his evidence as not being relevant to their backpacker inquiries. There is clear evidence that the police were reluctant to embrace the group killer theory. Was Paul Onions a victim of the group and fortunate to escape the tragedy of what had happened to the other travelers?
However, this attack is the first inkling placing a woman at the crime scenes. It does go some way to explain the sexual nature inflicted upon some of the victims. Female jewelry had disappeared from the victims. Only commonplace camping items were discovered in later police searches. These items appeared to be new and unused and Ivan Milat says they were planted on him.
Candace Sutton from the Sun-Herald reported concerning a strange blonde man who picked up a male hitchhiker in a 4wd. In the rear of that vehicle were chainsaws and other forestry type tools. There were assorted knives. The man fled from the vehicle when the driver began talking about "bodies in the forest" just after passing the Belanglo turn off. The driver had slowed down allowing the fellow to jump from the vehicle.
Task Force Air had a swag of information from drug raids in the local Sutton Forest and general Southern Highlands areas. The police were well briefed on the Who's Who of the local villains.
Police focused initially on the local area when forensics proved what sort of weapons had been used. As early as 1993, the investigation was confining the search to the Southern Highlands. This line of attack changed after the assault on Paul Onions, and the single theory perpetrator took hold. Anything outside that scenario was dismissed. The police had fixed a rough pattern to the movements of the backpackers. This fixation was flawed. It did not leave open the finding of further information on backpackers movements after leaving Sydney.
An 18 year old's body was found in a local forest area during 1992. He was from Bathurst, NSW. It could easily have been assumed that this victim was to be a part of the backpacker case investigation. Task Force Air said no. To place this victim with the others would have meant problems of defining the patterns of the murders. The police did not mention this case in their original brief, although the killing was similar to those at Belanglo.
Bicycle riders Stephen Mangan and Michael Jones found dumped property belonging to the backpacker Gibson. A Ricoh camera was passed on to police on 31st December, 1989. Backpacks belonging to Gibson and his partner were later found by a motorist and passed on to police.
The significance of these findings was closely similar to the finding at Bright, Victoria. The items were discarded to throw any later investigations away from the Southern Highlands.
The crown attempted to prove that Ivan Milat had been working in the Dural-Galston Gorge area and that he had the opportunity to place the items there. But then, there was the problem of the Items discovered at Bright. All of the items were dumped from the police case. The Casula-Liverpool link to the killers was entrenched in the police mind set, that they refused to take into account the possibility they were mistaken. Vital clues and witnesses were being dismissed.
If police did investigate properly they would find a cesspit of lies cooked up by the prosecution which conveniently ignored the facts that:
1. The Bennetton top allegedly taken from one of the
victims was purchased from a Sydney retail outlet.
This evidence was known to both the crown and the
2. Property belonging to Simone Schmidl were taken
from the home of a Ms Murphy at Guildford.
3. Property belonging to Simone Schmidl was found at
Bright, Victoria. Some of these items were later found
at the home of Ivan Milat. How they got there should
be a matter for the Police Integrity Commission.
4. The blue day pack allegedly belonging to Simone
Schmidl discovered at Walter Milat's home could not
have belonged to her. A family photo of the backpack
at Walter's home was taken prior to Simone's death.
5. Arresting detectives were captured by the
television news carrying fully formed cartons into the
6. Ivan and Richard Milat explained to police the
origin of some items at both their homes. Backpacks
held up in court as 'evidence' appeared to be new and
unused. Statements that those brands could only be
purchased in Europe were fabrications.
7. Simone Schmidl's mother was not examined nor a
statement taken from her regarding certain items that
she had earlier identified and were found in Victoria.
8. The incompetent handling of the DNA evidence was
detrimental to the defence case. No description was
led as to the colour of the hairs found in the hand of
one of the victims. Recent re-examination of the DNA
evidence has cleared Ivan Milat and all members of his
family. This should be making headlines - but still
Ivan Milat remains incarcerated.
9. The loss of Paul Onions' original statement coupled
with the original Joanne Berry statement raises
suspicions. These statements were made at separate
police stations. Neither the police nor the witnesses
retained a copy of the original staements. This is
suggestive that there was hiding or destruction of
these documents. In his original statement Paul Onions
had described a man around six feet tall with a spare
wheel mounted on the back of his car. This does not fit
the description of Ivan Milat at all.
10. To depict sightings by credible witnesses as false was
designed to undermine and mislead the evidence that
supported a different pattern to the police theory.
11. The police failed to video record the search of
the Milat residences. This reflects on the integrity
of the police searches.
12. If the second statement by Paul Onions was so
credible, why was Ivan Milat not arrested sooner?
13. Only one item of evidence was produced with a
fingerprint on it. For the police and crown to suggest
that Ivan wiped all of the items free of prints or
wore latex gloves was ludicrous considering the amount
of property concerned.
14. Forensic evidence showed neither the Bowie knife
or the blunt sword found at Ivan's mother's place
could have been used in the attacks on the victims. Of
all the guns seized from Milat family members not one
of them was ever fired in Belanglo Forest. Ivan Milat
maintains a Ruger rifle part was planted in his home
and recent sackings of corrupt police suggest they
were indeed capable of such acts.
15. A vital witness, Jock Pittiway, gave Alex Milat a
backpack. PIttiway also gave a trailer load of items
to Richard Milat. Pittiway should have been
investigated by police.
Ivan Milat was not the only suspect in this case. There were other suspects, in particular one from Wollongong of European origin whose children
saw him doing suspicious things. The man from Wollongong had a long history of violence against women and many criminal convictions including convictions for paedophilia. He was obsessed with guns and had been in the armed forces overseas. He looks not unlike Ivan Milat in appearance and is of similar build. This particular suspect's car was seized by Task Force Air and human bloodstains were found in the back. If police really want to reopen the case they could start by comparing his DNA with that found under the victim's fingernails.
It is hoped that the DNA will match a known criminal
Belanglo Murderer DNA Found on Recent Murder Victim
2006/05/18 - 22:02
Parramatta police are hushing up news that DNA matching that found under the fingernails of one of the Belanglo Forest murder victims has been found on a body recently discovered in bushland.
The difficult testing on the Belanglo DNA in England was only completed two years ago due to advances in technology.
Ivan Milat's family were officially informed that the DNA did not match Ivan Milat or any member of his family, nor did the DNA match any of the known victims. Police explained this by pointing out that the judge in his summing up of the case against Ivan Milat stated that there was no way one person committed these murders alone, and that the murders had a ritual-satanic aspect which would suggest a group of people being involved.
Detective Sergeant Michael Ashwood today led a raid on the late Mrs Milat's Guildford home where one of the Milat brothers, who is handicapped, still lives. Mrs Milat died some time ago. Police were allegedly looking for any weapons, clothing or other objects related to the recent discovery of a woman's body in a shallow grave, a fact which has not been reported in the mainstream media. This murder happened in about 2004, ten years after Ivan Milat was jailed so he certainly was not involved.
A Parramatta detective has admitted to one of the Milat brothers that photos are in the possession of police of two of the Belanglo murder victims visiting an area shortly before their abductions which does not fit the scenario of Ivan Milat picking up victims on the Hume Highway in N.S.W. These photos were kept out of the evidence during the trial deliberately because they confirmed sightings of the girls by railway employees in Albury and confirmed the finding of Simone Schmidl's belongings near the highway in Victoria, where Ivan Milat could not have been, due to the fact that his employer's records placed him at work during that time.
It is hoped that the DNA will match a known criminal whose DNA has been obtained. Useful samples of the DNA of the other Belanglo Murders suspect are held by his ex partner in the form of old type postage stamps on letters he wrote to her, one being a letter from prison denying that he sexually assaulted two children aged four and five years.
Picture: Gabor Neugebauer, whose leather jacket and watch were found in the possession of a policeman who committed suicide after harassing the wife and children of a second backpacker murders suspect, the details of whom have been kept secret even though the ex partner of the suspect gave four hours of evidence into the Royal Commmission into Police Corruption.. The jacket and watch were said by his fiancee to have been obtained by him before the bodies in the forest were discovered. http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/node/37040
It's really not rocket science what is going on here
When police went to the local bilanglo gun club early in their investigations Alex Milat says he saw the victims in two cars with very clear descriptions. That means one of two things.A) By clear coincidence the brother of the murderer had a clear bit of evidence clearing his brother and being placed in the same area as the deceased during their time of kidnapping or B) Alex Milat was involved with the murders or at least had knowledge of them before investigations began. The fact that his descriptions were so clear of the occupants and it was a passing car he said he saw as he was driving in the opposite direction mixed with the facts that he handed over a backpack which he told police Ivan had given to him which belonged to one of the victims (which really confounds this authors views on things)its really not rocket science what is going on here.
From an interview with alex Milat
“When I go to bed, I go to sleep,” he says. “To
kill a person is not that f..kin’ hard. It’s harder to kill
a snake. To kill a fellow human being, it personally
wouldn’t worry me. Because I don’t think like that.
If [Ivan] walked up those stairs right now, I’d put
the kettle on. I’d make him a coffee. I just think,
that’s life, that’s the way it is. Move on."
Yes lets move on. Lets move on to justice.
believe it or not
belanglo gun club - just the haven for people of all psychological make up's to get together to share their love of to shoot and kill.
yes ivan liked hunting animals.
but killing animals for food and sport and killing people are two different things.
these poor victims were reported murdered as part of ritual killing's , as sacrifices, they were sexually assaulted and then murdered, all in very similar ways, some with different bullets from different directions shot at them. some were stabbed. they were all stabbed to paralyse them first then they were killed.there were cigarettes and alcohol beverages everywhere. ivan was allegedly a non drinker or smoker.
alex and other witnesses have clearly stated that they saw the victims in two separate vehicles full of men - yes, not just one man ivan - going into the belanglo forest. possibly the only credible eyewitness to the whole case, no hang on there were others too, but they either were'nt good enough to be accepted as valuable to the case.
none of alex's dna is on the victims so i guess did neither he or his brother/s had a direct part in their murders?
where did he find the backpack?
dumped in the forest perhaps? maybe he was rummaging around and found the backpack?
how do you know he said that in an interview?
you haven't proven anything.
read about the propaganda machine that goes on in communist countries.
this could have been anyone murdered or any "bad trouble making lawless family" with extensive criminal records framed?
then again no one else has been murdered or gone missing since ivan the killer was jailed right? or are
there still more people dead and missing after milat went to jail and the murderers dna is on them - what does that tell you then? is that justice talking?
Why would the police want to frame Ivan Milat so badly?
I just found out about Ivan Milat and these murders yesterday when they showed a documentary about Milat on TV here in Europe. Today I read a bit more about the case and I find the more I read the more confusing it gets. It is impossible to judge what happened if you read everything about this case. Especially the DNA found on multiple victims that is not Ivan's nor his brothers'. Then I think: is this true? Is it true the police destroyed this DNA evidence? Then why would the police want to frame Ivan Milat so badly that they would lie and cheat? I am certainly of the opinion that governments and government officials have become increasing corrupt and untrustworthy but what is the reason they would like to frame Milat? Personally I still believe Milat did it, possibly with the help of 2 brothers.
Ivan should be giving another go to prove himself innocent
Ivan should be giving another go to prove himself innocent because his dna was not found on the bodies of Clarke and Walters but the same dna was found at another murder scene several years later after Ivan was in jail. In Onions statement he had described certain things about Ivans car like the chrome trim around the wheels and the spare tyre fitted onto the back of the 4wd which Ivan didnt have on his car until sometime after Onions attack. Paul Onion had picked out Ivan in a video line up but there were a few guys living around that area that looked simlar to Ivan i have seen photos of my father and photos of Ivan and i have compard them and they look simlar and same with a few photos of my dads mates and the reason i am comparing these guys to Ivan is because they were formar work mates of Ivans. A few of Ivans work mates at several jobs admitted to going shooting with him and his brother so why werent they interveiwed correctly instead of just some questioned asked and nothing followed up and same with Richards work mates and their friends.
God will avenge those whose lives have been stolen
Most people who actually knew Ivan personally and were not gullible enough to believe in media propaganda know the truth and so do the experts that were involved in the investigations knowingly believe they cannot prove that he killed anyone, only that he had stolen back packer items and guns and ammo in his home found in a police search that was not filmed therefore anything could have been planted there to connect him to the murders. On the days that most of the murders took place Ivan was at work. The true challenge for the legal system was to prove that he is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt by virtue of his DNA evidence.The DNA evidence clears him and police investigations reveal another person/s DNA who is directly connected to the backpacker murders.
Why has this been allowed to happen in our country? This is an abuse of humanity and freedoms that people think that they can go around taking lives willy nilly and there will be no repercussions for it. They think that they have the right to destroy families, parents and children and there will be no punishment. They also believe that they will be protected by their evil corrupt abominations in power and they will get away with cold blooded murders, peadophilia and rapes and whatever other evil their corrupt minds can fathom. They will not get away with this, you may have your scapegoat in Milat but the blood of the innocent cries out to God, he saw your evil works and He will reward you and avenge those who's lives you have stolen.
May they face their reward on judgement day for the evil they have caused innocent people and humanity bastards and bitches of hell.
Media lies about him killing a series of women
Yeah those media lies about him killing a series of women and keeping their belongings. He was just a victim of being in the wrong place and the wrong time and buying all the wrong stuff at the garage sale of the real killer.
Lots of Milat family comments
This comment is a classic. I bet there are lots of Milat family comments on here by the looks of things.
For some people the truth is too hard to handle
most of the people are not related to milat and not ignorant, you must be the first omniscient and omnipresent human being who needs glasses?
some people need to work out things in their own time because the truth is too hard to handle.
they have neither the integrity or morality to fight for it at least Ivan does oh, pardon me but your so much better than him right? congratulations.
We are responsible for his incarceration
Good people will just sit here and do nothing for this person, only until someone who has that proof has the courage to come forward and agitate the legal powers that be that have kept an innocent man behind bars and killers on the streets with their liberties will this case be reopened with all of the evidence brought forward. We are responsible for his incarceration when we know the truth and stand back and do nothing. That goes even moreso for the people given public office and legal powers in a position of trust in our society that are to protect and serve its citizens and taxpayers - those of you that support this evil and lack the integrity and courage that their position and station in life holds them to.
Seven and countless more young decent people with their whole lives ahead of them were brutally murdered by pyschopaths, parasites of our society who believe its their right to kill willy nilly due to their derangement. We allow these monsters to exist we allow these people to continue to do their evil, its only when we wake up and follow the truth that this evil will be stopped and it already has began to stop because awareness is growing thanks to indymedia.
Would you have him live in your home if he were released?
Many people appear to be of the opinion that if a convicted murderer professes his innocence, it must mean that he's innocent
Most families insist their convicted family-member is innocent. They do so for one basic reason -- they're trying to restore their OWN damaged reputations, most of all.
* And they continue to scream little-billy is innocent even when they know he's not.
* Because their OWN lives have been disrupted.
* Because they want to 'get even' with a system and society which has put a stop to their family's anti-social lifestyle.
* Because they want to save face.
* Because they have always lied and because most of the time they get away with it. So insisting their little-billy is innocent is second nature to them. Even if caught with blood on their own or little-billy's hands --- they STILL deny and scream innocence. They push it to the end and STILL push.
* Because they want their own way and are used to getting it.
So, when a murderer (or other criminal) is caught, charged and convicted, these disfunctional messes of families become aggressive. They stick out their lower lip. They defy due process of law. They scream 'innocence', even when they've lost. They're outraged that they've lost control. They live to control and dominate. They lie, barefaced. And they believe they're so good at their lies that they can con simple-minded 'good people' to work for them in protests and blogging online, etc.
Simple-minded 'good people' DO fall for it, more often than not. They like a cause. They haven't a clue, most of them. They pose as 'good people' --- but in truth, they're only a hair's breadth from the lawless killers and criminals they profess to support. It's called living-vicariously. Milat and the sordid gang of killers appeal to perverted sub-currents in those who're so strident in defence of Milat. It was the same with all the other folk-heroes. Same with all those sick females who write to and sometimes marry imprisoned killers
But the rationale that just because Milat is desperate to get out of jail 'must mean' he's innocent, is the reasoning of low-IQ dolts
For example, in the UK in the past couple of weeks, the 'He's innocent' brigade have been given a solid whack in the face --- by the killer they were SO sure was innocent.
You must have read about it. Guy claimed his wife had 'run off'. Her family and friends didn't believe it, but he insisted he was innocent. No body could be found. The husband got on with his life, met a woman, impregnated her.
Despite the odds, the police succeeded in securing a conviction and the guy was imprisoned
His new woman was convinced he was innocent. So were many do-gooders
They petitioned all over the place. Groups formed for the sole purpose of having him released. They were very active and organised and they persuaded many people of the guy's innocence. They visited him in prison and planned campaigns in his defence.
Then a bombshell. 4 years after he'd killed his wife, they guy confessed and led police to her remains
' He fooled us all' cried his vehement supporters. ' He made FOOLS of us ! '
Well of course he did. Making fools of people was his stock in trade. He fooled his wife too, obviously. Then killed her and threw her in the ground before moving on to the woman who subsquently bore his child. ' He betrayed me ! ' she moaned to the media. But even though she can no longer claim his innocence -- has she stopped visiting him in jail ? Probably not
Next, take Vincent Tabak, again in the UK. Mr. Respectability. From a family of professionals in the Netherlands, all of whom were outraged at the suggestion that he
could in any way be involved in the murder of Joanna Yeates
Tabak's girlfriend and her family came out publicly in his defence. They really stuck their necks out
People gave him alibis. He'd been with his family at Christmas and with the family of his future in-laws. People vouched for him. He was described by those who knew him as 'gentle', 'unassuming', 'shy', 'quiet', 'genuine nice guy', etc.
Took a while, but he was charged. He continued to plead innocence as did his family and supporters
Then, bombshell. He confessed. Pleaded guilty of manslaughter, not murder, though. This despite he'd entered the home of a decent young woman and strangled her before dumping her body in a frozen ditch at Christmas, After which he texted his fiancee to say how 'bored' he was and how he 'missed' her
He'd been following the police's progress online all through the murder investigation. When his computer was forensically examined, it showed he'd long harboured some very sick interests -- all unsuspected, apparently, by those who claimed to know him very well
Tabak betrayed all his supporters and believers. Made fools of them. Made them look like idiots
Yeah, that's what these guys do. Their supporters like to think their pet-killer is appreciative of their efforts. LOL. Instead, killers DESPISE the fools who defend them - despise and devalue them in the same way they do their victims
All worth remembering, any time someone tries to persuade you that just because a convicted killer is protesting his innocence 'must mean' he really *is* innocent.
No. Killers and other criminals invariably insist they're innocent. And they prey on idiots who defend them. Because killers (and paedophiles, etc.) are desperate to get out into society again so they can indulge their sickness, whether that be sadism, murder, or sex with children
and they use well-meaning but ultimately clueless members of society as tools, in the hope of regaining their liberty
Simple test for all those claiming Milat's innocent: --- are you prepared to vouch for his innocence to the extent you'd have him living in your home if he were released ? Huh ?
Undoubtedly there are some who'd say 'Yes'. Those who say that only say it knowing he will never be released, thus sparing them the pain of having to put their lives where their mouths currently are
Ivan presents logical and straightforward facts
Evil if given enough nurturing in the carnal heart will by any person if given the right environment, say in self defense is capable of murder. Serial killing is another matter, most people would never even contemplate such a terrible thing.
No member of Milats family is claiming to be better than anyone else. Some people blogging here can be downright rude and cause offense in their comments because they believe that they are correct and others are not correct.
This case if anything has many holes in it.
Only Ivan and God really knows if he is innocent or guilty. Many, many people across the world have been tried and convicted of crimes that they have never committed. Some have even taken the death penalty for them.
So advocating for prisoners and victims rights is essential and is done by intelligent people.
Ivan presents logical and straightforward facts, that enable these holes to appear such as:
* The murderers DNA - the DNA belonging to the person responsible for murdering at least two people in the belangalo forest was not found to be a match to Ivan or his family.
* So if there is foolproof evidence that he is the killer, the pillar of forensic evidence somewhat clears him in some of the murders.
* The person whos DNA is the killers has continued to kill people after Ivan Milat is in jail, and is neither a brother or nephew of Ivan Milat.
* This poses a great risk of danger to members of society and is a failure of the criminal justice system to adequately investigate and prosecute the killer/s.
* The trial judge suggested that this was a group of people involved due to the nature of the murders and the fact that things like stone altars, rocks and large trees were found around the murdered victims- things requiring great strength in numbers to be moved around.
* Ivan Milat allegedly did not own the ruger rifle that was shot numerous times in the forest to kill some of the victims. It has been alleged to be have been owned by WMK ex partner and taken away never to be returned to her.
* Numerous eye witness accounts of abductions in or around Belangalo, the Hume Highway, national parks by people visiting and hitchiking over the years that allude to suspicious activity involving multiple suspects of differing physical appearances, mostly male but some with females and children.Are these people all collaborating in some great deliberate hoax intended to bring the criminal justice system into disrepute? Highly unlikely.
* Ivan does not drink or smoke and there was empty beer bottles and cigarette butts left at the scene of the crimes. The murderers must have enjoyed themselves so much the evil psychopaths had to celebrate with an after party.
* The children of WMK had witness him murdering and killing people in group settings as part of extensive satanic ritual abuse, involving themselves and males and females and being filmed.
There is a fine line you walk when you claim to have all the answers. The truth is You do not know what you are claiming.
Why dont you visit belangalo and try and see if there is any moral feeling in your heart to be able to say a prayer for the innocent ones who lost their young lives there?
Be brave enough to feel some heartache for their suffering and you will know that there souls are not at peace if there is so much left unanswered.
This fight has a life of its own and is after all just about them and the justice system that tried desperately hard but not hard enough to give that justice to them and their families.
Milat may be tottally guilty or may really not be guilty at all until he is proven solely guilty beyond any possible iota of a doubt and the matters are laid to rest for good.
His life is over and so is his families.
They will never recover from this so rest assured he is done for.
No amount of blogging on the internet or protesting will ever change this imperfect system we uphold to the heavens as being just.
If they could kill God's son then they will put any innocent person behind bars.
The forest is consecrated evil and evil resides there, why do you think that there is a sign saying - please be careful- at the entrance.
Who knows how many more people gone missing are buried there?
Only the police have the resources to do it and it is their responsibility to do their job to follow up on any leads and make sure that no more harm can ever come to another soul at the hands of the murderers. Abominations on this earth, whether this be Milat or anyone else who has hid in their crimes from punishment.
Psycho's the lot of them
"Many, many people across the world have been tried and convicted of crimes that they have never committed."And how many of them were psycho enough to cut off their finger and send it to the court in protest?And how many of them had their nephew Kill in the same spot to copy their uncle?none right,But that's what the psycho Milat family did."Some people blogging here can be downright rude and cause offense in their comments"Oh the poor Milat Family when Ivan fucked his brothers wife the father told the brother to kill Ivan (pity he didn't)Who gives a fuck if you offend this scum bag Family, not me that's for sure.If it looks like a psycho, acts like a psycho, walks and talks like a psycho then it must be a psycho.
"If they could kill God's son then they will put any innocent person behind bars."What the fuck have the Jews got to do with this?Your off your head
Why is there another murderer's DNA on two victims?
Your point has been taken, but you dont have the answers as to why there is another murderers DNA on two victims before and after Ivan was in prison. You have to remember that there is a huge possibility that there are a group of people involved in these murders and they all walk free bar Ivan Milat. His life is over, his families life is over, the victims lives and their families lives over.
So is it fair that some of the culprits are possibly walking free and have not been caught and likewise punished for their involvement and or knowledge of these crimes? It is interesting to note if any of the following applies to Milat, or could there be others out there that the below applies to?
Posted on Dr Phils website for further information:
1. Over 90 percent of serial killers are male.
2. They tend to be intelligent, with IQ's in the "bright normal" range.
3. They do poorly in school, have trouble holding down jobs, and often work as unskilled laborers.
4. They tend to come from markedly unstable families.
5. As children, they are abandoned by their fathers and raised by domineering mothers.
6. Their families often have criminal, psychiatric and alcoholic histories.
7. They hate their fathers and mothers.
8. They are commonly abused as children — psychologically, physically and sexually. Often the abuse is by a family member.
9. Many serial killers spend time in institutions as children and have records of early psychiatric problems.
10. They have high rates of suicide attempts.
11. From an early age, many are intensely interested in voyeurism, fetishism, and sado-masochistic pornography.
12. More than 60 percent of serial killers wet their beds beyond the age of 12.
13. Many serial killers are fascinated with fire starting.
14. They are involved with sadistic activity or tormenting small creatures.
Source: Internal Association of Forensic Science, an article written by FBI Special Agent Robert K. Ressler
"The Serial Killer," Harold Schechter
Behavioral Characteristics of Serial Killers
By Alice Hudson, eHow Contributor
updated May 26, 2011
Serial killers are very rare; however, their horrific actions have long provoked intense debate as to what could possibly cause a person to act in such a deviant and violent manner. The FBI defines serial killing as "the unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events". While the FBI stresses that no two serial killers are the same, it notes certain characteristics may be shared. Often they are characteristics of psychopathic personality disorder. Predisposition to serial killing, much like other violent offenses, is biological, social, and psychological in nature.
• Conjugal Violence
• Personality Traits
1. Interpersonal Traits
o While not all psychopaths become serial killers, serial killers often possess psychopathic interpersonal traits. These, according to the FBI, include glibness, a grandiose sense of self-worth, compulsive lying, superficial charm and a need to manipulate others.
o Serial killers often have mid to high IQs. They also are often very narcissistic, selfish and vain. According to the FBI, successful interviews of psychopathic serial killers have focused on praising their intelligence, cleverness and skill in evading capture. The FBI also states that the idea of the serial killer as being a known "freak" is a myth -- serial killers may, in fact, hold down jobs and have families.
o Setting fires, torturing animals and bed wetting beyond the age of 12 are known childhood "symptoms" or warning signs of serial killing, although, of course, not all children who exhibit these behaviors will go on to commit murder. Serial killers also may exhibit an interest in sadomasochistic activity, pornography or fetish-style behaviors from an early age.
o Many serial killers come from dysfunctional backgrounds. They may have been abandoned by their fathers and raised by domineering mothers. Families often have histories that include criminality, psychiatric problems and alcohol or substance abuse problems. Serial killers often claim they were abused as children, usually by a family member. The abuse may be emotional, physical, sexual or a combination of the three. Neglect and abuse in childhood have been shown to contribute to an increased risk of future violence.
Lack of Remorse
o Serial killers commonly display an inability to feel empathy for others. They rarely express real remorse for their crimes and don't seem to feel any guilt or be able to accept proper responsibility for their horrific actions. An extreme example of this is famous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who went as far as boasting that his victims deserved to die.
Read more: Behavioral Characteristics of Serial Killers | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8492366_behavioral-characteristics-serial-kille...
Forgiveness by Raven
Where do we go when we are sad beyond belief? What happens when life as we knew it is over, and we are left trying to pick up the pieces and move on? What happens when we feel like this is the end?
After all my years of studying, there is only one common answer for these questions: we go to God. Who is God? He is all things that are good, like love, faith, kindness, and forgiveness. He is the only one who can get us through these times. He will listen, and he will never leave you. He will even tell you what to do, but we have to learn to listen to His voice. That is not such an easy task for some of us, but even for stubborn people like me, he will lead us down the right path.
Anything Worth Having is Difficult to Get
Life is not supposed to be easy. I wish it was. Every day, we face impossible decisions, and we always wonder what would have happened if we'd made the different choice. Well, God sees the consequences of both choices; He sees the whole movie, while we are only aware of the current scene. If we look to anyone to tell us what choice to make, shouldn't we look to the one who knows all the possible endings? Duh. It seems like a no-brainer, but it is not as easy as it sounds.
I have to believe in God; I'd be stupid not to.
Some ask me how I can believe that a God exists when I study the horrors of the world every day, but that is one reason why my faith is getting stronger. God refuses to force himself on us; he empowered us through free will. Do you want someone to love you because you made them love you, or because they just do? Do you want to force a person to be your friend and talk to you, or would you rather have a friend you really cares? Well, I think that is how God wants it, too. Therefore, people do evil things. People are thinking with human minds, seeing with human eyes, and understanding the world with a human intellect. God understands all with infinite wisdom, and even when it looks like he has forsaken his children, HE IS THERE. How many miracles have occurred in your life, yet you chose to pass them off as luck or coincidence?
Don't look for God in the sky, look for him in your heart; that is where he lives.
Forensic evidence basically clears him of two murders
There is an aggressive tone in your comments directed towards persons blogging on line, especially Milat family members which is highly innapropriate.
Do you personally know Ivan Milat or any member of his family? Did Ivan violently attack or murder members of his family or his partners whilst a free man? Ivan is a model prisoner - a study in psychology would show that violent pyshotic criminals need to indulge or feed in their evil, Ivan would have had some opportunity to attack priosn guards, other prisoners and his family or other visitors many times over. He is after all a convicted serial killer and rapist. Has he just changed personality now or are we dealing with alters and mpd with this man? A person who committs violence has a history of violence, is this the case with Milat, you must know since you claim to know him and his family so intimately to be able to speak "facts" about them and make "factual" judgements and post them on websites?
You and your buddies have a right to express an opinion.
But your opinion goes too far when you start attacking people who are not responsible for the crimes.
A court of law found Ivan Milat guilty of the murders.
His family in all fairness are not responsible, so they should be left alone.It is the investigating polices responsibility to bring charges against them, not yours or mine, so just let the experts do their job. So far the Milats are clear of any involvement.
Ivan Milats dna was not found on the bodies of the victims he was convicted of murdering. There was no dna left by his brothers, parents, etc or anyone else blood related to him on the murdered victims. Ivan then goes to jail for the crimes in which the trial judge himself, the emminent legal authority judges that - these were ritual satanic murders committed by more than one person.
Police find stone altars, circles, burned out campfires etc etc and another body is discovered that has the dna found on the murder victims after milat is in jail.
so essentially not only do you have legal authorities and experts such as judges and police admitting that they actually cannot prove he is the (sole ) killer, but the forensic evidence basically clears him murdering two people, not once but twice!
You are alleging that "low iq dolts" think that he may be innocent, or if not innocent just one of a group of killers.Thats an innacurate generalisation you are making. Most people who support human rights and victims of crime are not stupid,they are honest and brave individuals.
I may not be albert einstein, but I know how to read and research.Have you bothered to do the same and read some of the compelling evidence that has been brought to light in this case, or do you have too much to lose by admitting that somewhere along the line persons who had the power to could of and in fact did abuse that power to keep these things hidden from public scrutiny and knowledge - until the internet and websites like indymedia reported on the same?
I dont let blind prejudice stand in the way of the facts.
Many people who are innocent can and do continue to fight for the truth despite being percieved as guilty. Some even die knowing they weren't guilty all along but never gave up the hope of being vindicated. Two cases that come to light are those of Lindy Chamberlain and Nelson Mandela.
Im sure that there are thousands if not millions of cases where people have been convicted of a crime they did not commit.Ivan may be the sole killer - at least that is what we hope, because where he is in Goulburn Supermax he is not doing harm to anyone. What about the other person who science has said has murdered two people and remains at large. What about all the kidnapping attempts made on unsuspecting hitchhikers, sightseers etc on or around the roads and forests in years past and recent times.
These witnessess describe different looking people that are unrelated to Milat. Some of these encounters were as terrifying as that which occurred to Paul Onions.Then there is the evidence brought forward about children of a convicted peadophile and child abuser who claim was involved in Satanism, picked up and murdered hitchhikers and that this happened with groups of males and females in forests that were of similar description to the belanglo. There are also the mysterious deaths of key persons involved or suspected in the case, Adam Brooks as a suspect and Brian Raven whos evidence appears on this site.
Too many unresolved questions remain in this case - nobody wants to believe that Ivan is innocent or to be in a position to be forced to admit that guilt is questionable. Most people would hope he is utterly and solely guilty.
Incidentally in all homicides, police will always suspect the family members of being primarily involved and will usually prosecute when there is enough evidence against them to do so, or until there is enough evidence leading to an outside party. This killer in England obviously produced alibis that were supported by the family. Ivans produced no alibis and does not even recall where he was at most times that the murders took place. Two of his brothers have suggested that he was at his mothers home when the german couple were killed.
Do you really believe that Ivan Milat if released would remain alive for long, or would there be attempts at murdering him?
What will come tumbling down if this case is reopened? How would it look for the previous government and criminal justice system if this case would unearth child prostitution, slave trade and ritual satanic abuse in our country? Who would be prepared to affront such evil? Who would you call on to fight the good fight then?
Well your silly billy do gooders of course!
I rest my case.
What has been written in these blogs is merely speculation
What has been written in these blogs is merely speculation and those that do know what happened may never come forward to reveal the truth of what happened because they fear punishment.
It is wrong that you blame people who question his conviction and its validity in the face of much lacking conclusive DNA evidences and other evidences which seem to indicate by emminent legal authorities involved in these cases that there are more people involved.
This case brings forth a strong emotional reaction, if not for its horror but if for the injustice of what occurred which seems beyond any morality or sense of humanity and is total evil.
There is also a sense of betrayal and anger at what if true appears to be a conspiracy to keep the truth known from the general public and therefore keep the public in danger, protect degenerate criminals, murderers and rapists of innocent persons from these very same persons sworn to protect and serve.
The worst part of this case is the destruction of seven beautiful young people, their lives gone in such a senseless horrific manner. The destruction of our national identity as the lucky country and the loss that this has caused the families involved in this evil wherever it reared its horrors.
This is the other side of the coin. No one should be condemned for thinking, writing or posting on behalf of the truth and in consolation of those who have suffered for it.
Obviously 'ritualised killing in a group' and not a lone killer
OMG...It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out they have the wrong guy! WMK seems like the prime suspect...along with a few other people. This case should also defy the conventions on profiling normally applied to serial killer cases at it is obvious it was 'ritualised killing in a group' and not a lone killer. I can see the motive for wanting to get a conviction asap once they had a few leads as it was such a horrific case that was highly publicised around the world. Not good for the backpacking tourist industry. As well as the horrific crimes that have been committed by the perpetrators it seems the possible miscariage of justice may have cost and will continue to cost the lives of other youngsters. my advice, don't believe the lies and DON'T hitch hike in australia.
Possibly countless more victims because evidence ignored
Can I also add to my comment above, reference to the very famous case of the British serial killer John Christie who committed several murders in the post war period in the UK. The police mounted a case against his lodger Timothy Evans, who was illiterate with a very low IQ and who was subsequently hanged for the murders committed by Christie. Christie continued to kill more women and even after further bodies were found and John Christie finally arrested the police maintained their original conviction for prosecuting Evans and even went on to make the public believe two serial killers existed in the same house. Ludovic Kennedy re-examined the evidence that was used by the prosecution in the case against Evans and the huge amount of inconsistencies in the trial against him. The authorities, by prosecuting and hanging the wrong person, allowed Christie to continue his killing spree and an innocent man was hanged, a man who also lost his wife and child to the murderous hands of Christie. Evans was eventually officially pardoned by the Queen based on the evidence and campaign bought forward by Kennedy.
Eventually the truth will come out on this case and i fear it will be a lot worse than we could ever have imagined with possibly countless more victims because the authorities did not weigh up the evidence and even omitted vital bits of evidence at the trial to support a theory they concocted. Most serial killer profiles adhere to the profiling of serial killers killing for sexual gratifictation. This doesn't seem to me to be the case here. It is one of satanic ritual based on torture and sacrifice, and although there is a sexual element involved here, it doesn't seem to be the overriding motive. More bodies will be found in the future in that terrible forest and even when they finally find the person/people involved i'm pretty sure Milat will still not be freed. For all you guys that seem to think the right man got locked up, for the sake of the victims of these heinous crimes, look at the obvious inaccuracies in this case and if nothing else - the DNA evidence - and think, do you really think this man did it beyond 'all reasonable doubt. I, for one, am not totally convinced...
Do police have the resources or orders to do anything about it?
There would more likely than not be other victims of the serial killer/s buried there its whether or not the police have the resources or the orders to do anything about it. One thing is for sure the trial judge believed the murders were ritual killings and its not a good that this sort of thing can happen in todays world.
If Brian Raven did not know a fact he made it up to suit
The investigation carried out by the late Brian Raven was the worst piece of investigating that i have ever witnessed and that's even under stating it to say the least.
If he did not know a fact he made it up to suit and make his story sound plausible he should have made a living out of writing kids story books.
Lets just get to the core of the investigation Ivan Robert Marko Milat is a cold blooded Killer with no remorse for his actions no mater what spin you put on it.
Rot in Jail you maggot, hope you die really soon.