The discovery of human bones this week in Belanglo Forest has reignited interest in the Backpacker Murders.
Ivan Milat continues to maintain his innocence and he and most of his family believe he was framed. There is much evidence to support this which can be found in various articles on this website:
The DNA of the killer which was found under the fingernails of the victims does not match either Ivan Milat or any member of his family.
This alone should be evidence enough to enable him to be granted a new trial. At the time Milat family members state that ‘evidence’ in the form of new backpacks and sleeping bags was carried into their homes by members of Task Force Air and subsequently claimed to have been ‘found’ there, police in NSW were known to be extremely corrupt and the Police Royal Commission was still a couple of years away.
In court, police did not claim these mostly unused backpacks and sleeping bags belonged to the deceased backpackers. They only claimed that they were ‘similar to’ the belongings of the victims. 'Similar to' isn't good enough, but it convinced the jury.
Another striking piece of evidence shown in court was a picture of Ivan Milat’s fiancée wearing a striped Benetton top, which was alleged to have been owned by a murder victim. Closer scrutiny shows that it was a different design from the one shown in a photo of the victim. Benetton experts were not called to give evidence, but had they been, they would have been able to demonstrate that the two jumpers were made in different factories at different times. This is just a small portion of the ‘evidence’ used to convict Ivan Milat.
So to whom could this DNA belong? Who could be the ‘accomplice’ claimed to be the owner of the DNA? Or, perhaps not ‘accomplice’, but the actual killer?
Could the envelope and stamp (pictured below) solve the mystery of the Belanglo murders? Could it contain the DNA of the real killer? Or, if you refuse to believe it is possible Ivan Milat is innocent, at least an accomplice to these killings?
The envelope is dated January 1993. Both the envelope and stamp required dampening in order to stick. It is very likely the sender of the letter contained therein has left his DNA on the envelope. Police don’t seem interested in getting DNA from this person whose history will be described below, so perhaps they would like to take this envelope and test it. If there’s a match or even a partial match to the DNA found in Belanglo Forest, they should look more carefully into the probable role played by a man we will call “WMK”.
A brief search of the internet shows that DNA can certainly be extracted from the back of stamps and from envelopes:
DNA extraction from stamps and envelope flaps using QIAamp and QIAshredder
Sinclair K, McKechnie VM
J. Forensic Sci. 2000 Jan;1: 229-30
I challenge police to get in touch with the owner of the envelope – and I know that they know who this is – and test the DNA that is most likely contained in it.
But back to our probable perpetrator.
Born in Germany just as World War 2 began, he was indoctrinated by his family in Nazi ideals. Everyone knows what those ideals and beliefs are, so I won’t go into that too deeply here, but suffice to say he strongly believed he was a member of a super race and admires Adolf Hitler to this day; he is now seventy years old.
After a stint in the armed forces he left his home and family and went to live in Toronto, Canada. He never contacted his family in Germany again to our knowledge.
In Toronto, he competed in wrestling, weight lifting and boxing matches, being runner up in the U.S. Golden Gloves competition in the light-middleweight section. He once fought and defeated Stewart Gray. This shows that he was a very strong and athletic man, more than capable of doing the terrible things of which Ivan Milat has been accused and found guilty.
He landed in jail in Canada. His story is that he was involved in a ‘street fight’. However, it is suspected it was something much more serious than this. He was in jail long enough to complete the Higher School Certificate. He was evidently there for several years.
When he was released, he is believed to have lived in both Greece and England for a time. A woman he lived with in Greece was named by him as Antigone.
Then, in 1971 he moved to Australia, travelling on the “Fairsky”. In the days before computer records, no-one picked up on his criminal history. In later years, he would often tell a woman of a 14 year old girl’s obsession with him on board the ship. The woman was very troubled by this story which he kept repeating. She wonders if a 14 year old girl ever came to some kind of harm on the “Fairsky” in 1971.
His first port of call was Melbourne, then he travelled to Mount Isa where he met a woman. This woman was subjected to horrendous violence by him over the next seven or eight years. This is documented in affidavits held by the same person who owns the envelope above. He was jailed over and over for his vicious assaults on her, nearly killing her on many occasions.
They moved to Wollongong soon after they met. The woman finally decided not to see him any more, a courageous act which could have seen her murdered, such were his threats of retaliation.
During the time he knew the woman he was once jailed for stealing a car, among other things. He worked sporadically in southern Sydney, in particular Taren Point, as well as Wollongong.
Following his split from the first woman, he went to work in the Northern Territory and Queensland on several large cattle stations including Brunette Downs, travelling back to Wollongong on various occasions. One of the cars he was known to drive was an orange coloured V8 Holden made in around 1972. This car mysteriously disappeared shortly after he met another woman in 1983. She says he told her that the car had finance owing on it and he planned to leave it in front of the finance company’s headquarters with the keys in the ignition. She doubts this story very much.
Could it be the car contained the blood of murder victims? Something the second woman noticed was that WMK would obsessively clean and scrub the interior of his cars several times a week. Was he trying to get rid of evidence? Or perhaps the orange Holden was a car he had stolen in the Northern Territory that he needed to get rid of before he was caught.
In 2003, the article below appeared regarding two nurses who disappeared in 1980 – Gillian Jamieson and Deborah Balkan. Note the description of a man wearing a floppy black cowboy-style hat. The second woman involved with WMK recalls that he owned just such a hat in 1983. He said he had bought it when he worked on the cattle stations in the N.T. One of the nurses stated to a friend that she would be back later and was going to Wollongong. WMK was living in the Wollongong region at the time.
In 1979, two Warilla girls went missing and have never been found: Kay Docherty and Toni Cavanagh. The last sighting of them was outside Warilla Grove Shopping Centre. WMK lived in Warilla with the first woman at the time and often frequented Warilla Grove.
Unfortunately WMK and the second woman had two children, born in Wollongong in 1986 and 1987. I say unfortunately because WMK abused them from a very young age – in their words to police and counsellors in 1992, ‘since as long as we remember’.
Court documents show he also abused two other children in various ways, including dragging a two year old from his high chair and throwing him across a room. His propensity for extreme violence towards men, women and children is documented – and the documents are still in existence. They formed part of a police investigation into child abuse in 1992-1993, so several copies should be in existence.
Some of the violence he inflicted on the two children from 1986 to 1992 included holding one of them under the water at Woonona Beach until the four year old boy nearly drowned, the reason being that the little boy defiantly said, “I am going to tell Mummy what you do to me.” On another occasion he held a knife to the five year old girl’s throat when she also said she was going to tell. At times he would dress as a woman and take the boy up the main street of Wollongong, forcing him to call him ‘Mummy’. He was also into the occult and owned black attire sometimes worn by followers of satanic religions. According to both children’s evidence he was making child pornography, using the children of other people he knew as well. Quite often when abuse took place, others were present.
When the children did tell their mother what was going on, police were called in right away. It was late 1992. Bodies had been found in Belanglo Forest, but few details had been released. What the children soon told investigators and counsellors would alert police from Task Force Air that WMK could be a prime suspect. The children’s mother was given a Task Force number and her contact was police constable Gae Crea.
The children were interviewed separately. At first they gave few details of the assaults on them, but as the weeks went by the told more and more. They told their mother that WMK had taken them out in the car on several occasions and picked up hitch hikers. He had taken them for a meal, then had taken them to a ‘forest’ where other people were present. They said the forest was a long way from Wollongong and they had fallen asleep in the car on the way there. The children described to police and counsellors, separately so the evidence was not contaminated, the exact method of killing used in the backpacker murders. The method of killing had not been released to the media, so the only people who would know would have been those who witnessed the events. The children had been appointed counsellors in different parts of Wollongong run by two different organizations to make absolutely sure there could be no leading questions that caused them both to say the same things. Separately, they described things in exactly the same ways. The girl recalled that one of the murdered backpackers owned a bag that had the word ‘Abracadabra’ written on it. Another murder victim, a young long-haired woman with either a Welsh or English accent, loved horses and drew a horse on a serviette in a café where WMK took the children and the victim prior to the visit to the forest where the woman was murdered. The children described the look of terror on the faces of the victims as they were killed and they described things that no child of their age could possibly know about, regarding death and dying, unless they had witnessed such a horror themselves.
The children’s mother recalled several occasions when WMK had come to the house and had made coffee for her. She recalled falling into a deep sleep shortly afterwards and woke up in the morning feeling drugged. She didn’t know what to make of this, as she did not suspect WMK of drugging her or of abusing the children. She had separated from him when the youngest was a few months old due to his violence, but did not stop him from visiting the children or taking them out with him. She was too fearful of him to confront him about the suspected drugged coffee. She believes on these occasions when she was drugged the children were taken away from the house by WMK.
Task Force Air was quick to act on WMK and the children’s evidence. They seized a .22 rifle used by him, which was never seen again and they wanted to know the whereabouts of a blue Mazda station wagon which the woman had observed WMK frantically scrubbing inside and out on many occasions.
A few months previously, WMK had demanded that the woman take the station wagon to a wrecker and get rid of it. She hadn’t wanted to, as she had no other car to drive to work. She couldn’t understand it. He told her it was ‘full of rust’ and ‘wouldn’t pass rego’, but it had several months’ rego and it ran well. Fearing another assault, she went along with it, and being the registered owner, she had signed the papers to enable a Corrimal wrecking yard to take the car.
WMK had used the car to take the children out. When the woman wasn’t at work, WMK always had possession of the Mazda station wagon. Later, the children said that one murder victim who was killed was placed in the back of the car and transported somewhere and that blood had been in the car afterwards.
Forensic police went to the Corrimal wrecking yard and examined the car, removing all the inside panels and carpets to be taken away and tested. Initial tests showed human blood in the car. No more was ever heard about this: whether the panels of the car are still in existence and could be re-tested using modern technology is not known.
WMK was seen to have picked up hitch hikers and killed them. He was seen by two children, aged five and six years old when police interviewed them. Both the children separately told exactly the same story regarding the murders. There were witnesses to the fact that WMK is a serial killer.
Yet, amazingly, police lost interest in WMK. They had already made up their minds that the person they were looking for was Ivan Milat. Strangely, Ivan Milat and WMK look quite alike and are the same height.
WMK was subsequently found guilty of two assaults on the children, in Wollongong Court in May 1994. He was jailed for the abuse on the same day that Ivan Milat was arrested on suspicion of being the Belanglo murderer. WMK spent eight months in jail.
During the trial, the girl, then aged eight, described the murders committed by WMK.
The sensational trial of WMK made rivetting nightly news viewing and was the first item on local news channels every night that week in May 1994. The Illawarra Mercury reported a possible link to the Backpacker murders following the girl's evidence of a number of murders committed by WMK in company with others. The children’s mother still has the WIN news coverage on video.
The jurors believed the children. The police evidently did not, and soon discounted WMK as any kind of murder suspect. Why?
Walkely Award-winning journalist Brett Martin decided to document the children’s evidence himself and interviewed them, with their mother’s permission, at home, after Task Force Air had completed their investigations of WMK.
Brett Martin may well still have these tapes. Police may still have the tape recordings of their interviews with the children. If not, no doubt the two counsellors’ detailed notes have been kept a Centacare Wollongong and the Women’s Centre. One would hope so.
I firmly believe that WMK is a serial killer and that he was freed to kill again and most likely has done so more than once in recent years.
Recently the children’s mother asked the girl, now aged 24, if she remembered anything about WMK. She replied “I remember that he killed people, but I try not to think about that any more, it's too terrible.”
With the discovery of more bones in Belanglo Forest, the police should be revisiting this case. At the very least, they should take DNA from WMK and compare it with any DNA found in Belanglo Forest.
I suspect they won’t, as it is my belief people in very high places have arranged a cover-up on behalf of WMK for reasons only they would know.
As this man died on 7/9/14, I am able to show you photos and to tell you his surname was Kasprzyck.