The Mystery of the Seven Backpacker Murders
Ivan Milat’s murders where based in the New South Wales in the Belanglo State Forest with his murder series spanning from 1989, at the age of 45, to sometime in 1992. The victims were aged from 19-22 years old and they were mostly tourist backpackers. Forensic evidence showed that each victim had been attacked violently, with a great deal or more of force than was necessary to cause death which included the bodies were either stabbed or shot several times sometimes both, Raped, and even bashed and strangled to death.
A man named Onion’s came to the police and spoke out what happened several years ago when he was backpacking in Australia. Onion’s accepted a ride with a man named “Bill” on 25 January 1990. “Bill” then pulled a gun on Onion’s but he managed to escape, flagged down on a passing motorist named Joanne Berry who backed up Onions statement to the Police. Ivan Milat’s mode of operating is to find backpackers walking along a rode where it is not busy and ask if they need a ride. He would then take them to the Belanglo Sate Forest tie them up to Murder them. After the murder has been made he would Position them deliberately face down with their hands behind their backs, covered by a triangular marked grave built with sticks and ferns.
When the police had made a profile on the killer by writing down how the murder had happened they then face an enormous amount of data from numerous sources. The investigator then tried link analysis technology to Roads and Traffic Authority vehicle records, gym memberships, gun licensing, and internal police records. The result was a great amount of individuals then it was narrowed down to 230 and then a shorter list of 32. Milat became a positive suspect; the police learned that he has been in prison before for the abduction of two women and raped one of them, although the charges were later dropped. They also learned that his brother and him used to work as road gangs along the highway between Melbourne and Sydney. Milat also owned land in Belanglo and had sold his Nissan Patrol after the bodies were found. Contacts also told the police with his obsession with weapons. Onions was asked to fly to Australia to help with the investigation.
Onion’s then identifies that Ivan Milat was then one who picked him up and attempted to murder him. Ivan Milat was arrested on 22nd of may 1994 at his home in Cinnabar street, with a total of 50 police officers surrounded the premises with heavily armed forces from the Tactical Operations Unit. There was over 300 officers who also raided Ivan Milat’s brothers houses, after the search they found weapons in Ivan Milats home including the 22-caliber rifle that matched the type of gun used for the murders.
At the crime scene usually the gun isn’t left behind but the bullets and bullet casings are often found at the crime scene. The ballistics experts would carefully collect the bullet and compare it to another firearm. Such as in the Ivan Milat’s case they matched the bullets to his weapon. There is a code or pattern inside of every gun and when a bullet is fired it imprints the pattern onto the bullet. The Forensic experts will conduct a test by shooting the weapon from the suspect and compare it to the bullet they just fired and the bullet that was fired at the crime scene. Some of the limitations that can make things hard for the forensic investigators is when the bullet can shatter into many pieces and can not be found or too hard to be put together also when the bullet can not be retrieved after it has been penetrated into a solid object or wall. The method that forensic investigators used to find if the bullet matched the gun in Ivan Milat’s case is still being used today and is a successful technique and has been used in many other cases.
On the 27th of July 1996 Ivan Milat was found guilty for attempted murder and robbery of Paul Onions and the 7-backpacker muders. He was sentenced for life in prison for the muders of Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Simone Schmidl, Anja Habschied, Gabor Neugebauer, James Gibson and Deborah Everist. On the first day at the prison Maitland Gaol, he was bashed by a inmate, then a year later he tried to escape with a drug dealer from Sydney who was found hung the next morning. Ivan was later moved to the maximum-security prison in Goulborn, New South Wales. In 2009 he cut off his finger with a plastic knife and determined to mail it to the high court. He was taken to the hospital but the doctors weren’t able to reattach the finger. But this wasn’t Ivan Milats First attempt at hurting himself he has also swallowed sharp items. In 2011 he went on a hunger strike to get a PlayStation, losing 25 kilograms.