Serial killer who murdered Brit backpackers denies crimes in ‘deathbed’ letter
A serial killer who murdered seven backpackers in the Australian outback has protested his innocence from his deathbed.
Ivan Milat, one of continent's most notorious criminals, was sentenced in 1996 for the slaying of seven tourists – including two Brits Caroline Clarke, 21, and 22-year-old Joanne Walters.
The 74-year-old is in the advanced stages of terminal cancer, reports Wales Online.
He has penned a three page letter from his death bed denying that he committed the atrocities for which he was handed seven life sentences 25 years.
Writing to local newspaper The Sun-Herald, Milat refused to accept responsibility for the bodies of Joanna and six others being found in shallow graves in a forest near Sydney between September 1992 and November 1993.
Instead, he denied the insurmountable evidence presented against him at his trial and insisted he'd been set up by local police and was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
"Framed by Small and co. (and) a malicious court trial," it began, referencing Clive Small, the former New South Wales detective who led the investigation.
Milat added that he'd also been thwarted in his subsequent attempts to launch appeals against his conviction.
"I strive to overcome their bastardry, I have on occasions seriously jeopardized my life to overcome their utter unreasonableness," he wrote.
Milat then went on to describe how he had "a less than 50 per cent chance" of surviving his illness and added that his life was now "in the hands of my carers and, of course, Our Lord in Heaven."
The rambling letter – dated July 11- made unfounded claims that the judge who presided over his trial was "biased" and he criticised the way the jury was directed as well.
A weapons-obsessed former road worker, Milat had picked up Joanne and friend Caroline Clarke in his 4X4 after he spotted them on a rural stretch of the Hume Highway – which links Sydney and Melbourne – in Easter 1992.
It was the last time the two women were seen alive, their bodies later being discovered crudely buried five months later.
Joanne had been stabbed nine times.
Caroline, from Northumberland – found alongside her – had been shot in the head and knifed.
The following year, police launched a huge search of the 40,000-acre Belango State forest and found five more victims.
Milat's arrest finally came when another British backpacker, Paul Onions from Birmingham, told police he'd had a lucky escape from him several years before.
Mr Onions revealed had been travelling around Australia when Milat offered him a lift to go fruit picking.
However, when he stopped the vehicle and pulled out a length of rope and a gun, Mr Onions fled for his life, managing to flag down a passing motorist and make his escape.
As the years passed – and despite the fact several of his victims' belongings, along with the firearm that killed them, were found at his house – Milat never admitted his crimes and always continued to claim he was blameless.
Milat will say behind bars until he dies serving seven life sentences since his 1996 conviction. Police believe he is also responsible for several other murders.
In 2006 Milat was named by police at an inquest as the person most likely to have killed a schoolgirl and her boyfriend who disappeared from northern Sydney in 1978
Since being caged, Milat has mounted numerous legal challenges to his conviction including an appeal in 1998 and two unsuccessful attempts to take the case to the High Court.
And between 2005 and 2017 he tried seven times to get an inquiry into his case and conviction, all of which were denied.
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