We'll be profiling 13 serial killers over the course of the 13 days leading up to Halloween. Today's story was inspired by reader Jacqui Roser's suggestion. Have a killer suggestion of your own? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it comes to Australia, most people are used to thinking of it as a scary place that's full of creepy bugs and giant snakes that won't think twice about invading your home. That being said, the Australian Outback is not really known for its serial killers. That, however, doesn't mean that they're not there. A man named Ivan Milat was the worst of them.
In the early 1990s, the dead bodies of previously missing tourists started turning up in Australia's Belanglo State Forest.
Between 1989 and 1993, a total of seven bodies were discovered in the park. Five of the seven bodies belonged to foreign tourists who had gone missing while visiting Australia. The other two hailed from Melbourne.
What led police to believe that a serial killer was afoot was the fact that they noticed a distinct pattern in technique and victimology.
From what police could gather, most of the victims had been camping in the park when they were attacked. Every one of them was beaten, shot, and/or stabbed by the killer. All of the bodies were found face down with their hands behind their backs. Each was also covered by a pyramidal frame made of sticks and ferns.
Police then mounted a massive search.
In 1994, their mission ended with the capture of Ivan Milat. A tip from a British backpacker who Milat tried to abduct ultimately led police to him.
Milat was the son of Croatian immigrants.
He was also part of an infamous family of brothers in southwestern Sydney that police said were "mad" about guns. Before the murder, Milat had previously been tried for kidnapping and raping two girls.
When police arrested Milat, they found a stash of photographs and trophies that he'd taken from his victims.
Milat's trial was the definition of a media circus, but in 1996, he was convicted and given seven consecutive life sentences.
However, the Milat legacy did not end there.
In 2010, the killer's 19-year-old great-nephew, Matthew Milat, murdered his 17-year-old classmate at Belanglo State Forest. The young murderer and his friend filmed the whole thing on their phones. Unlike Milat, however, they didn't get away with their killing spree for long. They were arrested shortly after and convicted of murder in 2012.
(via The Daily Mail)
Milat now spends his time locked up in the Supermax prison in Goulburn, New South Wales. Police suspect that he might have been responsible for even more murders in the '80s in the '90s, but so far, they have yet to find enough evidence to support that claim.