Ivan Milat was born in 1945 and by 1992 became Australia’s worst serial killer to date. Milat whose work included being a highway construction worker, spent a lot of time motorcycle riding and hunting. Friends of Milat knew of his passion for hunting, however they failed to realize that his hunting fever involved humans as well.
In September 1992, hikers hiking in the Belango State Forest by Sydney, found the decomposed bodies of two women. Identified as Caroline Clark 21, and Joanne Walters 22. The two were last seen hitchhiking April 18,1992. Cause of death of the two women revealed Clark had been shot 12 times in the head, and Walters was gagged and stabbed numerous times.
Police who had been searching the area found two more victims. They were found inside of a shallow grave just a few miles from the first crime scene. The two were identified as James Gibson 19, and Deborah Everist 19. They had been last seen hitchhiking to a conservation festival of December 9, 1989. Two months later, Gibson’s personal items were found on a country highway.
In October of 1992, Australian police had continued their search. Once again the body of Simone Schmidl was discovered. Visiting from Germany, Schmidl had last been seen hitchhiking to Melbourne on January 21, 1991. Her body had been bound and gagged, cause of death was multiple stab wounds.
November 4, 1992, two more bodies turned up. Gabor Neugebauer 21 and Anja Habschied 20. Visitors from Germany as well, they had been last seen hitchhiking December 26,1991 to Darwin. A sexual attack seemed to be apparent to authorities. Neugebauer had been strangled and then shot six times in the head. Habschied was another story, her body was found partially nude, she had been decapitated with her head missing from the crime scene.
After finding 7 bodies around the same area, Australian police realize that they have a serial killer at large that is targeting hitchhikers. Police stress campers and hitchhikers to take extra precautions and to come forward if they are approached by anyone who seems peculiar. After the announcement was made, one man Paul Onions came forward and told police that he had been in the same area hitchhiking where the victims had been found. He told police that a man in a 4×4 Nissan truck has pulled over and introduced himself as “Bill”. He proceeded to get in the truck and after just a 1/2 mile down the rode, “bill” pulled a gun on him. Luckily Paul Onions was able to escape by jumping out of the moving truck and started running through the wooded area for his life. His memory had been clear enough to give police a detailed sketch of the man named “Bill”, including that he had, had a handlebar mustache.
With nothing else to go on but Onions sketch, police started looking back into older sex crime files. One stood out to police, a December 1974 rape report was filed against one ‘Ivan Milat” who went by the name of “Bill” according to reports. And on May 22, 1994, 50 Australian police officers raided the house of Ivan Milat. Milat had been in bed with his girlfriend at the time. Police were shocked to find the firearms and camping gear that were linked to the murders. Police also searched his mother’s house where they found the sword that decapitated Anja Habschied.
After collecting all the evidence police charged Ivan Milat with seven counts of murder, various weapons charges as well as the attack on Paul Onions. After a short trial, on July 17,1996, Justice David Hunt sentenced Ivan Milat to six life sentences and an additional six years for the attempted murder of Paul Onions.
Police in New South Wales have not stopped searching however for victims of Milat as of today. Long presumed murders that date back to 1979 are in question. Milat at that time was working in the area with his road crew.
In may of 2001, Milat attempted suicide by swallowing a spring from his toliet in his prison cell. A couple of months later, Milat tried one more time, this time by swallowing 24 staples, three razors and a chain from a pair of nail clippers. Luckily Milat survived the attempt just in time to hear the news that the Sydney High Court ordered Ivan Milat would never be released from prison.