true crime

A parting shot to his victims: Inside the final days of Australia's worst serial killer Ivan Milat.

As Ivan Milat entered his final days, detectives played him videos of his victim’s loved ones. But the grief-stricken footage used to try and coax a confession from the killer fell unheard.

A 74-year-old Ivan Milat died at 4:07am on a Sunday morning maintaining his innocence.

Ever since he was sentenced to life behind bars in 1996, the murderer has refused to admit to his horrific crimes.

Ivan Milat’s brother Boris speaks to 60 Minutes. Post continues after video.

Video by Nine.

In fact, he told a detective tasked with trying to get a deathbed confession out of him, “people die, they should just get over it”, reported The Australian.

The publication reported that NSW police launched a secret operation trying to extract an admission of guilt out of the serial killer once he was transferred from Goulburn’s Supermax prison to Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital with cancer of the oesophagus and stomach.

He was visited by different combinations of detectives at least eight times in the last five months of his life.


Milat died while serving seven life sentences with no chance of parole for the murders of Caroline Clarke, 21, Joanne Walters, 22, James Gibson, 19, Deborah Everist, 19, Simone Schmidl, 21, Gabor Neugebauer, 21, and Anja Habschield, 20.

The seven known victims of Ivan Milat. Image: Reuters.

Boris Milat, one of Milat's brothers, spoke to 60 Minutes about his sibling's crimes in an episode that aired the night of his death.


He feels "no grief whatsoever" for Milat, but is the only Milat family member to publicly denounce the serial killer.

“He was dead to me a long time ago. This man is just an evil serial killer right to the last bone of him. He deserves where he is and he deserves what he got," he told Nine.

Boris knew from the age of 10 that Milat was going to kill someone. "It was built into him," he explained. "I would say his love came from killing people."

Ivan Milat's brother Boris opened up.
Ivan Milat's brother Boris is the only family member to publicly denounce him. Credit: 60 Minutes.

Strongly in support of Milat, is his nephew Alistair Shipley who was his final visitor before his death.

"He's always been a tower of strength to the family, an inspiration to all of us," Shipley told Sunday Night. "He's always been happy, he's good-hearted, he's been the first one to help everybody and look after things." But is Ivan a murderer? "No. Not a chance."

Milat's brother Bill visited him just prior to Shipley, and was given a final sealed note from the convicted killer during his hour visit to Long Bay Prison.

Ten reports police are aware of the note, but believe it doesn't show a change of heart from the murderer who always maintained he was "set up". Bill was under orders to open the letter once his brother was dead.

The family have chosen not to arrange a funeral for Milat, fearing it might be hijacked.

“We’re going to have him cremated so there’s no outside interference, and take his ashes somewhere,” Shipley told Ten.

The Milat Family. Image: Sunday Night.

As Milat's death became imminent, he was transferred from hospital back to prison, which is something the Police Commissioner and NSW Corrections Minister did purposefully.

"He was sentenced to die in jail and he was going to die in jail," said NSW Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts in a statement, reports AAP.

"Both the Commissioner and I were of the same opinion that he shouldn't be taking up a precious public hospital bed.

"As soon as he could be removed from the public hospital and sent back to Long Bay Prison, he was. He can rot in hell. He showed no remorse," he said.

Former detective Clive Small, who led the murder investigation into Milat, told Nine, "A lot of people are going to be very satisfied with the current outcome and will be pleased it's over."

"I had absolutely no respect for him at all. I thought that if he had one ounce of decency in him, he could have shown it before he died by admitting and clarifying a number of issues that are outstanding," he added.

ivan milat brother
Ivan Milat has never confessed to his crimes. Image: AAP.

There are dozens of other murder cases that Milat has been linked to, but never convicted for - including the disappearance of three young women from the Newcastle area in the late 1970s.

While speaking to 2GB former detective Small added that, "Ivan having information that he knew others didn't have he saw himself as being the boss or in control of the situation. I think he believed that once he gave that information up he no longer had the power."


Ian Clarke, father of murder victim Caroline Clarke, told AAP a confession before his death could have given them [the families] some kind of closure, adding that he felt "desperately sorry" for those families that never even got a conviction.

"If he was to finally face up to the fact and admit to any others that he has done, if indeed he has, then I think that would be a wonderful thing for those parents, because for the short time that we didn't know, I know just how they must be feeling," he said.

Caroline Clarke (left) and her friend Joanne Walters, who was also murdered by Milat. Image: AAP.

Clarke said in November when approached by AAP that the family still think of Caroline every day. "But it doesn't mean to say we don't think of Milat everyday," he said.

On Milat's death, which at that point was imminent, he added,"It's a horrible way for anybody to end their life but then it was even more horrible the way our daughter and so many others lost theirs, so sympathy isn't high on the list, I'm afraid."

Peter Letcher is one of Milat's suspected victims, and his father Brian told The Australian, he can't understand why the killer didn't take the opportunity to confess when he had nothing to lose.

It's suspected Milat picked up Peter as he hitchhiked home to Bathurst in November 1987 after visiting a former girlfriend in Sydney.

“I knew he wouldn’t confess but I’m disappointed, not only for me but for the others. We’ll never get definite answers," Brian told the publication.

The truth behind dozens of cases Milat has been linked to (at least 14 have similarities) have been taken to the grave.