From E Street to serial killer.
It’s been more than 20 years after his arrest for the murder of seven backpackers, but even still just the name Ivan Milat is enough to send shivers down most people’s spines.
Now, we get to relive the horror in a new two-part telemovie called Catching Milat which is airing on Channel 7 starring an Aussie actor named Mal Kennard.
Some fans might recognise Kennard from his role as Harley in E Street.
In a publicity shot for the telemovie, Kennard recreates the best-known picture of Milat, sitting down with a cowboy hat on his head and a shotgun lying across his lap.
Oh well, who needs to ever sleep again anyway?
Kennard is known for his work in Packed to the Rafters, E Street and Bikie Wars, and according to all reports, his portrayal of Milat is full of unhinged menace and evil.
Milat is now 70 and remains Australia’s worst serial killer. There’s a kind of macabre fascination about the grisly murders he committed in NSW in the 1990s.
The young victims were variously shot, stabbed and sexually assaulted then buried in shallow graves in the Belanglo State Forest.
A family member of one of the victims has launched a Change.org petition to ban the telemovie being screened. It’s attracted more than 25,000 signatures.
The petition says the murders were Australia’s “most horrendous” and that family members of victims should not have to relive their pain.
Nor, reads the petition, should Milat be given more of the attention he’s desperate for.
“According to psychologists, there are no lengths Milat will not go to in order to gain the spotlight. Why would Channel 7 go out of their way to want give him exactly what he wants – more of the notoriety he craves?” it says.
“He deserves punishment and condemnation not celebration and fame. He deserves to remain forgotten in jail for the rest of his days, alone and unimportant.”
The Milat family has become even more infamous in recent years after Milat’s great nephew Matthew Milat and another boy, Cohen Klein (both 19 at the time) were sentenced to 43 years and 32 years in prison respectively for murdering 17-year-old David Auchterlonie on his birthday with an axe in the same forest where Milat buried his victims.
Milat was convicted of the murders in 1996 and sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences. The last time he was in the news, it was because he was on a hunger strike because he wasn’t allowed a Play Station in his prison cell.
The telemovie screens Sunday.