'He almost had me convinced': How notorious backpacker killer Ivan Milat uses his 'charisma and high IQ' to make fellow inmates believe he is not an evil murderer

                     Ivan Milat was jailed for life for murdering seven backpackers from 1989 to 1992

                     Milat was held at Goulburn's Multi Purpose Unit before the SuperMax was built 

                     Helicopter escapee and armed robber, John Killick, had to share a yard with Milat

                     Miliat tried to convince Killick he was innocent, but instead showed he was evil 

By Stephen Gibbs for Daily Mail Australia   - 27 March 2019 1

Ivan Milat is a master manipulator who uses his 'high IQ and charisma' on a captive audience to convince other inmates he is an innocent man.

Bank robber John Killick prefers not to discuss Australia's most notorious serial killer but can't forget the months he was forced to listen to him deny his horrific crimes.

'I don't like talking about him,' Killick said of Milat. 

'I haven't met many evil people but I think he's probably one.'

Killick was locked up in the Multi Purpose Unit (MPU) at Goulburn prison south of Sydney at the same time as Milat and had to spend an hour a day with him a few times a week for several months.

Milat was serving life for the murder of seven backpackers between 1989 and 1992 and was held at the MPU until the SuperMax jail in the same prison complex was built. 

Killick was there in segregation after his recapture following a 1999 escape by helicopter from the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre at Silverwater. 

Also in the MPU was five-time killer Lindsey Rose and double murderer Mark Valera, who cut the head off one of his victims. Many of their fellow inmates were on protection, such as paedophile Robert 'Dolly' Dunn. 

'There were only a few of us that weren't on protection,' Killick said. 

'Blokes like Dolly Dunn were there and these sort of people and you weren't allowed to associate with them.'

John Killick had been recaptured after escaping jail by helicopter when he was placed in the MPU within Goulburn prison. Milat spent months trying to convince Killick he was innocent

"John Killick had been recaptured after escaping jail by helicopter when he was placed in the MPU within Goulburn prison. Milat spent months trying to convince Killick he was innocent"

John Killick had been recaptured after escaping jail by helicopter when he was placed in the MPU within Goulburn prison. Milat spent months trying to convince Killick he was innocent

For a time, authorities deemed Milat and Killick the two greatest security threats in the New South Wales prison system. 

'Eventually they came and said, "Look, you can't associate with anybody here. But you can go two or three times a week with Milat for an hour and a bit". 

'So I said, "Yeah, all right".

'The thing is, I spent four years in seggro, 23 hours a day. It's quite a long time so you naturally want to get out and talk to people. But getting out and talking to people like Ivan Milat... 

'I mean, I wasn't going to get in a fight with him. We were on camera. But I was going to sound him out.' 

Milat had been convicted of murdering seven backpackers aged 19 to 22 in the Belanglo State Forest, south of Sydney, and jailed for life in 1996. 

He stabbed most of his victims - decapitating one whose head has never been found - and shot another 10 times in the head as if using her for target practice.

Deborah Everist was among Ivan Milat's seven victims. Everist, 19, died after being stabbed multiple times Anja Habschied was among Ivan Milat's seven victims. Habschied, 20, was decapitated

"Deborah Everist was among Ivan Milat's seven victims. Everist, 19, died after being stabbed multiple times"

"Anja Habschied was among Ivan Milat's seven victims. Habschied, 20, was decapitated" class="

Deborah Everist (left) and Anja Habschied (right) were among Ivan Milat's seven victims. Everist, 19, died after being stabbed multiple times. Habschied, 20, was decapitated 

'I think he can be charismatic,' John Killick says of Ivan Milat. 'I think he's pretty intelligent - very intelligent, I think. And I think he's probably evil.' Milat will never be released from prison

'I think he can be charismatic,' John Killick says of Ivan Milat. 'I think he's pretty intelligent - very intelligent, I think. And I think he's probably evil.' Milat will never be released from prison

Police found this large knife and leather sheath in Ivan Milat's car after he was arrested on May 22, 1994. Milat carried the knife on trips down the highway where he trawled for hitchhikers

Police found this large knife and leather sheath in Ivan Milat's car after he was arrested on May 22, 1994. Milat carried the knife on trips down the highway where he trawled for hitchhikers

Killick does not like to be associated with Milat and has barely mentioned him in his latest book about the cast of notorious criminals he met during three decades in jail.

But he agreed to speak to Daily Mail Australia about the time he spent with Milat during an interview about that new book, On The Inside. 

Police believe the sadistic predator may be responsible for other murders on the Australian east coast since the 1970s. He has always maintained his innocence.

Since being sentenced to life in prison Milat has cut off the little finger of his left hand - intending to mail it to the High Court - and has swallowed razor blades, staples and other metal objects.

Killick said the first time he met Milat in the yard at Goulburn he was ready to confront him about all the young backpackers he had killed. 

Ivan Milat's seven victims, left to right and top to bottom: Simone Schmidl, Gabor Neugebauer, Anja Habschied, Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Deborah Everist and James Gibson 

"Ivan Milat's seven victims, left to right and top to bottom: Simone Schmidl, Gabor Neugebauer, Anja Habschied, Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Deborah Everist and James Gibson "

Ivan Milat's seven victims, left to right and top to bottom: Simone Schmidl, Gabor Neugebauer, Anja Habschied, Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Deborah Everist and James Gibson 

'He said, "John, I know what you're thinking",' Killick recalled.

'I got in first, I said, "Look, what you did was bloody evil".

'He said, "Wait, I knew you were going to say that. I agree with you if I did it but I didn't do it".

'He looked me in the eye and he said, "John, if I did those crimes I would be a monster". 

'He said, "I know you probably don't believe me but I didn't do it". He said, "Will you at least just listen to me?" So I said, "All right, what have you got to say?"

'So he spent the next few months trying to convince me that he didn't do it.'

Milat's biggest complaint was over the evidence of British backpacker Paul Onions, who a jury had found escaped his clutches on the Hume Highway outside Berrima in January 1990.

Onions had accepted a lift from Milat in his four-wheel drive then ran from the vehicle when Milat pulled a gun on him. 

Ivan Milat is obsessed with what he says were inconsistencies in the statements and evidence of Paul Onions (pictured), the young British backpacker he kidnapped and tried to kill in January 1989

"Ivan Milat is obsessed with what he says were inconsistencies in the statements and evidence of Paul Onions (pictured), the young British backpacker he kidnapped and tried to kill in January 1989"

Ivan Milat is obsessed with what he says were inconsistencies in the statements and evidence of Paul Onions (pictured), the young British backpacker he kidnapped and tried to kill in January 1989

This Next brand blue denim shirt which belonged to British backpacker Paul Onions was found in the garage of Ivan Milat's mother's home. Milat kept the shirt after abducting Onions in 1990

"This Next brand blue denim shirt which belonged to British backpacker Paul Onions was found in the garage of Ivan Milat's mother's home. Milat kept the shirt after abducting Onions in 1990"

This Next brand blue denim shirt which belonged to British backpacker Paul Onions was found in the garage of Ivan Milat's mother's home. Milat kept the shirt after abducting Onions in 1990

He reported his lucky escape to Bowral police but his story was not followed up. Five of the seven backpackers Milat murdered were killed after Onions broke free. 

Milat was obsessed about Onions' evidence, in particular that his vehicle had a spare wheel mounted on the back when it did not. 

MILAT'S MURDERS 

Between 1989 and 1992 seven young backpackers went missing while hitch-hiking on the outskirts of Sydney, New South Wales.

Their bodies were all discovered in the Belanglo State Forest, near Bowral, south of Sydney, and found to be victims of serial killer Ivan Milat.

The victims were:

Victorians Deborah Everist and James Gibson, both 19, who were last seen in December 1989, and who were each stabbed multiple times.

German Simone Schmidl, 20, who disappeared in January 1991 and died from multiple stab wounds, including a knife through her spinal cord.

German Gabor Neugebauer, 21, who was gagged and shot six times and his 20-year-old girlfriend Anja Habschied, who was decapitated after they disappeared in January 1992.

Britons Caroline Clarke, 21, who was shot 10 times as if she was target practice and Joanne Walters, 22, who was stabbed. Last seen in April 1992.

Ivan Milat received seven life sentences for the murders and will die in Goulburn's Supermax prison.

'I didn't know the case that well, I'd only known what I'd read in the papers,' Killick said.

'He said, "Look, I'm gonna show you something that'll blow your mind".

Milat then produced transcripts of evidence from his 1996 trial.  

'What happened is that when Milat was arrested they brought Onions over from overseas.'

'Now, when they brought him to the trial, it had happened a long time ago. You stop and think if something happened six or seven years ago, it's not easy. 

'And they said, "Do you recognise the person [who tried to kill you]?" and he pointed Milat out straight away. 

"Well, that's pretty easy, they said, because you would have seen photos and he said, "Yeah, I have". 

'The thing is then - this is what Milat was going on about - they showed him a photo of this four-wheel drive vehicle and said, "Do you recognise this?"

'He looked at it and he said, "I definitely do because of the wheel on the back". It was quite specific. He said, "I'd never forget it". 

'And they said, "OK, thank you". Then they produced a document showing that that wheel was put on 18 months after it happened.'

'And that's what Milat's been going on and on about, writing letters and sending things to the High Court. This is what he's saying proves he was innocent.'

Killick said he initially listened to what Milat had to say for himself and some of it was almost convincing.  

'He's so persuasive,' he said. 

'I think he's got a pretty high IQ.'

John Killick learnt road worker Ivan Milat (pictured) was off work when each of the seven backpackers were killed. 'Now, what are the odds of that? I mean, they're astronomical'

John Killick learnt road worker Ivan Milat (pictured) was off work when each of the seven backpackers were killed. 'Now, what are the odds of that? I mean, they're astronomical'

Joanne Walters, 22, was stabbed to death by Ivan Milat Caroline Clarke, 21, was shot 10 times as if she was target practice
"Joanne Walters, 22, was stabbed to death by Ivan Milat" "Caroline Clarke, 21, was shot 10 times as if she was target practice"

Joanne Walters, 22, (left) was stabbed to death by Ivan Milat. Her friend Caroline Clarke, 21, (right) was shot 10 times as if she was target practice. The pair disappeared in April, 1992 

'He almost had me convinced at least that there was doubt about it, that this Onions was lying.

'But what's happened is that Onions didn't remember

er in detail what's happened and he's latched onto something to help the prosecution. 

'That's what he's done and he's f***ed up.'

Perhaps the strongest evidence against Milat had been the personal items including shirts, sleeping bags, backpacks, a water bottle and portable stove belonging to some of his victims found hidden in his home.

'I said, "What about all this stuff the police found?" And he said, "They planted all that - you know they do that".'

Killick asked Milat where the police got all the backpackers' belongings and he replied 'they would have found it out in the forest.'

When Killick got out of the MPU and gained access to Goulburn prison's library he read the full transcripts of Milat's case before the Court of Criminal Appeal. 

In this photograph police seized from the house of Ivan Milat's brother William, the serial killer is seen carrying a sleeping bag which belonged to one of his first victims, Deborah Everist

"In this photograph police seized from the house of Ivan Milat's brother William, the serial killer is seen carrying a sleeping bag which belonged to one of his first victims, Deborah Everist"

In this photograph police seized from the house of Ivan Milat's brother William, the serial killer is seen carrying a sleeping bag which belonged to one of his first victims, Deborah Everist

'I went through it and there was a little thing in there that Milat hadn't mentioned to me and he doesn't tell anyone and it convinced me totally that he was guilty,' he said. 

'And that was that every time one of those kids went missing Milat had a day off work. 

'Now, what are the odds of that? I mean, they're astronomical. It's like winning the lottery.'

'Once I got hold of those transcripts I knew he was guilty. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever.' 

Milat had written Killick a few letters after he left the MPU but after reading the appeal judgment Killick wanted nothing more to do with him.

Indonesian rupiah banknotes found among Australian cash on Ivan Milat's bedside table. Police believed German victim Gabor Neugebauer brought the money back from Indonesia

"Indonesian rupiah banknotes found among Australian cash on Ivan Milat's bedside table. Police believed German victim Gabor Neugebauer brought the money back from Indonesia"

Indonesian rupiah banknotes found among Australian cash on Ivan Milat's bedside table. Police believed German victim Gabor Neugebauer brought the money back from Indonesia

Backpacker Simone Schmidl's bottle (left) was found in a bedroom of Ivan Milat's house. Police used infrared cameras to identify Schmidl's pet name Simi scratched into the surface (right)

'I just said, "Look, you're guilty and I don't want anything more to do with you, just drop off",' he said. 

'I explained to him what I'd seen and said, "Don't bother writing back - I don't want anything more to do with you."

'And that was it. Never heard from him again.'

Killick said there were still people who wrongly believe Milat is innocent. 

'I think he can be charismatic,' he said. 'I think he's pretty intelligent - very intelligent, I think. And I think he's probably evil. 

'I haven't met many evil people but I think he's probably one. You meet a lot of bad people in jail but you don't meet a lot of evil people. I think he fits the bill.' 

'He's the innocent guy, in his own eyes, he's always been badly done by.' 

Ivan Milat has been named as a suspect in the disappearances and presumed murders of three young women in Newcastle between 1979 and 1980 as well as two Sydney nursese in 1980

 "Ivan Milat has been named as a suspect in the disappearances and presumed murders of three young women in Newcastle between 1979 and 1980 as well as two Sydney nurses in 1980"

Ivan Milat has been named as a suspect in the disappearances and presumed murders of three young women in Newcastle between 1979 and 1980 as well as two Sydney nurses in 1980

Milat angrily denied at a 2001 inquest that he was responsible for the disappearance of three young women in Newcastle between 1978 and 1979.

At the time of the women's disappearances Milat was working on a road repair gang in the area.

He was also questioned in 2004 about the disappearance of two nurses at Parramatta in 1980 when he was working at the nearby Granville depot of the then Department of Main Roads.

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.

Ivan Milat, 74, is currently in the SuperMax at Goulburn and will never be released. John Killick, 76, was paroled in 2015 and is writing a novel. 

 

 

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