Deathbed confession: Serial killer Ivan Milat to be quizzed over cold cases

Ivan Milat will be questioned over a series of cold cases. Source: Twitter/ Nine News Australia

Police will attempt to squeeze a deathbed confession out of Ivan Milat over a series of murders believed to be linked to the serial killer, before he succumbs to terminal cancer.

The convicted murderer will face a string of questions from detectives over the deaths of several backpackers throughout the 1980s and ’90s, The Australian reports.

According to the publication Milat – who was convicted of killing seven backpackers in 1996 – has long been believed to be involved in the murders of many others throughout Australia, including 18-year-old Peter Letcher, who was found dead in Jenolan State Forest, NSW, in January 1988.

The teenager was discovered with five gun shots to his head after he was reported missing from the city of Bathurst in 1987, following a trip to Sydney to visit his former girlfriend.

For years there have been theories that Milat killed Letcher as the convicted murderer was working near the area where the teen’s body was found at the time of his death. There were also similarities between the death of Letcher and Milat’s known victims.

Speaking out about the police force’s plans, former NSW police assistant commissioner Clive Small claimed there was evidence the rifle model used to kill Letcher was the same as that used to kill German backpacker Gabor Neugebauer and English backpacker Caroline Clarke.

According to The Australian, Letcher’s father Brian has been in conversation with the NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Service recently who claimed they still had some of the teenager’s remains. It is also reported that Brian was contacted by a senior NSW homicide detective who said they would reassess Letcher’s death along with several other’s in the state.

Read more: Ivan Milat ‘diagnosed with terminal cancer, unlikely to return to supermax’

Milat has also been linked to the murders of 20-year-old Keren Rowlan, who was found dead in Canberra in 1971 and hitchhiker Dianne Pennacchio, 29, whose body was discovered in the Tallaganda State Forest in NSW 1991.

The announcement follows the news that Milat is unlikely to return to the high security prison he was being kept in after tests have reportedly confirmed he’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

According to 7 Newsthe 74-year-old – who was admitted to hospital earlier this month– is battling with advanced stages of cancer and he will most likely spend his remaining time at Long Bay jail in Sydney instead of Goulburn Supermax prison, where he was kept in solitary confinement.

The ABC reports that testing was undertaken on a number of lumps found in Milat’s throat and stomach. The murderer was initially tested for multiple organ failure due to his rapid weight loss, but after further investigation, it was reportedly found he has advanced cancer.

“We’ve made very strong security arrangements, we’ve got specialist teams to ensure that at any time there is an absolute guarantee of safety and security, both in the context of the person but also the context of the environment that the person has to be in for a period of time,” Peter Severin from Corrective Services confirmed to the news outlet.

It has been more than 20 years since Ivan Milat was handed seven life sentences after he was found guilty of murdering seven backpackers in New South Wales, making him one of Australia’s most notorious serial killers. A jury found Milat guilty on July 27, 1996, for the murders of Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Simone Schmidl, Anja Habschied, Gabor Neugebauer, James Gibson and Deborah Everist, without the possibility of parole. He was also convicted of the attempted murder, false imprisonment and robbery of Paul Onions.

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