Milat’s nephew wanted ashes strewn in killing field

 

Backpacker killer Ivan Milat's family toyed with the idea of scattering his ashes at Belanglo State Forest insisting he too was a "victim" of the killing fields.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Milat's nephew Alistair Shipsey raised the idea with family after the 74-year-old died of cancer in October last year.

"He didn't do it, he's innocent, so I thought, well, he's a victim of Belanglo too," Mr Shipsey told The Sunday Telegraph.

"That's the truth that nobody wants to hear. But in the end we made the right choice - he belongs at peace out to sea."

 

Ivan Milat’s family toyed with the idea of scattering his ashes at Belanglo State Forest.
Ivan Milat’s family toyed with the idea of scattering his ashes at Belanglo State Forest.

Milat's ashes were eventually scattered off Sea Cliff Bridge in Wollongong two weeks after his death, in a private ceremony attended only by close family.

Milat's cremation also sparked a very public stoush between his family and state government over who would foot the bill.

In the end, the $2000 cost of the cremation was taken out of Milat's prison account. Now Bill, Ivan's next of kin, is demanding the rest of his money and possessions be returned.

He claims Corrective Services NSW is refusing to hand over his brother "Mac's" belongings and won't return phone calls.

"It's not about the money. At the end of the day Mac wanted me to have his personal belongings and they should be returned to me," Bill Milat said.

"There must be rules that when prisoners die their belongings should be given back to their family, it doesn't matter who they are or what they're in jail for," he said.

"No matter what anyone thinks, Mac's my brother and we love him and we want closure to get on with our lives.

The Belanglo State Forest where Milat killed seven backpackers, leaving their bodies in shallow graves.
The Belanglo State Forest where Milat killed seven backpackers, leaving their bodies in shallow graves.

"Just like when he died, it was all over the internet before we were even told. Now, no one from the jail returns our calls when we ring about getting his things back.

"No one wants to hear that his DNA doesn't match any of the victims. There's no match on any Milat. So whose DNA is it? No one wants to know that."

Milat was arrested in 1994 following one of the biggest police investigations in Australian history, after seven bodies were discovered in shallow graves in the Belanglo State Forest, southwest of Sydney, between 1992 and 1993.

Ivan Milat’s brother Bill and sister-in-law Carol at Wollongong’s Sea Cliff Bridge where the backpacker’s ashes were scattered in a family ceremony late last year. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Ivan Milat’s brother Bill and sister-in-law Carol at Wollongong’s Sea Cliff Bridge where the backpacker’s ashes were scattered in a family ceremony late last year. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

The victims were all hitchhikers travelling south along the Hume Highway near Liverpool, who disappeared between 1989 and 1992.

They were Deborah Everist and James Gibson, both 19, from Victoria, Simone Schmidl, 21, from Germany, Anja Habschied, 20, and Gabor Neugebauer, 21, a couple from Germany, and British friends Caroline Clarke, 21, and Joanne Walters, 22.

Anja Habschied and Gabor Neugebauer.
Anja Habschied and Gabor Neugebauer.

Two of the victims had been shot multiple times in the head and one had been decapitated. Three had stab wounds that would have caused paralysis and two of those victims had their spinal cords completely severed.

Carol and Bill believe the truth is yet to come out and Ivan is innocent.

On Thursday the Bargo couple returned to Sea Cliff Bridge and threw flowers into the ocean.

"We spoke to Mac before he died about what he wanted," Bill said.

"He loved this spot, he loved the ocean."

 

Caroline Clarke.
Caroline Clarke.

The bridge was not opened until 2005; Milat had been in jailed since 1996.

Carol said she felt relieved to grant her brother-in-law and "friend" his final wish.

"Now he can sail around the world, he can be free and at peace," she said.

"I always think things happen for a reason, but with Belanglo? Well, I can't reason that one."

A Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said that "in the event of an inmate death, the next of kin can apply for the inmate's property and money".

"The application is made to the prison where the inmate was residing prior to their death. "Once an application has been made, Corrective Services NSW liaises with the NSW Trustee and Guardian to ensure the property and money are distributed appropriately."

Milat’s nephew Alistair Shipsey.
Milat’s nephew Alistair Shipsey.
Simone Schmidl.
Simone Schmidl.
Joanne Walters.
Joanne Walters.


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