Australia’s most infamous serial killer died alone in jail wearing an adult nappy, depressed, unable to swallow, and riddled with cancer.
Ivan Milat, who was convicted of seven murders in the 1990s, died aged 74 in the hospital wing of Sydney’s Long Bay Correctional Centre on October 27, 2019.
He was diagnosed with terminal stomach and throat cancer, but refused treatment on several occasions, which prolonged his suffering and shortened his life.
He was wearing the embarrassing incontinence garment under his prison greens and had minimal personal belongings when he died.
The miserable final years of Australia’s most infamous serial killer, Ivan Milat (pictured), have been revealed in a coronial inquest which lays out his battle with depression and terminal cancer
Pictured is a room in the hospital section of Long Bay prison where Milat died
Prison documents reveal Milat was cheerful, ‘compliant’ and polite in his final years, despite his frail riddled body crippled with pain and struggling to swallow.
Milat was still wearing the nappy when his body labelled with tag number 0140823 was taken to the morgue, according to medical records tendered to the inquest into his death last month.
He knew very few of his fellow prisoners and had no interest in getting to know them, while the only personal belongings left in his hospital cell were letters from people who wrote to Milat, records seen by the Daily Telegraph showed.
Milat maintained his innocence of the backpackers’ murders and told his final serious offenders review a year before his death that he would never stop trying to clear his name.
‘Milat stated he enjoyed his own company and has no interest in any approved associates,’ the report said.
‘He displayed an appropriate mood with some joviality at times. He is currently compliant with unit routine and is polite to staff.’
Despite his politeness and compliance, Milat was considered a high security inmate who was an escape risk and at risk of self-harm after swallowing razor blades and staples and cutting off the little finger of his left hand with a plastic knife in 2001.
Milat’s seven victims were Melbourne couple Deborah Everist (top left) and James Gibson (bottom right), both 19, English backpackers Joanne Walters (bottom left) and Caroline Clarke (bottom second from right), and German backpackers Anja Habschied (top centre), Simone Schmidl (top right) and Gabor Neugebauer (bottom second from left)
Milat was diagnosed with terminal stomach and throat cancer, but refused treatment on several occasions, which prolonged his suffering and shortened his life.
An inquest into his death in custody heard Milat developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms in October 2018 and received medical treatment for two months.
His illness did not improve so doctors recommended a colonoscopy which the backpacker murderer outright refused.
He tentatively agreed to have a gastroscopy but later declined to undergo the procedure on two occasions.
Milat’s medical records show he routinely cancelled medical appointments recommended by doctors during his 25 years behind bars being shuffled around New South Wales’ most high security prisons.
During February and May of 2019 Milat’s symptoms worsened and he began to lose a drastic amount of weight – about 20kg – due to his difficulty swallowing.
The inquest heard that Milat (pictured) developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms in October 2018 and received medical treatment for two months
Milat’s medical records show he routinely cancelled medical appointments recommended by doctors during his 25 years behind bars being shuffled around New South Wales’ most high security prisons. Pictured: Ivan Milat and his then-girlfriend Maureen Murray
How the killer was caught: Milat snared after victim got away
Milat tried to kidnap British hitch-hiker Paul Thomas Onions, who he picked up in January 1990 near a turn off to the Bengalo forest.
Mr Onions said he was so scared he bolted into oncoming traffic after Milat pointed a gun at him and reached for some rope.
Onions got away and identified Milat from photos show to him by the police in 1994.
Milat was arrested on 22 May, 1994 and Onions was a key witness at his trial.
He finally agreed to see a specialist who discovered Milat was riddled with cancer of the mouth, throat and below his diaphragm.
Milat was transferred from the Goulburn Supermax to Sydney Long Bay Jail where he could be taken to hospital on a regular basis for chemotherapy treatment.
With doctors noting Milat only had a 30 per cent chance at survival, ‘patient comfort measures’ were provided by the palliative care team at the Long Bay Correctional Centre Medical Subacute Unit and Prince of Wales Hospital.
In August he signed a do-not-resuscitate order shortly after meeting with a psychological services.
The inquest found Milat had long suffered from depression during his stay behind bars and would often self harm.
In 2009, he cut off his pinky finger with a shiv because he planned to mail it to the High Court of Australia in a bizarre bid to appeal to his sentence.
Milat also went on a hunger strike in 2001 in a ploy to get a PlayStation.
The nine-day stunt was unsuccessful and he ended up losing 25kg.
One day before he died, Milat asked nursing staff for pain and anxiety medication and they complied with the request.
Milat passed away at 4.07am on Sunday morning in the hospital section (pictured) of Sydney’s Long Bay jail
Milat was far from a model prisoner and even orchestrated several riots.
About 4am on October 27, 2018, he was found unresponsive by medical staff and due to the DNR notice, they did not make any attempt to resuscitate him.
Milat will be remembered as a vile and sadistic killer who preyed upon mostly female hitchhikers and dumped their bodies in the Belanglo State Forest, south of Sydney.
He was given seven life sentences in 1994 with no possibility of parole.
Investigators believe he could also be linked with dozens of other missing persons cases from the 1980s and early 1990s.
Milat has always maintained he was not responsible for the murders.
His brother Boris, who is the only member of the family to publicly denounce the killer, told 60 Minutes it was a ‘big relief’ that Milat was dead.
‘This man is just an evil right to the last bone of him. He was dead to me a long time ago,’ Boris said.
‘Australia is rid of one of the notorious serial killers, psychopaths.’
Milat’s victims were variously shot and stabbed and one of the bodies was found decapitated. Pictured: Milat in a home photo holding a large gun
Timeline of terror: Milat’s murders
December 27, 1944: Ivan Robert Marko Milat is born in Sydney
December 30, 1989: Melbourne couple James Gibson and Deborah Everist, both 19, last seen in inner-Sydney with plans to hitchhike to Albury on the NSW/Victoria border.
January 25, 1990: British hitchhiker Paul Onions, 24, flees from a driver with a gun near Belanglo State Forest.
January 20, 1991: German backpacker Simone Schmidl, 20, vanishes while hitchhiking from Sydney to Melbourne.
December 26, 1991: German backpackers Gabor Neugebauer, 21, and Anja Habschied, 20, disappear from Kings Cross having planned to hitchhike from Sydney to Darwin.
April 18, 1992: British backpackers Caroline Clarke, 21, and Joanne Walters, 22, leave a Kings Cross hostel.
September 19-20, 1992: Ms Clarke and Ms Walters’ bodies are found in the Belanglo State Forest.
October 5, 1993: The skeletal remains of Mr Gibson and Ms Everist are found less than one kilometre from where the British women’s bodies were found.
October 7-8, 1993: Police launch an intensive search of the area, while not yet formally linking the four murders.
October 8, 1993: After forensic examinations, police say the four were probably murdered by the same person or persons. All had been stabbed. Task Force Air is set up, led by NSW Police Superintendent Clive Small.
November 1, 1993: Fifth body found in the forest about five kilometres from the others. Later identified as Ms Schmidl.
November 4, 1993: Bodies number six and seven, Mr Neugebauer and Ms Habschied, found 80 metres apart and about one kilometre to the east of where Ms Schmidl was discovered.
November 5, 1993: Reward increased from $100,000 to $500,000, matching the previous highest reward for information on major crimes in NSW.
May 22, 1994: Police raid Milat homes and charge Ivan Robert Marko Milat, 49, with the armed hold-up of British traveller Paul Onions.
May 31, 1994: Milat charged with the murders of the seven backpackers.
December 12, 1994: Milat committed for trial on eight charges after a 28-day hearing before a magistrate.
March 25, 1996: Supreme Court jury empanelled to hear trial, which starts the next day.
July 27, 1996 – Milat found guilty of seven murders and one kidnapping.
Sentenced to seven life sentences with no possibility of parole.
February 1998 – NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismisses his challenge.
May 2004 – High Court application for special leave to appeal fails.
December 2006 – loses a bid for an inquiry into his convictions
January 2009 cuts off his little finger with a plastic knife.
October 27, 2019 – Milat, aged 74, dies in Long Bay Prison of oesophageal and stomach cancer.