Backpacker killer Ivan Milat’s crimes were well planned, says criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro. File picture
Backpacker killer Ivan Milat’s crimes were well planned, says criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro. File picture

Sins of Milat: Why he won’t confess

HE  kidnapped and tortured at least seven people, shooting, stabbing and decapitating victims before ritualistic burials, but Ivan Milat was just bad, not mad.

And he is unlikely to give any deathbed confession as to why he did what he did, or reveal where other suspected victims are buried and if he truly worked alone.

That's the view of leading criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro, who examined the slayings at Belanglo Forest when it began to give up the bodies of the young backpackers Milat murdered between 1989 and 1993.

Watson-Munro famously turned down the opportunity to interview Milat, but reviewed the case and, prior to Milat's arrest, profiled the type of person who could do such killings, concluding he was just evil and not insane.

"He wasn't crazy, he (Milat) had a job as a road worker, his crimes were well planned and organised … there was no indicia of craziness and, certainly, I'm sure that that would have been extensively explored in the lead-up to his trial - if there was a mental state available to him as a defence it would have been used," he said.

 

Ivan Milat and his seven victims. Picture: Rick Rycroft/AAP
Ivan Milat and his seven victims. Picture: Rick Rycroft/AAP


He said while Milat did insane things, it was not legal insanity and he knew what he was doing for his sexual gratification.

By the time the bodies of the five young women and two men were found, sexual assault could not be proven, but Milat had previously been charged with rape and Watson-Munro said he would have derived sexual satisfaction from the killings.

"We don't know if Milat raped these people, and he'll never say, but if you look at other serial killers, there is inevitably a sexual component to what they do. They may rape the person, they love excitement, they love adrenaline, it's addictive to them and they have very high thresholds for anxiety."

Tim Watson-Munro has worked with offenders for more than 40 years. Picture: Tim Pascoe
Tim Watson-Munro has worked with offenders for more than 40 years. Picture: Tim Pascoe

 

Abduction and murder became an obsession for Milat, says Tim Watson-Munro. File picture
Abduction and murder became an obsession for Milat, says Tim Watson-Munro. File picture

He said many like Milat would keep trophies of their victims to remind themselves of the excitement they felt from their, in Milat's case, ritualistic, methodical killings.

"They represent forward planning, a very rich, bizarre fantasy life and methodical, organised thinking," Watson-Munro said of the Milat murders "It's almost obsessional behaviour, and I'm sure for him the abduction and murder of people and burying them became an obsession and a compulsion for him in the end, and inevitably these types of offenders, they escalate."

 

Milat never showed remorse for what he has done.
Milat never showed remorse for what he has done.


He said the public deserved to know if there were other Milat victims and whether he worked alone; there being long-held beliefs based on the nature of the killings that two killers were involved.

"I doubt that he'll ever give up those names and I doubt he will ever express remorse, that's evil simpliciter in my view," Watson-Munro said.