Milat’s bedside confession: ‘There were two killers’
Handcuffed to a hospital bed and heavily sedated in 2009 after hacking off his own finger, Ivan Milat spoke about an accomplice in what could be his only admission of guilt.
Australia's worst serial killer told bedside staff of a "second killer'', during a 30-hour hospital stay caused by the finger incident, when he used a plastic knife and razor blade to cut off his own finger in protest at what he called wrongful convictions.
Milat, who died last Sunday in Long Bay prison's hospital, aged 74, never admitted to the seven backpacker murders of which he was convicted, or the six unsolved murders to which he was linked over the years.
The Sunday Telegraph has also obtained never-before-seen pictures of Milat in the Goulburn Hospital bed in 2009, wearing prison green underpants and strapped to a bed.
"We asked him why he did it, why he hacked his finger off,'' a former Corrective Services NSW officer told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Ivan never talked. He was just arrogant and dismissive. But all of a sudden, he got chatty and he started telling us that the reason he had chopped his finger off in relation to the last murder. I reckon it was the painkillers he was on (that got him talking).
"He said he did it (cut off his finger) because he wanted a retrial and wanted to expose an accomplice. He started speaking about the DNA on the last body and said that there was more than his. He also said that there were two distinctive sets of stab wounds on the victim. He said that the killer blows were consistent with someone that knew what they were doing but the other (blows) weren't.
"He said that they would measure all the stab wounds in a retrial and that it would show that there were two killers. That some would be deep and full of purpose and the others would be hesitant. The work of an amateur.''
"He spoke about stab wounds heaps. The deep ones, the fatal one and the others that started shallow and got deeper and deeper. He kept on saying it was someone's first time.''
The bedside staff pressed for more detail.
"We asked him who else was there,'' the former officer said, "and he just smirked and then shut down.''
Milat ordered a female prison officer out of the room before giving the full and gruesome details of how he severed his pinky finger from his left hand.
"He said he went at it with a BIC razor,'' another corrections officer said.
"They get given a single blade, a blue BIC, and he pulled out the blade and started ripping in.''
The blade soon dulled. "He said he got through half the bone when the blade was dull as paper,'' the officer continued.
"So he improvised and grabbed a plastic knife they get for dinner. It has a serrated edge and can get through a steak. That got him a bit further but still not far enough.''
Milat said he used forced to sever his finger from his hand.
"Have a look at the photo,'' the former officer said.
"You can see it is snapped off right at the knuckle. At the hand. That is where he broke it off himself.''
Speaking for the first time, the first prison officer into Milat's Supermax cell following the self-mutilation said he was stunned by the scene.
"There was no blood,'' said the officer.
"None. He was just sitting on his bed with a tissue on his hand. We stripped him, made him spread his arse cheeks and all that. He was clear so we cuffed him. There wasn't much conversation. He knew the drill. We searched him, put him in orange overalls, ankle cuffs, restraining belt, handcuffs … from there we took him to Goulburn base hospital.''
An officer put Milat's pinky in his pocket.
"It was in ice,'' said an officer. "But it went into a pocket. There was no proper effort to save it.''
Prison insiders have revealed that Milat began headbutting walls following his failed self-mutilation bid for a retrial.
"He ended up going stir crazy and just headbutted the wall. He started going nuts. He was perceived as a monster and ended up becoming one,'' one officer said.
Another officer who knew Milat described the cut finger as the beginning of the end.
"I reckon he gave up when that failed,'' said a former officer.
"He went all in and lost. He cut off his own finger and got nowhere. What was next? He couldn't go any bigger. He stopped talking up defences and his innocence after that. He was so arrogant that he would never make an admission, but I reckon he knew he would die in prison. He lost hope, then he got cancer, and then he died. Good riddance.''
Several prison officers, who spend their days dealing with the country's most dangerous criminals, said they reserved a special dislike for "We try our best not to worry about their crimes,'' said an officer.
"But with him we all knew who he was and what he had done. But he was disliked more than anything because of his arrogance. He played a power game that he always had to win. He would always question you and always complain. He would tell you if something wasn't being done to procedure. He would go straight to the ombudsman the moment you challenged him. The fact that he always talked about being innocent was also hard to deal with. He was just a vile human.''