Strangely enough, I’ve never been a fan of Australian crime, despite being Australian myself. Then four years ago I started studying and realised that’s it’s probably best I start getting to know it. So, I may be one of the few Aussies that didn’t really know anything about one our of most infamous serial killers, Ivan Milat, AKA the backpack murderer.
I can announce that I’m happy to have read this book because it is truly a fascinating and complex case!
Blurb: Like the Beaumont children and the Azaria Chamberlain cases before it, the backpacker murder case in the Belanglo State Forest has entered Australian criminal folklore. Seven young people, most of the foreigners backpacking around Australia, brutally murdered, their remains uncovered in 1992 and 1993. It would take scores of police over three years, countless hours of forensic investigation, thousands of false leads and a few precious clues to charge and convict Ivan Milat for their horrific deaths…
The book itself is 526 pages long, so you can expect that there is a lot of information. The authors go into great detail introducing us to the Milat family starting with Ivan’s mother and father and all his brothers and sisters (he had quite a few), their lives growing up, the trouble that they all got into and the court appearances that a number of them made. WARNING: there is A LOT of background information. So if that is not the sort of true crime that you like to read, then this may not be the right Ivan Milat book for you.
However, in saying that you may appreciate the great amount of detail the authors make in also giving up much information on the victims and their families. I found I appreciated knowing more about the victims and who they were and how much they were loved and still loved, and not just how their bodies were discovered and the forensic information that entails.
I very much enjoyed reading about the police task force and those who were involved in investigating the case and also those who helped such as the forensic investigators, news reporters, judges etc. There wasn’t a great deal of court/trial, so if that’s not a favourite part of true crime for you, I think you’ll be satisfied with the few chapters that pertain to that part of the story.
The authors did a fantastic investigative job with this book. The detail that went into this which would have been spent analyzing document upon document, court transcripts, police reports and interviews would have been daunting. They most likely could have written more! I think the amount was perfect for this book. It didn’t bore me, in fact I’m very much intrigued by the case and have googled the heck out of it! I don’t doubt that you won’t too 😉
In relation to Ivan, here are some links to visit if you haven’t heard of him or would like to know more.
And if you haven’t seen the Australian movie Wolf Creek (trailer), then you may want to as it’s based on Ivan.
So, this book I give /5
I recommend you get your hands on a copy in the very near future!