Serial killer who murdered Hexham backpacker Caroline Clarke on his 'death bed'

Chronicle Live 3 weeks ago

Serial killer Ivan Milat who murdered Northumberland backpacker Caroline Clarke in Australia is on his death bed in hospital.

The twisted killer was jailed for life in 1996 after being convicted of murdering seven people, including 22-year-old Caroline, from Slaley near Hexham, who vanished along with her travel companion Joanne Walters, 22, in 1992.

Milat, 74, was diagnosed with throat and stomach cancer in May and given just three months to live, it has been reported.

He was rushed to Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital from Long Bay prison last week where he has been having chemotherapy.

And its is now being reported in Australia that he is close to death.

Milat has never confessed to his crimes and is also suspected of being involved in at least three other murders.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald last week Caroline's dad, Ian Clarke, said he hoped the killer would finally confess to his crimes before he passed away.

"We still think of Caroline every day but it doesn't mean to say we have to think of Milat every day," he said.

"It's a horrible way for anybody to end their life but then it was even more horrible the way our daughter and so many others lost theirs, so sympathy isn't high on the list, I'm afraid.

"If he was to finally face up to the fact and admit to any others that he has done, if indeed he has, then I think that would be a wonderful thing for those parents, because for the short time that we didn't know, I know just how they must be feeling.

"It was in its way a form of closure, that we'd found her and we were able to lay her to rest properly. It's these other parents who don't have the luxury of being able to do that."

Milat, who is described as one of Australia's worst serial killers, dumped his victims' bodies in the Belanglo State Forest, south of Sydney, between 1989 and 1992.

Caroline, a former Pizza Hut assistant manager, had gone to Australia in 1991 on a dream working holiday, after spending months saving up to pay for her trip.

She made the last of her fortnightly calls to her parents, Jacqueline and Ian, the former northern agent for the Bank of England, on April 16, 1992.

 Shortly afterwards Caroline and Joanne, a nanny, from Maesteg, Mid Glamorgan, were hitching south from Sydney down the Hume Highway when they accepted a lift from Milat.

Caroline Clarke

They were subsequently reported missing and Caroline’s parents flew out to Australia in August, 1992, to help in the search.

The following month, the bodies of both backpackers were found in shallow graves.

Caroline had been stabbed and shot 10 times in the head.

The discovery of five other backpackers’ bodies nearby sparked Australia’s biggest ever murder probe.

Caroline and Joanne, who was from South Wales, were Milat's his only British victims.

Milat's murders inspired the 2005 horror film Wolf Creek, which was widely condemned by the victims’ families.

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