Backpacker murders

Australian series of murders

Between 1990 and 1996, a total of seven people were killed in Australia. Since all of the people were backpackers, the events are known as backpacker murders today. All of their bodies were found in Belangalo State Forest, which is close to Sydney. Ivan Milat killed all of these people.

What happened


7 people were found in Belangalo State Forest. Five of these people were visiting Australia - three Germans and two British people. The other two were visiting Sydney from other parts of Australia. Some of these people were by themselves. Some of these people were with a friend. The 7 people were all different from each other.

Television report


On the TV they said that tourists were killed, but not everyone who died was a tourist.

The crimescene


The 7 people were found all over Belangalo State Forest, which is a big area. One of them had their head chopped off. Someone had sex with some of them. Some of them had their clothes taken off. Some of them had bits of their bodies cut off and put somewhere else. Some of the bodies were by themselves.



Some of the people had been killed with a knife. Some had been killed with a gun. Some seemed to have been strangled.

The 7 people who died had nothing in common. People who tried to find out who did it said that there may have been more than one person who killed them. They said that they may have been a part of a gang.

Catching Ivan Milat


Ivan Milat (born 1944 died 2019) was an Australian man from New South Wales who lived near Belangalo State Forest. So police arrested Milat and searched his house. They found out that:

  • Milat had a gun similar to the weapon used to murder the victims and items that belonged to the victims.
  • One man in England said that he was nearly killed by Milat.
  • Police then said that Ivan Milat must have tried to kill that man. They also said that Ivan Milat may have killed all of the other people.

Milat went to court, and people in court said that he did kill all of these people.

The mystery


Some people think that other people helped Milat. Some people said his brothers helped him, or a girl, or lots of other people. Police have said that there are more than 30 people that went missing that might have been killed by Milat.