Milat family refuses to pay for funeral as row erupts

 

A standoff has erupted between Ivan Milat's family and Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts over who should pay for his funeral and burial, with the serial killer's brother promising "we're not going to stump up cash".

In a statement to 2GB's Ray Hadley, Anthony Roberts said "hell will freeze over before Corrections pays a cent for this man's funeral."

"Ivan Milat's body will remain on ice until the family stumps up cash or can tell police where other bodies are buried," Mr Roberts said.

 

Milat appears to fall asleep as he is interviewed by two detectives. Picture: A Current Affair
Milat appears to fall asleep as he is interviewed by two detectives. Picture: A Current Affair

 

But Milat's brother Bill hit out at Mr Roberts on Tuesday, saying the state government should pay for his funeral and burial as they did for other prisoners who die in custody.

"One way or another, it's going to cost the taxpayer every day they keep him in the morgue - it's going to cost them more money than what the $2000 would have (for his funeral and cremation)," he said.

"We're not going to stump up cash and we're not going to do anything."

Bill said they had not heard from Corrections NSW since Ivan's death and added it was a priest who informed him that his brother had died at 7am on Sunday.

"All I know is that I'm going to stick to (Ivan's) wishes - if they want to leave him there I don't care less," he said.

Bill Milat reads a final letter from his brother, Ivan Milat. Picture: 10 News
Bill Milat reads a final letter from his brother, Ivan Milat. Picture: 10 News

"We haven't heard from Corrections since the day he died, it wasn't even Corrections - it was a priest."

Milat's nephew, Alistair Shipsey, said the government should foot the bill for his funeral and cremation.

"I think they should be responsible, they took him away for us for 25 years," he said.

"In my opinion, they should be paying because they're the ones who took his life away from him.

"The government spent $20 million to frame Ivan and they're worried about $2000 to bury him, they destroyed his life and took him away from us."

Anthony Roberts insists the NSW Government will not pay for Milat’s funeral. Picture: Richard Dobson
Anthony Roberts insists the NSW Government will not pay for Milat’s funeral. Picture: Richard Dobson

Milat's final words to his family, penned in a letter which was opened yesterday, were not a confession from beyond the grave but a sick demand that the taxpayer foot the bill for his burial.

"Hello and may all be well with both of you and your family things are fairly crook with me," the letter reads.

"Please don't pay for my funeral services or contribute in any way. Corrective Services NSW to fund it all. A pauper's burial or whatever is suitable."

 

Bill Milat said the family was still deciding whether to cremate or bury Ivan, but repeated his dead brother's claim that Corrective Services NSW should pay to deal with the serial killer's body. "I can't understand people being outraged," he told The Daily Telegraph.

In the months before his death, homicide detectives pleaded for Milat to admit he was a serial killer.

 

Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole gently prods Milat when he appears to nod off. Picture: A Current Affair
Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole gently prods Milat when he appears to nod off. Picture: A Current Affair

 

The rake-thin 74-year-old, riddled with cancer, either ignored detectives or was flatly unmoved by their attempts to prompt a deathbed confession in Prince of Wales Hospital and in jail.

At one point the detectives had to gently prod his shoulder when he appeared to fall asleep.

When he did open up, Milat told police they could put a blowtorch to his eyes and ears but he still would not tell them the truth about the backpacker killings or other young people he is suspected of murdering.

"I don't care, that's it," were his final words to police before he died on Sunday morning. "Don't hold your breath waiting for me to call."

Detectives tried everything to get Milat talking during the interviews, which aired on A Current Affair last night, including playing him tapes of the heartbroken families of his victims.

Tim Everist, whose sister Deborah Everist, 19, went missing with her boyfriend James Gibson in December 1989, and Ian and Jacqueline Clarke, whose daughter Caroline was one of the last of Milat's victims, gave interviews they knew would be seen by Milat.

"What do you want me to watch this for?" Milat said in a gruff voice.

"They only say what you expect them to say. I don't feel sorry for them. Why should I feel sorry for them?"

Veteran homicide detective Chief Inspector Wayne Walpole, who led the final attempts to get Milat to open up, is shown trying another tack.

Detective Chief Insp Wayne Walpole said Milat showed ‘no remorse;. Picture: David Swift
Detective Chief Insp Wayne Walpole said Milat showed ‘no remorse;. Picture: David Swift

"If you've got one religious bone in your body Ivan, and there's talk in the paper, and I don't know how true it is, that you reckon you're going to Heaven, mate you're going to need something to get your foot in the camp," Chief Insp Walpole said, only to be ignored. Milat only enjoyed talking to two female detectives, but still held onto his secrets.

"You can put a blowtorch to my ears or eyes or whatever and … I can't help ya," Milat said.

When they told him he seemed fine, he said: "I don't feel fine, I can tell you".

He maintained his innocence. "There's no evidence, no police evidence or whatever," he said.

Milat, pictured in 1997, has always claimed his innocence. Picture: Rick Rycroft
Milat, pictured in 1997, has always claimed his innocence. Picture: Rick Rycroft

He also expressed frustration at being locked up.

"In the end I just got so, so angry, or I don't know what, I'm by myself, and I just chopped off my finger," he said.

The last interview was on Thursday. Another was scheduled for yesterday.

"He showed absolutely no concern for their feelings, showed absolutely no remorse," Chief Insp Walpole said. "A cold and evil killer."