By Lidia Kelly
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Ivan Milat, one of Australia's worst convicted serial killers, died in prison after spending 23 years behind bars for the murders of seven backpackers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, officials said on Sunday.
Milat, 74, was serving seven life sentences after being convicted in 1996 of killing two Britons, three Germans and two Australians in a case that made gloomy headlines around the world.
Corrective Services spokeswoman New South Wales (NSW) said Milat died Sunday without revealing the cause of death. Australian media reported that he had been on chemotherapy since his cancer diagnosis in May.
The former road worker never admitted to the murders of young men and women, some of whom were sexually assaulted, shot or stabbed. The bodies were found in shallow graves in a New South Wales forest.
Milat was also linked to several other unsolved missing cases and died on suspicion of committing more crimes than those for which he was convicted.
While in prison, he remained on the news, cutting his finger and trying to publish it in the country's high court, swallowing razors or parts of toilet flushing mechanisms. (https://tinyurl.com/y3hm4jlv)
"It can rot in hell," Australian media said, quoting NSW Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts. "He showed no remorse. He was sentenced to remain in prison for life, this sentence was served and he died in prison." (Reporting by Lidia Kelly)