Serial Killer’s Great Nephew Convicted in Ax Murder
In the 1990’s, the bodies of seven young backpackers were discovered in Belanglo State Forest, a 9,400-acre wood in New South Wales, Australia. The bodies, each riddled with stab wounds, had been posed face-down with loose hut-like structures of sticks constructed over them. The killings, which became known as the Backpacker Murders, were discovered to be the work of Ivan Milat, an Australian man with a prior history of abduction and rape. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 18 years.
On June 7th, 2012, Ivan Milat’s great nephew, Matthew Milat, 18, was convicted of murdering one of his friends with an ax in Belanglo State Forest.
In a confession, Matthew Milat said he was just “doing what my family does” when he and Cohen Klein, 19, lured their friend David Auchterlonie, 17, into the forest on November 20, 2010. Matthew Milat and Klein had told Auchterlonie that they were going there to drink and smoke marijuana, but when they arrived, Milat accused Auchterlonie of “going round telling people [his] affairs,” and told him, “Look at the f*ckin dirt Auchto. I am going to f*ckin kill you if you keep f*ckin movin’. Look at the ground and answer my questions.”
Matthew Milat continued to interrogate and threaten Auchterlonie while Klein recorded the event using his cell phone. The 15-minute audio recording, which captures the sound of the ax hitting the victim’s body, was played in court, with Auchterlonie’s family members present. A third teenager, Chase Day, was with Klein and Matthew Milat and tried to stop Milat from swinging the ax, but was told by Milat to “get back in the car.”
The Poems of Matthew Milat
Also presented in court were several poems written by Matthew Milat prior to the killing. One poem, entitled Killer Looks and On Evil Side reads, “Take a dash, safety in 2′s /look for a friend so you feel safe,/trust them or your life they might take,/Are you safe? you’ll never know,/but one day you might come to blows.”
Another, Cold Life, contains the lines, “Kill for cash, Is what I do/call me up I’ll work for you,/I am not fazed by blood or screams,/Nothing I do will haunt my dreams.“
Matthew Milat and Klein both pleaded guilty to the torturous, brutal murder.
Below is an excerpt of the audio transcript:
Milat: Look at the dirt. Don’t look at me. Look at the dirt. Don’t look at me.
Milat: Look at the f*ckin’ dirt Auchto. I am going to f*ckin’ kill you if you keep f*ckin’ movin’. Look at the ground and answer my questions.
Milat: You keep looking at me I’ll cut your head off. Look at the ground c***. Tell me. Is it true you have been going around telling people my affairs?
Auchterlonie: Not it is not true, Matt.
Milat: Don’t look at me, alright.
Auchterlonie: I am not man.
Milat: Look at the dirt.
Then Things Really Got Ugly
Auchterlonie: I am. It is not true.
Milat: Put your arms up around your head.
Auchterlonie: It is not true, Matt.
Milat: Shut up c***. Put your hands down next to your face. Pull them up to your face … You going to keep meddling with me?
Auchterlonie: No I won’t. I swear to God, man.
Milat: How am I going to know that?
Auchterlonie: You have my word.
Milat: How good is your word to me but?
Auchterlonie: Mate we have been mates for ages. My word is good.
The Torment Continued
Milat: Yeah we have been mates for ages and how many times have I’ve been told that you are dogging me behind my f*ckin’ back c***. Right? You got me?
Milat: Look at the ground. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?
Auchterlonie: Yes man. I understand dude.
Milat: Do you really but?
Auchterlonie: Yes man.
Milat: Do you really but?
Auchterlonie: Yes dude.
Milat: Yeah, I don’t believe you c***.
Auchterlonie: I am serious man. I swear to God to you dude. I never said nothing about you.
Milat: I really do not f*ckin’ believe you right now. Alright?
Auchterlonie: Man I give my word. I would not…
Milat: Yeah you give me your word and your word isn’t f*ckin’ good enough Auchto. I’ve had your word before and it ain’t worth a pinch of cold f*ckin’ sh*t.
Sound of the ax hitting David Auchterlonie.
Court hears of Matthew Milat relative’s chilling kill
The horrific sound recording of 17-year-old David Auchterlonie reeling from a brutal ax strike came without warning – a terrible guttural moan that brought shrieks of distress from the victim’s family and shocked many sitting in the court.
Then came the cold, angry voice of Matthew Milat.
”See this now, this is nothing, you wanna see what I’m f—ing capable of?” the teenage relative of Ivan Milat said.
”I’m being dead-set, Auchto, you wanna f—ing die man? You wanna fucking get in my business?”
Just before another ax strike ends his life, David Auchterlonie is heard to reply: ”I give you my word, I don’t … ”
The distressing recording was the traumatic climax of a sentencing hearing for Matthew Milat and Cohen Klein in the NSW Supreme Court.
On November 20, 2010, the teenagers lured David Auchterlonie to Belanglo State Forest on his 17th birthday with the promise of drinking and smoking cannabis in the very area where Ivan Milat murdered seven backpackers in the early 1990’s.
They were joined by another teenager, Chase Day.
When they arrived at a road junction in the forest, Matthew Milat delivered a brutal blow to his former friend with a two-headed ax.
A 15-minute mobile recording of the murder made by Klein reveals that Matthew Milat then verbally tormented his victim while intermittently striking more blows with the ax.
Matthew Milat accuses Mr Auchterlonie of having dobbed him in for stealing, which the 17-year-old denies.
Mr Auchterlonie was forced to lie face down in the dirt where he repeatedly denies doing anything, before the transcript records a sound of an ax hitting him in the head.
Klein is heard telling Day to ”get back in the car” as Day pleads with him to intervene.
The Auchterlonie family were not warned of the traumatic nature of the recording before it was played.
Once the distressing nature of the material became clear, Acting Justice Jane Mathews entreated them to leave, but they elected to stay in the court.
”They didn’t just kill him, they terrorized and tormented him,” Mr Auchterlonie’s grandfather, David Auchterlonie Sr, said in a victim impact statement read to the court. ”The love I have for him, and the hatred I have for those animals who took him – they deserve no mercy.”
Mr. Auchterlonie’s mother, Donna Locke, his grandmother Sandra Auchterlonie and his father, also named David Auchterlonie, also spoke of their grief and pain.
His father recalled the tragic symmetry of seeing his son wrapped in a white sheet at the same hospital where he had cradled him in a white blanket as a baby.
”That memory came into my mind again as he was laid out on a table. I wanted to kiss him, but I wasn’t allowed because his body had become an exhibit.”
Matthew Milat sat staring down at the wood-paneled dock during the hearing while Klein looked straight ahead. Evidence tendered by the prosecution included a series of chilling poems Matthew had written since his arrest.
One poem titled Cold Life, reads: ”lifeless corpse, motionless and drained/Another street has been blood stained/heart and soul I do not own/and there is no place I can call home”.
Mathew Milat was sentenced to 43 years in prison with a 30-year non-parole period on June 7, 2012.
credit murderpedia / Nastacia Leshchinskaya / Paul Bibby