In 1995, Les Kennedy met with Margaret Patterson who was picked up by Ivan while she was hitchhiking. She said to Kennedy that she forgave Ivan for what happened and was angry with her former friend for giving interviews in exchange of money. Margaret acknowledged that she has written to Ivan and even visited him in prison more than once. “I do give him the benefit of the doubt that he might not be guilty and I’m just incredibly sad that he was in that situation. It’s not as though I don’t think the crimes are very bad, but I felt very sorry for him…He seemed extremely happy to see me. As I said he sees me as a friend. Everybody in the visitors room was looking at him like he was famous. He smiles at everyone. And you know he’s genuinely nice.” Later, Ivan complained to his relatives that Margaret was a “crazy sheila” who send him weird photos.
On April 9, 1971, Margaret Patterson and Greta decided to hitchhike to Melbourne, to save money. They had met four months before at a psychiatric ward at Cumberland Hospital. After taking a train to Liverpool, they started walking towards the Hume Highway when Milat pulled up and offered them a ride. Greta thought Milat looked “clean and respectable” but near Goulburn he pulled onto a dirt road and stopped the car near a secluded spot.
He threatened both girls with a sheath knife and a second knife with a curved blade, and tied them up using two pink cords, saying he would cut their throats if they did not have sex with him.
“I told him that we both had been in psychiatric hospitals for depression and that his attitude was not helping us at all,” Greta said in her statement to police.
Milat ignored that, saying he would murder them both if one of them did not have sex with him. Ms Patterson agreed to have sex with him if he promised to let them go.
Afterwards, Greta said she need a drink as she felt sick and Milat drove to a service station in Goulburn, where Ms Patterson told the waitress what had happened and both girls escaped after several customers surrounded the car.
During the trial in December 1974, Margaret changed her story, saying she was confused that night because of the sleeping tablets she took and that Ivan Milat had not forced her to have sex but was kind to her.
Greta stuck to her story but it wasn’t enough to convince the jury and Milat was acquitted.
Sources : Daily Telegraph and Sins of the Brother.