The Sydney Morning Herald interviewed Ivan Milat’s mother, Margaret Milat, before the verdict of the trial in 1996. She hoped beyond hope for a verdict of not guilty. “But if Ivan is innocent, then they’ll go and arrest Richard. They’re both innocent. They were living here when those murders were meant to happen. I did all their washing, there was no blood. They’re good boys.

Mrs Milat, still lives in the yellow weatherboard house in Guildford where she and her late husband, Croatian-born Stephen, raised 10 sons and four daughters — not without the help of one of them, a conscientious little boy called Ivan.

He wasn’t the oldest boy, that was Alex, but Ivan always looked after the other kids and me. Still does. Well, before he got put in jail. He has a photographic memory, you know. He would just look at a page once and he’d remember all of it. English, Arithmetic. He was good at everything. At school the brothers used to call him the sleepy professor. He didn’t like that. He couldn’t stand it if someone had a go at him. Got upset. He’d walk out of school and come straight home.

His teachers remembered him as a bright kid, and his brother Alex acknowledged that he was the smartest of them, “Ivan was a bit smarter in the head than most of us.” When he started skipping classes he was sent at Boys Town where he was an altar boy. He eventually left school for good at the age of 15 to help his family.

Sources : The Sydney Morning Herald and Murder In Mind.

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