Now Milat’s dead we could find answers on slain girls
A RETIRED police detective remains determined to find out who killed two girls near Pentland in 1972, following the death of his chief suspect, serial killer Ivan Milat, this week.
Milat was sentenced in 1996 to seven consecutive life sentences for murdering seven backpackers, whose bodies were found in makeshift graves in the Belanglo State Forest in the 1990s.
Retired detective sergeant Mick Gurn said he feels that with Milat now dead, other people involved in the case may talk.
"They could justifiably have been frightened to come forward before now," Mr Gurn said.
Mr Gurn remains convinced Milat was involved in the deaths of Anita Cunningham and Robin Hoinville-Bartram.
The two girls disappeared in July of 1972 and were last seen together at the Pentland Hotel.
The body of Robin was discovered in November 1972 in a decomposed state at Sensible Creek, between Pentland and Charters Towers.
"My five years of investigations into the murders of Robin and Anita at Pentland in July 1972 has led me to more confidently state that the infamous Ivan Milat was involved in these murders," Mr Gurn said.
Mr Gurn said the evidence he has gathered in the case of the Pentland murders suggested Anita and Robin had hitchhiked from Melbourne to Mount Isa before heading east.
He believes that in Mount Isa they met a man they only knew as "Cowboy", a nickname Milat is known to have gone by.
"Former NSW police assistant commissioner Clive Small, in his book Milat, says that when Milat returned from New Zealand in 1974 he had been in New Zealand for about two years, which would be from 1972 to 1974," Mr Gurn said.
"He was on the run from NSW Police and in my opinion in Queensland as well.
"I believe he went to New Zealand with two others believing the hunt would be on for them, as it normally would have been in 99 out of 100 cases."
Mr Gurn said a Crime and Corruption Commission coercive hearing would be the best way to get all of the witnesses involved to testify.
Alternatively an inquest would at least provide the opportunity for all of the witnesses to be questioned under oath. Mr Gurn said he would continue to press the State Government and the Queensland Police Service for one of these outcomes.
"I have taken this battle to get justice for the murdered girls," Mr Gurn said.
Anyone with information can go to the Facebook page dedicated to the case.