Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ivan Milat: The Last Ride

The Raids

The logistics of organizing multiple raids across two states were daunting. Over three hundred police would be involved. To maintain secrecy most of them would not be informed of the location and timing of the raids until just before the event. The raid on Ivans house was code named "Air-1."

As Ivan Milats hours of work were erratic, it was decided to raid his house at 6:30 a.m. on 22nd May 1994, a Sunday. Fifty police, including members of the heavily armed "State Protection Group," general duties officers and police negotiators, were assembled at 2 a.m. at Campbelltown police station. Campbelltown was halfway between Liverpool and Ivans house.

Present at the early morning briefing, besides Small and Lynch, was Dr Rod Milton. He briefed the chief negotiator, Wayne Gordon, on how best to approach Ivan, who was to be contacted by telephone after the premises had been surrounded. Milton suggested that Gordon use a firm and authoritative tone, as he believed that Milat would try to take control of the situation. Surveillance police had reported that Ivans girlfriend, Chalinder Hughes, was also in the house. The plan was to calmly ask them to come out of the house, affect the arrest and search the premises.

At precisely 6:36 a.m., the team was in place. Detective Gordon dialed Ivans number. A male voice answered. When asked if he was Ivan Milat, he answered, "No." Gordon confirmed the address. It was correct. Gordon then introduced himself and advised Ivan that police were stationed around the property, were in possession of a search warrant, intended to gain entry and search the premises in relation to an armed assault. He advised Milat to come out with his girlfriend and surrender to police. Ivan mumbled something and hung up.

After several minutes, nothing had happened. Mindful of the guns that Milat was known to possess, police were reluctant to storm the house. The presence of his girlfriend was also a prohibitive factor. Gordon again dialed the number and spoke to Milat a second time. When Gordon asked him why he hadnt come out as requested Ivan replied that he thought it was a joke. Gordon convinced him that it was no joke.

Several minutes later, the front door of number 22 Cinnabar Street, Eaglevale opened and Ivan Milat and Chalinder Hughes stepped onto the front lawn and were taken into custody by two members of the State protection group. Several more of the group entered the house and "swept" the house for other occupants.

After the premises were secured, the search began. Ivan was handcuffed and advised of his rights. He was also advised that he was to be questioned in relation to seven bodies that had been recovered from the Belangalo state forest. In reply Milat said, I dont know what you are talking about. The "specialist" search team was comprised of Gerald Dutton, the ballistics expert, Andy Grosse, the senior crime scene investigator and two other detectives. They began a methodical search of the four-bedroom house.

At the other premises, the additional raids had gone smoothly. Police were beginning to search each of the homes at virtually the same time.

Ivan, the gun fanatic, in the mid 1980's
Ivan, the gun fanatic, in the mid 1980's

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