Making of a Monster: Ivan Milat

Pick Me Up magazine asked for my professional opinion on Ivan Milat in their regular column ‘Making of a Monster.’  Out in March 2012, I supplied the following psychological insight:


Psychologists have found it incredibly difficult to obtain information about Milat’s childhood, primarily due to the isolated, close-knit life of the Milat family. However, interviews with one of his brothers do indicate possible psychopathic tendencies from a young age. Milat was fascinated with guns and hunting, and from the age of 17 he was frequently in trouble with the police.

Being one of fourteen children poses a number of challenges as children need a huge amount of attention that is not possible with so many siblings. It is possible that Milat’s monstrous actions were a way to gain attention – even if that attention would eventually get him put away for life. Furthermore, with such a large family, it is believed that Milat’s parents were often required to exert strict discipline. It could be this discipline that led Milat to inflict pain on others. The violent nature of the murders indicates that Milat was motivated by inflicting pain on his victims.

Today, Milat continues to inflict pain – on himself. In 2011, Milat went on hunger strike in order to get a Play Station. He even cut off his little finger in an effort to gain an appeal. There are no lengths this man won’t go to in order to get what he wants.



Categories: Psychology

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