1. “That’s him.” How a Canberra grandmother helped catch Ivan Milat.
On January 25, 1990, Canberra grandmother Joanne Berry was driving with her sister and five children from Mittagong on the Hume Highway when she saw two men wrestling on the road.
Berry stopped her car, and as vehicles swerved around it, one of the men approached her driver’s side window.
“Help me, he’s got a gun!” she recalled him yelling.
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Berry made a quick decision, allowing the man into her vehicle and driving him to a nearby police station.
Only after picking him up did she learn the man was Paul Onions, and the one he had been fighting was Ivan Milat.
Speaking to 7News, Berry said she and Onions both made statements to the police in 1990 – but their significance was only learned years later after bodies started being discovered from Belanglo State Forest, close to where Onions escaped Milat.
Onions made the link and called investigators.
Looking back on her run-in with the serial killer, Berry said she counted her blessings.
“Things could have taken a dramatic turn for the worst,” she said. “Milat could have come after us all.”
In 1994, Berry was watching the news when Milat was arrested.
“They showed him being led into the police car and I can remember sitting on the couch then and just shaking and thinking, ‘That’s him’.”
Speaking to the media two decades after the harrowing attack, Onions shared how he narrowly escaped Milat after the serial killer pulled out a gun and rope.
“I can remember the silver bullets shining in the chamber, but then I saw the rope and that scared me more,” he said.
“I just thought, ‘This is it… run or die’, so I undid my seatbelt and jumped straight out of the vehicle and ran.”
Milat is dying from oesophagus and stomach cancer and the 74-year-old could have just weeks to live.
Berry told 7News his death will come as a relief.
“This episode of my life will be over and will be put to rest. I won’t have to dwell on it ever again,” she said.
2. Wolf Creek actor John Jarratt allegedly forced himself on sleeping housemate before raping her, court told.
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