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Serial Killer Sends His Severed Finger to Judge

By Carol Forsloff     Jan 28, 2009 in Crime
When someone cuts off a finger to send it to someone else, we’d think that crazy. Perhaps it is with many people, and with a serial killer we’d think so. Maybe it’s more complicated than that.
There are all kinds of ways to get attention. Sometimes people who need attention desperately will go to desperate means in order to get it. That’s especially true for a serial killer. This one decided to get attention by severing his finger and then forwarding it to the judge.
Ivan Milat, 64, is Australia’s high-profile serial killer. In the 1990’s he killed seven backpackers and is serving seven life sentences for it. He has a reputation for harming himself. This time he used a serrated plastic knife, one that came with his prison meal. He put it in an envelope addressed to a judge on the High Court of Australia. After that he turned the envelope over to an officer at the prison, quite calmly.
Milat was taken to a hospital for treatment and held under tight security. The head of Correctional Services, Ron Woodham, said to Sydney news source, reiterated by Fox, that he personally wasn’t sympathetic about Milat because he had tried on several occasions to protest his situation by mutilating himself. He intimated Milan is not very bright and probably couldn’t count to ten. He continued: “Whether Ivan Milat has decided to sever his finger or not doesn’t alter the fact that he is a serial murderer who will die in jail.”
Mental health experts consider self mutilation seldom an attempt at suicide but that it can be addictive. Some specialists believe that the individual who does this is making an effort to feel better, usually from shame, guilt or other feelings. Treatment sometimes involves medications to help the individual stop the self-mutilation behaviors. No information was provided as to whether or not there had been incidents before imprisonment or that the behavior started after Milan was convicted and put in jail.
Given what the experts have said, however, Milan could continue the behavior if the diagnosis was made of a pattern.
The serial killer was reported to have tried to commit suicide while in jail, swallowed razor blades, staples and part of a toilet chain. Authorities believe that some of this behavior was Milat’s efforts to escape prison.
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