MOST families have a Black Sheep in their fold or skeletons in the closet. But few these days would come close to laying claim to a relative as notorious as Ivan Milat. His name is now a part of Australian criminal history, synonymous with pure evil.
Convicted of the murders of seven young backpackers in the NSW Belanglo State Forest between 1989 and 1993, he is serving seven consecutive life sentences as well as 18 years without parole.
A recent 60 Minutes investigation and this week's Catching Milat tele-series means the name Milat is once again in the spotlight.
And with every media article, every radio talkback segment, every minute of air-time mentioning him, the Milat name is once again dragged through the mud.
As one of 14 Milat children, Ivan and his crimes reach far and wide to inflict their own unique pain on his extended family.
That includes Palmwoods-based Alex Milat, who expects at least another 12 months of negative attention from the public as a result of the current TV exposure.
But we should all remember to show some compassion. After all, we can choose our friends but we can't choose our relatives.
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