THE weekend death of serial killer Ivan Milat has ended all hopes he might finally confess to a raft of other murders, including a former Bathurst man.
Milat died in Long Bay Hospital on Sunday morning after spending 23 years behind bars.
The former road worker was sentenced in 1996 to seven consecutive life sentences for murdering seven young backpackers whose mutilated bodies were found in makeshift graves in the NSW Belanglo State Forest in the 1990s.
But investigators always believed he was responsible for many more deaths and earlier this year, as Milat's health started to fail, they launched a final bid to draw a confession from the despised prisoner.
Milat admitted nothing, offering no sign of remorse for his victims and giving investigators no new leads on other possible killings, including former Bathurst man Peter Letcher.
Mr Letcher's body was found covered in branches in Jenolan State Forest, south-east of Bathurst, in January 1988.
Mr Letcher had disappeared after attempting to hitchhike home to Bathurst from Sydney in late 1987 but police investigations at the time failed to uncover any leads.
More than a quarter of a century later, the task force commander who led the investigation into the notorious backpacker murders revealed he thought Milat might also have been responsible for Mr Letcher's death.
Former NSW police assistant commissioner Clive Small said in 2013 that Mr Letcher's murder was the only one among a number of unsolved murders attributed to Milat that "fits the pattern".
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"The other murders don't fit the pattern," Mr Small told news.com.au at the time, according to a report published in the Western Advocate.
Mr Small said Milat's pattern of killing related to his personal circumstances.
Mr Letcher was last seen alive in November 1987, when he was to have hitchhiked to Bathurst.
In the days before the 18-year-old disappeared, Milat's relationship with his wife was falling apart.
He was also working for the Department of Main Roads in the Jenolan State Forest at the time.
"When he killed he was by himself, or he wasn't in full control of his relationship, or it was falling apart, or it had ended," Mr Small said.
"With Ivan it was all about control and when Peter Letcher was murdered Ivan had broken up with his partner."
In recent years Milat's name has been linked with the disappearance and murder of up to eight more victims, including some whose bodies have never been found.