A former Wollongong man has revealed details of his chilling ride 49 years ago with the man he believes was Ivan Milat.
Ian Hayman, who was 15 at the time, was hitching from Liverpool to Fairy Meadow when two men pulled up in an old two-tone Holden and asked where he was headed.
"I told them Wollongong and they said 'we're headed that way, jump in'."
What followed was a peculiar half-hour that had the teenager on edge as he travelled south along the Hume Highway. But it wasn't until almost 30 years later that he realised he had dodged a bullet.
Mr Hayman believes he was one of the lucky ones plucked from the hunting ground of a serial killer.
"I'm a 100 per cent certain the driver was Ivan Milat," Mr Hayman told the Mercury. "I'll just never forget those eyes."
Mr Hayman had been working at Warwick Farm racecourse and was headed for home when he hitched a ride all those years ago.
They said something like 'his parents know he's coming' ... the driver got the shits, slammed on the brakes and told me to get the f... out of the car.
"I got in ... I reckon five minutes had passed when they got to the turn-off to Wollongong and Canberra and they took the Canberra exit instead," Mr Hayman recalled. "I told them 'you just missed Wollongong turn-off" and they said 'what do you think we are stupid? Don't know where we are going?'
"I thought there must be another turn-off up further. It seemed a bit weird but we kept going."
Mr Hayman noticed the cowboy-style pistol in the open glove box. He'd only seen one pistol before and was intrigued.
"I said can I have a look at it? The driver turned around and said 'you think we are f....ng stupid? Give someone a gun we don't know?"
Read more: Ivan Milat's nephew speaks out
For the next 15 or so minutes the men asked the teenager questions about his family situation.
"They were asking me things like 'do your parents know you are coming?' and whether I had brothers and sisters."
It was during that conversation when Mr Heyman mentioned his brother had been in the army. The front seat passenger turned to the driver and said "Ivan was in the army too, weren't you?"
That's when the mood changed.
"The look the driver gave him, I still remember it. The way he looked at the passenger when he mentioned his name. The look on his face, those eyes in the mirror.
"They said something like 'his parents know he's coming' ... the driver got the shits, slammed on the brakes and told me to get the f... out of the car.
"I grabbed my stuff and just took off. I thought thank God for that. It's always been on my mind looking back over the years ... were they coming up to the spot where they had done another job?"
Mr Hayman dusted himself off and stuck up his thumb in the hope of another ride home.
"I saw a car coming and it was them again. They pulled up to about 60 to 80 metres from me and I put my bags down and stood there. I thought maybe they are gonna get out the gun, then another car came around the corner and I waved it down.
"It was an old preacher who was gonna run a church in Wollongong somewhere. I told him where I was headed and he said jump in. Once I hopped in the other car they floored it."
Mr Hayman said he told the preacher about his encounter with the men with the gun.
"The sun was going down, give it another half-hour, 45 minutes and God knows what would have happened."
Fast forward 30 years and Mr Hayman was watching television one night. The documentary on Ivan Milat had raised the possibility of him picking up two girls at Liverpool.
"That's when I noticed the car," Mr Hayman said of the two-tone Holden from all those years ago. They showed Wollongong and Canberra turn-off and that he took the Canberra turn-off just like we had and that hit my stomach like a tonne of bricks.
"When the wife came in with the coffee she asked if I was okay and I said 'no, I think I'm gonna vomit really'."
Mr Hayman said he has called police countless times over the years - and calls again each time he sees the serial killer is back on his TV screen.
"I know 95 per cent of people I told didn't believe me so I stopped telling people," he said. "I'm not trying to sound like a hero and I'm just telling you what happened. Telling you my story and it's true."
Milat is serving seven life sentences for murdering seven backpackers whose bodies were found in the Belanglo State Forest.
Time for Milat to tell the truth
In January 1990 British backpacker Paul Onions accepted a lift from Ivan Milat.
It almost cost him his life.
At first, "Bill" came across as a typical friendly, charming Australian. The 45-year-old man had offered Paul a lift to go fruit picking.
But before long, Paul noticed that something was wrong.
After suddenly becoming aggressive and threatening, it soon became obvious that Bill was not who he claimed to be.
The man who picked up Paul was Ivan Milat - one of Australia's most notorious serial killers.
Milat has been in custody since May 1994, when he was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences for murdering seven backpackers whose bodies were found in makeshift graves in the Belanglo State Forest.
At 74, the now frail and underweight killer has been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, with tumours in his throat and stomach.
And as his health deteriorates, there is increasing pressure on detectives to push him to confess to his crimes and reveal any extra murders we don't know about.
Milat has previously been linked to other possible homicide victims or missing persons, including three women, Leanne Goodall, Robyn Hickie and Amanda Robinson, who all went missing in the Newcastle area within four months of each other, between 1978-79.
As one of six prime suspects in the disappearances of the women, Milat was called to give evidence during a coronial inquest into their deaths in 2002.
However, any theories pointing to the convicted killer could not be substantiated at the time.
Former Wollongong man Ian Hayman is one man angry that Milat hasn't owned up to his crimes.
He believes he was lucky like Mr Onions - one of the few who got away.
"Time's running out," he told the Mercury.
"I just hope he mans up and has the balls to say 'yeah I did it, I killed them'.
"He should tell us who, and how many. He should at least have the decency to do that."