A mass murderer who shot dead seven people more than three decades ago is seriously ill in hospital after going on hunger strike.
Julian Knight, then 19, gunned down his victims in Clifton Hill in Melbourne’s inner-east on August 9, 1987 in what became known as the Hoddle Street massacre.
The bespectacled killer – whose release from prison after a 27-year minimum sentence in 2014 was blocked by the Victorian government – has reportedly been admitted to the city’s St Vincent’s Hospital for treatment.
Knight, now 52, stopped eating and drinking at the maximum security prison in Port Phillip in protest after he was caught with contraband, The Herald Sun reported.
The murderer has suffered a long battle with Chron’s disease – an inflammatory bowel condition.
Donna Wood, a police officer who had raced to the scene of the shooting, said she hoped Knight would keep up with his hunger strike.
‘Keep up the good work,’ Mrs Wood said. ‘It’s the kind of self-centredness he’s always shown in his life.’
‘Let him shuffle off if that’s what his wish is. It’s always been about him. Let this be about him.’
A Department of Justice and Community would not comment on individual cases.
Mrs Wood had held the hand of one of Knight’s victims Gina Papaioannou, who died 11 days after the shooting, and rode with her in the ambulance to hospital.
Last year it emerged Knight penned a startling confession to forensic psychologist Tim Watson Monroe just weeks after the devastating 1987 murders.
Monroe was publishing Knight’s graphic poem in his new memoirs, Shrink in the Clink, despite acknowledging it may open fresh wounds for survivors and victims.
‘On that fateful night in August, the avenging angel executed it’s final order. Gutters ran with blood and bodies lay amongst the carnage strewn across that field of death,’ Knight wrote of the heinous attack.
‘The sirens of authority and sounds of gunfire drowned out the screams of the dying.’
‘The angel of mercy had been swayed and in the evil clutches of insanity it carried out death’s morbid tasks’.
Mr Knight claimed, in his poem, that he was carrying out tasks beyond his control, and that he was not consciously enacting the crime.
Former homicide detective Charlie Bezzina believes the poem is further proof Knight should never be released.