Keys to the pardon for a mother convicted of killing her babies

Sydney (Australia) (BLAZETRENDS).- The Australian Kathleen Folbigg, who came to be considered the worst serial killer in her country, has been pardoned and released this Monday after spending twenty years in prison accused of the death of her four you drink.

The governor of the state of New South Wales signed the pardon after learning the conclusions of a report on the case by retired judge Thomas Bathurst, authorities reported today.

The lawyer came to “the firm consideration that there are reasonable doubts about Folbigg’s guilt” in each of the deaths, after a scientific investigation coordinated by the Spanish immunologist Carola García de Vinuesa linked the deaths to genetic failures.

The pardon does not imply that the 55-year-old woman is acquitted of the crimes attributed to her, which is the responsibility of the Criminal Court of Appeals, and it is possible that Folbigg may claim compensation.

Australia pardons a mother convicted of killing her four babies after the intervention of a Spanish immunologist

the death of babies

Kathleen Folbigg’s children, Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, died between 1989 and 1999 in Hunter-Newcastle, about 120 kilometers from Sydney, when they were between 19 days and 18 months old, while in her care.

Married in 1987 to Craig Folbigg, it all began when Kathleen yelled at her husband on the night of February 20, 1989 “something is wrong with my baby”, when she discovered that her firstborn, Caleb, was not breathing, dying 19 days after birth.

“It happened again,” Kathleen Folbigg cried as she asked her husband to come home when their second baby, Patrick, already suffering from brain damage, partial blindness and epileptic seizures, died on February 13, 1991 at eight months old. age.

In the third case, Folbigg found his ten-and-a-half-month-old daughter, Sarah, blue and motionless, dying on August 30, 1993. Six years later, on March 1, 1999, his fourth daughter, Laura, died at the 18 months after her mother put her down for a nap.

Initially, the experts considered that Caleb and Sarah were victims of a sudden death and Patrick of an epileptic attack, while they left the causes of Laura’s death “undetermined”, which opened the door to investigate possible infanticides.

The incriminating diary

Criminal investigations began in July 1999, with particular attention being paid to Folbigg’s diary.

In it, she wrote: “I am my father’s daughter,” alluding to her biological father, who stabbed Folbigg’s mother to death in 1969, when she was an 18-month-old baby, after the woman left home. .

Folbigg, who separated from her husband in 2000, wrote in her diary: “I feel like the worst mother in the world, I’m afraid he will leave me like Sarah (his daughter) did. I know he had little patience and was cruel to her sometimes and he left (died)”, or passages in which she blamed her stress for making her “do terrible things”.

This diary, which was key in his subsequent conviction in 2003 for the murder of Patrick, Sarah and Laura, as well as the involuntary manslaughter of Caleb, to 40 years in prison, with the right to request parole after 30 years.

Legal process

Folbigg, who has always defended his innocence, managed to get the Criminal Court of Appeals to reduce his sentence in 2005 to 30 years, with the right to request parole after 25 years in prison.

In 2008, the Australian authorities ordered a non-judicial investigation into the case, but then Judge Reg Blanch, in charge of the review, determined that the evidence against the defendant, as well as her diaries, proved her guilt.

“The only reasonably open conclusion is that someone intentionally caused harm to the children, and suffocation was the obvious method. The evidence did not point to another person other than Mrs. Folbigg ”, Blanch then stressed.

New South Wales Attorney General Michael Daley speaks to reporters about the conviction of Kathleen Folbigg, in Sydney, Australia, on June 5. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Bianca de Marchi

Scientific research

The case took a turn in 2020, when a team of scientists, coordinated by the Spanish immunologist Carola García de Vinuesa and led by the Danish Michael Toft Overgaard, concluded that the deaths of the Folbigg babies could be due to genetic causes.

The scientific research, published in the specialized journal “Europace” of the European Association of Cardiology, links a genetic mutation (CALM2) of Sarah and Laura, with sudden cardiac death.

In addition, the study, made up of an international team of 27 scientists, found that the children carried rare variants of a gene that kills rodents by epileptic seizures.

The case was reopened following a letter sent in March 2021 to the Australian authorities by a hundred scientists, including two Nobel laureates, requesting pardon and Folbigg’s release.

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