Kathleen Folbigg has had a rollercoaster life with many shocks and challenges. When she was just 18 months old, her father stabbed her mother to death after an argument.
She brought four children into the world, and all of them tragically passed away before the age of two. And she was accused of their murder.
WORST FEMALE SERIAL KILLER
Kathleen Folbigg gave birth to four kids over ten years. Laura survived for a year and a half, Sarah for ten months, Patrick lived eight months, and Caleb lived only 18 days. She mourned them all, one after the other. She said she found them all dead in their cots.
In 2003, the country of Australia prosecuted her and sentenced her to 40 years of prison for the manslaughter and murder of her children. The people and the media branded her the “worst female serial killer” and “most hated woman.”
While Folbigg has always maintained her innocence and insisted that her children died due to natural causes, her conviction was based mainly on circumstantial evidence found in journals she had kept around the time that her children died, including one in which Folbigg wrote that Sarah “left. With a bit of help.”
UNCOVERING THE MYSTERY
Kathleen’s case had become a national mystery. In passages that were a part of the trial, Kathleen Folbigg wrote that Laura was “a fairly good-natured baby,” adding, “Thank goodness. It has saved her from the fate of her siblings. I think she was warned.” She also wrote, “I am my father’s daughter.”
The journal entries were coupled with the claim by the prosecutors that it was unbelievable and virtually impossible that four children of one family could all die of natural causes.
The inspection led to a 40-year jail term for her. However, 18 years into Folbigg’s sentence and more than 20 years since the death of her last child, a rising number of scientists believe she is innocent.
Leading scientists and medical experts have discovered new clues about the case and now call for the pardon of the convicted woman. About 90 scientists and medical experts pushing for 53-year-old Folbigg to be pardoned have argued that her children died due to a rare genetic defect.
The group comprises noted experts in medicine and genetic disorders, including Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, Nobel prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn and former Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley, ABC News reported.
The petition is based on a report that looked at Folbigg and her four children’s complete genome sequencing. The genome sequencing of Sarah and Laura’s DNA from their neonatal heel prick tests revealed that they both inherited the CALM2 genetic mutation from their mother.
CALM-2 mutations are believed to cause sudden death due to cardiac arrest, according to scientists. The genomes of Folbigg’s sons Caleb and Patrick revealed a different genetic mutation, which the scientists believe may have contributed to their deaths.
They both had a BSN gene mutation that has been related to fatal epileptic fits.
The scientists behind the petition say there is no proof to back up the claims of the murder by Folbigg. They pointed out that the idea that one family is unlikely to have several deaths is based on a hypothesis known as Meadow’s Law, which states that two infant deaths are suspicious and three are murder unless proven otherwise.
Significant advancements in genetics have been made in the years since Folbigg started her sentence at Cessnock Correctional Center, raising new concerns.
The petition to free her states that there is now “significant positive evidence” that the four children died of natural causes, raising the possibility that Australia’s “most hated woman” might have been innocent all along.