A woman who was convicted of killing her four infant children says a court decision to pardon her after 20 years is a “win for science.”
Australian Kathleen Folbigg was released from prison on Monday (June 5) after an inquiry heard evidence that cast “reasonable” doubt on a set of convictions that led to her being called “Australia’s worst serial killer.”
Kathleen, 55, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2003 after her children Patrick, Sarah and Laura, as well as first child Caleb, all died between 1989 and 1999.
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She said in her first statement to the world following the pardon that her release was a “win for science and especially truth,”the BBC reports.
She always maintained that she had not killed her children, but was still sentenced and put behind bars.
However, a crack team of immunologists told the inquiry, which found that all four children could have died from natural causes, that Kathleen’s two daughters shared an incredibly rare genetic mutation that can cause sudden cardiac arrests.
The heart condition, known as calmodulinopathy, is so rare that only 134 known cases have been detected worldwide.
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On top of this, evidence also revealed that her two sons had a mutation that was linked to sudden-onset epilepsy in mice. The inquiry heard that in the months leading up to his death, one son had suffered several seizures.
While prosecutors initially used Kathleen’s diaries as evidence that she had harmed her children, the inquiry found that this evidence should not have been used.
Kathleen’s ex-husband, Craig, called the cops on her after finding the diary, which prosecutors then used to imply that she had hurt her kids.
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Craig still believes that she killed their kids, and his lawyer said news of her release had "increased the pain and suffering his client had endured for two decades".
Now that she has been released, Kathleen could potentially get a substantial payout from the state if her convictions are overturned.
If her appeal succeeds she could take legal action against the NSW government, or seek a settlement payment from them.
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