Saturday, February 2, 2013

Australia: Kathleen Folbigg; Why she may not have killed her four babies; A fascinating take on a controversial case in light of deeper understanding of infant deaths, by Mark Whittaker, published in WAtoday.

STORY: "Did she do it? Why Kathleen Folbigg may not have killed her four babies: A deeper understanding of infant deaths has created fresh uncertainty about mother Kathleen Folbigg’s murder convictions," by Mark  Whittaker, published in WAtoday on February 2, 2013.

GIST: "Ryan did just that, culminating four years later in the conviction of the mother, Kathleen Folbigg, for the murder of three of her babies and manslaughter of one. That was 10 years ago this May. With 15 years left on her minimum sentence, she is still segregated from the mainstream of prisoners to protect her from their righteous vengeance. Folbigg has few supporters, but some academics have started asking questions about her conviction, because the hawks no longer dominate the skies above the SIDS/murder debate. While a number of women accused of similar crimes have had their convictions overturned overseas, and in Australia two others had their cases thrown out of court because of the shallow nature of the evidence, Folbigg remains locked up and despised.........Emma Cunliffe, an Australian was at Canada's University of British Columbia, finishing her masters degree on the Lindy Chamberlain case, when Folbigg was convicted. As the UK baby-killer cases were successively overturned, she felt that the Folbigg case seemed out of sync with the times. But when she visited Australia, she found little sympathy. "I remember having conversations with people who said, 'She's clearly guilty.' And I'd say, 'You know, there have been real concerns about cases that look a lot like this in the UK', and there was a real reluctance to even talk about the possibility that we might have got this one wrong." Cunliffe's PhD began as a look at all the UK wrongful convictions, plus some Canadian cases, as well as Matthey and Folbigg. But pretty soon, the question of why Folbigg was the only one of these women still in jail began to dominate her research. "What made this one stick?" she asks. "What is it that makes Folbigg feel different from the others? And I'll be honest, when I first saw those diary entries, I also thought, 'Wow, there's more evidence connecting her to the possibility of murder than the other women,' and so that is a big difference."
The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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