Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kathleen Folbigg: Australia; Helen Cummings crusade to free her; A tale of three women linked by child death, murder and tragedy, told by the Melbourne Times.

STORY: "Crusade to free a killer" by Joanne McCarthy, published in the Melbourne Times on February 5, 2013.

GIST: They are three women linked by child death, murder and tragedy. Kathleen Folbigg was convicted in 2003 of murdering her four children. Lindy Chamberlain spent three decades mired in Australia’s most notorious child murder case before she was completely exonerated of her daughter Azaria’s death. And last week Helen Cummings, first wife of a man who went on to kill his second family and himself, warned NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith about the danger of history repeating itself in an emotional appeal to free Folbigg from jail. The case against Folbigg had ‘‘all the hallmarks of another Lindy Chamberlain’’, wrote Ms Cummings, the daughter of former Newcastle lord mayor Joy Cummings. ‘‘I have been corresponding and visiting Kathleen Folbigg now for over a year and I have no doubt at all about her innocence.’’ Ms Cummings told Mr Smith that if there was anything he could do to prevent a long, painful and protracted campaign, she would be grateful ‘‘until the end of my days’’. Ms Cummings is leading a campaign to have Folbigg’s case reviewed after a 2011 book by an Australian academic lawyer, Murder, Medicine and Motherhood, concluded Folbigg was wrongly convicted. The legal process decided Folbigg was a ‘‘monstrously guilty mother’’ despite the failure of medical experts to say how her four babies died, academic lawyer Emma Cunliffe found. ‘‘The groundwork of an appeal for a review of the case has already been done in Emma’s book,’’ Ms Cummings said. ‘‘I contacted Emma because I always had an uncomfortable feeling during Kathleen’s trial that it was actually her mothering that was on trial. ‘‘She was totally hated and despised by society, and locked away.‘We saw that with Lindy Chamberlain, and the same thing has happened to poor Kathleen.’’

The entire story can be found at:


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