Baby Killer Kathleen Folbigg Breaks Down As She Testifies For First Time
Kathleen Folbigg has been in jail for almost two decades, after being sentenced to at least 25 years for murdering three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth.
A court has never heard Kathleen Folbigg’s side of the story, until Monday. An inquiry into her convictions heard exactly what she meant in dark diary musings from more than a decade ago.
She’s serving a minimum 25-year sentence for the deaths of her babies -- Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, who all died before they were two-years-old -- in the decade from 1989. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) was ruled out during her trial but advances in genetic testing may provide another explanation.
Folbigg told the hearing she wasn’t a danger to her children and never harmed them, and a diary reference to “terrible things” wasn’t about murder.
“No [I was] expressing my fear… I was scared to death of finding my child not alive,” she sobbed.
Wiping away tears, Folbigg told the court she misses all of her children and each time she had a baby she was terrified they’d die in their sleep.
“I do feel responsible doing more, not doing more… my thought patterns are all the same. I feel responsible. I am their mother. Something went wrong and I was always searching for why.”
The inquiry, being held at the Coroners Court in Lidcombe, heard six diaries were recovered over a ten-to-eleven-year period, but up to five were unaccounted for. Folbigg said she used to write the diaries as a sort of vent or release.
Her former husband Craig watched on from the public gallery as Folbigg explained the “dark moods” referred to in her diary entries weren’t about murder, but depression.
“For me, I had decided that I had lost control of something. My children had died, it became almost obsessional I had to get that control back," she said.
“I had a belief that even a mood from me could affect my child. I thought my moods contributed to a choice of my children not wanting to stay. That’s how desperate I was.”
When grilled about whether or not she got rid of diaries to help her case, Folbigg denied doing so.
“I’m suggesting to you, you got rid of your diaries because there was significantly incriminating information in them,” the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions put to her.
“I won’t agree to that at all,” Folbigg replied.
The now 51-year-old says she was simply frustrated and lacking sleep as a new mum and reflected in her diary about how hard life was.
In an entry from October 25, 1997, she wrote: “Laura’s different, totally she doesn’t push my button anywhere near the extent she [Sarah] did. Which is good for her, that’s all I can say.”
When asked about what she meant by that Folbigg, said: “I’m simply comparing my children -- their characters and style.”
“It all boils down to me doubting myself. I’m not seeing anything unusual in that entry. I’d failed. Caleb had died.”
The inquiry continues.