Kathleen Folbigg, Child-Murderer Part II: why I identify with her

Kathleen Folbigg first called an ambulance regarding her children when her husband, Craig found her standing over their 19-day-old child whose body lay wrapped in blankets in his crib. Caleb, their first child together, died from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a problem about which there was little information at the time but usually involves an infant rolling onto his or her stomach and then suffocating because they can’t turn back over. It is advised that infants stay on their backs while sleeping so that they don’t accidentally suffocate.

Patrick, their next son, lasted three months before Kathleen called her husband at his work, exclaiming “It’s happened again.” Patrick had epilepsy so it was assumed that complications with the condition occurred which caused his untimely death.

Next came Sarah at 10 months old. SIDS was reported to be the cause of Sarah’s death- Craig noticed that, however, that Sarah was laying on her back rather than her stomach in her crib when they found her.

Laura, the only child with whom Kathleen had bonded and had loved, lived for 19 months. Her death was determined to be due to myocarditis viral complications.

Craig found his wife’s diary and read the incriminating passages. He attempted to suppress the memories but eventually caved and turned the diary in to police. Even then, Kathleen tried to manipulate him into taking his accusation back by saying she wanted to be a family with him and start a new life together- he actually believed her and tried to take back his accusations and evidence, but it was in the hands of the law then.

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The prosecution case against Folbigg centred on her being a stressed mother, prone to dark moods, who smothered each of her four children, over a 10-year period.

Kathleen’s trial results were easily determined by the jury and she was sentenced to 40 years in prison, later reduced to 30 years.

Despite the unanimous decision by the jury and the public, Professor Stephen Cordner, a forensic medicine specialist at Monash University, doubts that Kathleen smothered her children, saying that “there are no signs of smothering.”

Professor Cordner’s report is the first suggestion that she could be telling the truth- it concludes that Caleb’s and Sarah’s deaths were properly categorized as SIDS incidents, Patrick’s death was related to the epilepsy disorder he suffered in the last few months of his life, and that Laura’s death ‘has been caused unexceptionally by myocarditis.’

Kathleen hasn’t given up hope that she will be found guilt-free saying “It’s better late than never,” in regards to the possibility of a retrial.

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The more I learned about Kathleen Folbigg, the more I was able to compare myself to her, which scares the shit out of me.

Kathleen went through some serious hell as a child, though. Her dad murdered her mom, she was an orphan and then adopted and lied to about her childhood until she was an adult. She was in some crappy relationships because, likely, her dad issues fucked with her head just that much. She definitely seems to have borderline personality disorder, which is a damning personality disorder in itself- usually associated with women and involves self-harm, abuse of oneself, suicidal tendencies, unstable and insecure relationships, self-doubt and a lack of an identity.

I definitely didn’t have as fucked up a childhood as Kathleen Folbigg, that’s for sure, but I don’t remember my childhood- I blocked out the majority of my childhood and young adolescence. I know that I have borderline and have had it since a young age. By 10 years old, I was cutting myself, starving myself, seeking attention from older men, sneaking alcohol, and was suicidal. I had sado-massochistic tendencies before I even knew what sex was.

My dad is a narcissist and left our family for a younger woman, taking everything that he could from my brother, my mother and me. He was emotionally abusive to my mother during their marriage- from the fog that I can sort of recall, she had no personality then. She was lost in his shadow. He manipulated my brother and me to mess with my mom after he left her. I’m not sure about the abuse that went towards my brother and myself. I do know that he saw me as an extension of my mother and treated me as such. He eventually moved to D.C. to practice law there with our step-mother and then randomly to Canada, her original home. The FBI eventually were able to retrieve him from Canada after a few years because he had apparently been embezzling money- millions- I found this out the summer after my freshman year of college when a teacher from high-school texted me to ask if I was okay and if I’d seen the newspapers in my hometown. All of this is to say that dad issues are a thing. I’ve found that if I am ever attracted to a male, he is a sociopath or a narcissist or a psychopath, like my father. My abusive ex used to make comments about my dad issues as a joke saying “Geez it sounds like I’m just like your dad and made into your own personal hell.” The relationships that I’ve had have been turbulent at best, since I can only manage to be interested in men who are like my father. During these relationships, I become unstable and insecure. I realized that I could never have children during my abusive relationship because I would honestly be hurt if someone took more attention from my significant other than I received from him or her.

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Lol my PTSD kicked in while writing this- I get scent hallucinations actually. It’s like my abusive ex’s cologne get sprayed into my nose and even though I know it isn’t there, I can’t not smell it.

I’ve always been confused about this- it seems like I’m the only one who feels this way, but would it not be easier to take the life of something that came out of you, that only exists because you caused it to exist with your own cells and then carried this thing around while it fed off of you like a parasite, than it would be to take the life of something that came from someone else?

If anyone wants to comment below, I’d love to hear opinions about the above question, because I have yet to meet anyone who feels the same way as I do; but this is how I know I can never have my own children- just like Kathleen, who, in her relationship, was so insecure from her dad issues that she needed more attention from her husband than he could give. She needed the vast majority of his attention, and in their relationship and the beginning of their marriage, she received this. Once children became a part of the picture, however, she received less attention. When their children kept getting sick and passing away, her husband paid exponentially more attention to the next child so as to prevent another death. She didn’t know how to deal with the lack of attention, so she smothered her children, after all, they were only there because she allowed them to be there, and sadly, I have empathy for her and could see myself in that position had I not thought through my weaknesses and issues early on in life.

Am I a serial killer?

Not yet.

Could I easily have been Kathleen Folbigg because of my past and my personality disorders had I not thought ahead and realized my limitations in life?

Yes.

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2 Comments

  1. How weird you should post about Kathleen. I did a Deadly Women binge last weekend and she was on it. I can’t speak to her guilt or innocence but obviously her tortured past created a very diturbed woman.

    The only time I truly see borderline traits in myself is when in relationships. I will either want too much attention from a man or I get annoyed and just want them to go away. I begged the donor not to leave me in a fit of tears and three days after he was gone, I felt like I could breathe again. I’m just not good at relationships.

    My daughter is my saving grace in it all. In my twenties when the doctors forcefed me antidepressants thus setting off manic episodes, I was a manic-depressive trainwreck, throwing things and only caring about myself and creating drama where there was none. I knew I’d be a terrible mother. As it turns out, with mood stabilizers and the fact I waited until I was 36 to have her…I’m rocking the mom thing pretty well considering all my disorders. Usually trusting my gut is for the best but on this one, I am glad I didn’t. Also glad I got a proper diagnosis and medication, it made all the difference. It turns out I am not a drama queen, at all, I loathe drama, now that my brain is more on kilter.

    I respect your self awareness on the issue of your upbringing, your disorders, and how you feel about not having a child due to all of that. Self awareness is not something many have, it’s just too easy to delude yourself about your issues and flaws. You show a great deal of intelligence and courage in being honest about yourself, your feelings and behavior.

    I hope as time passes you realize that you’re likely not a serial killer. Sociopaths and psychopaths tend to have zero self awareness or conscience and I see both of those qualities in your posts so…I think you’re gonna be safe from a segment on Deadly Women. 😉

    Again, thanks for broaching this topic, look forward to future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow thank you for sharing some of your story!! I’m sure there’s so much more to it but I very much appreciate your candor!
      And I am similar heh I mean my borderline shows through my whole life and being but in relationships it’s especially bad. It’s better for me to just be by myself for awhile. And my dog is my saving grace now haha.
      I’m glad that you’ve found not so much a solution, but a way to cope with everything that you’ve been through and/or been diagnosed with. Thank you for the encouragement and I know you’ll continue to rock being a mom 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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