Bound together by tragedy

It’s the moment that felt like it would never come: the inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s convictions begins on Monday.

Next week has been set aside to hear evidence relevant to forensic pathology and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). April 15-16 have been set aside to hear evidence relevant to genetics and cardiology. April 17-18 have been set aside for Kathy to give evidence, if she chooses to do so.

On Sunday night, 60 Minutes will run an interview with an Australian mother who suffered an identical tragedy to Kathy – her four children dying of SIDS – but who walked free from court.

The program notes: “Kathleen Folbigg and Carol Matthey are mothers bound by terrible tragedy: both had four babies die. But while Kathleen was found guilty of murder and jailed, Carol was never convicted.”

It’s the first time in 12 years that Carol Matthey has spoken to the media after walking free from a preliminary hearing in 2007.

My friend Tracy Chapman has told Justice for Kathleen Folbigg: “I had the privilege of meeting Carol, spending time with her and hearing her story. The correlations between the two cases are astounding … The outcomes in both cases are polar opposites. The suffering of these two women, undeniable.”

Watch the preview of the 60 Minutes segment below:

We have no idea how the finished program will pan out. Will it paint Kathy as Australia’s worst serial killer or suggest reasonable doubt?

A group of Kathy’s supporters plan to be there for the inquiry.

“Next week I’ll sit watching Lidcome Coroner’s Court, heart in mouth, knowing that many years of hard work and dedication are about to decide Kath’s future,” Tracy said.

She has thanked the author Emma Cunliffe, Kathy’s legal team and friends who have worked tirelessly to make this milestone moment happen.

Intense days ahead, especially for Kathy, who has spent the last 16 years in a jail cell and desperately hopes the expert witnesses will convince the inquiry that she didn’t murder her four children.





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