Folbigg diaries a “dump” of her emotions

Convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg told a close friend she used her incriminating diaries to “dump” her negative emotions in her grief and blamed herself, feeling that she had “failed as a mother, a woman”, letters tendered in an inquiry into her conviction show, reports Rhiannon Down in The Australian (Feb 15, 2023). 

The inquiry will examine more than 130 pages of private correspondence between Folbigg and her childhood friend, Tracy Chapman, from shortly after she was imprisoned in 2003 to 2021, which speak to the strength of her diaries as evidence of her guilt.

Folbigg denied that she was responsible for her children’s deaths in one letter penned behind bars, referring to a damning line in her diaries in which she had said she was her “father’s daughter”. Her father murdered her mother when she was just 18 months old. “I did what I had been told to do years before by a grief counsellor,” the letter said. “Write it all down empty your soul, free your heart & mind. Lovely advice that turned out to be wasn’t it. I am my fathers (sic) daughter definitely, not referring to him being a murderer.

Folbigg’s diaries written over the decade that her four children Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura died were a compelling piece of evidence in her trial in which she was convicted for three counts of murder and one of manslaughter. Another letter refers to passages of her diaries which alluded to her feelings that her children had chosen to leave her and were spirited away by supernatural forces.

“The diaries were used to “dump” every negative emotion, feeling thought I’ve ever had,” the letter said. “I eternally worried that my mood would transfer and create an edgy child etc. I thought I was to blame, I blamed myself … I convinced myself that I had failed as a mother. A woman even.

In its second day, the inquiry heard from scientists Carola Vinuesa and Todor Arsov, who together found the novel variant in the calmodulin or CALM2 gene, with the hearing becoming bogged down by questioning over a fainting episode Folbigg suffered when she was 11 or 12.

Professor Vinuesa told the inquiry that she had spoken to Folbigg on the phone and visited her in prison to discuss her genetic mutation, which she believed to be “pathogenic”. “I’m not the person that is going to say if she killed them or not and cannot draw a definitive conclusion,” she said. “What I can do is have a personal opinion as an extension of my professional work. I can draw some conclusions from our work … I don’t think anyone in this room can say she killed them or not, but there is reasonable evidence that we have some natural causes of death.”

Professor Vinuesa also defended her role in the case, fending off questions that cut to her objectivity in relation to the case. “I did try to approach it objectively; when I was approached I had never heard of Ms Folbigg. I have to this day not been paid a cent. It has taken us numerous reports and numerous hours of my work out-ofhours,” she said. “I do this because I believe in the science that we do and I would like to draw some conclusions in the science. I take personal interest in the work but it is not about the individuals, it is about the science.”

When questioned on the likelihood that the children died from a genetic condition, Professor Arsov said: “We can’t say anything categorically in this inquiry but we can talk about probably or likelihoods”.

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51 Responses to Folbigg diaries a “dump” of her emotions

  1. tony brownlee says:

    Let us all hope/wish that the Bathurst Enquiry arrives at what must now be an obvious positive conclusion for Folbigg and that same resonates across many other bad decisions.

  2. Garry Stannus says:

    Editor: regarding “Carrie C.P.” I must ask, have your antennae detected a return of that diligent scientist – and thus ‘expert’ – from Adelaide way?

  3. Carry C.P. says:


    You have a point that was beyond my understanding.

    So I decided to read further into it. Where does one go if one wants a legal opinion on any of the significant cases in Australia? Anyone who is reasonably familiar with your website would know that here is a legal academic, Dr Bob Moles, who writes opinions and posts on his website. The following are the first few paragraphs from Bob’s recent briefing paper:


    “On the current inquiry, former Chief Justice Bathurst, the judge conducting the hearing, asked counsel assisting the inquiry, if “a reasonable hypothesis inconsistent with guilt” arose from the genetic evidence, viewed in isolation. Counsel replied “Yes, your honour”. (19 February Sydney Morning Herald).

    In my view that as soon as counsel assisting gave that answer, the judge should have immediately referred the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal as he is entitled to do.

    That is a ground upon which an appeal would be allowed – in a circumstantial case – if there is an explanation of the circumstances consistent with the innocence of the accused (or inconsistent with the accused’s guilt), then the person may not be convicted. The law is quite clear on that.”


    See ‘Briefing Paper Bob Moles: The Kathleen Folbigg case 21 February 2023’

    Based on Bob’s opinion, it is my understanding that the Judge in the current inquiry has to decide whether there is reasonable doubt that warrants the case to be referred to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

    Anyway, given that the current inquiry was established to look into the genetic evidence I don’t understand why they are going into the whole case again. Below is an extract from Terms of Reference:
    WHEREAS it appears that there is a doubt or question as to part of the evidence in the proceedings leading to the conviction of Kathleen Megan Folbigg on 21 May 2003 of the following offences:
    1. the manslaughter of Caleb Folbigg on 20 February 1989;
    2. maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm upon Patrick Folbigg on 18 October 1990,
    with intent to do grievous bodily harm;
    3. the murder of Patrick Folbigg on 13 February 1991;
    4. the murder of Sarah Folbigg on 30 August 1993; and
    5. the murder of Laura Folbigg on 1 March 1999;

    AND WHEREAS that doubt or question concerns evidence that a genetic variant (CALM2-G114R) identified in DNA samples from Sarah Folbigg and Laura Folbigg has biophysical and functional consequences that may cause cardiac arrythmias and sudden unexpected death in young children, such consequences being the subject of research published in March 2021 following the completion in July 2019 of the previous inquiry into the said convictions directed pursuant to s 77(1)(a) of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001;

    • Carry C.P. says:

      I have recently obtained a better understanding of what the current inquiry is required to do. The following is Bob Moles’ more recent opinion:


      “the existence of ‘reasonable doubt’ is the criterion to be used by the appeal court to set aside the conviction.

      As this inquiry is only an application for leave to appeal, the
      criterion to be used by the inquiry is whether ‘it is reasonable arguable that there is reasonable doubt’ which is not quite so demanding as the reasonable doubt test itself.”


      So the decision that the Judge has to make is whether the evidence that waa presented meets the threshold such that it can be reasonable argued that there is reasonable doubt’. In Bob’s opinion, that is not quite so demanding as the reasonable doubt test itself.

      • Father Ted Whalensky says:

        Is any person suggesting there is NO reasonable doubt in the Kathleen Folbigg verdict-in the SNF Sue verdict- in the scurrilous Chamberlain verdict-( dingoe bite expert from Londinium)- the Ray Bailey size 5 shoe print-murder by the South Australian GITS . Every single verdict influenced by that Police Fraudulent Evidence Supplier of the Illustrious South Australian vomit justice system ! Derek Bromley done like a duck in an oven by the PARAGONS of Justice and honest virtue ? The murder of Dr. George Duncan by South Australian gutless Police heroes-broke his arms then threw him in the river- NICE, Dr. George Duncan was a man of high esteem and IQ.The dear Policeymens who murder had an IQs. of chimpanzees ! Needless to say they got off Scott free- just as they do when them Policeymens murder Aboriginals.

  4. Carry C.P. says:

    Robert Greenshields,

    What on earth has your most recent reply have to do with one’s ability to understand the evidence and in an unbiased and objective manner decide whether the presented evidence raises a reasonable doubt?

    Peter Gill,

    The science related to the gen e mutation cannot be faulted. It most certainly isn’t junk science. The question is whether the science that was presented raises reasonable doubt about the safety of the conviction. Given that the two Folbigg girls shared the same mutation as their mother who hadn’t had any serious medical problems is is highly likely that the gene mutation is of a kind whose effect was mild rather than life threatening.

    • Robert Greenshields says:

      Jolly good show, again, Carry.

      As you have written, you “are extremely well read,” and as I have written “Jolly good show” along with”all the best”; I absorb your statements and comments, with interest, especially your comment on February the 22nd where in your opinion,” scientific and medical expert opinions cannot resolve this case.” Take care, and again all the very best.

      • Carry C.P. says:

        Folbigg was convicted largely on the basis of her diary entries.

        Folbigg’s own explanation of her diary entries during the 1s inquiry convinced me that she did it. The judge also concluded that the inquiry just affirmed her guilt.

        • Carry C.P. says:

          The current inquiry was approved on the basis of the new scientific evidence. But that new scientific evidence hasn’t raised reasonable doubt (at least not in my mind).

          • andrew says:

            I understand the inquiry, not being a court of law, is an instrument to find whether the case should be referred back to the appeal court to consider the case in light of testimony discovered at the inquiry.

      • Father Ted Whalensky says:

        Jolly good show Bigglesworth – telly ho – Algy – Let’s educate the Appeals Courts – more agregious than the Luftwaffe. Roger Ginger – Lookout ! Forensics at 12 o’clock . Behind you Greenshields – a Schwarm of Prosecutors . Corkscrew to Port ! (that’s to the left ya mug) A right wing bias ? MAY DAY ! MAY DAY ! (for justice in Australia)

    • Peter Gill says:

      Kathleen Folbigg’s fainting episodes, especially the one at the swimming pool, were discussed at the live-streamed Inquiry the other day. I wouldn’t regard her as having had no serious medical problems. But I’m not in a position to pass judgement.

      • Carry C.P. says:

        I am not aware of any medical records that verify Folbigg’s claims (over a phone to one of the geneticists) about fainting. Otherwise, had the medical records been submitted to verify her claims, I would agree that there is reasonable doubt about her conviction. Based on my reading, the geneticist told Folbigg about some signs of CALM2 variant (including fainting). Folbigg then mentioned about a fainting episode (or episodes). But so far her medical records haven’t been submitted to verify her claims.

        Folbigg then toldvher

      • Carry C.P. says:

        Peter Gill,

        Before I wrote “Given that the two Folbigg girls shared the same mutation as their mother who hadn’t had any serious medical problems is is highly likely that the gene mutation is of a kind whose effect was mild rather than life threatening.” I went through all the publicly available information to learn whether Folbigg’s lawyers ever provided medical records to verify Folbigg’s 2019 claims that she had a number of fainting episodes. There is no absolutely any evidence that verifies her claims.

        What I did learn was how the idea of fainting came up. The following was reported on 14th Feb 2023:


        On Tuesday, the inquiry heard a January 2019 phone call between Folbigg in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre and Professor Carola Garcia de Vinuesa, an immunologist and geneticist then based in Canberra.

        Vinuesa worked as part of a team of geneticists to analyse the genomes of Folbigg and her children for a previous inquiry into her convictions.

        “I only get six minutes for each of these calls,” Folbigg explained as beeps were heard on the line.

        Folbigg told Vineusa she’d had a “really quiet” Christmas because “we get locked back in … to our cells at 12 o’clock in the afternoon.”

        Vinuesa said researchers were looking at “genes that have been associated with conditions that can cause sudden death”.

        There is now a list of genes that have been proven to cause some … cardiac conditions. Sometimes it can lead to … either sudden cardiac death or episodes of … syncope, or fainting.”

        Folbigg told Vinuesa that she had “tended to faint” after physical exertion as a teenager and when she was sick, such as with “flus, measles, that sort of thing”.

        “I remember a swimming carnival where I got out the end of the pool and just fainted,” she said.

        See the linked article:

        Based on that phone conversation between Professor de Vinuesa and Ms Folbigg, I concluded that without any medical records to verify Folbigg’s claim it is likely that Folbigg made up the story of fainting.

        • Peter Gill says:

          Some of Folbigg’s school friends remember Folbigg fainting at the school swimming carnival, but they have not been called up to give evidence.

          • Carry C.P. says:

            Can you provide more info? How do you know that? Was it something that Folbigg told you when you visited her or was it something that Folbigg wrote to her friend Chapman? Or was it mentioned during the 2nd inquiry but not reported by the media?

            I think that had such witnesses existed that Folbigg’s legal team would have at least obtained affidavits.

          • Carry C.P. says:


            I just found an online transcript of the 14th Nov 2022. It does talk about a friend witnessing the fainting episodes. I will read the whole transcript to understand it all before commenting further.

            [ I haven’t seen that part of the evidence mentioned in any news articles I read so far.]

          • Father Ted Whalensky says:

            Just remenber-rule 1A- for judges and prosecutors- never call any witness whom might undermine or damage your sought after conviction of the innocent ! eg. Local Dingo expert-Disgusting GM under body spray DNA . ( foetal blood)–size 5 shoe of Little SA. State Murdered Ray Bailey-terrified by the Tasmaniac Police-Vass and the DNA blue cloth-evidence that Robert Ryan didnt fire any shot at the prison guard ! Hang him anyway- because we are tuff guys- ( stinking swine more like ). Clear evidence that the Illustrious SA Justice System used that hunk of fraud forensics person to convict the innocent many times-

          • Father Ted Whalensky says:

            Any inconvenient evidence or witnesses will be excluded / rubbished or ignored by the smashed avocado brigades- never letting the truth stuff up a good screenplay . This procedure is part of the lectures in Police College Mendolsohn Miller learnt that the hard way ! The whole NSW police force went after him- —the police union-the commissioner-they all hated his honest guts something they found difficult to cope with- other than murder of course !

  5. Carry C.P. says:


    I am familiar with the scientific/medical evidence because I read the scientific paper months ago. My friend (another physicist) and I concluded independently that the scientific evidence wasn’t as strong as Folbigg’s lawyers were making it out to be in their petition prior to the announcement of the 2nd inquiry.

    The scientific paper I am referring to is

    ‘Infanticide vs. inherited cardiac arrhythmias’

    EP Europace, Volume 23, Issue 3, March 2021, Pages 441–450,

    Published: 17 November 2020

    The authors concluded as follows:

    “Thus, calmodulinopathy emerges as a reasonable explanation for a natural cause of their deaths.”

    To my understanding, the scientific evidence is that the gene variant can cause death but that it doesn’t necessarily cause death. It’s my opinion that

    I haven’t read any more recent scientific publications on this but based on the various expert opinions at this second inquest it appears that the experts are divided. The scientists who published the research on the gene variant have a one view whereas a heart specialist has another view. I think that the scientists who have provided evidence at the current inquiry were stretching their opinion because they are eager to help Folbigg and are eager to prove to the legal system that science can solve cases.

    My opinion is that scientific and medical expert opinions cannot resolve this case.

    • andrew says:

      If “scientific and medical expert opinions cannot resolve this case” perhaps the inquiry should go back to first principles in criminal law and conclude that developments in medical science since the trial have established reasonable doubt about the guilt of the accused. That would return Folbigg to the embrace of the presumption of innocence.

      • Carry C.P. says:

        Some experts at the current inquiry do agree that the “developments in medical science since the trial have established reasonable doubt about the guilt of the accused” but other experts disagree with the opinion that the new medical evidence provides a reasonable doubt. That’s the point I was trying to make.

        Just like in any other criminal trial where there are experts on both sides of the case, the experts will disagree. This is unlike what occurred during Henry Keogh’s successful appeal where the experts for the State agreed that it was an accidental death.

        In the Wood case, the experts on the two sides gave opposing opinions.

        • andrew says:

          I maintain that if experts disagree on crucial evidence, a jury acting rationally must entertain reasonable doubt.

          As for the Wood case, Prof Cross may have convinced the police, prosecution and even the jury that Wood was capable of spear throwing a body off the Gap (not me, though) … he didn’t provide evidence that Wood had actually done so. But the prosecution parlayed the swimming pool tests into incriminating expert evidence. I suggest that was a misuse of science.

          • Carry C.P. says:

            I maintain that when experts disagree on crucial evidence, a jury acting rationally must also take into account non-expert opinion to decide whether a reasonable doubt exists.

      • Carry C.P. says:

        Don’t know if you missed this:

        No evidence’ gene mutation caused Folbigg deaths: US doctor

        February 17, 2023 — 2.28pm

        “A US-based professor of medicine and cardiology has told an inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s convictions over the deaths of her four children that there is insufficient evidence to conclude a rare genetic mutation caused the deaths of her two daughters.

        Calum MacRae, who is based at Harvard Medical School, told the inquiry in Sydney on Friday that there was “a possibility” Sarah and Laura Folbigg died as a result of the variant, but he did not “think any of the evidence [to date] suggests that it’s a reasonable possibility”.

        • Carry C.P. says:

          Another expert doesn’t see reasonable doubt. Read from today’s hearing as below:


          Inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg babies’ deaths probes genetic mutations

          Dr Dominic Abrams told the inquiry on Wednesday he analysed exercise tests performed on Folbigg to determine whether she had CPTV.

          “It is possible but unlikely to my mind that Kathleen Folbigg has a very low of CPTV and her two children died of mild CPTV,” Dr Abrams said.

          He said this “shifts weight” away from Sarah and Laura’s death being related to the pathogenic variant linked to arrhythmia.

          Dr Abrams said his findings were not influenced by the fact Patrick and Caleb didn’t share the same genetic variant found in the girls.

          “I was very much focussed on the calmodulin of the two girls. My assessment was focused on the role of the calmodulin variant, but it’s important to look at the family as a whole obviously,” he said.

          “Obviously you have four children with a similar death, two who have the calmodulin variant and two who did not.

          • Carry C.P. says:

            Forensic pathologists view Folbigg homicide as unlikely

            But differing pathology opinions spotlight complexity of analysis


          • Peter Gill says:

            At an Inquiry like this one or indeed at any trial, it’s inevitable that there are two sides, ie experts with differing opinions.

            That’s because one side produces their experts and the other side produces experts to counter them. Many or some of the experts are paid for their evidence.

            My point is that your point about there being differing opinions at this Inquiry is not surprising.

            I think Tom Bathurst’s role is to decide whether Kathleen Folbigg’s side has produced junk science experts who should be ignored, or whether the other side (i.e. the experts brought along by the ODPP or by Craig or by Cala or by the other people who have barristers at the Inquiry) has done enough to remove reasonable doubt by producing as much evidence as they can to rebuff the Kathleen Folbigg side.

      • Robert Greenshields says:

        Without wanting to be sounding or appearing patronising Andrew, I also tend to accept your statement that if at the conclusion of medical/scientific evidence, a reasonable doubt is among the variables and a resultant factor, then Kathleen, is determiningly deserving of the presupposition of innocence.

        I respect, and recognise the valuable input of truly educated and qualified boffins, especially in cases/issues or matters that include defined parameters and argument that can include the sciences and physics, but, being unable to see the forest through the trees, is a long recognised idiom and certainty.

        • Carry C.P. says:


          I am very widely read in a number of different scientific fields (including forensic DNA research and real case studies). My opinion on the KL case isn’t all that different from anyone with an unbiased and objective scientific mind who is aware of the total evidence in this case. See for example this article by a science writer

          He ends his article by saying:

          “That means, while the G114R research has been acknowledged by all experts so far to be of a high quality, it may be that another explanation arises that casts reasonable doubt over Kathleen Folbigg’s murder and manslaughter convictions”

          • Robert Greenshields says:

            Jolly good show Carry, and thank you for the additional information.
            Personally I tend to embrace fellow travellers who willingly adhere to fundamentally transparent honesty, egalitarianism, and an altruistic humanity incorporating persistance.

            I have read that “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistance,
            Talent will not; Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent…
            Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a legend…
            Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts…
            Persistance and Perseverance alone are omnipotent.

            You have most likely read the same quote at some time or another, so please don’t feel that I am making light of your input and work on this issue, all the best. Robert.

  6. Carry C.P. says:

    Editor: this is a corrected version (I missed the word ‘anyway’).

    just downloaded the 2019 report:

    ‘Report of the Inquiry into the convictions of Kathleen Megan Folbigg’

    July 2019

    The following is on Page 69, paragraph 116:

    “There is a problem with his security level with me, and he has a morbid fear about Laura. He, well, I know there is nothing wrong with her, nothing out of the ordinary anyway, because it was me. Not them.”

    [The judge referred to both the trial transcript and to the Diary exhibits as follows:

    ’13 May 2003 T1349.6-10; Exhibit AZ, Diaries tender bundle, p 231.’]

  7. Peter Gill says:

    The official court recorder wrote into the Transcripts of her Trial this diary extract which had been read aloud by the prosecutor Tedeschi:

    ‘There is a problem with his security level about me, and he has a morbid fear about Laura. He, well, I know there is nothing wrong with her, nothing out of the ordinary anyway, because it was me. Not them. What does that mean? What could that possibly mean other than this? Craig has terrible fear about losing Laura like he lost the others. I know there is nothing with her, nothing out of the ordinary anyway, because I killed them. They didn’t just die”. That is what it means.

    The court reporter closed the inverted commas (which he puts around Folbigg’s words) after Tedeschi’s words … I killed them. They didn’t just die”. By juxtaposing his own words with Folbigg’s, and creating confusion about who says what, Tedeschi inserted a confession. The court recorder was fooled. The Judge at the previous Inquiry also seems to have been fooled into thinking there’s a confession in the diaries, when the confession is created by how Tedeschi read out the diary extracts, not in the original diary entries.

    Folbigg never confessed.

    I wonder how many of the jury members were fooled. We’ll never know.

    By conflating his (Tedeschi’s) own words with Folbigg’s words, the prosecutor Tedeschi created an apparent confession when there is none. This style of prosecution was pointed out by Professor Emma Cunliffe on pages 145 and 146 of her outstanding 2011 book “Murder, Medicine and Motherhood”.

    • andrew says:

      Thanks Peter, a stunning revelation and important for the current inquiry.

      • Peter Gill says:

        I doubt if the current Inquiry will hear about it.

        According to the Trove database, there is a copy of Cunliffe’s book in the R O Blanch Library at the NSW Office of the DPP, but I doubt if anyone will look at it this year.

        I’m just an onlooker.

    • Don Wakeling says:

      Peter, has this false ” reading” by Tedeshi ever been raised before ?

      • Peter Gill says:

        It’s in Professor Cunliffe’s 2011 book. If you live in Sydney, you can drop in at a university library to read that book, ref

        Tedeschi would claim it’s not false … if the listener listens very clearly to what he actually said, rather than what the court recorder heard. I’ve quoted the exact punctuation from her book.

        I don’t know if it rated a mention at the previous Inquiry or at this Inquiry. It certainly didn’t rate a mention at the original Trial, nor at the first Appeal, nor at the second Appeal. But they were prior to 2011 when Cunliffe’s book was published.

        Don – If you’d like two more examples of how the same prosecutor created a widespread false impression without actually saying the words, please let me know and I’ll put them here. Another one from the Folbigg trial, and one from the Keli Lane trial.

        • Carry C.P. says:

          I read the 2005 Appeal Court decision

          There a number of rather damning extracts from Folbigg’s diary (included below).

          The judges on the appeal wrote:

          “These entries make chilling reading in the light of the known history of Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura. The entries were clearly admissible in the Crown case. Assuming that they were authentic, which was not disputed; and that they were serious diary reflections, which was not disputed; then the probative value of the material was, in my opinion, damning. The picture painted by the diaries was one which gave terrible credibility and persuasion to the inference, suggested by the overwhelming weight of the medical evidence, that the five incidents had been anything but extraordinary coincidences unrelated to acts done by KF.”


          3 June 1990: This was the day that Patrick was born. I had mixed feelings this day. wether or not I was going to cope as a mother or wether I was going to get stressed out like I did last time. I often regret Caleb & Patrick, only because your life changes so much, and maybe I’m not a Person that likes change. But we will see?

          18 June 1996: I’m ready this time. And I know Ill have help & support this time. When I think Im going to loose control like last times Ill just hand baby over to someone else.

          …. I have learnt my lesson this time.

          4 December 1996: [found out she was pregnant]. I’m ready this time. But have already decided if I get any feelings of jealousy or anger to much I will leave Craig & baby, rather than answer being as before. Silly but will be the only way I will cope.

          1 January 1997: Another year gone & what a year to come. I have a baby on the way, …… This time. I am going to call for help this time & not attempt to do everything myself any more – I know that that was the main Reason for all my stress before & stress made me do terrible things.

          4 February 1997: Still can’t sleep. Seem to be thinking of Patrick & Sarah & Caleb. Makes me generally wonder whether I am stupid or doing the right thing by having this baby. My guilt of how responsible I feel for them all, haunts me, my fear of it happening again haunts me.

          ……. What scares me most will be when Im alone with baby. How do I overcome that? Defeat that?

          16 May 1997: …. Craig says he will stress & worry but he still seems to sleep okay every night & did with Sarah. I really needed him to wake that morning & take over from me. This time Ive already decided if ever feel that way again I’m going to wake him up.

          25 October 1997: …. I cherish Laura more, I miss her [Sarah] yes but am not sad that Laura is here & she isn’t. Is that a bad way to think, don’t know. I think I am more patient with Laura. I take the time to figure what is rong now instead of just snapping my cog. … Wouldn’t of handled another like Sarah. She’s saved her life by being different.

          29 October 1997: felt a little angry towards Laura today. It was because I am & was very tired. … she [Laura] doesn’t push my Button any where near the extent she [Sarah] did. Luck is good for her is all I can say.

          3 November 1997: Lost it with her earlier. Left her crying in our bedroom – had to walk out – that feeling was happening. And I think it was because I had to clear my head & prioritise. As I’ve done in here now.

          I love her I really do I don’t want anything to happen.

          9 November 1997: … he [Craig] has a morbid fear about Laura. … well I know theres nothing wrong with her. Nothing out of ordinary any way. Because it was me not them. … With Sarah all I wanted was her to shut up. And one day she did.

          19 November 1997: Bit nervous tonight. Laura $ I are by ourselves tonight.”

          “8 November [sic, December] 1997: Had a bad day today, lost it with Laura a couple of times. She cried most of the day. Why do I do that. … Got to stop placing so much importance on myself. — funny how, now she’s [Laura’s] here, we can’t seem to imagine a life without her dominating every move. Much try to release my stress somehow. I’m starting to take it out on her. Bad move. Bad things & thoughts happen when that happen. I will never happen again.”

          “New Year’s Eve, 1997: Getting Laura to be next year ought to be fun. She’ll realise a Party is going on. And that will be it. Wonder if the battle of the wills will start with her & I then. We’ll actually get to see. She’s a fairly good natured baby – Thank goodness, it has saved her from the fate of her siblings. I think she was warned.”

          28 January 1998: I’ve done it. I lost it with her. I yelled at her so angrily that it scared her, she hasn’t stopped crying. Got so bad I nearly purposely dropped her on the floor & left her. I restrained enough to put her on the floor & walk away. Went to my room & left her to cry. Was gone probably only 5 minutes but it seemed like a lifetime. I feel like the worst mother on this earth. Scared that she’ll leave me know. Like Sarah did. I know I was short tempered & cruel sometimes to her & she left. With a bit of help. I don’t want that to ever happen again. I actually seem to have a bond with Laura. It can’t happen again. Im ashamed of myself. I can’t tell Craig about it because he’ll worry about leaving her with me. Only seems to happen if I’m too tired her moaning, bored, wingy sound, drives me up the wall. I truly can’t wait until she’s old enough to tell me what she wants.

          6 March 1998: Laura not well, really got on my nerves today, snapped & got really angry, but not nearly as bad as I used to get.

          13 March 1998: Seem to have a good day. She didn’t piss me off more than a couple of times.

          1 April 1998: Thought to myself today. Difference with Sarah, Pat, Caleb to Laura, with Laura I’m ready to share my life. I definitely wasn’t before.”


          • andrew says:

            We have published articles that comb through the wicked medical and legal issues in this case. It may be useful for commenters to read a couple:

          • Carry C.P. says:

            I am not an expert in human behaviour but my life experience of raising children (and seeing how other parents raise children) tells me that many of the extracts from Folbigg’s diary are indicative of a mother who has a difficulty in adjusting to a life of having to raise children. Who yells at their own young child such that it scares the child? Battle of wills between a mother and a young child?

            One doesn’t need psychologists nor psychiatrists to explain the diaries. I use my experience in life to conclude that Folbigg didn’t have much patience with her children and found it very stressful to raise them.

          • Peter Gill says:

            Thanks for the extracts. The 9 Nov 1997 one is the one which the transcriber (probably Tedeschi) edited a bit and altered the punctuation slightly, which in my opinion changes the meaning.

            In the two extracts immediately after that one, there are three (small) differences between the actual original diary entries by Kathleen Folbigg and the ones you posted above which the Judges and jury saw.

            All those diary entries are entirely consistent with a mother who feels guilty that her yelling and annoyance has contributed to their deaths.

            Can you imagine what it’s like to have one young child after another die, with the deaths occurring not long after the mother has yelled at them? Neither can I. The mother might well start feeling very guilty, imagining that when she yells at them, it triggers something which contribute to their death.

            And how normal is yelling at kids? Studies suggest that 90% of parents yell at their kids sometimes. Ref (for example)

            But Folbigg didn’t know how normal it is to yell at kids. Hence her feelings of guilt,

            I believe that none of the mothers who actually did kill their kids in USA and elsewhere ever wrote anything in diaries. Lucia de Berk in Netherlands was suspected due to her diaries, but in due course she was properly cleared (ref Wikipedia). If Folbigg were a murderer, it wouldn’t make sense that after suspicion arose on her due to Meadows Law, Folbigg left some of the diaries where people could easily find them.

            The diaries are an expression of guilt. Guilt that she felt responsible in some way for her kids dying, not guilt that she actually killed them.

    • Carry C.P. says:

      How do you know that what you are claiming is a fact rather than someone’s twisted interpretation of what was said?

      • Carry C.P. says:

        The diaries were made available to the judge at the previous inquiry. Surely he would have read the most damming part of the diary. Who wouldn’t? Perhaps the jury at Folbigg’s trial was also given access to the diary.

        • Peter Gill says:

          The selected slightly edited Diary Extracts, chosen by the prosecutor Tedeschi for the original trial, were available.

          Some of the actual original diaries were available.
          Ref the exhibit list at the first Inquiry:

          which lists the Exhibits provided to the first Inquiry from the original trial. There’s plenty of Diary Entries listed there – they are Tedeschi’s interpretation of the actual diary entries, with only minor changes such as removing or changing the punctuation to alter meaning (once) or sort of inserting a confession (only once). Many of his Diary Extracts are actually the same as the original.

          That Exhibits list includes a few but not all of the original diaries, namely exhibits L and AK2. Exhibit J seems to be extracts, not a full diary.

          There’s 664 pages in that attachment for you to read through. And that’s only one small part of what was presented to the first Inquiry. Surely it’s impossible for Judge Reg Blanch to have read everything.

          So – were the diaries made available to the Judge at the previous Inquiry? The evidence seems to suggest that not all of them were. It’s hard to know. The slightly edited extracts which Tedeschi read out at the Trial most certainly were available.

      • Don Wakeling says:

        Surely the “fact” ( as opposed to “twisted interpretation” ) would be self evident in the comparison between the diary entry itself and the recording from which the transcript was made.

      • Peter Gill says:

        Because I’m not a barrister and neither is Professor Cunliffe. :)
        (with my apologies to the many earnest barristers out there).

        I’m not good at creating false impressions.

        Nobody has ever disputed it.

        It’s there in print in the Trial’s transcripts.

  8. Robert Greenshields says:

    To me, and I respect the valued opinions of others, Kathleens diaries have seemingly taken on a subjective dimension, possibly and probably equivalent to the historically heralded “Jerilderie Letter”, as dictated by Edward Kelly to Joe Byrne in the latter years of the 19th century.

    Sadly, so many insincere factors are cemented through existing conditions into our national cultures through poorly perpetuated administrative practices, recognised as neo colonial, that still infest, not just superficially, but with absolute indemnity, our legal and judicial processes, and in turn regress the lives of millions of Australian citizens to this very day.

    Recorded statements can be viewed from all perspectives by those seeking elements of fundamental honesty, or alternatively twisted and distorted beyond factual representation by those driven by agendas alternate to a specified functionality. Science I believe is an ever evolving, advancing, dynamic, and when “internationally credible evidence” is bought to the fore front in legal disputes it is necessary, I concur, to include it as of primary and fundamental importance.

    Australian citizens have been fed misinformation and disinformation since our inception as a colony. It has been written, and is now widely recognised as factual, that the British Empire inspired, instigated, and initiated violent acts of the colonial era was not just directed at our nations first population; inhabitants from Asia, Europe, and the Americas who did not transparently adopt British Imperialist values were also readily earmarked and physically and psychologically terrorised and traumatised. Court proceedings and historical legal entries, along with private records, substantiate the continuity of British Empire induced brutality The very fact that perjury, with absolute impunity, coupled to the manipulation and misuse of supposed legitimised, legislated, legal procedures can still be an instrument and practice of so many accepted venal policing officers in this day and age, is undeniable confirmation many of our police forces authorised personnel, are not worthy, as in the colonial era, of the positions they fill.

    Courts along with their cohorts in policing and the judiciary across Australia need to be more closely investigated and held to account; the old adage that “honesty is the best policy,” is, and has been trashed to the degree that it would be a very brave man or woman who would ever believe anything that this broad church of cowardly, complying, and criminally colluding, public servants, ever said, or wrote.

    Maintain the faith Kathleen, through your long years of incarceration you have committed yourself to the processes of declared innocence, and your predicament is yet again testimony to the transparent fact that much is of a foundering fiasco in and among our legal authorities administrations, in this struggling nation.

  9. Steven Fennell says:

    With respect to Professor Arsov’s comment …………on the likelihood that the children died from a genetic condition, Professor Arsov said: “We can’t say anything categorically in this inquiry but we can talk about probably or likelihoods”.

    This speculative reply “…probably or likelihoods” reminds me of the forensic conclusions announced by the scientist in the Baden Clay case which determined with authority that they didn’t know and could not say how Allison Baden-Clay died.

    I make no comments, or assertions as to the guilt or innocence of Kathleen Folbigg, my comments are directed at the piss poor scientific utterances from which the jury had to make a decision

    The phrase “probably or likelihoods” is one my bookmaker offers to mug punters when offering odds on a sports event!

  10. Peter Gill says:

    The Inquiry is being live-streamed from a link halfway down this page:

    It’s not recorded, so you can only watch it live (and free) from 10am until that day’s witnesses are finished, which could be 3pm or 4pm. Monday to Friday until 3 March. I think there’s a lunch break between 1pm and 2pm. This three week final part of the Inquiry will address cardiac and genetic evidence as well as psychology, psychiatry and other evidence relevant to Ms Folbigg’s diaries. The sole Judge in charge is Tom Bathurst.

    I visited Folbigg in jail once. She seemed nice.

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