Mothers accused of killing their four babies | 60 Minutes AustraliaJun 08, 2021
there is a more hated woman in
australiathan phobic kathleen for 10 years one by one she killed her
babiesher crimes are so inconceivable that it is still hard to understand how and why she did it until you consider that this may be Kathleen Fahlberg was wrongly
accusedher She has always maintained her innocence and tomorrow a judicial investigation begins that reviews her conviction that could lead to her freedom after 15 years in prison in the hope that it is true, Carol with a mouth is more than anyone knows what Kathleen endured because incredibly she was also
babiesthe two cases are remarkably similar even to the expert witnesses called to determine the truth, but while Kathleen was convicted as Australia's worst serial killer of women Carol Massey's prosecution was dropped charged but never convicted of
killingher four babies while this mother believes she deserves a Overwhelming sympathy for the loss of Ella, she is instead haunted by suspicions that Ella murdered them in all four murders in five years.
This is the first time Carol has spoken publicly about the sudden death of her children, sitting here in front of you. disturbed person who is capable of committing the most monstrous things committing a murder four times Who am I? Sitting across from someone who is dealing with an unimaginable amount of pain. I will do anything for my babies. At the center of this tragedy is the question of what to believe. one medical expert says it's a homicide i have no doubt so he's saying carroll matthew got away with murder yes i think so another expert says there's no evidence of foul play i think it would be too simple to suggest that just because there have been a series of deaths that we can use that evidence and that evidence alone to say that someone is guilty of serial murder.
Four deaths in one family was enough to convict New South W. ales woman phobic kathleen but not close enough to convict carol mathy surprisingly similar cases even the same experts but one woman walks free the other is sent to jail now carol has given up her anonymity by joining forces with phobic supporters to help free kathleen, a woman she fears was falsely accused and wrongly convicted. in Carol's case and in the end it didn't even go to trial because the judge didn't. I myself said no, we're not accepting the findings of the experts Jacob and Shania on Chloe and Joshua.
It's a terrible list of deaths from 1998 to 2003. Carol had and lost four babies, so she was always happy. Her smile gave no hint of what was to come Jacob was the first to die at 7 months, how did he go? We found him one morning, yes, he wasn't breathing. Two years later, nine-week-old Chloe was found dead in her crib, the forensic pathologist said. both she and Jacob suffered from sudden infant death syndrome known as SIDS two years later. Joshua at three months stopped breathing at the time it was thought that his death was caused by a blood infection.
We were actually shopping at the time and we went back to the car and I picked him up from the stroller and he wasn't breathing less than a year later Shanaya was found dead in her bed she was almost three and a half years old karemera exactly what i was thinking but i think the main thing is that can't be passing again too old for seeds pathologists couldn't tell what caused shanna's death for little siblings lost in five years it was shocking and still extraordinarily weird looking at the photos of her children here it's like an album of grief this: my baby is still here even though they're gone they'll always be my babies no matter what and you just can't forget anything the children's section of any cemetery is the saddest part it's heartbreaking to think of mourning a child dead in conceivable lose for more than five years Carole buried two sons and two daughters says she was grateful for autopsies from her children who wanted answers to why s Our lives ended so prematurely but it was Shania's unexplained death that finally raised questions with the police and launched a murder investigation if you have an object like a pillow or cushion or something like that you may not see any sign of the forensic pathologist principal, dr.
David ransom is deputy director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine based at the Melvin morgue. It was here that he performed the autopsy on Shania, a three and a half year old girl. What determined the cause of her death? This man determined that I could not find a cause. of death that raised suspicions of itself he didn't raise suspicions it just added to the overall question of why his children had died and we were looking for concrete evidence that would let us know that there was something more than a natural process to give investigators something to really start investigating and we just couldn't find even though there was no evidence of foul play on any of the four children the police were still convinced they had been killed by
theirmother Carol to prove
theircase they sought the opinion like other experts interstate and international, including American pathologist dr.
Janice Pavan, as far as I'm concerned, there is no condition that we know of that would cause children to die without any evidence. Her opinion of Carol methi was damning. Clearly, in my opinion, it was consistent with either silicon or suffocation. there is no evidence for that. I do not disagree that there is no evidence for suffocation because it is well known that a baby can be suffocated without a trace when trying to determine the innocence or guilt of a parent accused of murdering their baby. the challenge for investigators is the lack of concrete physical evidence of what actually caused the baby's death, whether the baby died of natural causes or was deliberately suffocated, the evidence is the same, generally there is no none, no markings, nothing to distinguish between SIDS and homicide, and while there is no forensic evidence, there will always be lingering doubts, I think what you've faced in babies is that they often don't show up on autopsy if significant degrees of the natural cause of death that could have been present nor do their little bodies bear the marks of murder if they have been suffocated.
I don't know how you could hold a mother responsible for
killingall of her babies by suffocation. if she needs evidence that she knows she would never be there, then it is, in essence, the perfect crime, did she commit the perfect crime and I don't know why someone would want to murder her children, especially since she tried to suffocate Jacob? You didn't kill Chloe you didn't suffocate Joshua in the parking lot not in the back of your car again Carole you did something to hurt shinai but armed with the opinion of three medical experts the police arrested Carol in 2005 and charged her with the murder of all her for dead babies i could arrest her it came out of nowhere how was that scary moment but i mean what does the mind say if you haven't done anything do you think this will go on for some time You think this is going to clear up pretty quickly, look closely, I'm going to be questioned and then I'll be home that night, but that night always at Joe Carroll he was on remand for two months, the charges against him came in at the same time.
New south wales mother phobic kathleen lost her appeal, she too had been accused of killing her four babies and like carol she was the damning opinion of dr. Janice's operon that was instrumental in the police case against her. Do I think Kathleen is big or did Carol Massey kill her? her children yes i have no questions in the phobic kathleen case a jury agreed and she was sent to 30 years the parallels with carol's case were striking and terrifying her what was your biggest fear not being let out have you been in that situation for the rest of my life potentially is like why am i here if i did nothing wrong and we just had to prove i was innocent how do you do that, yeah i had nothing to hide people would call me a murderer Kittens, damning evidence, please say they could hear you choke your son, Payne's Carroll like a murderer, what was the status of your marriage, were you trying to get his? attention but the investigation is fucked up in all cases where one would fit the criteria of an organized crime how that goes on in 60
minutesso is jalawla a sad or happy place for you a little bit of both happy and sad because this is where I had my babies and where they spent time their time here was too short in five years Carol mathy lost 4 babies that number just for the children of one family was enough to make her guilty of murder in the eyes of many, What was the reaction of the community after the death of your children?
People would call me Kitty Killer and yes, just names like that. Not only was Carol guilty in the court of public opinion, but in pediatric circles, so many unexplained infant deaths confirmed a common belief: once a death is a tragedy, it's also a suspect, and a third is murder until it's proven. prove otherwise at Carol's arraignment hearing. The prosecution was based on evidence from three key experts, including American forensic pathologist Dr. Janice Hoeven said the fourth death in Carol's family raised serious suspicions about the deaths of the other three even though none of those deaths had raised red flags for the pathologists who performed the original autopsies, including dr.
David ransom they just didn't find any signs of murder, the question here is whether to give an imaginary illness the benefit of the doubt or look at the case that there is a condition that no one has seen, except in these really suspicious cases where no one has ever seen a sign or a symptom of disease and only the
mothersare present when they die if that is not enough combined with all the other information that was available in the investigation then so be it the absence of evidence does not give you you have the right to go another path that you have no evidence of, even if it happens four times in a family, even if it happens four times in a family, simply because you don't know what you don't know the case against Carol was not just based on medical evidence, Prosecutors alleged that Carol's children were ultimately killed as part of a growing campaign of attention-seeking behavior to salvage her rocky marriage to Steven, the The police said a lot of things that weren't true, like I did this to get my husband's attention, what was the status of her marriage? um it was ok it wasn't exactly the perfect marriage but who sees these days was i trying to get his attention and get his affection no i was trying to keep him in the marriage you weren't trying to get attention for any other reason No police say Carol's first attempt to win back her husband came in 1998 four months before the first death in the family a mysterious fire started in one of the children's bedrooms as the only adult in the house in the the moment Carol got her and her kids out to safety you started that fire no no I didn't and I don't have any harder reason to shoot why would I want to burn my house down I don't know unless you were trying to hurt someone or unless you're again trying to get attention, what other explanation could there be for how it was turned on or who turned it on?
I have no idea all I know is me and your kids made it out but aspects of child deaths continue t o baffle carol had already lost two babies when joshua stopped breathing they were out shopping joshua was sleeping in his stroller and, even though he was provided with a sleep apnea monitor, he wasn't hooked up to it and it wasn't until we got back to the car and i put your anger in the car and went to drop Joshua outside he was all limp and blue around the mouth so she screamed as Carole waited for an ambulance, she says she started CPR on her lifeless son in the back of her car, neither she nor the paramedics could save him.
May I ask why Joshua wasn't connected to his monitor at the time? I'm going to go shopping in the stroller. How do you feel about that decision now? I'm sorry I didn't use it, but then I think about how it used to sound all the time. Would it have sounded at the right time? It's hard to say. so you think carole methi suffocated joshua in the supermarket car park of all the cases where one would fit the criteria for racketeering how um set up to cheat shanaya's death remains just as unclear to this day before she died Shanaya fell off a coffee table which Carole called the ambulance tells the operator her daughter had stopped breathing and was unconscious but the operator says he thought he could hear whining in the background the suggestion is that those sounds were coming from shanaya the police say they heard the first call he made to the ambulance service when shinai fell off the table they could hear a child in the background what they are talking about is you could hear you choking your child that wasn't true what could they hear if that's not what they heard I don't know I don't know I don't know, do you remember that televisionwas it on?
She was crying. You weren't in the process of choking your son when you called. You asked Carol to take the three and a half year old to the doctor to be checked out, but the next morning her mother found her dead again. Carol, did you do something to hurt Shania? Did you suffocate her with a pillow? Did you suffocate her in any other way for dr. ranson no matter how badly the circumstantial case against Carol turned up couldn't find evidence that she or someone else murdered the babies may be unreliable maybe something someone else said someone else's inference someone else's interpretation of circumstances may be something incredibly dangerous and so was agreed by the Victorian Supreme Court in 2007 that the murder trial was over before the judge began along with much of the medical evidence from the star witnesses who ruled their conclusions of foul play were not backed by facts the case against Carol Murphy was dismissed and she was released to be charged with such a crime did you feel at that moment that you had been released on a technicality or not? you think you were believed that justice was done, yes I was glad to have a good legal team and a judge who saw that most police ca relied on assumptions and medical experts can be wrong and generally I'm proof that one mom walks free and the others are still in jail, so today you still think the caffeine phobic is a serial killer, but can Carole help save Kathleen? if i can help in any way i'm happy to help this one here who's still in 60
minuteson that last day when they tell you you don't have to come back here anymore this won't go to trial what were you thinking?
Did you feel a sense of relief that we didn't have to go back anymore? You must be incredibly relieved. October 24, 2007 and Carol Mathy walks free. The charges of murdering all four of her babies dropped sensationally. It was always overwhelming and I guess she was. I'm kind of glad it's over, but I don't know yet, I haven't sunk in yet. The judge found that there was no evidence that Carol was a serial killer, but for many, the suspicion against her remained. People interpreted that smile of yours as someone. Who thought I had a fool everyone, I guess it was just a relief that I didn't have to go back to court every day and it was over and we can go home and grieve and try to get on with our business.
The case against Carol Nathan Victoria fell apart when the judge refused to allow key prosecution medical witnesses to testify and found that their assumptions of suffocation were not based on fact, but it was a very different story in New Wales. South: the testimony of the same experts, including Dr. . Young Janice OTT was relied heavily on to help convict phobic Kathleen sentenced in 2003 to 30 years in prison for killing her four babies a sentence close friend Tracy Chapman still can't accept I think they've made a big mistake but I also know equally there are forces that would like to keep her behind bars because no one wants to admit that someone made the wrong decision fifteen years ago it was the expert findings that helped put Kathleen behind bars tomorrow after intense public and legal pressure those findings will be put under the microscope as a new investigation into Kathleen's conviction begins.
I know it won't be easy, but knowing that we've just done the impossible isn't surprising in itself. She is nervous. She is terrifying. against her, I guess it's almost a David and Goliath battle, really the cases of phobic Kathleen and Carol Masse are eerily and tragically similar, as Carol Kathleen lost four babies, two boys. and two girls and, like Carol Mathy, it wasn't until the death of Laura, Kathleen's fourth daughter, that pathologist dr. Alan Kaler that all the children had been deliberately suffocated by their mother when Laura died, she was between 18 and 20 months old, so that's too old for that death to be called sudden infant death syndrome and thus began a serial murder investigation two years old you killed him you killed more without physical evidence his children had been suffocated it was Kathleen's disturbing diaries that were considered the smoking gun of the case by the police and the prosecution but all Sara wanted was for him to shut up and one day he did the diaries reveal a tortured mind and i would be very surprised if there aren't millions of
motherswho think like that clinical psychologist dr.
Shamila Beds reviewed Kathleen's fall pleas for entries in 2013. She told me that, in her opinion, not even Kathleen's darkest writings were enough to convict her. she writes about her moods making her think and do terrible things don't think that's an admission she never said anywhere in the diary of having a murderous rage never felt hate for those children unless there is an explicit confession that i have suffocating the children with a pillow is not a confession yes i would have an angry thought but it was never meant to hurt from a pathologist point of view based on my experience in my in depth work with children who have been injured and killed this case It's a serial homicide, so today you still believe that phobic Kathleen is a serial killer, yes I do.
Kathleen should never have been charged and brought to trial originally. ed, why should she never have been charged? tragedy two suspects three murders and that has been shown to be completely wrong and without any foundation is not scientific and the case is based on the so-called theory of crib death was a saying made famous by this man the British professor Roy Meadow was Thanks to their theory that several mothers were sent to jail in the UK in the years leading up to Kathleen's trial, it seems absolutely extraordinary that fathers could be so brutal or cruel to their own children, but a statistical error. pivotal in the meadows law eventually saw the theory debunked and multiple murder convictions overturned falsely accused and wrongfully convicted they finally went free today justice has been done and my innocence has been proven, but in Aust ralia the same flawed argument was used against kathleen by great dr. op haven relied on roy meadows law in a pre-trial hearing claiming that the chance of four unexplained infant deaths from natural causes in one family was one in a trillion how do you respond to criticism that you poisoned the trial waters against Kathleen phobic?
I don't know how I could make that criticism refer to the fact that you stated there was less than a 1 in 1 trillion chance that 4 deaths in a family could be attributed to SIDS, that was incorrect, you were quoting previous literature Roy Meadow I would never say that now, but it wouldn't change my diagnosis. No, I'd just say it would be impossibly weird, but I wouldn't put a number on it. The consequences of using these theories are that we are putting innocent people in jail and that in our society is abhorrent how big is the risk that phobic Kathleen is one of those innocent people who are in jail I think there is a high risk i think there is a high risk that she is totally innocent coming out if she is young child d is suffocated very rarely there is evidence that normally she would not see anything expert evidence accumulates so until there is proof that that child was murdered remains speculative is not what Kathleen's jury did not hear at the time of phobia At trial there were at least eight such cases around the world and her words from prison should never have happened, maybe together our voices can help change the birds to follow in 60 minutes to wonder every day what happened.
No wonder what happened to two women accused of the same heinous crimes one is free the other behind bars riddled with guilt or else both are imprisoned for the mother's grief and a community's enduring suspicion to be accused of murder those kids to be seen in that light what do you like that? It's very annoying and you constantly question yourself and why couldn't you have done more to try to figure it out to try to stop it if they had found something they could have prevented. I found the parallel circumstances and yet the drastically different results to be extraordinary.
The Carroll Massey court case was dropped for lack of evidence, but incredibly similar evidence saw Kathleen Phobic found guilty of three counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. carol there is so much reasonable doubt in the big case that she never should have been convicted for all the indications that she was a good mother and the problem that comes up with these types of cases is that there is no evidence there is no forensic evidence there is no DNA evidence no there is evidence on videotape that there is a denial of the charges and all you ultimately have is speculation on the part of the doctors and consequently the police and we know that speculation is not good enough Kathleen phobic deserves the benefit of the doubt yes definitely everyone does as we learn with my case medical experts can be wrong and wrong do you believe carroll mu ? rphy case that there was enough doubt oh no oh i don't think there was any doubt but the judge in the mathy case was very doubtful dr.
Janice Up Haves' testimony would not allow it to be heard. She said the conclusions of three of the Crown's forensic pathologists were not based on fact. Do you find it frustrating that her conclusions remain speculative due to a lack of evidence? Well it depends what you mean by proof, as you said yourself there, if a small child is suffocated, very rarely is there evidence of that, so until there is proof that that child was murdered, it remains speculative, huh? No? I agree with you if all you have was the physical body of a suffocated baby you usually wouldn't see anything even when it's a confessed suffocation so either you get a confession or you can sequentially murder your babies and not have justice for those little lives oh you didn't suffocate them well that's that's the whole question here kathleen phobic sentenced to 30 years in jail is a stark reminder to carol of where she could be today how close do you feel you came to going to the prison of being found guilty when you consider that those experts who were ready to testify against you still believe today that you are guilty as the judge said in his report they based everything on assumptions and not on facts and that only proves that they cannot invent things and their the theory of losing more than three children is murder is incorrect the investigation reviewing the sentence of Kathleen Fahlberg that begins tomorrow will focus on the specific medical evidence Only the occurrence of three or more deaths in a family due to natural causes at the time of the phobic trial there were at least eight such cases around the world in which medical experts told the jury that they had never heard of a such a tragedy for close friend of phobes, Tracy Chapman, that the omission was a terrible injustice.
I think it's important to understand that this happens. the notion of four babies dying in your care in an inexplicable and unexpected way is too big to almost comprehend it's too big to accept how horrible an acceptable one is as you say but the sad thing to me is that people shoot first they ask after and there are medical reasons for this that we don't yet know enough about. Tracy believes in Carol Mathy Australia has its own unique opportunity to understand the complex. and unknown medical forces at play in cases of multiple infant deaths, but more personally Carol offers Kathleen something no one else can deeply understand her loss what she said no one knows what she feels the way Carol Mathy does with the grief for Kath is more to say that someone else has been through this, it is not as unusual as it seems and this lady knows very well how much pain Phil feels for the children if the special investigation goes her way Kathleen can have a new trial or she can even if they overturn her convictions what I can do is publicly stand up and support her and say I got you hopefully I don't need to catch her if she falls.
Has there ever been a crack in your belief in Kathleen for breaking your support for her with no lines of fault is this a critical time for Kathleen Fahlberg the Carol mathy has come forward for the first time a mother who was also accused of killing her four babies unlike Kathleen the medical case against her collapsed she could very well be innocent and the medical experts get things wrong the police do things wrong these are the words Kathleen Fahlberg has wanted to hear for a long time, but only now has Carol out of seclusion he chose in 2007 when the case against him was dropped on behalf of kathleen tracey meets carol for the first time it happened her how did we get the tape?
You just walked away and didn't show up again, so we've never been able to track here. I am very grateful that this is happening if I can help in any way. Tracy comes up with words of gratitude from phobic Kathleen. I guess this is her way of playing herbase and say that she would really like to connect with you because you're someone who is. You're with us, you don't know it, but you've been with us for a long time, so if this is her way of telling you that from jail, Kathleen offers Carol your support. of that and show the determination to keep fighting to be persecuted like we were and still am this should never have happened maybe together our voices can help change that sincerely thank you so much Kathleen with a smiley face when you lose someone there is not just one thing that matters most Missing is just all you think about what she would be like now and what she would be doing and if you wonder what that will be like while Carol Mathy has her freedom what she will never have are her children it is an emptiness she feels every day a loss that will be with her the rest of your life when you're through so much pain i hope for sympathy when you care and understand yeah but then you hope they'll leave you alone to cry and everyone deals with pain differently so we'll have ways of iron but it never stops no it gets easier.
Hi, I'm Tara Brown. thanks for watching to keep up with the latest 60 minutes
australiabe sure to subscribe to our channel you can also download the 9 now app for full episodes and other exclusive 60 minute content
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact