April 14, 2021

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Science will help unleash Australia’s “worst serial killer”

Kathleen Folby was accused of killing her four children, but science can now determine her innocence. How?

It has been 18 years since Kathleen Folbick, a resident of Australia in the New South Wales region, was convicted of murdering her four children. By then, in 2003, he had been described in his trial as the country’s worst serial killer. But now science is helping to determine his innocence and this is the worst mistake in Australian judicial history.

Flopik’s four children, Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, died of suffocation when they were 19 days to 18 months old. At trial, Folpick was thought to have suffocated children, but new scientific discoveries cast doubt on that conclusion, and they pointed out that they may have died of natural causes rather than suffocation.

A team from the Australian National University, led by Professor of Biology and Genetics Carola Vinuvesa, discovered the mutated gene in one of the two girls, CALM2 G114R, after a 2019 investigation. This mutation encodes an acidic protein called calmodulin. Activities such as transporting calcium in and out of heart cells and can cause sudden cardiac death.

During Folpick’s trial, these improvements were not available and his children were not considered to have died of natural causes. With new evidence, the team of scientists found that changes in the heartbeat of girls can lead to death. I mean, it was a natural death. Folpick’s other two sons had similar medical conditions that caused a mutation in a gene called BSN. Research in mice suggests that epilepsy can cause seizures and death when this genetic defect is present.

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For this reason, scientists from several countries have signed a letter to release Folpick, who is still awaiting trial in New South Wales Court of Appeals. The case of Lindy Chamberlain, who was sentenced to three years in prison after being wrongly sentenced to death for the murder of her daughter Azaria, is reviving her case.

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Chamberlain told authorities his daughter was abducted by a dingo, a wild animal half wolf and a half dog. Police believed his version was “not crying enough.” Prejudice against her grew to the point of declaring her daughter guilty of murder. There were plenty of questions about his version, but, in the end, his story proved to be true. Some tourists found a sweater worn on the day of the disappearance in the cave of Azaria dingo. The coroners were at fault, and Lindy Chamberlain was wrongly punished. The story inspired the film A scream in the dark, Played by Meryl Streep.

“I hope in the coming years we will see more appreciation in the legal system for the scientific method. As our scientific tools improve and we find a way out of the lab and into the courtroom, complex cases like this are more likely to occur,” Vinusa wrote in an article. Conversation.

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