Convicted child killer's case should be reviewed 'in view of latest scientific evidence'

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Paediatric geneticist Professor Jozef Gecz says the case of convicted serial child killer Kathleen Folbigg should be reopened and viewed according to the latest scientific evidence – which indicates her children may have died from natural causes.

Nearly 100 world class scientists and doctors have signed a petition demanding the release of Ms Folbigg who is serving a 30-year sentence for killing four of her children.

A Herald Sun exclusive revealed Ms Folbigg was convicted in 2003 of smothering infants Patrick, Sarah, Laura and Caleb over a 10-year period between 1989 and 1999.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, Professor Gecz said developments in science and genetics have shown it is possible for multiple children within the one family to die of natural causes, despite previous scepticism.

“This is possible, this is not even exceptional and we see it is happening more and more often and in different families,” he said.

The professor pointed to papers published last year by medical researchers from the John Curtin School of Medical Research which found the two girls “carry a genetic predisposition in a gene which is known to be associated with heart problems”.

The research “clearly demonstrates the link between that genetic predisposition, the infection they were fighting at the time of their life and the sudden death they experienced”.

Professor Gecz said while there remained uncertainty about the cause of death for the two boys, it was not impossible that they had also died from natural causes.

“It is unusual to see two different causes in one family … but that is what we do see in families like this, so it’s not exception or unheard of,” he said.
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