The truth about Kathy’s diaries
One of Kathy’s close friends, Megan Donegan, has set the record straight about her diaries.
Megan contacted a journalist at news.com.au last week to read her an entire day’s entry in an attempt to clear up the misinformation.
However, the interview was published with the headline “Best friend of Australia’s worst female serial killer Kathleen Folbigg opens up about friendship”.
The diary entry relates to a day when Kathy said she ‘lost it’ with Laura. The “losing it” was Kathy taking Laura from her high chair and putting her on the floor, while Kathy shut herself in her room for five minutes.
Megan noted to Justice for Kathleen Folbigg: “This is mother guilt. There is nothing wrong with Kath’s reaction that day, she was a hell of a lot more restrained and aware of her own frustrations than many, many parents. She did the RIGHT thing by removing herself to calm down. every parent has these moments as kids DO challenge you.”
Kathy discussed the diaries herself in phone calls with fellow high school friend Tracy Chapman that were broadcast on the ABC’s Australian Story recently.
During the call, Kathy said her words following her children’s deaths was a result of taking “on that responsibility so heavily with each child” as their mother.
“Why didn’t I see this coming? Why didn’t I see the signs? Why wasn’t I paying more attention?” she said.
Megan revealed to news.com.au how much she looks forward to weekly phone calls with Kathy, where inmates are allowed just six minutes for each conversation. The pair pack a lot into the calls, because Kathy is someone you can “talk to about anything”.
“She has the biggest laugh,” she said. “Of course she’s depressed where she is but she’s not letting it eat away at her. She can laugh about things we’re talking about and find amusement in the mundane.”
Megan met Kathy while they were both Year 7 students at Newcastle’s Kotara High School in the 1980s.
They remained close throughout the harrowing years that Kathy lost her four children.
Megan said that after Caleb died at just 19 days old, Kathy was concerned when she fell pregnant again with her second child Patrick.
“She was super excited to be having another baby, but she was afraid of it happening again,” Megan recalled. “She was apprehensive as any parent would be after having lost a child.”
Megan also discussed a moment in 1999, when Kathy took her by the hand and led her into Laura’s bedroom at the wake in Singleton, near Newcastle.
“Kathy’s not the type of person who was comfortable crying in front of people,” she said. “So she dragged me into Laura’s bedroom so she could cry, then washed her face, and walked back out.”
Megan told news.com.au she had “never once” doubted Kathy’s innocence.
“We spent so much time together she became like an extra person in my family,” Megan said.
“She came to my nieces’ and nephews’ christenings. And we’d go for a drive on Sundays and have a picnic. She was always with us. Even now, she is the godmother of my eldest child.”
A directions hearing was held this week in preparation for the inquiry into Kathy’s convictions.
A report from a clinical psychologists suggested Kathy’s diary entries, which were crucial to the prosecution argument against her, did not contain a clear admission of guilt.
However, Senior counsel assisting the inquiry Gail Furness, said the report did not generate enough doubt to warrant further examination of the diary entries.
Instead, the scope of the inquiry will focus on medical evidence that has come to light since 2003.