A man has claimed that his wife, the mother of their two daughters, left him back in 1973. The man, Geoffrey, said that the then 24-year-old wife, Colleen, had the “baby blues,” which is a condition where a woman experiences a low mood and feels mildly depressed during the first week after childbirth, and abandoned him with their two daughters.
Geoffrey even said that she packed two bags, and left with an unidentified woman in her middle age, but the truth was actually something else. Colleen’s mother then filed a missing person’s report. For more than 45 years, the search for Colleen reaped no leads.
“As a child, I’d been told my mother had the baby blues and I’d been responsible for her leaving. That generated a belief system that I was unlovable,” Marie, the daughter, said. “I felt abandoned, rejected, and like I didn’t belong.” She said that she was brought up in a “bubble of secrecy” and her father never allowed her to ask questions about her mother.
Even in the 1970s, when Geoffrey claimed Colleen had left her family, her siblings did not believe their sister was capable of doing so.”I knew she wouldn’t have run away and left her children. She was a very loving mother. She loved her children and doted on them very much,” Colleen’s sister, Heather said. She had always suspected her brother-in-law. The police had their suspicions too and in 1996, had even dug up the backyard but had found nothing.
But the truth surfaced more than 4 decades later, when Geoffrey finally admitted that he had killed his wife and buried her in the backyard of their home. After his confession, he led the police to the exact spot where Colleen’s skeletal remains were found. She was given a dignified burial a month later.
Colleen had not left that night. She was just meters away from her children. Geoffrey said that the night he killed his wife, they were having an argument. “I just struck her a bit hard,” he told police. “She fell to the floor and then died.” He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to murder because it was never his intention to kill her. He said that it had become impossible to live with his wife. “It was the continuous having a go at me for nothing, yelling and screaming. It had gone on for too long,” he said of his wife. Geoffrey had left her body in the kitchen overnight and buried her the following day. “The hardest thing I’ve done in my life,” he told the police. The jury acquitted him of murder but not manslaughter.
“I felt like I was living with the sins of my mother, and now I realize it was the sins of my father,” Marie stated. “The realization that he took her away and she had not left me was devastating. He then lied to me for 45 years. But the most meaningful moment from all of this has been knowing that my mother did love me and that she didn’t choose to abandon me.” As he was awaiting sentencing, there was another twist. It was revealed that he had brain cancer. The very next day, Geoffrey was dead. He never faced sentencing for his crime.