What happened to John Darwin and his wife and where are they now?
The barely believable true story of how former prison officer John Darwin faked his own death in a canoe accident is being retold in an ITV drama. Here’s what happened to John and his wife Anne after their release from prison…
It was a bizarre true story that shocked and gripped the nation. After amassing crippling debts of £700,000 and on the verge of bankruptcy, former teacher and prison officer John Darwin decided to fake his own death in a canoeing accident in the North Sea.
He asked his wife Anne to cement the lie and claim £250,000 in life insurance. Then John lived in secret for years in a bedsit that adjoined the couple’s home near Hartlepool – visiting his wife through a door that connected the two old properties
After five years, the couple decided to start a new life in Panama. But when it emerged he couldn’t live or work there without having his identity confirmed by British authorities, he decided to turn up at a London police station, feigning amnesia, hoping he could return to his normal life.
Police were already suspicious, however, due to Anne’s trips to Panama. Their ruse was finally confirmed when a photograph was found on the internet showing the smiling couple posing in a Panama estate agents’ office. The pair were arrested and found guilty of fraud – each receiving a six-year jail sentence.
Their story is now being retold in new ITV drama The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe. And if you’re wondering what happened to the couple after their imprisonment, then read on…
What happened to John Darwin?
John was released from prison in January 2011 – and Anne two months later. Before their release, Anne decided that she wanted to separate from him and they later divorced.
It has been reported that John Darwin, now 71, lives in the Philippines with his new wife, Mercy May, aged 47. According to The Mirror, the couple moved out of the crowded capital city Manila last year to a property around 30 minutes away.
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