The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe: An Unbelievable True Story
Anne And John Darwin Questioned By Police
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe: An Unbelievable True Story

Cicely McFarlane April 22, 2022

ITV is famous for its amazing and gripping crime documentaries and re-enactments of unbelievable events. Examples of previous series similar to this one include White House farm, a true-crime regarding the atrocious murders of a family in Essex.

Also No Return is a fictional yet dramatic series where a young boy is accused of sexual assault while on holiday with his family.

Both these series are extremely gripping and, after watching the new true crime show, The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe, another unbelievable true story is told through our screens.

The storyline

If this series did not promise that it was true, there would have been many parts that I would have thought to be too unbelievable and unrealistic.

This involves a husband and wife on the brink of bankruptcy. Yet instead of admitting what they believed was the ‘shameful defeat’ of declaring bankruptcy, John Darwin convinced his wife Anne to be an accomplice in a plan where he faked his death.

This included lying to their two sons, Mark and Anthony, for five years. The two sons comforted their ‘grieving mother’, in the comfort of their home; none the wiser of their very much alive father, living and listening all the while just next door. After claiming life insurance money, the two ventured on a few holidays.

In a moment of stupidity, they let their guard down and allowed for their picture to be taken while buying plots of land in Panama. This would eventually be their downfall.

John Darwin handed himself in with the storyline that he has had amnesia for the past five years, as he was ‘bored’ of being ‘dead’.

Yet this is where the drama began, as it all came out that this was one big life insurance claim as the picture circulated in the news.

Did they get away with it?

Both Anne and John went to prison for over six years. Anne divorced John, and she continues to try to rebuild a relationship with her sons. The unbelievable heartbreak that this family has gone through is shown in this series.

The show focuses on the fact that Anne was manipulated by the only person she truly had in her life, her husband John.

It shows the strength it took to finally leave John, and the absolute shame and sadness she felt in the acts that she had taken part in.

This series does make you think about what you would do if you were in the position of their two sons; if you could forgive what these parents did to their own families.

Where are the Darwins now?

The series is an absolute must-watch and, after doing some research,, this is where the Darwin family are now.

After prison, John remarried after meeting a woman from the Philippines online within two months. He was 70 and she was 47.

Anne continues to work on the relationship with her two boys, who are doing very much the same. It is clear they wish to have their mother in their life but have had no contact with their father.

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Cicely McFarlane is a 23-year-old Graduate from Cardiff University. She has an undergraduate degree in History, and has just completed her master’s in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Whilst studying, she contributed to the Student Newspaper, as well as the student magazine named Quench. This fuelled her passion for writing further and enjoys reviews on the latest trends and TV shows, as well as commenting on important issues that occur today. She is a content writer for Freshered Magazine for over a year where she specifically tailors and creates articles for the Freshered audience. She is excited to grow as a journalist as she continues to expand her topics and horizons.