It’s almost hard to believe that The Thief, His Wife, and the Canoe is a true story, but like with many real-life TV dramas, the truth can be as mind-bending as fiction.
To avoid bankruptcy, John Darwin faked his own death in 2002, enlisting the help of his wife Anne.
From Anne’s (Monica Dolan’s) perspective, the four-parter The Thief, His Wife, and the Canoe follows the story as she tries to persuade everyone from the police to insurance companies.
Married in 1975, they had two kids, Mark and Anthony, and were finally found in 2007 in Panama after an estate agent captured their picture to add to their client list.
Whether or not this was genuine (John admitted in a book about their experience that it wasn’t), they were in trouble when Panama revised their visa restrictions, requiring UK police certification of identification for people wanting to buy property.
John Darwin claimed amnesia as he surrendered to London cops. The pair were convicted of fraud in July 2008, with John receiving a sentence of six years and three months and Anne receiving six years and six months.
After a failed appeal, both were released in 2011, and Anne divorced. Anne has volunteered with the RSPCA, published a book, reconnected with her sons, and now lives just outside Middlesborough, according to MailOnline. She declined to comment on the new drama’s production.
Speaking on This Morning in 2016, Anne said: “I came through that [depression in prison] with help and I’ve managed to turn my life around. I made the best of the opportunity that I could with all that was on offer in prison as far as education was concerned. I equipped myself with up-to-date qualifications so I could find a job and give myself the best chance to start a new life. “
John is now in the Philippines with Mercy May. They married in 2015. The Thief, His Wife, and the Canoe premieres on ITV on Sunday, April 17. Then, at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, the documentary will air on ITV.
Courtesy Bol News