Kathleen Folbigg was pardoned after 20 years in jail. She just spoke about her new life as a free woman.

In 2003, Kathleen Folbigg was convicted of killing her four children, Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, all of whom died between the ages of 19 days and 18 months.

She's been in jail for the past 20 years, but on June 6, 2023, she received an unconditional pardon from the Attorney General of New South Wales.

Now, in her first interview since her release, Folbigg has shared what the transition has been like after 7,000 days behind bars.

"It probably will be a while before I sort of go, 'Okay, yeah. That Kathleen person’s actually me,'" she said on Unbroken - The Kathleen Folbigg story, as per 7NEWS Spotlight.

"I always see myself just as a very simple Novacastrian, Newcastle girl, who, though I might have lost four children, led a very normal life."

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Almost four months on from her release, Folbigg's tell-all TV interview comes after the Seven Network won a bid over Nine for the exclusive, rumoured to have cost more than $400,000.

Her release comes after an inquiry heard new scientific evidence that pointed to reasonable doubt over her guilt for the death of her four children.

While in prison, Folbigg said she knew she had a target on her back. 

"You go into prison for this thing that I was charged with, and you’re in deep trouble," she said, explaining she was labelled the "kid killer," a "filthy piece of s**t" and felt like she was "living in an asylum of some sort".


"Girls yelling out all night or screaming abuse at me or threats. Death threats," she told Seven, adding that on one occasion, she was physically attacked.

"One decided to guard the door, one chick came running in and just literally punched me in the face," she recalled.

"I didn’t respond in any way because it was a surprise – a surprise attack. The biggest purple shiner you could ever have seen. But I didn’t do anything about it because, unfortunately, jail code is you just don’t."

While her conviction has not been quashed, according to The Conversation, Folbigg is now living life as a free woman and staying with her friend and advocate Tracy Chapman in NSW's North Coast.

Chapman says her friend is "still living the life of the person we created".

"She locks her house down, puts her blinds down, it’s really sad actually, she is still so regimented because of the 20 years she lived in that institutionalised life," Chapman explained. 

"She’s definitely trying to be the free person, but we have created this person who still finds safety in the regime, safety and comfort in that. I don’t know how we unravel that, I don’t know how long that takes or even if that is possible and I feel really sad about that."

Kathleen Folbigg and Tracy Chapman. Image: Channel 7.


Chapman said it "hurts" her knowing the impact prison has had on Folbigg. 

"She doesn’t really see there is anything wrong but I feel it. This is the cost of incarceration. We allowed this to happen and it really hurts me."

Chapman was one of the first people to greet her, and as Folbigg sat in her living room surrounded by her old schoolmates, she explained why she "lost" her four children.

"I'm going to say a big, incredible thank you... because without everybody around this table, we wouldn’t be sitting here having my champagne and my first toast," she announced.

"I firmly believed that family was everything. So therefore, if you take that step forward and you take the risk, I would say that’s why I lost four children."

Folbigg continued, "Because I always, after Caleb, it was, 'no, no, surely we can get this right. Let’s go, Pat.' So Patrick was born and then it was after Patrick, it was sort of like, 'Oh, well that didn’t work, so let’s have a little Sarah.'"


In the tell-all interview, the pardoned woman confessed she almost decided not to have her youngest child Laura, who passed away at 18 months old, because she was afraid she would die too.

After losing her three babies, watching Laura grow from the early months was a cause for celebration, she explained. 

Kathleen Folbigg with her daughter Laura. Image: Channel 7.

"We had the biggest first-year birthday party you would ever have seen. Invited just about half the country," Folbigg said, adding that Laura's age gave her a false sense of security.


"Specialists had sort of told us that after the 12 months old, she would be fine. So yes, probably [we] relaxed a bit then," she said.

"As far as I was concerned, Laura was becoming a little person. But at 18 months old, when she did die, that was the most shattering thing ever because we were convinced everything was going perfectly and we were convinced that we got... I was convinced I’d finally got my family that I was so hard searching for, and she was such a presence that to lose her was too much."

What weighs on Folbigg is not knowing where her four children are, according to her friend Chapman.

All four babies were cremated, their ashes placed in the wall of a cemetery.

"She used to visit the cemetery and leave flowers. We’ve gone there to visit since she has come home but it appears the ashes are taken out of their place on the cemetery wall," she said. "They are no longer there." 

Folbigg, now free, shared what she hopes everyone can take from her story.

"For me... I’d like to think that people can take away a message that you can survive it, you can move on from it," she said. "And that, for me, the future is everything. 

"And your future is anything."

7NEWS Spotlight - Unbroken: The Kathleen Folbigg Story airs tonight at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.

Feature Image: AAP/Joel Carrett/7NEWS.