H and I watched this amazing documentary on the Canoe Darwins on ITV last night. Previously I had mixed feelings about the whole story, having been close to bankruptcy myself quite recently I tried to see it from their point of view and considered that, although what they did was wrong, they were likely victims of a poorly planned attempt at saving their bacon that got out of control very quickly. However, the documentary has very much changed my mind as it revealed things that you never read in the news.
In particular, it revealed just how much of a selfish monster John Darwin is. He apparently tried to enter into business with a woman in Kansas, and when that didn’t work out he basically terrorised her, threatening to have her and her family killed and stuff, it was awful. Then he moved on to try to buy a catamaran, and when that deal fell through did similar to the owners. Then there was the whole Panama thing of course and they lied to and used as many people as was necessary to do that. This is all, of course, in addition to the fact that he stole the identity of a baby that had been dead for 50 years and lied to his sons, even using them unwittingly in order to get the life insurance money.
The documentary summarised the financial impact of the whole affair, including the life insurance payout, the cost of the sea search and rescue, police time and legal fees, to be around £1m. Now, this really isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things; as they say, a million isn’t what it used to be, so I’m not so worried about that. What I am shocked about is just how many people whose lives they’ve deeply affected in order to pursue their own selfish ends, and the absolute lack of thought and consideration for anyone but themselves. Everyone, ranging from the family of the dead baby, through the coastguard that put their lives on the line to look for him, through to the people involved in the failed business deals, right up to those who suffered the ultimate betrayal – their sons. They used people without even thinking about it, as if they had an automatic right to do so.
Truly shocking. What utter monsters.