TV & Movies

High-Profile Fraudsters John & Anne Darwin Live Very Different Lives Today

ITV’s The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe revisits the couple’s criminal behaviour.

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John and Anne Darwin
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Based on true events, ITV’s The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe tells the story of how a Hartlepool couple facing mounting debts faked a death in an attempt to fraudulently claim pension and insurance money. Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan lead the cast of the four-part drama, portraying the couple at the centre of the compelling tale. But where are John and Anne Darwin now?

As per The Sun, Anne and John Darwin made headlines back in 2002 when John went missing at sea on his red kayak. After an extensive search operation, John’s canoe was eventually found, and he was presumed dead. However, it later emerged that the couple had staged John’s death in an attempt to fraudulently claim tens of thousands in pension and insurance money.

John initially kept out of the public eye by camping in the wilderness, before secretly moving into a bedsit next door to his family home. The pair lied to everyone, including their sons Mark and Anthony.

In 2007, John moved to Panama using a false identity, where he hoped to buy a property and live permanently. However, in order to gain permanent residence, he had to obtain official papers from the UK. In a bold move, John returned to the UK, and walked into a police station using his real identity, claiming that he was suffering from amnesia. The Darwins’ web of lies then quickly began to unravel, and, in 2008, the pair were each sentenced to more than six years in prison before being released in 2011.

After 38 years of marriage, Anne and John Darwin divorced in prison while carrying out their respective sentences, The Sun reports. Today, Anne resides in York where she works for animal charity RSPCA. As for John, he remarried in February 2015, and relocated to the Philippines, where he currently resides.

Speaking of her life today, Anne said she is “happy” and “comfortable in my own skin.” Per the BBC, she added, “I have no feelings towards [John] whatsoever. Completely zero. No emotion whatsoever.”

The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe airs over four consecutive nights, beginning on Sunday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on ITV.

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