Right, I’m going to have a crack at being mac-wearing, glass-eyed, invisible-wife having super ‘tec Columbo. Why? ‘Cause I think I’ve got this whole John Darwin, missing for five years, Panama City connection hoopla all figured out.
I reckon Mr & Mrs Darwin were in cahoots, and not just because that’s a fun word to write and say. The plan was he’d fake his death due to debts, she’d collect the life insurance, and then wait a predetermind amount of time before joining her sly ol’ hubby in Panama. That’s not rocket science, everyone’s thinking that much.
So what went wrong? What I think goes wrong for a lot of middle aged couples – they couldn’t stand the sight of each other. So six weeks after her moving out to Panama City to join him, it had just become too much. Maybe he snores, maybe he corrects her grammar, maybe he wears novelty ties. Whatever it was, it got up her nose right quick, as she had clearly forgotten it wasn’t exactly love’s young dream before he decided to mash up a kayak and do a Reggie Perrin.
So here’s the situation, she kicks him out, denies him any more of the insurance money, and threatens to turn him in. Nothing to lose, and no money Johnny D reckons he might try the old knackered memory ruse and hope to get away with it, the worst case scenario being that not only does he get thrown in the clink, but so does his devilish missus. Serves her right and all that, he’s probably thinking as he realises it’s actually quite hard to fake amnesia.
It’s like those movies when things go wrong after the heist, and everyone does each other in due to mutual loathing and distrust.
Mark my words, when you’re watching the ITV movie based on this in 18 months, starring John Anderton and Pauline Collins (or Martin Clunes and Caroline Quentin if wet) you’ll see this is exactly how it went down. If not, I’ll give you a shiny 50p.
As Columbo himself might say, “my wife loves you”, but John Darwin’s? Not so much.
If there wasn’t quite enough Columbo flavoured meat in this sandwich please click here to get your Falk-y quotient. The url says it all and so much more. Check the slightly disturbing testimonial from IBM.