In the Mathews household in Australia, things were going as they should. The matriarch of the house, Anita, woke up early in the morning to start the day, preparing her two sons for school.
But while her sons were away, there was a change in the plans. At 2PM she went to a store and bought 5.7 liters of of petrol.
Then at 3PM she bought a cheesecake—her sons’ favorite. With the petrol and cheesecake stowed in her car, she headed to the school to pick up her sons.
Back at home, she fed her kids the cheesecake laced with Stilnox—a powerful sleeping pill—poured petrol around their bedroom, and at midnight set it on fire and took her own life.
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It seemed that Anita had been distressed for quite a while.
Other than her unhappiness with the new job for which she felt overqualified, she had been having domestic troubles for a while.
The inquest heard that Anita and her husband were a part of an arranged marriage in their native India, and that she had been unhappy with the criticisms she had been receiving from him.
“He had previously told her family he did not want to live with her and that she could return to India,” sources said.
Meanwhile, her husband had not been happy with the arranged marriage, and in particular Anita’s cooking. “Sometimes Anita would cook me a meal which I could not eat because it was too spicy, or too cold, or I did not like it,” he told police.
A judge assigned to the case found Anita’s husband to have a controlling disposition over his wife. As a result, she felt isolated.
The judge also found that Anita, frustrated at not working given her high education, feared the stigma of being divorced.
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“Ms. Mathew’s killing of her two young sons is, on the available evidence, impossible to understand,” Judge Gray said.
“At the same time it is difficult to resist the conclusion that she was also punishing her husband, that there was vengeance in the filicides.”
Sadly, evidence showed that Anita had been planning of killing her husband and that she had previously discussed with friends and family about her plan, but none of them took her seriously.
“If nothing happens, I am going to kill him. I am going to die. I’m going to kill everybody,” she had said.
Manila Lifeline Centre
0917 854 9191
112 or 911
Philippine National Police (PNP)
117 or 168
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