A Decade After This Woman Disappeared, The Truth Emerged When Her Husband Faked His Own Death

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Image: via BBC

It was 1993, and Englishwoman Sam Gillingham was facing the heartbreaking prospect of being an orphan at the age of 24. She had escaped a turbulent home life in a seaside resort on the south coast of the U.K. eight years before, after her mother had vanished in strange circumstances. But now she was informed that her father had also gone missing. Dad had apparently fallen from a boat out at sea and was now feared drowned. However, when police investigated further, a terrible truth began to emerge, and Sam now faced a possibility even more appalling than merely being orphaned.

Image: via BBC

The story began in 1984, when Sam was about 15. The schoolgirl was living with her 40-year-old mother, Veronica Packman – known as Carole – and 41-year-old father Russell in Bournemouth, Dorset, in England. Both mom and dad enjoyed lucrative work in the aviation sector, and the Packhams appeared on the surface to enjoy a comfortable life.

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Image: via BBC

Nevertheless, despite the well-paid jobs, nice house, luxurious car and foreign holidays, home life was far from perfect. Sam remembers the family somehow being short of money, but evidently dad had a solution to the problem. Russell invited a co-worker, Patricia Causley, to move in with them as a lodger. At the age of 26, Patricia was some 14 years younger than Carole, the woman of the house. But soon that title would be changing hands…

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