In 1973, Geoffrey Adams claimed that his wife and mother of two daughters, Colleen had left him. He said that 24-year-old Colleen had the “baby blues” and made it look like she had abandoned her children. He even said that she packed two bags, and left with an unidentified woman in her middle age. Colleen’s mother then filed a missing person’s report. For more than 45 years, the search for Colleen reaped no leads. It was in 2018 that Geoffrey finally admitted that he had killed his wife and buried her in the backyard of their matrimonial home at Maitland, Australia.
“As a child, I’d been told my mother had the baby blues and I’d been responsible for her leaving. That generated a belief system that I was unlovable,” Marie Adams, the daughter, said in her victim impact statement, according to ABC News. “I felt abandoned, rejected, and like I didn’t belong.” She said that she was brought up in a “bubble of secrecy” and her father never allowed her to ask questions about her mom. “The realization that he took her away and she had not left me was devastating. He then lied to me for 45 years,” she wrote. He spoke down about Colleen in particular and women in general as well.
Even when in the 70s when Geoffrey made up the story about Colleen leaving her family, her siblings did not believe their sister was capable of doing such a thing. “I knew she wouldn’t have run away and left her children. She was a very loving mother. She loved her children and doted on them very much,” Colleen’s sister, Heather said. She had always suspected her brother-in-law. The police had their suspicions too and in 1996, had even dug up the backyard but had found nothing. But after his confession in 2018, he led the police to the exact spot, and Colleen’s skeletal remains were found. She was given a dignified burial a month later, reported The Mirror.
Colleen had not left that night. She was just meters away from her children. Geoffrey explained that the night he killed his wife, they were having an argument. “I just struck her a bit hard,” he told police. “She fell to the floor and then she died.” He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to murder because it was never his intention to kill her. He said that it had become impossible to live with his wife. “It was the continuous having a go at me for nothing, yelling and screaming, it had gone on for too long,” he said of his wife. Geoffrey had left her body in the kitchen overnight and buried her the following day. “The hardest thing I’ve done in my life,” he told the police.
The jury acquitted him of murder but not manslaughter. “I felt like I was living with the sins of my mother, and now I realize it was the sins of my father,” Marie stated. “But the most meaningful moment from all of this has been knowing that my mother did love me and that she didn’t choose to abandon me.” As he was awaiting sentencing, there was another twist, it was revealed that he had brain cancer. The very next day, Geoffrey was dead. He never faced sentencing for his crime.