A lonely millionaire longed for a family, but a murderous widow just wanted his money – World News


Lonely sheep farmer Mathew Dunbar was hoping to find someone to cherish and build a future with – and he was a perfect catch.

Known for his kindness and generosity, the 42-year-old owned a secluded 1,200-acre estate called Pandora worth an estimated $3.4 million in Walcha, New South Wales, Australia.

Mathew was estranged from his adoptive mother while his adoptive father, with whom he had worked on the farm, passed away. With no children, he longed for a family of his own.

Then, in 2014, he met Natasha Darcy, 46, on a dating website and was smitten.

Darcy, who had three children from her previous marriage, soon moved into Mathew’s house and began talking about the marriage.

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Victim Mathew met her on a dating site



After less than a year of their relationship, she even persuaded him to make her the sole beneficiary of his estate. She asked for the ultimate bet – and he went all-in.

While it’s not certain what Mathew thought about Darcy’s past, it would certainly have set off alarm bells among his friends. In 2009, she hit her ex-husband, paramedic Colin Crossman, in the head with a hammer while he was sleeping.

Three days later, again while he was sleeping, she took a can of gasoline from the garage, poured it on the bedroom floor and lit it.

Colin was unharmed, but tests showed he had sedatives in his system, having previously eaten a meal of tacos prepared by Darcy.

The murderess Darcy had already tried to kill her ex-husband when she targeted Mathew



She had stood for a $700,000 life insurance payout if Colin died and she was charged with attempted murder. Darcy eventually pleaded guilty to destroying property by fire and signed an agreed statement of facts detailing the hammer attack. She was detained for at least nine months.

Darcy was on parole while dating Mathew, who was a forgiving man, and began telling those around him that he was struggling with his mental health.

He had suffered a leg injury that led to an infection and had been warned he could lose the limb. Darcy said it made him depressed. By 2017, doctors told Mathew his leg was healing well and he was out of danger, but Darcy told friends he was still vulnerable.

She set the bedroom on fire while ex Colin slept

She even hinted Mathew was confused about his sexuality – and had spoken of suicide.

While he had struggled physically and mentally to recover, there was no evidence that Mathew had any of those thoughts or feelings – but people found Darcy hard to ignore.

Then, at 2 a.m. on August 2, 2017, Darcy called emergency services and informed them that Mathew had taken his own life.

She told the operator she went into the bedroom and then gave details of how she found him, including the fact that there was a helium tank in the room.

message to her ex

The police rushed to the property. It turns out that Darcy’s ex, Colin, had received a text message from Mathew’s phone and was first to the scene. The message read: “Tell the police to come to the house, I don’t want Tash or kids to find me.”

Mathew was dead and at first it looked like suicide. It was also determined that he had sedatives in his system. Inside the dishwasher were a shaker and a beaker containing the remains of a drug-laden milkshake – including a veterinary tranquilizer for sheep. Did Mathew sedate himself before taking his own life?

Darcy said she slept in the lounge because she was trying not to kick Mathew’s injured leg that night. She claimed she got up to stoke the fire and accidentally set off the smoke alarm.

Mathew owned a $3.4 million estate



She told officers that when the alarm didn’t wake Mathew, she went to check on him and found his body. But did he really take his own life? Investigators began looking at the evidence.

Mathew had picked up the helium bottle from a gas station the day before, but Darcy had been outside in the car – and she had ordered and paid for it. What did Mathew think the gas was for?

But what police found on Darcy’s iPhone and laptop left them in no doubt she was a murderer. Her extensive searches, begun months before Mathew’s death, were chilling.

Darcy had looked up hundreds of ways to kill someone – from poisoning mushrooms to using deadly redback spiders and snakes. She’d researched drugs, checked to see if the police could see your internet history, and even googled, “Is there a poison that can kill but can’t be found in an autopsy?”

The cup and the glass in the dishwasher and the gas cartridge



Even more shockingly, Darcy had been with Mathew while she was doing the disgusting research on her phone. She’d once sat on the sidelines at a rugby match – and the day before the murder she was in a cafe with Mathew. Darcy’s statements in interviews were full of inconsistencies. It was clear she had been spreading stories about Mathews’ alleged mental health issues – but police believed she had laid a “false lead” to make his death believable. She had manipulated him behind the scenes.

Detectives concluded that Darcy had gone on at least two “dry runs” to try to kill Mathew. Once she had given him an overdose of his antidepressants or some other drug. Then she had injected him with an animal tranquilizer in his injured leg.

When neither tactic worked, she covered her tracks by telling Mathew he simply passed out – and then upped her efforts.

The investigation revealed that Darcy had used the blender to concoct a deadly cocktail of tranquilizers in a milkshake. When the unsuspecting Mathew was unconscious, she had brought the gas tank to his room and killed him.

Their statements were contradictory



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Darcy wanted to inherit his property and wrote in one text: “Don’t forget that you have to change your will.”

She denied murder, but was charged with the murder and promptly earned the nickname “Widow of Walcha” by the press.

Her trial last year lasted two months. Prosecutors said Darcy had been looking for ways to kill Mathew since February 2017. Darcy’s defense questioned why, if she’d used a blender and mug to make the poisoned drink, she’d put it in the dishwasher and not turned it on right away to get rid of the evidence.

But the deadly conspiracy was clear to the jury. In the months leading up to Mathew’s death, she had created the scene and was known to have tried to harm her ex-husband in the past.

Darcy was found guilty of murder and, incredibly, in a pre-sentencing hearing, the court heard that while waiting for trial, the court had written letters to try to convince a friend to lie and say that Mathew committed suicide had committed. The killer said she was inspired by a storyline from the US sitcom Frasier where the characters faced a moral dilemma.

“I watched an episode where Niles took Frasier to lie in court and say he didn’t know Niles was in love with Daphne,” Darcy wrote in a 2020 letter. “It got me thinking, if only I could ask someone. Let’s say Mathew told them he might be plotting his suicide a few days before he died.”

She offered her friend $20,000 to lie for her, even though they had never met Mathew. But the buddy went to the police.

“Careless and Relentless”

In February of that year, Darcy was convicted and a statement was read by Mathew’s adoptive mother, Janet.

It described him as “kind hearted” and added: “If only Mathew had the shirt on his back he would give it to anyone who needed it, whether they knew him or not. Mathew was my only child and now I’m alone. I lost my stone and my life will never be the same.”

Darcy watched via video link from where she was being held. She showed little emotion when the judge sentenced her to 40 years, with the chance of parole after 30 years.

The judge described the murder as “stupid, clumsy and ugly” and said Darcy spent months working it out in a calculated conspiracy.

“Over time … emotional abuse and sneaky physical attacks escalated into a more focused and foolproof method of achieving the desired outcome,” the judge said.

“The perpetrator was callous, relentless and heartless in her quest to get rid of Mathew.”

Justice was finally served in this shocking case – the most chilling aspect of it was how someone as kind and caring as Mathew had his life wiped out by someone so callous that she literally planned his death under his nose would have.

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