05-27-2013, 02:52 AM #1
Australia - Judith Bartlett, 28, Bathurst, NSW, March 1964
I have read interviews with the family over the years and I was always struck by how devastated her children were when they spoke of the abandonment they felt. Understandable, but the interviews really stuck with me. When I read the news headline this afternoon I immediately knew who it was. I hope this brings the family some closure, though I doubt they'll feel the peace they were searching so desperately for, now that they have to move past 50 years of thinking they were abandoned, when really their mother had been murdered.
For 49 years, Francis Ryan thought that her loving mother had abandoned her one day without reason.
She held on to memories of cooking with her as a 10-year-old and lying in the hallway of their Bathurst home on hot days with their tops off to cool down - "just us girls," her mother would say.
"I had a mother that I thought loved me," Ms Ryan, now 55, said. "I had a mother who was my friend. She was my friend and she was was my mother and then I was told she'd gone away and I thought she'd left me."
Judith Bartlett vanished in March 1964 on her way to work at the Old Royal Hotel two blocks from her home in Bathurst.
Several investigations found no leads and an inquest in 2005 concluded with an open finding.
Her daughter Frances and sons Graeme, then six, and Daryl, then two, grew up thinking their mother had left them.
Daryl has since spent his life "almost hating on women for walking out on him", Ms Ryan said while their father Ronald, who died last year, raised them alone believing his loving wife had simply left them.
Ms Ryan spent 49 years desperately looking for a face in the crowd until a breakthrough came three weeks ago that took her breath away.
Half a century since the mysterious disappearance, remains found by a bushwalker on a remote Gooloogong property in 2009 had been positively identified as Mrs Bartlett's.
05-28-2013, 03:17 PM #2
I was just searching to see if this had been posted. Thank-you for making a thread for this. The news article really touched my heart about this family and what they have gone through. There was a lovely photo of JB posted in the SMH holding a koala bear.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
I'm so glad they did find out what happened to their mum - 50 years is a long time.
I now hope someone somewhere knows something about this and comes forward.
Its never too late.
05-29-2013, 03:44 AM #3
Thank you, FigTree. I too hope that someone knows something and comes forward. The story has touched me too, especially when I look back over the years and remember grappling with how a mother could abandon her family when she was seemingly so happy. I nearly a sense of guilt for doubting Judith Bartlett and I imagine her poor children are experiencing awful guilt at the moment too. I hope they're not being too hard on themselves.
05-31-2013, 03:11 AM #4
It will be interesting to keep an eye out now for any news in the future.
I will remember the thread and if I see anything I'll post it up here.
Last edited by FigTree; 05-31-2013 at 03:12 AM. Reason: *correction
05-31-2013, 03:57 AM #5
Oh gosh that breaks my heart ... to imagine my kids thinking I had abandoned them is too awful. I am glad they get to know the truth now but wish someone had reassured her children she wouldn't have willingly left them.
05-31-2013, 08:37 AM #6
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