Where Is Canoe Man John Darwin And His Wife Now?

After his divorce, John Darwin relocated to Manila and remarried Filipino woman Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48.

Ms. Darwin made headlines earlier this year when she declared her 71-year-old husband was ‘on his way to fight in Ukraine and had ‘excellent life insurance’ in case things went wrong.

Darwin continues to get the UK state pension despite the fact that the couple lives outside of Manila. His wife is supposed to make a living in the capital by running clothing kiosks.

Anne is thought to have reconciled with her sons, Anthony and Mark, after a time of estrangement.

Anne collaborated with journalist David Leigh on a book titled Out Of My Depth during her stay in prison, and she has since talked publicly about her role in the scam on several occasions, alleging she was controlled by her husband John throughout. She is said to have relocated to Middlesborough.

Are John Darwin And His Wife Still Together or Divorced?

John Darwin and Anne divorced (at Anne’s desire) halfway through their prison sentence. John went on to start a new life in the Philippines, where he has now remarried Mercy (who is 23 years his junior). 

“I know what he did, he knows, and he paid consequence, he doesn’t need to be reminded,” Mercy Mae said recently regarding the new ITV drama, according to the Daily Mail.

John and Anne were apprehended after John pretended to have amnesia upon bringing himself in at a London police station, only for a photo of him and Anne in Panama to appear.

John Darwin, a father of two, was enjoying a perfectly typical life in 2002, working as a prison officer in Hartlepool. However, he and his wife, receptionist Anne, had amassed debts of about £700,000, putting them on the verge of bankruptcy.

Seeing no other way out of their financial predicament, the couple devised a scheme to make it appear that John had died in a tragic canoeing accident, with the goal of Anne claiming his life insurance and wiping all their debts.

Everything came to a head-on on March 21, 2002, when John went missing after failing to show up for work.

The paddle he had reportedly used when canoeing in the North Sea turned ashore a day later, along with a wrecked canoe – he was assumed dead not long after, and Anne was given the death certificate she needed to cash in his insurance policy.


After the controversy made national headlines in 2008, John was found guilty of deception and sentenced to 6 years and three months in prison. Anne was sentenced to six and a half years in prison on counts of fraud and money laundering.

The couple divorced during their stay in prison, with John citing ‘unreasonable behavior’ as the cause for the breakup.

What Happened To John Darwin and his wife?