The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe fans ‘can’t believe ITV drama is true story’

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe has left fans gasping as they can't believe the ITV drama is based on a true story given how wild the events are.

The new ITV drama follows the true story of John Darwin (Eddie Marsan) who faked his own death before being jailed with his wife Anne (Monica Dolan) for wrongfully claiming John's life insurance.

The four-part drama kicked off on Sunday night (April 17), which saw John decide to leave his family behind and pretend he's dead.

He later asks his wife to call the police and report him as a missing person, and eventually she's roped into telling the world, and their two grieving sons, a huge lie about John's whereabouts.

The father disappeared from the grid as he feared declaring bankruptcy after falling into financial ruin.

The second episode aired on Monday, and it saw the couple try their best to evade police as they apply for a passport to create a new identity for John.

However, the viewers at home were gobsmacked during the show as they couldn't believe such a wild crime story really took place.

The fans took to Twitter during the show, with one saying: "You forget how mental this all was."

A second agreed: "Pinching myself that this was actually real. Wtf were they thinking!"

A third agreed: "This can’t be real life"

The real story saw John hide until it was safe to return home, where he stayed next door to Anne while she claimed his life insurance.

In the real case, Anna tried to convince the world John had gone missing in 2002 whilst canoeing off the coast of Seaton Carew in Cleveland, where the couple owned two large houses with panoramic views of the sea.

The deception was to take its toll on Anne who lied to their sons, Mark and Anthony, for five years whilst her husband, in the early days of the fraud, secretly lived in a bedsit next door to the home he shared with Anne. Devastated by the loss of their father, neither son had an inkling their parents were capable of such treachery.

Anne and John eventually decided to leave Seaton Carew and move to Panama City to start a new life together before their secret was exposed by the discovery of an infamous photo of them posing in a Panama real estate office in July 2006.

At her trial Anne pleaded not guilty, arguing that she had been coerced into the plot by her husband, but the jury didn’t believe her. She and her husband were both jailed for more than six years in July 2008.

John was released in January 2011, and Anne two months later.

Accoridng to the Independent, Anne split from John before her realse from prison.

Anne got a job at the RSPCA and reconciled with her two sons, Mark and Anthony. John remarried in 2015 and moved to Manilla in the Philippines.

The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe is on ITV at 9pm from Easter Sunday to Wednesday, April 20.

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