Woman who killed lover after sedative milkshake ‘inspired by plot from Frasier’

When Aussie paramedic Colin Crossman was called to a report of a man dead in bed, he was in for a shock.

The woman who answered the door was his ex-wife, Natasha Beth Darcy.

It was not a pleasant reunion.

Years before in 2009, Darcy had insisted Mr Crossman take out a life insurance policy and soon after hit him over the head with a hammer.

She later also drugged him by mixing sedatives into some tacos and tried to burn down their house as he slept. She was jailed for the crimes.

This time the man lying dead on the bed was Darcy's latest partner, New South Wales sheep farmer Mathew Dunbar.

She told investigators he had committed suicide, claiming he was struggling with the fact he was secretly gay, and depressed over a leg injury.

It didn't take officers long to smell a rat.

The couple had met on a dating website and it was not long before Darcy began pestering him to change his will so she would get his £2m property if he died.

In 2015, a year into their romance, she messaged Mr Dunbar: "Can you promise to do one thing for me this week? Call solicitor for appointment to sort your will.”

When he didn't respond within minutes her next message read “OK, your silence says it all.”

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The next month, he changed his will.

And phone records proved crucial to the police's case.

While watching a rugby match in 2017 she googled "How to commit murder."

Soon after, she asked "Can police see websites you visit?"

Her Google history read like a murderer's handbook with searches for deadly spiders, toxic plants which look like food and how to kill someone with helium gas.

During a police interview she claimed Mr Dunbar had wanted to die and said the couple had never had a sexual relationship: "“That was a lot of his depression. Being a tough farmer, being gay."

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At her trial she denied murder, but admitted helping him to kill himself by assisting him to put a plastic bag round his head and gassing himself.

Witnesses lined up to say she was lying. While Mr Dunbar had suffered depression in the past, friends saying the victim was not gay, while his orthopaedic surgeon testified Mathew had been "extremely happy" over the improvements to his leg injury.

The pathologist also revealed Mr Dunbar had been drugged with a sedative laced milkshake in a Nutribullet cup which included a horse tranquilliser.

Police also discovered after watching an episode of American sitcom Frasier, Darcy had approached a friend and offered her £10,000 to lie and say her victim had spoken of suicide to her.

The letter stated: "I was watching an episode of Frasier when Niles needed him to lie in court and say he didn't know that Niles was in love with Daphne. It got me thinking, if only I could ask somebody to say that Mathew told them he was planning his suicide maybe a few or several days before he passed."

During her murder trial, prosecutor Brett Hatfield said: "Mr Dunbar may have desperately wanted love and a family, but what did he get? A cold and calculating person who was determined to kill him and inherit his wealth."

Judge Justice Julia Lonergan told jurors to dismiss the assisted suicide claim as there was no evidence to support it.

The jury found the 46-year-old guilty of murder and she will be sentenced in October. She could also face charges of trying to pervert the course of justice over the letters sent to her friend about the TV sitcom.

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