Marion Gibson was in Ontario for business in the fall of 2011 when she got a startling phone call from her partner of 27 years, John. He told her he was sick and on his way to the hospital by ambulance.
It was only when she got back home that she learned her husband was convinced she was trying to poison him. That was just one of many delusions he’d go on to experience that ended up throwing the Victoria family of five into a tailspin.
“Once I got home and could look in his face, I could see something was really wrong with him,” Marion tells the Georgia Straight by phone. “He was having hallucinations where he could smell things. He said there was a bad acid smell in the house. He thought there was cyanide in the water supply and was drinking our emergency bottled water. He thought our light fixtures were bugged with listening devices. He was really scared.”
After being discharged from the hospital with no sign of any supposed poisoning, John went on to have other severely distorted thoughts that unsettled Marion and the couple’s kids, now aged 19, 17, and 10. John was 45 when this all started, had built a successful career as a professional geoscientist, and was well-spoken, respected, and happily married.
But the man Marion started dating in high school began accusing her of cheating on him, sleeping with everyone from coworkers to acquaintances to mail carriers. He also suspected that she had been involved in murders and was linked to the Mafia.
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