Convicted of murdering her own daughter, Keli Lane continues to plead innocence from her jail cell, and a growing number of experts believe she may be telling the truth
Baby killer Keli Lane has pleaded innocence from her jail cell, and a growing number of experts believe she may be telling the truth.
Lane, 43, from Sydney’s affluent Northern Beaches, was jailed for 18 years in 2010 after a court found her guilty of murdering her daughter Tegan two days after giving birth.
Despite her own admission of being a serial liar, Lane is adamant she handed Tegan over to her biological father, with whom she had an affair, in the hospital on the day of September 14th, 1996.
Lane hid five pregnancies while maintaining her athleticism and job as a private school teacher, and maintains nobody was remotely aware, including her boyfriend at the time, who unwittingly fathered two of her children.
Both of those children were legally and quietly adopted out, with her first child born only hours after playing in the grand final of a water polo match and attending the post game festivities.
Lane, 43, was jailed for 18 years in 2010 after a court found her guilty of murdering her daughter Tegan two days after giving birth
Breaking a 15-year silence, Lane spoke to ABC News in an attempt to clear her name.
‘The lies (about the pregnancies) were around the shame, the embarrassment or the humiliation of the life I was leading, no different to any other young person that makes silly choices or is covering up a part of their life,’ she said.
She also spoke of the three prior pregnancies she had had before Tegan was born, the first two she terminated, and the third was adopted out after she gave birth in secret.
Three years after Tegan was born, she gave birth in secret yet again.
The two other babies she gave birth to were allegedly fathered by her then boyfriend, rugby player Duncan Gillies, who maintains he was unaware.
Lane (right) was only 17-years-old when she terminated her first pregnancy without telling her family
A growing number of supporters are beginning to take a closer look at Lane’s case, believing she may be telling the truth
In a series of phone conversations from jail, Lane discussed how she often lost control, which put her in precarious situations and led to the multiple pregnancies.
‘I just think it was a carelessness and a lack of self-protection, wanting to be with someone and wanting to have a relationship,and then drinking a lot. Drinking, and not using the pill correctly, or not asking my partner to use protection, and not having control I think, is the biggest thing.’
She said the life she led often came part and parcel with her road to sporting greatness, in which she hoped to represent Australia in water polo at the 2000 Olympics.
But she claimed concealing her pregnancies from friends and family was not difficult, saying ‘I don’t even remember really putting that much effort into it.’
Despite her own admission of being a serial liar, Lane is adamant she handed Tegan over to her biological father
Before reaching out to the ABC, she penned a letter to law students at Melbourne university, RMIT, and their lecturer.
The University’s Bridge of Hope Innocence Initiative works on cases from the ground up, sifting through notes, files and evidence in order to re-establish the truth.
Associate Dean Dr Michele Ruyters told news.com.au her team looks at every fact and testimony, whether it was provided at the trial or not, and stay as objective as possible so as not to miss anything.
‘Keli’s given me a version of events that I find reasonable,’ Dr Ruyters said.
Dr Ruyter’s statement aligns with criminologist and forensic anthropologist Dr Xanthe Mallett.
‘At no stage during Lane’s trial for murder could any witnesses be found who had seen Lane murder Tegan,’ Dr Mallet said.
Concealing her pregnancies from her nearest and dearest required minimal effort on her behalf, saying ‘I don’t even remember really putting that much effort into it’
‘No one saw Lane covered in blood or claimed to see her with tools to dig a grave, or disposing of Tegan’s clothing. Nothing. Being a liar doesn’t mean she’s a murderer.’
Tegan’s body has never been found.
This, Dr Mallett fears, could set a dangerous precedent in the court of law, in which anybody could be persecuted and found guilty of a crime.
Lane stands firmly behind her initial claim she pestered a man by the name of Andrew Norris or Morris to take full custody of their baby.
She admits the pair had an affair while they were both in serious relationships with other people, but that Mr Norris (or Morris) arrived at the hospital with his girlfriend and his mother, and took Tegan away.
Police never found any record of him.