Keli Lane Is Not Sane

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MENTIONS CHILD/INFANT MURDER!

Keli Lane during her murder trial
Newspaper article about Lane’s arrest

Today, we are going to talk about Keli Lane and if you don’t know who that is don’t feel bad because I didn’t either. You might know her name if you are a fan of water polo or true crime podcasts and documentaries. Kelli Lane did the worst thing anyone can ever do in my opinion. She committed the most heinous act of all, she killed her own baby.  

Keli Lane was born in Australia on March 21, 1975, to famous rugby player, Robert Lane and his wife Sandra. After graduating from Mackellar Girls High School in Manly, Australia Keli attended the University of New Castle before transferring to the Australian College of Physical Education. Lane began dating rugby star Duncan Gillies in 1994 and in 1995 Keli and her water polo team took home silver at the World Championships hosted in Quebec, Canada. In 1995 Lane also gave birth to her first child whom she would later put up for adoption so she could focus on her career. Things were looking pretty good for the sports star and her goal was to represent Australia for water polo at the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney. Life had other plans for the 21-year-old. 

On September 12, 1996, Lane gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Tegan Lee Lane at Auburn Hospital in Auburn, Australia. On September 14th, two days after Tegan was born Lane left the hospital with her around 12:00-1:00pm and showed up at her parent’s house around 3:00pm without the baby. Later that same day Keli Lane and Duncan Gillies attended a friend’s wedding, Tegan was still nowhere to be seen. I suppose that is not too odd. The baby could have been with a family member or close friend. You would not really want to bring a newborn to a party. But would you be comfortable enough leaving you brand new bundle of joy with someone else? 

Three years later in 1999 Lane gave birth to a second child that she put up for adoption in Queensland, Australia. Lane told the social worker that was assigned to her at the adoption agency that this was her FIRST child, and the father was Duncan Gillies, despite the two having broken up a year earlier. Wait, what about Tegan? I thought that was your first child! Gillies of course denied the claim and the baby was placed into foster care after the social worker became concerned for the infant’s health and well-being. Further investigations made by the adoption agency while trying to find the infant a permanent home resulted in them discovering that this was not Keli Lane’s first child. They had learned that this was in fact Lane’s third child.  

In October 1999 Keli Lane denied ever having been pregnant before when confronted with the adoption agencies findings. Duncan Gillies swore that he never knew that Keli was pregnant on either occasion. Several days later Lane finally admitted that she had been pregnant twice before stating that her middle child, Tegan, was living with family in Perth, Australia. Remember her first child was also put up for adoption, which the agency already knew about. The social worker assigned to Lane’s case contacted local authorities after her interesting encounter with Lane. 

After dodging initial interviews with the police Keli finally sat down to have a conversation with them in February 2001, by this time she had given birth to a fourth child. Jesus woman, if you don’t want kids get your tubes tied or some shit! Kelli admitted to police that she had given birth to Tegan in 1996 and her father was Andrew Morris, a man whom she claimed to have had a brief affair with. Police spoke to Lane again in May 2003. This time she told them that Tegan’s father’s name was Andrew Norris and that he forced her to hand over the baby while they were chatting in a parking lot at Auburn hospital. She claimed that his family were who the child was living with in Perth. 

During further interviews Lane claimed that she was forced to hide her pregnancies out of fear of how her parents and friends would react to such news. In 2005 Manly policy got the New South Wales coroner’s office involved in the matter. A coronial inquest into the disappearance of Tegan Lane ran from June 2005 to February 2006. The inquest resulted in the coroner feeling “… comfortably satisfied that Tegan Lane is in fact deceased…” and that her death was a result of foul play. The coroner did admit that there was a slim to none chance that baby Tegan might still have been alive and living elsewhere. The report was sent to the New South Wales Homicide Squad for assessment and if needed further investigation.  

Police investigations started by trying to locate Andrew Morris (or Norris), that man that Lane claimed to be Tegan’s father. After looking at birth registrations, official name changes, electoral rolls, recipients of Centrelink payments or other government payments for children, immigration records, police records, driver’s license and vehicle registration records, electricity connection records, Sydney’s White Pages, and Australian Taxation Office Records the police were still unable to find a man named Andrew Morris. Hmmmmm…something smells fishy. 

Police would spend the next two years checking over 9,000 elementary school records trying to locate Tegan Lane. They did find two different girls named Tegan Lane but after doing background checks decided that they were not the missing baby they were looking for. The police investigators, assessing that they had no conclusive evidence nor any physical evidence pointing to baby Tegan’s death, decided not to charge Lane; and the matter was handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery. On November 17, 2009, the DPP charged Keli Lane with the murder of Tegan Lee Lane. Lane pleaded not guilty and the matter went to trial by jury. 

On August 9, 2010 Keli Lane’s trial began. The prosecution claimed that over the past five years Keli became pregnant seven times. They stated their belief that Lane terminated the first two pregnancies, put her most two recent children up for adoption (which could be verified), and murdered baby Tegan on September 14, 1996 in order to preserve her public image and reputation. The prosecution’s theory was that Lane was prepared to abandon or get rid of her baby at any cost to further her chance of representing Australia in the 2000 Sydney summer Olympics.  

On August 9, 2010 Keli Lane’s trial began. The prosecution claimed that over the past five years Keli became pregnant seven times. They stated their belief that Lane terminated the first two pregnancies, put her most two recent children up for adoption (which could be verified), and murdered baby Tegan on September 14, 1996 in order to preserve her public image and reputation. The prosecution’s theory was that Lane was prepared to abandon or get rid of her baby at any cost to further her chance of representing Australia in the 2000 summer Olympics. They also believed her attendance at her friend’s wedding played a big factor in the murder as Keli Lane sought a permanent solution to covering up her pregnancy from family and friends. Lane’s defense depending solely on the fact that there was lack of evidence about how or where Tegan Lane may have been killed. The defense claimed that even if Lane had killed baby Tegan the prosecution was not able to prove it.

After hearing from the prosecution about similar cases involving circumstantial evidence and considering the matter for 24 hours Justice Anthony Whealy rejected the defense’s application to have the case thrown out. It was later announced that Keli Lane would not take the stand in her own defense and that there would be no other defense witnesses taking the stand. The trial lasted a total of four months and after one week of deliberation the jury found Keli Lane guilty of lying under oath on December 13, 2010. Later that same day the jury also found Lane guilty of the murder of Tegan Lee Lane, she was denied bail. On April 15, 2011 Keli was sentenced to eighteen years in jail with a non-parole period of thirteen years and five months, she will eligible for parole on May 12, 2023.  

On April 18, 2011 the defense put filed an appeal against her conviction. Later that day the media aired claims that a taxi driver had come forward stating he saw Keli Lane dump a baby in bushland while in route to Manly. The taxi driver also collected Lane and baby Tegan from Auburn Hospital and stopped on River Road per Lane’s request before continuing to Manly. The driver also claimed that after dropping Keli off in Manly he returned to the spot where the baby had been dumped and found a woman there who said she would attend to the needs of the baby, picked her up, and left. The police opened up an investigation into these claims (I’m not sure what happened with that). Another appeal was submitted in December 2013. Both appeals have been denied, Keli Lane still sits in prison until she can go before the parole board.

After hearing from the prosecution about similar cases involving circumstantial evidence and considering the matter for 24 hours Justice Anthony Whealy rejected the defense’s application to have the case thrown out. It was later announced that Keli Lane would not take the stand in her own defense and that there would be no other defense witnesses taking the stand. The trial lasted a total of four months and after one week of deliberation the jury found Keli Lane guilty of lying under oath on December 13, 2010. Later that same day the jury also found Lane guilty of the murder of Tegan Lee Lane, she was denied bail. On April 15, 2011 Keli was sentenced to eighteen years in jail with a non-parole period of thirteen years and five months, she will eligible for parole on May 12, 2023.  

On April 18, 2011 the defense put filed an appeal against her conviction. Later that day the media aired claims that a taxi driver had come forward stating he saw Keli Lane dump a baby in bushland while in route to Manly. The taxi driver also collected Lane and baby Tegan from Auburn Hospital and stopped on River Road per Lane’s request before continuing to Manly. The driver also claimed that after dropping Keli off in Manly he returned to the spot where the baby had been dumped and found a woman there who said she would attend to the needs of the baby, picked her up, and left. The police opened up an investigation into these claims.  

For me eighteen (possibly thirteen years) is not enough time for the murder of a child. But I don’t know how the Australian judiciary system operates. In most cases I feel like the murder of a child needs to result in the death penalty but in this case, I don’t support that since it was based off mainly circumstantial evidence. I don’t even think Australia has the death penalty. Regardless, if you ask me Keli Lane got off with a slap on the wrist.   

Sources:

Keli Lane – Murderpedia

The Keli Lane Investigation – YouTube

Categories:

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s