The show investigates and re-examines the evidence and asks whether, without a body, forensic evidence, or witnesses, Lane’s conviction was a huge miscarriage of justice.
“I can’t imagine her doing what they said she had done,” one former colleague who knew Lane at Sydney’s Ravenswood School for Girls and does not want to be named, tells New Idea. “The kids loved her and she loved them. It still sickens me when I read about it.”
Lane was 34 years old when she was charged with the murder of her daughter Tegan.
She had given birth to the baby on Sept. 12, 1996. Hospital records show that Lane was discharged two days later and the baby was never seen again.
Lane went to a friend’s wedding that same afternoon. Home video shows her arriving, smartly dressed in a cream Country Road suit, hand in hand with her then boyfriend.
In the footage she looks unruffled, carefree, and certainly not as if she has the blood of a newborn on her hands. However, by that time she’d become good at masking the truth.
Between the years of 1992 and 1999, Lane managed to conceal five pregnancies. The young teacher and talented water polo player terminated two of these and went on to have three babies, two of whom she adopted out. Incredibly, she kept it a secret from her parents, her friends, teammates, even her boyfriend who she was sleeping with at the time.
“I knew someone with whom she attended college,”
her former colleague says. “When it came out in the press, she couldn’t believe that [Lane] had been pregnant throughout and nobody had any idea. They had all played sport with her and never known.”
Lane’s pregnancy with Tegan and the newborn’s subsequent disappearance was the most perplexing. She asserted she’d given baby Tegan to a man named Andrew Morris with whom she’d had a brief affair. She later changed her story, saying his name was Andrew Norris.
Nobody of either name with baby Tegan was ever found despite Australian police launching a huge manhunt.
The lies and deception didn’t look good and the prosecution developed Lane’s motive for murder. According to the prosecution, Lane killed Tegan because a baby would get in the way of her lifestyle. She was, the Crown claimed, committed to participating in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and a baby would have crushed her sporting aspirations, as well as cramping her active social life.
Despite Tegan’s body never being found, Lane was taken to trial and in 2010 she was found guilty of murdering her two-day-old daughter.
It’s a verdict so many struggle with.
“We were all so shocked,” a former student at Ravenswood, who also won’t be named, says. “Miss Lane was so lovely. She was an influential, decent person.”
Her colleague also remains sceptical. “It’s hard to believe that she would have gone to all the trouble of having one child adopted, but then dispose of her fourth child like that,” she says.
“She’d been through the process before and gone to great lengths [for adoption]. I believe she did give her [Tegan] to someone and told them never to divulge the information. I can’t imagine she murdered her baby.”