Review: ABC's Exposed

source // ABC TV + iview Facebook

You may have heard about the renewed interest in Keli Lane’s case in the past few months. No? Well, we’ve got a review for you.

The year 2010 saw news headlines about Keli Lane’s murder conviction. A jury found Lane guilty for the murder of her baby, Tegan Lane, whom she maintains she gave over to baby Tegan’s father, a man called ‘Andrew Morris’ or ‘Andrew Norris’, outside Auburn Hospital in 1996. Tegan has remained missing to this day.

Exposed is a three-part series by ABC journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Elise Worthington which investigates Tegan Lane’s disappearance. They have interviewed an impressive list of people: Keli’s parents; former boyfriends; former water polo teammates; Sharon Rhodes, a former detective that led the investigation; employees at NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages; Mark Tedeschi, the Crown prosecutor leading the case for the prosecution at the time; and key witnesses that were neither identified nor called during Lane’s trial.

The series touches upon Lane’s five pregnancies, including two adoptions, two abortions and the baby she was accused of murdering. Meldrum-Hanna and Worthington interview the people closest to Kelly, as well as key figures in the case, one of whom, former detective Rhodes, claims that police were not prepared to go to trial even after months of investigation.

One of the most gripping elements of the series is its illumination of irregularities in the trial, including that the police investigation was still underway when the trial was taking place. The prosecution also manipulated the rules of evidence to expose Lane’s sexual history during the proceedings. The series also suggests that the defence failed to observe Justice Anthony Whealy’s hints that they could request a mistrial. Curiously, the defence and prosecution struck a deal which meant key witnesses were never called. Lane was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

What I really liked about this series was that we heard from Lane directly. In fact, it was Lane who first contacted Meldrum-Hanna. This first person account is uncommon in investigative series, especially when the accused is still in prison. Her conversations with the journalists are eye-opening, particularly their discussions about why Lane kept her pregnancies a secret and why she lied about giving up one of her children for adoption.

It is worth noting that the ABC has created a Facebook group dedicated to solving the mystery of Tegan Lane beyond the series. As of 7 January 2019, the group boasts 34,439 members, with Caro and other members of her team regularly posting updates about leads they are chasing and callouts for any new information from members of the public.

Verdict: If not for how Keli Lane managed to keep all her pregnancies a secret, then watch for the interviews with people central to the case and the series’ exploration into the fairness of Lane’s trial.

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