Notorious baby killer Keli Lane has manipulated and terrified an innocent woman from within her tiny prison cell, allegedly using jailbird friends and even guards to initiate a campaign of hate.
The woman, who is too frightened to be identified, has endured shocking harassment after committing the “crime” of falling in love with Lane’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Patrick Cogan.
The campaign of hate saw the woman – who we will call “Kate” – being named in sexually explicit letters and receiving poems and messages sent by Lane and her associates to her work, home, boyfriend and on social media.
The most painful message from Lane, 44, wasn’t delivered to this innocent victim but to the man Kate had fallen in love with – a sick love letter that demanded Patrick treat Kate horribly.
It begins with “Merry Christmas honeybunny” and continues with a list of “rules or what could you do to make things easier for me/us” – the explicit nature of which may disturb some readers.
“Try not to have her at our house… NO photos. Don’t compare us – if she is a bitch, doesn’t mean I’m one (or can’t get my turn). Balance us out.
“If you’re giving her a lot of attention/time – think how I might need some? Don’t go down on her. This is non-negotiable!!! SERIOUS.
“Say something mean or deny her something every day. Wipe that confident smug smile off her face at least once for me.
“I’d say take everything she’s got ($) but that’s mean … is it? Don’t pander to her tantrums, you have this grub in the bag.
“Don’t call her sweetie names, no PDAs [public displays of affection], no nice things you say to me.
“Actually, see if she’ll let you do something really yuk like wee on her face.”
This disturbing Christmas card was the final straw for Kate’s relationship with Patrick, who had been regularly visiting Lane in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, throughout their two-year relationship.
A frightened Kate complained about Lane’s harassment from her jail cell to NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman, who had Kings Cross police investigate how she was able to access social media and smuggle letters out of the jail, and whether prison guards assisted her.
This was all unfolding as Lane supporters pushed for her release from jail after an ABC documentary last year questioned her conviction for the murder of her newborn baby Tegan, whose body has never been found.
Kate has decided to go public with her story now to show how manipulative and vindictive the former sports star appears to be as she serves her maximum 18-year sentence for murder.
“All I can say about her actions were that they were very dumb. She has acted in a very childish and vindictive way,” says Kate. “I feel like I have come out the other side of it now and I have realised that my life is so much better than hers. I am not the one stuck in a jail cell.
“This was such a critical time for her to possibly get out of jail. But it seems to me she is childish, manipulative and jealous.”
The podcast Problem Child – The Story Of Keli Lane And The Murder Of Baby Tegan has investigated Lane’s harassment of Kate as part of its in-depth coverage of the 1996 murder of the child and is due to air more episodes in the coming weeks.
The scare tactics began after Kate discovered a cache of explicit “sex letters” Lane had written to Patrick while in jail.
Kate said she knew Patrick was still in touch with Lane – the pair had been dating when Lane was convicted – but was unaware he continued to visit Lane in jail and was receiving and keeping her letters.
Letter to Lane
That was in June last year, about 18 months into Kate and Patrick’s relationship, and Kate decided to write Keli a letter to tell her to stop writing the “sex letters” to her boyfriend.
That’s when the harassment started. First, it was a letter sent to Kate’s work with a poem from the New York Times bestseller Milk And Honey.
In part, the poem read: “The woman who comes after me will be the bootleg version of who I am, she will try and write poems for you and erase the ones I’ve left memorised on your lips but her lines could never punch you in the stomach the way mine did.
“She will then try to make love to your body, but she will be a sad replacement of the woman you let slip…”
Kate believes the letter was an obvious suggestion that Lane was still the one Patrick loved.
“Patrick said, ‘You wrote to her, she is just getting hers back,'” says Kate.
“The letter I received was basically a jealous woman’s letter. I immediately thought this woman is malicious and obviously very jealous. It made me think she had been stewing over the letter I had sent her. But that’s when it all started.”
It was to get much worse for Kate. By September, Lane is said to have convinced an associate of one of her jailbird friends to send Kate a carrot, apparently telling them it was a joke for a friend.
Police would later investigate how the sender received Kate’s address. But even that wasn’t straightforward, as the sender had inadvertently changed the numbers on the address and the carrot never arrived.
The sender later claimed to Kate and others on social media that Lane had put him up to wrapping it in newspaper and posting it. He even showed them a message he sent his mother, dated months beforehand, with the wrong address to show it was a request directly from Lane.
A Christmas card from Lane dated December 27 but not received until late January had the same address.
Chillingly, the Christmas card read: “Enjoy playing make believe in my house – pretending and forcing yourself to fit in. Under all those tantrums, lies and tears you know the truth. You can’t change him. Let’s guess what Patrick really wants for Christmas.”
“I was shocked to death that anyone would be so malicious,” says Kate. “It was quite obvious she was wanting to suggest Patrick was just dangling the carrot at me. I thought she had way too much time on her hands and they were acting like a bunch of schoolgirls in jail.”
Kate then got caught up in a social media storm, with associates and former jail friends of Lane sending Kate messages, tagging her in photos of carrots and releasing long statements from Lane.
It continued for months. “There was so much talk about it in these [social media] groups that I became obsessed with it,” says Kate. “I was distracted from work. It was like Keli had forced her way into my life.”
WATCH: Police ask Keli Lane if she killed her child Tegan. Post continues after video…
Christmas Day Horror
Then, on Christmas Day, Kate received a link on social media from one of Lane’s associates quoting another poem from Milk And Honey.
A separate social media message from the same associate said, “What’s Santa, snow on Manly Beach and you in my house on Christmas? It’s all make believe! Keep trying turkey. You still won’t get your wish.” It ended with an emoji of a carrot.
“It is just stuff you don’t want on Christmas Day,” says Kate.
“I wasn’t retaliating to anything, nothing on social media or anything. But it kept coming.
“I can’t believe the audacity of it and it goes to the fact that she is a complete narcissist.”
Lane’s creepy package: ‘Carrotgate’ explained
Keli Lane’s harassment took a bizarre twist with what is now being called “Carrotgate”.
In September last year, Lane allegedly spoke to an associate of another inmate and asked him to post a carrot wrapped in a newspaper.
He was given Kate’s home address, but it never made it to her. Lane apparently told the associate it was meant as a joke, but Kate later found out its true meaning.
“The carrot [was] meant to be about Pat dangling a carrot out that you will be in a relationship with him one day, just to use you for sex, and deep down you know he’s just waiting for her to get out,” the associate told Kate.
The carrot then took a central role in the continued social media harassment of Kate.
Keli & Patrick’s bizarre love affair
Patrick is Keli’s biggest supporter, and she insists nothing – including jail or other partners – can come between them
Even on the eve of being jailed for 18 years for murdering her newborn baby, Keli Lane’s boyfriend Patrick Cogan declared his enduring love for the former water polo champion – and he’s never stopped loving her.
“We love each other very much,” he told Woman’s Day after her final appeal was rejected in 2014. “Ours has been a relationship borne of difficult circumstances and challenges, and these have strengthened our bond.”
Patrick dated Lane when they were teenagers and reconnected with her just before she was arrested in 2009 for killing her newborn daughter Tegan, who went missing after Lane left with her from a Sydney hospital and has never been found.
But it was her bizarre history of hiding pregnancies – she had five pregnancies between 1992 and 1999 that she managed to keep secret from her family, friends, water polo teammates and boyfriends – that fascinated and repelled Australia.
However, it didn’t deter Patrick from loving Lane, with the father-of-two regularly visiting her in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, and seemingly maintaining an on-again, off-again love affair with her from the outside.
Even her lesbian relationships in jail haven’t affected his commitment to Lane, with Patrick telling The Daily Telegraph she had chosen to turn “gay for the stay”.
“She has got close to other women, she needs to survive,” he said in a recent interview.
“The truth is weirder than a lie, but I believe her and love her. I’m waiting for the day she comes out and we can be a family.”
Lane reputedly has now earned the nickname of “Queen Bea” – after the tough character on Wentworth and Prisoner – because she sells soaps, deodorants, lollies, drinks, chips and bags of rice to other inmates in the jail.