How is it possible that a simple but tragic accident could become a full blown case of murder?
That a loving, grieving husband-to-be could be thrown into some of the nation’s grimmest prisons for life on the basis of a catalogue of deeply flawed evidence and assumptions?
And even when that evidence is comprehensively dismissed as hopelessly wrong, he is left to languish for another decade behind bars?
This happened to Henry Keogh.
He did the time. An awfully long time. More than 20 years as a result of a catastrophic failure of the Australian justice system.
Now a major Sunday Night investigation reveals he did not do the crime. Indeed, expert evidence assembled by the program holds that the crime itself – cold-blooded murder – never happened.
Sunday Night also reveals that powerful and compelling evidence which could have freed this man only recently came to light after sitting on a Government shelf for almost 10 years.
In March 1994, South Australian couple Henry Keogh and his fiancé Anna-Jane Cheney were six weeks away from their wedding. Returning from a night out, Anna-Jane decided to take a bath while Henry visited his mother nearby. He returned home to find her submerged in the bath. She had drowned.
At first authorities appeared to share Henry’s conclusion that this was a terrible accident – Anna-Jane had slipped in the bath, knocked her head and fallen unconscious underwater.
But days later their view changed.
Soon, Henry would be thrown into the Watch House to await trial for murder. A State forensic pathologist had concluded that Henry held Anna-Jane by the ankles and pushed her down into the bathwater to drown. Two trials later a jury agreed and Henry was sent to prison for life.
What he and his defence team didn’t know was that the forensic pathologist’s reputation was unravelling even before his trial had begun. Eventually he would be exposed as unqualified in key areas of expertise and his conclusions would be debunked. And yet Henry’s long sentence continued.
In this devastating Sunday Night investigation, Mike Willesee examines key failures in the case and Henry Keogh speaks for the first time about his cruel ordeal at the hands of Australian justice.
As you’ll see, the case and the way in which so many Australians became utterly convinced of Henry’s guilt is comparable with the notorious travesties of the Lindy Chamberlain case.
And among those once resolutely sure of Henry Keogh’s guilt is Faye Hambour. Henry and Faye married in April.
This SUNDAY NIGHT Major Investigation hosted by Melissa Doyle airs on Sunday at 7.00pm on Seven.