Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney

Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney

Ned Kelly Year: 

The story of perhaps the biggest miscarriage of justice in Australia

An investigation into an intriguing murder case and an unprecedented account of how the decisions made by organs of government can be defended and mistakes covered up. 

Anna-Jane Cheney worked at the epicentre of the conservative Adelaide legal community. She was vivacious, popular and talented, with an impeccable middle-class upbringing. The man she loved, Henry Vincent Keogh, was a divorced 39-year-old Irish migrant with three children. She died just six weeks before their wedding date.

According to the prosecution, Keogh had planned the drowning murder of Anna-Jane 18 months in advance. He had taken out five insurance policies amounting to $1.2 million over his fiancée’s life and forged her signature on them. 

Journalist Graham Archer became fascinated by the case. It wasn’t a matter of Henry Keogh’s guilt or innocence, but that a man could be sentenced to life in prison without him having received a fair trial. The story became an odyssey for Graham. Deliberately, he had no contact with Henry Keogh in the 13 years it took to have the case reviewed by the Supreme Court and have his conviction quashed.

In the end dogged determination prevailed, and after 20 years behind bars Henry Keogh was released.

Author: 
Graham Archer
Judges Report: 

Fascinating, detailed and well researched tale of a gross miscarriage of justice by a system more concerned with maintaining the status quo than pursuing justice.

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