Last Thursday, Gable Tostee was acquitted for the murder and manslaughter of Warriena Wright, who died after falling from the balcony of his 14th floor apartment building.
The 30-year-old Gold Coast carpet layer and bodybuilding enthusiast had protested his innocence from the get-go, frequently taking to social media to slam his portrayal in the media.
The details below – which were unable to be published while the trial was ongoing – are from a post made on December 10, 2014, four months after the tragedy and shortly after he was released on bail.
It addresses many of the key issues brought to light during the trial, including why he recorded the event, why he put Ms Wright out on the balcony, and why he left the building to get pizza afterwards.
On what happened that night:
“My night with Warriena was intended to be relaxed and fun. She was on holidays and we decided to meet up for drinks after matching and chatting on Tinder. At first we got along great but as the night continued her behaviour became strange and she became increasingly aggressive. I’m not sure whether she found it amusing but it was getting out of hand. She kept hitting me, taunting me, throwing my stuff around and trashing my apartment. For the last couple of hours with her most of my efforts were spent trying to placate her in the hope that she would calm down. I have always been happy to have girls stay overnight but eventually her behaviour became too overbearing and I decided I wanted her to leave. I tried to make her leave but instead of leaving she grabbed a nearby metal object and tried to swing it at me. This is where the alleged “choking” sounds began. I never deliberately choked her or put my hands around her neck, all I did was try to remove the weapon from her. If I wanted to choke her out then it probably wouldn’t have been hard, but I did not do that as I did not want to hurt her. A less forgiving man could have quite conceivably exercised less restraint and retaliated violently. I did what I did to prevent further physical conflict and de-escalate the situation as best as I could.”
Why he called her a “bad girl” in the recording:
“The “bad girl” comment was me frustratingly trying to tell her that I already tried to make her leave in response to her claiming she wanted to go home. In the heat of the moment and given the fact that I had been drinking all night, eloquence was not my first priority.”
Why he chose to put her outside on the balcony rather than out the front door:
“The struggle took place about 2-3 metres away from the rear glass doors that lead to my balcony. My front door was about 10m away, and has an automatic closer and lock which I would have had to flick then hold open while trying to force her out. This would have been much more difficult and wasn’t really an option. Putting her outdoors would have meant I could separate her from me and keep an eye on her through the glass doors until she either calmed down or I called someone like security or police to take her away. Never in my wildest imagination did I expect what happened next.
“My balcony was an outdoor living area in itself and a defining feature of the apartment, about 3.5×5.5m in size with spectacular views. It was not small or claustrophobic nor was it inherently dangerous. I have had countless guests in that apartment and previous high rise apartments who I have enjoyed relaxing with out on the balcony.”
What happened next:
“After shutting the door I turned my back and retreated, and literally about 10 seconds later when I turned around and looked through the glass I only briefly for a fraction of a second saw Warriena on the other side of the railing before she disappeared out of view. She never tried to get back in, bang on the door or even cry out to me or anyone else. She climbed over without any warning. I was too far away to react. At the time I couldn’t tell if she had fallen or climbed down to another floor. All I knew was that she was no longer there. How could anybody possibly expect someone to fall to their death within seconds of being on a balcony without any warning? It is not as if I locked her there and left her for hours. I was in disbelief.”
Why he left the building:
“I did not “flee” the scene as it has been claimed. I went downstairs to see if I could find out what happened. When I reached the lobby I saw flashing emergency lights coming from outside. At this point it dawned on me that something serious had happened. I was terrified, exhausted, intoxicated, and quite disorientated and all I wanted to do was get advice. I knew if I walked into police I could have been held under suspicion without legal representation, a situation nobody would want to be in. I resorted to leaving the building and calling my Dad.
“It’s easy for readers to say what they would have done given hindsight, but it is impossible to know how you would react if you weren’t there.”
Why he bought a slice of pizza:
“While I was waiting to meet my Dad I bought a slice of pizza to curb my hunger and anxiety. It was the most convenient thing I could find at that hour. Anyone familiar with the area will know that there are pizza venues that sell slices over the counter on every corner. The suggestion that I casually or leisurely indulged in a meal is absolutely outrageous. I was anything but casual. I had to eat because I was hungry, anxious, and intoxicated, and a slice of pizza was the easiest meal I could find.”
“As soon as I was able to obtain legal advice and representation I presented myself to the police who examined me later that day. I didn’t go home, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t even shower until that evening when I was released. That night, the police seized my phone and my parents’ phones, where they found the recording. While I did not expect them to seize it, it is completely untrue that I tried to delete it, as it proved what happened.
“By Friday night, the media frenzy was in full swing, and they had already picked me as the villain.
“Over the next week I was overwhelmed with attacks and accusations on all fronts. I was extremely distressed about Warriena’s death while facing ruthless media accusations, lies, defamation and character assassination all while my hands were tied in my attempt to remain silent. Everything I said was twisted against me.
“One week later I was awoken by detectives while I was asleep at my parents’ home, arrested and charged with murder. I was shocked. Without trial I was sent to prison where I had to stay while refusing to discuss my matter and being subject to threats, persistent questions and suspicion from other inmates, and eventually physical assault (being punched in the face for refusing to talk) for at least two weeks until my initial bail hearing where the police version of the transcript, and the admission that I was not on the balcony finally emerged. The hearing was adjourned and I spent a total of a bit over 3 months in custody until I was, thankfully, granted bail. The waiting, not knowing, and the prospect of spending the next 2-3 years in jail for something I did not do and which I would never dream of, was the most stressful period I have been through. I suffered almost daily headaches, anxiety, and insomnia.”
On why he was recording that fateful night:
“I regularly made audio recordings of my drunk nights on the town in case something happened. I kept them for myself but didn’t need to listen to them 99% of the time. It’s so easy to do using a smartphone and comes at such a small cost, and sometimes the recordings have been invaluable.
“I have had minor encounters with the law in the past, including throwing an egg at someone, being involved in a small homemade fake ID racket among me and my friends when we were 18 and a few drink driving incidents. I’m not defending these actions but they were not of a malicious nature, and I am currently undergoing treatment for my binge drinking issues. It has been reported that I supposedly assaulted and abused a police officer earlier in the year – also a fabrication. The charge was obstruct police and public nuisance for failing to withdraw $10 quickly enough to pay for a rickshaw.”
And finally, on his villainous portrayal in the media:
“The media has been absolutely disgraceful in its handling of this. From day one all they cared about was having a story. They don’t care about the truth or right or wrong. They have no respect for the dignity of the people involved. A young woman had died and they needed a villain. My silence only fuelled peoples’ imagination, and the media did everything they could to exploit that, including lying and misleading. They did everything they could to establish me as an evil monster, a portrayal which could not be further from the truth.”
“By Friday night, the media frenzy was in full swing, and they had already picked me as the villain.
“Over the next week I was overwhelmed with attacks and accusations on all fronts. I was extremely distressed about Warriena’s death while facing ruthless media accusations, lies, defamation and character assassination all while my hands were tied in my attempt to remain silent. Everything I said was twisted against me.”
“The media has fabricated stories about me having cameras to film “homemade porn” – a lie which was confirmed by the head detective to be “outrageous”.
“I had two security cameras in my previous apartment (one looking at the front door and one looking at the living room) which were solely for security purposes, and came in handy for example when I was able to retrieve my wallet from a girl who stole it.”
“I may have my eccentricities, and I may have had my fair share of drunk nights out on the town. Nobody who knows me would agree with the media’s portrayal of me or describe me as a bad or violent person.
“Most of my posts on here, especially those detailing my Tinder interactions, have been for entertainment purposes and do not truly represent who I am, so it is massively unfair for the media to paint a picture of me based on a few of the 5000+ posts they have carefully picked.”
You can read his original post in full here.