Romance may truly be dead for good, while the hook-up culture is alive and thriving. These days, it can be hard for people to meet a love interest in real life, so they turn to dating sites to do all the work for them.
However, just like when you meet a stranger at a bar, whenever you meet someone online, you risk the chance of being lied to. Yet it’s far easier to hide the truth about one’s self behind a computer screen, than in real life…
Like many a young prospective couple, Warriena Wright and Gable Tostee decided to meet after messaging on Tinder. They went for a few drinks and ended up back at Tostee’s apartment, where they took a string of selfies to mark their first date. So far, so normal. However, just hours later, the evening took a more unusual turn – and a horribly sinister one at that.
Warriena Wright was 26 years old and lived in New Zealand. In August 2014, though, she was visiting Queensland, Australia, for a couple of weeks to attend her friend’s wedding. And it was towards the end of the vacation that she was matched with Gable Tostee on Tinder…
The young pair duly exchanged a series of messages, with Tostee telling Wright that, among other things, she was “delicious.” Before long, in fact, their conversation became pretty intimate, and it was clear that they wanted to meet up in real life. Lucky for both of them, they were staying very close to one another.
So Far, So Good
Both Warriena and Gabe were coincidentally both staying at Queensland’s Surfers Paradise resort. It seemed too good to be true and the duo agreed they had to meet up as soon as possible. The following week, they made plans to go on a date in the neighborhood. Tostee and Wright were captured on CCTV at the Surfers Paradise Cavill Mall, greeting each other with a hug. So far, so good…
Soon, the duo decided to move the party to a nearby bar before heading back to Tostee’s 14th-floor apartment just before 9:00 p.m. Five and a half hours later, however, something had gone completely wrong on the date when Wright had tragically fallen from Tostee’s balcony and died instantly.
Tostee insisted that he had nothing to do with his date’s death and plead not guilty, but police didn’t buy his story and he was soon tried for her murder. Unfortunately, what happened inside his apartment was completely unclear. Tostee claimed that the pair went to his room and had sex and that the night seemed to be going well for a while…
On the other hand, Warriena’s sister Marreza Wright, meanwhile, revealed that her sibling had messaged her on the evening she passed away. She seemed happy and not in the least bit worried about her date with the mystery man. In fact, Wright documented the evening by taking selfies with her new suitor.
The selfie photos would show a smiley Wright and the pair in a range of poses, looking happy and flashing peace signs to the camera. What could have gone so terribly wrong in those few hours between then and the time between the photo-taking and Wright’s death or was it indeed, a total accident? A three-hour tape recording from the apartment seemed to document an argument between Wright and Tostee…
Is That A Threat?
Tostee can allegedly be heard telling the former that she’s not his “kind of girl” and became increasingly agitated with his blind date. His angry statements were also accompanied by requests for her to leave immediately. From there, it only got worse. “You are lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony,” Tostee continued.
“You are not going to collect any of your belongings. You are just going to walk out and I am going to slam the door on you. Do you understand? If you try and pull anything, I’ll knock you out.” On the tape, which recorded heavy breathing, Wright is heard apologizing. It was alleged that Tostee choked and forcibly detained his date in what were to be her final minutes alive. So much for his alleged innocence, it seemed that they had caught a killer red-handed…
At the murder trial, the stunned jury was played the recording, which heard Wright screaming “no” over 30 times. During this time, a door is heard sliding open and shut and more screams followed before the tape fell silent and Tostee was heard repeatedly swearing to himself. Tostee then left his apartment and wandered around before picking up a pizza and eating it outside as if nothing happened.
Date From Hell
On his return home, he decided not to enter, owing to the obvious police presence. Then around 3:00 a.m., Tostee called his dad Gary for help. In addition to asking his father to pick him up, moreover, Tostee revealed that he “might have a bit of a situation.” Indeed, he then explained how he’d “met up with a girl for a date tonight and she started getting really aggressive.” Was there more to the story, after all?
“It was alright at first and we, you know, had sex in bed. And then after that she kept drinking, and I think she thought it was like, a joke or something, but she kept beating me up,” Tostee continued. He then told his father that he’d forced Wright onto his balcony, where he thought she “might have jumped off.”
At the murder trial for Wright, in October 2016, prosecution attorney Glenn Cash claimed that the accused hadn’t, in fact, thrown Wright off the balcony like he threatened to do on the tapes. Instead, he had scared her to such a point that she felt that she had to climb over it to escape. Cash, therefore alleged that Tostee was indeed responsible for Wright’s death, even if he didn’t directly murder her. But something was still off…
An eyewitness named Nick Casey, who was on his balcony two floors down that night, claimed that he heard Wright say “I want to go home.” He told the court, “I heard her say ‘help’ and at that point I said to her, ‘Go back inside,’ and it wasn’t long after that [that] she fell.” The man could see a woman hanging from an apartment above.
To his horror, continuing his testimony, Casey said, “She fell straight past where I was standing on the balcony and ricocheted off a few balconies below us and kept going to the ground.” His statement was corroborated in court by Emily Ellis, who said that she witnessed Wright dangling from the balcony above.
“I couldn’t work out the logic of why she was the way she was. All I could see, ’cause I’m quite short… I could see the bottom of her feet,” Ellis told the court. “By the time I’ve tried to work out what she was doing, was she trying to get down to another level or where she was going, she was gone, she’d fallen.”
Photos from Tostee’s apartment, which were used as evidence, showed empty alcohol bottles and decorative white pebbles strewn across the living-room floor. It was suggested that Wright threw the objects at Tostee, which made him angry and insist she needs to leave. When she wouldn’t, he decided to lock her out on the balcony to try and figure out how to handle the upsetting situation…
After a taxing trial, a jury of six women and six men at Brisbrane’s Supreme Court retired to consider their verdict on October 17, 2016. On October 20 Tostee was declared not guilty of Wright’s murder or manslaughter. Forensic scientists did find his blood on some stones, but no evidence Wright threw them. Other answers stretch credulity. When asked what Wright was saying “no” to, Tostee says “being disarmed” of the telescope base.
Wright’s mother criticised the judge for allowing the media to report the details of the harrowing audio recording, saying “I did not want to hear my daughter screaming, ‘No, no, no, no, no,’” in a statement midway through the high-profile trial. Her appeal to the judge to ban reporting of the recording was only allowed to be revealed after the verdict. After the verdict was announced, Byrne thanked the jury for their involvement. He said the delay in announcing the verdict on Thursday afternoon was due to information posted by a juror on Instagram. However, the judge says they have not seen the last of Gable Tostee.