The latest case to stir up discussion on social media is the so-called ‘Tinder Murder’. News outlets have created sensational headlines, constantly plastering the internet with pictures of 30-year-old Gable Tostee, the man accused and acquitted of murder.
Unfortunately, as is all too often, the most important person has been lost in all this coverage; the victim.
On the 7th of August 2014, 26-year-old Warriena Wright was visiting Australia for a friend’s wedding. She had planned on two weeks of catching up with friends, skydiving and celebrating. She was staying in a hotel in Surfers Paradise, a beautiful and bustling part of Queensland’s Gold Coast.
That evening, Warriena met Gable Tostee, whom she had spoken to via the dating app Tinder a week earlier. They met outside a pub on Cavill Avenue, and stayed for only a few minutes before buying beer at a local shop. They had decided to return to Tostee’s flat to continue their evening.
Once inside his apartment, Tostee stated that he and Warriena had sex, then went out onto the balcony to take pictures together.
Around 1am the next day, Tostee made a decision that would affect his later trial in its entirety. He pressed a button on his mobile phone, and began recording everything being said in his apartment. The full recording lasted for 199 minutes and by the time it had ended, Warriena Wright was dead.
This recording later became the centre of both the defense and the prosecutions cases during Tostee’s trial.
During her time with Tostee, its clear from the recording that Warriena had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and started behaving erratically toward him. The jury was played the entire recording, during which we can hear Tostee tell Warriena to stop hitting him and to ‘chill out and have a drink’.
The situation escalated when Warriena asked to leave, shouting “Where’s my fucking shit? I will fucking destroy your jaw. It’s not fucking funny. I’m going to call the police.”
She later continues hitting Tostee, and he finally cracks stating “That’s more than enough. You’ve worn out your welcome. You’re not my kind of girl. You have to leave.” The pair can then be heard struggling with each other, and Warriena allegedly strikes Tostee with a telescope. The crown prosecution claimed that during this struggle, Tostee began choking Warriena, which he denies.
After more fighting, the jury heard Warriena whisper “Just let me go home” to which Tostee replies “I would but you’ve been a bad girl”. The glass door is heard clicking shut and Warriena’s voice becomes muffled. Just 20 seconds later, Warriena screams as she falls from the balcony, down 14 storeys. She died due to extensive head injuries.
Take a second and imagine how you would react to this situation. You’ve brought home a date, things have become aggressive and violent, and the person in your home has fallen to their death. Do you panic? Run for help? Call for an ambulance?
Tostee, it appears, did none of these things. He left his apartment, exiting the building via a basement car park. As police began to flood the street outside, his called his father, who advised him that he should get a lawyer and that they would get this situation straightened out. Tostee then ate pizza.
In October of 2016, the jury was asked to consider whether Tostee’s actions had left Warriena in such a state of fear and intimidation, that she felt as though she had to flee immediately, even if that meant escaping from a balcony on the 14th floor.
The crown argued that by forcing her out and locking the door, Tostee is responsible for this young woman’s death. Glen Cash, the lead prosecutor of this case, stated that at the very least, Tostee meant to cause Warriena harm and by shutting her outside, he gave her no choice as to where she could run.
The defense stated that after Warriena’s actions became violent and aggressive, Tostee had no choice but to try to restrain her, and that he was attempting to save them both from harm when he shut his date out on the balcony.
After three days of deliberation, the jury still had come to no conclusion. They continued to ask several questions of the judge, including what homeowners’ rights are when ejecting disorderly people from their property and the extent to which alcohol consumption should be taken into account when reaching a verdict.
Just a day later, Tostee was acquitted on charges of both murder and manslaughter. He was labelled an innocent man.
Earlier today, the Metro reported that Tostee has been paid a six figure sum for an exclusive interview with Nine Network’s 60 minutes, which is set to air during November. It seems as though this beautiful young woman has lost her life, while the man who did nothing to save her makes money from her death.
It’s my opinion that whether or not Warriena was acting aggressively or violently, unless Tostee was in fear for his life, his actions resulted in the death of an innocent person. For me, the very fact that he simply didn’t call for help, but continued with his day as if nothing had happened, equals guilt.
As this is such a controversial case at the moment, leave your thoughts below on Tostee’s guilt and Warriena’s behaviour. What do you think?