After two years of staying silent, a letter Gable Tostee wrote and posted online four months after Warriena Wright fell to her death from his balcony has been revealed.
The letter was suppressed by the courts until now, but since Tostee was found not guilty of her murder last Thursday it can now be made public.
Many people who followed this case still had questions about what happened that night after the verdict was read: why did Tostee call his lawyer and not the police? Why did he go get pizza instead of going to the police station? Why did he secretly record what happened that night?
The letter is long and detailed and shows Tostee giving his version of events and answering some of the lingering questions that have haunted many.
“I think it’s time I spoke out about the events that have happened over the last few months,” he wrote.
“Those aware will know I am referring to the tragic death of Warriena Wright. So far I’ve been silent about the whole thing which has left my hands tied while so many misconceptions and untruths are being circulated in the media and in the public.
“This has been extraordinarily difficult, and I have grown to believe my silence may have done more harm than good. So now you can hear it from me.
“First off let me say that the death of Warriena was the most tragic and distressing event I have ever experienced.
“Knowing I was the last person to be with her, it has left me permanently scarred and not a day passes that I don’t wish I could go back in time and prevent it.
“For at least a week after it happened I was so overwhelmed I was unable to laugh or even crack a smile. I broke down in tears several times a day, or whenever I saw her picture in the news.
“I never expected I would ever experience something like this, nor did I have any idea how much it would affect me.
“Even though I had only known her for a night I was horrified that this had happened to her. I would never wish for it to happen to anybody.
“While I have not had the chance to meet or speak to Warriena’s family, it pains me to think of the loss and suffering they must be experiencing.”
He continued, talking about how he felt the media had mistreated him and painted him as a “villain”, before going into what happened when he and Warriena got back to his apartment.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
In the recording played in court, Tostee can be heard saying, “you’ve been a bad girl” – a comment that many found disturbing.
“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,” Tostee wrote.
“In the heat of the moment and given the fact that I had been drinking all night, eloquence was not my first priority. 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. 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.”
“Trying to keep my composure as much as possible I quickly realised that it would be extremely foolish to go back out on the balcony in case she had indeed fallen and someone saw me standing near the edge,” he said.
“The only sensible thing I could think to do at the time was call my lawyer, who would know what to do. Of course, the call didn’t go through. 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.”
He also address one of the biggest questions people had after he left his apartment.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”
Later, he talked about why he recorded the night on his phone.
“I regularly made audio recordings of my drunk nights on the town in case something happened,” he wrote. 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. I actually had my phone recording during this incident too.”
Before he signed off, he claimed his innocence once more and spoke about the conditions of his bail.
“Currently I am living at my parents’ home, settling in. Everything has changed profoundly and I have a long road ahead of me,” he said.
“I know my lawyers might crucify me for writing this but I feel that I needed to speak out as I have had no voice so far and have sustained so much abuse having my hands tied.
“I am not afraid of the truth. I know I am innocent, I will be fighting the charge and I want to thank those who have understood and supported me.
“I look forward to this matter being resolved so that everyone involved can achieve closure.