Real Life

Baden-Clay: The murder that rocked Australia

Allison and Gerard Baden-Clay on their wedding day.
The beauty queen wife. The successful husband. And the three sweet little girls, whose lives will never be the same after their father was accused of murdering their mother.
Queensland is gripped by the case of Allison Baden-Clay, the young mother whose body was found on the side of a creek 10 days after her husband reported she failed to return after a walk.
Allison's disappearance devastated the tight Brisbane community that had held the Baden-Clays in such high esteem. They were further shocked when police searched Baden-Clay's home, his office, and seized his laptop.
The police investigation revealed hints that the couple's family life was not as rosy as it looked from the outside.
Gerard had been having an affair with a colleague, and had not made much effort to hide it from mutual friends. His business was also struggling.
On June 13, Baden-Clay was arrested and charged with murder. Through his lawyers, he protested his innocence. His guilt or innocence will now be determined by the Queensland courts.
At a bail hearing last week, prosecutors alleged Baden-Clay was more than $1 million in debt and stood to gain $967,000 from his wife's insurance policies and superannuation fund.
The court heard that he had told his mistress, a fellow real estate agent, that he would be separated from July 1; he was committed to her, but had to sort out his financial situation first.
Police also alleged he'd had three affairs since 2008.
In the days before Allison went missing, the court heard he made inquiries about her life insurance and Googled 'taking the fifth' (in the United States, the fifth amendment provides that no person be required to bear witness against themselves).
On the morning he reported Allison's disappearance, prosecutors allege, Gerald Googled "self-incrimination" before he called police.
But in an affidavit Baden-Clay tendered to the court, he said he sent two early-morning text messages to his wife soon after he woke on the day she disappeared, asking where she was.
The first read: "Good morning! Hope you slept well? Where are you? None of the girls are up yet! Love G." The second read; "All, getting concerned. Where are you? The app doesn't say either. (two children) are up now. I'm dressed and about to make lunches. Please just text me or call! Love G".
Lawyers for Baden-Clay have described the case against him as weak. They said there was no cause of death determined by the post mortem and no evidence Gerard left the house on the night she died.
Baden-Clay was refused bail. His trial could be another two years away due to delays in the Queensland legal system.

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