true crime

Lloyd Rayney was falsely accused of killing his wife. Now he wants answers.

On August 15, 2007, Corryn Rayney’s body was found in a deep grave in Kings Park, Perth.

The 44-year-old had been buried head first.

According to ABC News, the mother-of-two had disappeared eight days earlier and was last seen attending a boot-scooting class in the Perth suburb of Bentley.

After the discovery of her body, the police launched a two and half year investigation into her murder. It led them to arrest and charge her husband Lloyd Rayney, a prominent barrister specialising in criminal prosecution.

Lloyd Rayney speaks exclusively to 60 Minutes…

Rayney was later found not guilty of the crime during a judge-only trial. Prosecutors would later launch and lose two appeals against the verdict.

Now Rayney has spoken exclusively to 60 Minutes’ Tara Brown about his determination to find his wife’s real killer.

He told Brown on the night of his wife’s disappearance, he and his two young daughters went to bed, assuming Corryn was just out with some friends.

And when they woke the next morning and there was no sign of her, they all just assumed she had gone to work early.

“There was no reason to believe anything had happened,” he explained.

But when Rayney later received a phone call from his wife’s work about her absence, he immediately became worried.

“I knew straight away that something was wrong,” he said.

“Corryn was very conscientious, loved her job. For her not to go to work, something was wrong.”

Eight days later, police discovered her body.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rayney immediately became the main suspect in the case. Investigators honed in on the father-of-two when they discovered that although he and Corryn were living under the same roof, they were actually in the midst of a separation.

On the night of Corryn’s disappearance, they had planned to discuss their finances and custody of the girls when she returned from her class.

One month into the investigation, Senior Sergeant Jack Lee, named Rayney as the “prime and only suspect” during a press conference.

Three years later, on December 8, 2010, police pulled Rayney over in busy downtown Perth charged him with his wife’s murder.

“I had worked by that stage – more than 20 years as a hard-working lawyer to build a career,” Rayney tells 60 Minutes. 

“It took less than 20 minutes to destroy all that.”

Rayney still doesn’t understand why investigators were hell bent on pursuing him when none of the evidence led to him.

“I don’t know. I’ve asked myself that question many times,” he explained on 60 Minutes. “I don’t know the answer. was there someone who had a serious grudge against me because I’d prosecuted them before? I’ve prosecuted police officers, I’ve prosecuted politicians, I’ve prosecuted a whole range across the spectrum. I don’t know.”

But he always knew he’d be proven innocent.

“I never for a moment doubted that I would be acquitted because there was no evidence. there was never a case, never a case that I had murdered Corryn, and that’s the result,” he said.

Despite being proven innocent three times in court – Rayney’s life will never be the same.

His reputation and finances have been irreparably damaged. And more than a decade later, he still hasn’t seen justice for his wife.

“Well, what has never changed is that Corryn’s killer has never been prosecuted, so in that regard, yes. Nothing gets better until it happens. To investigate me alone to the exclusion of others, that’s completely wrong, and that’s what’s caused this injustice. The injustice is not to me, it’s to my children and it’s to everybody who ever knew Corryn, everybody who ever loved her. That’s the injustice,” he said. 

“Of course, and as well as that, there’s a person or people walking around who’ve literally got away with murder.” 

00:00 / ???