In the space of a few years, Gable Tostee changed from a shy introvert to a self-styled playboy. Then it all went horribly wrong. Look back on one of Queensland’s most intriguing cases, which ended with Tostee being acquitted of murder and manslaughter.
January 4, 2010 was a turning point for Gable Tostee. A self-described loner with no real friends, Tostee turned to the only group he trusted, and declared that he wanted to change.
“Recently I have decided that enough is enough and I need to start socialising properly again, and build up a network of friends,” he wrote.
“There are few things that feel better than connecting with other people, and I have had virtually none of that for half a decade.”
Tostee may have felt out of place in the real world, but under the pseudonym of “Balcony Brah” and “G T”, the Gold Coaster was right at home on the bodybuilding.com Misc. forum — a male-dominated group of knockabout bodybuilding enthusiasts whose conversations ranged from the mundane to the salacious.
Tostee was a prominent personality of the forum. Initially, he sought tips on bodybuilding supplements before conversations branched out to things like the economy and philosophy. He kept a video diary while trying to adopt a rhino beetle as a pet, and it soon became part of Misc folklore.
Five years earlier, Tostee and several school friends were caught up in a Schoolies fake ID racket that landed them in court. It was an experience that caused Tostee to withdraw socially. Gifted although awkward in person, he worked at his dad’s carpet business and was out of sight, alongside older colleagues he struggled to relate to.
Tostee explained to his fellow “Miscers” that he “had to cut off contact with literally all my friends and basically disappear”.
“It pretty much goes without saying that I haven’t really had much contact with women over that period either, which is one of the worst things about it,” he wrote.
With the encouragement and advice of the Miscers, Tostee would make a series of choices that would eventually bring him together with New Zealand tourist Warriena Wright on August 7, 2014.
On their only date, she would plunge to her death from his high-rise apartment balcony.
‘I’m not sure where to begin’
The Misc was Tostee’s first port of call for tips on how to reconnect with old friends — but more importantly for him, how to meet women.
“I would like to start a Facebook but I’m not sure where to begin, and I don’t know many people closely nowadays, and I’m not sure how it all works. Should I simply try and contact pretty much anyone I ever knew and see how it goes?” he asked.