true crime

Warriena Wright's father speaks for the first time about her death.

He may never have spoken to police, he may not have taken the stand, but the loudest voice in (and since) last October’s Gable Tostee case was the man himself.

The public and press’s fascination with the 30-year-old carpet layer was insatiable – he was the stony-faced playboy who secretly took audio recordings of all his dates, the one who’d slept with more than 180 women, the latest of which had fallen 14 storeys to her death from the balcony of his Gold Coast apartment.

He was the one who’d called his lawyer and went to buy a slice of pizza as she lay lifeless on the pavement.

Wright and Tostee on the night of her death. Image via Facebook

She was Warriena Wright. A New Zealander from Lower Hutt on holiday in Australia, single, pretty, bold. Forever 26.

Beyond that, her side of the infamous 'Tinder-date death' story has been little more than a faint sketch drawn via media reports and Tostee's haunting three-hour recording of that night - August 7, 2014.

That's largely because those close to her remained tight lipped. But in today's Good Weekend, journalist Melissa Fyfe presents a previously unheard voice: that of her father.

Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team discusses Gable Tostee's paid 60 Minutes interview. Post continues...

Warren Wright, a 58-year-old semi-retired electrician, is painted by Fyfe as a grieving man, humble man, a wary man.

"I never trust a human being. I taught my daughters that," he said from his Levin home, according to Good Weekend. "Then Warriena went and trusted him."


Such is the nature of modern dating. A Tinder profile, a swipe, a few text messages, (Tostee reportedly wrote, "You look delicious, I want to do dirty things to you.") and then they drank and slept together in his Surfer's Paradise apartment.

The audio, played in court and released to the media, captures everything from their flirting, their drinking, their arguments, to sounds of a scuffle, a balcony door closing, then Wright's screams.


She yells the word 31 times in 46 seconds.

Then at 2.21am, she falls while trying to climb to the balcony below.

Gabe Tostee is captured on CCTV with Warriena Wright.

Nick Casey was visiting friends in that apartment, and says he'll never forget the image of her face as she plunged past the ledge. It was, as Fyfe describes it, "wide-eyed with pure fear".

"If I had put my arms out, I could have touched her as she fell," Casey told Good Weekend. "And then we just watched her fall to the ground."

It was a fall for which a jury - after four days of deliberation and a near mistrial - found Tostee bore no responsibility.

On October 21, 2016, he walked free, acquitted of murder and manslaughter.

Warren Wright believes there are other charges the Queensland man should face, but despite an offer from a lawyer to review the case, the family won't take it any further.

"The bottom line," he said, "is nothing brings her back."