How did a father with no criminal history come to be on trial for the brutal murder of his wife? All marriages have their secrets. Things started to unravel for Gerard Baden-Clay the night his wife Allison vanished. Within days everything private would become public.

Behind the façade of happiness their life together was riven with debt, infidelity, unfulfilled dreams, and bitter jealousy. It began with a phone call to police in Brisbane on April 20, 2012. Gerard wanted to report his wife missing. When officers arrived to investigate, they found the real estate agent neatly dressed for work. Weeping welts on the side of his face were simply shaving cuts, he told them. Police weren’t so sure and opened the book on one of Australia’s biggest-ever missing persons investigations, conducted in the heart of one of Brisbane’s wealthiest suburbs. The Baden-Clays had been married 14 years. They had three young daughters and were prominent figures within their well-heeled community. Gerard was the great grandson of Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, president of the local chamber of commerce, and vice-president of the school P & C. His wife Allison was a one-time beauty queen who spoke six languages and was global human resources manager for a travel firm when she gave it all away to marry the man of her dreams. Together they made their home in Brookfield, an idyllic semi-rural suburb, but all was not as it seemed. 10 days after Gerard reported her missing, Allison’s body was discovered on a creek bank 14km from her home.

This is the definitive story of a crime that captured the nation—the unbelievable twists, turns, secrets, and lies. Written by the journalist who covered the case from the outset, it weaves together exclusive interviews and police and court records to explain how a father with no criminal history came to be on trial for a brutal murder. It’s a story about love, lust, image, ambition, and marriage, and about every day choices and their consequences.

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