In Australia, about one person goes missing every 15 minutes. Most missing persons cases take hours, days, or even weeks before an in-depth investigation is put into action. In the case of 43-year old mother of three Allison Baden-Clay, it took mere minutes.
Constables arrived at the Baden-Clay home at 8am, took one look at Allison’s husband Gerard, and strongly suspected that he had killed Allison. He was dressed for a normal work day when he walked out the front door of his suburban home and greeted the officers. They immediately noticed fresh scratches running down the right side of Gerard’s face. Jagged and raw, they inflamed his cheek and trailed off at the line of his jaw.
Those scratches told a story that didn’t match the story Gerard told them. He said he had cut himself shaving. They looked at this supposed concerned husband and long-standing pillar of the community and saw a killer.
In the days after Allison’s disappearance, investigators learned that her marriage was not what it appeared. Gerard had been unfaithful and his mistress was expecting him to ask Allison for a divorce. It could have been a case of a suburban mom who needed time alone. Maybe she would come walking up the driveway any minute. Or maybe they would find her injured on a walking path waiting for help. But they didn’t think so.
Allison Baden-Clay seemed to be living a charmed life. Her husband was a successful and well-known real estate agent. Their three young daughters were healthy. Their home was in Brookfield, a very desirable suburb.
Like thousands of women who suffer from domestic violence, Allison lived with underlying misery as she worked to present herself and her family in the best light. In our quiet end talk today, we’re looking into the development and destruction of Allison and Gerard’s relationship. What went wrong and did the punishment fit the crime?