SEX and money.
Pick a murder case at random and these two factors are likely to play a role.
Gerard Baden-Clay had both motivations in spades.
As fate would have it, his wife Allison and mistress were about to meet at a real estate conference.
The consequences could have been disastrous.
Gerard had previously told his wife the affair was over. She was still grilling him about it every second night.
Would he have faced a costly divorce if the lie were exposed? And perhaps more importantly, to him, the loss of access to his children?
Allison vanished before it could happen.
Yet the Court of Appeal could find no reason to kill.
A retired Supreme Court judge this week said it was “nonsense” to say there was no motive for murder.
Prosecutors have now essentially argued the same.
Gerard’s motives to murder his wife arguably went way beyond his affair.
Allison’s life insurance was worth almost $1 million. A payout would have solved Gerard’s financial crisis.
But for whatever reason — and they’re not saying — prosecutors decided not to pursue it at his trial.
The Court of Appeal had no problem accepting the jury was entitled to find Gerard killed his wife and callously dumped her body.
Whether he intended to kill her is the issue.
With no cause of death and no witnesses, some senior lawyers say it is difficult to settle on murder over the scenario Baden-Clay unintentionally killed his wife and disposed of her body in a panic.
Yet that is what the jury did. Prosecutors say the answer is found by looking at the case as a whole.