Exclusive: Gordon Wood breaks his silence

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Gordon Wood breaks his silence
Gordon Wood and his family. Photography by Damian Bennett. Styling by Vanessa Pennisi.

For Gordon Wood, going to jail was traumatic. But it was nothing compared to how he felt the night his girlfriend, Caroline Byrne, died.

He still grieves for her, and wonders whether he could have done anything to prevent her death.

"It still weighs heavily on me, whether I could have done more in the days before she died, whether I should have read some of the signals better," he tells The Weekly, breaking down in public for the first time since Caroline's death.

True crime: I'm haunted by my daughter's murder

Caroline Byrne died in 1995 at notorious Sydney suicide spot The Gap. Some believed Gordon, who worked for stockbroker Rene Rivkin, had killed her because she knew too much about his business dealings.

Gordon was found guilty of her murder in 2008, but this year, the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned the verdict, questioning the evidence and arguments from his original trial.

Gordon declined to give evidence in court and has never spoken publicly about Caroline's death or their relationship.

Breaking his silence to The Weekly, Gordon was reduced to tears twice during the interview.

Once, when he spoke about the days before Caroline died; the second when he spoke about the future he hoped they would share.

"When I met Caroline, it was clear to me why I was on this planet [and that] was to be a husband and a father," he says.

"I don't care if I clean toilets; I knew that was it. I knew we were going to get married and have children, and whatever else I did, I was going to do that brilliantly."

Gordon says rumours of a gay affair with his boss, Rene Rivkin, were "nonsense", and that Rene was not a criminal.

"To call him a fraudster is unfair, he wasn't. He might have sailed close to the wind in terms of taxes and what have you [but] in my knowledge and experience, he was a lovely guy."

True crime: Two wives, two murders, one killer

When asked how the Wood family felt about Caroline's father Tony's belief that Gordon was guilty, his sister Jackie said: "We understand how difficult it would be to accept one suicide in the family [Caroline's mother committed suicide]. We understand how impossible it would be to accept a second one. And I guess now he's got a difficult task ahead of him of actually dealing with the fact that his daughter committed suicide."

Read more of this story in the April issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.

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Video: Jordan Bakers talks about interviewing Gordon Wood

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