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Reclusive side to grieving husband

Date

Rory Callinan, Bridie Jabour

Gerard Baden-Clay is comforted by friends and family at the funeral of his slain wife, Allison, at St Paul's Anglican Church, Ipswich on May 11.

Gerard Baden-Clay is comforted by friends and family at the funeral of his slain wife, Allison, at St Paul's Anglican Church, Ipswich on May 11. Photo: Michelle Smith

As detectives narrow their hunt for the killer of Brisbane mother Allison Baden-Clay, her husband Gerard is staying in his parents' home and is yet to make a plea to help catch her killer.

The low-profile stance represents a dramatic turnaround for the prominent real estate agent and skilled networker who blogged about his life, presided over the local chamber of commerce, was touted as a potential politician and occupied the vice-president's role at the local school's P & C.

Since his wife disappeared from their rented home in Brookfield, one of Brisbane's most affluent western suburbs, the accountant turned property agent has become a recluse, growing a beard and leaving it up to his wife's parents to make a public plea to catch the killer.

The order of service for Allison Baden-Clay's funeral. brisbanetimes.com.au has pixellated the children's faces to protect their identity.

The order of service for Allison Baden-Clay's funeral. brisbanetimes.com.au has pixellated the children's faces to protect their identity.

He says he is concentrating on caring for his three daughters.

So far his only public statement has been a few sentences about his daughters and expressing concern for his wife after being confronted by a television crew about eight days before her body was found dumped in an overgrown creek bed.

Yesterday, at his wife's funeral, he did not formally address the mourners.

Mourners outside St Paul's Anglican Church, Ipswich where Allison Baden-Clay's funeral was held yesterday.

Mourners outside St Paul's Anglican Church, Ipswich where Allison Baden-Clay's funeral was held yesterday. Photo: Michelle Smith

The shunning of the public spotlight has already led to demands from local media that Mr Baden-Clay answer a series of questions about his wife and prompted an online frenzy of conspiracy theories. Police had not designated him a ''person of interest'' although they have seized some of Mr Baden-Clay's personal items from his parents' home.

Some insights into his life with his wife, however, can be found in a series of blog posts located on his business website from his times at work and with Ms Baden-Clay in 2008.

The posts reveal a man keen to succeed while enjoying family life and wrestling with the pressures of being a good businessman, father and husband. In one post he notes: ''These aren't easy times to be a father.''

He writes: ''Not so long ago a father was a success if he could put a roof over his family's head. Now it takes a roof, deck, home theatre, teen retreat and pool and that's just the holiday house. Just as the world seems to be spinning faster than ever before, requiring us to work harder and for longer, not always comprehending why or what for, fathers are also trying to make better use of family time.''

In another post he tells how Allison ''had turned the big four-0'' earlier this year and to mark the occasion she and her best friend had holidayed at a ''health spa'', leaving him to mind the three children.

''Whilst she has been enjoying the rest and quietude, I have been trying to manage the house and transport my three girls to all their activities and I am knackered … '' he says.

''I've been trying to squeeze in some work and assistance with running this business, look out for two new properties coming on to the market this week and the successful sales from last weekend too.''

He said it gave him renewed respect for all the hard work that went into being a ''homemaker''.

''I'll certainly be more understanding in the future when I come home from work and find that dinner isn't on the table and my foot-spa pre-warmed,'' he writes.

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