Posts tagged: Crime and Justice

Is David Bain really innocent?

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 15:  David Bai...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Here’s an article that everyone should have the opportunity to read. Martin van Beynen writes an opinion piece for The Press newspaper in Christchurch. He, unlike the rest of us who have ‘made our mind up’, attended the whole trial and was shocked by the time it took the jury to return their not-guilty verdict, and shocked that it wasn’t a guilty one.

Here’s how Mr van Beynen sums up the evidence that should have lead to a guilty verdict:

The reasons I am sure Bain killed his family are twofold.

The first is the incredible coincidences that we have to accept if Bain is innocent.

For instance, we have to accept, just for a start, that the following facts all have perfectly innocent explanations not connected with the death of the Bain family Bain’s clear and recent fingerprints on the murder rifle, the bruises on his face and torso, the blood of his brother on his clothes, a 20-minute delay before ringing the police after finding bodies, hearing his sister gurgling (and failing to help her), convenient changes in his story, a lens from damaged glasses (of no use to anyone else and found in his bedroom) turning up in his dead brother’s room, bizarre behaviour before and after the killings, not noticing the blood all over the laundry and putting the jersey worn by the killer in the washing.

However, the best evidence relates to the implausibility of Robin Bain shooting his family and then himself. If David Bain is not the culprit, Robin had a settled night in his caravan (we know this by the amount and quality of urine in his bladder) and then got up about 5.50am, after David had left on his paper round.

Despite David admitting he hated his father and siding strongly with his mother in every dispute, he was the one Robin wanted to spare, so he had to be out of the house.

Robin removed the clothes he slept in and dressed warmly, putting on a green jersey usually worn by daughter Arawa, a beauty queen and budding teacher, of whom he was very proud.

In the caravan, he listened to the radio, which he probably switched on before getting up.

His first stop on the way to the house where his family slept was at the letterbox, where he removed the newspaper.

Once in the house, he went to David’s room, where he took the rifle from the wardrobe and then looked for the key to the trigger lock. Although he scattered a few bullets around (David had more than 1000 rounds of ammunition in his wardrobe), he found the key in a pot on David’s desk with ease and carefully ensured other items were left in place.

He also put on David’s white dress gloves, forgetting he did not want to implicate David and also overlooking that, since he was going to end it all, it wouldn’t matter much if people knew it was him, anyway.

He loaded both magazines one five-shot and the other 10-shot with hollow-nosed .22 bullets and then headed towards the bedrooms.

He shot his sleeping wife, Margaret, just above her right eye and shot Laniet, his favourite, three times once in the cheek, once in the top of the head, and once above her left ear.

By this time, he may already have shot Stephen, his 14-year-old son, who, even as a grown boy, used to sit on his knee.

Stephen, however, had woken up and grabbed the silencer on the rifle before Robin could shoot. When he did, the bullet went through Stephen’s hand and tore a gouge out of his scalp.

Stephen, pumped up with adrenaline, fought for his life, but Robin, belying a frame described as cadaverous, soon had the better of the brave teenager, strangling him first with his T-shirt and, when he was incapacitated, putting a bullet through the top of his head, like he had done or was to do with Laniet.

He then went down to Arawa’s room. She had got up and, as she retreated into her room, he shot her in the forehead.

By now, he was covered in blood, mainly from Stephen. Did it matter, since he was going to take his own life? It did.

He went back to the caravan, perhaps having already neatly placed his blood-spattered clothes and blood-soaked socks in the laundry basket. He did not wash his hands.

To meet his maker, he chose an old pair of light-blue tracksuit pants, an equally delapidated T-shirt, an old business shirt, a brown woollen jersey and a thick hoodie. He also donned a green knitted beanie. He put on clean socks and shoes, but no underpants.

Then, he went back to the house to take his own life.

Time was marching on.

David would soon be home from his paper round and he still had to write his message on the computer.

He turned the computer on (David must now have been nearing the house) and waited 40 seconds for the computer to bring up the page for him to write his suicide note not to explain himself but to exonerate David. “Sorry you are the only one who deserved to stay.”

Then, despite executing his family in textbook style, Robin chose an extraordinarily unusual way to take his own life, placing the rifle muzzle against his left temple on a strange angle.

A shot and he was falling, spilling blood and brain matter, which somehow got on to curtains that were a long way from where his body was found.

And the spare 10-shot magazine just happened to land on its narrowest edge, right by his right hand.

Despite clutching the rifle with his unclad hands to shoot at least some members of his family and then himself, the rifle did not have a single fingerprint belonging to him, even on the steel of the silencer.

Make up your own mind.

Read the whole article here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/2518912/Plenty-of-doubt-in-Bain-jurys-verdict


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