Sunday, March 08, 2009


First published at Qassia:

The retrial of one of New Zealand's most controversial mass murderers - the David Bain retrial - has commenced in the Christchurch High Court in the South Island.
David Bain was originally convicted of killing his parents and three siblings in their Dunedin family home on June 20 1994. He served twelve years of his life sentence, after appeals in New Zealand were unsuccessful.

After a successful application to the Privy Council in London, his sentence was set aside by the Court of Appeal in May 2007. He was subsequently granted a retrial.

David Bain had been found guilty of the mass murders of his entire family on June 20, 1994, in Dunedin.

Bain then a 22 year old student, claimed to have come home from his paper delivery run and found his father, Robin, lying dead. He had then rung the 111 emergency number and told them his father was dead. The police arrived to find him wailing, "that they were all dead".

They were met by a bloodbath scene of slaughter, with father Robin shot dead, with a .22 rifle lying nearby; mother Margaret, 50 years, killed by a single shot to the head; and sisters, Laniet and Arawa both dead with headwounds. It was also obvious by the murder scene that younger brother, Stephen,14 yrs, had put up a furious struggle with his blood later being found on David's clothing.

David Bain had claimed to have heard his older sister, Laniet gurgling, so would have had to been around when she died. There was evidence in the laundry that he had attempted to wash blood from his clothing; there was a lens from his spectacles in Stephen's room, with the rest of the spectacles he had been being found in his own room.

The murders had been carried out by David's own .22 rifle, from which he had the trigger lock keys, and his bloody gloves were found in Stephen's room.

The later defence evidence had claimed that father, Robin, had been the murderer because he was trying to cover up his alleged incest with daughter, Laniet. If Robin had planned a murder/ suicide why would he wear gloves?

The prosecution had claimed David Bain had used his paper run as an alibi for the mass murder of his entire family.

Evidence produced during the original trial showed the Bain family to have been a very dysfunctional family. Much was revealed about the behaviour of the entire family who had prevously been on missionary service in Papua New Guinea.

The family home in Dunedin, the murder scene, inexplicably burned down shortly after the murders. Much evidence necessary for a retrial may well have gone with it.

A number of books were written about the Bain killings. Two that I read convinced me personally of David Bain's guilt, whereas previously I still had an open mind about the mass murders.

Another book written by former All Black rugby union international, Joe Karam, claimed David Bain's innocence. I never read this book, and was not convinced by later claims of Bain's innocence. Karam, who apparently had no prior contact with David Bain or his family and believed in David's innocence, was able to build-up a support group who fought publicly over many years to clear Bain's name, and produce enough alternative evidence to eventually get the case sent to the Privy Concil in London. The Law Lords claimed some miscarriage of justice, which has allegedly been enough to get Bain the retrial that has now started in Christchurch. What that new evidence is will be revealed by the defence during this coming retrial. Personally, I haven't a clue what it might be.

This case has already cost the state millions, with millions more expected to be spent over the next three months or so. The state will never be able to claim compensation from Bain even if he is again found guilty of the mass murders of his family.

Some may claim that there is no charge for justice? I would agree, if he is actually found innocence! But until this happens I still believe David Bain to be a despicable and pathetic mass murderer who deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Allan Arthur Thomas, who spent many years here in prison for the 1970's Crewe murders, and was later pardoned and paid close to a million dollars in compensation by the Muldoon administration, is also a supporter of David Bain and claims he should receive multi-millions in compensation. Of course he is way out of line because the retrial will have to review all existing and new evidence.

We will all have to wait for the result of this retrial and may have to eat our words if he is inexplicably found not guilty!


Sire said...

An interesting read Peter. A bit hard for me to come to a verdict without all the evidence. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is. I'm sure you will keep us informed.

Kiwi Riverman - The Writer said...

This was just an overview of the last trial and why there is a retrial. You can Google if you want more detaied background of the saga. I will write a follow-up in due course. As I said the trial should last for three months. Thanks for reading and commenting.



bstone said...

omg, this guy sounds terrible!!!!!!!!

Kiwi Riverman - The Writer said...

Look at him? Apparently he was a bit of a stand -over merchant in the prison kitchen during the latter days of his sentence.