Opinion: This is a purely psychological analysis, based on a concept of what an educated and adjusted person in our society would do when faced with an allegedly false accusation of such grand scale as that which faced David Bain. That is, to write a book. Lindy Chamberlain, whom most people now consider is innocent, did this. She wrote a book. Amanda Knox who is about to face a retrial in Italy for the murder of Meredith Kercher has written a book. A book is an ideal way to purge emotions that relate to a traumatic event and also to promote your side of the story.
David Bain was at university studying classics and drama the year of the murders. One would have to assume that he would be able to write a reasonably articulate autobiography, yet, the only writing done about him was by the hand of someone who never saw the inside of a university and none of those books are autobiographical.
Paul Holmes, when reviewing Trial by Ambush was disappointed that the book did not reveal more about David Bain and his experiences and feelings. Imagine that you came home after a paper run and found your family members all dead. After thorough investigation it is found that your father did it and that he had, unknowingly to you, abused your youngest sister for years and held secret resentments against your mother. You are 23 years of age and your family means everything to you. There are a bunch of emotions that most people go through following a traumatic event. Here are some:
- Disbelief - victim often initially cannot believe that the event has happened
- Anger - victim is angry and wants to fight back somehow
- Grief - victim accepts loss but it hurts
- Guilt - victim blames self and wonders if there was something that could have been done to avoid it
- Loss / depression - victim experiences physiological symptoms of depression
- Adjustment - victim finds ways to adjust to new circumstances
- Coping - victim eventually copes
In the emotional events described above lies a rich trove of literary material that when properly articulated would make for a very good read and provide the audience with a very good understanding of David's circumstances, and more importantly his innocence, if that is the case. For instance David could berate his father: "Look I understand why you killed Mum and maybe Laniet, but why Arawa and Stephen? What did they do wrong? They were just as deserving as me? I don't understand!"
A young man studying classics and drama at University should have the skills within himself to write a very good book describing the experience of being an innocent victim of a horrific crime. Classics and Drama graduates often become English teachers or authors. While in prison, David studied engineering and that is now his current occupation. He is not a consulting engineer but a tradesperson. There was plenty of opportunity for him to finish a degree while in prison but he chose a trade instead.
David Bain, despite being a classics and drama student when he was arrested, has not written an autobiography. This lack of personal testimony indicates either that David Bain is not able to articulate his feelings or that the feelings he did experience do not relate to the loss of his family but to his sudden and unexpected incarceration. Certainly, in his speech in 2012 at the Perth conference he had more to say about being thrown in jail than he did about losing his family.
If David was truly innocent, then it would have been a doddle for him to have personally testified in the retrial and it would have been a sensible move for him to write an autobiography laying his feelings bare. Neither happened. David Bain is guilty. (This statement made with support of the mountain of circumstantial evidence against him as well).
Kent, this is a great point. There would be heaps of publishers who would pay good money up front for David Bain's book. It would be a best seller that would beat Karam's book. It would include his prison experience and if a film was to be made it would be a better start to a script than the Karam books. Regardless of David Bain's writing abilities publishers would provide him with a ghost writer to collaborate. However, Arthur thomas never wrote a book or did many TV interviews. We know nothing of his life behind bars. That is strange because that would be a great book too. It appears to me there will be a day in which David Bain will have to speak for himself without all the protection and management that Karam continually provides. He is likely to survive Karam. It always appears to me that he left one prison to live in another. There is a price for having sold your life to another in order to get out of prison. You can never be truely free. By the way, is there any recordings or transcripts of David Bain's Perth speech?
What revealing words?
Like this excerpt:
"I can only thank my upbringing, my family, my Mum and Dad [who] helped us with our education, with our upbringing, with university studies and helped us become the people we are"
Where he refers to the family in the present tense.
You would have to deduce that he is delusional eh?
I just realised that those words appeared in his 60 minutes interview. You can see that the sentence has been reproduced in the copy on the page (interestingly). They are a very odd choice of words, notwithstanding that his father is meant to have murdered all but him. Some of the P&G hill tribes have some very odd belief systems. I suspect that David has picked up on some esoteric belief and the family still lives on within him.
At this point I have to admit my memories of the trial are very foggy.
This sentence follows a paragraph in which he describes his experience of the trial.
And on the fateful morning
The rest of that morning until I was removed from the house is much of a blur to me. I couldn't focus my attention on anything. I was cold, numb my mind had pretty much shut down, there were random thoughts of "got to go to university. I need to get that essay done. I've got a class to study for. Oh shit got to get the washing out." I couldn't think what had happened to me or why all these strangers were in the house
Having just found his entire family dead an rang emergency - this is bullshit.
Of course I was in total disarray now and after finding that Dad could not help it finally dawned on me to dial the emergency number
Here is a little boy lost without daddy but he has already said how he was the brother all his younger siblings looked to.
The first trial was an extremely stressful time as you can probably imagine and it is a period of my life that I truly wish I could blank out This suggests that he is used to blanking things out at will when it suits. this also contradicts his earlier statement that his memory of the trial is foogy. Which is it? He has a vivid memory evidently of the day he was charged including what the detective said. I wonder if the detective remembers saying the things Bain alleges?
I was unaware of the malevolent undercurrents that were happening in my own family. I often wish I could have done something. If I had only seen her on that day when she sought my help this could have been the one thing that might have changed the outcome.
Unfortunately it was to me she sought help in the days leading up to the 20th of June. It was one of the most painful aspects of the tragedy that I only learned of this through a friend after everything became my nightmare.
Here's a motive perhaps. He describes himself as "naive". These revelations shattered his illusions of his idyllic family. That could have driven him over the edge. Why not get rid of all the losers. He alone "deserved to stay". Why wait and share the inheritance when if he got rid of them all now he could get the lot.
I have always wondered if David Bain can somehow "self hypnotise"himself.
When Barbara Neasmith [Short] visited him in jail she said every time she mentioned the murders he appeared to switch off. She referred to him as being" under possession" when he did that.
In the Bain/Binnie interview he said his mother was into self hypnosis.
Also in that interview,when Binnie asked him about those witnesses who said Laniet had told them she didn't want to go home that night because she was frightened of him, he asked Binnie " Who said that?". I mean those witnesses spoke for some length at the retrial but he doesn't appear to have heard them.
And then we have him showing a female companion those marks on his chest. I mean those marks tend to incriminate him, yet he shows them to her,as if he honestly didn't know ,at that time, how he got them. He would be well aware how he got them by now.
And then we have those glasses. There is no doubt in my mind he was wearing them that morning and that they were damaged in that struggle with Stephen. But why on earth did he bring them back to his room? Why didn't he just put them in his mothers draw? Did he go into Stephen's room when he came home, see those glasses lying there, and just pick them up and take them back to his room without knowing [at that time] how they came to be in his brother's room?
And he told his lawyer he would be admitting to wearing those glasses on the Sunday and the days prior. Why on earth would he do that? Of course he denied wearing them when he took the stand, but still.
I think the explanation of why David took the glasses to his room is simple. The fight with his brother was an unexpected interuption to his plan. In the struggle the glasses are damaged and fall to the floor. After killing his brother, David is flustered and unsettled. Absent mindedly he does what most people who wear glasses do. they notice they are missing. He looks for them, picks them up and withoout noticing the missing lens takes them to the chair in his room. He leaves them there again without noticing the missing lens. If he had noticed the missing lens he sure would never have asked the policeman in his room for "his" glasses. This is how one would naturally refer to the glasses one had been using regardless of who they actually belonged to. And despite the evidence of some that he did not need glasses, it is obvious he would not have asked the policeman for them if this was the case, especially in the morning gloom inside his room. These were the inevitable hiccups in his plan that gave him away. The rifle magazine neatly on its edge was another and there are others. The perfect murder is a piece of fiction and when you commit five murders the potential ratio of errors iincreases.
He could have absent mindedly picked them up, although my understanding is that both lenses may have fallen out in Stephen's room. He could have absent mindedly asked for them ,forgetting they were damaged.
So far as I am aware that police officer never replied to Bain, so you have to wonder why he didn't ask for them again.
I believe he didn't do that because he had remembered they were damaged and of no use to him.
Are you suggesting he refixed one of the lenses? How do we know that and that the frames had been minus both lenses for a while in his brother's room? A good observation regarding his failure to repeat the request.
As I understand it the glasses frame was on that chair and a lens was with it [not in it].
An expert testified that the frame was damaged by being forced against a carpet or mattress causing both lenses to fall out.
I accept your correction so if that is correctl this could mean he took the frames and the one lens to the chair not realising that the second lens was out. Alternatively, he knew both were out but in the fluster could not locate the second lens. In either event he would have left them in his brother's room if he was thinking but in my scenario he made this mistake because he had been unsettled by the fight. He then asked the policeman for the glasses which might suggest that he thought he had the complete pair and hoped to be able to quickly insert the single lens which he had forgotten to do earlier. It could also be that the instant he blurted it out he realsed this was mistake so he did not repeat the request. Maybe the copper was quick thinking and seeing the missing lenses identified them as a potential clue and simply ignored the request.
Let's imagine that we have had our fight with Stephen and the glasses are in a position to be retrieved. It is more likely they can be retrieved off a mattress than off the floor. David would have retrieved them in order to continue with his murderous spree, because he still had Arawa to contend with. He may have felt round for the glasses in the dark or there may have been telltale shadows in some dim light filtering into the room, revealing their location. Once he retrieved the glasses, he found they were no use. If he put them on his bedroom chair then that suggests he went back to reload the magazine at this point. Does anyone know how many shots were fired to kill the first three victims?
Depends on the order of the shootings. I don't know why the Police are uncertain about this as it seems obvious to me. Laniet was first. She was shot in the chin/throat area. Then the mother - one clean shot. Then Stephen. It would appear he was shot in the scalp as he moved toward David. The second round jammed and was ejected as a live round. The struggle ensued and he was executed with a third shot.
My guess is that the commotion would have alerted Arawa, so he would then have had to move rapidly downstairs to dispose of her. On returning upstairs he heard Laniet gurgling. A further lateral head shot followed by a final execution stye head shot. I also recall a live round was found in Laniet's room indicative of a misfire.
So -- my assumption is that approximately 8 shots were fired to kill the first 3 victims (two were misfires).
All this is speculation however. I understand the Police believe the mother was the first victim - doesn't make sense to me as Laniet appears to have been shot whilst asleep and the fight with Stephen would have awakened her. There is also that weird business about Laniet having been shot through a cloth.
The police do not know the order of the shootings. Stephen was shot after Margaret and Arawa was shot last[ apart from Robin,of course]. Laniet was either shot first of third.
My thinking is Margaret , Stephen, Laniet ,Arawa. The reason I say Laniet was third is because I don't believe David was wearing glasses when he shot her the first time, hence the shot through the cheek.
But then wouldn't Laniet have heard that struggle going on? So maybe she was shot first.
Then after David had done the washing [and maybe out of an hypnotic state] he came back upstairs and heard Laniet gurgling, put himself back into a hypnotic state and shot her twice more through the head.
As for the cloth, that was never proven. There were some fibres on some bullet fragments but one expert said they could have come from fibreboard or something similar.
I don't know that Arawa would have heard that fight going on because her bedroom was downstairs and at the other side of the house.
Another point. There was a bloody sockprint outside Laniet's doorway so David obviously stopped there on his way back from shooting Stephen. Those sockprints fade out at the top of the stairs. There were none in Laniet's room.
There is a theory that Arawa did hear something because she was out of bed when she was shot. David may have made her kneel down.
As for the glasses,well perhaps the frame and one lens did fall on Stephen's bed, but there was a great deal of blood on that bed and neither the frame or lenses had any blood on them. I am more inclined to think those glasses were damaged when Stephen and David were wrestling on the floor and happened to fall off in an area where there was no blood.
The five stages of grief you allude to are similar to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's Grief Cycle for those left behind after such a traumatic event as one murder,let alone five. The reason why David cannot grieve is that he feels very little if any remorse for his crimes,he has conveniently blanked the events out of his consciousness when questioned in detail by others;the reason why he cannot write a book is he is fearful of tripping himself up as he did with the Laniet gurgling remark. I find it very hard to study this man in the flesh with that blank stare on occasion giving way to an infantile smile:I think that really sums the man up,as does the sentence on the computer typed by his own hand as he believes even today that he is the only person in that family who deserves a life.
Absolutely Steve. He cannot write a book for the same reason that at his retrial Reed QC could not dare to have him testify. From Reed's perspective that was the most serious error Michael Guest made at the first trial. As you say writting a book runs the risk of tripping as did testifying at the retrial. This is why when he appeared at Perth it was on a leash from his organ grinder, Joe Karam. Here he is 40 or approaching that age living his life as a minor with a guardian. Out of one prison and into another. I can never recall Arthur Thomas being minded after his pardon. He could speak for himself because there was no risk. Karam and Reed know that Bain does not fit into the same category. What's going to happen when these two are "all dead"?
On tonights news we heard how a Florida Jury's acquittal of a white security guard charged with the murder of a single black youth, is threatening to cause rioting. That jury deliberated for 30 times the deliberation of the Bain retrial jury. The trial they heard was of shorter duration and of course Bain was being tried for five murders. But instead of riots, in New Zealand the acquittal was obtained by slandering one of the victims and the killer has been feted like a celebrity ever since a member of the jury which was in so much of a rush to acquit him hugged him in the courtroom and accepted an invite to his celebratory party. Does it make you proud to be a New Zealander?
I cannot accept Laniet was shot 3rd. The struggle with Stephen would not only have involved a lot of banging and crashing but probably yelling and screaming. Besides of which, it woke Arawa up, so he had to dispatch of her rapidly, she could have run out the backdoor out of the house. Theres no time to then go and shoot Laniet twice, or go back to his bedroom to place the glasses and/or reload the magazine, espeically in the cloud of daze after the struggle, no blood on his door jamb either, though it would explain the blood on his lightswitch and bed.
As it is im suprised Arawa didn't wake up earlier. I guess we don't know she didn't go upstairs and then David pursued her back downstairs, but id see her trying to bolt out the backdoor not back into her room trapping herself.
Then again some people are deep sleepers. But I can't with the best will in the world see Laniet not only sleeping through it, but not waking at all until shot.
Also you have to look at the layout of the rooms. There was no blood on the door jamb of laniets room, or on the ironing board or chair that he would have had to squeeze through. He was not disoriented in that room it appears. If it was after the struggle he went into that room with blood all over his jersey and hands I think the loose fitting garment would have brushed against things and left blood stains/smears in that room. I think he went back into that room quite a bit later, after he had started the wash cycle and was no longer wearing the jersey.
I wish Stepen had slept downstairs, maybe he would have woke up and the gun jammed and he never got shot. Then it would have been a fairer fight without him being mortally wounded. I think plainly put he would have fucked the wimp up, but well never know. Stephen was quite a tough guy by all accounts, even though it was a 14 yearold vs a 22 yearold.
I wonder if Arawa grabbed the gun or not. Her prints aren't on it. Did she just kneel and accept her fate? The gun also appeared to misfire or jam in that room.
There is of course the other alternative David shoots his mother first, then goes to Laniet, then back past mum and to Stephen third. Seems unlikely though.
I basically agree with what you say.
Laniet first, then Margaret, then Stephen, then downstairs to Arawa who may have been out of bed by then.
Arawa's bedroom was quite some distance from Stephen's so she may not have heard anything.
Good point re the lack of bloodstains in Laniet's room which means David probably had put the bloodstained clothes he was wearing in the wash before going back to her room.
I wonder if he had been wearing that Gondolier's T-shirt, it had a stain on it that looked like blood but it never tested positive for anything. Bain said that stain wasn't there the night before when he put that T-shirt in the wash.
That stain was in much the same place as the blood on that green jersey was thought to have been [it didn't test positive for blood ,either, but then it had been through the wash.]
Perhaps David Bain did not notice that stain until he arrived back home and it was too late to put the T-shirt in the machine as the cycle would have been over so he just shoved it under other clothing that was in the wash basket.
I reckon David Bain may have had a shower at some time after he got back home. He told Binnie he was all sweaty and dirty but he had no dirt on him when the police arrived. But of course he could have lied to Binnie about being dirty.