Background and timeline to the Bain family murders.

Frances Edwards a Telecom operator in Dunedin New Zealand received a 111 emergency call at 7.10am on Monday 20th June 1994. The caller was David Bain a 22 year old paper delivery boy, David appeared to be in a very agitated state and could not express which emergency service he was requiring, so the operator connected him over to the Ambulance service, David then said to them that his Mother and father and in fact all the family were dead.

The police and ambulance arrived at David’s address which was 65 Every Street Dunedin just after 7.35am, they entered the house by the front door and found David still talking to the Telecom operator, he said to the police that his mother and father were dead. The police then searched the house and discovered five bodies all shot in the head.

David’s father Robin was found on the front lounge room floor, David’s mother Margaret and sister Laniet were found in their beds, and his other sister Arawa and brother Steven were found on the floor of their bedrooms.

David’s statement to the police was that he had been out doing his paper round and had come home shortly after 6.40 to find his mother and father dead, he made a second statement confirming this, however he could not explain to the police why he had told the 111 operator that his whole family were dead when he had said to the police he had only seen his mother and fathers bodies.

The police then began their investigations on what exactly had occurred in the early hour’s of that cold Monday morning, they soon discovered what appeared to be a suicide note typed on a computer which was in a small alcove through some curtains off the front lounge where Robin Bain was found, the assumed suicide note read “SORRY YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO DESERVED TO STAY” and after also discovering a 22 caliber rifle next to David’s fathers body, the police likely assumed that David’s father had shot the rest of the family and then committed suicide, leaving his remaining son David, alive for some inexplicable reason, as the note on the computer had stated.

In the pursuing days of police investigations however inconsistencies in David’s story and the fact that David’s clothes had blood on them, along with many other Damming pieces of evidence, told the police that this was no murder-suicide, but in fact David had shot the family and staged things to try to fool the police into thinking his father had typed the note on the computer, and then shot himself.

As a result of the large amount of circumstantial evidence against David Bain, the police arrested him on a charge of murdering all the members of his immediate family four days after they were found dead on Friday 24 June 1994. 

                                                           TIME LINE

July 7, 1994 – The Bain home is razed by Fire Service at request of family who also asked David for his approval of which he gave.

October 1994 - Depositions hearing begins and Bain is committed for trial in May 1995.

May 8, 1995 - Three-week-long murder trial begins in the High Court at Dunedin.

May 29, 1995 - Jury finds Bain guilty on all five murder counts.

June 21, 1995 - David sentenced to mandatory life term, with a minimum non-parole period of 16 years.

December 19, 1995 - Court of Appeal dismisses Bain appeal.

May, 1996 - A petition to Privy Council seeking leave to appeal fails

July 22, 1996 - Court of Appeal lifts suppression order covering defense witness Dean Cottle and evidence that was to have been presented at Bain's murder trial. It alleges Laniet told Dean Cottle that her father was having an incestuous affair with her and she was going to confront the family.

April 16, 1997 - Joe Karam who became interested in the David Bain case, and then became convinced of David’s innocence launches his book, “David and Goliath”. In which It says Robin Bain the father not David, was the killer, and that police botched the investigation.

May 5, 1997 - Police appoint Assistant Commissioner Bryon Duncan to head an independent inquiry reviewing police handling of the murder investigation.

June 23, 1997 - James McNeish releases his book, The Mask of Sanity, which concludes that David was the killer.

November 25, 1997 - Police in the murder investigation are cleared by the joint police and Police Complaints Authority inquiry. It finds no serious flaws in the police investigation and says criticism that police were incompetent is unjustified.

June 1998 - Petition of 113 pages and 290-page supporting document seeking a pardon for Bain is lodged with the Governor-General.

December 19, 2000 - Bain has aspects of his case referred back to the Court of Appeal. Justice Minister Phil Goff said an investigation had shown that "a number of errors" may have occurred in the Crown's presentation of its case.

October 2002 - Court of Appeal considers four aspects of the case referred to it by Mr. Goff.

December 20, 2002 - Mr. Goff announces the case is to be reheard in full by Court of Appeal.

September, 2003 - Court of Appeal hears case.

December 13, 2003 - Court of Appeal decides a retrial was not needed on the grounds that the new evidence would not have changed the jury's verdict.

June 7, 2006 - Bain's legal team wins right to a full Privy Council hearing.

March 8, 2007 - Five-day Privy Council hearing in London begins.

May 10, 2007 - Privy Council delivers decision, ordering a retrial.

May 15, 2007 - Bain granted bail at hearing in Christchurch High Court

June 21, 2007 - Solicitor-General rules that Bain will face a retrial

March 6, 2009 - Retrial begins. Bain pleads not guilty to five charges of murder

June 4, 2009 - Retrial ends, jury begin deliberations

June 6, 2009 - David Bain found not guilty of all the murders.

A matter of days after the jury found David not guilty and after Damming suppressed evidence became available; there was unprecedented opposition by New Zealanders to the not guilty verdict with many people expressing their disagreement with the verdict, including journalists who had heard all of the evidence.

Davids extended family appalled at outcome of trial. Davids extended family on both his fathers and Mothers side were appalled at the outcome of the trial the link to this story can be found Here