The Computer Message

The message left on the computer was a controversial piece of evidence that was one of the items cited by the Privy Council for a retrial.  In this case there was conflict over what time it was switched on.  Regardless of timing the message read:

"Sorry you are the only one who deserved to stay"

If you believe that David killed his family and wrote this message then it is understandable that he didn't want the message to be traced back to him, which would happen if he handwrote it, and he wanted to create a scene which made it look like his father was the culprit.

If you believe that Robin killed his family then wrote this message then there are one or two things to take into consideration:

  1. If you are going to kill yourself why bother to write a computer message, why not just a freehand note?
  2. If you want to exonerate your eldest son,  David, why write a computer message which might lead him to be implicated for murder when a handwritten note would completely exonerate him and show that you in fact killed the family and yourself?
  3. Why would you consider your eldest son more deserving when you have a daughter who was dux at Bayfeild high school in Dunedin and doing well at teachers college, and another son who is showing a lot of promise?
  4. If you are going to leave a suicide message it is more likely to be a message about yourself and your motivations for what you are doing, rather than about someone else.  The content of the message itself reflects the mind of a pathological killer who has made the decision that he is the only one that deserves to stay, a course of reasoning which provides him with the justification he needs for the act which he has perpetrated.

The computer message Kent has not being rendered correctly. believe .James Mcneish got it right when on p15 of M of  S.he writes thus,


   you are the only one who deserved to stay

You in fact have Karam's rendering which is not correct.If you think about it there could be reason why Karam presented it the way he did as it looks more formal, the way you might expect someone like Robin to type it.

In reply to by kalnovitch


According to the PCA Report  the message reads


        you are the only one who deserved to stay

In reply to by Mike Stockdale


Mc Neish reports the computer message as trascribed on p 15 and also  again on p 158. in M of In. I would think this is the message the Jury in the first trial saw.It could be useful to get hold of the Police Officer who secured the Computer for anaylsis.Dr Dempster and the constable who was assisting him were the first, I understand, who became aware of the computer message.

I can't find the reference,Ralph,but it is either in the PCA Report or the Court of Appeal hearings where the point is made that McNeish was correct and that Karam was not.


" ... deserved to stay"

It's not so much the tense is wrong in a grammatical sense as the time frame is wrong.

If you are leaving someone forever, you might say, "It's been great knowing you."

If the other person is staying for some reason and you can't, you might say, "You are the one who deserves to stay."

You would not say, "deserved to stay." Either Robin arose from the dead, or the message was written by someone who put himself in Robin's shoes after his death.

The message itself is immature, self-centred and probably self-serving. More a younger man than older man. None of this is definitive but it's all grist to the mill.