The Confession of Robin Bain

This scenario is purely hypothetical and indicates how the evidence can be used to construct a story or explanation. On no account do we assert this to be a representation of the truth.

How I killed my family and made it look like my son did it

I scanned a few pages of Ngaio Marsh, then finished my Agatha Christie mystery. I now had a clear plan for killing the family and framing David in the morning. I set my alarm for 5:45am so I’d be sure to hear David leaving the house for his paper round.

The alarm sounded and I woke with a start. I immediately changed the alarm setting to 6:30am so it would appear I’d arisen at my normal time. I dressed in some grungy old clothes and gathered a fresh set of old clothes to change into once the deed was done. 

After climbing the stairs to David’s room, I located the key in the ceramic jar (and David didn’t think anyone knew where to find his spare!), took the rifle out of its bag and loaded both magazines with bullets. I fossicked through the bedroom drawers and found David’s dress gloves. Perfect.

Silently I approached Margaret in her bed and quickly dispatched her. Stephen was more difficult as he put up a hell of a fight. I’m proud of the tall, strong young man he has become, but fortunately I had a weapon to overcome him as my fitness isn’t what it used to be. Somehow I was also able to fend off his blows so I didn’t sustain any bruises or other injuries. The white gloves were of little use now, however, as they were sodden with blood, so I chucked them under his bed after running them the length of the barrel.

My gorgeous Laniet was next. She was the only one who still believed in me, so to make sure she was dead I let rip with a third bullet through the top of her head. That’s what you get for standing by your old Dad I’m afraid, my love.

I returned to Margaret’s room and snatched her old glasses out of the drawer... just what was needed to implicate David. I broke the frame so the right lens fell out, deposited the lens in Stephen’s room under some shoes and clothing, then gently settled the frame with remaining lens on David’s chair. (How fortuitous that David mysteriously wound up with bruises to the right side of his face. This made it appear as though he had been wearing the glasses in a struggle with his brother. I wonder how he ended up explaining that one.)

From here I went downstairs and round the corner to Arawa’s room. She must have heard me because she was approaching the doorway and asking who was there. I didn’t have much time, so I made the shot through the net curtains. Bullseye.

Obviously my struggle with Stephen was pretty messy, so I needed a complete change of clothing. I left my blood-soiled garments in the washing basket. It was David’s habit to put the laundry on, so it was the perfect opportunity for him to get blood on his hands. It was important that he leave some tell-tale prints around the place. 

Every Ngaio and Agatha has a red herring; mine would be a towel with my own blood on it. As I didn’t have any cuts to use, I dug an old towel out of the cupboard that I’d used when I’d cut myself shaving several days ago. I hung it on the rail. Perhaps the police would think David had needed to clean himself of my blood after killing me. If they suspected me, then the towel would always be a mystery.

With fresh clothes and shoes, and rifle in hand, I was very careful on my way back upstairs not to touch or step in any blood stains I’d left so my clothes would appear unmarked after my death.

Just as I turned to go in to the lounge I thought about the newspaper. I had a sudden interest in seeing the headlines on my last day alive, so I fetched it from outside and had a quick look. I already knew what tomorrow’s headlines would be.

I suddenly became aware of an urgent need to pee. I couldn’t believe I’d neglected that while I was downstairs, but I’d had other matters to attend to. No worries, however... in a few minutes I’d be blissfully unaware. 

I picked up the rifle from where I’d left it next to the lounge door and entered my sanctuary. I headed through the curtains to the computer room, making sure to smear blood from the barrel on the curtain edges. I started the computer and wrote a quick message: “You are the only one who deserves to stay.” Stay, not live. It was vindictive, wasn’t it? “You stay and clean up the mess you’ll soon find yourself in, mate. Best of luck.”

I took up my favourite position near the beanbag, leaned over the rifle, making sure I was using it cack-hande d – after all, right-handers are expected to shoot themselves in the right temple, not the left. I had already inspected my temples and forehead for placement of my final bullet. The poor condition of the skin near my temple might give the appearance of tattooing around the wound, so it just might be mistaken for a distance shot rather than a contact shot. 

I pulled the trigger. 

Just as I began my fall, I kicked the empty shell casing under the green curtains into the alcove. As I hit the ground, I gently placed the 10-round magazine on its curved edge on the floor next to me, then promptly expired.