The marks on Robin's thumb are not gun residue

1. Joe Karam was a key instigator of a TV3 documentary on 26 June 2013 called The Smoking Gun.  This documentary covered what was alleged to be new evidence, or a new interpretation of old evidence in the Bain case.

2. The new evidence was described by various Bain Defence team members and supporters as slamdunk and a game changer.  The main claim of the documentary was that two marks that are visible on Robin’s thumb in one of the images taken at the murder scene have resulted from using the thumb to insert bullets into a magazine and consist of gun residue.  The claim was backed up by testing on various volunteers to obtain similar marks on their thumbs.

3. The claims made in the programme are exaggerated because the marks on Robin’s thumb do not fit the description applied to them for several reasons:

3.1.        The marks on Robin’s thumb are not parallel (see image).

3.2.        The marks on Robin’s thumb are short, much shorter than any of the volunteers who took part.

3.3.        The marks on Robin’s thumb are crisp and narrow while those of the volunteers are smudged and wide.

3.4.        An RGB analysis of the marks in a graphic design programme reveals Robin’s marks to contain reddish hues and are therefore more related to a cut or skin indentations than marks made by some external pigmentation.

3.5.        Joe Karam and his supporters claim that the residue marks are short lived, in the region of three hours, and can be rubbed off easily.  He also claims that Robin Bain killed himself by holding the rifle with both hands against his forehead.  All pictures of people attempting to carry out this manoeuvre are seen engaging their right thumb fully against the rifle.  Doing this would most likely result in removal of any delicate gunshot residue, especially since Robin would have likely fidgeted a bit before getting the shot to his satisfaction.  In addition to this, Karam claims that the unspent bullet found on the floor was a misfeed, which further enhances the likelihood that in his scenario, Robin would have wiped off any residue on his right thumb. The following four photos all show how the right thumb would be fully engaged against the barrel, leading to any gun residue marks being easily wiped off.

3.6.        The claims made in relation to the 3rd degree documentary provide a perspective on the alleged evidence that is very narrow and biased and does not take into account any contrary circumstances.  The marks on Robin's thumb are more likely to be skin indentations or cuts, possibly related to the work Robin did during the weekend on the house.



There is no proof that the live round found on the floor of the lounge was a misfeed. It could have simply ejected from the rifle when the magazines were changed over. 
Also no fingerprints were found on either of the magazines which would lead one to believe that the person who changed them over could have been wearing gloves or else wiped them down.