Margaret and Robin were resolving their differences

Margaret and Robin were about to embark on the building of their new home, the plans had been approved in principle the week previous to the murders, and Margaret only had to transfer them to proper drawing paper from the graph paper she had used.  Robin had been to the council also that previous week and had discussions regarding the building with Colin Grey.

Arrangements had been made for materials for the house to be purchased in bulk/tandem with the Medders who were also extending their Commodore Motels.

A demolition order for the back part of the house either had or was being applied for this showed how imminent the start was. This was proceeding because Margaret and Robin had resolved their problems and had worked out a way for them to continue to be a family, which involved a house with two master bedrooms with interconnecting ensuite and the 4 bedrooms for the kids/guests.


I must have missed this blog,Kent.My belief was that the new house was never going to go ahead.That was one of the reasons why I believed David Bain mentioned those "destroyed plans"in that Innocent booklet.
So maybe this was the catalyst.Margaret and Robin had resolved their differences.although it does look as though they were intending to have separate bedrooms.And David wasn't going to have a master bedroom,as his mother had told him he was.[According to him].
The way I see it now is that once he heard about this that is when he decided to murder his family.This was the "shattered dream" he was talking about.That tattoo he had done a week before the murders may well have been some sign of an ordeal to come as suggested by McNeish.
I remember a post a couple of years back,I think it might have been by Napelia,where she said that the Bain's had bought some building materials and that they were storing them in a neighbours garage.What you have posted here ,Kent,confirms that.
David Bain must have known about this,and yet he has never mentioned it.I wonder how many people know about this?.I reckon it would be worth mentioning this to van Beynen.

It is hard to know anything for sure, but the council would not have allowed the house to remain standing for much longer, since it was condemned.  Robin, regardless of his relationship with Margaret, would have had to do something about it.  The spouting he fixed that weekend was part of a stopgap measure to keep the house functioning until the rebuild happened.  Robin would have asserted this pressure onto the family and no doubt that would have had an effect on Margaret's decision about whether or not to go ahead. 

In order to go ahead with the plans, the house would need to be destroyed and all parties would have to live elsewhere in order for it to happen.  Robin would have continued to occupy the school house with Laniet, Arawa would probably have gone flatting, and as rumoured, Margaret would have found a place for her and Stephen.  There would have been no place for David in these plans.  He would be required to go his own way, something which in his own words he was not prepared to do yet.  This might explain the arguments that occurred in the weeks prior to the murders. 

The "shattered dreams, destroyed plans, broken promises" that David describes cannot be taken literally. They describe his distorted view of the situation.  If the house was demolished and all members of the family were to find temporary lodging as described, then the result would be extremely disruptive for David: It would destroy his world; and if the defining requirement coming from both parents is that he should go out into the world and make his own way, then that would be the tipping point. He may have interpreted that as the ultimate betrayal from not only his parents, but his siblings as well.

You may be right, and the house plans may never have eventuated, but one thing for sure is that Robin would have ultimately been required to destroy the house and after that whether or not he and Margaret continued to pursue their life together would be another matter.  The only dependent left was Stephen and by all accounts he knew how to stick up for himself.

David Bain said "I was concerned that Mum and Stephen might go and live in a home ownership unit in town".[Mask of Sanity,p133.]

Yes, that would fit in with the need to find temporary accommodation while the house is being rebuilt.  It does not necessarily mean the end of the marriage or anything else.  At 14, Stephen still needed a parent and had to stay in town for the sake of school.

When Wright asked David Bain about the house he said it was for the family,to keep everyone together."If I'd left ,Arawa might leave and there would only be Stephen.We were hoping Laniet would come back.I was concerned Mum and Stephen might go and live in a home ownership unit in town".
Wright also asked David "Where would Dad reside"to which David replied "No,Mum had made her plans.They didn't include my father".

Yes, but what David says about the situation, and the reality are quite different.  My point in a previous comment is that the house HAD to be demolished and therefore all the family members would need to be lodged somewhere temporarily at least.  The decision might have been for Margaret and Stephen to find a unit together, for Arawa to go flatting and for Robin and Laniet to continue to live in the school house. 

Even if Margaret did not plan to continue living with Robin, this situation would still have applied.  The fact that the house was falling apart was precipitating the family to do something, whatever it might have to be.  The plan might have been that once the house was built, then family members would move into it, with Robin and Margaret having separate bedrooms, and Arawa and David returning if they so wished.

It is possible that part of the house could still be lived in.Maybe only part of it at a time would be demolished.Laniet had  a job to go to on the Monday,so she would probably go back to living at the flat.

I can think of half a dozen reasons why that would not be feasible:

  • The council may not have agreed with that idea.
  • Structurally, half the building may not have stood up
  • The design and build of a new house would be seriously hindered by the existing structure
  • Ground preparation for 20th century buildings require higher standards than for 19th century ones and the whole building area might required reworking
  • Any heavy equipment working on the new site may further weaken the existing building
  • I believe the essential services such as plumbing were in a central location in the building, further complicating matters

While it is an undisputed fact that the house had to be demolished your "maybe, maybe not" idea is speculative.  If there were conversations about Stephen and Margaret moving into a unit and there were arguments happening between David and his parents and he was coming away saying that he wasn't ready to leave home yet, then these fit in with the idea that arrangements were being made for temporary accommodation.  The parents probably calculated that, for the sake of economy, it would be cheaper for Margaret and Stephen to rent a two bed unit rather than a three bed house including David.  Whatever, it is apparent that he wasn't included in those plans.  Ultimately it would appear that he was left to fend for himself.

I don't think that David had any concept of using the inheritance money to build the house himself or do anything.  I think that he was simply motivated to relieve this powerful feeling of resentment / betrayal / hate that he had welling up inside him.  By all accounts he was quite happy when the job was done and wasn't rushing down to the Public Trust to get his hands on the dosh.  I don't think he is sophisticated enough for that kind of behaviour.

Let's say Robin and Margaret had agreed to at least live under the same roof.Obviously Stephen would be living with them.Maybe Laniet would come back.Arawa might stay.The Bain's did not appear to have ever had many guests staying overnight.Apparently only Barbara Neasmith.So one would have thought there was a room for David.
OK,he would have had to leave home for a while,if the house was to be completely demolished,but he would have known that,anyway.
But my thinking is something must have happened just prior to the murders.We can all speculate as to what that something was.Maybe David was told he would have to leave home for some reason or other.
As for David using the inheritance to build the house himself.I can't see him doing that.Much easier for him to buy a house or unit in town.And David did need some money.He owed that motor cycle dealer $2000.How was he going to get that money?.Imagine him having to ask his parents for that,specially if they were looking at building a new house.

Yes, well the house plans and other future plans of the Bains are speculative.  The fact is that they were going to have to move out and it is apparent that David would have to live independently, at least for a while.  Maybe his parents' refusal to pay his debt served to magnify his resentment.  Both of us have been young men once and both, no doubt felt resentment towards our father for one thing or other.  At that age the feelings are particularly intense.

We are all speculating.I have my doubts about Bain's parents even knowing about that $2000.
Actually,I never felt any resentment towards the man I thought was my father.I say thought,because I didn't find out I was adopted until I was in my fifties.By the time I found out who my mother was she was dead,and she never named my father on my birth certificate,so I havn't a clue who he was.I did find out a had a half sister,but she didn't even know she had a half brother.The only person that might have known was my mother's cousin,but she was senile,so it was no use asking her.Such is life.

Heh, in posting that comment, I wondered if you would turn out to be someone who had no issues whatsoever.

I can tell you I had issues with my father, and my brother did fleetingly.  He changed his surname by deed poll, which pissed the old man off a bit, but he got over his hangups at a younger age than I did.  the classic disagreement of all time has to be the father son one.  How many kings of England got their gong by killing off the old man?  The biological family is a seething cesspit of love and betrayal!

In reply to by Mike Stockdale


I understand the original plan David and His mother had was a "retreat"  of two wings with David in one wing and Margaret. Robin was the sole wage earner and retained control to a large extent over the expenditure so any house planes were going to have to have his tacit approval as well as approval of town planning.  

OK, I have found it.  The quotes you have cited are part of David's original court testimony.  Bear in mind that what David says about the reasons for things happening are shaped by his need to portray events in his best interest, albeit often with his fumbling self-disclosures included. 

David would state firmly that his mother had no plans to include his father in the house, because that is the position that he wanted to occupy.  With the mother no longer around to say what her intentions really were, we have only David's testimony and I would say it is a lie. It is clear that there was conflict between David and his father which may well have been greater than the conflict between Robin and Margaret.  Margaret may have ended up siding with Robin and suddenly revoking special treatment that she previously had for David such as the massages.  After all, Margaret was dependent on Robin's income, and the prospect of a council demolition order called for a special dose of reality that was out of reach of any divination spell.  Most psychological disorders have periods of lucidity in between periods of chaos and confusion.  In one of those periods of clarity she may have taken what most parents would consider to be a reasonable position in relation to their eldest son, but in David's case, this was taken as a gross and unforgivable betrayal.

While what I have described above is a sudden event, I would say that the idea of "avenging" himself had been in David's mind for quite some time.  It's not as if he had to procure a murder weapon or an alibi.  He already had both of those, and, if we are to believe Mark Buckley, the alibi idea had been around for at least four years.  Chances are that the actual plans themselves happened rather suddenly and were never written down.  Certainly the plan was fraught with errors such as the washing machine running time and the time spent having to wait for Robin.  However he ultimately did a skillful job in keeping his mouth firmly shut.

So, my conclusion is that the most intense feeling occurred when David's mother shut him out and sided with his father instead.  This may have peaked following the night of the argument with both parents that is reported by one of his female friends who testified in the retrial.  Following this he laid plans to get Laniet to stay over for the weekend so that they would all be together and things happened pretty quickly before he could change his mind.

I wasn't aware that one of David's friends reported on any argument.How would she have known about that?
Also,we don't know that Laniet "stayed over" for the weekend.We don't know where she was on the Friday and Saturday nights.Mel has been trying to find out where she was those nights,but without any luck.We know David picked Laniet up from her flat on Sunday,so it is quite possible she slept there on the Saturday night and maybe even the Friday night.Who knows?

Re the alibi idea.Yes,we know that idea had been around for some time,but what we don't know is when David Bain decided to use the newspaper delivery as an alibi to kill his family.Personally I don't reckon he decided to murder his family all that long before June 20th.Possibly about the time he was zoning out,or pretending to.

I agree he made some mistakes.He obviously did not think the police would check how long it took to do the washing.But they probably would not have done that if they had decided that Robin Bain had committed suicide.And he did not think the police would be able to reconstruct the computer turn on time.Had Denise Laney not looked at her clock then the computer turn-on time would have put him right in the frame.

As for keeping his mouth shut,well in my opinion he said far too much at the trial.I reckon he almost convicted himself,with all his yabbering.

But I basically agree with the rest of what you say.