David Stated that he Heard Laniet Gurgling

David said at court in 1995 that he went into Laniet’s room after he got home from his paper run, (this contradicted statements he made to Detective Sergeant Gregory Dunne on two separate occasions in the days after the murders, when he had denied going into any of his siblings rooms).  He said he could hear gurgling and groaning from Laniet when he entered her room.

Laniet died as a result of 3 gunshot wounds.  The original pathologist, Demster, said that the first shot would have been through the cheek and was not an instantly fatal shot.  She breathed blood into her lungs and she would have emitted gurgling sounds.  The killer then delivered two following shots to her head which would have killed her almost instantly.  All the pathologists at the retrial in 2009 agreed that death would have only been a matter of minutes after the brain shots.

A retired Belfast-trained forensic pathologist involved in almost 10,000 postmortem examinations, about 800 of them in gunshot cases, said at trial in 2009 there was "no chance" Laniet Bain would have survived a bullet wound to the top of her head.   Professor James Ferris, a semi-retired forensic pathologist who has practiced in three countries and handled about 1500 gunshot cases, said Laniet Bain's continued breathing was the only "reasonable explanation" for the gurgling and moaning heard by her brother.  Ferris was confident the two head shots occurred after the cheek wound because no breathing or controlled heart rate could have occurred after either of the upper head shots.

More from Professor James Ferris:

Dr Ferris is a consultant forensic pathologist. He is a Crown witness and his brief of evidence included this:

It is my opinion that the statement by David Bain that he could hear her gurgling, and the written comments attributed to David Bain which stated  “When I went into the room I heard groaning type sounds muffled by what sounded like water. Turned on light they came from her. Went over to her, but could see there was nothing I could do. I didn’t touch her.” so accurately reflects the expected observations of an individual inhaling blood, they give great credibility to these observations and their accuracy.

Justice Panckhurst in his summing up at trial in 2009 said the Crown has said the fact that Laniet was shot three times is relevant to the issue of gurgling. The defense suggested the reason Laniet was shot three times "while the rest of the family was only shot once" is because the killer heard her gurgling and groaning so shot her again to finish her off, the fact that she had ingested blood into her lungs makes the theory very plausible.

One further point: Crown Prosecutor Keiran Raftery in his summing up at trial in 2009 said "another interesting point was that the light in Laniet's room was off when police arrived" so David must have turned on the light and looked at Laniet, heard her gurgling and groaning, "his words" and then turned it off again. The light switch in Laniets room was smeared with blood as shown in the photo below.

Conclusion: In order to hear Laniet gurgling and groaning as he admitted, David was likely to have been the person who killed her. More indepth reading on this subject can be found HERE


I have been trying to figure out when David Bain heard Laniet gurgling.Was she the first person he shot,as I now believe,but can't be sure,of course.If so, did he hear her gurgling on the way back from the struggle with Stephen and then turn on the light so he could administer the coup de grace,and would this have disturbed Arawa downstairs?I believe Arawa may have heard something as David fired a shot at her which missed completely.

I realise we will will never know the answer.