I was spurred on by this today about David Cullen Bain : David Bain Defence Still Less Than Convincing | Stuff.co.nz.
I’ll put my stall out before I get to the article;
My opinion on this is that Robin didn’t do it. Despite insinuation and denial it’s not that cut and dried. It could have been if David had testified in the re-trial, which he chose not to do, relying on fear, uncertainty, doubt and liberal attitudes to sway an unpredictable jury.
For me the key piece of doubt relies on the time that the computer was switched on.
The time. What exactly was the time, compared to what time, there was no “reference time”, everyone looked at their own watches and decided that was the time. It’s was a nonsense from the get-go
So how do you tell when a computer was started, I might have missed a trick or two but I still do not know how or where a computer of that age would have stored that kind of information, and I then assume that it was a guess. A guess based on some “expert” pressing the go button and timing with a stopwatch the time it took him, an expert, to type in the mystery message. Like a said a nonsense.
Lets assume that there was a record, somehow, in a history boot file, or something unknown to me, that only tells us a relative time, it’s not “the time” it’s the time that the computer thinks it is.
If I could get that answer straight in my head then I’d be happier. I might be the only on banking on that drum though, the prosecution and certainly the defense don’t want to answer the question. I even asked the defense team once and got a very off hand reply.
The second item of key evidence is the bloody footprints found in the Every St house. Clearly, if Karam can show the footprints were made by Robin Bain, then he is home and dry. This is because Robin’s socks, when he was found, had no blood on them, showing he must have changed them between shooting the family and then himself.
Robin’s foot was 270mm long and David’s 300mm. A bloodied footprint in the house measured 280mm, but the scientist who did the testing stressed the footprint might not show the “extremities of the heel and toe”.
Karam hangs his hat on testing done by both defence and prosecution experts who had subjects dip their feet in a tray of pig’s blood and then walk on various surfaces.
These tests showed it was very unlikely a person with a foot of David’s size would make a 280mm print under luminol testing (it is usually larger). As with most reconstructions, this testing was flawed from the start. The variables were huge. Were the socks the same? Was weight put on the feet the same? Did the carpet in the tests match the Every St carpet? Was the amount of blood on the socks the same?
At the trial I counted at least 20 items of important evidence which, in my view, pointed to Bain’s guilt. According to the book, they all have innocent and logical explanations, but key points such as the damaged glasses found in Bain’s room, sister Laniet’s gurgling, the fingerprints on the rifle, the blood on Bain’s clothes and the bruises on his face are formidable although admittedly not unimpeachable pieces of evidence.
Interestingly, Karam does not mention the bizarre if not ludicrous scenario that would have played out if Robin had been the killer. This involves Robin putting his bloodied clothes in the washing basket and then changing his clothes and socks before killing himself in a highly unusual way.
The trial-by-ambush scenario as trumpeted by the title of the book is not sustained. I had to wonder if this was because the defence was not immune to springing things on the prosecution and had to be counselled by the judge on several occasions.
Karam is right about many things in the Bain case. Some of the police bungles were inexcusable, but neither was it the shoddy inquiry he makes it out to be. It’s true some tests, if done, might have exonerated Bain, but also they might have supported his alleged guilt.
I doubt this book will change many minds. Karam has once again done a superb job for David Bain. Perhaps more debatable, in my opinion, is whether he has done such a fine job for justice.
I’ve been known to change my mind before, on many thing’s, and I’ve read the books, read various web pages, articles, Wikipedia entries, and pro and anti sentiments. The family was dysfunctional and Robin was a “strange egg” but whilst it’s not unusual for the police to get the wrong man, for me in the case they didn’t and we’ve had an ongoing tragedy played out before us.
I wish David well, I have no personal malice or desire to cause him hurt harm or distress, only he knows for sure, and only him, and he had the chance to say, and he chose not to.
I rest my case.
- Timeline: David Bain – one of New Zealand’s most controversial murderers to claim compensations… (peter-petterson.blogspot.com)
- Retired Supreme Court judge to head New Zealand inquiry (theglobeandmail.com)