David Bain was interviewed by Justice Ian Binnie in
July this year for a report, commissioned by the New Zealand
Government, to determine whether Mr Bain deserved compensation
following his acquittal in 2009 of murdering his family. Some
of Mr Bain's answers relate to issues and events he has not
previously spoken of publicly. Here are edited parts of the
transcript from their interview.
David Bain relaxes in his new surroundings at supporter Joe
Karam's property in Te Kauwhata before his retrial, after
serving 13 years in prison. Photo by Herald on Sunday.
Q There is a discussion in the evidence that you felt that
your father was attempting to exert control, that he did this
by laying guilt trips on you in particular, and that in that
sense he was seen by you as somewhat manipulative?
A ... my father was quite a strong character... he was
a good teacher, articulate, creative ... but within that
family dynamic and nearer the end of that time, well, for the
two years at least in the lead-up to '94, he became very
withdrawn and shrunken when he was in the household. When he
was outside of the house he sort of became his old self which
I guess is why I have - I still have you know, good feelings
towards my father at the time we shared a lot of time
together ... The manipulative aspect of things within the
household though, that was what caused me difficulty because
I couldn't - I had the direct command, so to speak, from my
mother that this was how the situation should be, but then my
father, who had every right to want to be, you know, equally
contributing to the household in decisions within the
household, his only way of having any impact . . . was to be
manipulative or to try and come in from the side ...
Q Now did you notice anything up to the 20th of June that
would indicate to you, even with the benefit of hindsight,
that there was some sexual relation between your father and
A With the benefit of hindsight?
A Oh, now I could say that there were some signs, yes.
If I look back and see the stress signs, see the ... fact
that ... Laniet even went out to live with ... Dad at Taieri
Mouth . Um, the fact that Dad would actually go to ... her
flat where she stayed and paid her rent ... He supported her
in those ... instances. There weren't things I was aware of
or ever really paid any attention to at the time but so if
you think, asking in hindsight, yes I can see some of those
things that might be indicative. If you're asking about my
memories of the time, no I couldn't say that I had saw
anything into it.
Regarding evidence that he was really the instigator of
bringing Laniet home the weekend of the killings, not a
request from their mother:
Q When you discovered your mother in the position she was,
did you touch her?
A No, not to my knowledge.
Q Did you - why didn't you, at that point, call
A I'm sorry I can't give you any rational answers from
this point on. This is the break point in the memory.
Q Did anybody other than your father own a green
A I don't think so, no. ... the only green jerseys
that I can think of, and I certainly don't own a bright
orange and yellow and ...
Q Yours, I gather, is somewhat famous isn't it?
A Apparently reasonably famous in New Zealand, yes. So
everybody knows all the jerseys I 've had.
Q ... the evidence that has been given by some of the
ambulance people and police suggest in their view, you were
feigning a fit. You're aware of that testimony?
Q What do you have to say about that?
A Well it's - falls in line with everything else they
came up with as well to try and point the finger at me. And
they come up with 111 tapes that say things that aren't
there. They come up with ... `evidence' from ... witnesses
and it's proved untrue. And this is exactly just another one
of those situations. I wasn't faking anything and I did my
best through all of these ... interviews to try and help the
Q This is the time to say what you've got to say.
A My frustration is that the so-called new evidence
that keeps coming up, the new proffered ... theories and
suppositions and so on and ... I'm quite sick of it and I'm
having to constantly defend myself when I 've been proven.
This situation, sorry, to get back to it, I don't know they
say it to answer the question directly other than, look, I
this is my evidence. This is what happened to the best of my
Re Stephen's blood being on the crotch of his shorts:
Q Do you have any explanation for how that blood could
have got there?
A No. ... I don't even now recall touching him.
Q You don't recall?
A I don't recall at all. I mean the memories that I
was relating then were sporadic and patchy as it was ... the
periphery is fuzzy and you only just ... seeing an image and
they're not flowing images as a memory or a dream might be.
Q Let's come to this whole issue of recall because a point
was made by the Crown that you sat through the depositions
hearings in October of 1994. You sat through the expert
evidence depositions in December 1994, you saw Dr Mullen
after sitting through all those depositions?
Q And suddenly in your sessions with him, memory came back
and the suggestion is it was very convenient, having heard
the Crown's case then to recover memory and in effect
manipulate memory to provide a defence to what the Crown had
already laid out before the courts. That is the allegation
that we're dealing with.
Q And what do you have to say to the allegation that this
was a convenient recovery of memory?
A It's false. It, it's not convenient at all. This is
just what I was experiencing. Again, doing my best under
difficult circumstances to try and help explain the
situation, to get myself out of prison.
Q What precisely do you recall of the gurgling?
A Precisely? Nothing precisely, sorry. ... the
description I gave at the time is the best that I can give
you now. It was all, is that it sounded like, you know water
running down a drain, you know, gurgling down a drain.
Q There's some suggestion by your counsel in, at the nine
- at the 2009 trial - as I understood it ... that you may, in
fact, have been hearing the washing machine.
A And that's, I'm sorry that is impacting on my
memories actually are now so I can't be 100% honest in what
I'm able to recall.
Q Or 100% precise rather than honest?
A Sorry. OK sure ... Honest to myself perhaps?
Q The, the allegation firstly, of course, is Laniet must
still have been alive - and that's, the experts argue about
that. But the allegation against you personally is if you
heard noises from Laniet, your instinct should have been to
rush over and try to help her?
Q And as I understand it, you did not, in fact, touch
A Not to my knowledge.
On being shocked to read the next day that his entire
family was dead, when police had only told him it was mother
Q But you told the police - you told the 111 operator that
''they re all dead''.
A That they're all dead, yes, I know. But I don't
remember - I didn't remember at the time that I was having my
first interview that I had given that information. I don't
recall even being carried out on the stretcher let alone ...
and only have a vague memory of being in the ambulance. I
mean I've - lying on the floor in that state of shock, I
didn't even - I mean apparently I asked for my glasses and
had a splitting headache. I've got no memory of that either.
Q Do you then reject any suggestion that your mind in
1994 was such that you could have committed the murders and
not recall anything about it afterwards?
A Absolutely. Absolutely. There is not a moment in
time during any period in the lead up to 1994 or that
Q So when you say, as you told me earlier today, that you
are really positive that you did not kill any member of your
family, you say that on the basis that there is no reason to
think that you could have done anything in a so-called trance
and not afterwards recalled it?
A Sorry? Ah, no.
Q What is, what is being said is that perhaps in good
faith you're saying ''I didn't murder any of them'', but in
fact you did murder them but you can not recall it and
A I reject, reject that completely.
Q ... the explanation that the prosecution puts forward
... is that you were wearing clothes over the clothing you
were found in which included the green sweater that we've
discussed and also some long pants and I think I asked you
whether at any point you wore long pants on June 20th and you
said no. But there were apparently in the wash a pair of
track pants and a pair of corduroys which I think the police
believe to be yours, is that correct?
A I do not believe that I own a pair of corduroys ...
I wouldn't be seen dead walking around the street in them.
Q These are on fashion grounds?
A Ah, yes.
Q There is the suggestion made by the defence at the 1995
trial that the fingerprints identified on the gun could be
attributable to your picking it up on the 20th of June by way
of ''innocent transfer''?
Q Do you say that is not a possibility?
A I don't believe it to be a possibility, no, no.
Q So ... the best you do on that is the notion that the
fingerprints are in animal blood going back to the
A Exactly because I don't have any memory of picking
up the rifle or touching it that morning and the only other
time that I ... used it was 20 January or February that year.
Q It seems a very odd response that you were asked by a
member of the family, by the brother of the deceased, Robin,
''Did you do it?'' and to get the response, ''I told my side
of it to the police and I'll stick to that ...''
A It doesn't seem overly certain that that is what I
said .... I mean it's well known that ... he [his uncle]
right from the start had believed that I was guilty.
Q Would there have been any reason you can think of why
you would have been fencing with him as opposed to simply
telling him outright that you didn't do it?
A Well if he - if I was back there right now and in
that, in the situation I was in I'd be extremely disappointed
that he would even ask me that question as a family member. I
would be extremely hurt that he would ask me, even think to
ask me that question considering everything I, that I had
been through, the fact that I'd ... been denied a basic right
to be able to say goodbye to my family. And that was by their
choice, my family, my relatives' choice.
Q And I take it you had no objection to the house being
demolished? Burned? Destroyed?
A Yes I did have objections to it. I didn't want that.
But then that, if we go back a little bit that situation is
just another, an example, really to me of how I was being
manipulated in my, in the state of mind that I was in to make
decisions and to have things happen with my so-called
Q There is some suggestion, at least in the evidence, that
you seemed quite unemotional in dealing with a series of
events that most people would have been highly emotional
A ... the way I deal with things is I internalise my
feelings. I take control of them and this is exactly what my
father used to do as well. He was, you know, he - my mother -
I'm my mother's and father's son. They taught me how to
behave in society and ... in the world ... to give outward
signs of ... control and um, pleasure and being respectful
and all the various social norms, that situations where I,
where I was able to let go were few and far between. I wasn't
in an environment ... in those first few days where I felt
able to confide and on the situations where I did ... express
some emotion, they've then been turned against me so ... on
one hand I'm being damned for being in control of my emotions
and trying ... to cope with this enormous situation and when
I am being emotional, being told it is inappropriate. I can't