Robin and Margaret Bain and three of their children were killed on June 20, 1994, in their New Zealand home. This was familicide; a mass murder where one member of the family killed the others. Ever since the oldest son David returned home from his paper delivery route and called the police that morning, there has been debate over who was responsible.
David Bain was 22-years-old, a music student and aspiring opera singer living with his family. When he got home early that morning, he found all five of his family members dead: his father Robin, his mother Margaret, his two sisters Arawa and Laniet, and his brother Stephen. At first glance, it appeared that the father, Robin, was responsible, and that this was a murder-suicide. But that would change.
Join us at the quiet end for The Only One Who Deserved to Stay: David Bain. Familicide is rare. But when it happens, the father is nearly always responsible. Research has shown that these “family annihilators” are either angry or in a state of prolonged despair. Robin Bain, a troubled man with untreated depression, fit the profile. But the lives and relationships of the Bain family were complicated and maladjusted. David Bain had plenty of his own issues; and evidence, including his own behavior, pointed to David as the killer.
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Black Hands by Martin Van Beynen
Black Hands, The Podcast, by Martin Van Beynen, July 2017
The Court of Appeal of New Zealand, David Cullen Bain v. The Queen, May, 2007
The Mask of Sanity by Joseph Karem
Hello Jill & Dick. I wanted to share a true story with you. (Please forgive the length of this message). Re: the case previewed on “Generation Why”: I’m mesmerized! I lived smack dab on the CA/NV borderline in Lake Tahoe circa 1975. At That time Incline Village was Upper upper Crust & I’d met several people who lived there through my job in a casino. I inhabited a small cottage with some friends; housing reserved for the “working class”, ie: “the crust of the crust” 😆. But I loved my simple life. Then I began receiving invitations to attend parties hosted by Incline Villagers & I was flattered… until one dark, lonely, very cold & snowy night. Apparently I presented as more naive than I believed myself to be, probably because of my young age; & unknown to me until that night, the questionable behavior of an old friend & traveling companion. I didn’t understand completely at the time what was going on at these parties – a little pot, a little booze, but nothing overtly outrageous, & it was all superficially at least “proper” (I didn’t drink alcohol & that was probably one saving Grace!). But I did have a gut feeling, though tried to ignore it – that Something wasn’t quite right? The “hosts” of these parties were a mixed group of wealthy people who all owned homes in the Village, & the parties were given in different homes each time. But the same faces were always circulating among the dozens of other attendees & there was always some secretive select few who would “disappear” from party Central into other rooms located somewhere at a distance from the main gathering. These were some very large homes. The night I was “selected” to join the “select few” it took about a minute to realize what was happening as the door to the room closed behind me. I remember thinking to myself “you idiot, what did you expect?!”. All I know now is that in my wildest imaginings I’d never have imagined the scene playing out before my eyes. I Was more naive than I thought, & wanted NO part of the proceedings, making that crystal clear to the host & crew in that room. Then things got a little scary. I’ll spare you the graphic details. The music was very loud, the room isolated, & everyone was stoned out of their gourds on – something. I protested the attempts to get me to “relax” & “calm down”, but I wouldn’t, and didn’t. Miraculously, or so it seemed, my protestations caught the attention of the people far outside of the “inner circle” that night. Suddenly, the door burst open, chaos erupted; a fistfight ensued; threats were hurled, along with furniture! with frantic screaming about how best to handle the situation – and me?! In the confusion, I managed to exit during the melee, thankful that Someone there Wasn’t on board with the agenda, and fled running into the night. It was after midnight, snow was swirling, the snow drifts on either side of the long, narrow, pitch black road were easily twice my height or more, & I would have frozen my rear end off if I hadn’t been wearing the old navy pea coat that had traveled cross country & back with me twice. Several miles from my residence, adrenaline pumping, I walked briskly toward my humble cottage – some distance away – trying to blend into the night, not knowing if I might be followed, or attacked by a wolf – as I Could hear them howling. About a mile or so from my destination a truck pulled up next to me. The elderly man driving it asked if I needed a ride. This time my gut told me he meant no harm & believe me I was prepared for anything by then (I was Never into hitch-hiking as a general rule). When he dropped me off at the cottage he first admonished me for walking alone on that dark road after midnight, then gave me a business card & told me to call him if I needed a job. I was working but it wasn’t working out well (in the casino), so the next day I called him & got a new job at a ski resort (near Truckee). But I couldn’t shake the situation off. It took me a while to discover & accept that my “hosts”, no doubt in cahoots with my friend from childhood, had been “grooming” me for introduction into – a cult – and I kid you not. Unbeknownst to me at the time of the incident, this life long friend Had joined the cult. He’s still with them today, 46 years later?! The “cost” of being accepted and allowed into the cult wasn’t Acceptable to me & I kicked myself for years afterward – for not recognizing what the deal was Prior to that fateful night. However, I also thanked God there had been at least two “guardian angels” assigned to me. About a month later I decided to leave the area for good. The shadow of the cult was always lurking somewhere. I’d learned too much apparently as there was a campaign of harassment & intimidation involved in my decision to leave the West Coast entirely. I returned to the Heartland, & home (for a few years of healing my scarred psyche). The cult “leader” found out where I lived & sent me numerous letters, called me a few times, but finally left me alone & it all began fading into memory, like a bad dream. I tried to Erase the entire experience, until – a few years ago – I was reading about this “group”, ( I won’t reveal the name given it now, cloaked under a different identity let’s say) in one of those “natural healing” magazines. I discovered their real identity while reading the article. My old friend was featured in it. He’d legally changed his name (only one of the “requirements”) which he made public before I left Tahoe, & according to the article is now an “elder” & spokesperson for the cult/group. Reading this article seemingly by chance blew my mind. It hadn’t been a bad dream, it was & remains all too real. (Shivers). It’s a long story, but important lessons learned. It could have so easily turned out much differently for me. I could easily have become one of the victims in these horrific cases. But, yes, the altitude there harbors danger disguised beneath glistening & breathtaking beauty. It also tends to “cloud” your thinking if you’re not acclimated to living Above the cloud line. At least that’s my opinion & until today, this is a story I’ve told few people. But once again you’ve struck a chord. So – Thanks for letting me gab, & thank you for all Your fascinating & sensitive insight into the cases the two of you dissect. You’re the Best of the Best, the “upper crust” in podcasting, in my book, a Gift to us all. Your podcasts offer much advice by way of educating us all on the warning signs, sirens flashing, & red flags waving that we’d all be better off recognizing & acting upon sooner rather than later. Not everyone is as fortunate as I was so long ago & far away. XxxOoo