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Public Perception a Myth?
An objective investigator reviewing the inquiry into the killing of the five members of the Bain family would want to know when and why David Bain became a suspect. When and why the homicide team whose Head reported to the first team briefing: "it's looking good for a murder suicide guys", ended up suspecting, and then arresting David Bain for the murders.
James McNeish deals with this transition in a simple paragraph on page 181 of his book.
"Public perception is a myth ... the police do not always construct a world to demonstrate that the prime suspect is the perpetrator. The Dunedin police thought they had their man. They looked at the evidence and decided they had been wrong!"

He describes Detective Sergeant Milton Weir, the officer in charge of the scene, as "tenacious" after the doubts raised by scene examination were dismissed initially by his Chief Detective. "Stop chasing f.....g ghosts and get on with the job" he was told.

The base rule of scene examination is not to let the scene fit your theory. Weir didn't and the rest is history.

McNeish spent 12 months carrying out his own investigations. The book does not set out to prove that David Bain is the murderer. It is more an explanation of why the murders happened. It is not a definitive book which sets out chronologically the evidence against David Bain, although the Crown Solicitor's summing up in the appendix does that.

To McNeish, having sat through the depositions and the trial, David Bain's guilt is a given. The tale of the family's disintegration during and after the time in Papua New Guinea and the effect on David, the eldest son, is more pertinent. Here lies the key to the murder.

This is a well written, well researched book which will leave discerning readers in no doubt as to the guilt of David Bain. More importantly, though, it will show why.

Without this book, there existed a serious danger that the emotion, innuendo and half truth which has fuelled this debate would have led to a genuine injustice.

This reviewer would welcome James McNeish onto his homicide team.

Kindly reproduced with permission of the New Zealand Police Association.

Next related article: Forward to A Dunedin OpinionA Dunedin Opinion
Prev related article: Back to Opinions of the remaining Bain familyOpinions of the remaining Bain family

Back to The David Bain Case Index

A book review by Greg O'Connor.

 Greg O Conner Photo 

 Greg O Conner Photo 

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