Saturday, February 18, 2012

Look Van Beynan still can't get over himself!

The famous crime and investigative reporter is still beside himself with jealousy, but to his credit his not so thinly disguising his animosity toward Joe Karam. In fact one good say he is displaying being a 'good' sore loser, rather than just a sore loser in his attempt to continue to influence public opinion against an innocent man.

Yes, he has written an 'opinion' piece titled 'Bain defence still less than convincing' in part a review of Joe Karam's book 'Trial by Ambush'

He prefaces his position that he has written about the Bain case since 1997, what is immediately interesting from that is his apparent failure to recognise in himself, something which he criticises Karam for. That he, Van Beynan's, long association with the case also 'has a tremendous stake in convincing the public he has not wasted his time' - Van Beynan's assertion against Karam which Van Beynan obviously doesn't consider that many will think the same about hiim.

He goes onto say something which is completely untrue 'Trial by Ambush is simply the defence case for David Bain written by a man with a visceral interest in being right.' While I agree those comments even apply to Van Beynan's visceral interest in 'being right' about a case which for now has gone beyond the Courts to be considered for compensation, and therefore remains unpalatable to him as an investigative journalist who got things horribly wrong - the book is not 'simply' the defence case, the first quarter of the book deals with the prosecution case and reveals in detail the shortcomings and bias of the evidence against Bain - how that could be described as the 'defence case' is in the realms of fantasy.

Quite soon in Van Beynan's piece we are in the old ground of attacking the deceased common to those with a 'hang bainer' veiw of the more extreme type of the hate-sites. There is no suggestion that Van Beynan is associated directly with any of those sites, but there is comments which show there have been contact between the parties. Van Beynan is critical of the comments  regarding  David having 'a budding career as a clasical singer and surrounded by a loving an organised family' quite why Van Beynan needs to attack the family is unclear, what is clear however that people did give evidence of David's ability and career prospects something which Van Beynan ignores in order to decimate good opinion against the family. For example he doesn't reveal that both the daughters were working part time or that Arawa was doing very well at school.

We go from that to the ridiculous. He says how Margaret was going to be able to demolish her and build a mansion is a 'mystery.' He points out that Robin, in the normal event of a divorce it seems, was entitled to half the property, without Van Beynan apparently being able to absorb than even half of an estate valued in the 100s of thousands in the mid-nineties was enough to build a substantial home. He pays her another insult by saying 'The plans for the new house were being drawn up by Margaret who had no building or architecture qualifications.' He needs to get out more 100s of thousands of nzers plan their new homes in this way, ultimately in conjunction with an architect once the basic plan has been envisaged. Why he needs to ridicule Margaret in this way is a mystery. He victimises her again in a very offensive way. He goes onto say 'she was not employed, she clearly did little around the house, she often did not get out of bed and she made her shopping decisions with the use of a pendulum.' Well so what, are we meant to hate her for that, feel some sympathy for Robin for that reason, not for example wonder what happened to make the formerly happy and out going woman retire to such a place. Perhaps an investigative journalist would be mindful of the accusations against Robin by his daughters and contemplate if that had added to Margaret's condition. Poor form by Van Beynan, coloured by self-interest that time has proven him wrong and Karam right.

He goes further down this track with 'How many normal families, even disorganised ones, have Dad - whom Mum referred to in all seriousness as the Devil - sleeping in a cold, run down caravan, while she sleeps in the warmth of a waterbed inside.' Rather that take a position that things were unproven against Robin, Van Beynan should consider they were proven and at least in the mind of his wife and his daughters he could easily be seen 'as the Devil' who needed to be kept outside and away from the womenfolk.

Van Beynan goes onto cite unsubstantiated claims by some of David's former associates of a 'plan to rape' a jogger. Van Beynan, as an investigative reporter, one could assume, would know that unsubstantiated claims rejected as evidence don't play a part in a trial. Then we have the 'resounding' fact that Dempster the Pathologist called the angle of shot to the head as 'extremely unusual' but forgets to add he also said it was quite feasible, and in fact demonstrated using the skull cap Dempster made.

Van Beynan goes deeper into the old ground, making me wonder if he actually did read 'Trial by Ambush.' He transerves what is in fact become critical evidence in favour of David, the socks. He goes on about foot measurements, test in pig blood and so forth which were unhelpful to Robin anyway, and which showed he had been walking about the murder scene contemporaneously with the killings. What Van Beynan, doesn't touch on because of it's damage to his 'cause' is that none of the blood on David's socks had arrived there by being airborne, a fact alone that shows his innocence.

He labours on about 20 points of evidence damaging to David but which he doesn't apparently dare to transverse apart from the gurgling of Laniet - an indicator alone that simply shows that David did hear her gurgling as he reliably  reported he had done, hardly the admission of a killer. The fingerprints of the rifle, which he omits to point out where in a 'carrying postion' and also fails to mention the Police's own expert revealed that fingerprints #82 'can last an awfully long time.' Van Beynan writes about the insignificant amount of blood on David's clothes and fails totally to reveal that #92 that blood on David's T shirt might have 'relatively old.' He says that the bruises on David's face are formidable but gives no detail that they were not observed by the St Johns officer who looked thoroughly over David early that morning, or David's fall which police observed. Perhaps to his credit Vay Beynan avoid the 'scratches' on David's chest, finally admitting one would hope that they were not observed by the police Doctor Pryde at the relevant time - a few hours after the deaths.

Then however, Van Beynan is full cry with absurdities claiming the 'bizzare if not ludicrous' behaviour of Robin putting his bloody clothes into the wash. This assertion quite frankly is pathetic, particular so from a person claiming to be long time expert of some sort on the Bain case. Karam nor David are not responsible for explaining the behaviour of a perpetrator of familicide. If Van Beynan read a little more he might recall the Ratima familicide where the father, also like the in the Bain case - the killer, put bibles on the chests of his young children after he had killed them. He also has never considered the case of Charlie Lawson -  another case of familicide with striking similarities to the Bain case. Charlie Lawson brought his family knew clothes before he killed them the following day in a case that also involved incest.

Predictably for a man defensive of his own forensic capacity or indeed appreciation of the law, Van Beynan mentions the findings of the Victorian armourer who made the qualified statement that 'Robin Bain's death was most likely not suicide.' In pursuit of being totally one sided in his 'opinion' piece he fails to reveal that the armourer's 'evidence' was rejected by the NZ Courts for being corrupted by the actions of a nz police officer who implied he had a Court order to uplift the evidence, when in fact he did not. But even this goes further Van Beynan totally fails to acknowledge that  Forensic Scientists (somewhat up the ladder in experience from armourers) testified as to the likely hood of Robin's suicide using a number of points, none less that one important one Van Beynan purposely ignores the consistency of the splatter from Robin's wound with suicide. Or indeed the even more damaging fact that Robin Bain had spatter found on him which was occluded as being from his own wound. Van Beynan can only ignore these telling points because they show his lack of objectivity on this case which he has either deliberately ignore or perhaps understands proves Robin's guilt.

Before finishing on critical evidence I should mention that like in his previous article, Van Beynan avoids like the plague offering even an acknowledgement of Robin's spatter being found in the rifle. Objective, I don't think so. Informed, certainly not. Van Beynan continues to 'bleat' about Karam not being able to spell correctly the Judges name. If Van Beynan thinks this is relevant to anything but his own jealousy he has failed to show so. Also fails to understand the printing and editing processes of books, poor chap. Toward the end of his miserable piece he reverts to type and attempts to condemn Arawa as a 'story teller' another effort to ignore that this case was familicide with a core of incest that many wish to ignore.

We could yet hear more about this article.


  1. At least Van Beynen admitted his bias. The article is very funny to anyone who has read the book - a bit of plaintive self-justification, ignoring the salient points and carrying on with the garbage he has previously put out. Why does this man cover such cases when his understanding of the evidence is clearly very lacking?

  2. Van Beynen has always shown his bias in everything he's reported about this case or others to do with the police. He has lost the ability to be objective. He's still annoyed he didn't get an invite to the party. I wonder if he still wanders the streets at 4 a.m. in the morning, knocking on people's doors. Is he still being warned to stop harrassing jury members?

  3. Near the end of the Karam vs. Laws radio debate, van Beynan phoned in to comment. Karam mentioned that he'd challenged van Beynan, I think late one night outside a hotel room, to explain the smeared blood, evidence hidden by the police, on Robin's hands. Van Beynan's new article still doesn't explain those blood smears, and of course van Beynan can't explain how Robin's death could have been anything other than the obvious suicide it was.

    1. Yes. I'd like to have seen him deal with the blood smears and other forensic evidence against Robin, rather than the attack on the deceased family. Perhaps if he challenged himself over the details he chooses to ignore he'd be released from any feelings of having failed, by finally reaching the right conclusion - familicide.

  4. 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.

    Van Beynen is an idiot really but to his credit he is at least trying to come in from the cold. The above statement from his opinion piece is proof that he is an idiot because if the cops had taken swabs for GSR at the earliest opportunity instead of days later and then only after Robins body had been removed from the scene we would know today who fired that rifle. Instead what we have today is a bungled investigation pure and simple as Van Beynen concedes.

    Van Beynen take it on the chin you were and still are wrong.

  5. The police shouldn't have worked backwards. They had all the time in the world. They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and the country a fortune by gathering a comprehensive understanding of Robin's death, not ignoring the blood on his hands, or his blood being inside the rifle barrel - certainly not the spatter on him that hadn't come from his own wound. The country would have readily accepted an obvious finding of suicide, but instead we got a convoluted inquiry and charges that failed to hold against the test of science, logic and the law.

    1. For an excellent review of the book by a prominent lawyer,
      go to

    2. The police obviously had no intention of determining the truth from the onset. If they had, they would have taken GSR tests, allowed Dempster immediate access, and fully tested the blood and finger nail scrapings from Robin, and the nail scrapings from Arawa.

      For some reason from the time Weir arrived, no one seemed at all interested in knowing the truth, but rather, getting the evidence to fit a particular scenario. Why?

      Even Doyle couldn't account for the many things that weren't done according to the manual. They weren't mistakes, one or two things are mistakes. This was a plan to present a lie. To coin another fake investigation - the crown case was an 'orchestrated litany of lies'.

  6. The extract below is what concerns me because of its implications wider than the Bain case.

    'It is the failings of the judiciary that are of most concern to readers of this site. Three appeal judges sat on what the Privy Council called the Third Court of Appeal in this case. Their single judgment contained, according to submissions to the Privy Council prepared by Karam and reproduced as Appendix B to his book, an astonishingly large list of errors of fact.

    One judge might well make the occasional slip in summarising the evidence in a case, but how can so many errors pass by three judges? This calls into question the soundness of a recent proposal by our Law Commission that factual issues should be decided by a small panel of judges. The Commission likens this to the practice in Belgium, but China would also be a relevant point of reference.

    Work done by committees tends to be distributed among members, whereas in trials it is brought home to jurors that they are individually responsible for their decision. The Court of Appeal is over-worked and under-resourced, and its judges – all of whom are of high quality by international standards – are encouraged to bring in unanimous decisions in criminal cases. That is hardly an environment that will promote accuracy'

    That reference to China should scare the heck out of anybody.

    That aside, I hope the attention of Don Mathias and others might lead to a big improvement it our system of Justice, because as the Bain, Watson and Ellis cases show - we need it.

  7. I see the new straw the group grasping is the ridiculous assertion that David held a key for the lounge and only intermittently let the family have acesss..suddenly remembered by a witness 14 years after the event much the same as the stratches seen by a prison officer suddenly remembered despite David being strip searched by Pryde..IMO both are liars

  8. "I thought it strange David was allowed to have the key (to the lounge). I thought it was Robin's room

    By that statement it is obvious she is referring to the other lounge in the house..the clean lounge with the artifacts on the wall..the lounge the family watched a video that night in..not the lounge Robin was found in

    Once again confusion or deliberate lies from superspoon