A mystery, or a confusing event can be solved and put into some order. The human characteristic of instinct is displayed in the Bain case in a way that will eventually be seen as an example of how to apply critical thought to an event in order to resolve its detail. In Bain there have been 2 distinct lines of thought. Those following 2 lines have generally been widespread across the population, some that might have been expected to have been on one line have surprisingly emerged on the other, however to their credit a majority of people interested in the Bain case have been open minded. My observations have been that one group starts from outside the centre and tries to work to the middle, the other do the opposite. For those that have started in the middle to succeed they have needed to be disciplined and not easily distracted. For those that have started from outside the middle they have been distracted immediately, if they have made a decision before been satisfied about the middle they have failed to understand the case, if they have made a decision but been open minded enough not to be frightened that they might be wrong they very well may still have succeeded in reaching the middle. On their way they may well have seen those going in the other direction - center to periphery, and wondered why they were not taken so much by that which absorbed those coming from the other limits. Not realising of course that those have completed their job in the middle of the case were looking only for supporting or non supporting issues in order to reconcile one way or the other what they had already determined. In other words looked for support for their finding or dealt with converse events in a way that made sense of them and judged their importance to see if it could indeed confirm their opinion or negate it - certainly not closed minded.
Where is the middle and where is the outer line? Clearly the middle is what happened around where Robin's body was found. The outer is in conversations, events that might have many different meanings far away from that lounge scene. If every person who played a role in this tragedy is set aside for the moment, apart from the dead body of Robin there is only one true narrator - science, to observe all the random details and paint a picture of whether Robin suicided or not. After that, all the peripheral information becomes relatively meaningless. Along this trail there have been a few scientists, one in particular who destroyed his own credibility by maintaining he did like Joe Karam's manner when meeting him at a book launch in Dunedin. Thus demonstrating a very un science like attitude which permeated through his views of the case, his centre was his dislike for Joe Karam - in reality the very outer edges of what happened in the lounge. There have been at least 2 others, both becoming friends along the way. The first Rowena Cave who took only a scientific interest, made comments related to that and stuck with logic in an open and friendly way. The second was David Giles, whom I'm still unsure, and I must ask him about it one day, apparently began with the premise that Robin was not guilty.
Rowena is English, David a Kiwi. Others who may have closely followed this case could be aware that Rowena, neutral as she was became a target of the Justice for Robin Bain group, as would eventually David along with unfortunately, the Jury from the retrial. By necessity this entire group, although I can't say for sure that included all the Jury, began with Robin's body and worked from there looking for a resolution of the question was it David or was it Robin. After the retrial David found the gsr marks on photos of Robin's thumbs, something confirmed by Dempster the pathologist as not being present at autopsy but still discarded by the myopic Callinan who rejected all scientific data provided by the defence. Consider that a retired Judge rejects science in favour of what people said before or after the tragedy, some in fact years later as a sure sign of deceit. He was into the gossip not the science. From the way it looks he also rejected the remarkable work of Rowena Cave, Vincent Diamo and D Kimberly Molina who applied Bayesian testing specifically to the evidence found where Robin laid dead and found using that mathematical reasoning that the probability of Robin having committed suicide was 97.3%. Their paper was peer reviewed, published and his now being used throughout the world. A paper of considerable undertaking peer reviewed internationally havng withstood the critical scrutiny of sharp trained minds.
I don't think there can be a clearer example to support starting in the middle rather than working backwards through conversations of what people said who possibly were never in that lounge. So is displayed Callinan's error. However, there is more of interest here, much more that adds to the argument that David was in fact robbed of at the very least an apology. Cabinet were right up to their necks with this decision that further evidences another miscarriage of Justice perpetuated on David Bain by the State. When I read Ian Binnie's report that found David Bain innocent on the balance of probabilities, and which was swiftly thrown out after being subjected to a secret review criticising Binnie for not using a Bayesian approach I was mystified. From what I read Binnie had clearly demonstrated a Bayesian approach it was evident throughout.
Listening last night to an hour long interview with Joe Karam I heard that Ian Binnie, like the defence had never been told that the Binnie report was under review and certainly not the reason. Binnie has since said he had been informed as he should have been it would have simple for him to explain to the reviewer how he, Binnie, had used Bayes, and demonstrate how that was shown throughout the report. Fast forward to the Callinan report where it is revealed immediately that he doesn't use a Bayesian approach, in fact in a supplementary report confirms that. So what did happen in the Binnie report, a Bayes approach, was rejected on the pretence that it had not been used. Callinan on the other hand doesn't use Bayes and his report is acceptable. That he also rejects scientific data is accepted without comment by the Government. His report was written using gossip as its foundation, evidence already discarded because of being found wanting was resurrected by Callinan. He was absolutely silent on Robin's alleged misuse of a firearm to threaten a neighbour in Wellington, Margaret's letter of concern that her husband would shoot the lot of them (the family.)
Amy Adams realised that the Callinan report wouldn't survive a judicial review, but why didn't the cabinet at least turn to Dr Peter Gluckman to review the scientific evidence that Callinan refused to consider. Peter Gluckman is foremostly a scientist whose skill is often employed by the Government. He is well respected as a problem solver, he could have been invited in to look at the scientific evidence that was part of the application, met with the scientists and attempt to establish some consensus to take to Cabinet. Remembering that not only did Callinan reject considering scientific data he also attacked perhaps NZ's leading forensic psychiatrist who dealt with David Bain, Dr Brinded.
What is left? The truth is, David is innocent and part of this Government have rejected that truth with its scientific basis. David has been compensated without the word compensation being used. The Appeal Court of the 1990s remains vilified for it's efforts in the Bain, Watson, Tamihere and Pora cases and that may only be the beginning.
Follows the link to the Karam interview
The Murder/Suicide Paper details, and the paras relating to Robin Bain's death.
Here is the paper you are looking for.If you read the case examples section you will see the following….
"There was a single shot (more likely suicide), at contact range (also more likely suicide), to the left side of the head (more likely homicide). Because the head loca- tion data are not independent, a Bayesian network was developed to produce net probabilities for this combination of factors being suicide or homicide. As Figure 2 shows, each factor is repre- sented by a node. The data in this study provided the probability for each factor. The resulting probabilities of suicide (P = 0.0371) and homicide (P = 0.0010) show that suicide is more probable than homicide, giving an LR = 36.4. That is, a case with this combination of features is more than 36 times more likely to be a result of suicide than of homicide. “
This example used to illustrate the technique is Robin Bain.
"LR=36.4 , this means that it is 36.4 x more likely to be suicide than homicide. In percentage terms this means 97.3% probability of suicide and only a 2.7% probability of homicide.You can see why Callinan needed to avoid consideration of the Bayes evidence."
You have to give credit to the ministry of " justice” for their well orchestrated PR campaign.Their idea to get a fiction writer was just brilliant.