Martin Van Beynen is a columnist for the The Press in Christchurch. He’s followed the David Bain case from the beginning and is clearly obsessed with it. Right from the start, he was convinced David was the murderer. Twenty years later, despite the Privy Council declaration that there was a miscarriage of justice and the finding of the second jury that David was not guilty, Van Beynen has been unable to accept reality. And the reality is – he got it wrong.
But there’s money to be made. So in July 2017, Stuff released a 10 part podcast Van Beynen put together about the case: Why the David Bain story needed to be told one more time. Van Beynen examines the evidence in detail – in minute detail. In the process, he loses all perspective. He’s so busy looking at the individual trees, he fails to see the forest – or that half of it is missing because of the well-documented incompetence of the Dunedin police.
Let’s not forget that during their investigation, the police allowed some crucial trees to be burnt down (eg: the house where the murders took place). And those incest allegations against Robin Bain were fertile soil in which the trees of the forest were growing – but the police threw them out as seedlings before they even got planted. So Van Beynen only examines the decrepit, well worn trees that are still standing. He only sees what he wants to see – just like the police, who at the time of the crime, turned a blind eye towards the allegations of incest.
Using these myopic methods, Van Beynen still thinks David was the murderer. So do the police of course. One has to wonder – after all these years, why Van Beynen can’t admit he got it wrong? He has a reputation for solid investigative journalism. So why is he still in denial about the Bain case? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he has a brother who works for the police – the same police who destroyed half the trees in the forest. Or perhaps its because Van Beynen works for Stuff, and this is an opportunity for them to take his obsession with the case and make more money off it.