***Trial in progress***
***Jury to disregard***
I know it's a wee bit early for this, but if the 'Bain Family Massacre' was going to be a TV movie here's how I would play out the scene.
Given that the defendant is the only one who really knows and he will not get in the witness box it allows us to follow a third, more interesting scenario. Since this is a TV movie it does not have to match precisely with all the parts of the evidence that is undisputed - there is some latitude:
David returns from newspaper round - slight chill in the air - he leaves his bike where he always does - a few papers left over from his round, he brings one with him. The birds are chirping, the shadows are long, the family's old rambling Victorian villa is decrepid. In the hills of Dunedin - the most gothic of New Zealand towns - stands this shambolic homestead. A hillbilly provincial eerieness. Under the house where his bike is stowed is decades of entropic social collapse. Edmonds baking tin circa 1958. Old newspapers. An old cot. A cupboard. David pauses. The cupboard is open -strange, he thinks, he looks inside - nothing.
We can just see a box of unopened ammunition in one corner.
On the back porch he pauses again as he catches a reflection of himself in the dusty, cobwebbed old mirror - an already prematurely balding 21 year old delivering newspapers. The newspaper shows an ad for Otago University, he glimpses it and looks down briefly as if in shame. He climbs the back stairs and goes into the kitchen to make a cuppa.
Puts the kettle on. Starts taking off his coat - to reveal the trademark Bain jersey - and walks down the hallway to go to his room.
Blood. Blood on the floor. We do not see his reaction. It's outside his brothers room. His brother his dead on the floor. The room is a mess, a lot of blood. We see the body and not the face of David as he goes to the next room and there's another body and more blood then we see him enter another room and from his view he looks around and sees a computer - it pans up - but out of focus.
Show the police massacre photos first, bits of the first trial, then maybe this scene - and the rest of the movie is explaining why David was the only one who deserved to stay - as the computer said. This will be the vast bulk of time in which the incest allegations are fleshed out and involve other members of the family (not just Robin and Laniet) running all the way up to when David leaves for his paper round that morning. Then maybe back to the courtroom scene that has yet to be played out in real life. And then this flashback from David perhaps at the point the jury retires:
He focuses on the computer - almost in the same style that the police video does. There is a blank screen - it's on, but nothing is written. We hear David's breathing speed up to near hyperventilation. Everyone is dead. He's apoplectic. He's physically affected now - his tall lanky figure crumpling over in a hunch as if in pain. A foetal position sort of response.
In the background the kettle is bubbling. Then a door opening noise. David spins around, startled.
His father Robin, scruffy, unshaven and unkempt, has entered the room and is standing with a rifle in his hands and stares at him coldly. Then David notices he has blood on him. All David can say is - "Stephen's dead". His face is screwed up - on the brink of crying.
Robin lifts the gun and points it at David - a look of infinite anguish in his eyes. Had he been waiting for him to return? Tears now come to David's eyes.
Flash forward to the jury deliberation. The competing theories don't make any sense. The jurors run through the evidence and the timeline but they can't make the jigsaw fit with all the missing parts. In the holding cell David begins to sob. He closes his eyes through the tears, it goes black. Flashback:
David blinks through the tears. "They had to go, David."
"Why?" David trembles. He casts his eyes through the open door and across the hall he can see Arawa's bloodied corpse and a hand outstretched in futile defence. "I had to." Robin is just standing there, leveling the firearm at David. Robin's voice "We all have to go."
David's voice breaking now: "Did you shoot Arawa?" Interrupting on the last syllable Robin's raspy tone is clear: "They're all dead."
The kettle boils away in the background getting louder.
David: "Are you going to kill me?"
Robin's eyes slowly scan the blood trails and over Arawa and Stephen. "We have to go."
Robin takes a step forward. His son, almost choking now says in an almost inaudible voice "I don't want to die, Dad." He has to speak up over the kettle. Robin looks at David, engaged now rather than detached: "This is the end." He opens the breech a shell casing is ejected and he reloads - slamming the bolt forward and takes another step forward so the barrel is almost at David's chest.
Now at this stage it could be teased a bit more with another flash forward to the jury deliberation trying to put it together - especially the incest scenario in which perhaps David makes a choice not to engage in it when the rest of the family has made it a habit. Then again this bit could be skipped to keep the tension all the way through to the denouement:
Robin has a look of grim determination in his eyes. David is a wreck at this point already. The barrel of the gun is at David's chest.
The kettle begins to break slowly into a whistle.
Robin: "I shouldn't be here." He lowers the weapon and thrusts it into David's flaccid arms that are barely able to keep it up. He's close enough to smell him now. Robin drops to his knees. David is confused but clumsily clasps it as his father points the barrel towards himself [this would be more dramatic and graphic if it was to his head] David looks down at his crouched father - a pained expression and bloodshot eyes look back.
David: "Why?" The kettle errupts into a full sustained whistle but just before we hear:
The piercing shriek of the kettle suddenly stops.
Robin, tears down his face too: "You're the only one who deserves to stay." Robin's hands squeeze around David's and around the gun. It slides over the trigger. David: "Don't."
Bang - blood. The body hits the floor with a thud. David: "Dad... Dad." David stands there with a gun having just helped shoot his father. He looks around. The telephone. A moment's pause. It dawns on him that he's the only one left alive in the household and he's holding the murder weapon. He hesitates and looks at the computer.
Then we have the verdict.