Unsolved Mysteries and Scary Stuff: Bizarre Cases of the Missing and Murdered Vol. 17

David Bain

On the morning of June 20th, 1994 twenty-two-year old David Bain came home from delivering papers and found his parents Robin and Margaret and his three siblings Laniet, Arawa and Stephen all shot to death. He called the police immediately. During the course of their investigation, the cops saw several clues that suggested that David had in fact killed his own family.  The evidence they presented included the fact that the lens from David’s glasses was found in his brother’s room. Authorities also found it to be suspicious that David had washed the clothes he had been wearing when he called the police. Blood was found on the clothes and on the washing machine.  Within days he was charged with murder. Bain was tried by a jury of his peers and sentenced to life in prison…but that’s not where our story ends.

David’s defense team claimed during the trial that his father was in fact the perpetrator of the crime and had killed everyone before turning the gun on himself. A message on the family’s computer read “Sorry, you are the only one who deserved to stay”. The defense argued this was tantamount to a suicide note which explained why David was spared. The prosecution declared David typed it himself to use as evidence to blame his father for the killings. The defense further argued that Robin was having serious marital issues with his wife and was also involved in a sexual relationship with his own daughter. This was expounded on further by a friend of Laniet who said Laniet was secretly a prostitute and had been forced to have sex with her father for over a year. Another source claimed that Laniet had a child that was hidden from the family.

The day the murders occurred corresponded with Laniet telling her friend she was going to reveal her father’s behavior to the whole family that weekend. Robin’s employers confirmed he had been clearly dealing with some weighty issues and seemed depressed in the weeks leading up to the murders.

An appeals court looked into Bain’s case and granted him a new trial in 2009. This time David was acquitted. He has since used his time to try and seek financial retribution for his wrongful conviction and the case remains a hot button issue locally.

Stranded in the Arctic
Kaptein Horntvedt tar Bouvetøya i besittelse 1.desember. 1927Den første Norvegia-ekspedisjonen 1927 *** Local Caption *** Horntvedt

Bouvet Island is considered one of the least habitable places on Earth. It lies deep in the South Atlantic Ocean, somewhat near Antarctica. A team of British explorers landed on the Island in 1964 and were baffled to find a lifeboat sitting in a lagoon on the island. A set of oars, a pile of wood, a drum and a tank made of copper resided nearby. The boat looked to be in good shape, but no signs of what ship or country the items came from could be determined.   The mystery was deepened two years later when another group of men landed on the island and found none of the items the last squad had found. To this day, no one knows who was stranded on Bouvet, where they came from or what became of them.

Mary Bell

Mary Bell was born to a prostitute mother. Betty bore Mary when she was a mere 17 years of age. The true identity of her father is unknown, but she took the last name of Bell due to a criminal named Billy Bell who married Betty around the time of Mary’s birth. There is no evidence he was her father or that he even knew Betty when Mary was conceived.

Betty was not fit to be a mother and Mary’s own family told stories of Betty tossing Mary out of a window, only to claim the child “fell”. Another time a witness from the family saw Betty give Mary several sleeping pills under the guise of candy. Eventually, when Mary turned four years old, her mother started to receive money to allow men to commit sex acts with her daughter.

With that disturbing adolescence in mind, one can not truly wonder why Mary snapped mentally at an early age. In May of 1968, Mary was one day shy of turning eleven years old. On that day Mary strangled a four-year-old boy named Martin Brown. Soon after, she enlisted in the help of a thirteen-year-old friend named Norma and together they broke into a nursery school and vandalized the place. They left notes behind saying things like “Fuck off, we murder, watch out, Fanny and Faggot” and another declaring she killed Brown. The police assumed it was a false lead as the working theory was that Brown accidently died when he tried some pills from a bottle that was found near his body. Mary showed up at Martin’s home as he was lying in state and asked to see the boy.

Two months after Brown’s death, the pair of young women strangled a three-year-old boy named Brian Howe who also lived in a poverty stricken neighborhood, much like the first victim. Mary later returned to the corpse and carved an “M” into the body’s belly. A scissors was then used to cut off some of Howe’s hair, and a razor was used to slice up his legs and mangle his penis. Once Brian was declared missing, Mary tempted fate yet again and went to the boy’s sister and told her she saw Howe playing in a vacant lot. When the family went to look, they found his butchered body.

A medical examiner suggested that a child may be to blame for the murder as it was obvious the stab wounds were done by someone lacking substantial strength. The police began to question the local kids which led to Norma and Mary giving differing alibis. Mary tried to claim she saw an older male attacking the child, but Norma eventually broke down and confessed to the crime.

The authorities struggled to pin Brown’s death on Mary because her grip was not strong enough to leave marks to prove she strangled him. Eventually the two murders were successfully tied together. In August of 1968 both girls were charged with manslaughter. When arrested Mary simply said, “That’s alright by me.”

The trial was held in December of that same year. The court psychiatrists described Mary as a sociopath and she was fingered as the ringleader of the murder. Norma was acquitted, while Mary was convicted of two counts of manslaughter. She remained a troublemaker behind bars, accusing a prison guard of sexually abusing her. Her statements there were proven untrue. Then almost ten years after being put away, Mary managed to escape briefly but was recaptured. During those two days of freedom, she found a man to have a sexual tryst with, an event which was reported in great detail in the British tabloids.

Mary was released under a new identity in 1980. She had a child of her own four years later. The daughter she bore did not know of her mother’s infamy until she was fourteen years of age and paparazzi discovered the pair living anonymously. Mary released a biography that same year, which created a stir as people were uncomfortable with Bell profiting from her crimes. She and her daughter returned to a secluded life with them last making headlines in 2009 when it came out that Bell was now a grandmother.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more mysteries soon!  

If you enjoyed this, you can catch up with the whole series here.

I have many other cases I’ve done articles for including looks at the Sodder Children’s disappearance, John Wayne Gacy’s undiscovered burial sites, the East Area Rapist, Gen. MacArthur’s “missing” son, Tina Resch’s poltergeist and many other stories of crime and the paranormal. All those can be found at the link above.

I also run the After Dark Radio Show‘s Facebook page and add 3-4 stories from the world of true crime, UFOs, cryptids and other such things each day. Please consider “liking” us if that sounds of interest to you.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

Leave a Reply