Montreal

Murderer's brother 'can't forgive just yet' for Parti Québécois rally shooting

For the first time, the brother of election-night murderer Richard Bain is speaking out. In an exclusive interview with CBC News, David Bain says he wants the families of the victims to know he is sorry.

Richard Bain's brother apologizes to victims' families, wishes he could go back in time

David Bain talks to CBC News about what it is like to be the relative of the Parti Québécois rally shooter. 0:34

David and Robert Bain used to get together for weekend getaways at their brother Richard's lakeside cabin north of the city, but now they meet in a Montreal jail.

Last month, a jury found Richard Bain guilty of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder for the shooting at the Parti Québécois provincial election-night victory rally. He is still to be sentenced for his crimes.

Bain, 66, is now incarcerated at the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre.

"I hate going. But it's the way it is," brother David says.

The cottage in La Conception, Que., has been sold, and now David and Robert meet their younger brother in a crowded room at the jail, with a glass partition dividing them.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News, David Bain said despite the events of Sept. 4, 2012 — and how difficult it is to understand them — Richard is still his brother.

"What he did is bad. Very bad. But that should not define him," he says.

"It's just something in his mind just clicked, just went crazy."

Quebecers remember Richard Bain as the man dressed in a bathrobe and ski mask, who shouted in French: "The English are waking up!" while police led him away from the scene of the deadly shooting.

'​I'm sorry for what my brother did'

David Bain says he decided to speak out because he wants people to know that there's more to his brother than the events of that night.

"You know, 60-odd years all defined [by] a couple of hours," he says.

The three boys grew up in St-Michel. From left to right, Robert, David and Richard Bain are pictured with their parents at Christmastime. (Jaela Bernstien/CBC )

Richard Bain only let off one shot outside the Parti Québécois event before his rifle jammed, but the single bullet left Denis Blanchette, 48, dead and his colleague Dave Courage with lifelong injuries — his internal organs were torn apart and his tailbone was shattered.

"I'm sorry. I feel sorry for them. If you could just go back and change things," David Bain says. 

He's still struggling to come to terms with it all.

"I have to say [I] can't forgive just yet," he said. "God's the one that does the forgiving. 

"If it was the other way around, how would I feel if Richard was the worker there, and someone came and shot him? I don't know. It's something that everyone handles individually."

Stagehand Denis Blanchette, left, died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Dave Courage was hit by the same bullet, but survived. (CBC )

He wants Blanchette's family to know how sorry he is.

"How do you explain to a young girl what happened to daddy?" he says, referring to Blanchette's daughter, who was four at the time of the murder.

"What is she, eight years old now? She's got a whole lifetime ahead of her without having a dad."

David Bain looks through old family photos. He still sees good in his brother, and he won't let his whole life be defined by the terrible events of one night. (Jaela Bernstien/CBC )

He also had a message for Courage.

"From my part, I'm sorry for what my brother did. I just hope ... you do make a full recovery somewhere down the line and soon. I wish you the courage to cope with what's happened."

Being the brother of a killer

Richard Bain, left, and brother David during happier times at the lake behind his cottage in La Conception, Que. (Submitted by David Bain)
After he found out his brother was responsible for the election-night shooting, David Bain says he just wanted "to be a mushroom."

"I didn't want to show my face anywhere," he says.

He was afraid of people recognizing his now notorious last name and whether they would think of him as the "brother of the killer."

But he says people have been sympathetic.

"I haven't had any kind of negative backlash where they blame me. That's a good sign of human nature," he says.

David Bain, who describes himself as a law-and-order type, says he thinks the second-degree murder conviction is fair. 

Whether or not his brother was in his right mind the night of the murder, he says he should be held accountable.

"He's still my brother and I still know him as a good person. In this case, he did something wrong. He's going to get punished for it ... He realizes that. He's accepted punishment, whatever it is."

A Quebec Superior Court justice is expected to hear sentencing arguments in Richard Bain's case on Sept. 9.

About the Author

Jaela Bernstien is a reporter based in Montreal. She's covered a wide range of news topics, ranging from criminal trials to ice age caves, and everything in between.