MOJO's Applications

MOJO receive in excess of 200 applications per year for support and assistance in challenging wrongful convictions.


MOJO's Objectives

MOJO's objectives are to bring hope to the innocent, to give a voice to the voiceless, and support innocent people after they are released from prison.


Miscarriages of Justice Organisation

Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (Scotland) is based in Glasgow and was founded in 2001 by Paddy Joe Hill, who is one of the Birmingham six, who were innocent men wrongfully convicted in 1975.


July's Theme!

The theme for the month of July is Miscarriages of Justice! There will be one episode released each week, which will focus on victims of miscarriages of justice in Scotland. Included will be an update from Euan from the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation regarding Elaine Doyle's (an episode we covered in January 2022) convicted killer, John Docherty, as John Docherty is one of MOJO's clients who may have suffered a miscarriage of justice.


Linked or Not Linked?

Linked Or Not Linked?

Episode Summary

Part One – The story of eight horrific murders that happened in 1977 and 1978 in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but were they linked?

Please Be Advised – This episode may contain content that some may find distressing. As always, we advise listener discretion. This episode it not suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Listen on:

Episode Summary

Part Two – The investigation into finding the murderer or murderers of the eight innocent women killed in Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1977 and 1978. But would all the murders be linked?

Please Be Advised – This episode may contain content that some may find distressing. As always, we advise listener discretion. This episode it not suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Listen on:

Episode Summary

Part Three The Eleanor Morton Chat – Dawn and Eleanor have a chat about the darker side of Bonnie Scotland, amongst other random things.

Please Be Advised – This episode may contain content that some may find distressing. As always, we advise listener discretion. This episode it not suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Listen on:

Templeton Woods: Did Angus Sinclair’s brother-in-law murder two Dundee women? (thecourier.co.uk)

Angus Sinclair: A lifetime of abuse, rape and murder – BBC News

World’s End murders: Sinclair convicted after change in double jeopardy rule – BBC News

How World’s End murderer Angus Sinclair was finally brought to justice – Edinburgh Live

Angus Sinclair: How far did his killing spree go? | Edinburgh News (scotsman.com)

When the Yorkshire Ripper was quizzed on two unsolved Dundee murders (thecourier.co.uk)

Angus Sinclair dead: World’s End serial killer dies in prison aged 73 – Mirror Online

Angus Sinclair jailed for life for 1977 World’s End Murders | Daily Mail Online

World’s End murder trial: Police never gave up in 37-year hunt to track down monster Sinclair – Daily Record

When was Frances Barker’s death, who was her murderer Thomas Ross Young and was Angus Sinclair involved? | The Sun

World’s End murders: Angus Sinclair jailed for 37 years – BBC News

Who were Anna Kenny, Agnes Cooney and Hilda McAuley, when were they murdered in Glasgow and were they linked to Angus Sinclair? | The Sun

Angus Sinclair | Photos | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

World’s End beast Angus Sinclair wailed for dead mum on prison deathbed | The Scottish Sun

Evil sex killer Thomas Young dies behind bars aged 79 and still showing no remorse – Daily Record

Angus Sinclair – Serial killer/Serial child abuser | UK Database (uk-database.org)

The World’s End – Outlander Locations

World’s End: Angus Sinclair found guilty of teenagers’ 1977 murders – In The Loop (in-the-loop.net.au)

Angus Sinclair: A lifetime of abuse, rape and murder – BBC NewsHow law change jailed serial killer Angus Sinclair – BBC NewsWorld’s End murders: How DNA caught Angus Sinclair – BBC NewsWorld’s End murders: Angus Sinclair jailed for 37 years – BBC NewsWorld’s End murders: Father’s promise to dying wife he would pursue justice – BBC NewsWorld’s End serial killer Angus Sinclair dies – BBC NewsBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh and East | Murder accused appears in courtBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Judge throws out World’s End caseBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | World’s End row law chiefs meetBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Top judge enters World’s End rowBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Judge in second opinion case hintBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | World’s End father ‘devastated’The World’s End | Outlander LocationsBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Lack of evidence at trial blamedBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | World’s End father gives evidenceBBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Victim ‘strangled with stocking’BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | World’s End pub suspect DNA hunt

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Murder accused’s car was scrapped

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Murder victims’ last night alive

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | Loner accused in death of women

Angus Sinclair: Scotland’s worst serial killer? – BBC News

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Forces probe unsolved murders

World’s End murders: Sinclair convicted after change in double jeopardy rule – BBC News

BBC NEWS | Scotland | The seven unsolved murders

Angus Sinclair: How far did his killing spree go? | Edinburgh News

BBC News – ‘Scotland’s secret serial killer’

Did Angus Sinclair kill Edinburgh mum Helen Kane? | The Scotsman

World’s End serial killer Angus Sinclair died alone in his cell – BBC News

World’s End jury shown ‘disturbing’ images | Edinburgh News

The World’s End Murders: A night that haunts Scotland’s capital to this day | Edinburgh News

Victim of World’s End murder struggled as killer tied her up | HeraldScotland

Angus Sinclair v. Her Majesty’s Advocate

World’s End Murders – Scottish Review of Books

World’s End murder jury shown ‘distressing’ photos | The Scotsman

World’s End murderer Angus Sinclair is ‘Scotland’s worst serial killer’ who may have claimed up to 10 victims, says ex-top cop – Daily Record

Angus Sinclair dead: World’s End serial killer dies in prison aged 73 – Mirror Online

Angus Sinclair was ‘Scotland’s luckiest serial killer’ – STV News

The World’s End Murders: Amazon.co.uk: Tom Wood, David Johnston: 9781841587493: Books

The World’s End Murders: A Thirty-Year Quest for Justice by Tom Wood

World’s End murder trial: Police never gave up in 37-year hunt to track down monster Sinclair – Daily Record

World’s End murder trial: Evidence against Angus Sinclair is ‘frankly overwhelming’ Lord Advocate tells jury – Daily Record

World’s End murder trial: Angus Sinclair denies rape as teenage victims ‘did not say no’, he claims – Daily Record

Aunt of murder victim Anna Kenny backs new DNA bid to convict killer 38 years on from brutal slaying – Daily Record

World’s End Suspect Faces Nine Murder Charges – Daily Record

Childhood friends' pub crawl ended in murders | Glasgow Times

‘Let him rot’ World’s End victims’ families demand that evil killer dies in jail – Daily Record

Glasgow serial killer Angus Sinclair and the gruesome murder spree that led to World’s End murders – Glasgow Live

World’s End Murder Trial – Finding the Balance in Double Jeopardy | ScotsLawBlog

World’s End beast Angus Sinclair wailed for dead mum on prison deathbed

How World’s End murderer Angus Sinclair was finally brought to justice – Edinburgh Live

Angus Sinclair | Crime+Investigation UK

Angus Sinclair | Photos | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

World’s End: Angus Sinclair found guilty of teenagers’ 1977 murders – In The Loop

Angus Sinclair – The World’s End Murders By Scotland’s Worst Serial Killer

World’s End murderer Angus Sinclair started killing spree at just 16 by luring seven-year-old girl to his home before raping and strangling her

Angus Sinclair jailed for life for 1977 World’s End Murders | Daily Mail Online

Angus Sinclair – Serial killer/Serial child abuser | UK Database – Sex offenders register

World’s End murder trial: Former police officer tells court he saw accused killer Angus Sinclair with the victims outside the pub – Daily Record

Who were Anna Kenny, Agnes Cooney and Hilda McAuley, when were they murdered in Glasgow and were they linked to Angus Sinclair?

I knew my cousin’s killer Angus Sinclair would strike again – STV News

The twisted life of savage sociopath | HeraldScotland

Gone Fishing: The Unsolved Crimes of Angus Sinclair eBook : Lloyd, Adam, Clark, Chris: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Appeal against sentence by Angus Sinclair against her majesty’s Advocate

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh, East and Fife | A life of abuse, rape and murder

Paedophile convicted of girl’s rape and murder 22 years on | The Independent | The Independent

World’s End killer Angus Sinclair cremated in secret ceremony ‘with no family’ – Mirror Online

Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011 – Wikipedia

Double Jeopardy in Scots Law – Why was Angus Sinclair tried twice? – Criminal Defence Lawyers Edinburgh

Evil sex killer Thomas Young dies behind bars aged 79 and still showing no remorse – Daily Record

Bullied schoolboy with a lust for rape and murder | HeraldScotlandProsecutors ‘blocking’ appeal in murder case | UK news | The GuardianThe Investigator’s Mark Williams-Thomas claims World’s End murderer Angus Sinclair teamed up with Thomas Ross Young to kill Frances BarkerAppeal bid by dead murderer Thomas Young rejected – BBC NewsMurder case sent to appeal after 30 years | UK news | The GuardianLorry driver serving life for 1977 murder fails to convince judges to hear new evidence – Daily RecordNiece of serial killer Angus Sinclair victim devastated to discover wrong man was jailed for her murder – Daily RecordWhen did Thomas Ross Young murder Frances Barker in Glasgow, why did he appeal the conviction and when was his death?When was Frances Barker’s death, who was her murderer Thomas Ross Young and was Angus Sinclair involved?Man jailed for 1978 murder | UK news | The Guardian

Free Stock photo of George Square in Glasgow at night | Photoeverywhere

File:Edinburgh Night castle and Balmoral Clock Tower.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Prosecutors ‘blocking’ appeal in murder case | UK news | The Guardian

The Investigator’s Mark Williams-Thomas claims World’s End murderer Angus Sinclair teamed up with Thomas Ross Young to kill Frances Barker | The Scottish Sun

Appeal bid by dead murderer Thomas Young rejected – BBC News

Murder case sent to appeal after 30 years | UK news | The Guardian

Lorry driver serving life for 1977 murder fails to convince judges to hear new evidence – Daily Record

Niece of serial killer Angus Sinclair victim devastated to discover wrong man was jailed for her murder – Daily Record

When did Thomas Ross Young murder Frances Barker in Glasgow, why did he appeal the conviction and when was his death? | The Sun

When was Frances Barker’s death, who was her murderer Thomas Ross Young and was Angus Sinclair involved? | The Sun

The World’s End

by Tom Wood and David Johnston

Synopsis

This is an account of the murder of two young women, Helen Scott and Christine Eadie, who died in October 1977. It is the story of these crimes and of the thirty year investigation that followed. This is not a gruesome tale of murder; the families of these young girls have suffered enough. Nor is this account devoted to the controversy in which the trial of Angus Sinclair was brought to an end in the Autumn of 2007.This is a story of heroes, of the families of Helen and Christine who, with a quiet dignity, have carried an unimaginable burden down the years, and the police officers, the support staff and the scientists who over the generations have persisted in their investigations, never gave up and though they suffered many a setback never forgot Helen and Christine. “The World’s End Murders” is an intelligent, compassionate and insightful account of a time and place in Scottish criminal history which both carefully examines the World’s End murders and sensitively restores afresh the memory of two innocent young women, as well as the others who fell victim in 1977 and 1978.

Gone Fishing: The Unsolved Crimes of Angus Sinclair

by Adam Lloyd and Chris Clark

Synopsis

Angus Robertson Sinclair, one of the worst killers the UK has ever seen, was convicted of four murders. His first took place in his home city of Glasgow in 1961, when he raped and murdered his seven-year-old neighbour Catherine Reehill when he was just sixteen. But after spending a mere six years in prison, he was released in his early twenties to kill again. Teenagers Helen Scott and Christine Eadie were last seen at the World’s End pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in October 1977. The next morning both were found murdered; not together, but a few miles apart on the East Lothian coast. The largest investigation in Scottish police history didn’t find their killer. Several years later, in 1982, Sinclair was jailed for life after he was charged with and admitted eleven charges of rape and indecent assault. However, twenty years after this, as Sinclair was beginning to be hopeful about being released on parole, a cold case review showed that Sinclair’s DNA had been found on the body of 17-year-old Mary Gallagher, a 1978 Glasgow murder that had been previously unsolved. These discoveries lead detectives to examine the link between Sinclair and several other unsolved cases. Scientific advances put him and his brother-in law Gordon Hamilton − who died in 1996 − firmly in the frame for the World’s End murders. In 2007 Sinclair stood trial for these murders, but a lack of evidence saw the case collapse. But following the change in Scotland’s double jeopardy law, Sinclair again faced trial for the World’s End murders in 2014, and this time was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 37 years in prison. This is the longest sentence issued to anyone in a Scottish court, and ensured that Sinclair would die in jail. But there were more victims. Many more. And in this book we tell their stories.

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn

Hosted by Dawn

Special Guest is Eleanor Morton

Researched and Written by Dawn Young

Produced and Edited by Dawn Young and Peter Bull

Production Company Name by Granny Robertson

Voice Talent by Eleanor Morton

Music:

Dawn of the Fairies by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Gothic Wedding by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Introduction by Eleanor Morton:

Welcome Wee Ones to Scottish Murders. Dawn will shortly be taking you through a solved or unsolved murder involving people from or living in Scotland. So get ready to hear about the darker side of Bonnie Scotland.

Dawn:

Before I begin, a lot of the information for this episode came from two specific books, one being Gone Fishing by Chris Clark and Adam Lloyd.

It was Saturday the 11th of June 1977 and 37 year old Frances Barker had spent the day at her sister’s home in Parkhead in the East End of Glasgow letting off steam, happily drinking and having a laugh after a long week working at the bakery. Having had a good day and plenty to drink, Frances decided in the late afternoon it was time to go home and so a taxi was called for her. When it arrived Frances’ niece Lily, who was 23 at the time, helped Frances out to the taxi and made sure she got in okay, as she was a bit unsteady on her feet. Lily waved the taxi off with Frances in it, not realising that this would be the last time she saw her Aunt Frances alive. The taxi driver drove Frances to her home in Maryhill Road in Glasgow, just a 16 minute drive away, where Frances, still unsteady on her feet, got out and headed towards her home. The taxi driver watched Frances for a second or two to make sure she was okay, but then got another call and headed off before Frances had made it to her front door.

Frances was only reported missing a week later when her colleagues became worried that she hadn’t been to work. The police were called but despite speaking to neighbours and appealing for information nobody had seen or heard anything. Frances had simply vanished. Sadly, her body was found on a quiet lane 16 days later just outside the village of Glenboig, about 15 miles or 24 kilometres east of where she had last been seen outside her home. Frances was found half naked, with her legs tied together using her tights and her arms tied using her scarf. Her knickers had been put into her mouth to gag her, and she had been raped and then strangled and left in a wooded area covered with leaves and branches to try to hide her body.

According to the book Gone Fishing, the police investigating Frances’ murder came to the conclusion quickly that she had likely been picked up and murdered by a kerb crawler, and so they visited the red light district to speak to the sex workers there to try to establish a likely candidate, and they wouldn’t be disappointed.

One particular lorry driver had been frequenting the red light district and picking up sex workers so often that one of the workers had actually taken down the lorry’s number plate. The lorry was traced to a Thomas Ross Young who was 44 years old. When his lorry was forensically examined hairs belonged to Frances were found, and when his home was searched a distinctive green makeup compact owned by Frances was found under the floorboards. The case was strong, but it only became stronger when another sex worker who had recently been raped picked Thomas Young out of a line-up. Thomas Young was arrested and when he appeared in court he was not only charged with Frances Barker’s murder but also seven other charges, all but one being sexual in nature. Thomas Young had also been charged and found guilty of raping a 19 year old woman in 1967 for which he received 18 months in prison, as well as being questioned in the same year following the disappearance of a 17 year old girl who he had picked up and had sex with, but he had said that he had dropped her off near her home afterwards, and sadly, as there was no body or evidence, there was nothing the police could do. Shortly after being released from his 18-month prison sentence for rape, he then was charged and found guilty of raping a 15 year old girl, for which he was sentenced to eight years in prison. So had he escalated from rape to murder? The police believe so and felt they had a strong enough case to take Thomas Young to trial for Frances Barker’s murder, although not everyone agreed and some felt he could have been set up so easily given his past record.

Thomas Young’s trial took place in October 1977 at the High Court in Glasgow where the jury took just one hour to find him guilty of Frances’ murder and he was sentenced to 30 years, which was the longest prison sentence to be handed down in Scotland at that time. But was Thomas Ross Young the murderer of Frances Barker?

So, because the police had quickly caught Thomas Young for Frances’ murder, holding him in custody until his trial and conviction, the people of Glasgow felt safe to go about their business again. On the 5th of August 1977, nearly two months after the disappearance and murder of Frances Barker, 20 year old Anna Kenny was getting ready for a night out in Glasgow. Anna lived with her dad Francis, mum Mary and brother Frank, and had recently got a job working in a brewery along with her best friend Wilma Sutherland. The pair were inseparable, and having spent a long week at the brewery they both were looking forward to a night out spending their hard-earned wages on a drink or two. The latest pub to be seen in in Glasgow was called the Hurdy Gurdy, and so on Friday the 5th of August Anna and Wilma headed straight there, spending the entire evening there chatting with friends throughout the night. The pair had started talking to a man that they both knew who had a bit of a crush on Wilma, and shortly after the trio were then joined by another man who was meant to be meeting a friend of his but they hadn’t shown up. Having spent the rest of the evening together drinking and laughing in the Hurdy Gurdy pub, at closing time the foursome then left the pub together and Wilma and the man who fancied her hung back and had a wee kiss in a doorway, while the man who had been stood up walked Anna to get a taxi. They had a bit of a kiss too but Anna said that she wasn’t interested in anything more and was going home, at which point he said bye and started walking home himself, catching Anna begin to hail a taxi as he turned away. This would be the last time Anna was seen alive.

She was reported missing to the police the next day. The police initially suspected the man who had walked Anna to get a taxi that night, but thankfully for the male he had encountered many friends as he walked home so they were able to provide him with a strong alibi, leaving the police with no leads as, again, despite appeals for information, nobody had seen or heard anything. Just like Frances, Anna had simply disappeared.

As the months passed and neither Anna or her body were found, Anna’s family and Wilma grew more tormented, however, life did go on for Wilma. Wilma could only bear to return to the Hurdy Gurdy pub twice after Anna’s disappearance, and on her second visit just before Christmas 1977 she met and started chatting to a Gordon Hamilton. The pair started a relationship and married less than a year later in 1978. But the relationship was not a happy one. Wilma soon realised that Gordon was a drinker, a very heavy drinker, but not only that, he was also violent and had extramarital affairs, and so the marriage was short-lived. However, possibly the relationship had been doomed from the beginning, as on the day of the wedding in 1978 Gordon and his best friend had a huge falling out, so huge in fact that his best friend didn’t attend his wedding and the pair never spoke again. No one knows what Gordon and his best friend, Angus Sinclair, argued about that caused such a rift.

On the 23rd of April 1979, six months into the unhappy marriage and almost 21 months after Anna had vanished, the police came to Wilma’s home and told her and her husband Gordon that remains had been found in a shallow grave in remote Skipness in Kintyre. Skipness is either about a three hour drive away from Glasgow where you have to drive northwest of Glasgow first then double back on yourself and end up southwest of Glasgow, or alternatively you could take a car ferry there, which was more of a direct route. The remains were thought to be Anna Kenny’s, which soon after was confirmed as two distinctive earrings were found as well as what was left of the top she had been wearing the night she disappeared. Anna’s top had been ripped and used to tie her ankles together as well as being placed around her neck. It was believed that Anna had been raped, severely tortured and eventually strangled with her own shirt. Anna’s family were severely affected by what had happened to their daughter, and sadly Anna’s dad, Francis, died in 1994 and her mother, Mary, took her own life two years later, leaving only Anna’s brother Frank. Frank did marry and have two sons, however, when one son was 13 and the other 11 sadly Frank died from a heart attack.

On the 1st of October 1977, while the investigation into Anna Kenny’s disappearance was still ongoing and two months since she had disappeared, Matilda, who preferred to be known as Hilda, McAuley was getting ready for a night out. Hilda was 36 years old, was a wife and a mother of two sons; 13 year old George and nine-year-old Mark. Hilda was estranged from the children’s father though and she and her two boys were currently staying with Hilda’s mother, Martha, in the Maryhill Road area of Glasgow. Hilda did have the full support of her mother, who every Saturday evening would look after the boys so Hilda could go out and enjoy herself, however, Hilda was still a single mother and she worked hard to provide for her sons, holding down two cleaning jobs. While things for Hilda were tough, she had a great relationship with her mother and children and it was a happy household. On Saturday the 1st of October, like every other Saturday night, Hilda’s boys, George and Mark, helped her get ready for her night out, laughing and having fun. Before Hilda left for the evening she kissed both of her boys and said bye to them and her mother, and then she was gone.

Hilda met up with three of her close friends that evening where they had a few drinks in local pubs while they caught up with the week they had had, before finally heading to their favourite spot, the Plaza Ballroom, for a night of dancing. As usual, upon entering the ballroom, the friends went off in various directions to chat to other friends and have a dance. It was about 12.15am on Sunday the 2nd of October when Hilda collected her coat from the cloakroom attendant and then Hilda had walked outside, presumably in the hopes of being able to get a lift home, something which she did regularly, sometimes even taking lifts from strangers. Had she maybe met a man at the ballroom who had promised her to lift home?

When Hilda didn’t arrive home after her night out her mother, Martha, began to worry, it was so unlike Hilda not to come home or to call if there was a problem. Martha called around Hilda’s friends but there was no news, nobody had seen her. All of Sunday Martha hoped and hoped that there was a reasonable explanation for Hilda’s delay, that she would walk through the door any minute, however she didn’t, and by the early evening on Sunday the 2nd of October Martha’s worst fears became a reality.  A local newspaper had reported that a body had been found in trees on waste ground in a secluded, obscure spot near the entrance to a caravan site, an area known locally as lovers lane, on the main road from Glasgow to Greenock, about 16 miles or 26 kilometres away from where Hilda had last been seen. If Martha had been in any doubt of the identity of the body, the description of the body and clothing confirmed to Martha that this was her daughter, Hilda. Martha, in a distraught and shocked state, contacted the police and told them the description was of her daughter. Hilda had been found half naked with her hands tied behind her back and had been gagged. Hilda had suffered horrific head injuries, had been raped and then had been strangled. While Hilda’s clothing was strewn around her, items such as Hilda’s bag, shoes, coat and a hairpiece had been taken, none of which were ever found.

The police launched a murder investigation, first trying to track down as many people as possible who had been at the Plaza Ballroom on the evening of Saturday the 1st of October as any number of them could be potential witnesses. However, this task was not an easy one. The Plaza Ballroom was very popular and it had been Saturday night, it was packed with nearly a thousand people there that evening.  Despite the appeals from the police for anybody who had been there that evening to come forward, between 250 and 300 men who’d been there never did come forward. Of the people who did come forward, none of them reported anything untoward. Of those that had seen Hilda they said she had been mostly alone, chatting with one group of friends or another, and she had been seen leaving about 12.15am by the cloakroom attendant who had regularly seen Hilda at the ballroom and who reported that Hilda appeared to be sober. When Hilda left the ballroom it was getting towards the end of the night at this time and it had been busy on the street with people leaving the ballroom for the night. Despite 1,200 people interviewed in Hilda’s murder inquiry, nobody had seen or heard anything that could give detectives a lead. Once again, just like with Anna and Frances, it appeared that Hilda had simply disappeared. I wasn’t able to find out anything about what became of Hilda’s two sons, George who had been 13 and Mark who had been nine, but presumably Hilda’s mother, and their grandmother, Martha, cared for them. Hilda’s mum, Martha, died in 2004 without her daughter receiving justice.

While Hilda McAuley’s murder inquiry was in full swing in Glasgow, over in Edinburgh, about 47 miles or 75 kilometres east of Glasgow, on Saturday the 15th of October 1977, 13 days after Hilda had been murdered, seventeen-year-old best friends Christine Eadie and Helen Scott were on a night out. Helen and Christine had been best friends since high school. Christine Eadie had lived with her grandmother for most of her childhood and it had been a happy childhood. Upon leaving school at 16 Christine began working in a surveyors office as a typist. Being very independent, Christine left her grandmother’s home soon after and rented a flat in Edinburgh with one of her friends, 29 year old Toni. Christine enjoyed going out regularly, she was very outgoing and extremely fashion conscious. Helen Scott had also left school at 16 and found herself working in a kilt shop in Edinburgh in October 1977. While Helen enjoyed this job, her long-term goal was to work in child care as she found herself most happy looking after children, something she regularly did for her two older stepsister’s children. Helen was still living at home with her parents, Margaret and Morain, whom she had a close relationship with, and her brother Kevin. Helen was more quiet and reserved than her friend, tending not to go out as often as Christine did, and had absolutely no interest in fashion, being a country girl at heart. Where the pair may have differed in clothing styles and personality, they made up for with their shared love of pop stars Donnie Osmond and David Cassidy. Before leaving for work in the kilt shop on Saturday morning, Helen told her parents that she would be going straight out after work, but that as usual they could expect her home around about 11.30pm. Helen apparently wasn’t a fan of staying out too late. So, after work, Helen, wearing her new jacket, met with another of her friends, Jacquie, and the pair visited a couple of pubs where they had a chat and a catch up, before heading to meet up with Christine and Toni at about 8pm. From here the small group made their way along what is known as the Royal Mile, stopping in various pubs along the way to say hello to other friends, before eventually getting to the packed pub known as The World’s End Pub about 10pm. The World’s End Pub now marks as far as many residents could go within the old city walls as there was a toll to exit that many couldn’t afford, so it was literally the world’s end, as they could proceed no further. As you can imagine, it was Saturday night and the pub was packed, with possibly as many as 250 people there that night. Christine and Helen managed to order themselves a drink at the bar, despite being slightly underage, and were then lucky enough to find a table to sit at that had just become vacant. The four were soon joined by more of their friends, males and females, and everybody is in high spirits. Gradually the larger group becomes smaller again as one by one somebody would pair off to speak to somebody else they knew, eventually leaving just Christine, Helen, Jacquie and Toni at the table. Jacquie and Toni then decided they were going to mingle as well, leaving Christine and Helen alone chatting. Jacquie and Toni soon returned with news that there was a party planned and Christine and Helen were invited too, only to find the two friends deep in conversation with two men that neither Jacquie or Toni had seen before. Christine and Helen seemed quite happy though and told the other girls that they were going to stay where they were, chatting to the two men. While Jacquie and Toni hadn’t seen the men before and had no idea who they were, they didn’t notice anything untoward about them, and so Jacquie, Toni and others going to the party left the pub, not realising just what danger Christine and Helen would soon find themselves in. Margaret Scott, Helen’s mum, was getting tired and was ready for bed, but she wanted to stay up for Helen coming in to hear about her night out. As 11.30pm passed and there was no sign of Helen, Margaret thought that Helen had probably been slightly held up but she wouldn’t be long. However, as 12.30am came round and Helen had still not come home, Margaret began to develop a feeling of dread. Margaret stayed up all night waiting for Helen, but she never came home. While filled with absolute dread Margaret still tried to convince herself that, despite Helen never having stayed out all night before, there was a reasonable explanation. Maybe Helen had stayed with Christine or Jacquie,or maybe one of her other friends’ homes, as maybe Halen had too much to drink and didn’t want to come home in a state. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

By first light Margaret was in an awful state and so telephoned Jacquie to see if her daughter was with her. Sadly, she wasn’t. Margaret, her husband Morain and an equally as concerned Jacquie, went to Christine’s flat in the hope that Helen was there with Christine. The door to the flat was opened by Christine’s flatmate Toni. Upon Toni hearing how Helen had not come home the previous evening Toni knocked at Christine’s bedroom door to see if she could shed any light on the situation, only to be faced with an empty room. Now the panic really started to set in. Both Helen and Christine were missing. Other friends of the pair were contacted by Margaret and Morain Scott but were told the same story each time, nobody had seen Helen or Christine since the night before at the World’s End Pub. It was a similar story when Christine’s mother, also called Margaret, was contacted, only she said she hadn’t heard or seen from Christine since Thursday morning, days before the last sighting of the girls at the World’s End Pub on Saturday night. There was nothing else for it but to report to the police that Christine and Helen were missing. Sadly, it wouldn’t be long before they received the news that both families had been dreading.

At about 2pm on Sunday, Christine’s naked body was found face up at Gosford Bay in East Lothian, about 15 miles or 24 kilometres east of the World’s End Pub, and about ten feet or three meters from the water. Christine had been gagged with her own knickers, her wrists had been bound by her tights, and her bra was wrapped around her head. Christine had been badly beaten, with injuries to her neck, top half of her body, face and head. She had been stripped, raped and then strangled with her own tights. The official cause of death was recorded as asphyxia following strangulation by ligature and gagging of the mouth.

While it was horrendous for Christine’s family that her body had been found, it was equally as traumatic for Helen’s family, as neither Helen nor her body had been discovered yet. The waiting for news was agonising. It would be four hours later at 6pm, while police were still investigating the scene where Christine’s body had been found, when a report came in that tragically Helen’s body had been found about seven miles or 11 kilometres away in a farmer’s field. Helen had been left face down in the field, naked from the waist down and partly covered with her new jacket, with her hands bound behind her back by her own tights and belt, and her knickers were close to her face, indicating that maybe she had been gagged with them but had somehow maybe managed to get them out of her mouth. Helen had been severely beaten, with evidence that a killer had stamped forcefully on the side of her head with their shoe, then sexually assaulted her, before strangling her, but manually this time as bruises caused by fingers were noticed under her jaw which indicated this. While Christine and Helen’s families were still in a state of shock and disbelief at what had happened, a large-scale murder inquiry began, which, according to the BBC News on the 14th of November 2014, was the biggest manhunt in Scottish police history. It was quickly noticed from investigating where the bodies were found that all of Christine’s clothing had been taken, other than her tights, bra and knickers, and a necklace and rings she had been wearing were also missing. Helen’s jeans, shoes and handbag were missing, but her jacket, that had been partially covering her, would be vital to the investigation. The missing clothing and jewellery were never found.

While some officers investigated the crime scenes and surrounding areas for evidence and clues and roadblocks were set up, other officers began the task of tracing the movements of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie on the evening of Saturday the 15th of October, which led them straight to the World’s End Pub. An appeal was issued for anybody drinking in the World’s End Pub or who had been in the vicinity on the evening, to come forward to be questioned. And as luck would have it, a policeman had been outside of the World’s End Pub on the very evening in question. But even better, he believed he had seen Christine, Helen and the two men they had been seen talking to inside of the pub. PC John Rafferty was patrolling the street that the World’s End Pub was on that evening by foot, and he said that around 11.15pm on the Saturday night he had seen who he later believed to have been Helen and Christine come out of the pub, and as the girls were passing PC Rafferty the girl he believed to have been Christine stumbled and fell to the ground. He said that this girl appeared to be quite drunk and so he helped the other girl, who he believed to have been Helen, pick Christine up from the ground. The girls then started walking away. PC Rafferty then said he noticed a man watching him intently from the pub’s doorway. The same male then walked towards Helen and Christine and appeared to offer them a lift.  As it was getting busy on the street now as the pubs were starting to come out, PC Rafferty got briefly distracted, but when he glanced back to where the girls had been he saw them disappearing further along the street, this time accompanied by two men who were walking behind them, one of which was the man PC Rafferty had seen standing in the doorway. He said that he watched them for a short while and was planning on taking the number plate of the car they got into, however, the foursome turned a corner and were lost to him. PC Rafferty then began to concentrate on the increasing number of drinkers leaving the pub at closing time, and the girls disappearing with the two men went clean out of his mind. That is until the very next day. PC Rafferty said he had seen the man standing in the doorway’s face for 10 seconds and that he had stood out to him as his clothing was completely unfashionable and out of date, describing the man as wearing a V-neck jumper and flared type trousers with a high waistband. While it was assumed that the two girls PC Rafferty had seen were Christine and Helen, and no one else had ever come forward to say this was them that he had seen that evening, still no one was absolutely positive at this stage. Next to be questioned was Helen and Christine’s friend Jacquie, who had been the last one to talk to Christine and Helen that evening, other than the two men the girls were with. Jacquie told the police that she had left the pub with other friends to go to a party and left Christine and Helen talking to the two men that she hadn’t known, but that while the two men seemed quiet she wasn’t getting any bad vibes from them. As more people that had been in the pub that evening were interviewed, a picture started to appear that backed up PC Rafferty’s account, that Helen and Christine had been seen leaving the pub with two men shortly after 11pm and that one of the men had a “brooding presence”. From the description and impression of the men, detectives felt that the men could have been based at the local army barracks, and so they set about the task of interviewing every soldier in the area, armed with a photo fit of the men from a number of witnesses in the pub who had seen them with the girls. This was a massive endeavour, and sadly it didn’t pay off. The police had their first dead end. But that was okay as they had a vast amount of leads that had to be investigated, as well as many anonymous letters suggesting possible suspects. All of these leads and possible suspects were investigated but led absolutely nowhere. According to the Edinburgh News on the 11th of March 2019, in total the police had conducted 150,000 interviews, all of which were recorded on 24,000 pages of statements, all done via paper in pen and filed in filing cabinets as this was before the era of digital records. However, despite the murder inquiry being the biggest manhunt in Scottish police history, and despite the massive amount of people who had been interviewed, the case went cold. Incidentally, on Monday the 17th of October, the day after Helen and Christine’s bodies had been found, the trial of Thomas Ross Young on the charge of raping and murdering Frances Barker began. And even more incredulously, despite the similarities in the rape and murders of Frances Barker, Helen McAuley and Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, these cases were not linked. Thomas Ross Young had been in custody so he couldn’t have carried out the subsequent murders. So, was it just a coincidence that three other girls had been raped and murdered in very similar ways to Frances? And of course Anna Kenny had not been found at this time, but when she was found in 1979 it was determined that she too had been raped and murdered in just as similar a way. But the police did not connect these cases, at least not publicly.

Helen’s mother, Margaret, had never recovered from the brutal murder of her daughter, her health started to decline and she sadly died in 1989, 12 years after Helen’s murder, never having seen her daughter receive justice.

Even though the cases of Frances Barker, Hilda McAuley, Helen Scott Christine Eadie and even Anna Kenny, even though her body had not yet been found, had not been publicly linked by the police, many parents living in Glasgow and Edinburgh began to ask questions and become increasingly concerned for their daughters’ safety, especially if they were on a night out. But equally, for many living in these areas, despite the murders being upsetting and concerning, it wasn’t going to stop them living their lives. One such person who thought like this was 23 year old Agnes Cooney who lived in Coatbridge, about 11 miles or 18 kilometres away from Glasgow City Centre, with her elderly and frail Aunt who needed care. Agnes Cooney had already suffered trauma and hardship from a young age when her mother and gran died tragically when she was 17 years old, leaving Agnes, being the oldest of five brothers and sisters, having to abandon her dream of being a nurse to look after her siblings full time with her dad. It wouldn’t be until three years later when the shy, kind and caring Agnes finally got to begin the journey of becoming a nurse. In December 1977, Agnes, now being a fully trained children’s nurse, had secured a job in a children’s home. She was finally living her dream. On Friday the 2nd of December 1977 Agnes had finished work for the day and had gone into Glasgow to meet her friend Gina, who she had met while at nursing college, and Gina’s boyfriend for a meal, before going to see Gina’s boyfriend play that evening with his Irish band at the Clada Social Club. Following their meal the trio made their way to the Clada Social Club, a 16-minute walk south of Glasgow City Centre, to wait for the rest of the band to arrive in the van full of equipment. Gina and Agnes helped the band unload their van before heading out front where they could enjoy the show. The pair had a great time dancing, singing and drinking, but before long the show was over and again Agnes and Gina went out the back to help the band load the van back up again. It was about midnight before the van was packed up again, which is when Gina and her boyfriend realised that Agnes was missing. Gina checked at the main entrance and staff there told her that Agnes had said bye and had left quite happily not long ago, to travel the 11 miles or 18 kilometres home. Gina and her boyfriend were concerned about Agnes walking about Glasgow by herself and so they went outside checking up and down the street as well as checking nearby bus stops for Agnes, but she’d gone. Gina was still concerned but eventually her and her boyfriend left too, assuming Agnes had hitched a lift back home. The first Agnes’s family knew there was a problem was the next day, Saturday the 3rd of December, when they received a phone call from Agnes’s work to say that she had not shown up. Everybody agreed this was worrying as Agnes was such a dependable person and would never just not show up for work. The police were called and Agnes was reported as missing. While trying to stay positive, the family were also aware of the recent murders of women in Glasgow and Edinburgh after a night out, but, no, there would be a reasonable explanation for Agnes’s disappearance.  However, the family’s hopes were dashed at 9am the following morning when Agnes’s body was discovered in a field near Caldercruix Village, which is about 20 miles or 32 kilometres east of where Agnes had been enjoying herself on a night out less than 48 hours previously. Agnes’s hands were tied behind her back using her own clothing, otherwise she was fully clothed, with one of her socks appearing to have been used as a gag, although it was no longer in her mouth. Agnes had been stabbed 26 times, with the fatal wound being to her neck. Agnes had not been sexually assaulted. It was believed that Agnes had been held elsewhere for at least 24 hours before being taken to the farm and killed, as the farmer who found her would have seen her sooner if not.

A murder inquiry began with detectives quickly establishing from interviewing witnesses that following Agnes leaving the club she had walked alone towards the city centre. She had next been seen near the motorway trying to get a lift. This was the last sighting of Agnes alive. Other witnesses mentioned seeing a white transit van with windows near the club, as well as another witness seeing a white van near where Agnes’s body had been found, however, this van was never traced, and this, and all other potential leads, dried up. As Agnes had not been sexually assaulted, detectives believed that this was because the murderer had been surprised at her strength and had killed her earlier than they had planned. However, despite the speculation and news reports about the similarities of the murder with the previous murders, albeit this was the first stabbing, detectives still refused to connect the Glasgow and Edinburgh murders, although did concede after two weeks that they believed Agnes and Hilda McAuley’s murders were linked, believing that a lorry or car driver on the motorway had likely been the murderer. While police didn’t publicly link all of the murders, a statement was issued saying that they were bearing in mind the murders of Hilda McAuley, Anna Kenny and Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, and that there had been certain similarities. Women were also warned not to leave dancing venues alone. Agnes’s family were deeply affected by the death of their kind, caring, reliable and fiercely protective Agnes. The fact that the murder inquiry went cold only served to further distress the family, and, sadly, Agnes’s dad died without Agnes receiving justice.

In six months, from June to December, there had been six women murdered in very similar ways, Frances Barker thus far being the only one to have received justice after the conviction of Thomas Ross Young. But Thomas Ross Young couldn’t have murdered the other women, so who was behind them?  Was it a copycat? An accomplice maybe? These questions, and more, went unanswered as the multiple murder inquiries carried on, before eventually going cold. 1978 came around and there had been no new murders. As the summer arrived people of Glasgow and Edinburgh began to relax a wee bit, not forgetting the horrific and brutal murders and still hoping the killer would be caught, but they began to feel that wee bit safer again going out at night, but they were being lulled into a false sense of security.

17-year-old Mary Gallacher lived in Springburn, about three and a half miles or six kilometres north of Glasgow City Centre, with her parents and six younger siblings. Sadly, there is very little information about Mary Gallacher, other than she was very small, standing at four foot 11 inches or about 1.3 metres, she was shy and worked in a factory as a machinist. It was about 6.30pm on Sunday the 19th of November 1978, and just over 11 months since the murder of Agnes Cooney, when Mary left her home, saying bye to her parents, to go and meet a couple of her friends a short distance away so they could all go to a social club. The distance from Mary’s house to where she was to meet her friends was only a few minutes away, however it was via a secluded path. She had been accompanied briefly on this short journey by an 11 year old boy from the area, but when Mary and the boy saw a man standing on the pavement staring at them intently the boy ran away in fright. Mary never did meet her friends that evening, and her body was found the next morning on wasteland near a footbridge less than half a mile or 0.8 kilometres from her home. Mary’s body was naked from the waist down, with her trouser leg having been used to strangle her. Mary had been raped, before her throat had been cut. A murder inquiry began, and the boy who had accompanied Mary that evening came forward as a witness. He had wanted to help the police desperately to try and track down the man he had seen, but sadly the description he was able to give wasn’t enough to go anywhere. Despite thousands of man hours being spent on this case, despite police carrying out door-to-door inquiries and interviewing over 2,000 people and taking hundreds of statements there were no further leads and the case went cold. Despite regular reviews of all these cold cases over the years, it wouldn’t be until early 2000, when police received credible information about a possible suspect for the murder of Mary Gallacher, that the investigation was reopened, which proved to have a domino effect.

This is the end of part one, but as you can tell this story is clearly not over, there’s so much more to tell in part two that you really don’t want to miss.

You can check out all the source material and photos related to these cases on our website scottishmurders.com.

Granny Robertson:

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn.

Introduction by Eleanor Morton:

Welcome Wee Ones to Scottish Murders. Dawn will shortly be taking you through a solved or unsolved murder involving people from or living in Scotland. So get ready to hear about the darker side of Bonnie Scotland.

Dawn:

As this is the second part of this story, I’d recommend listening to part one before continuing. For those who have already listened to part one, I’m just going to give you a wee recap.

So far I’ve told you about the brutal murders of Frances Barker, Anna Kenny, Hilda McAuley, Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, Agnes Cooney and Mary Gallacher in 1977 and 1978, with only Frances Barker having received justice thus far, with the other murder cases going cold. I’m going to pick up the story again in the year 2000, 23 years after these horrific murders.

It was Spring in 2000 and Strathclyde Police had received information about a potential suspect of the murder of Mary Gallacher in 1978. This information had come from a particularly reliable source, which in turn prompted a reinvestigation of the case. Information collected back in 1978 was gone through and evidence that had been carefully collected from the scene, which had thankfully been stored correctly in the hopes that one day forensics would advance enough to convict someone, was sent for forensic tests. The information that was received from the reliable source was treated so credibly that an investigation into the potential suspect named was also launched. However, all the work put into the suspect named by the reliable witness was blown apart when, due to advances in forensics, a DNA profile was obtained and a match was found on the National Database, which was not of the potential suspect they had been investigating. Instead the match was to 55 year old Angus Robertson Sinclair, who just so happened to be in prison serving a life sentence.

I’m not going to go into the background of Angus Sinclair to a massive degree as there is so much out there about him already and I really wanted to remember and highlight the murder victims and their families more, but if you would like to know more about his background then I’d recommend the books The World’s End Murders by Tom Wood and David Johnston and Gone Fishing by Chris Clark and Adam Lloyd.

Angus Robertson Sinclair was born in 1945. He lived with his father, also Angus, his mother Maimie, and his older brother and sister, John and Connie, in the Maryhill area of Glasgow. When Angus was four years old his father died, having been extremely ill for two years with chronic lymphatic leukaemia. Angus’ mother, Maimie, often wondered if perhaps the loss of his dad at such a young age had somehow contributed to his later behaviour. Angus had always been very small, and as an adult he was only five foot four inches or about 1.6 metres, and he’d been bullied at school due to this. He had also been very introverted and not very popular as a boy. And his unpopularity only increased when in 1961, when he was 15 years old, he was sentenced to three years probation after being charged and convicted of lewd and libidinous behaviour towards an eight-year-old girl who lived near him, which, according to The World’s End Murders by Tom Wood and David Johnston, is one of the minor charges available for sex offenses and it is usually applied when inappropriate behaviour that falls short of sexual assault has taken place. However, just six short months later Angus Sinclair was arrested for the murder of seven-year-old Catherine Reehill. It was the 1st of July 1961 and Angus was alone at home when he noticed a wee girl playing outside his block of flats. This was a close-knit community and most people knew each other on sight, but Angus wouldn’t have recognised this wee girl as she was visiting her mum’s sister, Agnes, who lived in the same block of flats as the Sinclair family, along with her younger siblings, Jim and Margaret, while their mum and dad visited London looking for jobs and a property so they could move there and provide a better life for them and their children. Angus left his flat and approached Catherine playing on the street and asked her if she would go to the corner shop for him and buy a bar of chocolate and bring it back to his flat, which she gladly agreed to. However, upon bringing the chocolate to the flat, Angus pulled her inside and attempted to rape her. Catherine must have been terrified but she put up a good fight as a struggle ensued, which caused Catherine to badly hit her head.  Once Angus had overpowered Catherine he raped her and then strangled her with a bike’s inner tube, leaving her fighting for her life. He then proceeded to calmly throw Catherine’s lifeless body down the stairs of the block of flats, where she soon was discovered by a couple of women who were going out who thought Catherine had fallen down the stairs. Angus appeared almost immediately and said that he would call an ambulance, telling the operator that a wee girl had fallen down the stairs. Everybody was concentrating so much on trying to save Catherine’s life that nobody gave Angus Sinclair a second thought at this time. Catherine sadly died on the way to the hospital. Catherine’s mum and dad, Vera and Patrick, were located in London and told the absolutely horrendous news of their daughter’s death, and they immediately came back to Glasgow. The entire family were so distressed and still in a state of shock, with Catherine’s cousin, Anne, saying in an article in The Sun Newspaper on the 12th of March 2019 that Catherine’s horrific death ripped her family apart. She went on to say that “he ruined so many lives. My family was never the same, my aunt was never the same.”  She remembers feeling such anger that her cousin, Catherine, had been taken from them. Anger was resonated through the family when Angus Sinclair, who ran away from home shortly after Catherine had been taken to hospital, was brought in for questioning. He denied any involvement in the rape and murder of seven-year-old Catherine, but after speaking to his brother, John, whose opinion he seemed to value, Angus confessed to murdering Catherine Reehill, and was subsequently charged. The community was in shock that not only could such a young boy have committed such an atrocious act, but that he appeared perfectly calm in the minutes afterwards when Catherine had been found on the stairs and he had offered to call an ambulance. Psychiatric reports were carried out before he was sentenced, with the BBC News reporting on the 11th of March 2019 that one psychiatric report said “I do not think that any form of psychotherapy is likely to benefit his condition and he will constitute a danger from now onwards. He is obsessed by sex, and, given the minimum of opportunity, he will repeat these offences.” However, another psychiatrist basically felt that because Angus had acted so normally after the murder that this in itself showed a degree of abnormality. Following reviewing all of the reports that had been prepared in order for the judge to pass sentence, on the 25th of August 1961 Angus Robertson Sinclair was sentenced to ten years for culpable homicide, but not murder as the court believed that Angus Sinclair had diminished responsibility. This in itself left Catherine Reehill’s family, and many others, in outrage. However, they were further disgusted when, after serving only seven of the ten years, Angus was released aged 22 years old. Whilst in prison he had undergone an apprenticeship in painting and decorating, with the prison services organising day release work for him to reintegrate him back into the community.

So, upon his release in 1968, Angus, having a job secured in Edinburgh, moved there and found a flat, continuing to work in the job that had been secured for him while still in prison. Two years later in 1970 he married a 20 year old nursing student called Sarah Hamilton, who was the older sister of his friend Gordon Hamilton, who Angus had had a massive falling out with on the day of Gordon’s wedding to murder victim Anna Kenny’s best friend, Wilma Sutherland.  Following their wedding, the couple spent their honeymoon in Campbelltown, which lies on the Kintyre Peninsula in Western Scotland, and, upon their return from honeymoon, the couple made the decision to move to Glasgow, although Angus kept working for the Edinburgh painting and decorating company, meaning he was away from home for long hours. Sarah and Angus had a son two years later who they named Gary. While Sarah said that during their marriage Angus was always kind to her, he did have numerous extramarital affairs, and she said he would regularly spend his weekends away from home with Sarah’s brother Gordon, who had moved in with the couple in 1977, saying that they were going fishing and staying in Angus’ white campervan, although Sarah did say they never came back with any fish.

Despite the extramarital affairs and Sarah and Angus having split up a few times, they always got back together. That is until 1982 when Angus Sinclair was arrested and charged with three rapes and nine sexual assaults from 1978 to 1982, with his victims being all girls between the age of six and 14. Over a four-year period the sexual assault of young girls in specific areas of Glasgow had begun to escalate, and in June of 1982 there being at least two attacks in one day. As each of the very young girls were interviewed, the police began to get a clearer picture of who the perpetrator may be. They were always aware of Angus Sinclair due to his past charges against young girls, and, when a six-year-old girl who had been raped at the end of June was shown photos of potential suspects, she clearly picked out Angus Sinclair. This, added with the fact that a number of the girls had said that the perpetrator had smelled of turpentine and one had even noticed paint on their shoes, all led detectives to arriving at Angus Sinclair’s home, that he had only just purchased with his wife, and brought him in for questioning.

While he said very little during questioning and denied having any involvement in the sexual assaults, when his wife Sarah was asked to sit in on an interview she said she knew immediately that he was guilty, and so told him that if he was guilty he should admit it and not put her or their ten year old son through a trial. Before Sarah left the interview, Angus admitted that he had carried out so many sexual assaults on young girls that he had lost count, incredibly stating that it could be somewhere between 50 and 500. Angus pled guilty to the sexual assault and rape of 11 children aged between six and 14, and in August 1982 he was given a life sentence, to serve at least 15 years in prison before being eligible for parole, however, the judge made it very clear that on this occasion he really did recommend that life meant life.

Sarah and her ten year old son, Gary, moved to England to start a new life, and, while Gary didn’t have contact with his dad again for many years, Sarah did keep up sporadic contact and did visit Angus occasionally. However, Gary really suffered with what his dad had done, not having his dad around anymore and having to move away from his life in Glasgow he really struggled with. He struggled at school, he struggled to control his temper and would become violent, and he drank heavily, and when he was 22 years old he was charged with murder, receiving a life sentence and serving 13 years. If you’d like to know more about Gary’s life before and after his conviction for murder, you’ll find so much more information about this in Gone Fishing by Chris Clark and Adam Lloyd.

So, in Spring 2000, when a DNA profile matching Angus Sinclair is found on evidence collected in the Mary Gallacher murder, the police are very pleased to find out that he is in prison and immediately they want to interview him. It turns out that despite the judge recommending at Angus’ trial in 1982 for the conviction of rape and sexual assault on children that life should mean life, in 2000, 18 years after his conviction, he had already applied to the parole board to be released in 1999, which had been declined, but this was the usual process, being denied parole the first time around. And, so, in 2000 Angus was in the process of getting ready to apply to the parole board for a second time to be released.  Angus had apparently been a model prisoner, he knew he had to play the game and had happily talked about and had worked through what he had done in his past, and he just wanted to be released so he could start a new life. He knew he had to be seen to be doing anything he possibly could to show that he wanted to cooperate, that he was a changed man, and so when he was asked to give a DNA sample to the police to be added to their ever-growing national DNA database, he happily and voluntarily agreed to provide one. And this very act of cooperation and trying to show he was a changed man was in fact his downfall, when his DNA was matched to semen that had been on one of Mary Gallacher’s pubic hairs, who had been murdered in November 1978, with a billion to one chance the semen wasn’t his. Angus was charged with Mary Gallacher’s murder, although he denied any involvement.

His trial took place at the High Court in Glasgow in 2001 and lasted 12 days. One of the many witnesses that took to the stand was the now man who had been the 11 year old boy who had been walking with Mary Gallacher that night but had ran away as he had seen a man staring at them so intently that it terrified him. Despite the passage of 23 years, and Angus being very much older with greying hair and glasses, the witness could identify that the man he had seen that night had been Angus Sinclair. He had never forgotten the eyes like dark holes. After 12 days of compelling evidence the jury took five hours to reach a majority verdict of guilty. The judge presiding over the trail said “This crime was a callous, brutal and depraved act on a young woman for which there’s only one sentence which I am allowed to pass in law, and that is one of imprisonment for life.” Going on to say that he recommended Angus should spend at least 15 years in jail before being eligible to apply for parole, at which point at least 40 members of Mary Gallacher’s family, including her mother, erupted in screaming and hurled abuse at Angus Sinclair, finally there had been justice for Mary Gallacher.

So, now that Angus Sinclair was well and truly on the police’s radar, and following him being convicted for the murder of Mary Gallacher, police wanted to find out if it were possible Angus could have been responsible for any other murders in Scotland, and the first cases to be investigated were the murders of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, known as The World’s End murders. A small team had been set up in 1997 to look through all the evidence collected from the 1977 investigation and any new lines of inquiry were chased up, one being from an inmate saying that another inmate had told them that they had been involved in the murders and was able to include information that hadn’t been disclosed to the public. This new suspect was interviewed and a DNA swab was taken for comparison, as, due to advances in forensic technology, one DNA profile had been detected on Helen’s jacket, despite Helen and Christine being seen with two men and detectives truly believed that two men would have been needed to bind the two girls.  However, the DNA profile didn’t match the DNA taken from the potential suspect. As new leads came in, the police one by one ruled out suspects based on their DNA not matching the one found on Helen’s jacket. The small team had by this time gone through all of the information taken from back in 1977 and had collected a list of men that not only had been in The World’s End pub after 10pm on the evening the girls were last seen, but also a list of every male who had been interviewed or mentioned in the original investigation. Then the task of tracking them all down to ask for a voluntary DNA sample began. However, after completing this task none of the samples taken matched the DNA sample found on Helen’s jacket. At this time the investigation was wound down briefly until further leads could be generated, everyone believing that this now lay in forensics. As forensics advanced it was then able to be determined that from the DNA profile that had been recovered from Helen’s jacket and semen samples taken from Helen and Christine that the unidentified male had sex with both girls. It still frequently bothered detectives why only one DNA profile had been found when they were so sure that two men had been involved in these murders, but this question would soon be answered, again due to forensic advances.

In 2004 when further tests were carried out on Helen’s jacket, scientists were able to clearly extract a second clear DNA sample that was tiny in comparison to the main one they had been working with for years and had been masking the smaller one, and even more exciting for detectives was that the second DNA sample was on the national DNA profile database. They had a hit! The full DNA sample that had been found on Helen’s jacket was of none other than Angus Robertson Sinclair. After further testing of the knots and tights that had been used to bind the girls, it showed that both DNA profiles were present, albeit Angus Sinclair’s was only a partial one. Two men had been involved in Christine and Helen’s murders, now the police just needed to find out who the second person was. It was also noted that perfect reef knots had been used to tie up Christine and imperfect granny notes had been used to tie up Helen, further backing up the forensics that there had been two men present. Operation Trinity was set up to take the investigation even further, to build a case against Angus Sinclair, to finally find out who the more prominent DNA profile belonged to, as well as determining if Angus Sinclair had been involved in any other murders carried out in Scotland, with the murders of 36 year old Hilda McAuley, 20-year-old Anna Kenny and 23 year old Agnes Cooney being top of the list.  It was concluded that between 1968 and 2003, 1,038 women had been murdered in Scotland. When these were filtered down to those who had been murdered in a similar way to Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, the list not only included Hilda McAuley, Anna Kenny and Agnes Cooney, but also two Dundee murders being Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe, however, these two murders were quickly ruled out as having been carried out by Angus as he had been in prison at the time. However, worryingly, the list also included the name Frances Barker, despite Thomas Ross Young having been found guilty and sentenced to 37 years in 1977. Could Angus and Thomas Ross Young have murdered Frances together? Or could there have been a miscarriage of justice?

Police did eventually conclude that Angus would have known the areas where all the bodies had been found as either they were near good fishing sites, and Angus was known to be a keen fisherman, or he had known these sites as a child, and he had even been to Kintyre for his honeymoon, and Kintyre was where Anna Kenny’s body was found. All was looking promising so far, but finding the second man who had been involved in the murders of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott was more challenging than had been hoped. Bearing in mind Angus had been in prison since 1982, the police went through his life from this time backwards, and eventually they struck gold. According to The World’s End Murders book by Tom Woods and David Johnston, the Y chromosome from the unidentified DNA sample was tested and was determined that it came from the same parental line as the five brothers of Sarah Hamilton, Angus’s wife. After four of her brothers were ruled out, it was determined the second DNA sample found on Helen’s jacket, on her body and on the clothing used to bind her, was that of Gordon Hamilton, with the odds against it being Gordon being 38 million to one. However, Gordon was dead, having died in 1996. But the police were positive they had identified the second man. The police weren’t immediately able to corroborate this DNA being Gordon’s, as since his death six years previous his family had thrown out every last thing he had touched or owned, and his body had been cremated. However, through some great police work and determination, it was discovered that Gordon had carried out some odd jobs for friends and relatives, and a few years before he had died he had decorated a relative’s home. The relative advised the police that Gordon had also put a coving up for her, and so the police sought permission to remove a section of the coving to test, and lo and behold DNA was found which matched the DNA that had been found on Helen’s jacket. They had him.

Gordon had met Angus after his sister, Sarah, had married him, but apparently they didn’t spend a lot of time together. It was Sarah’s younger brother, David, who spent a lot more time with Angus. However, Gordon did live with Sarah and Angus in 1977, before meeting and marrying Anna Kenny’s best friend, Wilma Sutherland, in 1978. Following Gordon and Wilma divorcing, Gordon had taken to drink and ended up homeless, dying from a heart attack in 1996.

Now there had been another line of inquiry that the police had been keen to investigate when it had been established that the DNA found had been that of Angus Sinclair. They had been keen to track down the white camper van Angus had had in 1977 when he and Gordon used to say that they were going fishing, as when officers had gone back over the information from the murders back in 1977, it was noted that some witnesses had mentioned seeing a white camper van near either where the girls had last been seen or near where the girls had been found. Apparently, Angus had quickly sold on the white campervan after the murder of Agnes Cooney in December 1977, but the police were able to trace that the camper van had last been owned by a couple in Scotland, who had done some renovations to the outside of the campervan over the years but amazingly they had never altered the inside, including it still having the original seat covers. The police were so hopeful of finding DNA samples of the other women who had been murdered too, as they really wanted Angus Sinclair to be charged with all of the murders on their list. However, the police were six months too late, as six months previously the couple had scrapped the camper van. And just like that the hope of being able to charge Angus Sinclair with all six murders was gone, as not only had the camper van been lost but so had all the paperwork from back in 1977 from the investigation into the murders of Hilda McAuley, Anna Kenny and Agnes Cooney. Gone, either lost or destroyed. But not only that, there was also the possibility that a miscarriage of justice had taken place back in 1977 when Thomas Ross Young was convicted of the murder of Frances Barker.

So, as the investigation into the Glasgow murders was only circumstantial due to the lack of information, and of the possible miscarriage of justice, it was decided that Angus Sinclair would only be charged with the murders of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, for which he was charged in Spring of 2005, with the trial beginning on 6th of August 2007. From 2005 until the trial in 2007, detectives spent months and months, hours at a time, interviewing Angus, a lot of the time receiving in reply only a no comment, but despite this the police continued to build what they felt was a strong case against Angus Sinclair. However, by the time the trial came around in 2007, not many were feeling very confident about securing a conviction, as not only had the partial DNA sample that had been found in the knots used to bind the girls been decided too tenuous to present at court, but also the fact that there had been two different knot styles used on each girl. Due to this, it also meant that experts in these fields would no longer be called.  Plus, what was initially going to be a six-week trial was at the last minute cut down to only two weeks by the court. Detectives, and the Crown Office team prosecuting, were feeling very nervous. Angus filed a special defence saying that it was his dead brother-in-law, Gordon, who had carried out the murders, and that any DNA found on or in the girl’s bodies was due to consensual sex. The prosecution did their absolute best to present a strong case, but with the partial DNA, knots and experts not being admissible, as well as the fact that the jury were not allowed to be told of Angus’ previous convictions for rape and murder, sadly their case fell well short, and the trial wouldn’t even last the two weeks. The defence motioned for a no case to answer, which the judge agreed to, and the case against Angus Sinclair was dismissed. And that was it. After years of investigative work, of all the information that had been collected, of the DNA samples that had been retrieved, of all the effort that had been put in by everyone, and, of course, after the family of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott had got their hopes up that finally they would receive justice, just like that everyone’s hopes were dashed. Outside the courtroom, after hearing that his hopes of having his daughter see justice had been shot down, Helen’s dad, 77 year old Morain  Scott said “I am absolutely shattered, words can’t explain how I feel. I am gutted, absolutely gutted.” He went on to say that he did not feel that he had received justice and that he was convinced Angus Sinclair had been involved somehow. But Mr Morain, and everyone else who had been involved in this case, would soon have their hopes lifted once again.

While it is likely Angus Sinclair believed that that was it, it was over, he couldn’t be tried for Helen or Christine’s murder again, he’d gotten away with it, little did he know just what his case being dismissed would stir up. As word spread, everybody was annoyed and disgusted by what had happened. The decision taken by the judge to dismiss the case and not leave the decision to a jury was called into question, members of Scottish Parliament expressed their opinions, debates took place, conversations were had about the double jeopardy law and rules, everybody had something to see on the matter. And, so, in November 2011, the retrospective Double Jeopardy Scotland Act 2011 legislation was passed by parliament, meaning that if there was new evidence brought forward that the person committed the original offense or similar, then, if granted by The Crown, a new prosecution could be brought. This was great news, however, now new evidence had to be found, and again it would be cutting-edge forensics that would be relied on. This time the tights and bras that had been knotted and used to bind Christine and Helen were fully unravelled for the first time, as before it wasn’t felt that forensics would be able to detect what lay in the folds and creases of the clothing. But now, with the latest advances in forensics, when the binds were unfolded, traces of Helen’s, Christine’s, Gordon’s and Angus’ DNA were found there, indicating that they had got there when the clothing had been ripped off and used to bind the girls, not looking like the consensual sex Angus Sinclair had suggested. This was the new evidence that they had been looking for, which the Crown agreed was satisfactory to instigate a further trial.

And, so, Angus Sinclair found himself back in court on the 13th of October 2014, as the first case to be heard under the new double jeopardy law, and this time the prosecution were given five weeks to present every single piece of not only new evidence, but evidence they hadn’t been allowed to present in the previous trial, as well as many many experts in every possible area. Angus Sinclair also took to the stand himself but did nothing to endear the jury to him. If you would like to know more about what transpired during the trial, you can find so much more information from the Gone Fishing book, and a week by week account in The World’s End Murders book. On the 14th of November 2014, after closing statements and direction by the judge, the jury retired. However, they only took two hours to find Angus Sinclair unanimously guilty of the murders of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott. The judge presiding over the trial condemned Angus for what he had done, for the horrendous act he had carried out on these young girls, of the torment he had subsequently caused their families. He then said that he wasn’t going to waste his words on Angus and handed down a life sentence, with the punishment part to be a minimum of 37 years, which was very apt as it was just over 37 years since the murders of both Christine and Helen. The judge basically said he handed down this very lengthy sentence as he wanted to ensure that this man would not have a chance of ever getting paroled, as Angus Sinclair would be 106 years old when he would be eligible. He was then led away. He was 69 years old.

According to the BBC News, on the 14th of November 2014, Helen’s brother, Kevin, said outside of the court that “We finally have justice for Helen and Christine.” Going on to say that the 37-year sentence was appropriate. He went on to describe his sister Helen as a country girl who had beautiful blue eyes and a smile that he would never forget. He said that Christine was popular, friendly and a likable girl, and that her family loved her dearly. Helen’s dad, Morain, who was 84 years old, was also outside of the court with his son, Kevin. Morain had made a promise to his wife just before she died that he would get justice for their daughter, he felt that he had fulfilled that promise and just wanted to get on with his life now. Sadly, Morain died the following year, but he was at peace finally having got justice for his little girl.

There never was an inquiry into whether Thomas Ross Young was innocent of Frances Barker’s murder or if he had acted with Angus, and Thomas Ross young died in 2014 still saying he was innocent. Did Frances get justice?

Gordon Hamilton died before being brought to justice for his part in the rape of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott as well as their potential murder, and due to this he tends to get forgotten about, but Helen and Christine were abducted, bound, tortured and raped by both Gordon and Angus, and murdered by Angus and potentially Gordon too.

Despite Operation Trinity being set up and establishing that Hilda McAuley, Anna Kenny and Agnes Cooney had been murdered in a similar way to Christine Eadie and Helen Scott and therefore it being possible that Angus Sinclair had also murdered them, sadly there was no evidence left from their murder inquiries to be able to prove this one way or another. Hilda, Anna and Agnes will therefore never receive justice. But it is thanks to the careful storage of all documentation and evidence collected in the Christine Eadie and Helen Scott murders that they were able to receive justice, despite the passage of time. There may very well also have been more women murdered in Scotland either by Angus Sinclair or Gordon Hamilton that was never discovered.

And finally, Angus Sinclair died on the 11th of March 2019 following suffering a series of strokes, after his health had deteriorated over an 18-month period where he had progressively been unable to walk, he needed assistance with personal hygiene and dressing, was at risk of falls and had increasing periods of incontinence. He was 73 years old.

Like I said at the beginning, so much of the information for these cases came from two books; one being Gone Fishing by Chris Clark and Adam Lloyd, and the second being The World’s End Murders by Tom Wood and David Johnston. Synopsis and links to both books, and all other source material, can be found under this episode on our website scottishmurders.com. There is so much more information in these books that I wasn’t able to say in the episodes, including the belief that not only did Angus Sinclair carry out all of the murders mentioned in these episodes, but also potentially more.

So, were these murders linked or not linked? I’d like to believe that they were linked and that Angus and/or Gordon committed them, as if it wasn’t either of these men then there is someone else out there who committed these terrible crimes, and got away with it.

Granny Robertson:

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn.


June's Theme!

The theme for the month of June is Linked or Not Linked? The episodes will focus around many murders that may or may not have been committed by the same person. It is for the listener to decide. It will be a two part story, followed by a wee chat between Dawn and Eleanor Morton., Scottish Comedian Actor and Writer, where we not only talk about some of the murders that are covered in the previous two episodes, but also just have a general chit-chat. We hope you enjoy this three partner.


Dundee Murders - 2 Roseangle

Dundee Murders
2 Roseangle

Episode Summary

A horrific crime that began in Dundee, didn’t end in Dundee, but was there justice?

Please Be Advised – This episode may contain content that some may find distressing. As always, we advise listener discretion. This episode it not suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Listen on:

The Law Killers: True Crime from Dundee

by Alexander McGregor

Synopsis

True crime from Dundee, covering the most fascinating and shocking cases from the last century. Having reported on many of them first-hand, journalist Alexander McGregor has unique insight into the cases and his stories are as chilling as they are compelling. In The Law Killers Alexander examines some of the country’s most fascinating and chilling cases and peels back the civilised layers of our society to reveal what lies beneath.

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn

Hosted by Dawn

Researched and Written by Dawn Young

Produced and Edited by Dawn Young and Peter Bull

Voice Talent by Eleanor Morton

Production Company Name by Granny Robertson

Music:

Dawn of the Fairies by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Gothic Wedding by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Introduction by Eleanor Morton:

Welcome Wee Ones to Scottish Murders. Dawn will shortly be taking you through a solved or unsolved murder involving people from or living in Scotland. So get ready to hear about the darker side of Bonnie Scotland.

Dawn:

It was Sunday the 18th of May 1980 and the residents of Dundee had been enjoying a beautiful hot weekend. Many relaxed in their gardens enjoying the sunshine with a cold drink, while others were enjoying spending time in the parks, including four medical students from the University of Dundee, who, about 6.30pm, were on their way to have a game of football at a nearby park. While on their way they were having a kick about with the ball when one of them accidentally kicked their ball over the railings into the garden of a house in Roseangle. One of the students, Thomas, while being jokingly berated by his friends, made his way over the railings and into the garden to retrieve the ball. Thomas was just about to return with the ball when he happened to notice that a basement window of the property was broken, so, being curious, he decided to take a closer look.

Roseangle is a street in the west end of Dundee, which is known for its cobblestone roads, leafy green areas, older properties and beautiful views of the River Tay. And where Roseangle meets Perth Road is number 2 Roseangle, a magnificent detached home, which is directly across the street from the Dundee West Church of Scotland. 2 Roseangle was a large, grand property, and its occupants were that of Dr Alexander Wood and his wife, Dorothy, both 78 years old. Dr Wood had been a very popular GP in Dundee since 1930, however, due to his ailing health he had retired in 1975 at the age of 73. By 1980 Dr Wood and his wife’s health had deteriorated significantly, with Dr Wood only being able to get around with the aid of two sticks, in part due to him having an artificial leg. On Saturday the 17th of May 1980, Dr Alexander Wood had only been out of hospital for a few days and so the couple’s son, Nicholas, who was a dentist in Banchory, which was about 56 miles or 90 kilometres north of his parents home in Roseangle, had visited his parents to check they were both okay. Nicholas left his parents home on Saturday late afternoon, with the couple waving him off, before going back inside to prepare their tea. About an hour or so later, Dorothy heard the sound of breaking glass coming from their basement kitchen. Despite her frailty she went to investigate. Upon opening the door to the basement kitchen she came face to face with an intruder. She immediately shouted for her husband to phone the police, before pointing at the intruder and shouting at them to get out, at which point the intruder grabbed Dorothy by the arm. Dr Alexander Wood, having heard his wife’s distress and shouting, had also managed to make his way to her side, just in time to see the intruder put his hands on his wife, at which point Alexander began hitting the intruder with his cane. The intruder, shocked by the couple, immediately looked around for a weapon, with his eyes falling on a slater’s hammer lying nearby. He picked this up and began to strike the elderly couple repeatedly, again and again, until they both lay motionless on the floor of the basement kitchen. After the attack, Henry dropped the slater’s hammer and looked towards the couple who were now lying on the floor covered in blood, with their eyes open staring at nothing. At this point Henry began to laugh and cry at the same time, before being physically sick. He then slowly sunk to the floor and sat there in a daze.

29 year old Henry John Gallagher was born in Dundee on the 3rd of April 1951 as Henry John Reid, but had at some point changed his name to Gallagher. He was brought up in Dundee by his mother, but never knew his father. According to an article in The Courier newspaper on the 18th of May 2020, Henry Gallagher had a long record of burglary and assault, mainly directed towards clergyman, having assaulted a minister in Dundee in 1972, as well as a year later attacking a priest, and in 1979 he broke into a property to rob it and when he found they had a pet dog he cut its throat. Henry Gallagher had been on leave from Maidstone prison in England, which is about 531 miles or 854 kilometres from Dundee, where he was serving a three-year prison sentence for burglary. For whatever reason, during his leave Henry Gallagher returned to his hometown of Dundee, whereupon he approached a local club and asked a woman there for directions to the home of the Roman Catholic Bishop and the woman directed him towards Roseangle, where the Bishop’s residence was located. When Henry Gallagher arrived at Roseangle, he saw the grand house directly opposite the church and assumed that this was the residence he was looking for, which he planned to break into and rob. He then proceeded to make his way to the basement window of the property, which he broke and climbed through, where within minutes he would be carrying out his atrocious act on the helpless and frail Dr Alexander Wood and his wife, Dorothy.

Coming out of his daze, which Henry felt had been a long time, following his frenzied attack on Dr Wood and his wife, he got up from the floor and decided to carry out the very robbery he had intended to do in the first place. Going from room to room Henry Gallagher packed a suitcase belonging to the couple full of jewellery and silverware worth about £2,000, which in today’s money would be about £6,900 or $8,600. He then put on Dr Wood’s long raincoat to cover the blood on his clothes, picked up the suitcase and left the property. However, due to the hot weather that evening, Henry’s odd appearance of wearing a raincoat had been noticed.

Thomas, with his football in hand, had made his way to the broken basement window and was now scrambling back up the steps towards his three friends, to inform them of the horrendous sight he had just seen, before then also alerting the police. By 7.30pm, an hour after Thomas had made the gruesome discovery, 2 Roseangle had been declared a crime scene, and Detective Chief Superintendent Jim Cameron had arrived at the property to lead the inquiry into the murder of the “well nigh defenceless” Dr Alexander Wood and his wife Dorothy, both 78 years old. However, despite the lead detective being an experienced old-school detective, he was shocked by the level of violence that had been displayed towards the elderly couple, saying in the Courier newspaper on the 24th of September 2013 that it was “not normal.”. As Detective Jim Cameron surveyed the devastation inside 2 Roseangle, the street outside of the property was a flurry of activity, with a mobile incident van setting up nearby, 40 police officers beginning to canvas the area for witnesses, and an appeal being made for information, and it wasn’t long before a picture began to emerge.

Students from the nearby University of Dundee, who had been sunbathing on the grassy area adjacent to Dr and Mrs Wood’s property on Saturday, had said that they had seen a man leaving the property on late Saturday afternoon, with the couple waving him off from the doorway. It was established quickly that this was the couple’s son, Nicholas, that had been seen, and it was determined, following the post-mortem, that the couple had likely been murdered within an hour of their son leaving. According to the Law Killers book, another witness came forward, who worked at a nearby club, who said that on late Saturday afternoon a man, she estimated to be about 30 years old, had come to the club and asked her to give him directions to the Roman Catholic Bishop’s home, which was located on Roseangle. She went on to say that he was odd looking as he wore a dated style of shirt which had large floral patterns on it. Upon the police speaking to the Roman Catholic Bishop who resided in Roseangle, it was quickly established that the same male had shown up in the garden of the Bishop’s home, but that he’d scarpered pretty quickly when he was confronted by the Bishop’s housekeeper. As news of the atrocious and vicious attack got out, locals were disgusted by what had happened to the elderly couple and made sure to contact the police with any scrap of information they thought might be helpful to catch the murderer. Such information included witnesses coming forward to say they had seen a male on Saturday evening wearing a raincoat and a stained hat carrying a suitcase and hurriedly making his way along Perth Road, which particularly stood out due to the weather being so hot. As more and more witnesses came forward with sightings of this out of place man on the Saturday, it led the police directly to the railway station, although this man had at least a day’s head start so finding out where he went next wasn’t going to be easy.

While detectives were working hard to establish who the murderer was and where he had gone, a phone call that was received from a local GP sounded very promising. The female GP had eventually called the police, having wrestled with her conscience, to give them the name of one of her patients she felt strongly could have committed these murders. This line of inquiry was immediately followed up, however, it shortly fell flat when the GP’s patient had a solid alibi for the time of the murders. With this line of inquiry proving fruitless, the detectives were even more determined to find out who this brutal murderer was, and, so, they appealed for information again, this time though they appealed to the Dundee underworld for information, hoping that they too would be disgusted at the level of violence shown to the elderly couple, and they would be right. However, while they did receive information from the underworld, it also led nowhere. And then a few days after the discovery of the murders, the latest edition of the police Gazette landed on the desk of a detective working on the murder inquiry. While having a quick perusal of it he just happened to notice a short listing about how 29 year old Henry John Gallagher or Reid had not returned to Maidstone prison following his home leave on the 12th of May, and it just so happened that the detective reading this listing knew all about Henry John Gallagher and alarm bells started ringing.

Following Henry Gallagher arriving at the train station in Dundee on Saturday evening still wearing the raincoat and stained hat, he boarded a train to London, about 482 miles or 775 kilometres from Dundee, before boarding another train to Ramsgate, about 80 miles or 128 kilometres east of London located on the coast. He spent a few days hiding out and slowly getting rid of the jewellery and silverware he had stolen from the Woods’ home, before he then met a couple who said they could provide him with new identification in order for him to be able to travel onwards to France. The couple then told him to meet them later that night and they would provide him with the identification he needed, and in return Henry would pay them in jewellery. Henry then strolled away from the couple, before stopping a passer-by in the street to ask for directions to the home of the nearest Roman Catholic Priest, who was frail 88 year old Father Paul Hull who lived with his 73 year old housekeeper Maud Lelean. Upon arriving at the priest’s home Henry knocked on the door, which was answered by the welcoming priest who invited Henry into his home. In return for the kind priest welcoming Henry into his home, he sadly was beaten repeatedly and savagely with his own walking stick by Henry, before Henry also turned the priest’s walking stick onto his housekeeper. With Father Hull and Maud Lelean lying severely beaten and close to death on the floor of Father Hull’s study having sustained severe head injuries, Henry ransacked the house looking for jewellery, money and silverware, before about an hour later being seen leaving the home and walking away wearing a raincoat he had not been wearing when he entered. About 30 minutes later, Father Whealan arrived at the home of Father Hull and went inside. Upon calling out to Father Hull and his housekeeper Maud and receiving no reply, he opened the door to Father Hull’s study, where he faced the devastation that Henry Gallagher had left in his wake. Father Whealan immediately called an ambulance and the police, but sadly 88 year old Father Paul Hull was declared dead at the scene. However, 73 year old Maud Lelean was still alive, albeit barely, and she was rushed to hospital, but sadly she died three days later never having regained consciousness.

With detectives now on the murder scene at Father Hull’s home, and having recovered from the bloodied brutality and violence that had met them, they began to call door-to-door to see if there were any witnesses to this horrific murder, which is when they discovered that a male had been seen arriving at the property and leaving about an hour later dressed in a raincoat, and about 30 minutes before Father Whealan arrived. Now detectives had a brief description of who they believed was their murderer, they just had to find out who and where he was.

Upon a detective working on the murder inquiry of Doctor and Mrs Wood in Dundee seeing a listing in the Police Gazette about Henry John Gallagher having not returned to prison following his leave, he immediately shared his belief with other detectives that Henry may have made his way back to his hometown of Dundee and had been involved in the horrific murder of Dr and Mrs Wood. If this were the case then more people, particularly clergyman, could be at risk of being attacked or worse by Henry too. And so the detectives sought a recent photo of Henry Gallagher from Maidstone prison, which they then showed along with nine other photos of similar looking men to the lady at the club near the Woods’ home who had given directions to the Roman Catholic Bishop’s home located on Roseangle to an odd looking man, as well as to the housekeeper of said home who had confronted a man who had appeared in the garden of the Bishop’s home on late Saturday afternoon. Both witnesses, having looked at all ten photos, picked out the man they had seen on Saturday afternoon, who was that of Henry John Gallagher. The detectives were pretty sure they had discovered the identity of the murderer of Dr and Mrs Wood, however, before any inquiry could be carried out to find Henry Gallagher, word reached the Dundee detectives that an attack and murder had taken place in Ramsgate in England of an elderly priest and his housekeeper. The police immediately contacted Ramsgate detectives and informed them that they believed they were now both looking for the same man, advising them who this man was and what his background was. The hunt was now on to find Henry John Gallagher, a man who had so savagely attacked and murdered four people in the space of seven days, before he was able to strike again.

Upon Henry Gallagher walking away from Father Hull’s home and carrying out the brutal murders, he returned to meet the couple who had promised him new identification and paid them with some of the jewellery he had not long ago stolen from Father Hull’s home after murdering him. Henry then spent the night at the couple’s home, who had no idea of the horrific murders their house guest had committed. But at first light Henry fled Ramsgate, knowing it wouldn’t be long before the news broke about the attack and murder of Father Hull and his housekeeper, Maud. With the Dundee detectives having alerted the Ramsgate detectives of the likely murderer being Henry John Gallagher, it was immediately arranged by the Ramsgate police for a photo of Henry to be distributed to every newspaper in the country, with headlines stating, according to the Law Killers book, ‘Catch this man’ and ‘Danger Man’. However, back in Scotland, according to the Law Killers book, the newspapers in Scotland were not allowed to publish Henry’s picture in their publications as his identification might infringe on him having a fair trial. Thankfully, Henry wasn’t making his way back to Dundee as had been thought, but instead decided to stay in England, and, due to newspapers there being allowed to publish his photograph at will, Henry would find it harder and harder to evade capture.

Henry made his way back to London again, before eventually ending up in Brighton, about 53 miles or 86 kilometres south of London on the south coast, and it just so happened that the particular weekend Henry found himself in Brighton was when the town was packed with visiting skinheads. Thinking that if he too shaved his head then he might not only blend in more but it also may aid him in remaining undetected by the ever-present police. However, he did such a bad job of shaving his head, which caused many sore, bloodied cuts to it, that it actually had the opposite effect to what he was looking for. Next he tried to pretend he was a tourist and donned a loud colourful shirt, sunglasses and a camera, but again he only seemed to draw more and more attention to himself. He eventually had to flee Brighton as he had overheard the landlady of the guest house he was spending a few days in telling a member of staff that she believed the man who was staying with them was the man the police were seeking. From here, Henry made his way from town to town, always trying to keep on the move, and in one town he broke into a Salvation Army hall and stole £400, which in today’s money is about £2,000 or about $2,500. On the 29th of May 1980, a few days after fleeing from Brighton, Henry eventually ended up in York in England, about 281 miles or 452 kilometres from Dundee and about 273 miles or 439 kilometres from Brighton, where he found himself at the home of local vicar, Derek Hall, and his wife Dorothy. Upon Dorothy answering the door to the knock, Henry, looking worse for wear, asked if he could wash their car. As Dorothy replied that her husband was away from their home with the car just now, she had a nagging feeling that she had seen this man somewhere before. Henry accepted Dorothy’s reply and turned to leave, before Dorothy closed the door and went to a window to watch the dishevelled man walk away. At that point she realised where she had seen the man before, in the morning newspaper, he was a wanted man for murder! Dorothy immediately called the police to advise them she had just had the country’s most wanted man at her door, before going on to ring round every minister or priest in the area to warn them of the dangerous man who may come calling. Upon having the door closed on him with no prospect of cleaning the family’s car, Henry walked slowly off down the street, where after walking for almost a mile or 1.6 kilometres he came upon the home of Father Curristan. He approached the front door and knocked on it, but he received no answer. Henry then sat down on the doorstep and lit up a cigarette. However, Father Curristan was inside the property and had seen from an upstairs window the dishevelled man approach his home and knock on the door. Father Curristan, not recognising this man, made the decision not to answer the door to him, and in essence likely saved his own life. As he continued to watch the man sitting on his doorstep, the phone beside him began to ring. Father Curristan answered the telephone and would have been pleased with his decision not to answer the door, as on the other end of the phone was Dorothy Hall, the wife of vicar, Derek Hall, who was phoning to let Father Curristan know that a murderer the police were seeking was in the area and had not long been at her door, and telling him to be careful about answering his door. As Father Curristan listened in disbelief and relief at what Dorothy was telling him, he noticed a police car passing his home and that the man on the doorstep had got up and was beginning to head in the opposite direction. From his position at the upstairs window, Father Curristan saw the police turn round, approach the dishevelled man and talk to him. However, without any warning the man took off at great speed, and the police officers gave chase. After leading the police on a chase over fences and through back gardens, Henry eventually stopped, turned round and declared “Okay, you’ve got me”, and he was promptly arrested, 12 days after he committed the brutal murder of Dr Alexander Wood and Dorothy Wood back in Dundee.

Both Ramsgate detectives and Detective Jim Cameron from Dundee travelled to York to question Henry Gallagher about the murders in their respective towns. When the Ramsgate detectives questioned him, Henry straight away told them, according to the Courier newspaper, that he was going to come clean and wanted to get it all off his chest, to which he proceeded to make a full confession regarding the murders of Father Hull and his housekeeper Maud Lelean in Ramsgate. Following Henry’s confession to the murders in Ramsgate, it was then Detective Jim Cameron’s turn to question him about the murders in Dundee and, as he had done with the previous detectives, Henry Gallagher made a full confession to the murders of Dr and Mrs Wood, stating that he had kept hitting them both like he had gone crazy. He went on to say that he didn’t think he was right in the head, that he had to be cured and that if he went to prison when he came out there would be more. He also apparently stated that he had told all of this to a psychiatrist ten years before, but they didn’t take any notice. Henry Gallagher was then charged with the four murders.

As Henry was arrested in England, had failed to return to Maidstone prison in England after his leave, as well as two of the murders he was charged with being committed in England, it was decided that he would appear in court for the murders he committed in Ramsgate first, before any further cases would be heard. And, so, in December 1980 Henry Gallagher appeared at Maidstone Crown Court in England where he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Father Hull and Maud LeLean in Ramsgate on the grounds of diminished responsibility. However, at this time, following assessments and reports being prepared and heard by the judge, the judge made the decision that Henry Gallagher be detained at Broadmoor Hospital with a restriction without limit on his discharge.

According to nhs.uk Broadmoor Hospital is one of three high security psychiatric hospitals that specialise in providing assessment, treatment and care for men from London and the south of England.

A few days after Henry Gallagher was detained in Broadmoor Hospital, the Lord Advocate in Scotland announced his decision that no further action would be taken against Henry Gallagher in Scotland regarding the murders of Dr Alexander Wood and Dorothy Wood.

It is believed that Henry Gallagher remains in Broadmoor Hospital to this day, and therefore has never been tried in Scotland for the murders he committed in Dundee, and this murder case still remains unsolved, despite the confession to the murders by Henry Gallagher.

In 1994 a 22-page book was published by Henry Gallagher while still in Broadmoor hospital, where he detailed his life and the crimes he committed, including the murders of Dr Alexander Wood and his wife Dorothy. When Detective Jim Cameron heard about the book he said in an article in The Courier newspaper that he was delighted to hear that Henry Gallagher had finally confessed to the Dundee murders publicly, going on to say it had finally closed the case for him, and in his eyes justice had been done as Henry Gallagher was placed where he should have been because he was beyond saving.

2 Roseangle, despite changing hands numerous times since the horrific murders that happened there, has stood empty ever since.  Once such a magnificent home is now unrecognisable; being overgrown, all windows boarded up and having been vandalised inside and out.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode then I would be so grateful if you could leave a review or a rating on your listening platform, so that more people can find this podcast. I would love to get more Scottish Murders out there. Please also don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

So that’s it, come back next time for another episode of Scottish Murders.

Granny Robertson:

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn


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Dundee Murders - Gordon Dunbar

Dundee Murders
Gordon Dunbar

Episode Summary

James was disappointed that his brother Gordon didn’t turn up to spend Christmas Day with his family, but there was a very good reason for his absence.  

Please Be Advised – This episode may contain content that some may find distressing. As always, we advise listener discretion. This episode it not suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Listen on:

ALASTAIR THOMPSON v. HER MAJESTY’S ADVOCATE

Gordon Dunbar, 1992 – DD Tours

“Whenever I’ve heard the expression ‘pure evil’ over the last 25 years I’ve thought about Alastair Thompson”

Murderer who cut up his victim gets life | HeraldScotland

“Whenever I’ve heard the expression ‘pure evil’ over the last 25 years I’ve thought about Alastair Thompson”

Brian Kirk obituary: Superintendent who probed notorious Dundee murders

Detectives Found Human Tissue In Dundee Flat Body In Pond ‘to Look Like Accident’ Detectives Investigating The Murder Of A | Aberdeen Press and Journal | Friday 07 May 1993 | British Newspaper Archive

Murderer who cut up his victim gets life | HeraldScotland

Montrose Visitor Guide – Accommodation, Things To Do & More | VisitScotland

Dundee Law – Wikipedia

Pig’s Head ‘gift’ For Newsman In ” Casw? A Pig’s Head.was Thrown Through The Wfifidow or A Dundee Journalist’s* Home | Aberdeen Press and Journal | Wednesday 08 September 1993 | British Newspaper Archive

Law Murder Appeal Wins Continuation | Dundee Courier | Friday 13 May 1994 | British Newspaper Archive

About Sacro | Sacro

Murder-Accused Denied | Aberdeen Press and Journal | Wednesday 12 May 1993 | British Newspaper Archive

Butterburn Court | UK Housing Wiki | Fandom

National Summary and Outlook Thompson Has Appeal Continued | Dundee Courier | Saturday 22 January 1994 | British Newspaper Archive

Births, M Arri, Ages and Deaths Dunbar Murder: Appeal Lodged | Dundee Courier | Thursday 17 March 1994 | British Newspaper Archive

The Law Killers: True Crime from Dundee

by Alexander McGregor

Synopsis

True crime from Dundee, covering the most fascinating and shocking cases from the last century. Having reported on many of them first-hand, journalist Alexander McGregor has unique insight into the cases and his stories are as chilling as they are compelling. In The Law Killers Alexander examines some of the country’s most fascinating and chilling cases and peels back the civilised layers of our society to reveal what lies beneath.

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn

Hosted by Dawn

Researched and Written by Dawn Young

Produced and Edited by Dawn Young and Peter Bull

Voice Talent by Eleanor Morton

Production Company Name by Granny Robertson

Music:

Dawn of the Fairies by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Gothic Wedding by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Dawn:

Trigger warning. This episode contains gruesome details that some listeners may find disturbing, so listener discretion is advised.

Before I begin, a lot of the information for this story I got from The Law Killers by Alexander McGregor, which is a book all about murders that have happened in Dundee.

It was Christmas Eve 1992, some people were carrying out last minute preparations for the Christmas Day festivities the following day, while others had started the celebrations already and were enjoying a pint or two at their local pub. Also enjoying themselves that night were two women who had struck up a conversation with two men at Arthur’s Nightclub in St Andrew’s Lane in Dundee. The four had a great night at the nightclub drinking, dancing and laughing Christmas Eve away, and before they knew it it was well into Christmas Day. Wanting to keep the party going, at about 2.30am the women invited the men back to theirs to carry on drinking and partying and they both accepted. One of the men in particular was the life and soul of the small party, keeping the others entertained until about 5am when he finally left, and all would have agreed that they had a great night, and they wouldn’t have believed for one second that there had been a murderer in their midst.

James was really looking forward to Christmas Day this year as his half-brother, Gordon, would be coming to spend the day with his family and have his Christmas meal with them. James knew that Gordon had not had it easy lately and that he’d been quite despondent, so he hoped that Gordon being around all of his family would cheer him up.

Gordon Dunbar had returned to Dundee recently having lived in France for a time with his French partner. Gordon and his male partner had opened up a café in Arras in France, which had proved very popular with the gay community. However, sadly, Gordon and his partner had split up and the business had failed, resulting in a heartbroken Gorden returning to Dundee. Gordon had lived in Scotland since the age of 11, having grown up in the Belgium Congo, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with his parents. It’s not known what happened to Gordon’s parents but at the age of 11 Gordon moved to Scotland and lived with his aunt in Montrose, which is about 38 miles or 61 kilometres north of Dundee. As a young man, Gordon had become an architect and worked for the city on some big local projects. Upon Gordon’s aunt dying he received an inheritance, which is when he moved to France to begin a new life.

However, that life was now well and truly behind Gordon, as in December 1992 he was living in a hostel in Dundee for the homeless and unemployed. According to The Law Killers book, Gordon’s fellow residents at the hostel said that he was colourful in appearance but responsible, quiet and friendly, and that he made no secret about the fact he was gay. Gordon was also said to like jewellery and wore a single earring and a nine carat gold bracelet, which had been made from his grandfather’s watch chain.

The last time Gordon had been seen was on Christmas Eve 1992. He had left the hostel where he was living in the late morning wearing his distinctive long coat and said he was going to visit at the town centre. He was next seen in a bar in Union Street where he spent some time having a festive drink or two with some of the residents from the hostel, before leaving here about 6.30pm and heading to another bar a few yards along the same street. He stayed here for about 15 minutes before leaving, and it was said that he had been alone. Gordon next attended a grocery shop in Hilltown, about a 19 minute walk from the pub, where he bought, according to The Law Killers book, cheese, garlic, granules and powdered soup. Gordon Dunbar wasn’t seen alive again. So where had Gordon gone after leaving the grocery shop?

On Christmas Day, James was disappointed that his half-brother Gordon didn’t turn up for the planned Christmas meal, but he wasn’t initially concerned, maybe Gordon was having a bad day and didn’t feel like spending his time celebrating with his family, maybe it just felt too much for him at this time.  And so the family carried on without Gordon; they ate, opened presents and had a merry time. However, as the days went by and James didn’t hear from Gordon his annoyance at Gordon not even calling to apologise turned to worry, and then fear, when he phoned the hostel where Gordon was staying to be told by the landlord that Gordon hadn’t been seen since Christmas Eve, a week earlier.  This was the point that James began to pray that the body parts that had been found on Dundee Law were not those of his brother, Gordon Dunbar.

Sergeant Ronald Fyffe had enjoyed having Christmas Day and a few days afterwards off to spend time with his wife and young daughter, but it was now the 30th of December and it was time to get back to some normality at the police station. Ronald was in charge of Tayside Police’s dog section and was in charge himself of two Alsatians, Dirk and Tyke, who he exercised up to five times a day on Dundee Law, which was close to his home.

According to Wikipedia, Dundee Law is a hill in the centre of Dundee. It has a war memorial at its summit, is the highest point in the city and is the most prominent feature on the local skyline. Apparently, The Law is what remains of a volcanic sill, which is the result of volcanic activity around 400 million years ago.

Ronald had been called to the police station to take care of other business and, so, on the 30th of December 1992 the morning exercise of the two dogs had fallen to Ronald’s young daughter. She didn’t mind though as Dirk and Tyke were part of the family. Ronald’s young daughter led Dirk and Tyke to Law Road at the bottom of Dundee Law before taking their leads off, expecting them to tear up The Law leaving her to chase after them. But they didn’t do this. Instead the two dogs went straight to three plastic bags that had been left in a grassy area at the bottom of The Law on Law Road. Ronald’s young daughter assumed this was just household rubbish that had been left there and went towards the dogs to shoo them away. However, by the time she reached the dogs and the plastic bags the two dogs had torn one of the bags open, revealing to Ronald’s daughter as she grew closer a severed human arm and hand. Ronald’s young daughter, in a state of fright, put the leads back on the two Alsatians and ran home, where she told her mother what she had seen. Her mother, Pamela, had no doubt her young daughter was telling the truth as she was clearly distressed, and so Pamela immediately called her husband, Ronald, at the police station.

Before long there was a large police presence at the bottom of Dundee Law on Law Road. The two other plastic bags that had been left at the bottom of The Law were opened and revealed, according to The Law Killers book, part of the upper portion of a human torso in one bag and the lower human torso section and upper arm in the other bag. As there was no head found at this time, it made identifying the victim tricky.

Before an appeal could be made to try and identify the killer, firstly the victim had to be identified, and so the parts of the body that had been found were forensically examined and tested until finally the police had a description of sorts to be able to appeal to the public for information on the 31st of December 1992. They advised that from examining the male body parts that had been found on the law on the 30th of December, it could be determined that the male had, according to The Law Killers book, at one time undergone surgery to his stomach and had suffered a fracture to four ribs.  Marks on his left wrist also indicated that a thick bracelet of some kind had regularly been worn there. It was also stated that the male had well maintained hands with fairly long, well manicured fingernails, and was also suntanned. He was thought to be aged between 30 to 50 and be about 5 feet 10 inches or 1.5 metres tall. What wasn’t put in the appeal that had also been found out while examining the body parts was that there had been anal tearing identified, suggesting that the male victim could have been homosexual and that sex may have taken place shortly before his murder.

Keen to find the remaining body parts to be able to build a better picture of how the victim had died, the police, according to The Law Killers book, carried out extensive searches, including sifting through more than 100 tons of Dundee domestic rubbish due to being incinerated. However, despite the extensive searches and the appeal, no further body parts were found at this time.

The police at this point had done all they could, they now needed someone to come forward who recognised the description in the appeal, someone who could positively identify the victim.

James knew he had to phone the police upon hearing the appeal about the male body parts that had been found, but he was in complete shock. Not his brother. It couldn’t possibly be his lovely, kind, quiet brother who the police were describing. But he knew deep down that it was. He knew that his brother had had abdominal surgery, he knew that his brother had four ribs broken one time when he was mugged, he knew his brother took care of himself and had regular manicures, he knew it was him they were describing, he knew. James, with tears in his eyes, picked up the telephone and called the police to let them know that he believed the body parts they had found were his brother, 52 year old Gordon Dunbar.

Upon the police receiving the telephone call from James Dunbar, who confirmed that his brother Gordon had had stomach surgery and previously had four ribs broken, as well as confirming that his brother was homosexual, the police and forensics wasted no time in attending Anchor House, where James mentioned Gordon had been living. Gordon’s room was forensically examined and fingerprints and DNA were collected, which were positively matched to that of the body parts. Now the police had identified the victim as being Gordon Dunbar, they now just needed to identify his murderer. And so they issued another appeal asking for people to come forward if they had any information around Gordon Dunbar’s murder.

While the police waited for information to come in, they began to try and trace Gordon’s last known movements. They began by talking to his fellow residents at Anchor House Hostel, and a few of them said that they had had a drink with Gordon at a bar in Union Street, before he left about 6.30pm to head to another pub further along the street, confirming that he was wearing his distinctive long coat. They also confirmed that Gordon had left the pub alone and that he hadn’t said he was meeting anyone. The police also spoke to Gordon’s landlord at Anchor House, who said that Gordon had left early morning on Christmas Eve saying that he was heading into Dundee, and he said he had been wearing his distinctive long coat. The police were keen to find out Gordon’s movements while he was in Dundee that day, and the search of Gordon’s room at Anchor House would soon turn up some answers. Gordon’s bank had posted out a statement, and upon closer inspection it showed that Gordon had attended his bank on the morning of Christmas Eve, where he had deposited £60 or $75. However, another transaction on the bank statement that occurred on the evening of Christmas Eve caught the detectives eye. It appeared that Gordon had withdrawn £150 or $188 from a cash machine at 9.22pm on Christmas Eve in Commercial Street, which is a two-minute walk from where Gordon was last seen in Union Street and a 34-minute walk from where some of Gordon’s body parts were found at the bottom of Dundee Law. But why would Gordon deposit money on Christmas Eve morning and then withdraw over double the amount again that same evening? Was it perhaps the killer who had done this?

The police then began receiving information from the public which further helped them trace Gordon’s movements on Christmas Eve. A grocery shop owner told the police that he had served Gordon in his shop on Christmas Eve shortly after 7pm, where he had bought cheese, garlic granules and powdered soup. The bags that the body parts had been found in were also forensically examined and it was established that they had been from a particular batch that had been supplied to Spar shops in Dundee, and the closest Spar shop where the body parts had been found was in Hilltown, about a 19 minute walk from Dundee Law, and also the same area where Gordon had bought his groceries on Christmas Eve. So, the police were starting to build a picture of Gordon’s movements that fateful evening. However, his grocery purchases, speaking to the residents and landlord at Gordon’s hostel and from forensically examining Gordon’s room, wasn’t taking the police any closer to identifying a suspect.

That was until the 8th of January 1993 when police received a phone call from a male living in Perth, about 22 miles or 35 kilometres from Dundee, saying that a man called Alistair Thompson had spent the New Year weekend in Perth and that he’d talked in great detail about the Dundee Law murder.

Alistair Thompson was known to the police as in 1967, when he was 18 years old, he had been given a life sentence and ordered to spend at least 16 years in prison before being eligible for parole, having been found guilty of murdering his grandmother by stabbing her 16 times with a carving knife in a frenzied attack, before hitting her in the head twice with a hammer, smashing her skull. Alistair had spent his 16 year sentence in Perth prison, and upon being released in 1984 on license he married a social worker that he had met while in prison. The marriage didn’t last long though and Alistair had moved to England. However, he found himself back in prison again in 1989 having been charged with serious assault, for which he spent two years and six months in prison for. He was released in January 1992, where he returned to Dundee and secured a job working, according to The Law Killers book, as a resident caretaker at a home used by the Scottish Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, whose aim, according to sacro.org.uk is to provide a wide range of direct, innovative services in community justice, public protection and care and housing, which are all designed to help build safe communities by reducing conflict and offending, and at the time of Gordon Dunbar’s murder 43 year old Alistair Thompson was still working as the caretaker for this organisation.

Upon receiving the phone call from the male from Perth who gave Alistair Thompson’s name as possibly being connected to Gordon Dunbar’s brutal murder and dismemberment, detectives headed to Perth to take a statement from the man, and any other potential witnesses they could trace. Following the visit to Perth, the police not only came away with statements from witnesses who had been in Alistair’s company on the New Year weekend in Perth, but also in possession of an antique gold chain that Alistair had given to a female he knew in Perth, which matched exactly the gold chain that Gordon wore on his left wrist. With the police feeling confident they had enough evidence to arrest Alistair Thompson for the murder of Gordon Dunbar, they arrived at the home where Alistair Thompson was a residential caretaker and had a room and arrested him and took him to the station for questioning.

While Alistair was at the police station, police and forensics officers were examining Alistair’s room, and what they found cemented their belief that Alistair Thompson was the man who had murdered Gordon Dunbar. Hidden in a suitcase under Alistair Thompson’s bed was a blood-stained shirt, trousers and a t-shirt. Also found in the room was a block of cheese, garlic granules and powdered soup, the exact items Gordon had bought at a local grocers before disappearing. A scrap of paper with four numbers written on it was also found in the room, as well as a distinctive long coat, which would later be identified as Gordon’s by his brother. But it was a set of keys found in Alistair Thompson’s room that was even more interesting.  It was quickly established that none of the keys opened any door in the property he was living in. But the mystery surrounding where the keys did open would soon be solved, when an electricity bill with the address 91 Butterburn Court on it was also found in Alistair’s room. And it just so happened the Butterburn Court was located close to Dundee Law, and overlooked the exact place where the body parts in plastic bags had been found.

According to the website UK Housing, Butterburn Court was built in 1971, and, at 67 metres or 220 feet tall, it was one of Dundee’s tallest tower blocks, with flat 91 being on the ninth floor of the 22 floors.

After a few checks it was determined that the occupant of 91 Butterburn Court was that of a murderer who was out on license. Could this male also have been involved in the murder of Gordon Dunbar? No, he wasn’t, as it was quickly established that the man who had once occupied the flat at 91 Butterburn Court had left Dundee and moved to London two months prior. Just how Alistair Thompson had come to have the keys of 91 Butterburn Court was never determined, but it was likely that he and the occupant of the flat had been acquaintances in prison, or he and Alistair Thompson had become known to one another through the Scottish Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders Organisation, where Alistair was currently a residential caretaker for them, and perhaps the occupant had handed the keys to Alistair upon him leaving, assuming that Alistair would arrange for a new occupant to move into 91 Butterburn Court. Little did the previous occupant know that Alistair had other ideas of how the flat could be used.

Having discovered the Butterburn Court address and still having the set of keys that didn’t fit in any of the locks at Alistair’s lodgings, the police set off to Butterburn Court, and soon discovered that this indeed was the property where the keys fitted. Upon unlocking the door, the police opened the door of the flat and entered.

Back at the premises where Alistair was residing, while his room was being forensically examined, his fellow residents were being questioned to see if they could remember anything odd about Alistair on Christmas Eve 1992, and the police wouldn’t be disappointed. According to a couple of residents, on Christmas Eve Alistair had returned to the premises shortly before 10.30pm. They said he had been very jovial, flashing cash that he said he had won on the races and wearing a distinctive long coat that he said had been given to him by a female friend as an early Christmas present. They said he had then washed, changed his clothes and headed back out again to enjoy the rest of the Christmas Eve celebrations. Armed with this information, and the evidence that had been found in his room, detectives returned to the police station to question Alistair Thompson about his involvement in Gordon Dunbar’s murder. They started by asking what his relationship to Gordon Dunbar was, how did he know him, and had he had sex with him, to which Alistair stated that he had never been in the company of Gordon Dunbar, he didn’t know him and denied having sex with him. The police then asked how he had come to be in possession of Gordon’s gold chain, as well as a key fob of Gordon’s, which had also been given to another acquaintance of Alistair’s in Perth, to which Alistair stated that he had found both items on the street in Dundee and he had just picked them up, going on to say that, yes, he had given them to acquaintances of his.  The detectives followed up by asking how Gordon’s exact shopping purchases had come to be in Alistair’s room, to which Alistair just shrugged. They asked about the blood-soaked clothing under his bed, but again he just shrugged. Detectives realised they wouldn’t be getting a confession from Alistair, but they were still confident they had more than enough evidence to prove that Alistair had been involved in Gordon’s murder, which was just about to be compounded when police officers opened the door to 91 Butterburn Court.

Upon officers opening the flat door of 91 Butterburn court and walking into the living area, they saw plastic bags similar to the ones that the body parts had been found in. They also found a roll of tape similar to what had been used to seal the plastic bags the body parts had been in. Officers were already feeling pretty sure that this is where the body of Gordon Dunbar had been dismembered, however, their suspicions were confirmed when they walked into the bathroom and found it splattered with blood and body tissue, and on the bathroom floor lay two hacksaws; one broken but both covered in blood. The whole flat was subsequently forensically examined, which only further confirmed Alistair Thompson’s involvement in the murder and dismemberment of Gordon Dunbar. However, back at the police station, upon these latest developments being passed onto the detectives questioning Alistair, he was told he was going to be charged with the murder and dismemberment of Gordon Dunbar, but firstly he was asked, according to the Aberdeen Press and Journal on the 12th of May 1993, if he could help with the recovery of the missing pieces of Gordon’s body, for the sake of Gordon’s family, to which Alistair replied that he knew nothing whatsoever about the murder of Gordon Dunbar. He was then taken away to be held in custody until his trial, while the police continued to take statements from witnesses who called in with information, as well as the results becoming available from the forensic examination of Alistair’s room and 91 Butterburn Court, which all pointed to Alistair Thompson being Gordon’s murderer.

As word spread around Dundee about Gordon’s murder and dismemberment, more and more people came forward with information. One of which was a male who had apparently been the one to lend Alistair the hacksaws, and he had a very interesting story to tell. According to The Law Killers book, this male said that Alistair had asked him on Christmas Day if he could borrow a hacksaw so he could cut up some pipes. However, the very next day Alistair approached his friend again saying that the hacksaw had broken and could he borrow another one, and at which point he admitted his friend that he was using the hacksaws to try and cut up a body, which apparently he was doing for two hitmen from Glasgow who had actually killed the man he was trying to dispose of. Apparently Alistair continued by saying that he’d already disposed of some of the body parts having placed them in plastic bags and taken them to Dudhope Park, an 18-minute walk from Dundee Law and Butterburn Court. He went on to say that he had also disposed of the head of Gordon already by putting it in a skip. He also said that he would be dumping the rest of the body parts at Dundee Law as it was closer. Apparently Alistair also asked the same man if he had an open fire in his home as he wanted to get rid of Gordon Dunbar’s bank card, with the man confirming to the police that Alistair did actually use Gordon Dunbar’s name when referring to the man he was dismembering. The man he had told this to, who was now recounting the conversation to the police, said that he thought Alistair was just joking. However, the police took this very seriously and a team of officers went to Dudhope Park to carry out a search of the area, where they did in fact uncover more of the same plastic bags that had been dumped at the bottom of Dundee Law. Upon forensics being called to the scene, the bags were opened and revealed a lower leg, feet, one of which was in a lady’s stocking, and the remaining arm. Sadly, Gordon’s head and the rest of his upper torso were never found. The police already had so much evidence against Alistair, as well as numerous witnesses coming forward, but the icing on the cake came from forensics.

According to the Press and Journal on the 12th of May 1993, DNA profiling had been carried out on samples taken from a shirt found at the hostel where Alistair Thompson lived and a rug from the Butterburn Court flat, and were found to match those taken from the body parts, with an estimated probability of the DNA profile from the shirt and rug samples matching someone other than the deceased being less than one in 57 million. Also, according to the Press and Journal on the 7th of May 1993, fingerprints matching Alistair Thompson were found on a glass that had been in the flat at 91 Butterburn Court. So, now Alistair Thompson could categorically be placed in the flat where Gordon Dunbar had been murdered and dismembered.  The police now believed they had a good idea of the events that had taken place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they just needed the results of the post-mortem to confirm exactly how Gordon had died.

On Christmas Eve morning Gordon had gone into Dundee town centre and had deposited some money at his bank, before spending some time around Dundee. He then attended a pub on Union Street, where he spent some time in the company of fellow residents of Anchor House. About 6.30pm he left this pub and went to another one a few yards along the same street, where he had one drink then left about 6.45pm. He then made his way to the Hilltown area, about a 19 minute walk from Union Street, where he stopped at the grocery shop and bought cheese, garlic granules and powdered soup, before leaving the shop. It is believed that he met Alistair Thompson upon leaving this shop to walk home. Upon meeting Alistair Thompson, Gordon must have been persuaded somehow to accompany Alistair to the flat at Butterburn Court, which is a 19 minute walk from the Hilltown area, presumably to have sex. Upon entering the Butterburn Court flat, it appears things carried on in that vein as the post-mortem showed that Gordon did have sex, it just wasn’t clear if this happened before or after his death. However, at some point things turned sinister when Alistair is presumed to have threatened Gordon and robbed him, taking his gold chain from his wrist, his bank card, his long distinctive coat, and a key fob, before making Gordon write down his bank card code, which was later found on a scrap bit of paper in his room. The results of the post-mortem showed that Alistair had then proceeded to brutally punch and kick Gordon before stabbing him repeatedly, with a stab to Gordon’s heart being the cause of death. Alistair then put on Gordon’s distinctive long coat, presumably to hide the blood that would have been on him, then picked up Gordon’s bag with the groceries in it and left the flat. Alistair then walked to a cash machine and used Gordon’s bank card to withdraw £150 or $188 from his account using the four-digit bank code he had forced Gordon to give him, before he returned to his residence where he chatted with his fellow residents who asked him where he had got his distinctive long coat,

with Alistair saying it was an early Christmas present from a female friend. He then headed to his room where he washed and changed his clothes, before he left his room and Gordon’s groceries behind. He then headed to Arthur’s Nightclub in St Andrew’s Lane where he drank, danced, laughed and saw in Christmas Day, before accompanying two women and a male he had met that night to the female’s home, where he continued to party until 5am before leaving. Later on Christmas Day, he then asked his friend for a hacksaw, before returning to Butterburn Court flat where he carried Gordon’s body into the bathroom and placed it in the bath before beginning to dismember his body. He then placed the body parts in plastic bags, which he dumped at Dudhope Park and at the base of Dundee Law. After carrying out this atrocious act, he then travelled the 22 miles or 35 kilometres to Perth where he spent it with friends seeing in the New Year, and giving two of the friends Gordon’s wrist chain and key fob.

The trial began on the 5th of May 1993 at the High Court in Edinburgh, where Alistair Thompson faced the charge of murdering Gordon Dunbar and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dismembering his body. At the trial all the evidence, including photographs of the scene of the crime and the post-mortem, were presented and witnesses gave their testimony. Alistair Thompson did not take to the stand, but his defence was that he had no part in the murder of Gordon Dunbar and that he had merely helped the two hitmen who had murdered Gordon by getting rid of Gordon’s body for them. No, the members of the jury didn’t believe that story either and on the 13th of May 1993, after an hour and ten minutes of deliberating, the jury returned with a unanimous verdict of guilty.  Before Judge Lord Weir gave Alistair Thompson his sentence he addressed the jury, telling them that “I would not have wished your task on my worst enemy. You have had to listen to sordid, distasteful and horrendous evidence.” He then turned his attention to 43 year old Alistair Thompson, where he gave him a life sentence and to spend at least 20 years in prison before being eligible for parole for his “nauseating and barbaric crimes”. Alistair was then led away.

One reporter who was present at the trial as the guilty verdict was read out stated in The Courier newspaper on the 30th of December 2017 that he would never forget Alistair’s chilling stare in court that he directed to anyone who looked at him after the guilty verdict was returned, and he called them his evil eyes.

And that should have been the end of Alistair Thompson, and Gordon Dunbar’s family should have been able to grieve in peace, but Alistair Thompson had other ideas. Firstly, there were the appeals. One appeal, which was issued shortly after Alistair’s conviction, was subsequently withdrawn, however, in 1994 a second appeal was issued which alleged a miscarriage of justice due to the fact that there was apparently insufficient evidence for the jury to return a guilty verdict on the murder charge, however, as expected, this appeal was duly refused. Then in 2002 a third appeal was issued, which Alistair Thompson conducted himself, this time on the grounds of Judge Lord Weir fixing Alistair Thompson’s punishment part of his sentence to a minimum of 20 years, which Alistair felt was excessive. However, following the appeal judges going through the trial documentation and taking note not only of the barbaric murder but also the act of dismembering Gordon’s body to avoid detection, the trial judges were not persuaded that the punishment period selected by Judge Lord Weir was, excessive, and therefore the appeal was refused. But still Gordon’s family couldn’t grieve in peace. What could only be described as a final act of malice, Alistair Thompson then wrote a letter to Gordon Dunbar’s family offering to tell them where he had hidden the remaining parts of Gordon’s body. According to the Courier newspaper on the 30th of December 2017, in the same letter Alistair also expressed regret over the murder of Gordon and for the pain and anguish it had caused, before going on to offer Gordon’s family a full account of exactly what had taken place on Christmas Eve 1992. Disgusted by this and simply wanting to be left alone to try and go on with their lives, Gordon’s family took legal action to ensure they did not receive any further correspondence from Alistair Thompson.

Alistair died behind bars in 2010 from a heart attack.

Gordon’s brother, James, who lives in Carnoustie, said in an article in The Courier newspaper on the 30th of December 2017, 25 years after his brothers brutal murder, that he still hasn’t come to terms with the events that happened in Butterburn Court. He went on to say that “When I cross the Tay Road Bridge and see the profile of Dundee and the Law, I can’t help but think of my brother. Once it is out of view, it goes to the back of my mind again, but it doesn’t go away.”

On the 30th of June 2013 Butterburn Court was demolished by a controlled explosion.

So that’s it. Come back next time for another episode of Scottish Murders.

Granny Robertson:

Scottish Murder is a production of Cluarantonn.