The George Murdoch Murder

UPDATE October 2022:

The murder of Aberdeen Taxi Driver George Murdoch took place on 29thof September 1983, with the 39th anniversary having just passed. While George Murdoch’s murderer has still not been brought to justice, there have been a number of developments in the case.

Reward Increase:

The reward for information on who killed George has now been further increased and now stands at £50,000.

New Information Received:

Following information being received through social media, DI James Callander, the lead detective working on George Murdoch’s murder case, released fresh and potentially significant information to the papers and media. He was for anyone who knows of a male, likely now in his 60s, or 70s, who is small and of stocky build, with a local accent, who frequented Wilson’s Sports Bar, on Market St, Aberdeen in 2015, perhaps still does, and is known to wear or have worn an Iron Maiden T Shirt, to  please contact Police on 101, or send a private message on the FB page Appeal for Information Aberdeen Taxi Driver Murder 1983 – George Murdoch. Alternatively, an email can be sent to

Also, on the 11th October, the lead detective on George’s murder case, lead, DI James Callander, appeared again on the programme CrimeWatch to give an update on George’s case.

If you know of an individual, in his 60s or 70s, matching this description, who has been known to wear such a T-Shirt, George Murdoch’s family and the police urge you to come forward if you can help at all.

UPDATE 19.08.2022:

An amazingly generous gesture from Russell McLeod, managing director of Aberdeen’s Rainbow City Taxis means that the Reward for Information in this case now stands at £25,000.
See the full Facebook post below


It was recently the 38th anniversary of George Murdoch’s murder and his family have renewed their appeal for information regarding the murder. There is a reward which has been recently doubled and now stands at £20,000. So, if you were in the Aberdeen area in 1983 or knew anyone who was in the area during this time who might remember something about this horrific murder, then the family would really like to hear from you with any information you may have, however small or insignificant you think it might be, as anything you might know could really help this investigation. One particular detail is regarding cheese wire usage in the area at the time.  Uses for cheesewire may have been dehorning cattle, cutting large blocks of ice in the fishing industry, cutting clay in sculpting or cutting cores in the offshore industry. But do you know of any other uses or professions that haven’t been mentioned, and if so, this would also be valuable information that the police and George Murdoch’s family would love to know about.

Please, if you know anything at all, contact either the Police on 101 in the UK or contact the family directly on their Facebook page at Appeal for Information Aberdeen Taxi Driver Murder 1983 – George Murdoch

If there is anything you or anyone you know remembers from September 1983 in Aberdeen, then this could be invaluable in finding out who murdered George Murdoch, and finally give his family the closure they have been waiting for.

Episode Summary

A taxi driver working in Aberdeen on the night of 29 September 1983 picked up a seemingly harmless fare, but two miles into the journey things took a deadly turn. 

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 Last Fare eBook: McKay, Robina S.: Kindle Store

World Population Review – Aberdeen Population

Wikipedia- Aberdeen

Who was Scotland’s cheese wire killer? The brutal murder of an Aberdeen taxi driver – Daily Record

George Murdoch murder: Dozens of calls about 1983 Aberdeen killing – BBC News

George Murdoch murder: Police remain optimistic about finding 1983 killer – BBC News

George Murdoch – True Crime Library

George Murdoch: Family’s emotional appeal to help trace Aberdeen taxi driver’s killer – Evening Express

Family of murdered Aberdeen taxi driver hope new book will bring ‘cheese wire killer’ to justice 36 years later – Daily Record

Family of ‘Cheese Wire Killer’ victim still seek justice 35 years on | Press and Journal

Cheesewire Killer: Anguished relatives of murdered man in 1980s extend time on their £10,000 reward – Daily Record

Renewed bid to find Aberdeen cheese wire killer 35 years on – BBC News

Nephew of Scots cabbie brutally battered and choked to death in 1983 offers £10,000 to snare ‘Cheesewire Killer’ and solve uncle’s mystery killing

Reward for information about murdered Aberdeen taxi driver extended | Press and Journal

Family of murdered taxi driver George Murdoch publishes book about unsolved case | Press and Journal

Family hopes new book on George Murdoch’s murder will help finally close 36-year-old cold case | Press and Journal

‘Police chiefs to blame for “cheese wire killer” getting away’ | Press and Journal

Blood and Granite: True crime from Aberdeen eBook: Adams, Norman: Kindle Store

10,000 reward to catch murderer who killed taxi driver 31 years ago – Evening Express


If you have any information relating to this case, contact;

101 (UK).

Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (UK),

Email dedicated inbox at

The Last Fare

by Robina S McKay


Thursday 29th Sept 1983. It had been a miserable, dreich day in Aberdeen and rain was still falling, as taxi driver, George Murdoch, made his way along Queens Rd. Up ahead, he spotted a young guy attempting to flag down a cab. Pulling in for him, he stopped and his passenger climbed into the seat behind him. As he indicated to pull out, George glanced at the clock dial. This would be his last fare of the night. Soon, he’d be heading home to his wife and the warm meal she’d have waiting for him. But George would not make it home that night, nor any other.

His nightmare was only just beginning…………

Our Review


A taxi driver working in Aberdeen on the night of the 29th of September 1983 picked up a seemingly harmless fare, but a few minutes into the journey things took a deadly turn.

Dawn and Cole:

Hi wee ones. I’m Dawn and I’m Cole, and this is Scottish Murders.


George Murdoch, known to his friends and family as Dod, was made redundant in his mid-50s.It was a bit difficult for George to secure another job at this time due to his age and job prospects at the time, but he was determined to find employment. Eventually he decided to give taxi driving a go, it was a good easy way of making some money to pay the bills and take care of himself and his wife Jesse. He and Jesse had been happily married for 37 years, having married when George was 21 years old. George and Jesse sadly never had any children of their own, but they had lots of nieces and nephews who they doted on. They also had become best friends with their neighbours who also had children and they saw them as their grandchildren. George and Jesse had so much love to give. George and Jesse also loved animals and had a dog named Patch, who they adored and spoilt rotten. George also tried his hand at keeping pigeons, but unfortunately his pigeons just weren’t that keen on returning home. This was all well known and often caused a laugh or two. George was described by everyone he knew as being a kind, gentle and friendly man who always had a smile on his face, and himself and Jesse liked nothing more than spending a weekly night out at a local pub with friends and family, laughing and playing bingo. They had a quiet, simple life, but they were very content and happy with each other and looked forward to growing old together. Now when George decided he would start taxi driving, Jesse wasn’t too pleased about this as she was worried for his safety. George however, always the optimist, assured her that it would be okay and that he would never resist a robber, it just wasn’t worth it. George started taxi driving around 1980. He would often be seen in his sky blue Ford Cortina happily driving the locals around, sharing a story or two with them on their journey, and George was very well liked and respected in the local community. On Thursday the 29th of September 1983, George’s taxi shift would have gone as normal, ferrying locals to and from Aberdeen. Aberdeen is a city in the northeast of Scotland and is the third largest city in Scotland, with a population of over 241,000. It is known for its strong ties with the north sea boasting notable fishing and shipping industries, as well as being known as the offshore oil capital of Europe since the 1970s. Aberdeen is also known as the Granite City due to many of the buildings in the city being made from the local grey granite, which sparkles like silver in the sunlight. Thursdays in Aberdeen were late night shopping so it would have been busy. This particular Thursday was cold and the rain was falling heavily. George had been busy all evening and he was at last nearing the end of his shift. About 8.25pm as George was driving along Queens Road, up ahead he would have seen a young man standing on the pavement waving him down. The young man got into the taxi behind George and George pulled away. At 8.28 pm, George radioed the control room and said that he had picked up a fare for Peterculter, which was about six miles or about nine kilometres away. Then, for some reason, about two miles or about three kilometres into the journey, George turned his taxi into Pitfodels Station Road, which was about four miles or six kilometres short of the supposed destination. This street is about four miles west of Aberdeen city centre, it is quiet and dimly lit and runs all the way down to Garthdee Road, starting on a steep slope and going downwards as you turn into it. It would have been at this point that his passenger, who had been quietly sitting behind George, placed a steel cheese wire around his neck. It cut deeply into George’s neck and he would have panicked and probably initially froze in shock. However, this didn’t last long and he started fighting for his life, somehow managing to get the cheese wire away from his neck and get out of the taxi. However, the attacker was on top of him straight away and was stronger than him, younger than him, and before George could do anything else the attacker’s hands were around his neck and squeezing… hard. George would have fought hard but inevitably there was nothing he could do. With George slowly slipping into unconsciousness, the attacker grabbed his wallet and what little money George had in his taxi and fled the scene, leaving George fatally wounded and dying. God that’s awful. He must have been terrified. The first officers on the scene were dog handler PC Alan Hendry and a young officer who had been doing dog training exercises nearby that night, and so arrived on the scene quickly. George was lying in a pool of blood with severe injuries to his head, face and neck, and was barely alive when the first police officers arrived. After calling for backup PC Hendry stayed with George until the paramedics arrived, who then lifted George into the ambulance. Even though the paramedics did their best to save George, he died at the scene shortly after their arrival. He was 58 years old.


He really didn’t deserve that.


Nobody would have deserved that. Following the murder the street was quickly cordoned off by the police and a murder investigation was launched. Over the next week or so extensive searches of the area were carried out, as well as police visiting 10,000 homes and 8,000 statements being taken, however, after all of this the only thing found connected to the murder and murderer was a cheese wire or a garrotte wire, which had been found near the scene. Now, there had been witnesses to the attack on George, two teenage cyclists were on their way home and were cycling up the slope and spotted George’s taxi facing down the hill with the lights on. As they’d passed they had seen George being pinned down by the murderer on the ground outside of his taxi and being strangled.


Did they not do anything?


Well they were just teenagers so they were probably terrified, but they did cycle immediately to the nearest phone box and they called the police. The police had received this call just after 9pm and had radioed for a police officer to attend, with PC Alan Hendry being the nearest and showing attending. The two boys told the police that the attacker was thin built, in his late 20s to early 30s, with very dark hair. A couple out for a walk that evening in the area also reported to the police that they had seen a man running 200 yards from the scene. Apparently this was just moments after the teenagers had witnessed the fight. They gave a description of the man as being a thin man, roughly five foot seven inches, aged late twenties to early thirties, with short, dark, well-groomed hair that sat over his ears. Another witness had apparently seen a man matching this description running towards Aberdeen about five minutes later. Now about three weeks after the murder the staff in a chip shop in Great Western Road in Mannofield, which was about a mile and just under two kilometres from the murder scene, came forward and said that about 15 minutes after the murder a man matching the description came into the chip shop and ordered a fish supper.


Did you say it took them three weeks to come forward?


Yeah, I did. Apparently, at the time, they had not connected the murder that had happened just along the road from them to this man being in their chip shop.


You would think that they would be able to connect the two a little bit quicker as it was a local murder.


Yeah, exactly. They also said that this man had blood dripping from a hand injury and scratches on his cheek and nose, and a bruise was developing on one of his eyes, and that he spoke with a local accent.


If I owned a chip shop and a man came in with blood dripping from his hands, scratches on his cheek and nose and a bruise on his face, I think I’d call the police regardless.


Apparently, as well there was actually six customers in the chip shop that night, but only one man was ever traced.


Six people and only one person came forward? That’s crazy.


Yeah, exactly. And it was a popular theory by the locals that this man was the actual killer, but the police didn’t believe that.


Yeah, I guess I can understand that. I mean, I doubt that you’re committing a horrible murder and then going to pick up a bag of chips.


I think the staff in the chip shop had probably just thought that this man had been in a fight or that had been drinking and had fallen over and he was just getting his fish supper and then heading home.


Yeah. I mean, I can understand that, but it is a bit of a coincidence isn’t it?


It is a bit, and I do wish that they’d come forwards a bit sooner. However, the man in the chip shop has never been found and the theory’s just been ruled out. Shortly after the murder, the police also carried out a high-profile inquiry where they attended Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen when Aberdeen was playing Celtic, where they checked the hands of every male aged between 16 and 30 for damage, which would indicate this may be the killer. Apparently they saw this as an ideal opportunity where they could check a large number of males hands for any wounds. If the killer was going to a game and saw the police wouldn’t he just turn around and go home? Well, no, because the large police presence was only obvious once the supporters reached the turnstiles, by which time it would be too late to turn around and leave for fear of drawing attention to yourself. The police reported that everyone attending the game was extremely cooperative, however, the police had not anticipated that so many people would attend the game with cuts on their hands. After checking out all the people that had cuts on their hands and their stories, unfortunately no further leads were generated. Now, the cheese wire found at the scene was a potential clue to the identity of the killer, due to being able to narrow down the search possibly depending on the work a person did, however, cheese wire was used for a variety of things at the time, such as obviously cutting cheese, it was also used by oil workers for cutting core samples, by pottery makers, those in the fish industry, also used for removing windscreens from vehicles, and even apparently used for cutting through the horns on cattle, so there were quite a few uses for cheese wire. So, do you know anyone back in September 1983 working in any of these industries who perhaps had cuts and bruises on their face and hands? Or were you expecting anyone to come to your home that night that worked in any of these industries that didn’t turn up? Over the years the police have carried on following different lines of inquiry and there have been appeals from the family, but there just hasn’t been enough information or leads to track down this evil killer. Now, while it has never been determined exactly why George was killed, his wallet and money were stolen, the murderer could have been someone addicted to drink or drugs looking for easy money. If this was a robbery gone seriously wrong it is poignant to note that if the killer had just asked then George would have handed over the money no questions, as he always told his wife Jesse that he would do this. However, this was an extreme and excessively violent attack just to have been a robbery gone terribly wrong. Why was this man carrying a cheese wire with him in the first place? Did he use this for work? George was a very mild-mannered, gentle man who most certainly would not have antagonised the killer in any way for him to have attacked George so savagely. Did this man have anger problems? Or did this man simply decide that this was the night when he would cruelly take an innocent taxi driver’s life, and it didn’t matter who it was. This evil man would be approaching his seventies now and has enjoyed a life, which has been denied to George and his family. Now, when someone is murdered so horrifically you sometimes focus on the awful murder and forget about the family left behind having to find a way through. One person left behind after George’s murder was his wife Jesse. Jesse never recovered from the horrific murder of her beloved husband, her world had been turned upside down on the evening the police had come to her home to tell her the news about George’s murder. She loved George, they had plans for when George retired, but more than that they just looked forward to spending more time together. It was not just George’s life that had been taken that night. Jesse was a slight figure and after the murder she lost weight leading to her becoming frail. Over the years Jesse suffered many strokes and her legs started to get weak, which led to weakness and frailty. So much so that she eventually wasn’t able to go out on her own. Jesse did have huge support from her sisters, brother, nieces and nephews and the wonderful neighbours who lived next door, who she and George had become so close with. Jesse lived for another 21 years, dying in 2004 at the age of 76. In early 2015, George’s family issued another appeal and this time offered a £10,000, just under $14,000,

reward for any information that could lead to the conviction of George’s murderer. Again, some information was given to the police, but still not the lead or information that they would need to find the killer that had thus far evaded justice. Now, the investigation so far sounded like the police had been doing everything they could to try and find George’s killer via appeals, inquiries, witness statements etc, however, on the 17th of April 2017, 33 years after the murder, former police officer and the first police officer on the horrific scene in 1983 Alan Hendry, who went on to become an Aberdeenshire councillor, came forward to claim that he felt his superiors missed the opportunity to catch the killer quickly, close the case and give the family closure. The former police officer has always questioned just how well the searches were conducted at the time. He felt that he had been sent on a wild goose chase at the time while the killer was nearby watching the investigation unfold. He explains that after his superiors arrived he was told to take his German Shepherd to Peterculter, which is approximately 10 miles or 16 kilometres away, and to walk back along the old railway line, through the pouring rain back towards the scene of the killing. However, PC Hendry believed that the killer was actually hiding in a nearby field watching what was unfolding. By going through this field it would eventually take you out at the railway line. PC Henry believed if he had been allowed to do his job and search the immediate area he would have found the killer that night. PC Hendry was so convinced of the failings of the officer in charge on that night that the next day, once it had stopped raining, he took his German Shepherd back to the crime scene and let him loose in the field. Apparently, the dog indicated an area of ground in the field behind an embankment right on the edge of the Pidfodels Station road where somebody had been lying.


Yeah, but that could have just been someone having a nosy at what was going on, unrelated to the attack at all.


Exactly. But as it’s been quite a number of years ago now we’ll never know for sure. Police Scotland didn’t comment specifically on these allegations, but they did say that they remain committed to solving unsolved murders, they are regularly reviewed and any forensic techniques are used to assist in this. On the 27th of September 2018, which would have been the 35th anniversary of George’s death, Detective Inspector Gary Winter from the Major Investigation Team organised a major media appeal in the hope that it might reach someone that had information about this case that hadn’t come forward yet. He advised that the team would be reviewing the case, reinterviewing the witnesses who saw the assault, and that the most advanced forensic techniques available would be used. He informed that the killer would be approaching his late 60s or early 70s by now. Detective Inspector Winter also stated that the cheese wire found at the scene had been used in the attack and a photograph of an identical cheese wire was also released at this time. Also at this appeal, a photograph was released that showed George and Jesse at their nephew’s wedding in 1977, and I have put both of these photos on the website. George’s nephew, Alex 61, who was 26 years old when his uncle was murdered, also spoke on behalf of the family at this appeal. Alex reiterated that the £10,000 or just under $14,000 reward was still being made available by the family for any information that resulted in the arrest of the person responsible. He spoke of memories he had of George, talked about George’s wife Jesse, and asked that people think back to 1983 and come forward with any information they might remember to the police. And what followed from the public was incredible, the police received over 100 calls and emails, and they were still being contacted by individuals in the following months. It just goes to show that despite the passage of time people still remember the tragic night George was murdered and desperately want to help give the family the closure they deserve. However promising it is that the police have received such a response to the appeal in 2018 and the advanced techniques that can be used, George’s murderer has still not been identified. Following this appeal, Alex, George and Jesse’s nephew, continued to speak out about the couple in the hopes of raising awareness and triggering a memory in somebody that could possibly lead to the arrest of George’s killer. Alex still remembers receiving the call from his mother at 11pm on the night of George’s murder breaking the news to him. He was badly shaken, and recalls that for many weeks after the murder the whole family was in turmoil and shock over the horrific senseless killing of their kind, gentle, always smiling Dod. He went on to say that Jesse had the kindest soul and she was deeply affected by the murder. She was scared being in her own home as the murderer had taken George’s wallet and she was afraid that this evil man would know her address and come to her home. She had thought about moving maybe to somewhere smaller, but this thought quickly was dismissed as she had so many memories of George in the house, there was no way she could leave. Alex said that apparently Jesse never really talked about what happened that night, possibly she was trying to protect her family from the horror and pain but they all felt it nonetheless. In April 2020, it was revealed that Robina McKay, who is the wife of George and Jesse’s nephew Alex, was in the process of writing a book as she wanted to tell Jesse’s story following the murder to hopefully strike a chord in people and allow insight into exactly what this heinous crime had done to George’s wife. This book is called The Last Fare and can be bought on paperback or Kindle from Amazon. I’ve actually read this book and it was told beautifully, it really made Jesse and George into real people and told of their time together, giving an insight into their thoughts. You were able to see them as a loving couple and not just victims of something absolutely horrendous. I’d really recommend this book. Alex has said that now all of George’s closest relatives have passed away, it is really down to Alex and his family to try to keep George’s story in the limelight and catch George’s killer, before Alex passes too. Hopefully one day soon someone will come forward with that one missing piece of information, who killed George Murdoch. As of this episode being released, there have still been no further developments, despite the many appeals for information over the years. If you’re listening to this episode and you think you might have information about this case that you haven’t shared with the police, no matter how small, please contact 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Or alternatively you can email a dedicated inbox at And hopefully George Murdoch’s killer can finally be brought to justice. All of these contact details will be put on our website.

And that’s the end. If you’ve enjoyed this episode and know just the person who’d also like it, please share it with them,  don’t keep it to yourself.


Please also get in touch on social media if you have any questions, comments or suggestions and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. All social media and contact details are on our website, as well as all the source material and photos related to this episode.


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

Dawn and Cole:

Join us there, Bye!

Granny Robertson:

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn.

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn

Hosted by Dawn and Cole

Researched and Written by Dawn Young

Produced and Edited by Dawn Young and Peter Bull

Production Company Name by Granny Robertson


Dawn of the Fairies by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Gothic Wedding by Derek & Brandon Fiechter

Scottish Murders is an award short listed, fortnightly true crime podcast that focuses entirely on murders carried out in Scotland or involving Scottish people, hosted by Dawn, and occasionally her sister Cole.

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