Love Triangles
Sanday Dunes

Episode Summary

Relocating to a quiet and tranquil Orkney Island should have been a dream come true for Robert, Jack and Margaret, but instead turned into a nightmare.

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.

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Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn

Voice Talent by Eleanor Morton

Hosted by Dawn

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

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.


52 year old Robert or Bob Rose who was a builder had decided he needed a change of scenery, a fresh start, and once he made the decision to move house it felt right. Now he just had to decide where he wanted to move to. Bob had lived in South Yorkshire in England with his beloved wife until her passing. Their children Katie, Chris and James were grown up and living their own lives and so the world was truly Bob’s oyster. However, it came as a bit of a surprise to Bob’s family when he settled on moving to the Orkney Isles in Scotland, which is about an 11 and a half hour drive north of where the family lived in South Yorkshire and can only be reached by a ferry or plane off the Scottish Mainland, and they were a bit concerned. However, Bob was determined he wanted the quiet, the peace and a bit of land where he could keep his animals, and Sanday in the Orkney Isles was his destination. According to the website, Sanday has a population of around 550 and according to it stretches for around 16 miles or 26 kilometres from end to end. Bob then sold the family property in South Yorkshire and bought a small property in Sanday that needed renovated. The property also had a small area of land attached which Bob had wanted to keep animals on. And then in March 2008 he said his goodbyes to his family and he and his Jack Russell dog called Patch began the long journey to their new home.

Upon arriving and settling into his new home on Sanday, Bob being, according to his daughter Katie in an article in the Express Newspaper on the 4th of February 2010, a happy and chirpy man immediately made friends, and while still being seen as an outsider he was well liked and accepted by the locals and became a regular at the pub where, according to an article in the BBC news on the 2nd of March 2010, he enjoyed a pint, a game of chess and was known to his friends there as a diamond in the rough. One man who Bob became close friends with upon first arriving in Sanday was 49 year old Stephen Crummack, who lived in a caravan near to Bob’s property. Once Bob had settled in he then bought three South American alpacas and he kept them on his wee bit of land. He enjoyed going to the local pub and catching up with the locals, and every Sunday you would find him there enjoying his Sunday lunch. His family, seeing how happy the move had made him after the sad passing of his wife, accepted that this move had been good for Bob, and despite the vast distance between the family they still kept in regular contact. However, it wasn’t just the move to Sanday and its quiet and tranquillity that was helping to put a spring in Bob’s step.

Margaret Johnston was 32 years old and living in Falkirk, which, according to Wikipedia, is a large town in the central lowlands of Scotland, with her two children when she met 57 year old Jack Campbell. Margaret loved monkeys, especially marmoset monkeys, and when hers had sadly died she came across Jack Campbell’s name and contacted him hoping he might be able to help her get another one. Jack Campbell was very passionate about monkeys and had set up a monkey sanctuary in the central lowlands in 1997 where monkeys who had been subjected to testing by pharmaceutical companies but were no longer needed could go to be rehabilitated and try to live like monkeys again. Margaret, also being a monkey lover, felt an instant connection to the sanctuary and the monkeys when she visited and told Jack that she wanted to be involved. Margaret hadn’t just felt a connection to the sanctuary though she and Jack also made a connection, and so they began a relationship and fell in love. The pair worked together in the sanctuary helping to rehabilitate the monkeys, both in their element. Margaret and her two children moved in with Jack and before long Margaret and Jack were welcoming their first child together. In late 2006, when Margaret and Jack had been together for about a year, the couple made the decision to move their family to Sanday on the Orkney Isles for a new start, a better life, and they began making plans to open up a rescue sanctuary for lab monkeys on the large piece of land that they had purchased there. They had big plans. They would open the sanctuary to tourists and Jack would give sessions with the aim to educate more people about opening up monkey sanctuaries and what it entailed. The residents of Sanday loved the idea and were more than happy to help out at the sanctuary when it eventually opened. All was going well until May 2007 when Jack and Margaret’s plans to increase the number of monkeys they could take at the sanctuary was met by opposition by the Orkney Council, which would take both time and a substantial amount of money to resolve. Jack and Margaret’s dream of being able to rehabilitate more and more lab monkeys was in jeopardy. It also appeared that Jack and Margaret’s relationship was having problems around this time too and had become volatile, with Margaret saying in the Daily Mail newspaper that she broke up with Jack after he attacked her for the second time, the first time by strangling her and the second time by bashing her head off the kitchen floor. While the couple did break up, Margaret continued to live in the house with Jack, who she had a child with, and Margaret’s other two children, but it wasn’t a happy situation. However, upon a newcomer coming to the island, who was described as being a kind and generous man who left a good impression, Margaret finally found someone she could turn to, who would comfort her and provide a safe place for her and her children when things got too bad living with Jack, and it came in the form of Bob Rose.

Bob first became aware of Jack and Margaret when he was introduced to them by mutual friend Stephen Crummack, who lived in a caravan near to where Bob lived and had been one of the first people to befriend Bob when he moved to the island. Bob would have been happy to have made more friends, and as they were not from the islands either they may even have had a bond, but he certainly would have been happy when his bond with Margaret began to grow stronger over time, with the pair eventually falling in love.  As Bob’s property was under development Margaret and her children were not able to move in with him initially, and so they continued to stay in the home with Jack. And while Jack made it clear outwardly of his contempt for the newly formed relationship to Margaret, underneath he was bubbling over with hatred directed towards Bob Rose. In his eyes Margaret was still his woman and Bob had stolen her from him, despite the pair having broken up before Bob arrived on the island. Margaret did move in with Bob briefly, with Bob offering Jack £10,000 or $13,000 to buy the monkey sanctuary for Margaret as she just loved the monkeys, but Jack refused and Margaret moved back in with Jack, picking her love for the monkeys over living with Bob, however, soon the monkey sanctuary would be no more.

Margaret and Bob’s relationship continued until February 2009, when Bob had been on the island less than a year, until one day Margaret took her three children and left the island, Bob and Jack as she couldn’t see any other way she could be happy, not while living with Jack. While Jack and Bob would have been upset by the sudden departure of the woman they both claimed to love, that should have been the end of the rivalry as Margaret was gone. But things are never that simple. Margaret had cut off all contact with Jack, even changing her mobile number, as she had had enough of his behaviour while she was living with him. However, when Jack found out that Margaret was not only still in contact with Bob but that she’d been sending him topless photos of herself, his rage and jealousy bubbled over.

Bob had been sad at Margaret’s departure and so in March 2009 he decided to take a wee trip back to Rotherham to see his family for some TLC. His daughter, Katie, was pregnant at this time and Bob was so looking forward to becoming a grandfather. He enjoyed his time in Rotherham and seeing his family again had cheered him up no end, and so he was ready to head back to Sanday. Needing some cash for everyday living and for materials for his house renovation, Bob withdrew £5,000 or $6,500 before heading back to Sanday.

Now, also around this time Jack wouldn’t be the only resident of Sanday who was directing their anger towards Bob. There was also Stephen Crummack. Stephen was an alcoholic and Bob being a kind and supportive man he wanted to try and help Stephen come off the drink, sober up and do something with his life, but Stephen wasn’t interested and he became angry towards Bob for his interfering. So, when an anger-filled Jack approached Stephen to ask if he would help him get rid of Bob, he was only too happy to oblige.

And, so, late on Saturday the 6th of June or in the early hours of Sunday the 7th of June 2009, four months after Margaret had left the island, Jack, still consumed by rage and contempt for his perceived love rival, along with Stephen, who was irrationally annoyed at Bob, made their way to Bob’s home. Bob had spent the evening at the local pub, having a drink and chatting with friends, before heading home for a quiet rest of the night, sending a joking text to his pregnant daughter Katie saying, “Ha ha. Just having a boys’ night in.” And, so, he would have been surprised when there was a knock at his door, and even more surprised to see Jack and Stephen standing there. The pair forced their way into the house where a fight ensued, with Bob being repeatedly struck by the pair on his head and body with their fists and other implements, before Bob was hit over the head disarming him. A pillow was then placed over Bob’s face and he was suffocated. Campbell and Crummack then took Bob’s wallet and the remainder of the money he had brought back from Rotherham, which he had stored in a suitcase, before wrapping his body in a duvet and putting his body in the back of the car, before digging a shallow grave in sand dunes and burying Bob’s body there. They then are believed to have burnt the duvet Bob’s body had been wrapped in and his wallet. It was reported that they either burnt or washed the clothes that they had been wearing, but it’s not clear which. They then parked Bob’s car near the pier to give the impression that Bob had left on the ferry to go to the mainland, which was the story that the pair told locals when people started wondering where Bob was when he missed a pre-arranged appointment on Monday, as well as the fact that Bob had asked the pair to look after Patch while he was gone. However, the locals were well aware of the issues between Jack and Bob so they didn’t believe this story for one minute, and so reported Bob as missing on Monday the 8th of June 2009 and a massive hunt for Bob began.

Bob’s children, Katie, Chris and James, came to the island and made an appeal for any information about Bob’s whereabouts, saying they just wanted to know what had happened to their dad, describing him as being around five foot four inches tall or 1.73 meters, being a slim man with a ruddy complexion and short almost balding grey hair. 

For nearly two weeks the police searched the island for Bob, forensically examined Bob’s house for clues and questioned the islanders, including Jack and Stephen, who remained tight-lipped and united despite being questioned on numerous occasions as Jack’s rage at Bob was well known. Until that is their unity was blown out of the water by paranoia and a laugh.

On one of the occasions when both Jack Campbell and Stephen Crummack were at the police station being interviewed Stephen came across Jack laughing with his solicitor. In Stephen’s mind he believed the pair were conspiring against him to stitch him or fit him up for the murder of Bob Rose, and so he decided he had to get in first.

On Friday the 19th of June, nearly two weeks after Bob had gone missing, Bob’s distraught family finally found out what had happened to their kind and caring dad, when Stephen told the police that Jack had murdered Bob out of rage and jealousy and that he had helped in the murder, before Crummack finally led the police to an approximate area in the sand dunes where the pair had buried Bob’s body. Sniffer dogs were brought in to locate the exact area of Bob’s body, which was then slowly uncovered in order to preserve any forensic evidence, which only further prolonged the family’s torture.

Jack Campbell and Stephen Crummack were both arrested and charged with murder, they were taken off the island and held in custody, before appearing in court charged with Bob Rose’s murder, although, unlike Stephen, Jack denied any involvement in Bob’s murder.

Following Bob’s disappearance, his home was forensically searched and, according to an article in the Scotsman newspaper on the 2nd of March 2010, a blood spot on a pillowcase was found, which upon testing was deemed to belong to Jack Campbell. As well as DNA being found on a cigarette end in the fireplace and on a sleeping bag, which matched Stephen Crummack.

The residents of Sanday were in shock about the murder of Bob, with one islander who was born and raised on Sanday and who had been a friend of Bob saying, according to an article in the BBC News on the 2nd of March 2010, that he still couldn’t believe that Bob was gone and that he had been murdered on the peaceful, tranquil Isle of Sanday.

The trial for the murder of 54 year old Robert Rose began at the beginning of February 2010 at the High Court in Glasgow, with 59 year old Jack Campbell pleading not guilty and 51 year old Stephen Crummack pleaded not guilty to any part in the murder, but did admit that he had helped cover it up. Many residents of Sanday who had been friends of Bob’s attended as witnesses, including Frances Muir, who was a nurse and midwife on Orkney. Frances told the court how she had been asked to visit Jack Campbell after Margaret had left the island with his child, after his GP felt he was depressed. She told the court how Jack Campbell had told her that he was having financial problems, that his wife and child had left the island and he had no way of communicating with them, but also that he believed Margaret was still in contact with Robert Rose and that they were having an affair. According to an article in the Express Newspaper on the 4th of February 2010, Frances told the court that it was during this conversation when an angry Jack Campbell had told her that one day he would go up to Robert Rose and kill him. She told the court that her notes following this visit described this, as well as noting that Jack was depressed. According to the Daily Mail on the 3rd of March 2014, other islanders and friends of Bob had also been aware that Jack had threatened Bob in the weeks running up to his murder, with Bob telling his friends that Jack had told him “Your day is coming.” Next in the dock to be questioned by Jack Campbell’s QC was another friend of Bob’s on the island, a Mr Sinclair, who owned the local hotel. Mr Sinclair told the court that upon finding out Bob was missing, himself and two other men went to Jack Campbell’s home to see if he was aware of Bob’s whereabouts, going on to say that they found Stephen Crummack at Jack’s home too. Mr Sinclair said that when he asked Stephen Crummack if he knew the whereabouts of Bob he just shrugged and said no. When he was asked if Stephen had shown any concern about Bob’s disappearance Mr Sinclair said, “No not to my knowledge.”  Evidence was also given by two pathologists that contradicted Stephen Crummack’s claim that he had no part in the murder when they said that, due to the injuries found on Bob’s body, it indicated he had died fighting for his life, and it was very unlikely that only one man could have been involved in his murder. And despite Jack Campbell denying his involvement in the murder of Robert Rose, apparently he was unable to stop himself from bragging and confessed to the murder to a cellmate while he was being held in custody, and his cellmate was more than happy to tell all to the police. Margaret Johnston also took to the stand and said that Bob Rose was a very nice person, that she had developed feelings for him and thought that they could have had a good future together, if it had not been snatched away. She confirmed that Jack Campbell was not happy about her having a relationship with Bob, going as far as saying that, yes, she felt he was capable of murder when he lost it. Margaret went on to say she had not been going backwards and forwards between Bob and Jack, that she had ended her relationship with Jack and had fallen in love with Bob. She was not a scarlet woman.

The month-long trial finally came to an end on the 2nd of March 2010, and the jury took six hours over two days to come back with a verdict of guilty for Jack Campbell and culpable homicide for Stephen Crummack, with both also being found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. While the judge deferred sentencing for both men until the 30th of March 2010, he did say to Jack Campbell that the only option for him would be a life sentence as he had been convicted of an atrocious crime and of callously disposing of Bob’s body. There was a huge sense of relief for Bob’s three children, Katie, Chris and James, who said in a statement after the conviction “Words can’t describe how much of an impact this has had on our family and close friends. Our dad was a great man. He was kind and generous, the kind of man who always left a good impression. The only thing we now hope for is that we get justice for our dad. But no matter how long a sentence is given, it will never replace the life that has been taken.”

28 days after Jack Campbell was convicted of murdering Bob Rose and Stephen Crummack was convicted of Bob Rose’s culpable homicide, the pair were back in court to be sentenced. Judge Lord Turnbull spoke firstly to Jack Campbell saying “You have been convicted of murdering Mr Rose, motivated by your dislike of him and your reaction to his involvement with your former partner.” He went on to say that despite him continuing to protest his innocence, despite the fact he lied to the police and tried his best to cover up the crime, he had been undone by boasting to a cellmate. Jack Campbell was then handed down a life sentence and expected to serve at least 16 years in prison before being eligible for parole. He was also given a further three-year sentence for attempting to defeat the ends of justice, which was to run concurrently with his 16-year sentence. Then it was Stephen Crummack’s turn to have his sentence handed down for the culpable homicide of Robert Rose, with Judge Lord Turnbull saying to him that had he not come to assist the police in their investigation into finding Bob Rose, “it is not possible to see how the police inquiry would have ended.” He then sentenced Stephen Crummack to ten years for culpable homicide, and a further one year for attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The pair were then taken away to begin their sentences.

While Katie, James and Chris did attend the court to hear the sentencing, they did not make a statement afterwards. I hope they felt that they received some sort of justice for their beloved dad.

Katie, James and Chris returned to Sanday for an equally as distressing reason, they took their dad’s ashes there and scattered them on a part of the island that had quickly become their dad’s favourite. Katie would have given birth to her child before the trial started, a child that would never meet his happy and chirpy, kind and generous grandfather, Robert Rose.

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

Granny Robertson:

Scottish Murders is a production of Cluarantonn