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Updated: 2017-10-13T09:47:49.596+01:00

 



Willie Macrae: Calum Retires

2017-04-19T07:12:45.416+01:00

 I've decided that I'm retiring from active service.

 It's time for a different approach with newer participants.

 I've been thinking about this for some time but I decided yesterday.

 

I realised that I was writing for headlines.  I pride myself on my neutrality.  I couldn’t continue like this.  It's better I opt out now rather than battling this drift. Had I continued I would simply have been putting off the necessary decision.

 I have enjoyed my investigations, enjoyed the time - massive time - I've spent immersed in this, but I've done my bit.

 So, I walk away
 .... sad that there is so much to be done;
 .... delighted I've made a contribution;
 .... and delighted again that there is a team moving forward towards justice.




Willie McRae Part 35: FOI Criminal Offence Committed?

2017-05-13T17:32:54.024+01:00

A few days ago, in Part 34, I considered the possibility that public bodies might, in their handling of FOI requests, commit a criminal offence by deliberately not releasing all the relevant information to which the applicant is entitled.I have come across an example so apparently blatant a breach of the law that I am incredulous that no offence was committed. How can this be?Let me backtrack to my last post,In Part 33 I wrote about Paul Delamore’s victory in having the Scottish Information Commissioner decide that Police Scotland should release the information he had requested.My analysis was incomplete.  I had ignored a key part of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – FOISA.  I hadn’t even read the relevant section.  I must also say that I didn’t recognise my omission: a friend had to point this out to me.The crucial part is Section 65Basically this says that if an applicant is not given all the information to which he or she is entitled then, if the act is deliberate, the person responsible is guilty of a criminal offence.  The highlighted paragraph lists ways in which a person may prevent full release:“alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals”The penalty for conviction?  A fine not exceeding £5000!My reading of this section was that if relevant information, which was known by the public body to exist, was deliberately withheld from the applicant then a crime was committed.I suspect the actual meaning is that if a person, for example, deliberately conceals information so that it cannot be found by another public body official who is fulfilling an FOI request then a crime has been committed.  If this were the correct interpretation then, shockingly, a person who deliberately concealed the existence of information from the applicant would be guilty of no offence.Let me tell you about Northern Constabulary deliberately concealing the existence of information from an applicant and, as far as I can see, no crime was committed.You will not be surprised that this case involved Willie Macrae and you’ll be pleased that we don’t have to delve into many details.David Leslie and the Chief Constable of Northern ConstabularyDeath of William MacRae [Source]David Leslie, a journalist, took his request in 2007 to the Scottish Information Commissioner because he was dissatisfied with the response from Northern  Constabulary.He lost on every important point, winning only the small victory of Northern Constabulary having to show him their collection of press cuttings of the case!Mr Leslie’s request was simple but very wide-ranging,Mr David Leslie emailed Northern Constabulary requesting all documents, reports and relevant material concerning any investigations by Northern Constabulary into the death in April 1985 of William MacRae.My reading of this is that Mr Leslie wanted to see the entire Macrae file.Northern Constabulary’s first response was,Northern Constabulary responded, advising Mr Leslie that the information was otherwise accessible via the Northern Constabulary Publication Scheme, citing section 25(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).In 2005, Northern Constabulary released limited information – here - about which this blog is replete.  They tell Mr Leslie that the released information is the entirety of the information they hold which is relevant to Mr Leslie’s request.  To anyone familiar with the released information this is clearly nonsensical.Mr Leslie, as he was due, asked Northern Constabulary to carry out an internal review.  They then responded,Northern Constabulary contacted Mr Leslie again and elaborated on the earlier response. This advised that not all the information relating to Mr Leslie's request had been disclosed and concluded by citing various exemptions to justify not releasing that information.What was this additional information?Northern Constabulary advised that, in addition to the information already publis[...]



Willie McRae Part 34: FOI Risk of Criminal Offence

2017-05-13T17:32:40.182+01:00

In Part 33 I wrote about Paul Delamore’s victory in having the Scottish Information Commissioner decide that Police Scotland should release the information he had requested.My analysis was incomplete.  I had ignored a key part of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – FOISA.  I hadn’t even read the relevant section.  I must also say that I didn’t recognise my omission: a friend had to point this out to me.The crucial part is Section 65Basically this says that if an applicant is not given all the information to which he/she is entitled then, if the act is deliberate, the person responsible is guilty of a criminal offence.  The highlighted paragraph lists ways in which a person may prevent full release:“alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals” The penalty for conviction?  A fine not exceeding £5000!Now how MIGHT this apply to Delamore’s case?  I am being very careful here.  I allege no wrong-doing. All I do is to highlight what hypothetically might have happened.In Part 33, I said that I did not believe that Police Scotland would tell a lie to Delamore but I said that I could imagine the whole truth not being revealed.  If my reading of Section 65 is correct then a person who did not reveal the entirety of the relevant part(s) of the police records would be guilty of a criminal offence.Now let’s look again at the two questions I considered in Part 33.Delamore’s Question 5In the response there is no mention of what, if anything, happened on 7 April.  Section 65 makes a huge potential difference here.Imagine that the car was removed on 7 April as well as on 6 April and this fact was in the police records.  Under these circumstances, the person responsible for not revealing the details of the 7th would be guilty of a criminal offence.Delamore’s Question 4Delamore’s interest was to find out if the photographs were taken on the 7th.  If they were, then the car must have been returned to the scene.  All that is said in response is that the photographs were NOT taken before 1.50pm on 6 April.  There is no end time or date.  There is nothing about whether they were taken on the Saturday or Sunday or even, ridiculously, if they were taken in 2000.Now imagine that, within the police files, there was information which indicated an end date or time.  Under these circumstances, the person responsible for not revealing the details of the 7th would be guilty of a criminal offence.Has a criminal offence been committed?I have no evidence of any crime and I hope none has been committed because the reputation of our justice system would be in tatters.  If lies could be told about a 30-year-old case what might be happening elsewhere?I do hope, though, that Delamore will challenge the release of information to him if he hasn’t already done so. Delamore’s victory has created a new situation in which Police Scotland and the Crown Office can no longer rely (automatically) on their claimed exemptions being upheld.  The door has been opened and I and others are trying to pour through.  That same door brings Section 65 into play.  I hope that none fall foul of it and all that should be revealed is.Time will tell.Interesting times! _______________________________________________________________If you have thoughts, or more, feel free to: email me at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom or tweet me at @calumcarr © CalumCarr 2015_______________________________________________________________COPYRIGHT Copyright over this article is retained by me, CalumCarr. Please feel free to reproduce extracts and images provided you attribute the words and images to me taking into account the provisos below. If you wish to use more than one quarter of the article then contact me for permission at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom[...]



Willie McRae Part 33: Delamore’s FOI Victory ….

2017-05-13T17:32:28.596+01:00

….  shatters the credibility of Police Scotland! poses important questions for Police Scotland.Perhaps not.  It is Police Scotland’s response to the victory, rather than the victory itself, which shatters their own credibility asks the questions.  I have quite deliberately left my original words visible because I am finding it very difficult to maintain the neutral stance which is crucial if I am to make the most of the evidence available.__________________________________________________Before I go further, I must thank and congratulate Paul Delamore for the work he has put into this subject but especially for making the FOI case to the Information Commissioner which led her to decide that Police Scotland was to release the information which he had requested.I must also point out that Paul has written about Police Scotland’s response here and it is from the information in his post that I write today.Well done and thanks, Paul!__________________________________________________I wrote about the background to this victory here.Firstly, let’s look at Paul’s questions and Police Scotland’s response and then I’ll focus on two questions and their respective responses. It is worth remembering that twice Police Scotland refused to release any information to Paul and it is only because Paul won his appeal to the Information Commissioner that Police Scotland were forced to release the necessary information.[Paul’s questions in black and Police Scotland’s responses in blue]You can read Paul’s thoughts on all 6 responses but I want to focus on only two: questions 5 and 4.Delamore’s Question 5Let me explain why I believe Paul asked this particular question but first I need to give a little background. Apologies if you know this already.[Note: you will notice throughout this post that I am not definite about Delamore’s thinking or motives. Although he replied helpfully to my first two emails in April, he has neither replied nor acknowledged any email since, even when an email were congratulatory. I work within that constraint.]Macrae and his car were found off-road during the morning of Saturday 6 April 1985.  He was taken to hospital, in Inverness and then in Aberdeen. His car was removed from the site and was in the West End garage in Fort Augustus at 3.30pm on the Saturday afternoon.  That time is confirmed by a signed, dated and timed police document.  Delamore knows of this timing. From information revealed under Question 1 we know that the car was removed to the garage before there was any knowledge that Macrae had been shot.  For many years there have been rumours that, having been removed, the car was returned to the crash site, possibly so that the car could be photographed in situ.  As far as I am aware this rumour has never been confirmed or denied by the authorities.  Delamore and Semple in their recent, April 2015, Scotland on Sunday article claim to have three witnesses who state that the car was at the crash site on Sunday 7 April.I think that Delamore, already knowing that the car was removed on the Saturday, strongly believed that the car was returned to the crash site on Sunday 7 April.  Therefore, I believe Delamore carefully and deliberately asked when the car was removed on Sunday 7 April.  I am convinced that Police Scotland would know the thinking behind Delamore’s question BUT Police Scotland ignored his question and answered a different one.Note again how Police Scotland responded,“Records indicate that the car was moved some time between 2.00pm and 3.30 pm on 6 April 1985.”There is no mention of Sunday 7 April.  We already knew the car was removed on Saturday.  What we wanted to know was about the Sunday.  A straightforward response would have addressed Delamore’s question directly.If, once the car was removed on the Saturday afternoon, it was never returned to the site Police Scotland could have said, The car was not at the s[...]



Willie McRae Part 32: Important FOI Victory!

2017-05-13T17:32:14.252+01:00

 At last, some more information is to be revealed .… but not much and not quite yet! Paul Delamore, one of the co-authors of the recent Scotland on Sunday article on Willie’s death, has won his appeal to the Information Commissioner over Police Scotland’s refusal to release information requested under our Freedom of Information Act, FOISA (2002). What did Delamore ask? Only six questions! 1 At what time on the 6th April 1985 were the police notified of a gunshot wound? 2 And at what time on the 6th April 1985 were the family of Mr Macrae notified about his situation? 3 I see that there is a date (7th April 1985) for the photos of the gun in the request. Could I please also get a time on when these were taken? 4 Following on from this, could I also please get the time/date of when the photographs of the car in the request were taken? 5 [...]



Flawed Logic of Effie Deans

2017-05-20T21:54:15.476+01:00

    Until recently I had never heard of Effie Deans and, if you haven’t, you can find her blog at Lily of St. Leonards  and her tweets here.  Effie is unionist and, obviously, very staunchly anti-independence and is still fighting the independence battle.  I do not share her political views in any way but, just as I am, she is entitled to her views and to promote them as she sees fit WITHOUT being subject to abuse.  Here I shall not abuse but I shall say what I think about her arguments. The colour of the government in Westminster is secondary to winning on independence.  Winning, to Effie, is shutting out the possibility of independence, for ever! The first of her posts which I read was titled, 'We must attack the SNP at its roots' and it appears it is for this post that she has been ‘attacked’ on Twitter.  The abuse is wrong and it is pointless and it would still be wrong even if it were not pointless. She wrote this about the background to the abuse. I questioned the assumption on which the supporters of the SNP base their support. …..  What I discovered last week with my little experiment is that huge numbers of Scots are unable to question the assumptions on which they base their thought. They were unable to respond with reason to my questioning of the assumption and so for the most part responded with fury. I set off a twitter storm that raged because I transgressed a nationalist taboo. Horror of horrors, I had explained logically why Scotland was not really a country. How dare I say that, splutter, splutter! But it is a country, it is! I got an awful lot of assertion. But the majority of minds were quite fully shut and not open to argument on this issue. [Source]   She claims to have explained logically why Scotland wasn’t a country but she didn’t.  Her case is fundamentally flawed. It is her logic alone which should be attacked. The starting point for her case is this, There’s only one good argument for an independent Scotland. But it is a very good argument indeed. It can be stated in the following way: 1 Scotland is a country.2 Countries ought to be independent.3 Therefore Scotland ought to be independent. Once you have accepted this argument, then all other arguments will be impotent against it. I quibble in a possibly surprising but still important way with this argument. I weaken the argument. Effie uses ‘ought’: I wouldn’t.  I would rephrase her three points as, 1 Scotland is a country.2 Countries have the right to choose to be independent.3 Therefore Scotland has the right to choose to be independent. My rephrasing puts power where it should be; with the people of the country.  In September, the people of Scotland chose not to be independent but the power to become independent remains still with the Scottish people. Despite this, Effie has captured the essence of the debate.  Whatever case one makes for independence it is predicated on those three points. Being fiercely unionist, Effie continues, In order to defeat an opponent it is necessary to put forward his best argument and then refute it. The only way to refute an argument is by either refuting the reasoning or the assumptions.   Therefore, Effie determines to refute the reasoning or the assumptions behind her three point argument and it is here that her logic disappears.  Let’s look at her starting point. The initial assumption “Scotland is a country” must not be allowed, for if we do allow it, the rest of the argument follows as a matter of course. How then does she achieve this? Well, she sets up her definition of country. But the vast majority of countries I can think of are independent, sovereign nation states. It would almost appear that the defining characteristic of a country is that it is independent and sovereign. [Emphasis is mine] and two sentences later the c[...]



Willie McRae Part 31: Long Grass?

2017-05-13T17:32:00.397+01:00

  A review should be good news but ……. [Note: contact details have been removed]   ….. has the case been kicked into the long grass again?   For those who may be new here let me briefly put my position.  I am absolutely neutral on the question of murder, suicide or whatever.   I don’t know: there is insufficient evidence to fix on one view.  I seek the truth, whatever it may be.  I am, however, in favour of a Fatal Accident Inquiry or other formal and legal inquiry.  Too many questions remain unanswered for the case to be left where it is.    Now, might this review set the record straight and let justice be seen to done? I might be wrong.  I hope I am proved to be wrong.  But I have no confidence that answers will be given or the truth of his death and subsequent investigation revealed. When the Crown Office deigns to speak to the public they will assert, ‘Police Scotland has reviewed the case in detail and Crown Counsel has full confidence in the original investigation carried out by Northern Constabulary.’ No new information will be released.  No reasons will be given.  They will have shut down the case for a few more years …. but still the questions will remain and, occasionally, new questions will arise which challenge the official position …. and still the Crown Office will assert …. and still justice will not have been seen to be done.   Why should we expect another review to bring a different result? We have been here before: the investigators investigating themselves.  The two organisations about whom all questions relate look at themselves and find, ‘Nothing to see here. Move along.’? But more than this, everything which has been produced in the last 6 months was either already known about or should have been uncovered in previous reviews. Donald Morrison’s evidence wasn’t new but it’s importance was already denied by the Crown Office. Why should this change now?  The car being returned to the crash site wasn’t new.  John Finnie raised this with the Crown Office in 2010/11 and, as far as I am aware, no action has followed. Why should this change now?  There being witness statements from the Crowes although they made no statements should have been uncovered previously.  The Channel 4 programme, Scottish Eye – from 1991/2 – reported that, until approached by the programme makers, the Crowes didn’t know that Macrae had been shot and had died.  That there were statements on file from the Crowes in 1985 doesn’t tally and should have been a ‘red flag’ to any semi-competent investigation. Why should this change now?  Why am I cynical? The Chief Constable took more than 7 weeks to reply to an MSP’s letter!  This reflects poorly on Sir Stephen regardless of the subject matter.  But now the timing of the review is perfect for the Crown Office.  The profile of the case has been raised significantly in the last 6 months or so; there is a petition for an FAI; Scotland on Sunday carried good work just 3 weeks ago.  I’ve done my small bit. Momentum was building and the announcement of a review gets the Crown Office off the hook and stalls the momentum.  I can imagine their words, ‘We have to wait for Police Scotland’s review.  We’ll make no more announcements until the review is complete.’ Sir Stephen has set no time limit and he states, such reviews are generally time-consuming and I am not in a position to advise you of a project timescale for completion. I feel for Sir Stephen.  The top man and he’s not in  a position to advise.  Yes, he is!  If this was important to him he would set a deadline but he hasn’t and so it isn’t. Be assured, we’ll hear nothing this year….. ….. and th[...]



Willie McRae Part 30: What’s New in SoS

2017-05-13T17:31:49.226+01:00

  JUSTICE DEMANDS FULL DISCLOSURE UPDATE @  15 April 2015:  I have been in contact with one of the SoS journalists who assured me that there is no major information being held back.  I have been given clarification on a few points but I have a considerable amount of work to do before I can make good use of it.  Please bear with me. After yesterday’s rant at the Scotland on Sunday editorial today I look objectively at their article on Willie’s death. Despite the headlines and editorial, the case is not solved.  In fact, there is nothing which makes any cause more likely than another.  The evidence poses questions, very serious questions, for the police and Crown Office but first let’s see what was new. There is new evidence, claimed new evidence which isn’t, doubtful conclusions, some confusion and, necessarily for a one-off article, lots of background material.  Fortunately I can dispense with the background and focus on what is new because it is there that our knowledge increases.  Also I don’t have time to sort through and correct their confusions, conclusions and claimed new evidence which isn’t.  Therefore I focus only on what is new and the reason for its importance.   New Evidence having been removed, the car was returned to the crash site 1st source for above is retired senior police officer in Northern Constabulary2nd source are Barbara and Allan Crowe, Australian tourists who found crash and Macrae That the car was removed and later returned to the scene isn’t new; John Finnie stated that a witness had told him.  When I posed this possibility some months ago some readers, quite properly, questioned the idea on the basis that to do so would involve massive risk to the police but, with three witnesses, the likelihood is much greater that the evidence is correct.  Given too that one witness, believed to be John Finnie’s contact, ‘was a former high-ranking officer in Northern Constabulary’ only adds to the credibility. This raises serious questions about, for example, the position of the gun but far more important is the knowledge that neither the police nor the Crown Office thought it necessary, in any of their public statements, to acknowledge this fact. [Note: I know that there is no certainty yet about the car’s return to the scene]    If the car was returned, then a crucial question to be answered is, When were the official police photographs taken? I posed this in January and its importance is as follows.  If the photographs were taken on Saturday, 6 April, before the car was removed to Fort Augustus then, provided the photos were developed, the police had a record of the car’s actual crash position.  This would help establish where the gun’s position was relative to the original car position. In Part 12 I estimate that the actual position of the driver’s door has to be known to an accuracy of no less than +/- 24 inches before any can claim that the gun was found directly below where the car’s door had been. However, if the photos were taken when the car was returned, there is no record of where exactly the car had come to rest.  All the police could use was PC Crawford’s memory or marks left by the crash.  I have doubts about whether marks from the crash could have been used because the site had been walked over by several witnesses on the Saturday; the car had been dragged from its resting position to be taken to Fort Augustus and finally returned to an ‘approximate’? position on Sunday. Delamore and Semple use the return of the car to an approximate position as a possible explanation of why the gun was found so far from the car. They note, with no doubt, When the car was returned it was placed close to the original site, but not in the precise sp[...]



Willie Macrae: Formatting Faults

2015-04-06T08:49:19.981+01:00

 

 

Apologies to those who are trying to work their way through my older posts.

 

I have just found some massive issues re the layout of the posts which wasn’t present when first published.

I am working my way through these posts trying to make them look as they should.

 

 

Please bear with me.




Willie McRae Part 29: Scotland on Sunday’s Arrogance

2017-05-13T17:31:37.833+01:00

  I welcome the new evidence presented in the article by Delamore and Semple in today’s Scotland on Sunday.  In Part 30, hopefully out Monday 6th April, I will review the evidence which they, and students at the University of Strathclyde’s investigative journalism course, uncovered.  The case for an inquiry should now be unstoppable but the Crown Office will almost certainly see this differently. I have a major criticism though and it intrudes only minimally into the article itself.  I suspect that Delamore and Semple are largely innocents with the blame to be laid at editorial level. And I need to rant about that before I look calmly and logically at the article itself.  In this long series I have tried to be even-handed in my analysis of evidence.  The one point at which I have veered is that I come down firmly on the side of an inquiry being held but, even here, I try to be fair to both sides of the argument.  Within the Macrae case, however, much of the reporting has not been balanced: many journalists seem to have an ‘angle’ to promote and evidence is presented from that position. Scotland on Sunday is no exception and its problems start on the front page where a photo of Willie has these words appended, What an invitation to buy! But then …… the mystery isn’t solved. False pretences and then the editorial.   NOWHERE in my reading of the case have I come across such arrogance, hype and false conclusions as were written for the Scotland on Sunday editorial. I feel for those whose work this editorial trashes through hype.   The reporters and students have produced good work but ….     McRae conspiracy theories now laid to rest old-fashioned reporting to solve a baffling 30-year-old mystery   an exemplary piece of journalism …. has solved a 30-year mystery   None of this true!  The article doesn’t even claim this other than in its first paragraph which doesn’t fit with the rest of the article.   Good work!  Well done!   A step forward in our knowledge but not the end.  Add it to that already available and make an even better case for an inquiry.   Unfortunately, the leader-writer isn’t finished. No doubt some conspiracy adherents will continue to insist McRae was murdered by the British state. The grassy knoll is a comfortable spot from which to view a bewildering world. and the editor’s chair is a comfortable spot for wishful thinking. But for most reasonable [of course, the leader-writer is one such] people, [ah! nice touch of negative labelling there!]  today’s Scotland on Sunday revelations are the final [a] chapter in a story three decades in the telling.   And then there is the article. I’ll start working on this, now that I’ve dealt (probably inappropriately) with an inappropriate editorial.   __________________________________________________________________ If you have thoughts, or more, feel free to: email me at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom or tweet me at @calumcarr © CalumCarr 2015 __________________________________________________________________ COPYRIGHT Copyright over this article is retained by me, CalumCarr. Please feel free to reproduce extracts and images provided you attribute the words and images to me taking into account the provisos below. If you wish to use more than one quarter of the article then contact me for permission at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom. [...]



Willie Macrae: Intermission

2015-04-03T09:30:11.031+01:00

 

I’m out of posts at the moment.

 

If you have any information you want to me follow-up or any direction to go then please:

email me at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom or

tweet me at @calumcarr

 

I have nothing planned beyond two possible additions to the mini-series on Donald Morrison’s evidence of Special Branch surveillance but I suspect they’ll be two weeks away, at least.

 

I’ll contact  some others with an interest but I’m dependent on their interest in ’talking’ to me.

 

I’ll take time out to review other rumours, stories etc and try to put them in context.

 

Then I’ll come back and tell you what I’ve got!




Willie McRae Part 28: Thoughts on Donald’s Evidence

2017-05-13T17:31:25.186+01:00

Over the last few days you’ve had the opportunity to read about Special Branch surveillance of Willie Macrae:-   Parts 26 and 27: Donald Morrison’s evidence-   Part 25: Crown Office response to claims of SB surveillance of Macrae-   Part 24: Why evidence of SB surveillance should lead to FAIToday I try to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable: Morrison’s evidence and Crown Office response but before then there are two points I must make.Firstly, if it were shown, without doubt, that Willie was followed by Special Branch then an inquiry would be vital BUT this involvement would not be evidence that Willie was murdered.  It would be evidence that Willie was ‘tailed’ by Special Branch.  No more! And that would be worthy of public examination.Secondly, I had always assumed the statement below to be true but two days ago Donald confirmed its truth,Donald Morrison has NEVER been interviewed by the police.I find this  incredible!I don’t know when Donald’s evidence first crept into the public domain but I know he shared evidence with Fergus Ewing in 2005 before Fergus raised the matter with the Crown Office.  Donald was not interviewed before or after Ewing’s involvement.In 2011, Donald contacted Northern Constabulary to make a statement which he then made.  Parts 26 and 27 cover the background to that statement.  He was not interviewed after making that statement.He has not been interviewed since 2011.CAUTIONThroughout this post I try to be thorough and fair as I look at the various combinations of Donald Morrison and Crown Office, and truth, mistake and lies.  BUT I must accept that as I develop my thinking I make several assumptions and at each such point I could be wrong and, therefore, my conclusions could be compromised fatally.That said, let me start.BACKGROUNDFirstly let me summarise the two positions but focus on surveillance on Friday 5th April 1985, the day Willie started his final journey.Morrison is clear.  Macrae was observed by two individuals who, when Morrison stopped traffic to allow Macrae to do a U-turn, ran back to their cars (there were two cars); were driven off at speed following Macrae and went through a red light.  Morrison gives more detail but that is the essence of his evidence.The Crown Office too are clear (apparently).  In response to Fergus Ewing MSP raising Morrison’s evidence with the Lord Advocate, wrote,You mention the evidence of Donald Morrison and the suggestion that Mr Macrae was under surveillance.  This is not a new allegation or information and was explored when it was raised initially as an issue.  I can confirm from the papers that Willie Macrae was not the subject of surveillance or enquiry at the time of his death.Although there are a couple of qualifiers, the Crown Office gives the following steer,Macrae was not the subject of enquiry at the time of his deathThis would be the normal interpretation.  The implication of this would be that Morrison is mistaken or lying.If the Crown Office means anything other than this, then I would view that as deliberate obscuring of the truth.  Now let’s get back to reconciliation if we can and consider, firstly, Morrison’s evidence.DONALD MORRISONDonald can be correct, mistaken or lying.  There can be no other options.  I will look at each of these options and discuss how I would expect the Crown Office to act in each example.  I need to be absolutely clear here.  I am not suggesting that Morrison is lying but I cannot make the points I wish to make without including this hypothetical possibility.Could Donald be mistaken?Could an experienced policeman say, ‘I grabbed the bottle before it slipped to the roadw[...]



Willie McRae Part 27: Donald Morrison - Evidence in Full

2017-05-13T17:31:12.162+01:00

  In Part 26 I laid out Donald Morrison’s evidence – a policeman who knew Macrae – under three headings: active, historical and on-going involvement of Special branch with Willie Macrae.  Here I publish it as one document including the section which wasn’t relevant for Part 25’s discussion. Note: This document is available online as a pdf file here. But first let me explain where this document has come from. Previously, Donald has spoken to Paula Murray of the Express and to Fergus Ewing.  I haven’t had access to their discussions.  Mark MacNicol (of one of the 3000 Trees plays) put me in touch with Donald.  Over a dozen or so emails Donald sent to one or other of us, key subjects were covered several times.  I then collated and consolidated these emails into categories which suited my thinking.  I wanted to ensure that for each of Donald’s points I extracted the maximum information and  description.  Where necessary, I tweeked grammar and corrected typos. It is important that you know that almost all the words reproduced are Donald’s and not mine. When completed, Donald checked the consolidated document, added some extra information and answered some clarification questions. I emailed the final document to Donald who signed it off (by email) for publication.   Before we come to the document I must say that, in his emails, Donald mentioned some police officers by name.  My understanding is that in reproducing Donald’s words with the names included I would not be defaming those people because I would not be implying any negativity or wrong-doing on their part.  But I do not control the comments that readers might leave here and so, despite the risk being very small, I have removed their names and replaced them with letters.  Be assured though that Donald’s emails included their names.  I retain those names for possible future use. Enough.  Here is my consolidated version of the information Donald has shared with me and Mark.   DONALD MORRISON EVIDENCE 28 MARCH 2015 In 2011, the police took a statement from me on behalf of Rt Hon. Elish Angiolini, Crown Office, Edinburgh. My first contact with police was on 22 March 2011 when Det. Sergeant GA (now Det Inspector) took a lengthy statement from me. I was aware that they were coming so I secretly contacted Iain Fraser (a former policeman) and he was in my home that day. A Det. Const. obtained a statement from him in a separate room within my home.   FRIDAY 5TH APRIL 1985 Between 1100 AM / 12noon on 5th April, the day before Mr Macrae's death, Mr. Roderick MacKay (Manager of Agnew's Store West Nile St.) served Mr. Macrae 2 bottles of Islay Mist whisky & 40 Benson and Hedges cigarettes before he (Macrae) headed north. I saw Willie coming out of the shop and then placing one of the bottles on the roof of the car while he opened the driver's door and I grabbed the bottle before it slipped to the roadway, The two who were taking ops would have seen this and that bottle would have my prints thereon and that would tie me to seeing him at the car before he set off. Willie left West Nile St. between 11am and 12.30 at the latest. I know it was no later than 12.30 because at 12.30 I would have been in the police office for lunch. I cannot say he left Glasgow though. What he told me in West Nile St. was that he was heading up north right away to get settled in. His last words to me were "I think I've got them this time", then he repeated " Yes I've got them this time” as he winked. Again he said for the third time, “I've got them this time" as he patted his bulging brief case. “I have to go through all this during the weekend [...]



Willie McRae Part 26: Donald Morrison Evidence (partial)

2017-05-13T17:31:00.284+01:00

  It has taken a few posts to get here.  Now we’re going to see the evidence of Donald Morrison, a retired Glasgow policeman, who knew Macrae.  My sources are emails Donald sent to me and Mark MacNicol and so what I present may not be the entirety of his evidence but it is what he shared with me.  I present what Donald Morrison saw, heard and knew about Special Branch and Willie Macrae.  In this post I present most, but not all, of his evidence which I have divided into three sections.  The omitted part has no bearing on Special Branch. In Part 27, also published today, I present all the evidence he shared with no commentary other than a brief description of how I compiled his evidence.   Let me recap very briefly. In Part 24 I talked about why the alleged involvement of Special Branch is important to calls for a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Macrae’s death.  I described that I found the distinction between active and historical interest to be important in determining if an FAI should be held or not.  I found the case to be compelling for active interest and not to be made for historical interest. In Part 25  I showed the authorities’ three-stage response when pushed on Special Branch* involvement.  There was         no denial that Special Branch had an historical interest in Macrae.a denial that SB had an active interest in Macrae at the time of his death but examination shows the denial does not unambiguously rule out active interest. a denial that the investigation was cut short. Here too the denial is not unambiguous. In his evidence, Morrison claims that Special Branch had both an historical and active involvement with Macrae.  Despite my reservations about the relevance of historical evidence I include it for completeness, because you may think it relevant and because my view of its relevance may change.  Beyond this, Morrison claims that there was Special Branch involvement in the statement he gave to police in 2011.   I’ll present the evidence under 3 headings,       ACTIVE Special Branch interest in MacraeHISTORICAL Special Branch interest in Macrae ON-GOING Special Branch interest in Morrison’s statement and I let Donald’s words do most of the talking. You must decide if the Crown Office line is sustainable or not. In his emails, Donald mentioned some police officers by name.  My understanding is that in reproducing Donald’s words with the names included I would not be defaming those people because I would not be implying any negativity or wrong-doing on their part.  I do not control the comments that readers might leave here and so, despite the risk being very small, I have removed their names and replaced them with letters.   ACTIVE SPECIAL BRANCH INTEREST 'I can confirm from the papers that Willie Macrae was not the subject of surveillance or enquiry at the time of his death.'[Elish Angiolini 2005] Let’s see how Angiolini’s statement stands against Donald Morrison’s evidence. FRIDAY 5TH APRIL 1985 Between 1100 AM / 12noon on 5th April, the day before Mr Macrae's death, Mr Roderick MacKay (Manager of Agnew's Store West Nile St.) served Mr Macrae 2 bottles of Islay Mist whisky & 40 Benson and Hedges cigarettes before he (Macrae) headed north. I saw Willie coming out of the shop and then placing one of the bottles on the roof of the car while he opened the driver's door and I grabbed the bottle before it slipped to the roadway, The two who were taking ops would have seen this and that bottle would have my prints thereon and that would tie me to seeing him at the car be[...]



Willie McRae Part 25: Special Branch – Official View

2017-05-13T17:30:46.755+01:00

  Introduction In Part 24 I said that I believed any active involvement of the Special Branch* with Willie Macrae was sufficient for an FAI to be held. (* see end of post)  In Part 26 we’ll look at evidence from a retired policeman, Donald Morrison, who claims Special Branch were involved up to, at least, the day Macrae left Glasgow, 5 April 1985. Here you get to see what the police and Crown Office have said about Special Branch and Macrae. Before we go there, I invite you to read Part 23, if you haven’t yet done so.  Last Sunday, 29 March, the Sunday Herald published an article highlighting the new campaign for a Fatal Accident Inquiry to be held into Macrae’s death.  The article was light on information until the last sentence in which the Crown Office appears to have set its face against holding an FAI …. ever.  The Crown Office is quoted as saying, Crown Counsel are satisfied with the extensive investigations into the death of William Macrae and Crown Counsel ….. have instructed that an FAI will not be held into the circumstances of Mr McRae’s death Effectively, the Crown Office is saying that there can be no new evidence  ….  ever ….. which could have them question the investigation and open an inquiry. Now I try not to take official statements at face value, as you will see below, because these messages are rarely written unambiguously.  I ask that you bear in mind the tone of the Crown Office statement as you read this article and those which follow.    Now let’s get back to the subject matter. I know of only two instances where there is official comment on the allegation that Macrae was of interest to, and was under surveillance by, Special Branch.  You will see that both sources deny ‘active interest’ in Macrae.  We’ll look at their denials in some detail! The more important was in 2005 when Fergus Ewing MSP wrote to the Lord Advocate asking directly about the alleged surveillance of Macrae.  Until today, all that was available were a few newspaper reports but now I have copies of both Fergus’ letter and the Crown Office reply and I quote directly from them.   But, first, let’s go back to 1993.  Northern Constabulary replied to a  request from West Mercia police for information following allegations in Gary Murray’s book, ‘Enemies of the State’.   1993 West Mercia Police Northern Constabulary’s letter can be seen here [page 1, page 2].  It is clear that West Mercia police have asked Northern Constabulary for advice on handling questions about Macrae’s death and, of interest to us, is that portion which relates to Special Branch.    We look at two short extracts. On first reading, the meaning is obvious: Special Branch or the Security Services had no interest in Macrae. BUT when we start to doubt – and across the UK we have plenty reason to doubt official statements - we look deeper.  Let’s do that. The obvious point to start with is that the denial refers to ‘an active interest’ only.  This leaves wide open the possibility - some would say likelihood - that there had been an historical interest in Macrae.  This alone is worthy of follow-up.  What?  When?  Why?  Why did it stop? When did it stop?   The clearest possible statement which could have been made was, ‘Neither SB or Security Service had any interest at any time in Mr Macrae.’ but it wasn’t.    It could have said, ‘Neither SB or Security Service had an active interest in Mr Macrae.’ but it doesn’[...]



Willie McRae Part 24: Importance of Special Branch

2017-05-13T17:30:32.768+01:00

Introduction For almost 30 years there have been rumours that Special Branch* were involved with Willie Macrae: 'involved' not in the sense of working with but working against Macrae.  According to rumour he was tailed, burgled, driven off the road and shot by state operatives.   [* I use ‘Special Branch’ to cover two different  situations: firstly, for Special Branch only and secondly for any state operations beyond what we commonly regards as the police.  This would include MI5, MI6 or any other state grouping.  You must bear in mind that when the police and Crown Office refer to Special Branch they may be limiting themselves to the official Special Branch only and, therefore excluding other groupings but then again they may use it the wider sense.  Unless I say otherwise I use Special Branch with its wider definition]   In subsequent posts, I’ll discuss the authorities’ views on the role of Special Branch and look at evidence for such a role but here I focus entirely on why the alleged involvement of Special Branch is so important to calls for a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Macrae’s death.  By focusing so strongly on Special Branch (4 posts at least) it is possible that some may think that this is the only reason for an inquiry.  It isn’t.  The case for an inquiry doesn’t stand or fall on the basis of Special Branch. You may wonder also why I am not presenting the evidence for Special Branch involvement now and then moving on to what that means for the calls for an inquiry.  I felt that I wanted to establish some principles first so that you could measure the evidence, when presented, against these principles.  I worried that the principles would be lost had I put the evidence first.   I’m going to look at 3 different scenarios, where there is - certainty of active Special Branch involvement - evidence of SB involvement - historical involvement but NOT in the period leading up to Macrae’s death   Certainty of Active Involvement In Part 19, I made the best case I could for suicide given the released documents.  I believe this is, in essence, what the Crown Office thought.   I wrote, 'He was hugely talented. He was charismatic. He was troubled …. terribly. He suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts so much so that his younger brother, a GP, had taken his unlicenced revolver from him.  Unfortunately, this was returned to him when his brother considered that his mental state had improved. He drank much more than was good for him.  He had been convicted twice for drink driving and had another offence pending. He faced prison. He feared prison.' and then he crashed whilst under the influence of drink and then ……   This is a simple, straightforward but tragic case.  There is no place in this story for Special Branch.   Now I want to show how the picture changes if Special Branch were actually involved with Macrae.  Then we’ll consider the position if there is evidence of possible involvement but with no certainty.   Let’s consider some hypothetical situations.  Imagine my quote above but changed slightly. 1.      ....... He faced prison. He feared prison. and then he crashed having been forced off the road by Special Branch and then …… Here with direct Special Branch involvement in the crash there would be an inquiry!  This example has nothing to say about who shot Macrae but that does not alter the (hypothetical) fact that Special Branch deliberately drove Macrae off the road. [...]



Willie McRae Part 23: Crown Office Stance Hardens

2017-05-13T17:30:12.448+01:00

  Let them turn their face from the common people and for ever be shamed   This is an unplanned post written at short notice. I have just come across an article in today’s Sunday Herald which highlights the new campaign for a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Willie’s death. The article gives background to Macrae’s last hours, the new campaign, Fergus (Willie’s younger brother) Macrae’s belief that there is nothing to learn about Willies death – it was suicide.  Note: I posted earlier today about why I can’t agree with Fergus. The key passage, however, is the very last sentence, Read it again!  The Crown Office is quoted as saying, Crown Counsel are satisfied with the extensive investigations into the death of William Macrae and Crown Counsel ….. have instructed that an FAI will not be held into the circumstances of Mr McRae’s death Effectively, the Crown Office is saying that there can be no new evidence  ….  ever ….. which could have them question the investigation and open an inquiry.   That’s really interesting because on Wednesday I will publish detailed evidence from Donald Morrison, a retired Glasgow policeman, who not only   knew Macraeknew of Special Branch surveillance of Macraeknew of Special Branch removing documents from Macrae’s officebut saw Macrae being observed and followed at speed on his last ever Friday as he prepared to leave Glasgow for his holiday home near Dornie.   I will present detailed evidence for all of this.   But yet the Crown Office is not for turning.   The Crown Office may deny justice in the Scottish courts.   But they cannot deny justice in the court of public opinion.   Let them turn their face from the common people and for ever be shamed   __________________________________________________________________ If you have thoughts, or more, feel free to: email me at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom or tweet me at @calumcarr © CalumCarr 2015 __________________________________________________________________ COPYRIGHT Copyright over this article is retained by me, CalumCarr. Please feel free to reproduce extracts and images provided you attribute the words and images to me taking into account the provisos below. If you wish to use more than one quarter of the article then contact me for permission at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom. [...]



Willie McRae Part 22: I Can’t Agree with Fergus

2017-05-13T17:27:47.204+01:00

  I am in a very difficult position!   In 1985, Willie’s family, including brother Fergus, said that they did not want a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) to be held into his death.  No FAI was held, the police and Crown Office, having already come to the view that Willie had committed suicide. [Source]   Over the years, Fergus’ view hasn’t changed and now, just three weeks ago,  he has re-stated his position in the Express.   Paula Murray’s article states, Dr Fergus McRae said demands for a public or fatal accidents inquiry were “futile” and insisted he did not for a moment believe there to be any suspicious circumstances.   Fergus Macrae is quoted as saying, I was completely confused at the time but I knew some background that a lot of people didn’t. It is not something I was willing to go into at the time and it is not something I am willing to go into now either. and I don’t understand why this is still going on. I find it very difficult to understand, I don’t know what their [campaigners’] motives are. All the people I know have had this fully explained to them but for some reason this goes on and on and on. There is no question in my mind of what happened. There was no murder or anything like that. I am absolutely positive about that. He did not discover anything that would have put his life at risk. There is no reason not to accept the official turn of events.   I understand Mr Macrae was approached for comments only a few days after a group ‘announced it was planning to petition the Lord Advocate to launch a fresh investigation into the case.’   Yes, I am in a very difficult position because I believe that there should be an inquiry! And I still do despite knowing Mr Macrae’s current views.   Many will think I am wrong and ask, What gives you the right to go against the expressed wishes of Willie’s brother? What gives you the right to drag details of Willie’s death and life back into the public domain? Why can’t you leave Willie and his family alone at last after 30 years?   Let me try to explain but first I must point out that I give my views only.  Although I have been involved with the campaign group to which Paula Murray alludes and I share their aims neither do I speak for them nor do I know their views on this matter.   I can’t know the pain that Fergus and the Macrae family suffered with Willie’s sudden, premature and violent death: it is beyond my imagining.  This would be terrible even if they had found peace as the years passed but they have not been afforded this.  Countless times over the last 30 years, individuals – and I am one – and groups have returned over and over again raking over the details bringing Willie’s death and life back into the public realm and, I imagine, re-opening the sore. It is no wonder Fergus wants an end to this. He is as convinced as it’s possible to be that Willie took his own life.  He ‘knows’ an inquiry will bring nothing new but will bring back old pain.  Please stop!   I know this and yet I will not stop.  I continue not because I know what happened and want to have it proved. I continue because I do not know what happened. I continue because there are questions and doubts about the suicide label. Justice might have been done with the police and Crown Office investigations but justice hasn’t been seen to be done.  There will only be closure when the public see that justice has been done. Justice is for all of u[...]



Willie McRae Part 21: My Next Steps

2017-05-13T17:27:34.299+01:00

In Parts 1 to 20 I wrote extensively about the background to the mystery and about the evidence released by the police and the Crown Office. In this phase I will look critically at information from other (non-state) sources.  These sources are many and varied and their information ranges massively in credibility.  Let me be clear here that I have seen no information which shows murder as the likely cause of Willie’s death but there is information which raises questions of sufficient importance to merit an FAI.  Some may find it difficult to understand how I can be neutral about the cause of death but certain about the need for an FAI.  Inquiries are held where knowledge is required, where there is doubt, where there are unanswered questions.  The mystery over Willie’s death fits perfectly into this description. Let me also be clear that I do not want an FAI so that Willie’s death can be shown to be murder.  I want an inquiry so that justice can be seen to have been done even if Willie’s death was suicide. In the posts to come I will present information which I believe asks important questions.  As always I will be as even-handed as I can.   I have six posts ready to go which will appear over the next five days. In Part 22, I explain how, despite the pleading of Willie’s brother (Fergus), I am continuing my study and my call for a Fatal Accident Inquiry. Thereafter are four posts in which I look at the possible involvement of the Special Branch.   Part 23: I look at the principles by which I judge if possible Special Branch involvement merits an inquiry.   Part 24: I show how the Crown Office has responded to previous calls for an FAI.   Part 25: I lay out the detailed evidence of Donald Morrison, a retired Glasgow policeman, who knew Macrae and who claims that Special Branch were actively involved with Willie on the day he left Glasgow and in the weeks leading up to his death.  I think you will be amazed, shocked and possibly angry!   Part 26: I lay out Donald’s evidence again with no comment from me other than explaining how I came to produce this document.  You may find this an easier way of grasping the extent of his evidence.   Part 27:  I critically assess the impact of Donald’s evidence on the previous position of the Crown Office.   After this, I’m not sure on which area I will alight although the position of the revolver relative to Willie’s car must have a good chance of appearing.   See you tomorrow!   __________________________________________________________________ If you have thoughts, or more, feel free to: email me at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom or tweet me at @calumcarr © CalumCarr 2015 __________________________________________________________________ COPYRIGHT Copyright over this article is retained by me, CalumCarr. Please feel free to reproduce extracts and images provided you attribute the words and images to me taking into account the provisos below. If you wish to use more than one quarter of the article then contact me for permission at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom. [...]



Willie Macrae: Update and Holiday

2015-03-09T10:00:03.573+00:00

 

A week ago, I published the last two parts (19 and 20) of Phase 1 of my study – a review of the police and Crown Office evidence.

 

My intention had been to continue without a break and look at the the media’s and campaigners’ case.  I would have pulled it apart as I did with the official narrative. 

 

But I need to recharge my batteries and so I’m taking a few weeks off - I’ll be back in April.




Willie McRae Part 20: Crown Office and FAI

2017-05-13T17:27:21.588+01:00

Recently I have been involved in very preliminary discussions about how best to move forward with the demand for an FAI into Macrae’s death.  Some might be surprised, given my stated neutrality, that I would become involved.Let me explain briefly. I am still neutral.But I can understand the frustration of those who have been trying for years to have the Crown Office hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry only to be rebuffed.  I only have to remember Police Scotland’s refusal to answer Delamore’s three simple questions through a Freedom of Information request to feel frustration at the apparent senselessness of the decision. [Delamore’s questions:When were the photographs of Macrae’s car taken?; when was the car removed?; when was the post mortem carried out?]Although neutral, I am in favour of more, much more, information being released and, if that is done through an FAI then fine.  Therefore, when invited to be part of a short conversation about how best to push for an FAI, I accepted.For the avoidance of doubt, I must say that I wrote this post in early February, a few days before the conversation, and so the words here are mine alone and are not influenced by the other conversationalists. In Part 19 I used the officially released documents to support, as best I could, the contention that Willie Macrae committed suicide.  I looked too at the very different way in which the Crown Office made their case.Today I cast my eye over the Crown Office and their continuing refusal to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry and the implications this has on supporters of an FAI.The ‘Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976’ is the legislation which underpins the Scottish system of Fatal accident Inquiries and the relevant paragraph for Willie Macrae’s death is1 (1) bit appears to the Lord Advocate to be expedient in the public interest in the case of a death to which this paragraph applies that an inquiry under this Act should be held into the circumstances of the death on the ground that it was sudden, suspicious or unexplained, or has occurred in circumstances such as to give rise to serious public concern,There is some specific language which describes the type of death which can be considered for an FAI, sudden, suspicious or unexplained, or has occurred in circumstances such as to give rise to serious public concern, There is lots of woolly language which gives the Lord Advocate plenty scope to do as he sees fit it appears to the Lord Advocate to be expedient in the public interest and a death whichor has occurred in circumstances such as to give rise to serious public concern But wooliness apart, it is this paragraph [1. (1) b] that FAI campaigners must use to convince the Lord Advocate of the need to hold an FAI and there are two challenges to be met.  Firstly, their evidence must meet the threshold of either showing the death was sudden, suspicious or unexplained, or the circumstances of the death were such as to give rise to serious public concern and then, they must convince the Lord Advocate of that fact.  You might think that meeting the threshold and convincing are one and the same thing and many times you would be correct but the Lord Advocate, current and previous, and the Crown Office, in general, have shown themselves to be very defensive when their decisions are questioned.In Part 19 I mentioned Lord Carmylie’s utter disdain and utter certainty when writing to Nicholas Fairbairn about Macrae’s death and the campaign for [...]



Willie McRae Part 19: Case for Suicide

2017-05-13T17:27:09.736+01:00

In this 19th post, I use the material released by the police and Crown Office to make the best case I can for Willie Macrae’s death being suicide.  I do this, not because I believe he took his life - I have no view either way -  but, because I haven’t seen the case made coherently.  Yes, there have been bits and pieces but no single narrative. It will be this case that those who, for a variety of reasons, can’t accept a suicide ‘verdict’ need to dismantle or damage. For those who are just joining the series here let me lay out my position and approach.  When I came across Willie’s death in November last year I was intrigued by the mystery; such certainty from the Crown Office, such doubt from others; so many conflicting media reports.  I couldn’t come down for any position.  I would need to read and analyse and think from a position of absolute neutrality. I take this neutrality into even this post where I do my best to construct the case for suicide.  The thoughts and views which follow are not mine rather they are how I imagine a suicide supporter would construct the case. Also for comparison I show the Crown Office’s attempt at making the case for suicide. ________________________ Willie Macrae Killed Himself I understand the difficulty that many of you will have with accepting this statement.  I understand the sincerity with which you hold your views.  Of course, there cannot be absolute certainty because there were no witnesses and no definitive evidence but there is a massive weight of evidence for suicide and an absence of evidence for murder or conspiracy.  This puts far beyond reasonable doubt …. Willie Macrae shot himself in the head. He was hugely talented.  He was charismatic. He was troubled …. terribly.  He suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts so much so that his younger brother, a GP, had taken his unlicenced revolver from him.  Unfortunately, this was returned to him when his brother considered that his mental state had improved. He drank much more than was good for him.  He had been convicted twice for drink driving and had another offence pending. He faced prison.  He feared prison. On Thursday, 4 April 1985, there had been a fire at his home, the cause of which is unknown but about which there has been speculation. On Friday, 5 April, Macrae asked his partner (in his legal firm) to visit him at home and told him that he was going to his holiday home in Dornie for the weekend.  But so concerned was Ronald Welsh (partner) about Macrae’s mental health that at 7.30pm he phoned Macrae’s Dornie home to check that he had arrived safely.  When his call went unanswered, Welsh telephoned every police station between Glasgow and Kyle. All of this information was unknown when Police Constable Kenny Crawford received a call at Fort Augustus police station at about 11.15 on the morning of Saturday, 6 April.  A car had crashed and was off the road between Kyle and Invergarry. When he arrived at the scene,  Crawford found Macrae unconscious with a head wound.  There being no reason to suspect anything other than a one car accident, there was no need to preserve the site as a crime scene.  Crawford’s priority was to ensure Macrae – he had been identified by a witness already present – was removed from the car and taken to Raigmore hospital without delay.  This having been achiev[...]



Music in the Morning No. 453 - Dario Rossi

2015-02-24T06:00:02.384+00:00

 

Music?  You may wonder.

But I love this.

 

Sit back, relax and love or hate Dario’s ‘music’.

 

Unknown                                                                                     Dario Rossi

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Well?




Willie McRae Part 18: Journey’s Start

2017-05-13T17:26:55.690+01:00

For more than two months now, this case has been a huge part of my life and still I haven’t reached the end of the police evidence.  Almost but not quite.  And then I move on to the claims which undermine parts of the official case, but claims which are virtually impossible to substantiate.  That’s when my role becomes incredibly difficult and I don’t know how I will handle that.But there’s time. I haven’t finished with the police and Crown Office yet.Today I move back to the fateful Friday, 5th April 1985.  Good Friday.  And the start of Willie’s journey as recorded and released by Northern Constabulary and the Crown Office.  What others have said I’ll look at later in this series.  The two documents below are the entirety of the police information, as released publicly, about Willie Macrae’s last day as a sentient being.  Both documents have very similar descriptions and clearly Annex A was written using the first page of the synopsis as its basis.I leave you to read the words without comment or question from me.   [Sources: Top – Macrae A syn;   Lower – Annex A]  Every word written may be true.  I have no evidence to suggest otherwise. But the picture painted of Macrae could hardly be bettered if one were setting up a murder to be seen as suicide. A man battling depression and drink; convicted of drink driving with the prospect of prison after an, as yet, untried case.  A man with the means to kill himself – an un-licenced revolver. A friend so concerned for his mental health that, having failed to contact Macrae at his holiday home, phones every police station between Glasgow and Dornie.   This is the picture we’re given. Who could ever doubt that Macrae’s subsequent death could be anything but suicide? The scene set perfectly.  It is so easy to read the words as too good to be true; so easy to see the set up. It is so easy too for the proponents of suicide to rubbish the doubters so strong is the evidence of suicide.  The scene set for confusion and antagonism.  And there has been plenty of each.  It is into this picture that I need to start to bring in the evidence, the views and the thoughts of those outside the police and Crown Office.Only then can we see a fuller picture. Only then can we form a better view of how Willie Macrae died.  _________________________________________________________________ If you have thoughts, or more, feel free to: email me at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom or tweet me at @calumcarr   © CalumCarr 2015__________________________________________________________________ COPYRIGHT Copyright over this article is retained by me, CalumCarr. Please feel free to reproduce extracts and provided you attribute the words and images to me taking into account the provisos below. If you wish to use more than one quarter of the article then contact me for permission at calumsblogATgmailDOTcom. The rights to the images used remains with Police Scotland ____________________________________________________________ [...]



Music in the Morning No. 452 – Shovels & Rope

2015-02-23T06:00:05.139+00:00

 

Again!

Husband and wife, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, return for their 3rd visit.[1 and 2]

Enjoy …… again.

 

All Those Words                                                                   Shovels & Rope

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If I were producing new ‘Sunday Morning Coffee’s, Michael and Cathy would be close to the front.