By Molly Whittington-Egan
This medley of Scottish Murders doesn't take care of the despicable or the incomprehensible international of serial and psychopathic crimes, yet concentrates at the extra striking and Gothic whodunnits, a few of them recognized, a few now not so. the complete bankruptcy checklist is: The Misted Mountain, The Arran Case, 1889; The German Tea Planter, Broughty Ferry, 1912; The overdue Mr Toad, The Musselburgh Case, 1911; 'Oh, Loch Maree!', William Laurie King, Edinburgh, 1924; The working woman, Christina Gilmour, 1843; The traveling guy, Hugh Macleod, 1830; The bare Ghost, Sgt Arthur Davies, 1749; The Cinderella Syndrome, Bertie Wilcox, 1929; 'Holly Willie', William Bennison, 1850; A Tryst With Dr Smith, The St Fergus Case, 1853; The Wild ducks, the Saunders Case, 1913; The French Schoolmaster's spouse, Eugene Marie Chantrelle, 1878; The Ice-Field, the |Arran Stowaways,1868; The Toad within the Tunnel, The Garvie Case, 1968; Bible John, the Barrowland Ballroom Killings, 1968-9; Jock the Ripper, William Henry Bury,...
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Extra info for Scottish Murder Stories
The previous Sunday, she had attended St Andrew’s United Free Church, and on Monday 14th she had been at a Home Mission meeting in Dundee. After her shopping expedition on that Tuesday, she was missed, her absences remarked, but not so acutely that anyone felt inspired to take action until the postman, for the usual obvious reasons, went to the police on Saturday November 2nd. On Wednesday October 16th, after sunset, David Kinnear, an elder of the church had called at Elmgrove with her Communion card for the following Sunday, but found the house in darkness without the glow of candlelight.
We can have no confidence in her assiduity in regularly cleaning out the grate. The ashes could have been the remains of a fire which pre-dated the murder. We know that the German tea-planter was present in the room on September 19th, and the cigar could have fallen from him on that occasion. The point is that the cigar did not necessarily come from the lips of the murderer, nor from the gentleman caller expected to supper (keeping the two personages separate for the time being). It could even have come to rest in the cold ashes after the murder.
William Roughead refers to her misfortunately as ‘in her new avatar [incarnation] of an antique charmer’. This might have been side-splitting at the time, but now seems like a disservice to the ‘venerable anchorite of Broughty Ferry’. Although, of course, such things do happen, the age-gap of 25 years would appear to be too extreme. Why would he have approached this singularly unprotected lady in the public rooms of a hotel? What could she have known reliably of his background? Suppose that all were platonic, even if she did not view it thus: a mere holiday friendship, a lonely foreigner, a genuine desire to help so vulnerable a creature and a shared liking of devotional literature?