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Tags David Gilroy , murder cases , Scotland cases

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Old 5th June 2019, 05:02 AM   #681
Rolfe
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Would anyone like to defend the possibility that Gilroy is innocent?

His story is something like this. He was only away from the main office for seven minutes around nine o'clock (on the Tuesday), when he's supposed to have carried out the murder. That's not long enough for the events that are supposed to have taken place. (Escalating argument taken to the basement for privacy, him losing it and strangling her, and concealing the body in the alcove.)

His story about leaving the only copy of the minutes of the meeting at home, taking a taxi to his stepmother's house, getting a spare house key from her (as he had come out without a key), her driving him to his house, then him coming back to the office in his own car as this was the quickest thing to do at the time is absolutely on the level, no ulterior motive about needing to get the car so he could transport a body, not at all.

On the Wednesday he really did have a prior arrangement to go to the school at Lochgilphead. Everybody was fussing about Suzanne being missing and he'd had it up to here with Suzanne and he just wanted to get out of the place so he decided to keep the appointment.

His car was already damaged before he left. (To me, this makes the decision to go to Lochgilphead even less credible - over six hours of driving, in a car with three broken suspension coils?) He was concerned enough about the car to have looked underneath it when he stopped at the petrol station in Queensferry Road and there's CCTV footage of him doing that. (But he still decided to drive 135 miles to Lochgilphead...)

He turned his phone off when he left the M9 to save the battery, and also on the way back, the "radio silence" from his phone was just him saving the battery in the middle of the journey both times.

After he passed the Green Welly Stop (which was about twenty past one) he was again so concerned about the state of his car that he pulled over to have another look at it. He doesn't remember exactly where he did that. (Bear in mind the Green Welly Stop has a petrol station with a forecourt, and a big car park. But he drove straight past that without going in and stopped by the roadside somewhere after that to look under his car.) He doesn't think he stopped for as long as an hour and 50 minutes. He wasn't in a hurry. Whatever.

On the way back, same thing. But this time, before he got to the Green Welly, with its garage facilities, help etc., he stopped again at the roadside to look at his car. This time he got out the jack and jacked the car up. He didn't think this took as long as an hour and a half but whatever. (Bear in mind that by this time it was about half past seven and he'd told the cops he'd be at Corstorphine by half past nine, so the whole "not being in any particular hurry" schtick doesn't really fly this time.)

He didn't take the Loch Lomondside road at all, no sirree. He drove back via Lochearnhead and Callander. But what about all those phone mast connections to masts by Loch Lomondside and all across through Drymen, including while he was actually having a conversation with the police, telling them he was nearly at Stirling, but which happened when the phone was connected to a mast at Gartocharn (which is south of Loch Lomond and a long way before Stirling)? No answer at all about that as far as I know. He just says he didn't go that way.

The bin bags were just wee pedal bin liners. He only wanted something to take sweetie papers and sandwich wrappers out of his car, to tidy it up. You see, he'd been asked to go to the police station on the way back, and he didn't want the police to see his car looking untidy when they inspected it.

The "air fresheners" were just those wee solid blocks you buy to fit inside toilets. He just bought them for the house.

So that's his story, as far as I know. Does anybody buy it?
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Old 5th June 2019, 06:27 AM   #682
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Well, here's my thoughts.

I think a major row with someone who has a hair trigger could escalate into a strangling within seven minutes. (Bear in mind Gilroy was ex-military, and this is also a point to remember when thinking about shifting a 70 kg body.) What has always surprised me about this is that he went back into the office almost immediately after carrying out an unpremeditated murder. That's some cool. But he may have realised that minimising the time he was seen to be absent was important. But if he was innocent, what rotten luck for him that he just happened to be out of the office at that exact time.

The story about the minutes seems very thin to me. In 2010 these things are on your computer, not just on a piece of paper. Was he saying the only copy was on his home computer and he couldn't access that from the office? That's a bit weird, writing minutes on your home computer rather than your office desktop or a laptop you carry with you. And having these minutes was really that essential? This one, to me, is a "bald and unconvincing narrative". However, if he was innocent, what rotten luck for him that he did this. If he'd just stayed in the office all day and got the bus home, he probably wouldn't have been a realistic suspect at all as he'd have had no way to get the body out of the office premises.

The next day he just wanted to get out of the office and all this fuss about bloody Suzanne not having come in. (No thoughts about all these texts she was apparently sending to him just having stopped suddenly at exactly the time she didn't arrive at her desk, that wasn't worrying him, was it? He just stopped replying to her texts with some sense of relief, that's all?) Well, OK, but at the same time his car's suspension is absolutely wrecked. The entire journey is about 270 miles and most of it isn't motorway. In what universe is this a sensible decision? But if he was innocent, what rotten luck for him that he decided to do that. If he'd just stayed in the office all day he probably wouldn't have pinged the police radar as a suspect until much later in the proceedings, at least.

He wasn't in any particular hurry. He left the office about 11 o'clock. The actual driving time to Lochgilphead and back is six and a half hours. Adding say an hour for the business he had to do there would take him through to 6.30 in the evening. Just how relaxed about time is it normal to be on a business trip like this? It wasn't a picnic outing.

So his concerns about the state of the car intensified and he decided to stop to take a look. How quickly do you make that decision, when the car hasn't actually broken down? Do you pass what's probably the best place to stop and take a look, and then within a few minutes decide to stop in some random layby? There's a petrol station in Inveraray too. If you've already passed the Green Welly before you decide to stop and investigate, why not drive on to that one?

Now, an hour and 50 minutes. Doing what? There's nothing you can do about broken suspension coils, by the roadside. It's not like changing a wheel. You either drive on or you call the AA. It doesn't take an hour and 50 minutes to decide. He didn't think he stopped for so long. Well, that's how much time was missing. He doesn't seem to have any other explanation.

The bin liners and the car-clearing exercise. He wanted the car to be tidy when the police inspected it. Hold on a minute. He's innocent, right? He thinks he's going to the police station to help with the search for Suzanne, because he may have been the last person to see her alive (he said he'd seen her on the Monday). Why would it even cross his mind that the police would want to inspect his car?

Same explanation for the delay on the way back. Again he was concerned about the state of the car, and decided (yet again) to take a look. This time he actually jacked the car up. I'm told it's possible to see the suspension coils when you look under a car, and to tell that they're broken. Had he clocked that during his first extended inspection of them on the way out? If so, what did he think jacking the car up was going to achieve? And why do this before you get to the Green Welly, rather than driving in there and doing it? It doesn't take an hour and a half to jack a car up. Did he think if he stared at them long enough they'd magically repair themselves or something? But again he didn't call the AA, he just got back in the car and drove 100 miles back to Edinburgh.

And he took a 20-mile detour that added half an hour on to his journey, even though it was already getting dark and even without the detour he wouldn't have got to Corstorphine before eleven, when he'd originally told the police he'd be there at 9.30. And no I have no idea why he continues to maintain that he didn't take that detour when there's clear evidence that he did.

But you know, what rotten luck for him that he wasted so much time on his journey, with such a thin explanation and absolutely no proof for it. If he'd just driven directly to Lochgilphead and back it wouldn't have looked nearly so incriminating.

Just look at the rotten luck poor innocent David Gilroy had that day.

His ex-girlfriend with whom he was in a "tempestuous" relationship (and who had just found a new man) vanishes off the face of the earth within a very few minutes in a well-defined place. He just happens to be present at that well-defined place, and off the radar for exactly these few minutes.

He didn't have his car in at work, without which he couldn't have concealed a body. But he just happened to rush home and collect the car an hour or two later, for what seems to be a pretty flimsy reason.

He had arranged to visit the school at Lochgilphead some time previously, and booked car parking space for the Wednesday in anticipation, but somehow no record of that arrangement was available, it wasn't recalled by anyone, and there was no evidence that the car parking space had been booked before Suzanne's disappearance.

He didn't cancel this extremely non-urgent appointment, either on account of the concern about Suzanne, or because his car was quite seriously damaged.

Despite the car not being nearly as badly damaged as the police made out (he says), he still found it necessary to spend a total of nearly three and a half hourse investigating the damage - even though it was something he couldn't possibly do anything about by the roadside

All of this just happened by chance to him, at the same time as someone else lured Suzanne into a car and drove away with her. I don't buy it.

He's apparently not happy that his lawyers didn't put this explanation to the court. Well, now he isn't. His actual appeal grounds wanted to have the statement where he gave that explanation disallowed, on the grounds that he hadn't been cautioned and was ostensibly only being interviewed as a witness, but in fact he was a suspect and should have been cautioned. (Personally I think the lawyers didn't want to put that explanation to the court because it was so flimsy and unconvincing it would have been torn to shreds and he'd have looked even more guilty.)

But hey, maybe I'm being unfair. Does anyone want to take his side on this?
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Old 5th June 2019, 06:45 AM   #683
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Actually, I've just had a thought about the petrol station in Inveraray. It's on the Dalmally road, just before the junction of the A819 from Dalmally with the A83.

https://goo.gl/maps/fhqxX1rJUR1LqXVs9

It's a real shame that one doesn't seem to have had a CCTV camera looking at the road. If Gilroy had been caught on that rather than the one at the Royal Burgh Cafe in Main Street West, which is on the A83 after the junction, we'd know for sure whether he drove straight to Inveraray then turned left towards the Rest and Be Thankful to lose the time there, or whether the lost time happened before he reached Inveraray. Pity that.
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Old 6th June 2019, 04:26 PM   #684
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"Would anyone like to defend the possibility that Gilroy is innocent?"

No.

"taking a taxi to his stepmother's house, getting a spare house key from her (as he had come out without a key), her driving him to his house"

Was anything discussed during this journey (with Gilroy and his stepmother, former Plymouth MP Linda Gilroy) on the way to Gilroys house ? Did he spill the beans ? Did he enlist her help ?

"His car was already damaged before he left"

When a suspension coil breaks the driver notices a clunking noise, especially when steering left or right, so even if one of his cars suspension coils were broken prior to the journey to Lochgilphead to then have three broken suspension coils on his car when he got back to Edinburgh would just be very unlucky or involve some off roading.

When the car wheel encounters a bump/pothole in the road and causes the spring to coil and uncoil, the energy of the spring is transferred to the shock absorber through the upper mount, down through the piston rod and into the piston.

When a suspension coil breaks the car can still be driven but it is not recommended as this means the broken suspension coil is not effective when absorbing impacts from potholes and the shock absorber works harder.

Worst case scenario is the suspension coil breaks and the shock absorber cannot absorb the full impact and parts of the broken suspension coil penetrates the tyre.

If Gilroys assertion that the damage to his car occurred prior to 5th May 2010 then how did his car have three broken suspension coils prior to his journey to Lochgilphead - was there an east coast disposal on the night of Tuesday 4th May 2010 ?

"He didn't take the Loch Lomondside road at all, no sirree. He drove back via Lochearnhead and Callander. But what about all those phone mast connections to masts by Loch Lomondside and all across through Drymen, including while he was actually having a conversation with the police, telling them he was nearly at Stirling, but which happened when the phone was connected to a mast at Gartocharn (which is south of Loch Lomond and a long way before Stirling)? No answer at all about that as far as I know. He just says he didn't go that way."

I wondered about this, whether the phone expert was mistaken or whether Gilroy thought the police would not bother to match his phone signals to the masts on his route back to Edinburgh.

I think that when he walked into the police station he still thought he could get away with it, he thought he could give a plausible explanation for his lengthy Lochgilphead trip and the police would not look too deeply into his his story and he could walk away.

Suzanne Pilleys case is similar to an ongoing investigation into missing Emma Faulds

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...-west-48238042

"Actually, I've just had a thought about the petrol station in Inveraray. It's on the Dalmally road, just before the junction of the A819 from Dalmally with the A83."

If only this camera was pointing to the A819/A83 junction and was working.

Inveraray petrol station camera.jpg

Moving on to the soil types (again)
Glen Shira was searched but Glen Fyne was not searched (according to the search map pdf)
Both areas have the same soil types, there must be a reason ?
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Old 7th June 2019, 04:18 AM   #685
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
Was anything discussed during this journey (with Gilroy and his stepmother, former Plymouth MP Linda Gilroy) on the way to Gilroys house ? Did he spill the beans ? Did he enlist her help?

I don't think Linda Gilroy, the former MP, can possibly be David Gilroy's stepmother. Here is the Wikipedia article about her. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Gilroy

Quote:
Gilroy was selected to stand for Labour in the 1997 election through an all-women shortlist. She was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 General Election for Plymouth Sutton with a majority of 9,440 and made her maiden speech on 27 October 1997. She was re-elected at the 2001 and the 2005 General Elections. Linda Gilroy contested the 2010 General Election in the newly created seat of Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, however lost she the seat to Oliver Colvile, who won the seat with a majority of just 1,149 votes.

She fought the 2010 general election as the Labour candidate for a seat in Devon. The 2010 general election was held the day after David Gilroy's drive to Argyll - this was one of the "hooks" the police were using to jog people's memories and they spoke to political activists who were out leafleting the day before the election.

There is no way someone who was standing for a Westminster seat in a constituency in Devon, who was already a sitting MP for the area, was living quietly at home in Edinburgh two days before the election, and driving her stepson to fetch his car.
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Old 7th June 2019, 05:11 AM   #686
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My mistake, not stepmother ex MP Linda Glroy but mother Grace Gilroy,West Pilton Place, Edinburgh (aged 76 in 2012.)

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.c...ared-1-2142333

"The court also heard from Gilroy’s mother, Grace Gilroy, 76, who said her son came to her home in West Pilton Place on the morning Ms Pilley disappeared, between 9am and 10am. She said her son had taken a taxi from his office to her address, and she had then driven him to his Silverknowes home after giving him keys to get in."
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Old 7th June 2019, 06:16 AM   #687
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Ex-MP defends guilty stepson
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Old 7th June 2019, 08:49 AM   #688
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[Cross-posting here]

I understand that David Gilroy's stepmother [ETA, whom I now see is indeed the ex-MP] is thoroughly convinced of his innocence. She apparently believes his story about stopping to stare at his broken suspension coils for three hours and so on. I wonder if there is a bit of denial going on. I understand there were friends of Harold Shipman who absolutely believed in his innocence until very late on in the proceedings (I think it was the revelation that he had retrospectively altered his victims' medical records that was the last straw), and people who are close to an accused can be very reluctant to accept that they're actually guilty. In the Gilroy case there isn't a smoking gun like the medical records so someone who is very disposed to regard him as innocent may be able to cling to that position.

I think it's very unlikely that Gilroy would have confessed to anyone and enlisted their help. As soon as someone else knows what he's done, that's a risk that person might either turn him in or inadvertently reveal his guilt. A friend suggested he might have enlisted the help of an ex-army buddy, but I think you'd have to be extraordinarily close to someone to approach them with that request and I haven't seen any evidence that Gilroy was very close to any of his army mates, or that he contacted anyone like that in the immediate aftermath of the murder. Certainly he did contact his stepmother mother, but realistically what could she do? I can't see it.

I was thinking much the same as you [NotD], about the suspension coils. If one was broken before he started, how did that happen? There were some nasty potholes around that spring though, it could have been something that just happened. He might have decided to go on, with one broken coil. But then how on earth did he manage to fracture two more, and one in two places? One broken coil isn't going to predispose the others to breaking to that extent - it still suggests off-road adventures.

Or if he broke three suspension coils before he set out for Argyll, how did that happen? Again it suggests some major off-road driving and brings the focus back to a possible overnight disposal. One way or another, those suspension coils got broken, and it's extremely unusual to see so many fractures in a street car. It's one more thing to add to the litany of things Gilroy was extremely unlucky about. He was out of sight at the exact time Suzanne disappeared. He went home to get his car on what seems a very flimsy pretext. He decided to go to Lochgilphead rather than staying in the office the next day. Rather than go straight there and straight back he wasted well over three hours on the journey with absolutely no evidence available to show he was doing something perfectly innocent. And his car suspension was smashed up in a way that could really only happen if he'd driven it over some very rough going. What lousy luck he had, indeed.

My thoughts on the Loch Lomond detour are rather different from yours, but I admit this is pure speculation.

I think Gilroy set out from Edinburgh knowing exactly where he was going, because he'd been there before and knew it was an excellent place to dispose of a body. I can't explain the non-stop drive to Tyndrum otherwise. I think we start looking at this the wrong way round, imagining Gilroy heading "blind" for Lochgilphead, simply intending to find a disposal site en route. If he already knew of a great place to dispose of a body that was less than 20 minutes off his regular route to Lochgilphead, that could have driven the whole thing. The sudden appointment there, the direct drive through some pretty stellar body-losing countryside (Strathyre and surroundings), and a bee-line for his chosen site somewhere past Tyndrum.

So that's the first part of the plan. I think he realised he was likely to be suspected and his route would be investigated, so I think he'd have gone for a burial rather than concealing the body in a commercial forestry plantation (where I really don't think you can dig unless you have a chain saw for the roots). Sure, dumping a body in the middle of one of those plantations might be enough to prevent it being stumbled upon by accident in the short to medium term, but it probably wouldn't be enough to foil an organised police search, and in the longer term, he needs that body to stay hidden for forty to fifty years.

But then, he'd still rather his chosen place wasn't searched by the police. So he hatches a plan to leave a mobile phone connection trail that will look as if he'd driven to Lochgilphead the other way. He makes sure his phone is only on when he's on roads that are common to both routes. But then on the way home he thinks, if I turn down the A82 at Crianlarich and switch my phone on at Tarbet, then it really will look as if I came through Arrochar on the way back at least. It's not a major part of the plan, it's a bit of an embellishment. But then, in the gathering dusk, tired and stressed, he switches the phone on at Inveruglas instead of Tarbet.

Then he gets to the police station, and that part of the plan really isn't going to fly. The police ask him which way he came, and he realises he has to tell the truth about going via Tyndrum because if he doesn't, and they find out, it's going to look even worse for him. So he admits to his actual route through Tyndrum. But then, how to explain the Loch Lomondside detour? He can't. There's no rational reason for going that way. So he just falls back on denial. I really don't think there's any possibility the mobile phone guy could be mistaken. It's not as if it was only the one connection either, it was all the way back to Edinburgh starting at Ardlui. (A friend who has an app that tells him which mast he's connected to says he quite often finds himself connected to a mast at Drochil Castle when he's at home in the village. That's 5 miles away (8 km) and nowhere close to line of sight, and there are other masts that are much closer. So if that can happen, getting Ardlui when you're actually at Inveruglas isn't even surprising.)

I think he wasn't expecting to be put on the spot so early. At that point Suzanne was just a competent adult who hadn't been seen for 36 hours. It usually takes longer than that for the hue and cry to start. I think he expected a few days grace to work on his story, and maybe the opportunity to let the police assume he'd driven via Arrochar. But when he was directly questioned immediately on his return he realised he had to ditch that plan. Then he didn't have an explanation for the detour.

I know, this is fairly thin, but I can't think of anything better.

Regarding the Londis petrol station, you're right, that camera is pointing at the crucial junction. And it's there in every Streetview image from April 2009 to 2016. If it doesn't get the southbound carriageway it sure as hell should get the northbound (although given the position of that arch I'd say it should get everything). Why the hell wasn't he caught on that? It would put the Rest and Be Thankful theory to bed forever if he had been.

Driving the route as far as Tyndrum I noticed two other petrol stations, one just before Callander and one at Liss Toll. I don't think they're that important, but it's slightly surprising there isn't a record of him passing either of these. I suppose it shows it's a bit hit and miss whether these cameras pick up passing traffic. Possibly even whether they're operational at any given moment.

I don't understand the choice of areas searched. As you say, why not Glen Fyne? Maybe because there's relatively little tree cover there and more houses than in some other places? But even so. And what about the south side of Glen Kinglas? There's no consistency at all between the soil map and the areas searched and I really don't understand this. And in particular I can't see any point in searching the immediate sides of the B8074 (and indeed the B839) when nobody in their right mind would unload a body from a car parked on or right beside a public road, and the state of his car if pretty fair proof he went up a forestry track. The map suggests they didn't go up the Allt Broighleachan track, even though they went past the bridge at the road-end. If that's the case, I totally struggle to understand the thinking.

As regards the suspension damage, this is really striking. Here is the Venables photo of the ford across the track on the way to the deer fence, taken only 27 days after Gilroy's journey. I would imagine it would have looked about the same to Gilroy, as there wasn't an unusually dry spell at that time. You probably wouldn't realise that was more than a puddle, especially if your mind was mostly on other things.



Now here is the photo I took myself last month, when there had been an unusually dry spell and there was very little water in the channel.



It's a lot deeper than it looks in the Venables photo, and there's a fair hump on the far side. Hit that at any faster than a slow walking pace and you're in quite a lot of trouble.

Now that is beyond the picnic place so it argues against a disposal there, and I have to say the picnic place is my favoured spot. But it's a thought.

To be honest I hadn't realised they haven't found Emma Faulds yet, and yet they've charged someone. Ayrshire isn't Argyll, but if they don't find her soon it could turn into a very similar body-hunt.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:09 AM   #689
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
My mistake, not stepmother ex MP Linda Glroy but mother Grace Gilroy,West Pilton Place, Edinburgh (aged 76 in 2012.)

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.c...ared-1-2142333

"The court also heard from Gilroy’s mother, Grace Gilroy, 76, who said her son came to her home in West Pilton Place on the morning Ms Pilley disappeared, between 9am and 10am. She said her son had taken a taxi from his office to her address, and she had then driven him to his Silverknowes home after giving him keys to get in."

Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Ex-MP defends guilty stepson

OK, I see now, thanks to both of you. I had certainly been getting the mother and the stepmother mixed up. Clearly Linda Gilroy would have been very much occupied in Devon that day and it was Grace Gilroy who drove David to Silverknowes.

I knew that Grace and Andrea (his wife) were standing by David, but I hadn't really clocked Linda at all until recently, or properly separated Grace and Linda. My bad.

I note that David was only about 13 when his parents divorced and about 22 when his father married Linda. Given that he was a young adult by the time Linda became his stepmother it doesn't appear as if she had any real part in his upbringing. But she's certainly convinced of his innocence.

This raises something that's slightly puzzling. I understand that Linda is a major figure in the "David Gilroy is innocent" campaign, such as it is. But that there's no serious web presence for that campaign and no publicly available explanation of his side of the story because she's not really internet-savvy and doesn't see the point of enlisting public support, preferring to trust the courts and the legal system. Now if this had been a wee wummin from West Pilton I could just about have swallowed this, but we're talking about someone who was an MP for 13 years. Surely to God someone with that background should be capable of mounting a higher-profile campaign to help her stepson?
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:54 AM   #690
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I've been lurking in this thread for quite a while, but some recent comments here have finally piqued my curiosity enough to look for more information online. I came across this website claiming to be run by Gilroy's family. I haven't read it all yet, but what I've seen so far appears to be mainly attempts to handwave away or simply ignore inconvenient evidence (such as the travel time discrepancies).
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Old 7th June 2019, 03:22 PM   #691
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The police did not search Glen Fyne or Glen Aray.

The police did search Glen Croe, Lochgoilhead, Ardgartan, Glen Orchy and Glen Shira.

This is a screenprint showing FCS species locations from this website

https://www.environment.gov.scot/dat...forest-estate/

fcs .jpg

The screenprint highlights the FCS species locations which mirror the police search areas (Glen Fyne and Glen Aray are not marked)

It is possible the police used this information to refine the search areas.

As Glen Croe, Lochgoilhead and Ardgartan have been excluded as the disposal site (due to the time required to get there and back) it is possible that the disposal site is located in a small area of Glen Shira but more likely the disposal site is off the A85 between Tyndrum and Dalmally or off the B8074.

I would guess the police found Sitka Spruce needles on Gilroys car when they inspected his car.

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Old 7th June 2019, 03:39 PM   #692
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I've been lurking in this thread for quite a while, but some recent comments here have finally piqued my curiosity enough to look for more information online. I came across this website claiming to be run by Gilroy's family. I haven't read it all yet, but what I've seen so far appears to be mainly attempts to handwave away or simply ignore inconvenient evidence (such as the travel time discrepancies).

It's a long time since I looked at that site and I've now refreshed my memory. Some of it may be new since I read it earlier and it's probably my bad that I didn't remember about his stepmother being a former MP. Quite the family upheaval. Step-mum loses her seat to the Tories and son becomes the chief and only suspect in a murder case, all on the same day.

It's hopeless. It's all nitpicking about the CCTV evidence in Thistle Street and various other minor points, without going anywhere near the elephant in the room which is the missing time on the journey. I can see what they're trying to do, which is to allege it's impossible for Gilroy to have done what he was convicted of doing in the time available, but I don't think it flies. The judge referred to a prolonged struggle, but nobody really knows what happened in the basement. The actual killing, if by manual strangulation, could have taken a relatively short time. (In fact I suspect he didn't mean to kill her, probably throttled her for a relatively short time - say 30 seconds or so - got a fright when she went completely limp, and then on releasing her discovered she was actually dead, maybe from a carotid sinus effect. I've twice accidentally done that to a pony while collecting a blood sample, only unilateral so both times the ponies recovered, but it's scary sudden.) While I agree it's tight if the 7 minutes thing is definitely proved, it's not impossible. I also think it's likely the family are putting the tightest possible interpretation on the time window and it might not be quite that tight.

The stuff about the blue car making the illegal turn is more fluff. Is it likely that Suzanne, clearly on her way to work, just hopped into someone's car instead and was driven off? Or (even less likely) that she was dragged into the car against her will in the middle of the city centre just at the moment it's at its busiest, and nobody noticed? On the other hand, the chances of a driver dropping someone off at work and then making an illegal turn to get out of these congested small streets, and then not picking up on any police requests for them to come forward? High, I'd say.

Nothing is said about the journey home to get his car. He was in the office before nine. Grace put the time when she drove him to Silverknowes at between nine and ten. We know he didn't leave till some time after nine, and by the time he'd found a taxi and got to West Pilton we're probably around nine-thirty if he set off as soon as he conceivably could. From the perspective of guilt, that makes sense. He's desperate to get that body out of sight and into his car (possibly also realising that he has to get it into the car before rigor makes that impossible to achieve). So he goes immediately to get the car and presumably also something to line the boot with to prevent forensic transfer. From the perspective of innocence, it needs explaining. Why was the only copy of the essential meeting minutes he needed at home? Not a word about that.

It's implied that there is evidence that the Lochgilphead trip was indeed arranged before Suzanne disappeared, but no hint whatsoever is given as to what this evidence actually consists of. If it was clear and compelling I can't see why the defence wouldn't have used it, so I suspect it wasn't as clear and compelling as all that.

Then, about the missing time.

Quote:
Comparative timings and fuel consumption derived from police reconstruction journeys apparently showing David had driven further than he said and took longer on one leg of the journey than he should have done.

And that's it. Just one leg of the journey, note, and just "longer" with no indication of how much longer. And "apparently". Then there's just some hand-waving about how all these issues can be challenged, seguing into a comment about the suspension coils. Nothing at all to actually explain the missing time. Whichever way you slice it, we have the time he bought the diesel in Queensferry Road, and the time he signed in to the school reception, both clearly him with his face recognisable on CCTV, and these times are close to two hours too far apart. You can't handwave that away by quibbling about split times or implying that the police drove too fast to make him look bad.

The suspension coil link is actually quite interesting as it's a forum thread where about 20 people report problems with broken suspension coils on their Vauxhall Vectras over a period of three or four years. The implication is that it's not that uncommon a problem, Vectras seem to be rather prone to it, and it can happen without going up potholed tracks. It's a point, but I don't see anyone reporting three broken springs at one time. If anything it explains how the things broke at all because most people tend to comment that if you're careful on a track (and Gilroy's moderate-speed driving all day suggests he was being careful) then you wouldn't damage your suspension.

But anyway, not a word of explanation of the missing time, no acknowledgement that we're talking about three and a quarter hours when the Edinburgh-Lochgilphead journey is only three and a quarter hours (one way) in the first place! And no acknowledgement that he lost time both coming and going.

I think this is such a big incriminating point. If this was just an ordinary business appointment that he had decided not to cancel because he wanted to get out of the office, what is the explanation for losing so much time? If he'd gone straight there, spent only half an hour at the school, then driven straight back, he still wouldn't have been back in Edinburgh till about six. Job done, no need to go back to the office. Oh, but the damaged car!

As I said in a previous post, this story is inconsistent. First, it was damaged before he left, but this wasn't so serious to dissuade him from going. But then, some time between the Green Welly in Tyndrum and the Arch Service Station in Inveraray he decides to pull over for another look. Let's have some detail here! Did another spring give way at this point? Was he concerned that the spring might puncture the tyre? What on earth did he do about this that delayed him by nearly two hours?

The only other place this point is addressed is on a different page where Gilroy is said to have helped the police by "describing in detail (and mapping) his travel on 5th May including numerous stops." Numerous stops? As Spitfire says, this is handwaving. Were all these stops between Tyndrum and Inveraray? Or is he challenging the CCTV evidence of the timings? Since the car was clearly driveable, why keep stopping? Or why stop for so long? The dog ate my homework?

If you're going to Lochgilphead on business, you don't keep stopping. He didn't need to stop in order to kill the entire day and not go back to the office. If your car is giving trouble but is still driveable, you probably keep going. If you do stop, you choose somewhere with garage facilities, even if it's just a petrol station. You don't keep stopping at the roadside and then going on again. You don't stop for nearly two hours then just drive on, when it's a problem you can't do anything about anyway.

This is why the whole thing is so suspicious, and why I think it points strongly to the body disposal not being in the Lothians. If he was entirely innocent, the whole episode is completely senseless. If he did have car trouble he'd have spent a lot less time than that on investigating it, and he'd have pulled in to a petrol station to do that. If he was running a red herring after disposing of the body in the Lothians he'd have done enough to get the police interested in the journey and draw their attention away from points south of Edinburgh, but he'd have made sure that in the end his movements could be explained as innocent. As it is, his movements that day were a large part of the case against him.

The web site is a shocker. Compare this one. http://www.justiceforsionjenkins.org.uk/ Anyone reading that would understand the case against Sion Jenkins, the way the evidence was gathered, and the exact points where his supporters believed the evidence was misleading or had been wrongly interpreted. There's also detail on an alternative suspect the police failed to follow up which is a lot more concrete than "there was a blue car on CCTV that hasn't been traced".

The Gilroy one is long on irrelevant nitpicking detail and very short indeed on countering the actual grounds on which most of the rest of the world believes him to be guilty. I don't doubt his family genuinely believe he didn't do it, but if they want anyone else to share that belief they need to do a very much better job than that.
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Old 7th June 2019, 03:54 PM   #693
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
The police did not search Glen Fyne or Glen Aray.

The police did search Glen Croe, Lochgoilhead, Ardgartan, Glen Orchy and Glen Shira.

This is a screenprint showing FCS species locations from this website

https://www.environment.gov.scot/dat...forest-estate/

Attachment 40245

The screenprint highlights the FCS species locations which mirror the police search areas (Glen Fyne and Glen Aray are not marked)

It is possible the police used this information to refine the search areas.

As Glen Croe, Lochgoilhead and Ardgartan have been excluded as the disposal site (due to the time required to get there and back) it is possible that the disposal site is located in a small area of Glen Shira but more likely the disposal site is off the A85 between Tyndrum and Dalmally or off the B8074.

I would guess the police found Sitka Spruce needles on Gilroys car when they inspected his car.

Thanks, NotD, that's an interesting find. I imagine the police took advice directly from experts about the soil and vegetation thing rather than just looking at the data for themselves, but I still struggle to see what's going on. Hell's Glen doesn't feature in that map, but it was one of the main locations the police were interested in according to many of the press reports. Is it possible it's not FCS-owned so doesn't feature for that reason? And there's hardly any rationale for searching Glen Shira either. In contrast the Allt Broighleachan forest is lit up like an acid house Christmas tree, but they didn't go there, or not according to their map. It gets more confusing close-up to be honest and I can't even make out the pinewood reserve.

There's also the question of ground-cover vegetation. Heathers? Bog myrtle? Sphagnum moss? The trouble is, all these things are kind of all over, patchily, depending on the exact conditions at any one spot. I don't know how you narrow this down.

And I don't know how you go past the Eas Urchaidh bridge and not go up that bloody track. Unless they did, but didn't mark it on the map? I do know what countryside that has been searched for a body looks like as one of the notorious "railway line killings" in the 1980s happened right next to where I worked at the time and the police searched the area of the footpath I took to the station. They really did a number on it and cleared away brambles and so on - the area was scarcely recognisable by the time they'd finished. But what I don't know is how long evidence of such a search would stay visible for. I didn't see anything on the Allt Broighleachan track to suggest such a search but hey, nine years? I didn't see anything obvious on the sides of the B8074 either, though I admit I wasn't looking for it.
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Old 7th June 2019, 05:03 PM   #694
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By the way, I did a lot more to that paper I was working on last year. I've uploaded it in case anyone is interested enough to critique.

www.vetpath.co.uk/jref/gilroy.pdf
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Old 7th June 2019, 06:00 PM   #695
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18 months to find her

Still to read the complete pdf, but I will get round to it.

Have I interpreted this correctly ?

Gilroy was found guilty by majority verdict on 15 March 2012 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge ordered him to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

From website http://www.scottishparoleboard.gov.uk/faq.asp?q=8#8

Will the Board release an offender who denies his/her guilt?

"Yes. Release on parole does not depend upon an offender admitting his/her guilt"

When do I qualify for consideration for early release on parole?

"A determinate sentence prisoner serving a sentence of 4 years or more usually has his/her case referred to the Board about 16 weeks before reaching the half way point of the sentence."

The halfway point of 18 years in prison is 9 years (15 March 2012 plus 9 years is 15 March 2021)

From June 2019 until 15 March 2021 is about 20 months.

In November 2020 which is 16 weeks (4 months) before reaching the halfway point (March 15th 2021) Gilroy could be considered for release.

To summarise, in less than 18 months Gilroy will be considered for release from prison even if he does not admit his guilt.

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Old 8th June 2019, 05:01 AM   #696
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I don't think that's right. I had put it in my paper that he'd be eligible for parole at the half-way point of the 18 years but a lawyer friend said that wasn't the case any more. That there had been such public disquiet about people only serving half the court's sentence that it was now the case that an 18-year tariff was an 18-year sentence. Bear in mind of course that in murder convictions this is actually a life sentence and the 18 years is the punishment part of the sentence, the tariff. So I think he becomes eligible for parole after the tariff is up, that is in 2030.

Also, note the caveats surrounding that part about admitting guilt. It's not so much that they'd require him to admit guilt, as that they'd take a dim view of him not disclosing the whereabouts of his victim's body. Sure, to do that he'd have to admit guilt, but this isn't the same as requiring an admission of guilt. They can keep saying, "That's all very well Mr Gilroy but we thoroughly condemn your attitude in refusing to say where you hid the body," until Kingdom Come as far as I can see.


ETA: I see the passage now in the bit you quoted. "A determinate sentence." Gilroy has not been given a determinate sentence (that is a sentence of a stated number of years), he's been given a life sentence. The 18 years is only the tariff. That bit doesn't apply to him.
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Old 9th June 2019, 08:38 AM   #697
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Still trying to be fair (and applying the principles of the book on wrongful convictions that I'm reading at the moment), I can't even get this one to reasonable doubt.

Suzanne was showing every sign of going to work that morning. She had told Mark she was going to work. She was apparently wearing the same clothes as she had been wearing at the weekend but I don't know what the dress code was at IML and "going home to have a shower and get ready for work" which is what Mark thought he was taking her back to her flat to do, doesn't necessarily involve different clothes. A shower, clean underwear, and the same outer clothes isn't that remarkable.

She was still heading for work when she was caught on the Sainsbury's CCTV. She was buying a perfectly normal office-worker's lunch. There's no doubt about that identification. I think the later CCTV image only 20 yards from the IML entrance is her too. Why wouldn't it be? An expert said it was almost certainly her and while I don't necessarily trust experts I don't see any reason to doubt this one. The woman looks like her and the timing is right for it to be her if she was walking from Sainsbury's towards the entrance. But even if it wasn't, we don't have any reason at all to believe that Suzanne wasn't heading for work.

The idea that she would have done all the usual things about going to work, got very close to work and bought her lunch, with no intention of actually going to work, seems fanciful. The evidence also suggests that she was intending to return home at her usual time. She had made no arrangements for anyone to look after her cat, which was shut indoors in her flat - or her goldfish for that matter. She didn't have anything with her suggesting she had other plans, and certainly not that she was intending to stay away overnight.

Current squeeze was Mark, and she had indeed stayed overnight with him the previous night, but she had asked him to take her home in the morning - among other reasons so she could see to her pets. We don't know about anyone else in her life whom she might have been intending to see that morning, let alone run off with.

So she was only a few minutes from the front door even if you only count the Sainsbury's CCTV, and she never turned up at her desk. If she didn't actually enter the IML office building, what could have happened?

Gilroy has made a big deal about the small blue car that did an illegal turn out of Thistle Street and which has never been traced. But what could that have had to do with it? There's no way a woman could be snatched off the busy pavement in the city centre just before nine and bundled into a car against her will. This would have been remarked on, even by the douce citizens of Edinburgh. So if that car had anything to do with it she would have had to have got into it willingly.

Why? She wouldn't have got into a car at the behest of a stranger, so someone she knew? A sudden decision to kick over the traces and go off with an old flame (of which I gather there were quite a few)? I know her love life was "complicated", but this is pretty unlikely. Even more unlikely that said old flame then drove off with her and murdered her (which seems the only reasonable supposition given that she has never reappeared).

Any other possibilities? Thistle Street is right next to the bus station and very close to Waverley railway station. She could have simply walked to either of these public transport hubs and gone absolutely anywhere. Gilroy's SCCRC application complained that a lot of other CCTVs in the area hadn't been looked and and maybe there was evidence she had simply gone AWOL in the direction of a bus or a train. Without any luggage, without her passport, and leaving a cat shut in at home. If she had decided to go AWOL it was going to be a short trip. And why? She'd spent the bank holiday with Mark and seemed to be quite content to go back to work. Also, if I've got her route right, she was walking away from the bus station and the line of bus stops in Princes Street towards Thistle Street when she went into Sainsbury's, as if she'd got off a bus to go to work.

So this is all looking very tenuous. Either Suzanne jumped in a car within a very short distance of her work entrance and was abducted and murdered by the driver (whom we might surmise was someone she knew), or despite heading away from the public transport termini towards work, she turned tail and got on a bus or a train heading somewhere else, and was then abducted and murdered elsewhere. And if you're drawing any inferences from the allegedly "casual, not office wear" clothes she was wearing, this was premeditated? Or on the other hand she was intending to go to work in these clothes but she went off on a sudden whim either on her own or with someone she knew who just happened by in a car.

Am I being unfair when I say this is vanishingly improbable? The proposition that she actually entered the IML premises seems to me overwhelmingly more likely than that she didn't. Outside in the street there were a lot of people about and little opportunity for foul play. Inevitably she would have had to have left the vicinity voluntarily before misadventure struck, and there's simply no reason to suspect she did that.

But supposing something of that sort happened. In that case Gilroy's actions that day and the next were entirely blameless and entirely innocent. But it wasn't just one action in that time that made him look guilty, it was at least four.
  • Although he was in the office before nine, there was a seven-minute period when nobody saw him, covering the crucial few minutes when Suzanne would have walked in that door and immediately following that.
  • He had no car at work, which would pretty much have exonerated him if that had remained the case, but within minutes of reappearing in the office he suddenly remembered he had to fetch something from home and went back to fetch his car.
  • He had to park in the street (how did he even manage that? parking there during working hours is almost impossible) but there is CCTV evidence of him entering the basement where it's assumed the murder happened.
  • Despite the hue and cry for Suzanne starting the next morning, and the fact that (he says) his car was damaged, he decided to keep a completely non-urgent appointment 135 miles away. And to compound his bad luck nobody could find any evidence that the appointment had been made before Suzanne disappeared.
  • Rather than drive straight to Lochgilphead and back like any normal person on a business trip, or even pull into one of the obvious places if he really thought he had to take a closer look at the car problem, he somehow manages to vanish from mortal ken for a total of three and a quarter hours without any credible explanation for why, or where he was, or what he was doing.
And that's ignoring the cadaver dog because I don't trust the things, and the so-called makeup (fake tan?) on his hands, and the scratches, and the air freshener and the charcoal, because these are details the police could well be embellishing out of not very much.

Notably, if we discount the cadaver dog, there is no evidence that Suzanne was ever in the basement, dead or alive, or indeed in the boot of Gilroy's car. The cadaver dog evidence, if believed, is the evidence that she did make it in to work and was murdered in the basement, so eliminating all the "maybe she got into a car or just went AWOL" possibilities.

I'm prepared to discount the cadaver dog. Without it, do we have an acquittal on the grounds of not proven BRD? I don't honestly think we do and given that the jury was probably not going to discount the cadaver dog, I think he was toast. But can we lose the cadaver dog and keep the conviction, even if we still believe he's guilty on the balance of probabilities?
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Old 9th June 2019, 09:29 AM   #698
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Scent of a Dead Woman: Can you trust a cadaver dog if there’s no cadaver?
The parents of Madeleine McCann, the 4-year-old British girl who went missing in Portugal in May, were officially named suspects on Sept. 7 by Portuguese police. The change came after developments in the case, including sniffer dogs detecting the “smell of death” on Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat toy and her mother’s clothes. They did not, however, find a body. Can you trust a cadaver dog if there’s no cadaver?

Not really—especially if a lot of time has elapsed since the body was removed from the scene. Cadaver dogs can find the remains of people who have been dead for years or even decades. But it’s much harder for the dogs if the bulk of the remains are gone. In that case, they can pick up the scent from small amounts of body tissue, like a blood stain or nail clippings, or even from materials that came into contact with the tissue. But in the absence of an actual body, the smell of death will dissipate. There’s speculation that Madeleine died on the night her parents reported her disappearance—which would mean that she passed away four months ago. It’s not clear if a detectable scent could linger on her mother’s clothes for all that time.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:15 AM   #699
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I'd love to know how Gilroy and his defenders explain the vegetation on the bottom of his car. Are there shrubs growing out of the streets in Edinburgh? I know the office is (was?) on Thistle Street; maybe the name is literal?

I read in one article that Gilroy's family claims the reports about the vegetation and scraping were unavailable to them at the time of his appeal, but that seems extremely thin.
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Old 9th June 2019, 03:39 PM   #700
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It's the McCann thing specifically that causes me concern about these cadaver dogs. I'm perfectly sure there was never a dead Madeleine in their car. I think there is a lot of Clever Hans effect going on. Also, the idea that there's a scent when there's no body is a bit tenuous, especially if the body was fresh and was only in situ for a short time. I can see a cadaver dog being useful when looking for a hidden body, but using it as a reliable determinator of where a body has been, sorry no. I'd like to know if that dog was taken round places in the office where Suzanne's body couldn't possibly have been, with the same degree of urging, and found nothing. A thing like this is no use if you can't get a reliable negative control. Also in this case they swabbed that alcove for DNA and found nothing. A reliable cadaver scent when there isn't enough material to get a DNA profile? That's pushing it.

I think it's a reasonable assumption that the body was in the alcove because where else was it, but this has certainly not been proved and I'm quite interested in whether the conviction stands BRD if that point falls.

I'm unsure about the whole vegetation thing. I don't think we know how much material was recovered from the car. Some press reports make out that the underside of the car was caked with it and if you put that together with the state of the suspension it sounds very striking, but if it was only a small amount found under a wheel arch then it's less conclusive. Still, you do have a point. Just driving on metalled roads doesn't get vegetation on your car. If the vegetation was fresh and there was more than the odd leaf, that's significant. I'm a lot less confident about the ability to localise where it came from in the way the investigators are claiming. Which is why I keep the Succoth Lodge and Duncan Ban tracks simmering on the back burner even though they have a soil type very different from that found around the Rest and Be Thankful. I'd like to see that soil and vegetation report too. For a start I'd like to see who compiled it. It could even have been someone where I used to work.

But really, if we drop the cadaver dog so there's no proof there was ever a body in the alcove or in the car boot, does the rest of the evidence, which is highly circumstantial, stand up BRD? I honestly think it does. The proposition that Suzanne scarpered with someone in a car just before the entrance to IML, or turned on her heel and headed back to St Andrew's Square or Waverley, from whence she came by some mishap that has resulted in here vanshing from the face of the earth seems overwhelmingly less probable than that she made it into the building and met with misfortune there. And there's only one candidate for that misfortune.
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Old 9th June 2019, 03:43 PM   #701
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To save me scrolling back on the thread, can anyone remind me of exactly what Gilroy was supposed to have done once he returned to Thistle Street in his car on the morning of 4th May? That's the occasion when he couldn't get the car into the basement car park, wasn't it? So the body was in an alcove off the basement, which is where the car park was, right? He had to get the car in there to load the body in it, right? How did he do that if it was full? Were there other employees cars nearby? Or was that a different part of the basement?

I think I had a handle on this at one point, but I seem to have forgotten. Also the detail of just when Gilroy was caught on CCTV going into (or coming out of?) the basement.


ETA: No, my bad. There's quite a lot of detail in the appeal judgement and it seems he did get the car into the garage on the Tuesday. Lucky for him. I think the basement area where the argument and the murder are assumed to have taken place is separated from the actual garage space by a door. Again, lucky for him. If all this had happened in full view of other parked cars the chances of her being seen would have been a lot higher. Also lucky that he could get his car on the same level and not have to carry a body up or down stairs. (I wish Anglolawyer hadn't got himself banned, he was quite well up on this aspect.)
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Old 11th June 2019, 07:42 AM   #702
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I can't find any news about Emma Faulds from later than about a month ago. Nothing seems to have been found. This is cooking up to be another one.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...-west-48232350

Quote:
Detectives have now confirmed they are conducting inquiries in the South Ayrshire/Dumfries and Galloway border area in an bid to locate her body. Officers are keen to trace the movements of vehicles on the A714 Girvan to Newton Stewart road on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 April, particularly Jaguar and Mercedes models. And police want to speak to anyone who spotted anything odd or out of place within that timeframe in the area of Barrhill, particularly along the A714.

Det Chief Insp Martin Fergus said: "This is a harrowing time for Emma's family. They are in shock and are in the process of dealing with the fact that Emma will not be coming home. I am therefore seeking the public's help in trying to find Emma's body."

The officer wants to speak to anyone who may have been travelling along the A714, either north or south between Girvan and Newton Stewart. He added: "Did you see something a little odd or out of place, perhaps you noticed a car in a lay-by, do you remember anything which struck you as odd at the time? I am also keen to speak to anyone who travels this route regularly, northbound or southbound. If any motorists have dashcams, please check the footage as it may have captured something which could prove vital to our ongoing inquiries to locate Emma."

Nothing is being said about any evidence the police have against Ross Willox, or on what grounds he has been charged. In another similarity with the Gilroy case he has also been charged with perverting the course of justice (hiding his victim's body). I also see that one reason for believing that Emma didn't intend to leave home is that she left a pet (in this case her dog) at home, and wouldn't have gone off without making arrangements for him to be cared for.

I wonder if they'll have any luck with a CCTV sweep looking for Willox's car? If they don't have a time window in which they believe he disposed of the body it could be very difficult.
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Old 11th June 2019, 09:39 AM   #703
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The appeal was actually the first thing I read when I started looking for information. "The plastic under-tray had been scraped and vegetation was stuck to the underside. It had clearly been driven off road. The inference to be drawn from that, which the jury were asked to make, was that the deceased [sic] had disposed of the body somewhere off the road between Tyndrum and Inveraray" Surely Gilroy's legal team would have objected to that at trial, and on appeal, if it weren't accurate. It seems unlikely that they were incompetent; Gilroy's legal bills were in excess of £230,000, and his lead advocate is a QCWP (link for any lurkers unfamiliar). BTW, did you know that he also represented Megrahi?

I was struck by the lack of substantive claims made in the appeal. Basically there are only two: First, that Gilroy wasn't cautioned ("read his rights", in American parlance) before the police initially questioned him, and second, that the jury accidentally received the unredacted report from the pathologist. There's nothing challenging the physical or phone [ETA: or CCTV] evidence, or Gilroy's highly suspicious behavior, most or all of which could have been demonstrated even without his statements.

I think they were just doing the legal equivalent of throwing a Hail Mary passWP, hoping to get a new trial, and somehow convince a majority of jurors that there was reasonable doubt.
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Old 11th June 2019, 10:31 AM   #704
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Which lawyer in this case was involved in Lockerbie? Megrahi's (incompetent) lead QC was Bill Taylor. (Whom I recently discovered was at school with a colleague of mine. The subsequent revelations about his school marks may be left to the reader's imagination.)

Yes, I thought the appeal was very tenuous. Of course there is a huge problem in any such cases which is that you can't go back over evidence that existed at the time of the original trial. If you believe evidence was misinterpreted you're screwed. Even an expert report that could have been obtained for the original trial (if only you'd known you needed it) may be disallowed on that basis. If the point that the state of his car didn't prove what the prosecution claimed it proved was made in the original trial and wasn't upheld, I don't think they can introduce it again.

I keep trying to figure out if there's any reasonable case to be made that Suzanne's body isn't in that area west and north of Tyndrum and I can't do it. I can't see how she could have been diverted from entering the IML building after the CCTV image in Thistle Street or even to be honest after the Sainsbury's image if you seriously believe that back view in Thistle Street wasn't her. I can't see how she could have vanished from the IML premises before reaching her desk without Gilroy being the person who vanished her. And I can't see why he would have done that mad drive if he hadn't been disposing of the body somewhere along the route.

The thing about the drive is, it's arguably not a clever move in principle, because he couldn't conceal the fact that he'd gone to Lochgilphead that day. So if the body were to be found anywhere accessible from that route, even years into the future, he's toast. The very location damns him irretrievably. On the other hand if the body were to be found, say, somewhere off a road south of Edinburgh, it wouldn't inevitably implicate him. That makes me think he knew where he was going and he was very sure he could lose the body there, for 40-50 years at least.

I've speculated about the drive being a red herring following a night-time disposal somewhere nearer home, but it doesn't make sense. It was the actual drive that made the police sit up and take notice of him in the first place. He wasn't in the office when they showed up on the Wednesday afternoon. They managed to get hold of him on his mobile and asked him to come into the station on his return. I'm fairly sure they really did only see him as a witness at that point (possibly Mark B was their first choice of suspect), but then his suspicious behaviour began to be noticed. I'm not sure at what point they realised that someone who had left the office at eleven should have been at Lochgilphead long before half past four, but after he promised to go straight back and be there by 9.30, and he didn't show up and they phoned him at 10.30 and then he still didn't get there till 11.30, I think that was really when they began to suspect him.

If he hadn't gone at all, it might have been quite a few days before they began to suspect him, possibly on the grounds of him going to get his car on the Tuesday, and unless they could have proved he'd taken his car out in the very early hours of Wednesday it could have been very difficult to pin anything on him. Even if he'd gone straight to Lochgilphead and back, not driving too fast, that would probably have been enough of a red herring as they looked at the roadside ditches over a very long stretch of road, but it could still carry the interpretation of a normal business trip. To have behaved so extraordinarily suspiciously just as a red herring, so suspiciously that it's one of the main planks of the conviction, no I don't think so.

But the more I think about it the more I think he knew where he was going right from the start. He knew of somewhere north or west of Tyndrum where he thought he could lose a body so completely that it would stay lost for 40 to 50 years at least, and so he invented an appointment at Lochgilphead. So where could that be?

Is there a well or a mine shaft or something like that accessible from that road? Did he think simply abandoning the body well into a forest would work? (You can't dig among these tree roots.) But commercial forestry plantations do get felled in the end. Maybe somebody in a big tree-grabbing machine wouldn't notice the remains of a skeleton but I wouldn't want to bank on it. It's not a long time window to bury a body. But it has to be there somewhere.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:06 AM   #705
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Which lawyer in this case was involved in Lockerbie? Megrahi's (incompetent) lead QC was Bill Taylor. (Whom I recently discovered was at school with a colleague of mine. The subsequent revelations about his school marks may be left to the reader's imagination.)

My bad; I misread. Gilroy's lead advocate was Jack Davidson, QC, and he represented Fhimah, not Megrahi.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If the point that the state of his car didn't prove what the prosecution claimed it proved was made in the original trial and wasn't upheld, I don't think they can introduce it again.

That's generally the case in the US; the only exceptions I know of are ineffective assistance of counsel (such as failing to challenge the report if there were clear grounds to), documented fraud (such as deliberate falsification of the report on the condition of the car), or abuse of discretion by the judge (such as excluding clearly exculpatory evidence without good cause).

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The thing about the drive is, it's arguably not a clever move in principle, because he couldn't conceal the fact that he'd gone to Lochgilphead that day. So if the body were to be found anywhere accessible from that route, even years into the future, he's toast. The very location damns him irretrievably. On the other hand if the body were to be found, say, somewhere off a road south of Edinburgh, it wouldn't inevitably implicate him. That makes me think he knew where he was going and he was very sure he could lose the body there, for 40-50 years at least. . . .

Is there a well or a mine shaft or something like that accessible from that road? Did he think simply abandoning the body well into a forest would work? (You can't dig among these tree roots.) But commercial forestry plantations do get felled in the end. Maybe somebody in a big tree-grabbing machine wouldn't notice the remains of a skeleton but I wouldn't want to bank on it. It's not a long time window to bury a body. But it has to be there somewhere.

Is there any chance he could have dumped her in Loch Lomond? That strikes me as unlikely, as he would have had to have obtained ropes or chains, and some sort of weights, and there doesn't seem to be any evidence of that.
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Old 11th June 2019, 11:48 AM   #706
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We've talked about a water disposal and it really doesn't seem possible. Unless you have a sheer drop into deep water you need a boat. (OK there is a sheer drop into deep water accessible from that route and that has always been my secret thought about where to dispose of the body, but not in the middle of the afternoon!) You'd also need to do a lot of preparation to make sure the body - or bits of it - didn't come to the surface. A net to enclose it, heavy weights to hold it down and so on.

There's the acquiring of the boat, the getting of the body and the weights into it, then going out into a stretch of water that's probably overlooked from a lot of vantage points, and tipping the body plus the weights out without capsizing the boat. It's not practical.

It has been done. There are two recorded cases of bodies being dumped in lakes in the Lake District (one of which seems likely to be another miscarriage of justice), but the circumstances of this one seem to preclude a water disposal. Also not Loch Lomond as he only drove alongside the road there on the way back. Loch Awe (inland, fresh water) or Loch Fyne (sea loch/fjord) would be the possibilities. But they're much too overlooked for a daytime disposal.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:28 AM   #707
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"Is there a well or a mine shaft or something like that accessible from that road? Did he think simply abandoning the body well into a forest would work? (You can't dig among these tree roots.) But commercial forestry plantations do get felled in the end. Maybe somebody in a big tree-grabbing machine wouldn't notice the remains of a skeleton but I wouldn't want to bank on it. It's not a long time window to bury a body. But it has to be there somewhere."

There is always the risk of a walker (or a dog) stumbling across a shallow grave and Gilroy would not know if the land disposal site he chooses would be earmarked for future tree harvesting.

Burying a body is time consuming, theres a risk of tree roots preventing you digging a deep enough hole and you get covered in dirt and mud.

The large lochs near his core route in the area (Loch Awe. Loch Fyne, Loch Long) would not be practical and disposal in the smaller lochans would mean he would have to enter the water with the body.

Lochan Coire Thoraidh - although this lochan is near the Allt Broighleachan track - there is no vehicular access. (Lochan Na Bi opposite the A85 - again no vehicular access)

Smaller lochans or flooded quarries or unnamed bodies of water like this one would be a possible disposal site but he cant get the body submerged without entering the water.

https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/...48,-5.03347,18

He would have to get his car near to the waters edge then change his clothes, wade in and drag the body as far as he can, return to land and grab something heavy, wade back in and weigh the body down. He then needs to get out of his wet clothes, get clean and dry then change back into his suit.

The police think Renee and (her son) Andrew MacRae were disposed of in a flooded quarry

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...lands-48581017

A well. mine shaft, cave or sump ?

sump.jpg

would be better assuming he can get his car near enough without being seen.

I can see 3 mines in the area

Knapdale/Inverneil - south of Lochgilphead - copper mine

Tyndrum - at Cononish - lead/silver mine

Corrantee - at Strontian - lead mine

The scratches

scratches.jpg

These could have occurred during a struggle but also when going through sharp foliage at the disposal site.

It is risky just to cover the body with foliage etc and leave the body on land unless he knew of an ideal spot where he thought there was a good chance nobody would ever find the body.

Throw the body down a steep ravine and hope for the best or drag the body somewhere and cover up as best he could. Maybe he had to do that if he did not have much time left in the afternoon and then he returned in the evening to make a better job of it.

There has to be a track accessible from his core route (which when driven over causes suspension damage) leading to a well. mine shaft, cave, sump or ravine.

Or (the more risky option but maybe his only option) the disposal site is on land (not in a grave) and not in amongst trees (where there is potential for future tree felling) and the body is covered with foliage, tree branches etc.

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Old 12th June 2019, 04:08 AM   #708
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I don't think she's in water, there just isn't anywhere and there's essentially no chance he had access to a boat. I walked all the way to the Lochan Coire Thoraidh last month (here you go, isn't it pretty).



Anyway, you can see the problem. You could probably get the body into the water by dragging it down that grassy slope, but getting it out into the middle is a different matter and keeping it down would be well-nigh impossible without a net and a great deal of weight - which would be very difficult to handle even if you had it. The location is very quiet but people do go there sometimes. There was even an old boathouse there in May 2010 according to Hugh Venables. And that would be if you could get a car there which you couldn't. The locked gates to the pine forest reserve would stop you, and there's also an extremely rocky ford over the Allt Coire Thoraidh which you'd be mad to try to cross in an ordinary car.



There were also places on the track where very deep ruts - similar to the one before the pine forest but probably worse - had been filled in relatively recently. It would also take ages to get a car up there even if you tried, because you'd have to go about walking pace for a lot of it. But all this is academic. He couldn't have got through the locked gates.

The fact is, any loch he could access with that car has a public road going round it with cars passing all the time, and he had no means to get the body out into the water anyway. And those "lochans" you linked to south of Dalmally are tiny. I mean, medium-sized puddles. They're also likely to be pretty shallow. (I take your point that Leanach Quarry isn't any bigger than that, but I think it's deeper - these wee lochans aren't quarries as far as I can see. And at least Leanach Quarry has vehicular access.)

It's interesting that they're searching Leanach Quarry now, forty years on from the disappearances. This suggests they might be up for another go at finding Suzanne Pilley. (Actually, given where Leanach Quarry is, I'd have thought their chances of finding bones might be quite high. 18th century bones that is.)
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Old 12th June 2019, 04:52 AM   #709
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That picture is of one of the sumps they searched in the Rest and Be Thankful area, isn't it? Aren't they something to do with landslide prevention for that bloody road? When you posted that picture before I thought it would be a great place to lose a body so long as it isn't something that's ever drained or cleaned out. But they looked, and she wasn't there.

I'm not aware of anything like that in the Tyndrum area. Knapdale doesn't fly because he wasn't off the radar long enough when he was at Lochgilphead, we're looking for something accessible from the Tyndrum-Inveraray stretch. Strontian doesn't fly because it's far too far - and you'd have to go across the Corran ferry to get there. But mainly, it's way too far. I see the lead mine near Tyndrum now. And I think the road that leads there does branch off just after the Green Welly. But there's no way you could get a car up there even if you could get it under the railway line, which I doubt.

If there isn't a shaft of some sort then I think he must have tried to bury her. He'd know he couldn't risk the body being found even by accident anywhere near his route that afternoon, so he must have been pretty confident he could do the job.

There's no doubt that simply dumping the body in the deep forest could work. Remember my friend's story about the heart-attack victim who wasn't found for 20 years despite him having been walking (so a limited area to search) and his own keepers and foresters looking for him at the time. Also a story someone told about a murder victim somewhere in America who was only found when the killer confessed in return for a plea bargain or something. The body was only dumped and it was in an area that had been searched (twice?) but it hadn't been found.

But would Gilroy have trusted to that sort of luck and simply dragged the body as far from the track and into the trees as he could? It seems less likely but it's possible.
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:25 AM   #710
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
There has to be a track accessible from his core route (which when driven over causes suspension damage) leading to a well. mine shaft, cave, sump or ravine.

Or dense forest, or an area of soft ground which is diggable.

It's got to be one of the 22 tracks I enumerated in my paper, north and west of Tyndrum. By the process of elimination I went through you can whittle that down to about five.
  • Allt Broighleachan
  • Achnafalnich
  • Glen Strae
  • Succoth Lodge
  • Duncan Ban
I don't think there is a well or a sump or a mine shaft in the area - except the one you indicated that you couldn't get a car up to.

For all the reasons I mentioned I think the Allt Broighleachan track is the standout, although I couldn't exclude any of the others on the information we have (that's assuming the soil analysis doesn't mean a damn thing). It's got access into deep commercial forestry plantations, it's got soft ground which appears to be diggable, and it's even got a ravine where you could toss the body, although I think that's less likely. It's also got some stellar potholes, especially if you drive on beyond the picnic place.

I don't know why they didn't search that track the first time, assuming they didn't. (I didn't see any sign of a search when I was there but I don't know how long the traces of a police search last for, it's been nearly nine years.) Unless there's something like a well on one of the other tracks, that we don't know about, it certainly seems like the best bet.
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:31 AM   #711
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By the way, this is interesting, though of peripheral relevance. Back when the OS changed from an inch to a mile to the metric maps I bought a complete set of the last inch-to-mile series for Scotland. I had a look and I see the survey data go back to 1954. So I scanned it just for interest. Unfortunately the area of interest goes across two maps. There's no sign of either the Achnafalnich or the Alt Broighleachan tracks, no bridge and no forest anywhere. The pinewood reserve does exist as an isolated patch of woodland, but there's no indication of any access path.




It's amazing to see the almost complete absence of commercial forestry back then. I certainly remember a lot of forestry in the 1960s, but this was even earlier of course. But then again, the pinewood reserve is a surviving example of what covered the entire country back before bronze age man started cutting down trees, and then they cleared vast areas for sheep farming.
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Old 13th June 2019, 02:39 AM   #712
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There's no sign of either the Achnafalnich or the Alt Broighleachan tracks, no bridge and no forest anywhere.

Actually if you look closely the bridge is there. Just no indication of a road or track or even a path on the other side!
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Old 13th June 2019, 11:59 AM   #713
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Did he fess up ?

Body found in Galloway forest in search for Emma Faulds
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Old 13th June 2019, 03:34 PM   #714
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I always think it weird when they say something was found "in Dumfries and Galloway". I mean make up your mind, was it in Dumfries or was it in Galloway? (Same with the Pilley case going on about "Argyll and Bute" - for sure she isn't on Bute.)

Galloway then. That's not where they were looking. I was thinking that there are an awful lot of old mine workings in Ayrshire and it could be a long search. I think you're right, he's fessed up. Seems unlikely to have been found by chance.
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