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Tags David Gilroy , murder cases , Scotland cases

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Old 12th November 2018, 01:25 PM   #641
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
I dont think he went off road near the RABT, he just went there (only in the afternoon not in the evening) to misdirect the police into thinking that the RABT area is the disposal site and to deflect attention from elsewhere.

But. The main reason the police seem to have for believing he was in the Arrochar Alps at all is the analysis of the soil and vegetation on his car. So it's a bit illogical to say he was there, but didn't go off-road. The thing we're trying to explain is something that would only have happened if he had gone off-road.

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
The police must have decided that the witness sightings were accurate enough to justify spending so much time and money searching the RABT area.

Not buying it. The police aren't infallible and no compelling reason for concentrating on that location has ever been published. It's a truly weird thing they're saying Gilroy has done, but there has never been an article taking that line. Hey look at this really bizarre drive he did but we know for sure he did that because x. I still think there's tunnel vision going on here.

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
A witness could have photographic evidence of him at the RABT or he could have interacted with someone (possibly at the snack van if it was parked at the RABT that day) or he acted strangely enough to draw attention to himself.

If he was spotted in the RABT area it would be more than likely it was when he was parked up and not whilst he was driving.

With the greatest respect, this isn't logical. If there was photographic evidence of him at the Rest and Be Thankful, that would have been News. If there was a specific interaction with someone which they were pretty sure identified Gilroy as being there, that would have been News. (And why would they even bother searching Glen Orchy or Glen Shira?)[/quote]

Why park in area known to be frequented with lots of tourists if he is trying to stay off the radar?

If the disposal site was in the RABT area he would not have wanted to get seen. He would have quickly got to the disposal site, dumped everything and got back to Inveraray without stopping as this means less chance of getting spotted and uses less of the extra time he had.[/quote]


Now this bit I think makes sense. The stories about a silver car being seen multiple times in multiple places in the Arrochar Alps suggest this was someone who didn't mind being seen and wasn't trying to hide. Gilroy would have been trying to remain useen while he was hiding the body and he also didn't have time to be in multiple places around that area. I don't think the silver car (or cars, there may have been more than one) was him.


Also bear in mind that the police thought he'd been to the Arrochar Alps on both the outward and return journeys and that the stories about the silver car also cover the evening time window. Why believe the police are right about the afternoon sightings but wrong about the evening ones?

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
So I think he went off road somewhere near to Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy, dumped everything, went to the RABT area for misdirection, went to Lochgilphead school, returned to the Glen Orchy/Glen Orchy area and completed the disposal.

The RABT detour does reduce his disposal time on the outward journey by about an hour but he knew he was going back to the Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy area on the way back and he allocated an hour and a half to complete the disposal there.

The soil type in the RABT area matched the soil on his car which would be an unfortunate (but possible) coincidence for the police to have spent all that time and money on the search in the RABT area thinking the soil was collected in the RABT area when the same soil type was collected elsewhere.

There isn't time. The outward time window is only an hour and 51 minutes. If you chop an hour off of that for a misdirection detour he's left with too short a time to get to a disposal site in Glen Orchy or thereabouts. Bear in mind the identification of a suitable spot isn't going to be instantaneous, he has to get his car off the road, he has to change into his gardening clothes or whatever, he has to get a 70 kg body out of the car and into a place of concealment, then he has to get changed back again and make himself respectable to be seen in Lochgilphead. He doesn't have a spare hour to be detouring off on a misdirection where maybe nobody will remember seeing him, and he didn't even turn his phone on to make sure he was traced there.

And the theory that the soil and vegetation on his car, which seems to be the main reason the police think he was in the Arrochar Alps, actually came from somewhere else but by some quirky coincidence actually matched the place where he wanted the police to think he'd been - no, not buying it.

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
The police must have had some doubts about the RABT area as a disposal site as they checked elsewhere along his route from Tyndrum to Inveraray but the amount of time and money the police spent searching the RABT area indicates to me the police had some solid evidence from witnesses that he was actually in the RABT area at some point that day.

He could have been playing mind games with the police by purposely getting seen at the RABT area then denying that he went there.

Definitely not buying it. There has been a trial. Nothing is being concealed in case it jeopardises the case. Gilroy has been in jail for the past six years. All the evidence would have come out at the trial, and there has been no report of any solid evidence placing him anywhere near the Rest and Be Thankful apart from the soil analysis thing.

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
He gave the police the Ardlui phone clue to enable the police to work out his route from Inveraray to Ardlui and therefore they could work out that he spent an hour and 32 minutes more than necessary driving from Inveraray to Ardlui. He would know the police would realise that he had enough time to go to the RABT area and double back to the junction of the A83/A819 from the RABT. (rather than continue on the A83 to Tarbet.)

He would then hope the police would accuse him of being in the RABT area and he could (overly) insist he was not, prompting the police to think he was actually there and in addition to the witness sightings/photographs/interactions and the soil types matching the police then assumed the RABT area was the disposal site.

Possibly some over thinking being done in this post but it makes some sense to me.

Doesn't make any sense to me. I simply don't believe that he drove a substantial detour talking at least an hour (two and a quarter hours if according to the police theory) just in the vague hope that someone would remember seeing him, while at the same time hoping to hell nobody would see him when he was at the real disposal site. I don't think he would have done anything that crazy in the first place but if he did he would have turned his phone on so he wouldn't have to take a chance on being seen and remembered.
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Old 12th November 2018, 01:41 PM   #642
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
"Two disposal areas just double the chance something is going to be found."

Assuming there is one disposal site for the body and everything else in the boot then he has to decide whether to -

A - dump everything in his boot on the way to Inveraray.

B - dump the body on the way to Inveraray and keep everything else in the boot until he has finished at Lochgilphead school and then return to the same disposal site in the evening to dump everything else.

C - keep everything in the boot and arrive at Lochgilphead school with it all.

In scenario A I dont think he could have resisted returning to the disposal site in the evening to check everything was how he left it in the afternoon.

In scenario B he has to return to the same disposal site to get rid of everything else in the evening but he is taking a big risk by not clearing everything from his car boot.

Can you imagine if Lochgilphead police turned up at Lochgilphead school and asked to see in his car boot and found a spade and muddied overalls.(or even a dead body)

I think he opted for A as if the police did turn up at Lochgilphead school he would have been able to open his car boot and say "I told you officer - theres nothing in there"....

Given that he lost nearly two hours on the outward journey then yes, I think option A is it. I don't think he would have spent all that time off the radar and not got rid of the body.

But we should remember that he didn't realise at the time just how hot the pursuit actually was. Suzanne was simply someone who hadn't turned up for work on Tuesday, the day after a bank holiday. Not the most surprising behaviour. She hadn't turned up again on Wednesday, but just how big a concern was this? She was an adult woman of normal mental capacity and not vulnerable in any way. It was very likely that the police wouldn't take this seriously until she'd been missing for at least a couple of days.

If it hadn't been for her parents becoming very concerned and getting on the police's case about her disappearance, probably nothing much would have happened on the Wednesday either. But the concerned parents, the cat left home alone and so on caused the police to get involved earlier than would normally have been the case.

So I don't think there was much danger of an actual physical policeman showing up at the school to quiz him while he was at Lochgilphead. The Edinburgh police only regarded Gilroy as a witness at this point and they just wanted to talk to him about when he last saw Suzanne (as he said he'd seen her on the Monday).

He might actually have been better off if he had driven straight to Lochgilphead, got there about half past two, done his inspecting at a normal time of day, and set off back again maybe 3.30. He would then have had the maximum time in one block to do what he had to do, cut down on the driving in and out of the disposal location (a risky stage of the exercise and he seems to have done it twice), and been able to concoct some sort of an explanation about stopping to eat his sandwiches and maybe dozing off for a bit.

But either he didn't think of that or he thought he could do the whole thing on the way out. Then either it all took longer than he expected and he realised he was going to have to go back because he couldn't delay his appearance at the school any longer, or he thought he was done but he still had incriminating material in the car. Then after the conversation with the police and the request to go straight to Corstorphine he realised he had to go back and dispose of the rest of the stuff because he wasn't going to get the opportunity to do that once he was back in Edinburgh.
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Old 12th November 2018, 06:05 PM   #643
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Information from the indictment

"Gilroy is accused of travelling to an area near Glen Croe Forest, Argyll, or elsewhere in Argyll, after telling colleagues he was travelling to Lochgilpead High School."

The extra 1 hour and 51 minutes he had between Tyndrum and Inveraray would be reduced by at least an hour just driving there and back leaving about 50 minutes for disposal.

"Gilroy allegedly went to an area near to Ben Donich, Argyll, on May 5 when he had been asked to come immediately to Corstorphine police station."

The extra 1 hour and 32 minutes he had between Inveraray and Tyndrum would be reduced by at least an hour just driving there and back leaving about 30 minutes for disposal.

Why go to two different areas (although Glen Croe and Ben Donich are in the same vicinity) when the police assumed that he drove to the area for disposal.

If the disposal site was in Glen Croe he would have went there on both occasions and if the disposal site was near Ben Donich he would have went there on both occasions.

The police are assuming that he either

A - went to the tracks in Glen Croe on a reccy in the afternoon and did not find it was a suitable disposal area, then he went to Lochgilphead with everything still in the car boot. Then he returned to the area in the evening and decided that he would try the tracks near Ben Donich as these led to a more suitable disposal site (effectively wasting over an hour just driving about the Glen Croe area in the afternoon.) He also still has everything in the boot when he gets to Lochgilphead.

B - went to the tracks in Glen Croe and disposed of the body in the afternoon, then he went to Lochgilphead with everything else still in the car boot. Then he returned to the area in the evening and rather than go back to the body disposal site in Glen Croe he decided that he would try the tracks to get access to an area near Ben Donich to dump everything else - creating two dump sites. He also still has some incriminating evidence in the boot when he gets to Lochgilphead and wastes an hour each time driving on these journeys.

He could have looked at an OS map and decided beforehand where he was going and saved a lot of time and effort.

If the police do not have any tourist photographs of him in the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area and only have a witness statement which refers to a sliver car being seen then deciding to thoroughly search Glen Croe/Ben Donich was a (very expensive and time consuming) shot in the dark.

In fact it hindered the investigation by aiming the police focus on the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area to the detriment of any other area. (lots of time and money spent on searches in the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area but cursory searches made elsewhere)

I have been attempting to join the dots and work out why the police used so many resources searching the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area but every route he took that day (and by switching his phone off and on at certain points) was designed to cause confusion.

I agree that if he went to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area twice he wastes the majority of both of the extra time periods he had for disposal just driving about, if he went to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area once then he has wasted the majority of one of the extra time periods he had for disposal with no guarantee that by going to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area he would be spotted therefore making an attempted misdirection pointless.

The only way that it all fits into place is if there were any witnesses they were mistaken, there were no photographs, the soil found on his car is common to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area and the actual disposal site (the soil found on his car is found in the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area and the Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy area so the police could have assumed he collected this soil at Glen Croe/Ben Donich but if he was not there he must have collected the same type of soil in the Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy area or another area which has the same soil types) and the lead police investigators instinct was wrong and Gilroy did not go to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area at all that day. All of these are possible.

The police fell for it and concentrated on one area - if only the police had appealed for witnesses specifically in the Glen Lochy/Glen Orchy areas then she may have been found by now.

Moving back to the Glen Orchy area near Allt Broighleachan.

Found a video which shows someone driving a car over the bridge (then reversing back)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa7tg9FVT5E

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Old 13th November 2018, 03:36 AM   #644
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These images show tracks that Gilroy could have accessed that day (the dates have been changed in the images to show the landscape as it would look in May 2010 or as near to then as possible)

From the junction of the A85/B8074 going east on the A85 towards the junction of the A85/A82

1 - Another track found here (tracks 1 and 3 connect to each other) https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

2 -https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

3 - Another track found here (tracks 3 and 1 connect to each other) https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

4 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.42...7i13312!8i6656

5 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

6 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

From the junction of the A85/A82 going north on the A82 towards the junction of the A82/B8074

7 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

From the junction of the A82/B8074 going south towards the junctiion of the B8074/A85

8 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

9 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.41...7i13312!8i6656

All the tracks have the correct Peaty Podzols/Strichen soil (or lead to Peaty Podzols/Strichen soil as in image 1 and 8) and he wastes a minimal amount of his extra time periods getting to and from these tracks. (nowhere near an hour like the police believe)

On OS Explorer paper map number 377 you can see 8 of the tracks (cannot see track 2 which must be a relatively new track and it would not have been there in May 2010)

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Old 13th November 2018, 09:02 AM   #645
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
Information from the indictment

"Gilroy is accused of travelling to an area near Glen Croe Forest, Argyll, or elsewhere in Argyll, after telling colleagues he was travelling to Lochgilpead High School."

The extra 1 hour and 51 minutes he had between Tyndrum and Inveraray would be reduced by at least an hour just driving there and back leaving about 50 minutes for disposal.

"Gilroy allegedly went to an area near to Ben Donich, Argyll, on May 5 when he had been asked to come immediately to Corstorphine police station."

The extra 1 hour and 32 minutes he had between Inveraray and Tyndrum would be reduced by at least an hour just driving there and back leaving about 30 minutes for disposal.

Why go to two different areas (although Glen Croe and Ben Donich are in the same vicinity) when the police assumed that he drove to the area for disposal.

If the disposal site was in Glen Croe he would have went there on both occasions and if the disposal site was near Ben Donich he would have went there on both occasions.

The police are assuming that he either

A - went to the tracks in Glen Croe on a reccy in the afternoon and did not find it was a suitable disposal area, then he went to Lochgilphead with everything still in the car boot. Then he returned to the area in the evening and decided that he would try the tracks near Ben Donich as these led to a more suitable disposal site (effectively wasting over an hour just driving about the Glen Croe area in the afternoon.) He also still has everything in the boot when he gets to Lochgilphead.

B - went to the tracks in Glen Croe and disposed of the body in the afternoon, then he went to Lochgilphead with everything else still in the car boot. Then he returned to the area in the evening and rather than go back to the body disposal site in Glen Croe he decided that he would try the tracks to get access to an area near Ben Donich to dump everything else - creating two dump sites. He also still has some incriminating evidence in the boot when he gets to Lochgilphead and wastes an hour each time driving on these journeys.

He could have looked at an OS map and decided beforehand where he was going and saved a lot of time and effort.

My interpretation of this lot has always been that the police think he probably went to the same place both times but since they don't know exactly where that was they can't be specific. So I think for the indictment they went by sightings of this silver car, which I infer was said to be in Glen Croe in the afternoon and near Ben Donich in the evening. I don't think there are two discrete dump sites - as you say the two areas are almost the same thing, Glen Croe is bounded on the west by Ben Donich.

We don't know why he went back on the return journey but my guess is that either he had to leave the job unfinished due to the necessity of getting to the school no later than he did, or he realised when speaking to the police that he had to get rid of everything before reporting to Corstorphine and decided to go back in the evening to get rid of whatever was still in his car - overalls, gardening clothes, blankets, whatever.

I merely contend that wherever he went it was neither to Glen Croe nor to Ben Donich.

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
If the police do not have any tourist photographs of him in the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area and only have a witness statement which refers to a sliver car being seen then deciding to thoroughly search Glen Croe/Ben Donich was a (very expensive and time consuming) shot in the dark.

In fact it hindered the investigation by aiming the police focus on the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area to the detriment of any other area. (lots of time and money spent on searches in the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area but cursory searches made elsewhere)

I have been attempting to join the dots and work out why the police used so many resources searching the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area but every route he took that day (and by switching his phone off and on at certain points) was designed to cause confusion.

I agree that if he went to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area twice he wastes the majority of both of the extra time periods he had for disposal just driving about, if he went to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area once then he has wasted the majority of one of the extra time periods he had for disposal with no guarantee that by going to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area he would be spotted therefore making an attempted misdirection pointless.

The only way that it all fits into place is if there were any witnesses they were mistaken, there were no photographs, the soil found on his car is common to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area and the actual disposal site (the soil found on his car is found in the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area and the Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy area so the police could have assumed he collected this soil at Glen Croe/Ben Donich but if he was not there he must have collected the same type of soil in the Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy area or another area which has the same soil types) and the lead police investigators instinct was wrong and Gilroy did not go to the Glen Croe/Ben Donich area at all that day. All of these are possible.

The police fell for it and concentrated on one area - if only the police had appealed for witnesses specifically in the Glen Lochy/Glen Orchy areas then she may have been found by now.

I agree. No irrefutable evidence that Gilroy was seen in the Rest and Be Thankful area has ever been published. I'm sure if that existed it would have been in the press somewhere (and they wouldn't have bothered searching either Glen Orchy or Glen Shira). I think the police convinced themselves they were on to something in the Arrochar Alps and doubled down on it. I think they were mistaken because the amount of driving this scenario entails is simply ludicrous, and the fact that they haven't found the body where they were looking, while not conclusive because the terrain is wild, rather supports this interpretation.

There are three things Gilroy is said to have done that day.
  1. Driven the A85 through Tyndrum
  2. Driven the A82 through Glen Croe
  3. Concealed Suzanne's body
My interpretation of the timings involved is that while any two of these are possible, all three are not. The only thing we know with 100% certainty that he did is drive the A85 through Tyndrum. So he either concealed Suzanne's body somewhere near that route and didn't go into the Arrochar Alps, or he did go into the Arrochar Alps but he did not conceal Suzanne's body that day (i.e. he got rid of the body the previous night).

My money is on the former but I don't discount the latter.

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
Moving back to the Glen Orchy area near Allt Broighleachan.

Found a video which shows someone driving a car over the bridge (then reversing back)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa7tg9FVT5E

That is a very weird thing to do. First, the bridge isn't that bad, why get cold feet and reverse out? Especially when it's obvious there's a turning place just on the other side. There's a actually a small building on the left there, I think probably a garage or a store for maintenance equipment, it's not really big enough for a house and there's no sign of a garden. And second, given that you did that, why on earth upload the footage to YouTube?
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Old 13th November 2018, 09:33 AM   #646
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
These images show tracks that Gilroy could have accessed that day (the dates have been changed in the images to show the landscape as it would look in May 2010 or as near to then as possible)

From the junction of the A85/B8074 going east on the A85 towards the junction of the A85/A82

1 - Another track found here (tracks 1 and 3 connect to each other) https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

2 -https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

3 - Another track found here (tracks 3 and 1 connect to each other) https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

4 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.42...7i13312!8i6656

5 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

6 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

From the junction of the A85/A82 going north on the A82 towards the junction of the A82/B8074

7 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

From the junction of the A82/B8074 going south towards the junctiion of the B8074/A85

8 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.44...7i13312!8i6656

9 - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.41...7i13312!8i6656

All the tracks have the correct Peaty Podzols/Strichen soil (or lead to Peaty Podzols/Strichen soil as in image 1 and 8) and he wastes a minimal amount of his extra time periods getting to and from these tracks. (nowhere near an hour like the police believe)

On OS Explorer paper map number 377 you can see 8 of the tracks (cannot see track 2 which must be a relatively new track and it would not have been there in May 2010)

I actually did all that a couple of weeks ago and pasted screen captures of all these track entrances into my pdf discussion document. I didn't get it sufficiently finished to upload it at the time though and intend to go back to it.

Your track 2 is marked on the current version of the 1:25,000 OS map but not on the 1:50,000 version. The March 2009 Streetview shows that it isn't there but the entrance is and there's a vehicle parked there. It looks as if the track construction is beginning. It's certainly there in April 2011. So it could have been there in May 2010.

It seems that your tracks 1 and 3, which are the ends of the old Wade's road where it parallels the A85 there and joins up with it in places, have becomes disused and allowed to revert to nature since that new track was built. However as the Streetview images you link to show, they were probably still passable in May 2010.

I have a part-made map of the A85 between Tyndrum and Inverlochy showing the possible tracks these entrances lead to, and as you say they're all the right soil type. There is quite a lot of activity visible in that general area, new tracks and felling and so on, but I think much of it is newer than 2010. The two sections of the Wade's road where it parallels the modern road are definite possibilities.

My main problem with these tracks is visibility. The A85 is a busy road and he risks being seen turning into any of these tracks. The old tracks that aren't gated are pretty rough and a city car seen driving into one of these might well be noticed as incongruous by a passing driver even if it didn't take very long. The newer tracks might excite less remark, but they're mostly gated and if he has to stop in full view of the main road and deal with the gate - even if it turns out not to be locked - that's a significantly longer time for someone to notice.

They're also private forestry. Although he could easily have noticed the track entrances on the way past on previous journeys, he's very unlikely to have been into the forest on any of these tracks. Without an OS map he's going in blind. Does the track just peter out? Does it become impassable? Does it suddenly go up a 45-degree slope? Does it run straight into someone's farmyard?

This is where I think the Glen Orchy tracks score. The B8074 is a much quieter road and he has a far better chance of driving off it without someone coming past and seeing him. In particular the Allt Broighleachan track is an entrance you might not think anything about seeing a city car turn into. Also it's a publicly-accessible area and it's possible Gilroy might have had some prior knowledge of what lay beyond the bridge.

There are another couple of possibilities west of Inverlochy too - one east of Dalmally and the other the unclassified road that leads from Dalmally to the Duncan McIntyre monument. The main problem with these may be the soil type if only we knew what the critical parameters on the soil analysis actually were.
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Old 13th November 2018, 04:27 PM   #647
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Looking around the soil map near Glen Croe/Ben Donich for tracks which lead off the A83/B828/B839 the soil types are

From the junction of the A83/B828 along the A83 to Ardgartan the soil is Peaty Podzols/Strichen on both sides of the A83.

Drive over the bridge at Ardgartan Visitor Centre and the soil is initially Peaty Podzols/Strichen but turn right and one track leads to Brown Soils/Strichen.

Turn left and drive through Mineral Podzols/Corby but not for long as the soil changes to Brown Soils/Strichen.

Every track around the coastline of Loch Long has Peaty Podzols/Strichen or Brown Soils/Strichen except for the area near Corran Lochan where the soil is Peaty Gleys/Strichen.

Every track around the coastline of Loch Goil has Peaty Podzols/Strichen or Brown Soils/Strichen except for one track which has a combination of Peaty Podzols/Strichen and Brown Soils/Strichen and Peaty Gleys/Strichen.

On the whole of the B828 the soil is Peaty Podzols/Strichen.

On the B839 the majority of the soil is is Peaty Podzols/Strichen except for one section which is Brown soils/Strichen (although there are no tracks going off road in the Brown soils/Strichen section of the B839) and one section of Mineral Podzols/Corby south of the B839/B828 junction on the way to Lochgoilhead.

If he drove in the Glen Croe and Ben Donich and Hells Glen (B839) areas his car picked up Peaty Podzols/Strichen.

If he drove through Ardgartan his car picked up a combination of Peaty Podzols/Strichen and/or Brown Soils/Strichen. (with a chance of picking up Mineral Podzols/Corby and/or Peaty Gleys/Strichen)

If he drove on the coastline of Loch Goil his car picked up a combination of Peaty Podzols/Strichen and/or Brown Soils/Strichen. (with a chance of picking up Peaty Gleys/Strichen)

The police searched Glen Shira up to Rob Roys House and the tracks there contain the soil types Mineral Podzols/Corby, Brown Soils/Foudland, Peaty Gleys/Foudland, Peaty Gleys/Strichen and Mineral Gleys/Foudland.

The police searched all along the B8074 and the tracks there contain the soil types Peaty Podzols/Strichen, Peaty Gleys/Foudland, Mineral Podzols/Strichen and Peaty Podzols/Arkaig.

There is no soil with both the Generalised Soil Type and its Soil Association common to all three areas but there are two Generalised Soil types common to all three areas - Mineral Podzols and Peaty Gleys.

Mineral Podzols are found after the bridge at Allt Broighleachan and in Glen Shira and near Ardgartan and south of the B839/B828 junction on the way to Lochgoilhead.

Peaty Gleys are found after the gate on the B8074 near Achnafalnich (pass through Peaty Podzols first) and in Glen Shira and near Corran Lochan (past Ardgartan) and on a track near the coastline of Loch Goil.

Mineral Podzols point to the tracks after the bridge at Allt Broighleachan.

Peaty Gleys point to the tracks past the gate near Achnafalnich.

The majority of the soil around the area of Glen Croe/Ben Donich is Peaty Podzols which points to the tracks just off the A85 between the junctions of the A85/B8074 and A85/A82.

In fact if you go on the tracks on the old Wade's road from here

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

to here

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.40...7i13312!8i6656

you have hit the soil jackpot (Mineral Podzols then Peaty Gleys then Peaty Podzols)

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Old 14th November 2018, 04:51 AM   #648
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I wish we knew what the soil jackpot actually was though. They searched Glen Shira which doesn't have any of the sort of soil that's commonest in the Arrochar Alps.

Also, bear in mind that a car doesn't pick up soil just driving on a road. He got that soil and vegetation on his car in one specific place, a place were he drove off-road and almost certainly off-track too. My guess is that he ran the car into a concealed place, possibly where it was screened by trees, both to conceal it should anyone happen past while he was busy with the body and also to get the body as far as possible from the road before he had to start carrying or (more probably) dragging it.

I know what you mean about the old Wade's road. It seems to have the right sort of soil and it's right beside his core route. I just have reservations about whether he would want to risk being seen by passing motorists driving into a forest track. The A85 carries a lot of passing motorists. Also, I'm not sure where all the extra fuel went in that case. OK, I don't believe he used as much extra fuel as the police think he did (unless he really flogged the engine for quite a while), but I think we would expect some driving off his core route to use up some extra.
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Old 15th November 2018, 03:49 PM   #649
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These areas contain Mineral Podzols.

1 - Turn left after the bridge at Ardgartan Visitor Centre near Ardgartan.
2 - South of the B839/B828 junction on the way to Lochgoilhead.
3 - Glen Shira.

The tracks after the bridge at Allt Broighleachan also contain Mineral Podzols leading into Peaty Podzols.

Although the police searched along the B8074 it is not known if they searched beyond the bridge at Allt Broighleachan, it seems an obvious place to search but if the police were so fixated on the RABT/Glen Croe/Ben Donich areas they may not have looked too closely.

From the appeal https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search...0-ff0000d74aa7

"His car had used more petrol* than might have been expected. When examined, his car had 4 fractures to 3 suspension coils; it being unusual to find even one fracture in a suspension coil of a car subject to ordinary road use. 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* had disposed of the body somewhere off the road between Tyndrum and Inveraray. However, no body has ever been found."

* Should be diesel
* Should be appellant

Driving over the bridge at at Allt Broighleachan could cause the damage to his cars suspension coils and the scrapes to the plastic under-tray.

His car could have collected Mineral Podzols and/or Peaty Podzols whilst driving on the tracks after the bridge.

These are screen shots of his cars MOT history.

mot page 1.jpg

mot page 2.jpg

mot page 3.jpg

mot page 4.jpg

mot page 5.jpg

On 20 February 2008 (mot page 5) his car failed its MOT because "a rear shock absorber has a serious fluid leak"

On 21 February 2008 his car passed its MOT and the rear shock absorber must have been replaced.

If the other 3 shock absorbers were not replaced then they would not absorb any impacts as effectively as the newly replaced shock absorber.

If these 3 shock absorbers were not absorbing impacts effectively then the suspension coils may fracture.

Driving too fast over the bridge at Allt Broighleachan could have caused the coil fractures and the scrapes to the plastic under-tray.

If his car was driven on the tracks after the bridge then this could have contributed to the coil fractures and vegetation would get stuck to the underside of his car.

Driving from the bridge at Allt Broighleachan to Lochgilphead school then back to Edinburgh with 3 broken suspension coils would use more fuel than it would with the suspension coils intact so this could account for the some of the 124 miles of extra fuel used "his car used more petrol (diesel) than might have been expected."

Link to images of the track after the bridge at Allt Broighleachan

http://www.geograph.org.uk/near/NN23513250

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Old 15th November 2018, 05:33 PM   #650
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Do you think broken suspension affects fuel consumption? I wondered about that but I couldn't find anything about it online.

What I don't understand about the soil (and vegetation) is that they seem to believe the composition is specific to the Arrochar Alps, despite the soil map showing similar soil types in the Ben Lui range, Glen Lochy, Glen Orchy and even Rannoch Moor. And yet, when we look at the map showing where the searches took place, these took in Glen Shira and the Ardgartan Forest, neither of which match the main area of the Arrochar Alps.

The map showing where they searched seems reasonably detailed and shows forext tracks being searched north of Lochgoilhead and in Glen Croe. And yet the tracks leading up into the forest in Hell's Glen aren't marked as searched and neither is the Allt Broighleachan track. I could imagine that the Hell's Glen tracks might be ruled out as they're gated and perhaps they could be sure Gilroy couldn't have passed the gates, but the bridge at the Allt Broighleachan is wide open and looks like a no-brainer as a possibility. So why not?

A lot of the searching seems to have been along the side of the public roads, in particular the B838, B828 and of course the B8074. I don't really follow that either, because if he didn't really leave the public road then how did his car get so damaged and where did it pick up the soil and vegetation? I agree the Allt Broighleachan track looks like a good place to bork your suspension and if he ran the car off the track to offload the body he'd pick up some landscape in the process. Leaving aside the soil type because I don't wholly understand that, the only downside to that track is the question of whether it's quiet enough for him to have got in and out again without being seen, probably twice.


By the way, I discovered a friend of mine was interested in the case from way back and actually has a copy of the trial transcript, if he can find it. Hopefully he'll find it and that might indicate why the cops were so obsessed with the Rest and Be Thankful. Or not, on the other hand, if it's anything like the Lockerbie transcript, which is far more notable for what it doesn't say than what it does say.
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Old 15th December 2018, 03:40 PM   #651
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https://www.scotsman.com/news/suzann...ands-1-2177108

(As of today the above webpage is now unavailable)

"Mr Flannigan said Gilroy made a “couple of attempts to take us away from Rest and Be Thankful”, which raised suspicion. “He was signposting that there was something suspicious about that part of the journey,” he added."

As we know Gilroy switched his phone on just after he passed Inveraray at 15.51 (on the way to Lochgilphead) and he switched his phone off just before he passed Inveraray at 18.58 (on the way from Lochgilphead)

Gilroy could choose which of the routes he could signpost as being suspicious, either the A83 between Inveraray and Ardgartan or the A819/A85 between Inveraray and Tyndrum.

A - If the disposal site is between Inveraray and Ardgartan then he could have signposted that that there was something suspicious on the route between Inveraray and Tyndrum.

B - If the disposal site is between Inveraray and Ardgartan then he could have signposted that that there was something suspicious on the route between Inveraray and Ardgartan.

C - If the disposal site is between Inveraray and Tyndrum then he could have signposted that that there was something suspicious on the route between Inveraray and Ardgartan.

D - If the disposal site is between Inveraray and Tyndrum then he could have signposted that that there was something suspicious on the route between Inveraray and Tyndrum.

Gilroy did not opt for A or D, the police opted for B but that has not worked out so that only leaves C.

30 searches of different areas in Argyll indicates that the police did not have any concrete evidence placing Gilroy in the RABT area.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/family...sion-1-2177405

"The massive murder inquiry saw police speak to 1470 potential witnesses and take 1164 statements. Officers gathered 2325 productions to use in evidence and obtained CCTV footage from 250 separate locations while 30 different areas in Argyll were subject to coordinated searches."

I think the forest beyond the Achnafalnich track warrants a search, I will go and have a look in springtime when the weather is better.

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Old 20th December 2018, 05:27 PM   #652
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I got the web page OK. I have to say I think Mr Flannigan is reading too much into his perception that Gilroy was trying to lead the conversation away from the Rest and Be Thankful. He's said to be a controlling individual and to be a superb problem-solver. I think he's devious and cunning. I think it's entirely possible the Rest and Be Thankful was where he hoped they would search and that's the reason for him answering evasively when that area was mentioned.

If he was hoping the cops might jump the wrong way and go for the Rest and Be Thankful he had really bad luck that the Tyndrum camera caught him. That they continued to think the Rest and Be Thankful was the disposal site after finding that camera evidence is baffling to me. It's as if Flannigan latched on to the Rest and Be Thankful before the camera evidence was discovered and then couldn't let go.

But there simply isn't time, and the implied route, especially on the return journey, is insane. I could get behind Glen Shira I suppose, but the Rest and Be Thankful itself, Ben Donich, Lochgoilhead and Hell's Glen don't make a lick of sense. And as for the Ardgartan forest, give me a freaking break.

I'm also thinking of going walking up there when the spring weather sets in. I retired from work today so I'll have more time for that sort of expedition and the exercise would do me good.
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Old 1st January 2019, 04:00 AM   #653
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Hello -
Can I first off say that this is one of the most thorough and well thought through threads I think I’ve ever immersed myself in - the level of detail in the last few pages and the reasoning behind it is complex, but after reading several times, makes a lot of sense.
I’m an investigative reporter - looking at elements of this case and the wider context of it. I hope you don’t mind my hijacking the thread, but I’m interested to know why this case has captured peoples attention here. And after several years and many many posts since the thread began, whether any opinions have changed, or questions been raised?
I’d be pleased to connect with people via this thread who recall the events or who have dedicated their own time to researching them. And I’d welcome any comments or thoughts of an investigation into these events.
Thanks all, and happy new year.
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Old 1st January 2019, 07:04 AM   #654
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Hi, Reporter, welcome to the forum. I have emailed you as you requested and I hope to hear from you.

I originally became interested because I wondered whether the conviction was really safe given the lack of forensic evidence linking Gilroy to the murder. However when I read up on the evidence I decided if I'd been on the jury I'd have voted guilty too. The circumstantial case is extremely strong.

That then morphed into curiosity about where he concealed the body. I know these roads a bit, and it's an interesting puzzle. Not the least puzzling part being why the police are so hung up on the Rest and Be Thankful when that doesn't make a blind bit of sense to me in the context of the route we know he drove.

Happy New Year to you too.
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Old 19th March 2019, 06:40 PM   #655
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Timeline before next trip

Monday 3rd May 2010 IML Thistle Street Edinburgh - closed.

Tuesday 4th May 2010.

08.00 Gilroy gets dropped off at Orchard Brae (by his wife) and gets a bus to the west end.

08.10 He arrives at the west end and walks to IML.

08.25 Arrives at IML.

https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search...0-ff0000d74aa7

09.00 Gilroy murders Suzanne in IML basement, hides her body, switches off her mobile phone incase anyone phones her and someone hears it and returns to the IML office.

11.15 Gilroy leaves work and travels by taxi to his stepmothers house to collect spare house key.

His stepmother drives him to his house then leaves and Gilroy collects his car key.

11.50 He drives his car to IML where he parks in the basement.

12.00 to 12.30 He loads the body in the car boot then parks his car on the street outside the basement.

12.30 He arrives in the IML office.

16.50 He finishes work and drives home. (probably arriving home at 17.00)
He attends his child's school.(nearest to Vittorias is Leith Walk Primary School)

He goes for a meal at Vittoria on the walk restaurant in Brunswick Street.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/...cial-mistakes/

He drives from Vittorias to his home.

He parks his car at home overnight.

The following can be assumed

Suzanne's body was in his car boot from 12 noon to 16.50 parked outside the basement of IML Thistle Street. (nearly 5 hours)

He drove from IML to his home at Silverknowes Brae with Suzanne's body in his car boot. (about 4 miles)

He drove from his home at Silverknowes Brae to Leith Walk Primary school (about 4 miles) with his family in the car and Suzanne's body in the car boot.

He parks his car at Leith Walk Primary school and attends the school leaving the car parked outside the school with Suzanne's body in the car boot.

He then (probably) walks (2 minutes) to Vittorias from the school and leaves Suzannes body in the car boot parked at the school.

He then dines in Vittorias whilst his car is parked at the school with Suzanne's body in the car boot.

He then returns to the car and with his family in the car returns home with Suzanne's body in the car boot.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is assumed that he left a dead body in his car boot on Tuesday 4th May from about 12 noon until 9pm whilst parked on Edinburgh's main roads and during that time the dead body was transported through Edinburgh at times when he was sole occupant of the car and at other times when there were other passengers in the car (including children)

Assuming he returned home at about 9pm he leaves his car outside his house (or parked on his driveway if he has one) overnight until the next day Wednesday 5th May 2010.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wednesday 5th May 2010

08.30 to 09.00 He drives from his home to IML Thistle street.

09.00 He parks his car outside IML (not in the basement as "there are no spaces")

11.30 He starts his journey from IML to Lochgilphead.

It is assumed that he left a dead body in his car boot overnight at his home then on the street ouside IML from 09.00 to 11.30.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gilroy must have known that the family plans on the night of Tuesday 4th May would involve using his car and therefore pre-empted this by buying airfresheners and charcoal.

Any smell would have to be covered up incase anyone in the vicinity of his car smelled anything whilst near or passing his car and also if passengers smelled anything whilst in the car.

Imagine now knowing (with hindsight) that you were a passenger in a car with a dead body in the boot (I wonder if any passenger asked to use the boot)

He has some time between 17.00 and when he has to drive to his child's school to dispose of the body.

This seems a bit too risky with there still being daylight and having limited time for disposal and with all of the preplanned smell prevention it shows his callousness and his matter of fact acceptance that he has to drive his car and park his car on main roads with a dead body in the boot and worst of all have his family in the car along with a dead body in the boot.

He has some time after returning home from Vittorias (assumed from about 9pm on Tuesday 4th May to the morning of Wednesday 5th May) to dispose of the body.

There is cover of darkness but if he tells his family he is popping out for a while for some obscure reason this could be questioned and it would be suspicious if his wife/kids told the police he disappeared for a few hours on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

If he did pop out on Tuesday night then the disposal site could be anywhere (if he popped out at 9pm on Tuesday 4th May he could have returned at 7am on Wednesday 5th May giving him 10 hours for disposal)

On the balance of probabilities Suzanne was in his car boot when he left for Lochgilpead on Wednesday 5th May at 11.30 (he parked on the street outside IML rather than in the basement therefore he opted not to park in the basement that morning where any smell from his car would more likely be noticed and instead he opted to park on the street outside)

I will visit the Achnafalnich track then go over the bridge near Allt Broighleachan on Monday 8th April. (I will post pictures when I get back in the evening)

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Old 9th April 2019, 09:54 AM   #656
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Achnafalnich track beyond the gate imo

Details of visit to the B8074 today (could not make it yesterday)

1st stop - Achnafalnich gate and forest beyond the gate

Gate.jpg

As can be seen in this picture the gate is not secured by a chain and padlock (only held together by a thin piece of rope)

Rope.jpg

The track beyond is not too steep to begin with.

As you get into the trees the track becomes steeper and muddier but a Vectra could get far enough (to be hidden from the main road) in the trees before getting stuck.

I looked for 30 minutes in amongst the trees but could not see anything out of the ordinary.

The area is massive and needs to be thoroughly checked, Gilroy could have dragged the body far into the forest before burial, just one person looking around would take hours.

The forest beyond the Achnalfalnich track on the B8074 is a good choice for a disposal site as the soil is the correct type (peaty podzols) before it gets too steep, the gate can be opened and closed easily and it is a secluded area where a car would not be noticeable once in amongst the trees.

Track 1.jpg

Track 2.jpg

Track 3.jpg

The area beyond the bridge at Allt Broighleachan is a not a good disposal site as there were a few tourists about (probably even more in May) and the area is quite open so Gilroy's car would have been noticed if it was parked anywhere past the bridge.

More on the track beyond the bridge at Allt Broighleachan to follow along with this track near Arinabea off the A85 (which would also not be a good disposal site)

https://www.google.com/maps/@56.4467...7i13312!8i6656

Apologies for the sideways photos (also I have more photos of the Achnafalnich track which I will try to upload)

Last edited by NightOfTheDemon; 9th April 2019 at 10:08 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 9th April 2019, 10:31 AM   #657
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More pictures of the Achnafalnich track

Track 4.jpg

Track 5.jpg

Track 6.jpg

Track 7.jpg

Track 8.jpg
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Old 9th April 2019, 10:36 AM   #658
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Bridge at Allt Broighleachan

The bridge at Allt Broighleachan has been renovated/replaced since the google car took pictures and the pictures below show that there are no unauthorised vehicles allowed over the bridge. Walking over the bridge to the building there is a chain at the gate which does not have a padlock but if Gilroy got past the gate then anyone passing would notice his car immediately. Further on up the track the sides are too steep for a car to drive on and whilst I was there a forestry van was parked on the track (there is tree felling going on in the area at the moment)

Bridge 1.jpg

Bridge 2.jpg

Bridge building.jpg

Bridge gate.jpg

Gate and building.jpg

The tracks near to Arinabea off the A85 are both gated, the track to the left is padlocked and there is no way a car could get around the gate. The track straight on is also gated and padlocked and although Gilroy could attempt to get round the gate it is very risky as the ditches are deep. I had a look around and could not see anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 9th April 2019, 11:07 AM   #659
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It's the Achnafalnich track imo

The tree area either side of the Achnafalnich track is, in my opinion, the disposal site.

If not then the disposal site is the Rest and Be Thankful area.

The soil type is correct, a car can get in to the tree area and can be shielded from the B8074 by the trees. Vegetation would be attached to the underside of the car.

This circle in this picture shows the area where I think the disposal site is (the line is from the gate to where it gets too steep to risk driving any further up the track)

Achnafalich area.jpg
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Old 15th May 2019, 04:44 AM   #660
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Hi, Night of the Demon.

I only just saw these posts as I haven't been checking this part of the forum regularly enough. I went up to the B8074 yesterday and in fact I came to the opposite conclusion to you.

My thoughts have increasingly centred on something you mentioned in post 631. That Gilroy knew where he was going before he left Edinburgh. I can't get past the way he drove almost non-stop to Tyndrum, going through some pretty promising body-disposal countryside on the way. I drove up there trying to think like someone who had a body in the back of the car (as opposed to a bicycle), and was looking for somewhere to hide it. My parameters were that I'd wait until I was into the Highlands, but I had to find somewhere before Dalmally. (The reason for that latter restriction is that I believe he was running an interference pattern with his mobile phone designed to mislead investigators into thinking he'd driven over the Rest and Be Thankful, so he'd be looking for somewhere well before Inveraray.)

Under these circumstances I don't think for a moment I'd have driven through Strathyre, past the turnoff for Balquhidder and all round there without trying to find somewhere. I'm aware that he lost eight minutes on that part of the journey but that's not really long enough for a serious attempt to find a disposal site. It's more likely that he stopped to eat that sandwich he bought in Queensferry Road.

I also wondered if he'd stopped in Callander to buy an OS map, but that's problematic. The bookshop only sells second-hand stuff. I bought a rebound antique copy of Buchan's The Dancing Floor and had a chat with the owner. She said she occasionally gets local maps in, but they go fast as "people come in here wanting one for 2 rather than paying 10 for them in one of the other shops." I asked her about buying new maps and she said several of the other shops sold them. However I had trouble finding one. The tourist information centre only opens at weekends. The newsagent was shut, for no apparent reason. Another possible shop was also shut, "back in 2 minutes" yeah a likely story. I did find new maps in a fishing tackle shop but they didn't have the 1:25,000 377 one for Tyndrum, only more local ones.

So I doubt it that he was able to stop in Callander and buy a map in eight minutes. Also, although I suppose with his military background he could read a map, when did he read it? It takes time to pore over one of these things and decide where you're going to go. And yet if he did buy a map in Callander he immediately got back in his car and drove non-stop to Tyndrum. Does not compute.

So I think the eight minutes was probably a stop to eat the sandwiches. One thing that has struck me about all this is that he wasn't exactly speeding. The AA times are quite relaxed and yet he mostly drove to these times. He wasn't in a huge hurry on the road. Again this speaks to me of someone with a plan who wasn't running round in a panic looking for somewhere to go.

Almost by chance I passed the Green Welly at exactly 13:22 (I left the village here at 10:30 after buying a picnic, and because I went round the bypass straight on to the M8/M9 and didn't go anywhere near the city centre I was still over half an hour ahead of Gilroy's time until I spent over half an hour dicking around in Callander). I drove straight to the Allt Broighleachan, just glancing at the Achnafalnich track on the way. I got to the car park at the Allt Broighleachan at 13:47. It takes nine or ten minutes to drive there from the B8074/A85 junction.

I wasn't impressed by the Achnafalnich track when I saw it, but for reasons explained later I didn't stop to investigate it. There was much much more grass growth than in your pictures from early April and it actually didn't look as if you could get a car up it - there were no defined wheel tracks at all. My gut feeling, from behind the wheel of my own car, was that he wouldn't risk it. That Vectra was his life, right then. If he ditched it, he was toast and looking at a life sentence without any doubt. I wouldn't have taken my Golf up that track yesterday for any money. However I could be wrong and I keep a moderately open mind. I intend to go back and have a closer look.

Bear in mind that the road-end of the Allt Broighleachan track looked a lot different in 2010. I knew the car park was there because you can see it in the OS aerial view, but it definitely wasn't there in 2010 because there's no sign of it on Google Streetview and the Google van went up the B8074 in April 2011. Also, as you will have seen, there has been a lot of very recent tree-felling just there. The entire place is much more open and not only is there a new forestry road coming in over the Eas Urchaidh bridge, it seems to continue on the other side of the road.

I was expecting the new bridge because of what you can see on the OS aerial view, which is a lot newer than the map itself. There is a new forestry road being driven right along the north-west side of Glen Orchy from Bridge of Orchy, and although it wasn't at the Allt Broighleachan when the picture was taken you can see from the direction of the track and the cleared trees that it was heading for there. So I expected to see a new, wider track and a new bridge big enough to take the sort of vehicles that would come on the new road.

However I could also see from the OS aerial view that the new track joins the old track only about 0.5 km up from the bridge. Beyond that the place would be much as it was in 2010 (as can be seen from the photos Hugh Venables took on 1st June 2010). And so it proved to be.

There were several people in the car park when I parked, but they weren't going over the bridge. A guy with a Westie, taking it for a walk. Just tourists, and not many of them, stopped beside the A8074. Remember that car park didn't exist in 2010, the place was gloomy with mature conifers, and there was nowhere to park. There's no reason to believe there would have been people hanging around like that nine years ago.

So I got my bike out of my car and packed the picnic and my map and my camera, and (fortunately) put on a pair of decent walking shoes, and set off across the new bridge.

I hadn't gone far when a Forestry Commission landrover towing a trailer came past in the other direction. The driver and passenger waved and smiled. But bear in mind I was still on the new track at this point, and the landrover came along the new track - I saw it approach. I'm not counting any encounters below where the new track comes in, because that traffic is entirely driven by the recent developments and there's no reason it would have been there in 2010.

Above the new track it was still a bit different from 2010 for a short way, in that there's a lot of felling going on to the right of the track, on the west bank of the Allt Broighleachan. There was another new track (narrow) leading off through the felled plantation which might be an analogue of the track marked there on the OS map but I couldn't swear it was the same line. There was a sign saying don't go there, forestry operations. However, not far above that, everything became extremely peaceful.
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Old 15th May 2019, 06:10 AM   #661
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It was pretty dry and although the track was potholed just as it is in the Venables photos, most of the potholes didn't have water in them. I think the Venables photos are probably a fair representation of what it was actually like only four weeks before he took them. I was pushing my bike much of the way because it was steep and I was having a bit of trouble with my low gear selection. I had intended to go up as far as this photo before stopping to eat but time was getting on and I was getting hungry so in the end I stopped on a sunny patch of grass to the right of the track (the left was in full shade from the dense forest and very gloomy) and started to eat my lunch.

This was when I saw the only person I encountered above the new track. It was a single hiker, a fairly elderly lady, making a fair pace up the track with a small rucksack on her back. We did the "hello, lovely day" thing and she passed out of sight up the track. That was the last I saw of her.

I packed up and continued up the track. Not long before the photo linked above I came to this junction. The signage is different now but apart from that everything is still the same. A path off to the right leading across a footbridge over the Allt Broighleachan that is completely impassable for a car. You'd be lucky to get a motorbike across it. I think the hiker I saw on the track must have taken that turning because it's almost inevitable I'd have seen her again if she'd carried on up the main track. The right turn is signposted as going to Bridge of Orchy and it's probably the way you'd go if you wanted a circular route without having to retrace your steps.

Shortly after that I came to the picnic place in the Venables photo I linked to above. There's a shallow ford through a small tributary burn, the track continues more or less on the flat for a hundred yards or so, and then there's the picnic place. You can see it on the OS aerial view. The track does a loop where there's a kink in the burn, and it looks like it's as far as you can drive (although it actually isn't). It's a fairly open space with a few trees and some grass and the edge of the forest nearby. There's one of these wooden picnic tables with the integral benches you find in forests, and a couple of places with circles of stones where people have built camp fires.

I stopped there to finish up my picnic using the picnic table, but then thought about pressing on. The track does go on, it's signposted as a left turn and you can see on the OS map that there's a right-angled bend there. In fact on the OS map it looks like a junction with a right turn as well going across the burn and up into the woods at the other side. There is such a track, very rough, but the "ford" across the burn is all boulders and completely impassable for an ordinary car so he didn't go that way. (The information board at the car park says that the track up by the Allt Broighleachan is the access to Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh and as far as I can see that's the way you'd have to go to get to that mountain, but it's not signposted at the junction and if I hadn't been investigating too see what the OS map was on about I wouldn't have seen that track at all.)

The left turn is rougher, narrower and more overgrown than the track up to that point. Also, the very first few yards are quite steep. I'm not sure whether he'd have tackled it or not, but I couldn't rule it out. I decided not to try to cycle it and left my bike propped up against the picnic table, walking on with only my camera and my map. You can see the lie of the track after that. Once up the steep slope it bends right again and heads along what looks for all the world like a railway embankment with deep forest on the left and low-lying boggy ground to the right, towards the confluence of the burns at Inbhir nan Allt. This is shown quite well on this photo and this photo, both by Hugh Venables of the track above the picnic place.

That puddle in the first photo is deeper than it looks, it's where another small tributary flows across the tracks. I don't know if Gilroy would have tackled that, but then with this much water in it it's not so obvious how deep it is (it was drier yesterday) and it's a very good bet for breaking a car's suspension.

Further on the track bends left again, and at the point where a fence line is shown on the OS map, vehicles can't go any further. The pinewood, a remnant of the old Caledonian Forest or Great Wood of Caledon, is surrounded by deer fencing. There's a kissing gate for pedestrians but the vehicle access gate is solidly shut with an industrial-strength chain and padlock. A little way before that there is a place where vehicles can do a 3-point turn.

So that's as far as he could possibly have taken the Vectra. If she's there, she's before the deer fence.
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Old 15th May 2019, 06:54 AM   #662
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I wanted to see the pinewood, so I went on through the kissing gate. Not long after that the track bends right again and crosses the Allt Coire Thoraidh via a ford that's as least as bad as the one I mentioned in the previous post over the Allt Broighleachan, so even if the gate had been open Gilroy couldn't have taken a car any further.

However, I decided to go on. I'd put so much effort into getting up there and I wanted to see the Lochan Coire Thoraidh for no other reason than that it's there. I'm probably not going to make the effort to get up that track again, so this was my chance. I walked on and I think made it almost to the 400m contour line. (The B8074 is on the 70m contour line so I climbed over 1000 feet that afternoon.) I picked up a shed red deer antler (a small one, only four points) on the track. It was a gorgeous day, wall-to-wall sunshine and temperature in the low 20s. It was a really nice walk. I got to the lochan about quarter to five and just sat and looked at it for ten or 15 minutes. Very pretty. I stopped at the point where the track ends on the OS map, just walking a little way to the left to get a good view of the lochan.

In fact it's possible to go on. Where I was, was the end of another new track, leading due west up the hill along the line of the firebreak in the trees that can be seen on the OS map. I thought about it, but it was steep and new and stony and unattractive and I don't have the first idea where it goes or what it's doing there. So I turned and made my way back to the pinewood and the Inbhir nan Allt and the picnic place. (I actually drank quite a lot of the Allt Coire Thoraidh and then the Allt Broighleachan, as I had only brought one 500ml bottle of fizz with me, but I'm still alive!)

Back at the picnic place all was as I'd left it, even though I'd inadvertently left my bag with my phone and some money in it, in my pannier bag. I suppose there could have been a load of day trippers there in the couple of hours I was away walking up the Coire Thoraidh, but I seriously doubt it. I hung around for a bit just taking in the atmosphere. It's incredibly quiet and peaceful, and very atmospheric even if you're not wondering about murder victims buried there.

Sure, people go there. Hugh Venables was there, and there are photos on geographia.co.uk from lower down the track taken by three other people between 2008 and 2017. Someone has made camp fires there. There are some initials carved on the picnic table, and even one heart. Forestry workers go there and have been there very recently as a bunch of bushes (again visible on the OS aerial view) have been very recently felled - within the past few weeks if not days. However, this was the nicest non-weekend day we've had this year. It was absolutely glorious. And Scotland is a lot busier than it was nine years ago, lots more tourists. And I saw one person and she didn't go all the way to the picnic place. I think if you were playing the odds on a cool and cloudy day in May 2010 you'd be on to a very good chance of not seeing anyone at all.

By the way, there's no sign of a mountain bike trail. Nothing on the information board at the car park and no signs up the track. One of Hugh Venables' photo captions mentions the track giving access to a mountain bike track (when it's not closed for repairs), and then again the photo of the footbridge leading to Bridge of Orchy mentions that as a cycle route which was closed at the time he took the picture. But there's nothing to show that, and it's not on any of the lists of mountain biking trails in Scotland that I've googled.

It's not what it appears from the appearance of the Eas Urchaidh bridge and the new car park and the new forestry road down by the B8074, not even now. And of course all that stuff wasn't even there in 2010.
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Old 15th May 2019, 07:11 AM   #663
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I think it's entirely possible that Gilroy could have got across the old Eas Urchaidh bridge in 2010 without being seen. I think it's entirely possible he could have got all the way up to the picnic place and indeed to the deer fence if he'd risked that last bit of track, and spent some time there, with a very low risk of being seen. And I think that picnic place might be the answer to a murderer's prayers.


You see the caption Venables has put on his photo. "Looking down to an abandoned meander of the river, not so much an oxbow lake as an oxbow marsh." And that's kind of key. The whole open area is marshy and contains the abandoned meander of the Allt Broighleachan which is a place where a grave could be dug with as little trouble as one might find in this landscape which is mostly either rocky or full of tree roots. One part of the meander was quite marshy and almost a small pond yesterday, while an adjacent part with wasn't quite so wet had been filled with the cut branches of the bushes the forestry workers felled recently. But for sure a strong man could dig a shallow grave in the meander and fill it in without leaving much trace. And of course the natural vegetation growth in May would soon hide any disturbance.


All this I clocked while wandering around the area. Then I got my things back together again and got on my bike and more or less free-wheeled with the brakes on all the way back to the B8074. I didn't see anyone else until I was back at the car park.
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Old 15th May 2019, 07:29 AM   #664
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I'm very conscious of "he knew where he was going even when he left Edinburgh". If he didn't have any personal knowledge of anywhere on that route, I still think he'd have started looking for somewhere back around Strathyre rather than pressing on until he was past Tyndrum. And I agree, the tracks that lead off the A85 aren't promising for various reasons. One reason of course is that you'd have to make a split-second decision as to which turning you were going to take, and that would require more knowledge than he could have had. I noticed that if I slowed down to clock the tracks leading off that road I very soon acquired a tail of traffic behind me and 2010 wouldn't have been any different. I think he had to get off the main roads before turning into the forest.

So within the area where we know he must have made his move, the B8074 is about it. And there are only the two tracks we've discussed that are even marginally possible. My point is, if he knew where he was going before he left Edinburgh, how could he have known about the Achnafalnich track? Indeed, how could he have known about the Allt Broighleachan track, but the point is, he could have known about it. It's the only place there is, within the radius we're looking at, that's both accessible for a car and not a private forestry track where there's no reason any ordinary member of the public is likely to go.

The only other possible explanation I can think of is that he happened to have an OS map of Glen Orchy, either the Explorer 377 or the Landranger 50, at home, but didn't have maps of the Strathyre or Balquhidder areas, and decided to head for Glen Orchy as the only reasonable goal on that map. That would take him to either of these two tracks, as both are marked. But again I think he'd have been reluctant to go up the Achnafalnich track due to the rough going, and would have gone to suss out the Allt Broighleachan one, so we come to the same thing.

But I do wonder if he had been up to that picnic place in the past, knew what an absolutely perfect place it was, and knew how deserted it usually is. A friend said to me recently, even though the murder was unpremeditated, I wonder if he had in the past looked at somewhere and thought in the abstract, that's where I'd bury the body if I ever murdered someone! It's speculative, but it fits his behaviour. It's such a perfect body disposal spot and it's right in the frame for the route he took, and wherever he left her body it hasn't been found either by chance or because of any clue he left.
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Old 15th May 2019, 07:57 AM   #665
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I guess, widening the frame of reference, if you were going to dispose of a body somewhere up that track, there are four basic ways you might do it.

As the track climbs the hillside, the left-hand side runs alongside very deep conifer plantations where the floor of the forest is mainly thick moss and tree roots. If you could get a body in there, into a hollow, it might easily not be seen even if all you could do was cover it with moss and branches. However there is a deep drainage ditch between the track and the forest and the forest floor is generally above the height of the track, and it would be a big job to get a 70kg body fixed in rigor in a foetal position across that and into the forest. It's also likely that doing that would leave a trace in the moss showing that something had been dragged in among the trees. Also, if the track were to be searched for any reason, a body disposed of like that would very likely be found.

On the right side the track sometimes runs very high above the Allt Broighleachan, which runs down a series of waterfalls in a ravine. There's at least one place where you could drop a body off a cliff and have it land out of sight in or beside the burn, far below. I don't think he did that either, because he would lose control and if the body didn't fall quite out of sight he's snookered. Also, if he was thinking ahead, and he seems to have been thinking ahead, he'd realise that in the course of time body parts or at least bones would be liable to end up in the River Orchy and might be found.

Another problem with both of these scenarios is that there's not much chance to get the car off the road where the track is climbing beside the burn up to where the footpath leads off to the right. I'd think he'd be nervous.

Actually that's a bit of a problem everywhere up there. Even at the picnic place there's no real chance to conceal a car (although maybe a bit more before the bushes were felled). But the higher you go, the better chance there is that nobody will come up that far. Which leaves the picnic place, the "oxbow marsh", and the rougher track beyond it, just below the deer fence.

The oxbow marsh I've already discussed. If anyone came up to the picnic place he'd be toast, but that's always the danger wherever he went. I think the odds would have been very much in his favour. The other possibility is risking taking the car even further, to the deer fence. That's rough but still not as rough as the Achnafalnich track. I doubt if he'd have taken the car up without walking it first mind you, unless on a previous visit he'd gone up there already.

If you parked a car in the 3-point-turn area there is easy access into the forestry plantation with no ditch in the way, and even a small green glade with a green mossy floor where I think you could dig a grave. It's more awkward than at the picnic place but it's less likely to be seen as there's a fair chance if anyone did come up there they'd turn back at the picnic table.

So one of these latter two places I think. You'd still need an archaeological dig to find anything by now though.

Time-wise, I think this is salutory. It takes ten minutes to get to the Eas Orchaidh bridge from his core route on the A85. Another five or ten minutes to get up to the picnic place. So let's say 35 minutes round trip to be subtracted from his 1 hour 51 minutes lost time. An hour and 16 minutes. It's doable, but it's not exactly all the time in the world. And if he went back to the same place in the evening, that's slightly less than an hour. Again a useful segment of time, but not masses. And yet this is the sort of extra driving time there would be with most of the possibilities round there.

The idea that he drove much further than this off his core route doesn't stand up to scrutiny, no matter how much diesel the police thought was missing fron his tank. I think it also underlines the probability that he didn't waste a lot of time driving around at random looking for somewhere, but knew where he was going even when he left Edinburgh.

I'll post some photos later, I don't have time right now. As I said I didn't go to the Achnafalnich track partly because I wanted to go to the Allt Broighleachan first, and then the Achnafalnich track looked very improbable when I passed it, and then first I decided to use the time I had to walk to the Lochan Coire Thoraidh rather than scope out more Gilroy possibles, and on the way back I realised I hadn't timed the drive from the car park to the A85 on the way in so I needed to do it on the way back. So I didn't stop, and by the time I got to the A85 it was about seven o'clock and dinner and the Tyndrum hotel restaurant were kind of calling me.
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Old 15th May 2019, 10:52 AM   #666
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Finally, Gilroy's evening journey. I lingered over my cappuccino so that I left the hotel car park (which is next door to the Green Welly Stop) at exactly 21:08, the time Gilroy was clocked passing the Green Welly in the evening. I tried to drive at a moderate pace, not speeding but not loitering either. When I got to the new roundabout at Crianlarich I turned into the village under the railway bridge, and then a right turn into Glenfalloch Road as Gilroy would have had to have done on 2010, the new road not then having been built (Glenfalloch Road is still signposted for the A82 anyway).

I wasn't speeding, and I didn't overtake anyone. On the contrary I was overtaken by about four motorcycles, a small van and a car. I got to Ardlui at 21:27 which is exactly as predicted by the AA. At 21:34, the time Gilroy's phone pinged the Ardlui mast, I was actually in Inveruglas, passing the Loch Sloy power station. I think this proves two things. First, that if Gilroy was driving to the AA speeds, as it seems that he was, he was already at or nearly at Inveruglas by the time the phone went on. Why it pinged Ardlui I don't know but I don't think he was at Ardlui at that point. Second, he was indeed some way short of Tarbet and the A82/A83 junction. I got to that junction at 21:41, whereas the AA puts that time at 21:42. I honestly think you'd be dawdling if you went much slower.

Sunset at Ardlui last night was 21:24 - that's nominal of course because the sun is well behind the hills by then. However I didn't notice the disorientation of twilight until about 21:50. Sunset on 5th May would have been 21:08 as far as I can make out. By that metric the disorientation would be setting in on that day about 21:35, just about the time Gilroy switched the phone on. However yesterday's sky was exceptionally clear whereas on 5th May 2010 it was quite cloudy with only some sunny intervals. Under those conditions dusk would set in sooner. This indicates that dusk disorientation would have been present when he switched the phone on.

Could he have made a mistake? I'd say yes. That road is bloody tedious. You just drive on and on with the loch on your left-hand side (going south) for about an hour and a half and nothing much changes. He could have noticed dusk falling, thought, oh I'm past Tarbet best get the phone on, eight or ten minutes too early. If he did, it was his only slip-up. But he must have been tired and stressed out of his skull and he was on the last leg and it was getting dark. Yes, I'd have waited. It wouldn't have mattered if he'd kept it off until Balloch. But he was aiming to hit the divergence points. Both switch-offs were bang on the junctions. Not sure about the Inveraray switch-on because an exact time isn't given. On the basis of his other behaviour he was aiming to switch on at Tarbet in my opinion.

(By the way, as regards the mountain access to Beinn Mhic Mhonaidh, I note from Hugh Venables's caption that the footbridge path to the right goes there. I expect if I look more carefully at the current signage in the photos I took, it will indicate that. So the right-hand track that leaves the picnic place going across the river really is disused. This means that the only reason for going on up the track past the footbridge turnoff is to go to the picnic place (which isn't advertised), or to see the pinewood (which is, but it's not the visitor attraction of the century), or to walk on up to the Lochan Coire Thoraidh, which isn't advertised either and is quite a long trek with no alternative route back. That "oxbow marsh" is not Picadilly Circus by any means.)
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Old 15th May 2019, 03:47 PM   #667
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So here's my theory, for what it's worth.

Some time in the past, maybe the same holiday when Gilroy was said to have become acquainted with the terrain around the Rest and Be Thankful, for some reason, he walked or cycled up the Allt Broighleachan track. Perhaps he stopped to eat at the picnic spot, although I'm not sure the picnic table was there then - I can't really make it out on Hugh Venables's photo. He was struck by the place, which is very atmospheric, and the solitude and the silence. He noticed the depressed marshy areas which might have been an old meander of the river. (I'm not so sure about that, it doesn't look so much like that from the other side, but that's not important. Depressed marshy land. A haugh.) And being a macabre sort of chap he thought, this would sure as hell be a place to get rid of an inconvenient body.

Fast forward to 4th May 2010 and he completely loses it during a screaming row with his ex, and strangles her to death. As one does. Oops.

Thinking fast, on his feet, he drags the body into a concealed alcove and makes a pretty threadbare excuse to go away and fetch his car. And if the body was already in the car by twelve, that probably solves the rigor mortis problem at that end because it wouldn't really have set in enough to fix the body in only three hours. So he could have folded her up and got her into the car boot. He fetched something to spare the inside of the boot, maybe plastic sheeting, maybe an old duvet, something like that, and managed to wrap the body in that so it didn't contact the actual car.

Then he did the rest of the stuff. I don't think the body would be giving off any appreciable odours as early as that evening, but of course the air freshener and charcoal would be needed to foil any forensic sniffing that might happen later. But all the time he's thinking, that lonely spot up in Glen Orchy. I can get a car up there. There's marshy land right beside the track. It's the back of bloody beyond. Anywhere I go I have to risk someone seeing me, but that's a good two miles up into the forest.

He's used to going to Lochgilphead to the school, and he usually goes by Crianlarich and Tyndrum because although it's very slightly longer it's a much better drive with better roads. Perhaps driving so close to the Allt Broighleachan has kept the place in his memory. But he knows the satnavs and the routefinder apps tell drivers to go over the Rest and Be Thankful and he imagines the police will assume he went that way. He also knows that's probably a good place to lose a body too. So he plans a bit of misdirection.

He sets off for the Callander route, but turns his phone off when he's passing Nyadd farm, just over a mile from the junction where he knows a driver heading for Drymen and Loch Lomond and the Rest and Be Thankful would turn left - and goes right, towards Doune. He's not driving fast because He Has A Plan, and some time in the next hour he stops for a bit to eat the sandwiches he bought back in Edinburgh. But apart from that he drives directly to Tyndrum and on to the A85 Glen Lochy.

He turns right into the B8074 and heads for the Eas Urchaidh bridge. There's no car park and the birches soon give way to fir plantations all around. There's nobody there, just a sign saying the road leads to a nature reserve. He drives up the track which is very potholed and it doesn't do his suspension any good at all. He doesn't stop until he gets to the picnic place because there isn't really anywhere to run the car off the track and he doesn't fance his chances dragging Suzanne's body across the ditch and up among the trees without leaving any trace.

I'm not sure whether he goes on the extra quarter of a mile to the deer fence or not. He may be less likely to be seen if anyone should happen up the track, but it's pretty rough - on the other hand that's maybe what did for his suspension. Anyway, he gets out of the car and changes his clothes completely, folding his business suit carefully in the car. (He's brought old clothes to work in, and a spade.)

He chooses a soft spot in the meander marsh which is already below the level of the track, and digs down three or four feet. He somehow manages to get 70kg of body, rigor-fixed in a foetal position, out of his care. Well he got her in. He must have been pretty strong. Did he work out I wonder? He was ex-military. I don't think he could carry her but in my experience the best way to move a body that's too heavy for you is to drag it along on a blanket or polythene sheet - having it in a polythene bag works well but he probably didn't have anything like that that was big enough. But he did have a blanket or a duvet or some polythene sheeting. He buries the body and chucks most of the earth back, but then he sees the time. He's going to be pretty late getting to Lochgilphead as it is.

He also brought soap, a towel and a nail brush. And he was probably wearing gloves. There's plenty running water to hand, albeit cold. He gets washed, puts his suit back on and bundles the old clothes, the duvet etc and the spade into the back of the car. I'm presuming he got the soil and vegetation on his car at this point. A hell of a lot of sphagnum moss, frankly. I don't know. And the whole of the picnic spot is mineral podzols, as is the track all the way to the deer fence. It doesn't hit peaty podzols until half way to the lochan. I'm fairly baffled by all this. Most of the areas searched near the Rest and Be Thankful are peaty podzols, but the floor of Glen Shira, the course of the B839 north of Lochgoilhead and a bit of the Ardgartan Forest are all mineral podzols and they were all searched. So I just think there has to be an explanation.

I'm not sure if he rushed off without leaving the spot as well concealed as he wanted it to be, intending all along to come back, or if he thought he'd done a good enough job. But anyway he went to Lochgilphead, carefully switching his phone back on after he'd joined the A83 at Inveraray. Even if he thought the job was done he realised when he spoke to the police that it wasn't and he'd have to get rid of the clothes and the space and so on. So he told the cleaners he had some stuff he wanted to clear out of his car and they gave him the bin bags and cable ties.

I have no freaking idea how he lost another 27 minutes at Lochgilphead or on the way to Inveraray. You'd have thought he'd have been in a bigger hurry than he was. But he wasn't. The police don't seem expecially suspicious of this part and there's no report that he turned his phone off again so I'm guessing he went on into Lochgilphead to buy something else to eat, and ate it.

Maybe his original plan was to go home by the Rest and Be Thankful and leave enough phone data to show that's what he'd done, and delay long enough that the cops thought that was the place to look. But whether or not he'd been going to do that, he hasn't finished the job till he's got rid of the rest of the stuff. He can't bury these things in the Rest and Be Thankful either, because if there's a search and they're found they're almost as incriminating as the body. So he has to go back to where he left the body to avoid leaving incriminating stuff in a second, less well hidden location. (Or maybe he always meant to go back because he hadn't finished putting the grave site back the way he found it.)

Getting to Inveraray he switches the phone off again so the cops can't tell which way he went, then he heads north on the A819. Back to the picnic place and he has nearly another hour to sort things out. Thankfully it's still all deserted. He gets changed again, digs another smaller hole where he puts the blanket/duvet etc, squashed into poly bags, and the empty air freshener cans, and the clothes go in last. After he's filled in the hole and tidied up he walks into the forest and loses the spade. He cleans himself up again as the light starts to go. He makes sure he's respectable and sets off down the track.

This does mean he's gone back up and down the track again with the damaged suspension, and maybe indeed he damaged it a bit more. Or maybe he did such severe damage in that huge puddle/pothole above the picnic place and he didn't go that far the second time.

Now for the last part of the cunning plan. He heads for Crianlarich and there he turns on to the A82. He intends to turn his phone on at Tarbet, but in the gathering dusk he makes a mistake and turns it on at Inveruglas instead. Damn. Maybe they'll think he went a few miles north after coming down the A83 to Tarbet before turning his phone on, to mislead them?

And all this would probably have worked perfectly if it hadn't been for the CCTV at the Green Welly (and the Doune one of course). There are a couple of other petrol statins on that road, one east of Callander and one at Lix Toll, but neither of them spotted Gilroy's car. But because of the CCTV the cops immediately figured out he'd driven Callander/Crianlarich in the afternoon, and in the evening had again come through Crianlarich before going south on the A82.

And they concentrated their search on the Rest and Be Thankful anyway. No, me neither.
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Old 16th May 2019, 02:48 AM   #668
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To be fair, I probably exaggerated the situation at the old Eas Urchaidh bridge before 2011. The trees closest to the road were deciduous birches, not firs, so not gloomy or oppressive. They probably wouldn't have been in full leaf by 5th May but they'd have been partly out. A pleasant green wash, not a screen.

And it wasn't entirely deserted. The Google Streetview camera has been up the B8074 three times.
March 2009: the birches are bare and a single car is parked in a passing place maybe 50 yards up from the bridge.
August 2010: the birches are in full leaf and there are three vehicles there - another car in that passing place, one parked right on the corner, and a third which is towing a small caravan on the other corner.
April 2011: the birches are still quite bare, just a haze of green. A car in the passing place again, and one parked on the corner.

That's the most recent image - they don't seem to have done that road again in eight years.

So there's always been something there, though less in the spring images than in the one taken at the height of the holiday season. Although the car with the caravan looks as it it's turning to cross the bridge I don't think it can be - the bridge and the tracks aren't suitable for a caravan.

However, I don't think these cars are parked by people heading up the track. Nobody else did that while I was there, except the hiking lady. The bridge didn't have a "no entry" sign back then, although it does now. There's actually nothing to stop anyone driving a car over that except it's slightly rickety appearance and the 3-ton maximum weight sign.

So why not? If Gilroy arrived at the bridge and there was a car parked, or even two, should that have deterred him? Maybe, but maybe not. The contrast between there being some signs of life by the river and the palpable solitude up at the picnic spot is really marked. If he'd already been there he'd know. He'd be hoping his car wasn't seen turning over the bridge but he had to risk something. And this was midweek in school term time, a couple of days after a holiday weekend. There's a fair chance, even if there was a car there, that there was nobody to see him.
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Old 20th May 2019, 11:22 PM   #669
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"That Vectra was his life, right then. If he ditched it, he was toast..."

My preference for the disposal site was the Achnafalnich track due to it being more secluded than the Allt Broighleachan track and he could have tried to drive on the Achnafalnich track and got there eventually collecting the correct soil (peaty podzols) on his way into the trees but if he couldn't see the track because of grass growth in May then I agree that it would be too risky.

I can see the merits in the Allt Broighleachan track as a disposal site. He did have to get off the main road somewhere and would have to risk being seen driving on these tracks. maybe he got lucky. At least he would have traction on the Allt Broighleachan track.

Pictures of the deer fence on the Allt Broighleachan track from Hugh Venables at Geograph.

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2026388 - picture taken on 1st June 2010

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2026254 - picture taken on 1st June 2010

The only downside to the Allt Broighleachan track is the soil type, the picture shows that from the bridge to the deer fence its all mineral podzols when (we think) the police were looking for peaty podzols.

There are mineral podzols off the B839 from Pole farm to Lochgoilhead and at Ardgartan (near the Ardgartan hotel and Forest holidays cabins) The police searched both of these areas.

Gliroy passed the Green Welly Tyndrum at 13.23 then the Royal Burgh cafe Inveraray at 15.51. It took him 148 minutes whereas the direct route takes 38 minutes, a difference of 110 minutes.

From the junction of the A85/B8074 to the bridge at Allt Broighleachan track takes 12 minutes each way to drive 4.4 miles each way. The deer fence is 2 miles from the the bridge and Google maps shows it tales 10 minutes each way to drive there leaving 66 minutes for disposal. (110 minutes unaccounted for less 12 minutes x 2 less 10 minutes x 2)

The circle in this picture shows where the deer fence is located.

deer fence.jpg

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Old 21st May 2019, 03:18 AM   #670
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I've been a little way up the Achnafalnich track since I posted that last, and I'm not entirely excluding it. It's not quite as hard to see as I thought the first time I passed and as you say the gate would be easy to open. Once you get into the forest it's amazingly creepy and completely screened from the road.

My main reservation is the gradient and the surface. I'm not sure I would risk taking my car up there and I didn't see anywhere to turn. Also I think he'd have left some fairly obvious tyre tracks that might have been noticed if anyone had gone there.

The other reservation is common to all the forestry plantations. Underneath these serried ranks of fir trees, there's no undergrowth. There isn't enough light. Nothing but conifer needles and tree roots. I don't think you could physically dig a hole in that at all, and there isn't any vegetation to cover a body. You'd have to drag the body far enough from the track that it wouldn't be seen and try to cover it with needles and whatever you could find. That would be enough to guard against a casual discovery if nobody actually went into the wood, but it certainly wouldn't guard against a police search.
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Old 21st May 2019, 03:52 AM   #671
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I timed myself from the Eas Urchaidh bridge to the B8074/A85 junction and it took nine minutes. I would say between five and ten minutes to get to the picnic place, which is about a mile and a half up the track. I'm not sure whether he'd have gone all the way to the deer fence or not, which is another 500 metres on. The condition of the track deteriorates quite a lot after the picnic place and the picnic place itself is the area to pick if you actually want to dig a grave. There's plenty soft ground with no tree roots.

In fact I wish Hugh Venables had taken a few more pictures round there that day he was up. You can see the "oxbow" depressed area to the left of this picture which would be very easy to dig in. However I think Gilroy would have gone round the other side of the tree, further away from the entrance and at least out of sight of anyone heading for the Bridge of Orchy track who just took a quick glance at the track going to the picnic place. Maybe there are more photos and Venables only posted his best ones? There could be some from closer to the picnic table. Maybe the police need to ask him.

Beyond the picnic place is certainly passable though and probably more passable than the Achnafalnich track. You can get right to the deer fence and there's a turning place. There's also level access to the forest without having to negotiate that huge ditch that borders the track further back. There's actually access on both sides, one side to ordinary commercial plantation forest with the usual forest floor problems, as you can see in the deer fence picture. I actually took a peek in there last week because the access to these trees on the right of the picture was so easy. On the other side there's a sort of boggy glade in the trees where, unusually, I think you could dig down. You'd be out of sight there, but the car would not be.

One thing about the track above the picnic place, there's a spot there that's a real suspension-coil-buster. Looks like a puddle in this photo, but actually it's a lot deeper than it looks - the water was lower last week and I could see how deep the rut actually is, it's where a small rivulet crosses the track. If he didn't realise the depth of that and took it faster than a slow crawl, bang.

One thing about the timings here is that it shows how insane the Rest and Be Thankful timings are. The Allt Broighleachan track is only 4.5 miles from his core route, as you say, and yet even there, and allowing no extra time for scouting around and trying to decide where to go, this eats into the time available quite noticeably. If he'd tried to go to the Rest and Be Thankful (or even worse, Ardgartan or Coilessan) he'd have had almost no time left to hide the body.

As far as the soil types are concerned, I'm not sure that we should be restricting this at all. I went for the Glen Orchy/Glen Lochy area because it has the same patchwork of soil types as the Rest and Be Thankful, but as you noted, the police searched areas that have something like four different soil types within that patchwork and the mineral podzol type was certainly one of them. And then again they searched Glen Shira which is outside the area with that patchwork, so I really don't know what the constraints are, if any.
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Old 21st May 2019, 04:02 AM   #672
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I keep coming back to the question of, did he know where he was going? Driving that road from Edinburgh to Tyndrum passes all sorts of promising places to conceal a body, especially after you're through Callander and into the highlands. I just can't see someone setting off completely on spec driving non-stop through Strathyre and past the B roads going to places like Balquhidder without making any attempt to find a disposal site. The further he went without trying the more he was limiting his eventual choices, and yet he drove all that way without looking to the right or to the left as far as we can tell.

So how could he have set off with a pre-conceived notion of where he was going, so that he ignored the attractions of the Strathyre area? I can think of two ways. Either he was going somewhere he had actually been before and knew it was a suitable spot, or he happened to have in the house already the OS Explorer 377 1:25,000 map that covers the area from Tyndrum to the west. If he had that map, but no maps further east, he could have decided to drive straight to the area he had the map for, and got some idea where he might go by studying the map the previous night.

Thoughts on this?
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Old 22nd May 2019, 05:09 PM   #673
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Well, my thoughts, at the moment. We can eliminate six of my 21 tracks on account of them leading directly to human habitation. Even if he did go up one of them he'd have turned back smartish when he saw the house or houses. We can also eliminate two that are almost certainly not passable in an ordinary car. That leaves 13 tracks. (I have not included the unclassified road south of Dalmally leading to the Duncan McIntyre monument, partly because it's the "wrong" soil type but also because it's a tarmac road that wouldn't explain borked suspension coils.)

Seven of the 13 lead off the A85, two lead off the A82, two lead off the B8074, one leads off the car park at Bridge of Orchy and one leads off the B8077.

The A85 tracks all seem unpromising to me. First of all, there's nothing about any of them that would suggest Gilroy might have had prior knowledge of any of them. They all lead into commercial forestry plantations and they're the sort of thing you drive past every day without even noticing. Second, only four are ungated. The probability is that a gated track into a working forest will be locked, and if the gate is open it suggests someone is in there working and so Gilroy might be seen. There's also the danger that he might find the gate locked when he tried to return to the road, which would be a bit of a disaster.

Of the four ungated ones, one might not even have been there in May 2010 (it was built between March 2009 and April 2011), one seems to run only a couple of hundred yards into the forest according to the OS map, one is extremely difficult to see from a car driving past, and the fourth is the entrance to the network of tracks near Succoth Lodge (west of Inverlochy) which would be interesting except they're in an area that doesn't have the Rest and Be Thankful soil type.

But on top of that, there's the problem of getting on to any of these tracks from the main road. If you slow down to see what you're passing on that road you very soon build up a tail of impatient drivers wanting to overtake you. It's actually quite difficult to pick out a particular track as you drive past, certainly on the first pass. This may not apply so much to the Succoth Lodge one, but having driven the section between Tyndrum and Inverlochy four times, I have great doubts that he either had any prior knowledge of any of them, or that he would have turned into any of them blindly.

Much the same applies to the two tracks on the A82. I didn't go up that road but it's also busy and both tracks are gated entrances into the busy working Auch Forest. I don't see him turning into a track that leads directly off a trunk road which is carrying a constant stream of traffic moving at around 50 mph.

This leaves the two B8074 tracks and the one at Bridge of Orchy which also gives access to the Glen Orchy forest, so these can be considered together, and the road into Glen Strae, which turns off the B8077.

I have some doubt as to whether Gilroy would have waited as long as Glen Strae to make his move (it's past Dalmally), although it's possible especially if he'd been up that track at some time in the past. Although there's a gate there's also a clear vehicle entrance with a cattle grid, because the track leads up to some inhabited properties. It does go to forest and I think it's possible to avoid the actual houses and the soil type is more or less right. I've not actually been there but I think it's probably possible to drive up it so I might give it a shot some time.

So, excluding the B8074, we have the Succoth Lodge track which is the wrong soil type, and I suppose also the Duncan McIntyre track if the soil type doesn't matter at all, and Glen Strae. I suppose we can't cross these out entirely but to me they're down the list from the B8074/Glen Orchy.

The most northerly of the Glen Orchy tracks, the one leading from the car park at Bridge of Orchy, is also gated and leads into a working commercial forest. If we're discounting the gated tracks, that one is out too. That only leaves the Achnafalnich and the Allt Broighleachan tracks.

If I'm Gilroy and I have the OS map and I'm looking at it the night before, I don't know how I choose. A track is a track. The map doesn't distinguish between a decent surface that any car could easily drive on and something that's barely distinguishable from the moorland it's crossing. If I'm going to discount anything leading directly off a trunk road that maybe excludes the Succoth Lodge one but maybe not - it would be much easier to spot than the others, as it's just a few hundred yards past the B8074 junction and the tracks it leads to look very promising. So.
  • Succoth Lodge
  • Duncan McIntyre (I left this out but it seems to have snuck back in again)
  • Glen Strae
  • Achnafalnich
  • Allt Broighleachan
The first two have the wrong soil type, if that means anything. I don't know about Glen Strae, I suppose it's on the list. And then there are the two leading off the B8074.

If I'm Gilroy and I've been to one of these places already and I know it's good, well I'm not him so I don't know which one it would be. Not the Achnafalnich track because nobody seems to go up that, and probably not Succoth Lodge. Allt Broighleachan, Glen Strae and Duncan McIntyre are all places where someone might conceivably have gone when they weren't trying to dispose of a body.

That's about as far as I can go on this at the moment.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 05:25 PM   #674
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I have also found out a bit more about Gilroy's explanation for the missing time on his journey. First, he says his car was already damaged before he set off from Edinburgh. There is allegedly CCTV footage from Queensferry Road (where he filled his tank) showing him looking under the car. Then he says he was so worried by the state of the car he stopped just after the Green Welly and tried to have a look at it. He wasn't in a hurry, he didn't think he'd stopped as long as an hour and 51 minutes. He says he did the same thing on the way back, actually put the car up on the jack to look underneath it.

This all sounds a bit like the dog ate my homework. First, if the car was damaged before he left Edinburgh, to the point he was looking underneath it, and stopping on the road to try to do something about it, why go at all? It was hardly an urgent errand. Second, an hour and 51 minutes? At the Green Welly? Really?

There's apparently no evidence of him actually going into the Green Welly, the car is only seen passing on the road. So where did he stop? He hadn't broken down. The car was still moving. Why not actually go into the petrol station or at least the car park if you're concerned there's something wrong. Why go just past? But mainly, an hour and 51 minutes? Suspension coils aren't something you can fix by the roadside. If you're worried enough to look underneath you won't see anything and you won't be able to do anything. There's nothing he could possibly have fiddled with for that length of time. Same thing in the evening. Putting the car on the jack? What did he think he was going to be able to do? How could he possible occupy an hour and 32 minutes just looking?

And then he drove on another hundred miles at the speed the AA thinks is average for that road. He hadn't broken down. The car was still perfectly capable of going along at 50 mph or whatever. Why stop at all, or at least why stop for that length of time? It's not as if he was changing a wheel, making any sort of running repair.

I don't believe a freaking word of it.

His story is that he thinks Suzanne got into a car right outside the IML office and was whisked away by a person or persons unknown. Apparently there was CCTV footage of a small car doing a bit of a silly turn there and then speeding off, and the driver didn't come forward. He thinks she wasn't really dressed for work and might not really have intended to go in at all.

Well if his behaviour hadn't been so extremely suspicious and absolutely consistent with someone who had a body to dispose of, maybe he could have made a case for reasonable doubt out of that. But basically I can see why he was convicted, put it that way.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 06:47 AM   #675
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There are a few options for disposal on the A84, especially the tracks leading east into the forest off the A84 opposite Loch Lubnaig but he didn't allocate enough time to go there.

He probably stopped during this route to change from his suit into his grave digging clothes in preparation for arriving at the disposal site beyond Tyndrum.

I think he planned everything prior to leaving Edinburgh on Wednesday 5th May 2010 :

(Pack change of clothes, boots and spade in car the night before)

1 - Switch phone off at Nyadd and stop between Doune and Tyndrum and change into grave digging clothes.

He took 74 minutes (12 minutes more than normal) to get to from Doune motors (12.09) to the Green Welly Tyndrum (13.23)

2 - Get to preplanned disposal site after Tyndrum and dispose of the body and everything else in the boot.

3 -When this is complete he is still wearing his grave digging clothes and still has to change back into his suit. If he changes into his suit and wants to bury his grave digging clothes at the disposal site then he risks getting his suit and shoes covered in mud.

It would be easier to change clothes elsewhere (somewhere between the disposal site and Inveraray but not at the disposal site). After disposal and still wearing grave digging clothes he drives to a secluded area and changes into his suit. He then puts the grave digging clothes and the spade in the boot and drives to Inveraray/Lochgilphead school.

4 - Arrive at Lochgilphead School at about 16.30.(classes finish at 15.35 on Wednesdays)

He had no reason to be at the school that day (the pitches were checked days before) the pupils finish lessons at 15.35 on Wednesdays and the teachers and staff would still be at the school up to 16.00. A member of staff may question why he was at the school if he arrived any earlier than 16.30 and that could get awkward.

5 - Spend some time at Lochgilphead school then leave

6 - Bag grave digging clothes in boot and clean boot. (possibly go back to disposal site for one last look)

7 - Stop between Tyndrum and Ardlui and dump grave digging clothes.

This explains the extra time spent between Green Welly 21.08 to Ardlui 21.34
It should take 16 minutes but it took him 26 minutes, 10 minutes more than normal.

If the disposal site is on the tracks beyond the Allt Broighleachan bridge then he has 89 minutes for disposal in the afternoon (including driving to and from the disposal site from the bridge) and 70 minutes to go back to the disposal site in the evening if he chooses.(including driving to and from the disposal site from the bridge)

"Allt Broighleachan, Glen Strae and Duncan McIntyre are all places where someone might conceivably have gone when they weren't trying to dispose of a body."

I would opt for Allt Broighleachan. If Gilroy has prior knowledge of these areas and has visited these areas on a holiday or a weekend hiking trip prior to May 2010 theres nothing but trees past the gate at Achnafalnich, theres really nothing of interest at Glen Strae and theres not much to the Duncan Ban monument.(no disrespect to any fans)

Allt Broighleachan has more going for it : visit the Eas Urchaidh falls and the track after the bridge is a good hike to a picnic spot. Possibly in the past he (and possibly Suzanne) went on a trip to the Eas Urchaidh falls and could have went over the bridge for a hike then a picnic.

"Suzanne enjoyed swimming, running and cycling"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...-fife-17727252

On the OS377 Explorer map the bridge has symbols signifying parking, a cycle trail, a blue star which means "other tourist feature" and in blue writing " Eas Urchaidh" (waterfall)

Picnic site picture link

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/argy...pinewood.shtml

If he has previous knowledge of the area then his plan could have included going there to check that the area was still as he remembered it and when he got there he could have went for it if the circumstances were right. (making sure that the bridge is open to cars and there are no tourists about)

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Old 23rd May 2019, 01:06 PM   #676
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I'm pretty much with you on most of this. I make it only eight minutes that he lost before the Green Welly, but whatever. I just note that his driving times when he wasn't playing silly buggers seem to fall very close to the AA estimated times for the routes, so I'm going with these. That's where the eight minutes comes from. But it's relatively immaterial. I thought perhaps he just stopped to eat the sandwiches, but you may be right about the clothes change. It would be less conspicuous if he was wearing say jeans and a sweatshirt before he even got to the disposal site, and police appeals for someone wearing a business suit would be foiled. It would also be one less job to keep him hanging about at the disposal site.

As regards the place where he went, I think we have to think of him as going somewhere intentionally. What we don't know is what information he was using to make the decision as to where he was going. If he was only using a map, it's not an easy choice as the map doesn't give any information about the state of the tracks it shows, and the information on gates is very unreliable. If we eliminate the tracks on the A85 between Tyndrum and Inverlochy and on the A82 between Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy on the grounds of access difficulty (and I think this is reasonable), the five I listed are all probably in the frame. I might semi-exclude the Glen Strae track from that as there are clearly several inhabited dwellings in the network of tracks, and the track skirts the forest more than going into it. But as regards the Duncan Ban track or Succoth Lodge, the main counter-argument to these is the soil type and that's the moment when we remember Glen Shira was searched.

If he was going somewhere he'd been already it's even harder because we don't know where he might have been. I checked geograph.org.uk and there are also some photos of the Succoth Lodge tracks so people obviously go there. They're not like the other A85 tracks which just go into the plantation with nothing else of interest. There are also a fair number of photos of Glen Strae, including a series by Hugh Venables in 2017, and of the Duncan Ban track. So Gilroy might well have been to any of these places - but by the same token theyseem to be a bit busier than the Allt Broighleachan, which if it wasn't for Hugh Venables would only have the four photos taken about 1 km up the track by three different people in over ten years.

I did try for photos of the Achnafalnich track but only found the one of the gate taken from the road, nothing from up the track. It's pretty unlikely he had ever been up the Achnafalnich track to see where it went, and even if he looked at it from the road my worry would be, is the track really passable for a Vectra, might I get stuck, and is there anywhere to turn. Also, opening and shutting that gate is going to take time and what if someone comes past on the road.

I think the Achnafalnich track is a genuine possible, but I struggle to see why that would be the one he chose. The gate is a thought, he has to get out and fiddle even though it's not actually locked - none of the other tracks are gated - and I think there would be genuine concern for getting his car stuck, or being unable to turn, or ditching it while attempting to turn. I also can't easily conceive of a scenario where he picked that track in particular off the map and stuck to it when he saw the lie of the land, rather than moving on to one of the others.

I'm still favouring the Allt Broighleachan track, but mainly because the soil type is wrong for the Succoth and Duncan Ban tracks. That link to the Walk Highlands thread is nice - here's the direct link to the page with the photos. They were taken last July and they show much the same as I found last week as far as the bridge area and the new track are concerned. Of course the felling of the bushes and the trimming of the isolated tree at the picnic spot are new, these obviously happened mere days before I got there.

I think that 2011 video is important to remind us what Gilroy would actually have encountered if he'd driven there in 2010. It's a lot different from now.

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I AGREE

Why that driver "got scared and decided to reverse off" when there's a perfectly obvious opportunity for an easy three-point-turn right ahead of him is probably something we will never know.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 23rd May 2019 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 05:04 PM   #677
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Moving on, I don't see why he needed to be late at the school. He could simply have claimed an appointment that had been overlooked. I think actually he might have been better off going straight to the school, wasting no time, and thus giving himself the maximum time window in one block on the way back. It's possible he was afraid to go to the school with a body in his car despite his antics the previous afternoon and evening. But then, if he thought his car might be searched by a policeman at Lochgilphead, he would have disposed of everything, not just the body.

I think he still had some incriminating stuff in the car, because of his request for the bin bags. I'm told these were the size of pedal bin liners, I don't know if that's true. He said he wanted to clear out some rubbish from his car and that might have been the honest truth. It has been represented to me that he only wanted to make his car appear tidy because he was going back to the police station. It has since occurred to me that this is not the action of an innocent man.

Why? I have gone to several police stations at the request of the police, to speak to them as a witness (re Lockerbie). On none of these occasions has it even occurred to me to chuck the sandwich wrappers and the sweetie papers before going there, because it never occurred to me that a policeman would have any cause to look at my car. It stays in the car park. I go in and talk to the cops. That's how it works. If Gilroy was anticipating that the cops would want to examine his car, this suggests he was already thinking about Suzanne's disappearance as something sinister (remember she was just a "free spirit" who hadn't turned up for work for two days after a bank holiday weekend), and that he might be seen as a suspect. I do not believe an innocent Gilroy who thought he was going to the police station to help with the search for Suzanne would have anticipated his car being examined.

I have an open mind about the second missing time window. I don't think we can be certain he went back to the same spot. If of course he wanted to do more to conceal the body, then he did. If he didn't, then it's possible that he went somewhere else, even though the missing time is in the same place as in the outward journey.

I totally see the problems with disposing of the grave-digging clothes at the disposal site. If you're going to bury them there - or even anywhere - then what are you wearing while you're doing that and how are you keeping your business suit clean? We don't know if he was always going to go back though, or if the phone conversation with the police changed his mind and he decided he had to do more to cover his tracks.

Option 1. He knows he's not done and he has to leave the site as it is and get to the school, then come back. He could wash his hands and face (in the burn?), change back into his suit, and stash the grave-digging clothes, spade etc. at the site, maybe just among the trees where they wouldn't be seen by a casual passer-by. That way his car would be passable to a cursory inspection at Lochgilphead. He could include as much of the gear as possible in the disposal, but he'd still be left with the clothes or overalls, boots or shoes, and the spade. Clothes and boots could be rolled up into two or three small bin liners. The spade is another matter, I'm not sure how he gets rid of the spade. (Personally I'd toss it off the cliff into the Allt Broighleachan, if he knew that cliff was there, maybe you don't see it if you're just driving a car up the track.)

Option 2. He left the disposal site in the afternoon believing all was completed and he didn't need to go back. He still had some clothes and maybe the spade in his car, he was possibly intending to dispose of them when he got back to Edinburgh. Or just put the clothes through the washing machine and put the spade back in the garden shed. However, after speaking to the police he realised he had to jettison this before he got to Edinburgh. Would he have gone back to the same place, or not? How would he have got rid of it all? If he bundled the clothes and boots into bin liners he could even chuck them in a wheelie bin, but that wouldn't take an hour and a half.

I don't know which is more likely. Perhaps the sheer amount of time missing in the evening suggests he had to get back to the site to do something there. His DNA would be on the clothes even if Suzanne's wasn't (and it might well be) so there could be a risk simply dumping them somewhere en route. You could lose a spade in a ditch anywhere in 30 seconds though, were they going to search the entire hundred miles of road from Tyndrum to Edinburgh?

I don't think he stopped to do anything taking more than about 30 seconds after Tyndrum though. The timings don't allow it. He did the entire 100 miles at bang on the AA time (OK one minute more), and we know he did stop (briefly I think) at Gartocharn to take the call from the police. As you know, I think he was at Inveruglas when the 21:34 phone connection was made.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 05:46 PM   #678
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I do think the Allt Broighleachan track is an extremely good place to hide a body. Look at that entrance, over the bridge and straight into the deep forest (in 2010). No "no entry" sign on the bridge, no gate, nothing to stop a car just turning in there and driving on. A track that looks as if it's going to be OK for an ordinary car.

Well over a mile (actually about a mile and a third) up through that track, climbing steadily, well away from anyone who isn't a hiker or a forestry worker. Then suddenly this open area, free of tree roots, soft ground in an existing depression (the "oxbow marsh") where it would be relatively easy to dig. Or alternatively, level access to the forest floor. Somewhere to wash up and get respectable-looking afterwards.

Some chance of someone coming past, but actually very little. It was midweek, a school day, a normal working day, and there had been a bank holiday weekend just past. And another thing, if he passed nobody on the way up, and there was nobody there when he got to the picnic place, it would be a fair bet nobody was on their way and he'd get a clear 45 minutes at least. And they searched the verges of the B8074 itself! If they seriously thought he might have unloaded the body from the car while it was parked beside the B88074 and buried or concealed it there, then there should be no problem believing he was prepared to risk the solitude of the picnic place.

The only thing is, the perfection of the spot is not something you can anticipate from the OS map. How did he know? Or if he went there, was it just sheer luck that was the track he hit on?

I don't see anything on the Explorer map about a bike trail, but it does say "Mountain bike trail" on the Landranger map. Both maps have the waterfall marked, the Explorer with the blue star, as you say. There was nothing signed at B8074 level about the picnic place or indeed a bike trail, in 2010 - only the pine forest nature reserve. I don't know if he was ever up this way with Suzanne, or even if they went on holiday together at all, but if they did go out doing active things when they were a couple it's possible the bike trail indication on the Landranger map attracted them to the spot.

We can't lose sight of the other four tracks I've identified, but this one does seem the best of the bunch, if he had some way of realising that. Or got very lucky.
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