Ian Rankin backs private investigation into death of former SNP chairman

Fatal Accident Inquiry for Willie McRae

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Ian Rankin backs private investigation into death of former SNP chairman

Ian Rankin backs private investigation into death of former SNP chairman

Ian Rankin backs private investigation into death of former SNP chairman

A PRIVATE investigation led by senior retired police officers has been launched in an attempt to solve one of Scotland’s most baffling deaths.

Two former Strathclyde Police detectives have been recruited by campaigners looking to dispel the question mark that has hung over the death of Willie McRae.

 


Fatal Accident Inquiry for Willie McRae

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 The Death of Willie McCrae

Nov 21, 2011 in Guest Posts

Today Mulholland Books celebrates the publication of Ian Rankin’s THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAD, the second in the Matthew F. Fox series that began with THE COMPLAINTS–now available from Reagan Arthur Books. Rankin discusses a case from the 1980s in Scotland that provided the inspiration for THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAD in the below essay.

Read “The Death of Willie McCrae on the Reagan Arthur Books Blog.

On the morning of April 6th 1985, two Australian tourists were driving along a desolate stretch of the A87 in north-west Scotland. They saw that a maroon-coloured Volvo had come off the road. There was a man in the driving-seat, alive but in bad shape. They flagged down another car, which happened to contain a doctor as well as a Scottish National Party councillor. The councillor recognised the man in the Volvo as Willie McRae, a fervent Nationalist who had run for the SNP leadership in 1979. An ambulance was summoned and McRae was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, before being transferred to Aberdeen. It was here that a nurse washed his head-wound and noticed something startling: a bullet-hole. At this stage, McRae was still alive, but had suffered massive brain damage. The following day, with his family’s consent, his life-support was turned off. His car meantime seems to have been removed from the scene of the crash, only to be re-sited by police once they knew about the shooting. A search was made, and a handgun eventually found some distance away. The gun, a Smith and Wesson .22 revolver, belonged (albeit illegally) to McRae. He had taken to carrying it with him. Why? Because he was afraid.

No Fatal Accident Inquiry (the Scottish equivalent of an inquest) was ever held. McRae was deemed to have committed suicide, though not everyone was convinced. When a journalist got access to the official paperwork in 1995, he noted that the death had been ruled ‘undetermined’ rather than ‘suicide’. read article in full


 Fatal Accident Inquiry for Willie McRae

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