Published 19th Sep 2016 | last updated 14th Jan 2017
14th Jan 2017
On Nov 12th 1976, Renee MacRae & Andrew, her four year old son, left inverness, by car, to go visit Renee’s sister in Kilmarnock. Neither MacRae nor her son Andrew have ever been seen again. Later the same night, 12 miles away, a train driver spotted MacRae’s burning BMW car in an isolated lay-by. When the police reached the vehicle, it was charred and empty, apart from a rug stained with blood matching MacRae’s blood type.
Witnesses on the A9 reported seeing a man dragging something they thought was a dead sheep not far from the car, while others saw a man with a pushchair near the quarry. MacRae was reported to have been wearing a sheepskin coat when she disappeared. 
As police investigated it became apparent that MacRae’s personal life was not straightforward. Circa 1971, unbeknownst to her husband, MacRae began to have an affair with Bill McDowell, who was married with two children and worked for Gordon MacRae as an accountant and company secretary. Nobody knew about the affair except Valerie Steventon, MacRae’s best friend.  She revealed that MacRae was not visiting her sister that night, but was going to Perthshire to visit MacDowell, who happened to be Andrew’s biological father. MacRae told her friend about her affair in the spring of 1973 when she was pregnant with Andrew. According to Steventon, “Renee was completely besotted by Bill”, and he had told her that he had a job with Texaco in Shetland and had found a house where they could live. Though, according to Steventon, these details “turned out to be a pack of lies.”  MacDowell admitted their affair but has not spoken about the case again except to deny any involvement. read in full wiki
Digger Used In Macrae Hunt 02/04/77
Quarry Find By Macrae Searchers .Renee MacRae Nov 1st 1977
Renee MacRae? Nov 5th 1977
- Can Hypnosis Help Solve The Macrae Mystery? Nov 4th 1978
- Now Renee Macrae’s Husband Can Remarry .By Bruce Mckain Oct 3rd 1980
- Ex-lover Upset By Macrae Inquiry Dec 12th 1987
- On a mission to solve murder mystery 00:10 Tuesday 24 August 2004
Police 24-hour guard at quarry to be searched for Renee MacRae
Police are keeping a 24-hour guard on the Highland quarry where detectives believe the remains of Renee MacRae and her son might be buried. Northern Constabulary is now expected to bring in forensic experts Professor Sue Black from Dundee University and Professor John Hunter from Birmingham University, a week on Monday.
Press & Journal 13.08.04 SOURCE
MacRae Murder Mystery nov 2004
John often thought about how different things might have been had his superior officers just allowed him one more day of the use of a digger that had been brought into the quarry to search for bodies when the police force had realised the initial mistake that they had made. Towards the end of a weekend search of the quarry John and the machine operator got a distinct smell of something rotten. They stopped using the machine and started digging with hand tools but found nothing by the end of their shift. First thing on Monday John reported his findings to his boss but was utterly shocked to be told that the search was off. The machine was off hire because of constraints on costs. There was no arguing. Arguing would only prejudice promotion or indeed might prejudice ones wish to stay in the force.
Many other fishermen had to listen to John’s doubts and disappointment in the investigation until one day someone urged him to go to the papers with the story. Time and again the power of the British free press are responsible for investigative journalists turning up important clues and solving crimes where the police had been defeated. John wasn’t so sure. His story might embarrass the police force. There were still reunions, retirement parties and Burn.s suppers to attend. This could prejudice any hope that he might hold for reciting Tam-o-shanter to a captive audience. It was all a bit risky. He spoke to one or two journalists and they urged him to go public with the information.
Well how do you measure a man? The measure of a man is truth, without which there is no other virtue. So john would go to the press. But at the last moment, he had another hesitation. Should he not do the decent thing and consult Renee’s husband Gordon MacRae, just to see what his angle on the case might be. Gordon listened as John spelt out the detail and his disappointment that he was not allowed to work on with the digger at Dalmagarry. What did Macrae think about involving the press?
Macrae suggested that he had a better idea. He had plenty diggers around his construction firm. At the time Renee went missing Macrae’s were the king pin in the construction industry around Inverness, employing 630 men. MacRae would send one of his diggers up to Dalmagarry to dig wherever John felt it was necessary. MacRae had friends in high places. He would contact his friends in the Forestry Commission to borrow a little forestry van for John to use running back and fore to the quarry investigation. This way the investigation would be kept a secret.
John was surprised, to say the least and sat back to wait for the action to begin. John is still waiting.
So what happened to the MacRae action plan? The reader will have to ask MacRae. John phoned the MacRae office, countless times. Left messages for Gordon MacRae to ring him back, but to this day, absolutely nothing.
If Gordon had honoured his offer to John would the public purse have been spared the £240,000 that Northern Coonstabulary spent in and around Dalmagarry in 2004? John still waits for his line to tighten on the banks of the Ness and often thinks that if Renee’s killer keeps getting away with it, it is maybe because Northern Con are using the wrong bait or fishing in the wrong pool. Is someone still thwarting the investigation? Read in full HERE
- A9 roadworks could uncover bodies of Renee MacRae and her son 10.04.16
- Hopes Renee MacRae’s killer can still be brought to justice – P & J 25.03.16
- Renee MacRae murder: Quarry at centre of mystery to The P & J 02.04.15
“he predicted fresh evidence would emerge to finally solve high-profile murders which have cast a shadow over the region, such as those of Nairn banker Alistair Wilson & Inverness mother Renee McRae” READ IN FULL HERE