Thursday, 4 December 2014

Willie McRae: Part 2 – Last Journey

This is another scene-setting post.  Part 1 is here.
To launch into all the confusions and contradictions now would lead to our getting totally lost in a mishmash of facts, lies and conjecture.  Better that I outline the basics first and then go back and look in more detail.  I hope Part 4 will start this more detailed process but I’m not sure of my path yet.  Time spent well now will bear fruit.  Also because of the complexity of this case each detailed post is likely to take me several days to write.  Please bear with me.

On Friday, 5th April 1985 about 6.30pm, Willie Macrae set out from Glasgow to his holiday home near Dornie in Wester Ross – about a 170 mile drive.  Almost the entire drive was on single carriageway roads with much of the driving being in the dark.  Sunset would have been about 8.05pm [based on sunset being that time on 6th April 2015].  Google maps estimates the driving time as 3h 55min.  He should have arrived some time around 10.30pm if he didn’t stop.

He never arrived.

About 10am on Saturday morning, 6th April, two Australian tourists saw a car some distance off-road.
For those who don’t know Scotland, below is a map showing the route which Macrae took.
Macrae Route 1C
Glasgow and Dornie are marked.  Macrae’s car was found off-road on the stretch between the yellow arrows about 30 miles from his destination.

The image below shows the crash area (between the yellow arrows) in more detail.  We will examine this area in subsequent posts.
Macrae Route 1E
The Australians drove on for a few miles before returning and, with the aid of binoculars, they saw the driver unconscious in the car.  They stopped the next car two of whose occupants were a GP and David Coutts, a member of the SNP who knew Willie Macrae.

They scrambled down to the car where Coutts recognised the unconscious driver as Willie Macrae.  Dorothy Messer, the GP, noticed Macrae had a head wound and had a dilated pupil, which indicated brain damage. [Some reports mention one dilated pupil and others two.] 

A passing car drove on and raised the alarm.  Only one police constable and the local ambulance driver came to the scene.  With the help of the witnesses, they freed Macrae who was taken the 46 miles to Raigmore hospital in Inverness (shown on the map by a white arrow).

The synopsis from Northern Constabulary states,
Police Synopsis Extract 4B
Because he had a brain injury Macrae was transferred to hospital in Aberdeen, 102 miles away, (also white arrowed).  Only in Aberdeen Infirmary was it found that Macrae’s head wound was caused by a bullet.   

The police synopsis continues,
Police Synopsis Extract3
At 3.30 in the morning of Sunday, 7th April, Macrae died without regaining consciousness.

And so Willie Macrae’s life ended.

And the uncertainty of his death started and continues now, more than 29 years later.

Next time will be a scene-setter too as we look uncritically at the official view that Macrae’s death was suicide.

Come by again.

© CalumCarr 2014
Copyright over this article is retained by me, CalumCarr.
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