Friday, 5 December 2014

Willie McRae: Part 3 – Suicide


If this is your first visit to my series on the death of Willie Macrae you can find the first two parts here [Part 1; Part 2].

This post continues with my plan to give the basics about Macrae’s death.  The first two posts give an brief introduction and then a description of his last journey.  Today we look at the authorities’ decisions to label his death as suicide. 

In other posts I’ll look in more detail at the inconsistencies and confusions which have given rise to belief, among many, that Macrae was murdered.

I need to state that I have an open mind; I come with no agenda other than to pick my way honestly through the morass of words written since 1985.  Too much in the past appears to have been written from various fixed positions.   When I write about politics, Scottish independence or my faith I write from a fixed position.  I can’t do that here. 

I’m not writing to change anyone’s mind.  I want to understand, as best I can, what happened to Willie and writing here is the best way for me to continue and complete my task. 


Now in the last post we got to the point where Macrae died at 3.30am on Sunday, 7th April, from a gunshot wound to his head.  

The key question to be answered was whether the wound was self-inflicted or not and deliberately or not.  It doesn’t take a great mind to see that the act was deliberate.

Therefore we are left with:

Did Willie Macrae shoot himself?

Did another shoot Willie Macrae?

Macrae had an unlicensed handgun, he was shot with that gun and the gun was fired while pressed against or very close to the his skull which, according to the post mortem report was indicative of suicide. 

PM Extract 1A


Macrae struggled with depression and alcoholism, according to his younger brother, Fergus, who was  a GP,

I have no doubt at all that it was suicide.  I had the gun in my possession for about a year, after a previous occasion on which he had threatened suicide.  I took the gun from him and kept it in a drawer.  When he improved so much, I gave it back to him more as a gesture of confidence. [Source] 


Thomas Aitchison, the Inverness procurator Fiscal, is quoted as saying,

The death has been fully investigated.  There is (sic) no suspicious circumstances in this case.


In 1989, the Lord Advocate, Peter Fraser as was, Lord Fraser of Carmylie, wrote about why a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Macrae’s death was denied,

Lord Fraser Extract 1A

[Highlighting and editing is mine]


So there we have the official position.


Willie Macrae committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with his own gun.


I have no doubt that there is significant evidence to support this contention.  Despite this, however, many dispute the decision.  In the final short scene-setting post I describe how attempts to have more information released have struggled.  Thereafter, I will start to look in much more detail at aspects of Macrae’s death.


© CalumCarr 2014



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Please feel free to reproduce extracts provided you attribute the words and images to me taking into account the provisos below.

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  1. I await with interest the official explanation (if there was one) for the gun being found so far from the body (as I think I read) while the hands were neatly folded on the lap (as I think I read). Doesn't sound like the aftermatch of a violent twitching of arm that projected the gun away through an open window (was there an open window or door?), although I suppose... if he survived a while after the shot... after all some have survived bullets or even huge metal bars going all the way through the head. This is an interesting thing to investigate. I don't remember hearing of it before finding your post yesterday.

  2. But there again, a murderer would be awfully stupid just to throw a gun to an easily detected location nearby, but nevetheless quite implausibly far away, if trying to fake a suicide. Either way it is puzzling (so far)...

  3. So you've been doing some reading? Good. You've hit on some of the inconsistencies. There are many ... but do the inconsistencies mean that his death wasn't suicide?

    It's too easy to jump on the conspiracy bandwagon. They (conspiracy theorists) might be right but wherever I end up I want to reach through reading, thought and analysis.

    I try to say I'm a lapsed scientist but I guess the logical inquiring mind is still there!

  4. The newspaper article allegations that seem to have set you off on this trail are highly topical and relevant in the light of what is emerging now, regardless of whether the death was "just" suicide. I hope you get stuck into this with the tenacity I know you possess.

  5. Thanks for your confidence!!


  6. I'm remebering how you sunk your teeth into Trafigura and wouldn't let go. I am very interested to see where this quest takes you.