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Brian Kirk obituary: Superintendent who probed notorious Dundee murders

Brian Kirk.
Brian Kirk.

Retired police superintendent Brian Kirk, who investigated some of Dundee’s most notorious murders, has died aged 71.

In 1979 he was part of the team probing the notorious triple murders on Kinghorne Road and helped to secure Sonny Mone’s conviction.

The scene of the murder of three women in Kinghorne Road, Dundee, in 1979.

The following year, Brian he was involved in investigating the killing of retired GP Dr Alexander Wood and his wife Dorothy in their Roseangle home.

The man responsible for these extremely violent murders, John Gallagher, never stood trial but was sent to a psychiatric facility after committing several violent crimes in England.

Police investigation into the double murder in Roseangle, Dundee, in 1980. The house remains unoccupied to this day.

Brian had joined the CID by the time of the Templeton Woods murders of Carol Lannen in 1979 and Elizabeth McCabe the following year.

In 2007 he was called to give evidence at the trial of former Newtyle taxi driver Vincent Simpson who was cleared of the murder of Miss McCabe.

Officers from Tayside Police searching Templeton Woods in 1980.

When body parts were discovered scattered around the city shortly after Christmas in 1992, Brian was part of the investigating team.

Gordon Dunbar, a former council architect, had been murdered and dismembered in a flat in Butterburn Court, Dundee. Mr Dunbar’s head was never found.

Alastair Thompson, who had a violent past, was arrested, found guilty at trial and sentenced to life in prison, He died in prison in 2010.

The police hunt on the Law and killer Alastair Thompson.

Brian Kirk was born in St Andrews in October 1950 and was said to be the last baby born in St Andrews Cottage Hospital.

His parents were Willie, a driver for St Andrews University, and his wife Jean, a cleaner. He was the eldest of a large family; brothers, Norman, Leslie, Dennis and Stuart and sister Linda.

Brian was educated at Langlands Primary School, St Andrews, then Madras College which he left aged 16 to study chemical engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

On the beat

He joined the then Dundee City Police in 1972 as a graduate entrant and spent his early years in uniform in Fintry then Whitfield.

In 1978 he transferred to CID and was promoted to detective sergeant in 1984 and uniform inspector in 1988.

After a spell working in complaints and discipline, he became area crime officer in Forfar in 1990.

In 1993, Brian returned to Tayside Police headquarters in Dundee to take up a position in the performance review section. Later that year he was promoted to chief inspector.

After a period in the community affairs department, Brian was promoted to superintendent in 1997.

During his career, he undertook further study and gained a degree in business management from Abertay University.


Brian and his wife Linda, who had two daughters, Samantha and Lindsey, were married in 1978.

Throughout his life Brian had been a keen player with Madras Rugby Club and was part of the team that gained promotion to Division Two in 1980.

He was part of the club’s tour of Sri Lanka and also played for the Tayside Police alongside his closest friend, Colin Balsillie, Ronnie Wilkie, John Brockelbank and Charlie Anderson.


In retirement, Brian had a number of part-time jobs but mainly enjoyed going on holiday and spending time with his grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on Monday, April 11 at Dundee crematorium at 12.30pm, followed by a reception at Madras Rugby Club.

You can read the family’s announcement here

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