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Son of Templeton Woods murder victim hopes killer can still be brought to justice

February 29 2016

The son of Templeton Woods murder victim Carol Lannen has broken his silence to say he hopes her killer will still face justice. Carol’s naked body was found in snow-covered woods on the outskirts of Dundee in March 1979. The 18-year-old been strangled to death. Less than a year later, the body of 20-year-old nursery worker Elizabeth McCabe was found dumped just feet away from where Carol’s body was found, having been murdered in a similar fashion. Carol’s son Derek was just three months old at the time. Mr Lannen, 37, was raised by his grandmother Christina McCluskey, who died five years ago. In a recent interview in The Daily Record, Mr Lannen said finding the killer would allow both his mother and grandmother to finally “rest in peace.” He said: “As I’ve got older and learned more about the murder I wanted closure for my gran. She was devastated by it and over the years her hopes had been raised the killer would be found then crushed again. “She passed away in 2011 and I’ve struggled to cope with her death. I just wish someone who knows something would come forward so they can both rest in peace as they deserve.” Police reopened the investigation into Carol’s death in 2008 but it remains unsolved. Mr Lannen said his family tried to protect him from details about his mother’s death as he grew up but that he was still taunted about his mother, who had been a sex worker, by other children. “I didn’t know much, as my family were careful talking about it when I was a kid,” he said. “They wanted to protect me from it, but kids at school would say things and tell me my mum was murdered in the woods and was a prostitute. Kids can be cruel.” He added: “We’ve all suffered in our own ways with her death. The person who killed her destroyed her family too. “I just hope someone comes forward and gives the police something they can work with now. “It’s time to let Carol and my mum rest in peace. They both deserve that.”

Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


World’s End killer linked to murders in Templeton Woods

August 10 2015

A former police intelligence officer has claimed that World’s End killer Angus Sinclair was also responsible for two notorious unsolved murders in Tayside. Chris Clark and journalist Tim Tate investigated unsolved cases from across the UK for a new book about Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe’s “secretmurders”. Mr Clark, who served with the police from 1966 to 1994, believes Sutcliffe did kill in Scotland while working as along-distance lorry driver but ruled out a link to the Dundee murders. However, Mr Clark said his evidence points to the man responsible being serial killer and rapist Angus Sinclair, who was jailed for 37 years in November 2014 for the World’s End murders in 1977. The body of 20-year-old Elizabeth McCabe was discovered in Templeton Woods on the outskirts of Dundee in 1980 only 150 yards from where the corpse of Carol Lannen, 18, was found almost a year before. Vincent Simpson was tried for the murder of Elizabeth McCabe in 2007 but walked free from the High Court in Edinburgh after the jury returned a not guilty verdict. Speaking exclusively to The Courier, Mr Clark said: “I am familiar with the murders of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe as I spent some timeresearching them. “My own feelings are that a serial killer was responsible. “Vincent Simpson wouldn’t fit that bill because there was no evidence that he had murdered before or since. “The police should instead befocusing their attention on AngusSinclair.” Sinclair raped and strangled 17-year-olds Helen Scott and Christine Eadie after a night out at the World’s End pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in October 1977. Mr Clark said: “Sinclair had acampervan which he took away on weekend and holiday fishing trips with brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton. “On Monday November 19 1978 17-year-old Mary Gallagher wasmurdered and her body found at the foot of a 20ft wall near a footpath crossing waste ground between Flemington Street and Edgefauld Road inSpringburn, Glasgow. “Sinclair held a knife to her back, made her take off her clothes,strangled her with the leg of hertrousers, raped her and slit her throat three times. “Her handbag was missing.Sinclair would not be caught for another 23 years. “On Wednesday March 21 1979 the strangled and naked body of CarolLannen was found in Templeton Woods close to Clatto Reservoir, which is apopular fishing venue. “Her handbag and clothing would later be discovered some 80 miles away washed up on the riverbank of the River Don near Kintore, a popular salmon and trout river. “On February 26 1980, almost ayear after the murder of Carol Lannen, came the discovery of 20-year-old trainee nurse Elizabeth McCabe’s naked strangled body in Templeton Woodsjust 150 yards from Carol Lannen’smurder. “It would appear that she had been choked to death with her own blue jumper, which was similar to the Mary Gallagher method. “Her handbag and shoes werelater found thrown away some three miles away in Cobden Street, on the route to the River Tay and the Tay Bridge. “My personal thoughts are thatthese are Sinclair’s crimes,” Mr Clark concluded. Detective Superintendent Bobby Hendren, of Police Scotland’s Homicide Governance and Review, told TheCourier: “The murders of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe initially formed part of the Operation Trinityinvestigations that led ultimately to the conviction of Angus Sinclair for the World’s End murders. “In both cases all investigativeopportunities were explored and there were no charges brought in relation to the Dundee murders. “As with all unresolved crimes, these two murder investigations are subjectto periodic review and any new evidence identified by or brought to the police’s attention will be fully investigated,” he added.


Police investigating Templeton Woods ‘flasher’ leaflets

July 5 2017

Police are investigating after leaflets warning of an alleged pervert were scattered around woods on the outskirts of Dundee. The notices were placed on benches around Templeton Woods, warning of a man in a Dacia Duster who, the pamphlet claims, has exposed himself and stalked families walking through the woods. They were discovered on the same day an elderly man was seen exposing himself in Broughty Ferry before approaching two 10-year-old girls. The incidents are not thought to be related. The leaflets were discovered by a dog walker in Templeton Woods on Monday morning. They state: "Beware of this vehicle at Templeton Woods. "This man is perving on familys (sic) and guys. "Walks about flashing his **** and playing with himself - down track and hiding behind trees and perving." A spokesman for Police Scotland's Tayside Division said they have not received a complaint - either from anyone who has encountered the man or the subject of the leaflet himself. He said: "Police Scotland have been made aware, and are looking into the matter." Templeton Woods is a popular outdoor spot but became notorious after the bodies of two murdered women were dumped there in 1979 and 1980. Carol Lannen's body was found in the woods in March 1979. She was naked and had been strangled. Eight months later Elizabeth McCabe's body was found. Although she was also naked and strangled to death, police do not believe the women had the same killer. No one has ever been charged in connection with Carol Lannen's murder. A taxi driver was acquitted of Miss McCabe's murder following a seven-week trial in 2007. The pamphlets were discovered on the same day a man said to be in his 70s was seen exposing himself to the public in Broughty Ferry. The incident occurred on the Fort Street bridge, between Queen Street and Brook Street, at 9.15pm on Monday. The man was seen standing on the bridge with his genitals exposed. At one point he was seen talking to two young girls on bikes, both aged around 10-years-old. Police said witnesses claimed the girls appeared "shocked" by the man before riding off. Officers investigating the incident said they are keen to speak to both girls. The man is described as being around 70, around 5ft 10in and of slight build. He was wearing a green baseball cap, a blue bomber jacket, green trousers and carrying a blue carrier bag. Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 quoting CR/17333/17 or speak to any Police officer. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Man appears in court charged with attempted Templeton murder

August 9 2017

A 31-year-old man, Robbie McIntosh appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court accused of attempting to murder a woman in a vicious woodland attack. McIntosh appeared in private from custody before Sheriff Simon Collins QC on Wednesday afternoon, accused of the attempted murder of Dundee woman Linda McDonald. Ms McDonald is currently in a serious condition in Ninewells hospital, where she is being treated for a head injury after apparently being struck repeatedly with a dumbbell. McIntosh, of Rowan Place, Bridgefoot, made no plea and no declaration to two charges levelled against him. He was remanded in custody and committed for further examination. McIntosh was charged with attempted murder in Templeton woods on Monday August 7. The attempted murder charge alleges McIntosh repeatedly struck Linda McDonald, 52, on the head and body with a dumbbell, rendering her unconscious before dragging her along a path – to her permanent impairment and disfigurement, to the danger of her life and did attempt to murder her. The second charge alleges McIntosh attempted to defeat the ends of justice –  having allegedly committed the crime in charge one – by washing his clothes to conceal and destroy any evidence. McIntosh was remanded in custody and ordained to appear back before the court in Dundee within the next eight days. A heavy police presence was witnessed in the immediate aftermath of the alleged crime, both in Templeton woods, Clatto park and Bridgefoot. Officers continued to scour the area and maintained a cordon 24 hours after the incident is said to have occurred. Locals in the area reported seeing scores of police vans and cars lining the road toward Clatto reservoir, with dog walkers continuing to use the remaining open paths. Templeton woods has an infamous and uneasy history of murder, with the bodies of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe being discovered their in 1979 and 1980. Nobody has ever been convicted of killing the young women, but a cold case investigator and former police intelligence officer Chris Clark believes they may have been killed by World's End murderer Angus Sinclair.

UK & World

Lord Advocate announces new ‘cold case’ unit for Scotland

June 3 2011

A new "cold case" unit to investigate unsolved murders such as Fifer Sandy Drummond who was killed 20 years ago this month is to be created. Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said the specialist unit would support prosecutors and police in reviewing unsolved crimes from across the country which they believe merit fresh investigation. "Justice will pursue down the years those who have so far evaded detection for their crimes," he said. "The passage of time should be no protection. "We will not give up and will seek to identify the perpetrator using new forensic and other investigation techniques and prosecute them for their crimes," he added. "No one should escape the consequences of their criminality and the grief this brings to victims and their families. "Our specialist unit will work with local prosecutors and the police to identify unsolved murders for renewed investigation. The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) and the Scottish Police Services Association welcomed the creation of the unit. Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton, secretary of the ACPOS crime business area, said, "I welcome this significant commitment which builds upon existing local arrangements. "Through scientific advancement and re-interviewing of witnesses, positive progress has been made in recent years in bringing some unresolved matters to a successful conclusion. "The introduction of this national unit will further assist and support both the investigation and prosecution of unresolved matters which continue to impact significantly on those families and communities directly affected." Tom Nelson, director of the Scottish Police Services Authority forensic services, said improvements in forensic science could be key to cracking previously unsolvable crimes. He said, "Rapid advances in forensic techniques have changed the parameters of forensic science dramatically. Continued... "Technological advancements such as improved ballistics and fingerprint databases and DNA techniques means we are able to revisit material obtained from the original investigation providing officers with a new avenue to investigate that could be the key to unlocking a cold case." There are more than 70 unsolved murders in Scotland but Mr Drummond's death is the only outstanding case in Fife. The 33-year-old was found dead on Monday, June 24, 1991, on a farm track near his home, an isolated cottage near St Andrews he shared with his brother Jimmy. Over the four days before his murder, he withdrew several sums of money from his accounts, most of which was found in his house. On the Friday before his death, he rang Guardbridge Paper Mill where he worked to say he was resigning and refused to work his week's notice. Dundee's most famous unsolved murders are those of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe, whose bodies were dumped in Templeton Woods. Ms Lannen's body was found in 1979 and Ms McCabe's a year later. Former taxi driver Vincent Simpson was tried for Ms McCabe's murder at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2007 but was cleared after an eight-week trial.


Cold case expert claims law change could be the last chance to crack notorious Tayside unsolved murders

November 10 2017

A top detective believes a law change is the last hope in solving two of Tayside’s most notorious unsolved murders. Cold case murder expert and ex-police intelligence officer Chris Clark said “similar fact evidence” would be the only way to move the two cases forward. Mr Clark, who served with the police from 1966 to 1994, believes World’s End killer Angus Sinclair was also responsible for the murders of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe. The body of 20-year-old Elizabeth McCabe was discovered in Templeton Woods on the outskirts of Dundee in 1980 – only 150 yards from where the corpse of Carol Lannen, 18, was found almost a year before. Mr Clark and journalist Tim Tate previously investigated unsolved cases from across the UK for a book about Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe’s “secret murders”. Lannen and McCabe’s murders were previously included in a secret investigation into possible Ripper attacks but Mr Clark does not believe Sutcliffe was responsible. He said both Dundee murders instead bore hallmarks of Angus Sinclair’s previous killings with regards the circumstances of their deaths, the methods used and missing personal items. Mr Clark said: “I feel the only way for Police Scotland to progress the two cases is for the law of similar fact evidence to be voted in by the Scottish Parliament. “Scotland is the only country within the UK which does not have this very valuable law.” Mr Clark also believes the Scots murders of Frances Barker, Anna Kenny, Hilda McCauley and Agnes Cooney all have the same “modus operandi” employed by Sinclair. He said: “The Sinclair case is one which highlights the lack of it and at least seven grieving families not getting justice for many unsolved crimes. “Just as the law changed on double jeopardy and convicted Angus Sinclair, I believe similar fact evidence would be extremely useful for the circumstantial evidence and virtually unique Sinclair crimes. “I feel that in setting out the Scottish unsolved murders as I have, coupled with the same modus operandi employed as Sinclair has been found guilty of, and the geographical dumping of the victim that the elements of the Moorov Doctrine apply and that there is a prime facia case that Angus Sinclair was involved in each and every one and should be tested by the Procurator Fiscal for the area in which each of the victims' body was found.” Sinclair raped and strangled 17-year-olds Helen Scott and Christine Eadie after a night out at the World’s End pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in October 1977. Under existing Scots Law, in all but exceptional cases, the jury is barred from hearing about the accused’s previous convictions, even if they were for a crime committed in almost identical circumstances. But a series of high-profile cases – including the trials of Peter Tobin for the murders of two girls found buried in his garden (the jury in the Dinah McNicol case, which was heard in England was told of Tobin’s previous convictions, while the jury in the Vicky Hamilton case, which was heard in Scotland, was not) ramped up pressure for a review. The Dundee murders have previously been linked to Sinclair, Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and even the infamous Zodiac Killer from San Francisco. Police Scotland said the murders of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe initially formed part of the Operation Trinity investigations that led ultimately to the conviction of Sinclair for the World’s End murders. In both cases it said “all investigative opportunities were explored”. A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on individual cases but we are aware that developments in science and technology have meant that cases formerly considered insoluble have been successfully revisited, and we anticipate that this will continue in the future. “Before any further major change is made to our approach on how criminal cases are conducted, we need to understand better how juries perceive information. “The Cabinet Secretary recently announced a study into jury research, this team will consider jury size, decision making processes, majorities needed and the three verdict system, and will gather evidence to inform future reform of the criminal justice system in Scotland.”

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Police patrols stepped up after boy indecently assaulted in Templeton Woods

March 26 2015

Police have stepped up patrols after a 13-year-old boy was indecently assaulted in Templeton Woods. The boy was cycling on the green trail near the rangers’ station when he was approached by a man who then indecently assaulted him. A police spokeswoman said the boy was “shaken, but unhurt” by the incident and there would be increased patrols in the area to provide public reassurance. The incident occurred in Templeton Woods between 5pm and 5.30pm on Monday and police say they are keen to speak to a man, believed to be in his thirties, who was walking a black and white bulldog and may have either witnessed the incident or be able to provide information to catch the attacker. Other dog walkers in the area expressed their shock at Monday’s incident. Steph Dolan, 22, a full-time mother from St Mary’s, said: “It’s terrible. This is a good place to walk the dog but I don’t come here on my own or later in the day because of the history.” Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 or speak to a police officer. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Although a popular destination with dog walkers, Templeton Woods has an infamous reputation since the bodies of 18-year-old Carol Lannen and 20-year-old Elizabeth McCabe were found dumped there in 1979 and 1980 respectively.