Man found guilty of killing wife and son 46 years ago won’t say where bodies are

The family of the victims of one of the longest unsolved murders in Scottish history has urged the man convicted to give up the locations of the bodies he hid.

Last month William MacDowell, 80, was given life in prison for murdering former partner Renee MacRae and son Andrew in 1976.

Having finally been convicted, pleas for him to reveal the locations of the bodies have ramped up from Morag Govans, the sister of Mrs MacRae.

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The 84-year-old told BBC Scotland: “I was so, so happy that we got justice for Renee and Andrew.

“It's a long, long time we've had to wait for this result and I really never thought the day would come we would get it – I can't put in words how happy I am.

“I am hoping he will tell us where they are – where their remains are so we can lay them to rest.

“I don't think he will – I would like him to do this one last decent thing and to tell us

“Andrew would be 48 today, he was never given the chance to build his own life.

“Not knowing where their remains lie only compounds the pain. Thinking of the terror they both must have felt before they died continues to haunt us.”

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MacDowell, from Cumbria, killed the pair in a layby on the A9 in Dalmagarry near Inverness on November 12, 1976 – it is unknown exactly how he killed them, and he is refusing to give any details away at this stage.

It was thought that he did it after the couple had been separated for around 12 years at the time.

Three investigations have been launched since then, in 1986, 2004 and 2018, but only the latter proved fruitful.

Operation Abermule finally brought justice to the family, and he will now serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.

DCI Brian Geddes, who led the latest investigation said: "It is an absolutely horrendous crime.

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“It is as diabolical crime as there is.

“Up to this point we haven't been able to try and engage with William MacDowell, but that is the intention now and there will discussion and planning put in place.

“My intention is to at least attempting to engage with William MacDowell and him hopefully telling us where Renee and Andrew's remains are.”

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