HeadLine: VIOLENT SCOTLAND: KILLER ON THE LOOSE
The Mirror, 04/08/2001. p4&5
by SHAUN MILNE
A LOYAL pet dog stood vigil beside the body of young civil servant Anne
Nicoll after she was butchered to death in a frenzied attack.
Clerkess Anne, 34, was found by her worried boyfriend after she failed
to return home.
Her faithful Airedale terrier, Sophie, was by her side when her
blood-soaked body was discovered by partner Gordon McKenzie, also 34.
Anne had been battered and stabbed repeatedly in the neck and stomach
during the brutal assault close to her home on Dundee Law on Thursday
Last night, the detective leading a 60-strong murder squad hunt,
warned: “Anne had been subject to a particularly violent attack.
“We have a dangerous individual on the loose.”
Anne had collected Sophie from her elderly dad’s house to take her for
her nightly 10-minute walk.
She and her dad Angus jointly looked after the family pet.
But she was found dead less than two hours later – just 200 yards from
her dad’s home.
When she failed to return home, Gordon went to look for her and
stumbled across her battered body.
Anne’s body was fully clothed, suggesting there was no sexual assault.
As the hunt for her killer was mounted, detectives admitted they have
no motive for the senseless killing.
Last night Tayside Police Det Ch Insp Andy Allan said: “There had been
no attempt to conceal the body and she was fully clothed.
“Only one person knows why she died and that was the person who killed
Detectives said Gordon – who worked beside Anne at the town’s
Department of Employment – was “severely traumatised” by the slaying.
The couple had lived together for three years, just round the corner
from her dad.
Angus, a former newspaper dispatcher, is in shock and is receiving
His shocked neighbours have been left terrified by the attack.
Mrs May Crowe, who lives next door, said: “Anne was a lovely lass from
a really nice family.
“It is such a terrible thing to happen.”
Another neighbour, Jean Cairney, said that she regularly saw Anne
laughing and joking as she walked Sophie around the area.
She said: “Anne was a really nice and polite person who always had a
smile on her face.
“They used to walk up and down the road almost every night and I loved
watching the dog jumping up and trying to catch bees.
“The dog and her seemed to get on really well.
“It is a terrible tragedy.
“I feel really sorry for her father because he is quite old and I don’t
know how he is going to cope with this.”
And Ruth MacLeish added: “It is completely out of the ordinary for
something like that to happen in broad daylight.
“It makes you wonder if you are safe to go up there at all.”
Ben Freier, 66, said: “It is a tragedy. She was really nice. I just
can’t believe it.
“Angus will be devastated now.”
Anne’s death has stunned the community who regularly use the walks
around the Law hill, a popular place for dog-walking.
Anne’s neighbour John Clark, 75, was one of the last people to see her
alive as she left as normal on the night she died.
The former farm worker said: “You could set your clock by her.
“I saw her go past my window as usual but this time I never saw her
“Anne always walked the dog because her father had problems with his
legs and couldn’t do it.”
The murder scene was immediately cordoned off as police began searching
Search teams spent yesterday combing the area and were helped by
council workers using strimmers to cut back the thick undergrowth.
Rubbish collections in several streets were also cancelled after the
police cordoned off the area to look for any evidence which could
assist their inquiries.
The murder spot is close to a skip used by allotment tenants and locals
said the fire brigade had been called out twice this week to put out
blazes in it.
Local resident Margaret Black, 64, a grandmother, said: “It is a
popular area for walking dogs but I wouldn’t feel safe up there on my
“There are a lot of trees and bushes and you don’t know who might try
to mug you.”
The murder comes nine years after a chopped-up corpse was dumped in
polythene bags on the Law hill.
Gay Gordon Dunbar, 52, had been killed in a Dundee flat by evil
Alistair Thompson, 44, who was jailed for life for the murder in 1993.
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