The 80-year-old pensioner is jailed for at least 30 years for murdering his mistress and her three-year-old son more than 45 years ago in Britain’s longest-running missing persons case.
- William MacDowell was convicted of the murders of Renee and Andrew MacRae
- He is also guilty of trying to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of the bodies.
- Mrs. MacRae was having an affair with married MacDowell when she disappeared.
A pensioner has been jailed for at least 30 years after murdering his mistress and her three-year-old son more than 45 years ago in Britain’s longest-running missing persons case.
William MacDowell, 80, was convicted by a jury at Inverness High Court of killing both Renee MacRae and her son Andrew in November 1976.
He was also found guilty of attempting to frustrate the ends of justice by disposing of their bodies and personal effects.
The court had heard how Mrs MacRae, who was estranged from her husband, had been having an affair with the married MacDowell at the time she and Andrew disappeared.
At Inverness High Court, Lord Armstrong had earlier told the jury that if MacDowell is found not guilty, or the case goes unproved, the 80-year-old cannot be tried again unless there are exceptional circumstances.
MacDowell presented two special defenses: one for alibi, who was elsewhere at the time, including the Mercury Motor Inn with three colleagues before he went home.
The other, incrimination, alleges that if the murders did occur, they were committed by Ms. MacRae’s estranged husband, Gordon MacRae, acting with others.
Lord Armstrong, dispatching the jury shortly after 10.10am, told them: “What you must do now is to consider all the evidence relied upon by the Crown and the submissions made to you by Deputy Counsel, and the same consideration to the defense and what is said”. by Mr. (Murray) Macara on behalf of William MacDowell.’
William MacDowell with his wife Rosemary at Inverness Court today before the jury returns its verdict
William MacDowell, 80, was found guilty of murdering 36-year-old Renee MacRae (left) and her son Andrew (right) at a rest area south of Inverness on November 12, 1976.
Prosecutor Alex Prentice KC previously told Inverness High Court that William MacDowell, now 80 (pictured), was the only man with reason to kill due to the risk of their relationship of more than four years. with Mrs. MacRae exposed and him losing everything
Renee Macrae and her son Andrew, missing since 1976. MacDowell was sentenced today for their murders.
William MacDowell (left) and his wife Rosemary (right). He was today convicted of the murders of Renee and Andrew MacRae.
Debris taken from the empty Leanach quarry near Inverness which was searched as part of the inquest into the disappearance of the mother and son.