Man charged with World's End murders

Key points

• Double murder case that has haunted Edinburgh for 27 years is solved

• First major breakthrough came in 1997 when forensic scientists isolated a significant DNA profile

• Case was re-examined in 2004 and aided by further advancements in DNA technology

Key quote

"We can confirm that charges have been brought against an individual, Angus Sinclair, and that he made no plea or declaration, was judicially examined, and was fully committed in custody." - Crown Office spokesman

Story in full A 59-YEAR-OLD man appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday charged with the murder of two teenage girls - 27 years after they disappeared.

The story of Edinburgh’s notorious World’s End Murders took another twist after Angus Sinclair was remanded in custody in connection with the death of 17-year-olds Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in the late 1970s.

The teenagers went missing in October 1977, shortly after leaving the World’s End pub in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with two unidentified men. Eyewitnesses saw the girls leave the pub at closing time.

Their naked bodies were discovered six miles apart, at a beach in Gosford Bay and Haddington in East Lothian, the following day. Both had been beaten, raped and strangled, and had their hands tied behind their backs.

For the past 27 years, the quest to solve the World’s End case has been regarded as one of the greatest challenges in modern Scottish criminal history. Over the years, more than 500 suspects have been identified in connection with the murders and more than 13,000 statements taken by hundreds of different police officers.

But it wasn’t until 1997 that the first major breakthrough in the case came when forensic scientists, using a newly developed test to examine minute traces of fibre, blood, hair and body fluid, were able to isolate a significant DNA profile.

Last year, with the backing of that DNA sample and the new technology, senior detectives from Lothian and Borders, Strathclyde and Tayside Police launched Operation Trinity to re-examine the World’s End murders and several others dating back to the Seventies and Eighties.

Confirming last night that a man had been charged in connection with the murders of Miss Scott and Miss Eadie, a Crown Office spokesman said that the suspect had made no comment in court.

The spokesman added: "We can confirm that charges have been brought against an individual, Angus Sinclair, and that he made no plea or declaration, was judicially examined, and was fully committed in custody."

Speaking yesterday, the father of Helen Scott claimed his greatest regret was the fact that his wife had died of a broken heart, brought on by not knowing who killed their daughter.

Morain Scott, 74, said his only wish was to finally see justice for his child.

He said: "It feels like it’s a lifetime since Helen died but I still think of her every day. I can’t put it to bed because no one has been brought to justice and there won’t be until someone is jailed. It has been a long, hard wait."

Mr Scott added: "After Helen died, my wife Margaret’s health deteriorated and she went downhill. I am convinced it was Helen’s death that killed her in the end.

"Margaret died in 1989, and, right up to the day she died, she hoped she would see justice done. She would always say that she was only living to see the person responsible brought to justice. She never did.

"Hopefully this is going to bring the case to a conclusion, although it may be months before it comes to trial. I have always hoped someone would be brought to justice and I have never given up on that hope.

"I have always had great respect for Lothian and Borders Police because they have never given up."


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