Brutal Scottish murder revisited 20 years on in new podcast series

It was a brutal murder which left a young woman with her throat slashed so deeply she was almost decapitated.
Melanie SturtonMelanie Sturton
Melanie Sturton

Now, 20 years after the death of trainee nurse Melanie Sturton, a new true crime podcast series promises to shed new light on the case.

The body of Ms Sturton, 22, was found face down behind the door of her home in Aberdeen’s west end. Pamela Gourlay, 20, her upstairs neighbour, was subsequently convicted of her murder.

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The High Court in Aberdeen heard how Gourlay repeatedly stabbed the care worker, before stealing less than £30, some gift vouchers, and other items. Lord Marnoch, described the killing as a crime of “unimaginable depravity”.

Melanie Sturton's mother Susan PatrickMelanie Sturton's mother Susan Patrick
Melanie Sturton's mother Susan Patrick

The new podcast – The 
Storyteller: Murder Most Foul – is presented by the journalist and television presenter Isla Traquair, who covered the story as a 19-year-old newspaper reporter.

She has interviewed Ms Sturton’s mother, Susan Patrick, as well as Gourlay’s defence team, and the detective who first suspected her of the crime.

Ms Traquair, a former STV, ITV, and Channel 5 correspondent, said Gourlay, who has since been released from prison, has never expressed remorse for the murder.

“This case has always stuck with me and the 20th anniversary is perfect time to go back and see if there’s anything I can do to help bring the family some closure,” she explained.

“I have reached out to Pamela and she knows the podcast is happening. I appreciate she has begun a new life but I plead with her to consider the torment her silence has caused for those who loved Melanie.”

She added: “I am hopeful she will speak to me and give her side of the story.

“It would mean a lot to many people.

“No one has forgotten the case and although she has served her sentence, Susan Patrick is still serving hers.”

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Ms Patrick, from Ballater, said: “It’s been 20 years and I still don’t know why Melanie died. Pamela has been out for six years now and we’ve heard nothing. She owes us an apology at the very least. I want people to know the full story and I want Melanie to never be forgotten.

“Before Melanie even hit the floor, she didn’t have a name anymore. She was just the murder victim and the family are just left to pick up the pieces while the convicted killer is now supported through life. That’s not justice.”

The eight part series launches today on iTunes, Spotify and Acast.