Former Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson MBE headed up the Lockerbie investigation and helped bring some of Scotland’s most notorious killers to justice.
He died, aged 78, after an illness on January 31 with a funeral at Warriston Crematorium later this month.
Former Lothian and Borders Police deputy chief constable Tom Wood rose through the ranks under DCS Henderson.
The pair worked in CID together and the major investigations unit for 20 years – helping bring killers Robert Black and Angus Sinclair to justice.
“Stuart was a friend of mine and we worked together for many years. He was an outstanding man with unbounded enthusiasm,” said Mr Wood.
“If you could’ve bottled his essence, you could’ve sold it for a fortune. He was also a very talented sportsman and played football for the national police team.
“He was a highly social man and a sportsman. He was a runner and a golfer and had an enthusiasm about everything.
“He was committed to the job, most latterly as senior investigating officer of Lockerbie. It was an enormous job and would’ve crushed most men – but not Stuart. I was very, very sad to hear of his death at a relatively young age. He was super physically fit – an incredible character.
“He did nothing in half measures. Everything he did was 100 per cent, that’s the kind of guy he was and everybody who worked with him would recognise that.
“He was one of the outstanding police officers of his generation and a first class detective.”
Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone last night praised Mr Henderson for remaining close to families affected by Lockerbie.
Mr Livinstone said: “He performed his public service with skill and commitment and will be sorely missed.”
Mr Henderson was awarded the MBE in the 1992 New Year Honours list. He was appointed deputy senior investigation officer in the Lockerbie inquiry in 1988 before taking charge of the inquiry in 1990. The investigation led to the conviction of Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.
In 2009, Mr Henderson described the decision to release al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds as “naive” and a “mistake”.
Al-Megrahi died of cancer in Tripoli in 2012 and is the only person to be convicted over the 1988 atrocity.
Mr Henderson is survived by wife Yvette, 75, their three children, Lissette, Vicky and David, and six grandchildren.
Mrs Henderson said: “We were married for 51 years and he was a good father and a good husband. He was also very dedicated to the job he did, sometimes beyond the call of duty.
“He was a modest man and was very proud of his MBE. He was very dedicated to the job. His attitude to the job was he did the best he could.”