The Unsolved Murder of Alistair Wilson
Posting this article with the consent of Jarad Adams
Alistair Wilson was a family man, just 30 years old, born on 4th March 1974 and worked at The Bank of Scotland. He was the second born to his parents Alan and Joan Wilson.
He was shot three times on the doorstep of his home in Nairn, Scotland on November 28th 2004, almost 16 years ago.
The murder enquiry that ensued is still one of the biggest of it’s kind ever to take place anywhere in Scotland and has been described as “Scotland’s most mysterious unsolved crime”.
There seems to be no motive for the killing but despite attracting massive amounts of media interest this “most baffling case of modern times” remains unsolved, no one has ever been arrested, in fact, there has not even been any suspect suggested.
Alistair didn’t owe anyone money and was not exactly a rich man, he lived a normal, everyday family life, going to work by day and enjoying time with his wife and two young sons at home. His father lived in a flat on the top floor of the family house in Crescent Road, Nairn.
Alistair was a quiet and reserved child and rarely went out after doing his school homework. He went on to study accountancy and business law at Stirling University where he graduated in 1996. He took his first bank job later that year and having completed his training was still with the same employers when tragedy struck.
At approximately 1900 hours on 28th November 2004, a man who was not known to the Wilson’s knocked at the door of their home, he was described as being stocky, aged between 30 and 40 years, wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket and a baseball cap. Veronica Wilson, Alistair’s wife initially answered the door and the man asked for Alistair Wilson by name.
Curiously the caller at the door only said “Alistair Wilson” rather than doing as you and I would and saying something on the lines of “Good evening, is Alistair Wilson in please”. This apparently did not concern or alarm Mrs Wilson at all, something which I find a little odd.
I know that if someone knocked at my home and just said “Jarad Adams” to my partner, she would be very cautious.
I am also quite confused as to why Veronica Wilson did not try to establish this “unknown” caller’s identity before summoning her husband. In my professional opinion, this is a very questionable action, particularly when you consider that there were two small children in the house and Mr Wilson worked in a bank.
Anyway, Alistair was upstairs reading bedtime stories to their sons at the time and having been called down by his wife he went to speak to the visitor. After just a few minutes he went to his wife, looking very confused and carrying an empty blue envelope with the name ‘Paul’ written on it.
He asked his wife was she sure that the unknown visitor had asked for him, and when she assured him that “Yes, he asked for you in person”
Alistair then went back to ask the visitor to ascertain what the meaning of the envelope was, that was when Veronica Wilson heard three gunshots.
When she rushed to the door she found her husband badly wounded on the doorstep, she called an ambulance and the police but sadly Alistair died soon after in hospital.
Clearly, the name ‘Paul’ on that envelope was significant and I suspect the fact the envelope being blue to have been of some relevance too, but it is not clear as to what it meant.
According to Mrs Wilson, neither she nor Alistair sensed any element of concern or danger at the time. Really? I fail to see that. Let’s just look at this point:
An apparently complete stranger had knocked on the door, not even exchanged any pleasantry with Veronica and her husband had been handed an envelope that was unsealed, with nothing in it and clearly addressed to a person that was not him, yet he returned to the front door to speak with the stranger again, completely unperturbed. Well, I know that Scots are friendly people but really no fear was seen in such a strange, if not creepy situation? I don’t buy it.
I feel that a big, big question here is “Who was Paul”? I don’t feel that there was any mistaken identity as according to Veronica, the visitor definitely asked for her husband by name, so why Paul? Why was the envelope empty?
My feeling is that the killer knew that the envelope would form a key part of the murder enquiry and would be all over the media news thus taking a message to Paul, maybe something like “you’re next mate”.
Let’s consider for a moment that Alistair lived in the highlands of Scotland and may not have been the easiest person to locate so maybe the message for Paul was something on the lines of: “We found him, we will find you”.
I have a very strong feeling, call it years of experience, but my gut says this was and is a much bigger case than the highland police would have us believe. Almost certainly Mr Alistair Wilson was involved in something on quite a major scale. The police say that their investigations took into account the possibility of some kind of infidelity, but they found nothing, I have to say I am not entirely convinced.
My thoughts are based on evidence that has been gradually released into the public domain including the factor of the very unusual gun used to commit the murder and even the sound that it made when fired.
The weapon was found in a drain in Seabank Road, Nairn, just a few streets away from the murder scene. Apparently, when quizzed on why that particular street had not been searched at the time of the killing, police said that “it was outside the search parameters”. I really don’t see that nor accept that as a reasonable excuse, in fact, it just arouses my suspicions more.
A council worker, Charles McLachlan, had been called to clean out drains and gullies in Nairn in preparation for winter weather when he found an unusually small pistol, the sort carried by Russian prostitutes. The Haenel Schmeisser hand-gun weighed only 400 grams and was just four-and-a-half-inches long, certainly not a common, everyday murder weapon for sure.
The pistol is most unusual in that it is 6.35mm in calibre, semi-automatic pistol only 11 have been found in Britain. It is known as “the handbag gun” or “ladies gun”. Obviously, the weapon would have been very easy to conceal and Alistair probably barely saw it before it was fired and he was dead.
I am not in the habit of posting a lot of pictures but in this case, the gun is so unusual I will pop it in here:
The weapon was swiftly sent off for forensic examination but there was no DNA evidence nor fingerprints were found. It has been suggested the Scottish weather had washed the gun clean but, it is actually much more likely that the gun had been thoroughly cleaned by the killer and was disposed of, indicating that the killing was a very carefully planned and professional job, not a random murder nor a case of mistaken identity when it came to the victim.
So why kill a relatively young family man who simply made his living by working in a local bank? Well a former Scotland Yard detective, Peter Bleksley made an in-depth study of the case and indeed published a book called “To catch a killer” looking at the story in detail.
As a result of his writing, Peter Bleksley has received several calls over the years about Alistair Wilson’s murder and has been given some curious information. He told The Press & Journal “The information I have been given is that the man went to the front door of that house to negotiate not to assassinate. He was clearly prepared to kill, as he had a gun, but he did not intend to kill, something went wrong”.
Now that is a very interesting avenue to explore, what was there to negotiate? I understand that Alistair worked in a bank but, a business banking manager wasn’t likely to be negotiating any legitimate form of bank business at his front door in the dark. In fact, he had recently been offered a new job as a regional director of the Building Research Establishment in Inverness and had been due to start there a week after he was murdered.
There has been very little in the way of witnesses in this curious case and the perpetrator seems to have evaded all the local CCTV completely.
One of the few witnesses who did feel he may well have travelled on a bus with the person responsible for murdering Alistair Wilson was a man named Tommy Hogg, he said that he even saw the man heading toward the house.
Tommy said that he will never forget the face of the stranger that sat next to him and his wife on the bus on that November night. “I said to myself as we got on the bus “that guy is weird”.
Mr Hogg told the media; “I kept looking at him, he kept looking away. Every time I caught his eye, he would pull his collar up. I remember saying to my wife that I thought he was up to something, she agreed”.
According to Hogg, the stranger left the bus at the stop before Alistair’s house and headed in the direction of Crescent Road, but even after the man had turned the corner he continued to play on Tommy’s mind.
Tommy said “Later on that evening my wife went to the chippy to get us some dinner and when she came back she told me someone had been shot. She came back in and said to me ‘you’re not going to believe this but there has been a murder in Nairn, the place is swarming with police”.
Mr Hogg reported what he and his wife had seen and the police claimed to have identified the man from the bus, spoken to him and eliminated him from their enquiries. Tommy, however, is not convinced as the police did not even tell him that the had found the man. They also failed to issue an e-fit description of the man, even though Veronica had given a very clear description, I wonder why.
Interestingly, Peter Bleksley wrote in his book published two t
years ago that he was not a big fan of the theory that the man on the bus was Alistair Wilson’s killer and I am inclined to agree with him.
A killer travelling by the local bus? Is a man that has just fired six shots into another man and killed him then going to stand at the bus stop with gun powder residue on his hands? No, I think not. If the theory of a hitman being specifically hired to kill Wilson is to be believed then the bus theory is an absolute non-starter.
Peter Bleksley said very similar things “Gut instinct was telling me that he could not be the murderer. Too many potential witnesses, too high of a risk of being captured on CCTV and how are you going to escape the scene, hail a bus? I don’t think so somehow”.
Now I am not 100% sure where Peter Bleksley gained the information that lead to him publishing his theories on the murder of Alistair Wilson, but nonetheless, I will give you the story and see what you make of it.
Apparently, a source of Peter Bleksley told him: “Alistair was killed because of the finances of Livingstone Football Club. That is common knowledge among some members of the legal profession in the Central Belt. The reason nobody has come forward is because they don’t want an assassin at their front door”.
Apparently, Livingstone Football Club rose rapidly through the ranks of football and finished third in the top flight in 2001–2 but, their finances were in a bad way and they were forced into administration by The Bank of Scotland in February 2004. I think we may see a bit of a pattern forming here as Alistair worked in that very same bank.
To be fair the allegations have never been addressed by the Scottish police and as nobody from 2004 is still at the club, they cannot investigate themselves.
Now according to Peter Bleksley, he had spent some time in Scotland looking into the case and whilst in a local public bar he popped into the toilet and a voice from behind him said: “Don’t turn around, it was an in-house job, we just couldn’t prove it”.
There had been some police officers sitting in the bar that night and Peter is of the mind that it had to have been one of them who spoke to him, but he has not been able to confirm that.
The question that springs to mind is, what does “in-house” mean? Was it a reference to Alistair’s working life or his home life? Could it have been a hint of a family member being responsible or someone else?
I personally have a feeling that the whole football club story is a bit of a red herring and that there is something connected closer to home, but that is very much just my own opinion. I will just close by saying that since Police Scotland started their cold case review in 2017 they have been trying to trace a man who lived close to the Wilson house at the time of the murder but has since moved to live in North America.
Interestingly the man that the police would like to speak to, Shaun Douglas was not interviewed by police at the time of the murder, but left for America soon after the event. His family say that there is no chance that Shaun could have had any involvement in the killing but, he has not made any attempts to make contact with Scottish police.
One last point which I feel to be very relevant and that is that the Wilson family did not sell up and leave after the murder and in fact still live there today, crossing the threshold on which Alistair Wilson met his end on a daily basis, I’ll leave you to think on that.
If you would like to make contact with me, whether to chat over a case, to collaborate on a matter or to engage me in my professional status I will be pleased to hear from you.
You can contact Jarad Adams via email: