The murder of Andrea Hedger has already been mentioned by pamd on the Introduce Yourself thread and as I have a personal interest in it [I was living in the district at the time] I decided to refresh my memories of the case. This is not a murder ‘mystery’ as such since the killer was caught, but as it led to the setting up of this thread perhaps it has a place here. It was also a case that caused a huge amount of disquiet and soulsearching in Glasgow at the time and for that reason alone it is worth retelling the story, particularly for those who were too young to remember it or hadn’t even been born yet. Anyway, I went over to the Mitchell the other day and spent some time trawling through back numbers of the Glasgow Herald for anything I could find on the case. This is what I came up with:
Andrea Hedger was 10 years old and lived with her family at 30 Baliol Street, between Charing Cross and St. George’s Cross in the Woodlands area of the city. On Wednesday 5th April 1978 she left her home at around 0920 am for the short walk to Willowbank Primary School where she was a pupil in the class taught by Mrs. Gertrude Chalmers. The family had slept in and Andrea had a note with her stating that this was the reason why she was late. She never arrived at the school and when she did not return home in the afternoon the alarm was raised and the police began searching for her.
As many as 200 police officers, male and female, were involved, searching back courts, alleyways, basements and derelict properties throughout the area bordered by St. George’s Road, Woodlands Road, Great Western Road and the river Kelvin. The river was also searched by police frogmen. On Saturday 8th April Andrea’s body was found in the basement of a derelict property at 57 Ashley Street, just around the corner from her home, underneath an old mattress on top of which lay a pile of timber hiding the mattress from view. She had been raped and strangled.
On 14th April a funeral service was held for Andrea at Wellington Church on University Avenue, after which she was taken to the Western Necropolis for burial. The cortege had a police motorcycle escort and patrolmen were posted on every corner of the route from the church to the cemetery.
Both the search and the murder investigation were hampered by a number of factors concerning the area itself, specifically the enclave consisting of Ashley Street, Baliol Street, Carnarvon Street and Grant Street. This was known as a “red light” area, in other words an area where prostitutes were operating, whose clients would come and go at all hours of the day and night. A sizeable number of the properties were run down and dilapidated and these tended to be owned by unscrupulous landlords letting out rooms and flats to prostitutes and a largely transient population of drifters and near-criminal elements. Of course the vast majority of proprietors and tenants in the area were perfectly decent and respectable and this included a substantial Asian community. However the police encountered some difficuties when interviewing members of the Asian community because of the language barrier and a couple of Asian officers were drafted in to assist with this. In all around 2000 statements were taken during the course of the investigation.
On 25th April the police announced that they had arrested and charged Robert “Terry” Tervet aged 19, of no fixed address. He had been apprehended in Stockport, Cheshire, where he was found staying with relatives. On 16th June 1978 Tervet appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he admitted the murder and rape of Andrea Hedger. The sheriff instructed that he be sent to the High Court in Edinburgh for sentencing.
Robert Tervet came from a family of 11 children, was unemployed and had been living rough in the Woodlands area for some time. He had 11 previous convictions and ironically it was the theft of some lead from a house in Ashley Street which had brought him to the attention of the police. On the day of the murder he had quarrelled with his girl friend who was expecting his baby. This had left him in a distressed state and he was standing in the street, crying, when Andrea, on her way to school, stopped and asked him what was the matter. He then led her away to the basement in Ashley Street where he raped and then strangled her. Thus it seems to have been a simple act of kindness on her part which led directly to her death, perhaps the most tragic aspect of this case.
At the High Court in Edinburgh Tervet received a life sentence for the murder of Andrea Hedger and 10 years for raping her. It was announced that he would be kept indefinitely in protective custody in a special unit at Peterhead Prison due to threats made against him by other prisoners.
In a previous post I had said that Tervet was Andrea Hedger’s uncle and therefore related to her. I couldn’t find any mention of this anywhere and so it appears that I was wrong in this respect. However I have carried this notion inside my head all these years and am left wondering where it came from. Perhaps it was something that was being bandied about in the area at the time. But I think that Andrea may well have known Robert Tervet by sight.
pamd, you mentioned in your original post that Andrea disappeared in April 1977. As you can see from the above you were a year out, it was in fact April 1978.
Last edited by viceroy
on Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.