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Glasgow Murder Mysteries

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:43 pm
by Pgcc93
After reading about the Andrea Hedger murder mentioned by Pamd and Viceroy in the Introduce yourself page I think the subject matter warrants a thread on it's own.

I know of a friends mother who was murdered in her flat in Crathie Court in Partick in the late 1960's. It's still unsolved to this day.

And a mates Grandmother was shot and killed in Coatbridge just after the second world war in what appears to have been a dispute over Blackmarketeering back in the day's of rationing. The gunman was never caught.

We went to the Mitchell Library and looked it up in an 1948 edition of the Daily Record.
It was quite a moving experience for him as the news article mentions his mother and uncles who were still only very young children at the time.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:11 pm
by pamd
OK how about the Bible John murders? Classic Glasgow serial killer.

My father in law was interviewed as he fitted the description given for Bible John! He was tall, had red hair and attended church regularly! He is a bit of a nutter, so, I'm still not ruling him out! ::):

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:35 pm
by HollowHorn
This is a sad but very true story about my wee friend. Betty was murdered in Garnethill and her murderer has never to this day been brought to justice. ... 7622848&o=

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:53 am
by pamd

Where you the author of this piece?

If so, I can empathise completely with the horror that you feel at the time, the tiny white coffin at the funeral (Andrea was buried in Wellington Church). When we cried, we were photographed by the paparazzi. The streets were lined with people from the bottom of Gibson St all the way up University Ave.

We were constantly interviewed by police, everyday, at the school (willowbank primary). I think the whole school was interviewed actually.

You know, people say that paedophilles are a new phenomenon borne out of the internet. I know that this is not true. They have always been there. We are just more aware of them now. Remember Hindley and Brady? They have always been there.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:28 pm
by viceroy
The murder of the wee girl in Garnethill I believe was known as the "Betty Blue" case.

There is a reference to it in Ludovic Kennedy's book "A Presumption of Innocence" about the Patrick Meehan case. Most people will know that Patrick Meehan was the Glasgow safeblower who was wrongly convicted of the murder of a woman in Ayr and spent many years in prison before being released and cleared of the offense.

Meehan tells a story of how in the early 1950's he had gone to a disused basement in Renfrew Street to store explosives, preparatory to blowing a safe at a shop in Sauchiehall Street. While in the basement he heard the heavy breathing of a large dog coming down the stairs and then heard a man's voice followed by the sound of a child whimpering. The cellar had no door and when he looked out he saw a man trying to molest a small girl. Immediately he ran out and challenged the man who ran off. Meehan chased him but was unable to catch him. The man ran through the back court and escaped through a close further along. As he ran he called out to the large dog which ran after him. Meehan went over to the child who, though obviously distressed, did not seem to have been physically harmed. He picked her up and carried her out to the street where he left her [simply leaving her like that would seem pretty much incomprehensible today, but this perhaps shows something of the general attitude towards children at that time and of course Meehan was also a criminal with something to hide].

A few weeks later Meehan was in Barlinnie as a remand prisoner where one of his duties was to act as barber, cutting the hair of other prisoners. One day he was cutting the hair of a prisoner whose face seemed familiar to him but he was unable to place it. However the man struck him as being somewhat feeble-minded. Meehan was released on bail pending trial and one day while he was sitting in a tram-car a man jumped onto the platform. Running behind the platform was a large dog and Meehan immediately recognised the man as being not only the prisoner whose hair he had cut but also the man who had assaulted the child in Renfrew Street.

Some months afterwards Meehan was in Peterhead Prison when he read in the papers about the Betty Blue murder in Garnethill. He immediately consulted with the prison governor and sent off a statement to the Northern Police Division in Glasgow on the offchance that the man he had seen might have been the man responsible for the murder. Presumably this was investigated, however it appears that no arrest was ever made.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:05 pm
by Pripyat
Was always warned about Garnethill as a kid, but never
told what was wrong with the area, that was even in
the 70's. Very sad incident :(

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:24 pm
by HollowHorn
pamd wrote:Hollow, were you the author of this piece?

No, pam, the author was "Tazza Macleod" short for : Theresea or Tasmin or Tomasina or....?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:33 pm
by Verbal Kint
pamd wrote:OK how about the Bible John murders? Classic Glasgow serial killer.

My father in law was interviewed as he fitted the description given for Bible John! He was tall, had red hair and attended church regularly! He is a bit of a nutter, so, I'm still not ruling him out! ::):

My flat recently featured in itv's unsolved program regarding the bible john case as the body of Helen Puttock was found at the back of it.

Here is a picture from the original scene and a later one from earlier this year.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:11 pm
by viceroy
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.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:37 pm
by HollowHorn
Brilliant post, Viceroy. We were up in the Western Necropolis today, shame we did not have the above info.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:39 pm
by Socceroo
Excellent piece of research Viceroy. Very interesting and of course very very sad.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:55 pm
by pamd
Thank you Viceroy.

Yes, you say it was 1978 - this really surprised me, because all this time I have been saying it was 1977. Now that I have worked everything out, I may well have been 11 - I was one of the older kids in our year (born in January) and Andrea was certainly only 10.

Mrs Chalmers (now deceased) was a very 'victorian' teacher. She was so 'proper' and posh. She was also very kind and Andrea's death affected her very much. I remember after the funeral (a select few of her classmates went, and I was one), we didn't go to the grave. Some weeks later Gertrude Chalmers picked up the same few classmates by taxi and took us to Andrea's graveside. Another very emotional day.

Another point that I am very surprised at is the length of time between her going missing and her body being found. I'm sure it was longer than 3 days. I've just called my parents as I needed some confirmation that my thoughts were about the timeframe were right. They say that they thought she was missing for at least 10 days. Mum says that she remembers taking my youngest sister to Ashley St primary and a policeman stopping her to question her about Andrea, as she had been missing for a week. Looking at your dates, this scenario isn't possible. It has been some time and of course I was only a child - I think I've probably tried to push a lot of these memories to the back of my mind so dates etc may well be incorrect. The house that Andrea was eventually found in had already been searched and her body had been missed (it was hidden behind some timber in the basement). Apparently, the smell of the decomposing body attracted a second look, and she was then found.

Robert Tervet's father lived in the Drum and said that he was a lovely child, he didn't know what had gone wrong. Andrea's father said that he would kill him when he got out.

These are the my memories so far!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:33 pm
by viceroy
Strangely enough I also had it in my mind that there was at least a week between the time Andrea Hedger went missing and the date her body was found. So I was a bit surprised myself to find that it was only 3/4 days, unless I misread the dates, although I don't think I did - they do fit in with the time that lapsed before Robert Tervet was arrested. I'll be in the Mitchell again this week so I'll give the dates another check just to be sure.

I do also remember hearing at the time that the house where she was found had already been searched. The police were quite upset about the fact that they had missed her the first time.

I'm still puzzled as to why I thought that Andrea and Robert Tervet were related. It's rather scary to think what the passage of nearly 30 years does to your memories of particular events.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:51 pm
by viceroy
Well pamd, I've been back to the Mitchell and this time I looked at the Evening Times. The dates are definitely correct. Andrea went missing on Wed 5th April 1978 and her body was found late the following Saturday, 8th April.

Of course it took about 3 weeks from the date she went missing before her murderer Robert Tervet was caught and I think perhaps people may get the 2 periods [5th/8th Apr & 8th/25th Apr] confused in their memory.

Bear in mind also that you were a small child when this took place and would experience time as passing much more slowly than an adult would.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:34 pm
by pamd
Thanks Viceroy. Were there any pictures in the Times?