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Exclusive: Man in Iron Maiden T-shirt could be key to solving cheese wire murder of Aberdeen taxi driver

Murdered Aberdeen taxi driver George Murdoch (left) and Detective Inspector James Callander (right) with a replica T-shirt from the latest police appeal
Murdered Aberdeen taxi driver George Murdoch (left) and Detective Inspector James Callander (right) with a replica T-shirt from the latest police appeal

A man who was wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt in an Aberdeen city centre pub may hold the key to solving the notorious murder of a taxi driver, police have said.

George “Dod” Murdoch was viciously attacked on Pitfodels Station Road, where a cheese wire – used as a garrotte – was discovered near his sky-blue Ford Cortina.

The 58-year-old had travelled towards Peterculter after picking up his last-ever fare on Aberdeen’s Queen’s Road, on the evening of September 29 1983.

But Mr Murdoch’s brutal killer has never been caught by detectives who refuse to give up on trying to solve his horrific murder.

Now, exactly 39 years on from the shocking tragedy, investigators are desperately trying to trace a potential witness who’s believed to have “vital” information.

Potential witness believed to have ‘vital information’

Police Scotland was made aware of the unidentified man by a Press and Journal reader who came forward after seeing last year’s newspaper appeal posted to social media.

The man told detectives that he was at Wilson’s Sports Bar on Market Street in 2015, drinking with another man who “indicated that they have some new information”.

He also gave police a photograph in which the yet-to-be-identified individual can be seen wearing a T-shirt from Iron Maiden’s The Final Frontier tour of Germany.

Detective Inspector James Callander holding an Iron Maiden The Final Frontier Germany tour shirt – a replica of one worn by someone they’re trying to trace in connection with the 1983 cheese wire murder of George Murdoch. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector James Callander called the development “hugely significant” and said it was “remarkable” after all this time.

But he added: “The unfortunate thing is we can’t identify who the person in the photo is because all you can see is their torso with the T-shirt on.

“We’ve been doing quite a lot of research to try and identify who it is by other means and it’s drawn a blank.

Photos of a replica of the Iron Maiden T-shirt front and back have been released by Police Scotland

“If what we’re being told is what he has said, we believe he has vital information that may well help us to identify who was responsible for George’s murder.

“We do know what information he’s likely to give but I wouldn’t be able to put that out there just now.

“This is the last roll of the dice to try and identify who he is.”

Man thought to be from Aberdeen

The man who Police Scotland is seeking to speak to is now thought to be in his 60s or 70s.

He’s described as small, stocky and someone who speaks with a local accent.

“We believe he’s from Aberdeen. Hopefully, he will see the appeal and come forward himself.

“Maybe this will give him the courage that he needs to come forward and speak to us.

“It might be something or nothing but it can’t be ignored,” Det Insp Callander added.

Wilsons’ Sports Bar on Aberdeen’s Market Street is at the centre of the fresh police appeal. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

The key witness was among a group of young men who were being entertained by older gentlemen sharing their war stories in the bar, on an occasion in late 2015.

At some point, it became apparent that the witness had some knowledge of the murder and may hold vital information.

But although the possible evidence may have the potential to unmask Mr Murdoch’s killer, the information could be useless, unless the witness comes forward to make a statement to police.

The city taxis car that George Murdoch was driving when he was fatally attacked

“At the moment, what we know is hearsay evidence and that would be inadmissible in any court, if it ever got that far,” Detective Inspector Callander said.

“We really need to identify the person and get it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. At the moment it’s hearsay, but certainly can’t be ignored – that’s for sure.”

George’s nephew continuing campaign for answers

When George Murdoch’s life was abruptly ended, he left behind his wife Jessie who sadly passed away in 2004 without knowing why her husband had been murdered.

But George’s nephew Alex McKay and his wife Robina have continued to keep the cold case alive by campaigning for answers.

Mr McKay praised Police Scotland’s progress and said he hoped it would lead to closure for himself and his grieving relatives.

He told The Press and Journal: “We’re aware that the police are doing a lot in the background.

“It’s nice that, finally, the population at large are able to see some of the work that the police are doing because I think a lot of them get the sense that there’s not an awful lot going on and of course there is.

Murdered George ‘Dod’ Murdoch’s nephew Alex McKay and a replica of the cheese wire thought to have killed his uncle

“The police are still working very diligently on this case and I think this is one tangible sign of that.

“It bolsters what we’ve always thought, that this case is solvable and we think it will be solved.

“Closure is one thing that anybody, who’s had a family member taken away from them like this, needs – and we’re no different.

“It would certainly help an awful lot knowing who it was, what happened, why they did it. It would be a horrible chapter in our life closed.

However, Mr McKay also said he didn’t want to get his hopes up, adding: “This is an important development but it may not be conclusive.

“I don’t want to get overly optimistic about it but I’m certainly not pessimistic about it.”

Unsolved murder to appear on BBC show

The Press and Journal can also reveal that the infamous unsolved case is to again feature on the BBC television programme Crimewatch Live.

Det Insp Callander, the man currently leading the latest police probe into the murder mystery, is expected to appear on a live broadcast next month.

The morning TV audience will be shown a replica of the Iron Maiden shirt in the hope that viewers of the show call in with information.

In March, the programme aired a reconstruction of the night that Mr Murdoch died.

After the broadcast, Police Scotland confirmed that the Crimewatch hotline received three phone calls and one of them came from as far away as the Midlands of England.

Police officers were still trying to trace people in the region last month, following the “promising” lead.

£25,000 reward for information

A reward for information that could lead to the confirmed identity of the killer stands at £25,000.

George’s relatives first put forward £10,000 and the sum was matched by Aberdeen Journals last year.

The taxi firm Mr Murdoch worked for, which is now part of Rainbow City Taxis, generously committed a further £5,000 last month.

Anyone who has not come forward previously who believes they can assist the investigation should telephone 101 or e-mail: or private message the George Murdoch Murder Facebook page.

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