The man convicted of the killings of Renee MacRae and son Andrew has died in prison.
Double murderer William MacDowell, 81, died on Wednesday, while serving a life sentence at Glenochil Prison.
For many, it feels as though justice has not been served.
While MacDowell was convicted, there seems to have been no justice in the short five month sentence he has served.
The bodies of Mrs MacRae and Andrew – proved to be MacDowell’s son – have never been found.
Unless he gave details of their whereabouts in the last months of his life, that information may have gone to the grave.
MacDowell was jailed for life after a three-week hearing at the High Court in Inverness last year. Throughout the trial MacDowell pled his innocence.
But the court found him guilty of killing the 36-year-old woman and their three-year-old in the Highlands in November 1976.
His conviction was one of the biggest moments in modern Scottish legal history, and brought to an end one of Scotland’s longest running murder cases.
But many questions remain.
For 46 years Mrs MacRae’s family has searched for justice.
Andrew was MacDowell’s son
After MacDowell’s conviction in September, Mrs MacRae’s family appealed to MacDowell to finally tell them where Renee and Andrew were.
After the trial, lead Detective Chief Inspector Brian Geddes asked the pensioner to “do the decent thing” and offer up detailed information to police about the crime, starting with the locations of of his victims’ remains.
He said: “Only then will those surviving Renee and Andrew feel a real sense of closure and peace.”
During his trial, the court heard that MacDowell was Mrs MacRae’s lover, and their liason on the night of November 12, pre-planned.
MacDowell was employed by Gordon MacRae, as his accounts manager, until his secret affair with Mrs MacRae was uncovered.
Mr and Mrs MacRae separated amicably, on the night she disappeared she told her husband she was going to stay with her sister, Morag, in Kilmarnock.
She was seen driving south around 6pm.
At around 10pm, her car was discovered engulfed in flames at the side of the A9 in Dalmagarry, 12 miles south of Inverness.
Car completely bare
Bus driver Malcolm Vaughan was on his way home to Boat of Garten on the night Mrs MacRae and Andrew vanished.
He spotted flames shooting up an embankment and pulled over to investigate.
He told the Press and Journal at the time: “I drove up as the flames reached inside. It appeared completely bare.”
MacDowell and Mrs MacRae had organised to go to the Loch Rannoch Hotel in Perthshire.
In the days after her death MacDowell, when interviewed by police, said: “I deny any association with Mrs MacRae.”
Later the same day he admitted that he had been having an affair with Mrs MacRae for more than four years, dating back to February 1972.
It was later established that MacDowell was the father to Andrew, who was born in 1973.
Of his affair, MacDowell made statements to the police on the situation he found himself in.
He said: “She kept wanting me to go away with her. I suppose I was guilty of leading her on.”
But he also insisted that he “always made it clear” he could never leave his wife, Rosemary, and two daughters.
Repeating his insistence that he was home all evening on the night Mrs MacRae disappeared, he added: “I can’t throw any light on her disappearance.
“She never said to me she was going away and I was surprised at that.”
In November MacDowell was moved from Inverness prison to Glenochil due to failing health.
His legal team failed to lodge an appeal against his conviction in December.
To read more about the case and MacDowell’s trial, click here.
We have approached the Scottish Prison Service for comment.
More to follow.