Saturday, 27 June 2015

Legal expert wants investigation into Crown's actions on disclosure

[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Herald. It reads as follows:]

A law expert has called for an investigation into a "culture of unwillingness" at the Crown Office amid concerns over the case of David Gilroy, convicted of murdering his former lover despite no body being found.

Professor Robert Black, QC, one of the architects of the Lockerbie trial, said potential disclosure issues in high profile cases are a public concern and families and legal teams should not have to launch lengthy and costly court actions to access information that could be relevant to their case.

The family of Gilroy, three years into an 18-year life sentence for the murder of his Edinburgh bookkeeper colleague Suzanne Pilley, who was 38, are trying to clear the 52-year-old who was convicted without witness or forensic evidence five years ago.

They are challenging the Crown Office over the disclosure of information including CCTV footage from various locations which they say would give answers that would either prove or disprove their case.

In 2012 a damning SCCRC dossier over the handling of evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial found the Crown failed to disclose seven key items of evidence and that had such information been shared with the defence, the result of the trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi could have been different.

Mr Black, who prepared a live case for the commission for relatives of victims, said it was of concern the Gilroy case raised issues of disclosure practices and non-disclosure of evidence.

He said: "These are two of the items founded upon in the current Megrahi application and indeed were among the grounds of referral accepted by the SCCRC in its 2007 report on the Megrahi case.

"A serious question that arises and needs to be investigated is whether there was, and whether there still is, within the Crown Office a culture of unwillingness to comply with their duty of disclosure to the defence.

"This is not a matter that should be left to be raised in individual cases but should be addressed more generally, perhaps in the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament."

The circumstantial case was enough to convince the majority of a jury that an early morning encounter between the two had ended in married father-of-two Gilroy throttling the woman who spurned him in a jealous rage.

Prosecutors argued that he concealed her body in the basement of the offices where they worked and then the boot of his car before disposing of her remains next day somewhere in the Argyll forest.

Advocate Depute Alex Prentice QC said during his trial that when the individual strands of evidence presented were bound together they formed a cable and the strength of the case.

The Gilroy family have taken their case public because they believe so far the Scottish justice system has let them down.

His case is currently being examined by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission which could lead to a new appeal being heard.

Details of the SCCRC case are confidential, but the Gilroy family have echoed broad concerns over the disclosure of evidence.

A Crown Office spokesman said that "Gilroy was sentenced to life imprisonment having been found guilty by a jury after trial".

"The Crown has a duty of disclosure throughout proceedings, which was fulfilled."

A spokesman for Police Scotland said officers could not comment as the case is subject to SCCRC review.

In Lockerbie case, three of the undisclosed documents related to payments of around $3 million (£1.9m) made by the US Justice Department to Paul and Tony Gauci - key witnesses in the Crown's case who claimed Megrahi bought clothes in his Malta shop, which were later found to be in the suitcase that contained the bomb which killed 270 in December 1988.


  1. You know, I'm strongly of the opinion that David Gilroy is as guilty as hell. Suzanne Pilley vanished from the middle of Edinburgh's New Town at a busy time of day (shortly before 9 am) in a well-defined and narrow time interval. Of all the people who were in the vicinity at the time, Gilroy seems to be the only one with any evidence against him.

    Yes, it's circumstantial. Val McDermid features the case in her excellent non-fiction book about forensic science, and she makes the point that Gilroy couldn't have been convicted without the electronic evidence, however that includes the fact that the barrage of texts he had been sending to her stopped abruptly at the time she disappeared, even though nobody in the office at that time knew there was anything wrong - they just thought she was late for work. If Gilroy was innocent, the texts would surely have continued, as he wondered what was delaying her. However, a man who had just killed her in a jealous rage during an argument and who was trying frantically to figure out how to get her body out of Edinburgh and dispose of it would obviously be short of time to keep up the barrage of texts to someone who wouldn't be reading them anyway.

    The whole carry-on with the trumped-up excuse to go to Lochgilphead the next day, his taking far too long to get there, getting to a school for a meeting at 4.30 pm when only the cleaners were left on the premises - what was that all about? (And then blagging a bunch of bin bags from the cleaners. What for?) Nobody was able to confirm his story that this was a pre-arranged visit. By this time everyone was becoming frantic about Suzanne, his ex-lover. A normal innocent man would have cancelled a non-essential trip like that and joined in the search, not sloped off to Argyllshire.

    And then there was the state of his car when he got back. Suspension wrecked, "virtually undrivable" with five of the eight suspension coils broken. The underside of the car thick with soil and vegetation. He never explained that. The scratches on his hands, in just the position where an assailant is likely to be scratched by someone he is in the process of strangling, could have been done when he was gardening as he claimed. But why did he try to conceal them from the police (and in particular to cover them up for the forensic photographs) by putting make-up on his hands?

    It's bloody damning even without the CCTV camera evidence.

    1. You'll have noted that my comments all relate to the general (and highly pertinent) issue of Crown disclosure and that I say nothing at all about the merits of the Gilroy conviction (though I was pressed to).

    2. Sure, I'm just taking the opportunity to sound off about the Gilroy case, which is bloody fascinating. The above is only part one of a three-part series. (At least!)

      It would take a lot to persuade me he was innocent, and quite a lot even to persuade me that "not proven" was appropriate.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The CCTV and mobile phone mast evidence is more interesting in the context of where he hid the body. It's also highly confusing. Even after a full court case the press accounts are illogical and contradictory. It may be that none of the reporters actually understood something that was made clear in court, but you have to wonder. Did nobody actually look at a map?

    He left Edinburgh to go to Lochgilphead. Press reports talk of him taking a circuitous route, going far too far to the north. That's rubbish. If I was going to Lochgilphead from Edinburgh, I'd go through Crianlarich and Tyndrum too. He went there quite often and that was probably his normal route. His car was allegedly caught on CCTV in Tyndrum, at a sensible time after leaving Edinburgh. So far so good. But then he was caught again in Inveraray about an hour and a half later than the normal travel time would have got him there.

    At that point, anyone who can read a map starts looking at Glen Aray for possible hidden burial sites. Not as easy as you'd imagine as the forestry plantations there seem to be fenced and gated. (I know, I know, I'm a sad person.) But the press reports don't talk about searches in Glen Aray, they talk about the Rest and Be Thankful and Hell's Glen. That's nowhere near the direct route from Tyndrum to Inveraray.

    It seems that Gilroy's mobile phone connected with the mast at the Rest and Be Thankful, some time during his prolonged transit time to Inveraray. That is one hell of a detour, and the time it would take cuts significantly into the time available to conceal the body. There's also a report of a car answering to his car's description parked up there, though since the witness understandably didn't take its number that could be unrelated. It took the mobile phone data to draw the investigation to the Rest and Be Thankful. (Why didn't he switch the bloody thing off, and if he didn't, where are the records showing the rest of his journey? I know coverage is patchy in that area, but it's not non-existent.)

    The quickest way to make that detour would be to turn around at Tyndrum and head back down the west side of Loch Lomond to Arrochar. However, there's no report of the CCTV at Tyndrum catching him doing that. The other possibility is that he drove straight from Tyndrum to Inveraray but when he got there he turned north, doubling back in the direction of Loch Lomond. If he did that, he wouldn't have passed the CCTV camera at that time. He'd only pass it on the return journey when he headed through the town centre towards Lochgilphead.

    It's all very confusing. Someone even put a blog post up questioning what the whole story was about, because the press reports were nonsensical if you looked at a map. Basically, “the road from Tyndrum to Inveraray” doesn’t run along the banks of Loch Fyne. (Though the double-back from Inveraray to the Rest and Be Thankful does, as it happens.)

    It does seem as if the police were on to something though, when they concentrated their search between Ardgartan and Loch Fyne. This is reinforced by the story, only reported in one paper that I could find, that on the way back Gilroy’s car was spotted somewhere on the road between Drymen and Stirling. This suggests that he took the direct route back through the Rest and Be Thankful, and didn’t go the normal Tyndrum Crianlarich route.

    1. [continued]

      He lost a couple of hours on the return journey as well. Did he go back to finish the job? The sighting on the Drymen-Stirling road would suggest so, although the other possibility is that he had totalled his suspension by then, and it simply took that long to do the drive in a car that was basically knackered.

      The trouble with all this is that the evidence of the CCTV cameras and the mobile phone mast has never been clearly explained, at least not that I’ve read. Also, how definite are any of these “sightings”. Also, and this confuses me a lot, why were the CCTV sightings and the mobile phone data so sparse? There have to be more CCTV cameras and phone masts on that route, and yet the evidence as reported is extremely patchy.

      If the Crown Office is concealing information, it wouldn’t surprise me one tiny little bit. They much have trawled all the data they could lay their hands on, not necessarily because it was needed to convict Gilroy, but because they were desperate to find Suzanne’s body to comfort her distraught parents. But we seem only to have small and inconsistent snippets, not enough to build up the full picture. Now does that sound at all familiar?

      I’d love to have a lot more detail about that evidence. What I wouldn’t expect it to do is absolve David Gilroy.

    2. They "must" have trawled, obviously!

  3. My view of Gilroy is that this wasn’t premeditated. Nobody in their right mind would give themselves the problem of getting a body out of the city centre and disposing of it. Suzanne had been trying to break it off with him for months. That was what the barrage of texts was about. She’d finally decided to do it, permanently, and had found herself another man. She’d spent the previous night with the new lover, before returning to her own flat early in the morning to get ready for work. (I presume the police looked very hard at Mr. New Lover, but I also presume he had an alibi. He was probably at his own workplace at the time.)

    I think Gilroy has confronted Suzanne in the lobby of their mutual workplace, and a verbal slanging match ensued. Reports suggest that he lured her to the basement to kill her, but I don’t believe that for a moment. I think they moved to the basement by mutual consent so that the flyting could continue without their colleagues overhearing the row. Their relationship wasn’t common knowledge in the office.

    I think she told him about Mark, the new lover, and that she’d slept with him the previous night. Unfavourable comparisons might even have been made. I think Gilroy lost the rag and strangled her in a fit of jealous rage.

    I think he was then labouring under a misapprehension. I think he believed that if he could only conceal the body where it could never be found, he couldn’t be convicted of the murder even if there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence against him. Therefore he concentrated on finding an inaccessible spot, rather than on covering his traces. I think he suddenly thought of the “perfect place” at some point on his drive after he passed through Tyndrum, and doubled back to get there. Reports say he was very familiar with the Rest and Be Thankful area from earlier holidays in the vicinity.

    I don’t think he was even trying. He gave his only half-arsed explanation of what he’d been doing when he was being interviewed early on as a witness, without caution. Once he was a suspect, he just clammed up completely. No explanation of the journey, where he’d been during the missing hours, why his phone had connected to the Rest and Be Thankful mast, what had happened to his car, nothing. (Not even why he needed four cans of air freshener he was seen buying, presumably used to sanitise his car boot.) I don’t think he realised it was possible to convict without a body.

    His first appeal seems to confirm that. All he appealled on was the interview where he explained the scratches on his hands and one or two other things, which was conducted without a caution or access to a solicitor. The police said he was only a witness at that point, he pointed out (rightly in my view) that he was obviously a suspect if they were photographing scratches on his hands. The appeal judge seems to me to have fudged the technical points, but remarked that the interview statement was entirely non-incriminating, and in fact Gilroy’s counsel had largely founded on it in the original trial. Without that statement, he would have had no defence apart from the presumption of innocence.

    So he basically appealled on a pure technicality. Absolutely no counter-evidence to the Crown case. No attempt to explain away the extraordinary series of events the day after Suzanne disappeared.

    1. [continued]

      I approached this case wondering if he should have been convicted on the evidence as it stood, even if he did actually kill her. No forensic trace of her body in his car, or even in the basement where he was said to have murdered her. No evidence showing how he got her body out of Edinburgh city centre later that day (only the fact that, having come to work in the bus, he made an excuse to go home and fetch his car during the afternoon). An entirely circumstantial case.

      After I’d been reading about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that if I’d been on that jury, I’d have gone for guilty beyond reasonable doubt too. The only doubt I can dream up is basically unreasonable. It’s a beautiful example of a genuinely compelling circumstantial case.

      So is this the basis for his SCCRC application? Non-disclosure? This is consistent with his first appeal, which was on a pure technicality. They’ve found another technicality, bully for them. It just shows once again how foolish and self-destructive the Crown Office’s behaviour can be. Disclose all the evidence and then make your case based on it. Concealing snippets because they might be a bit awkward is simply asking for trouble.

      I imagine Gilroy’s legal team will be advising him not to try to explain away his bizarre cross-country journey that day. If he tries that, and then the Crown produces evidence that contradicts his explanation, he’s toast. That’s what’s going on.

      But this really is a case where an innocent man should be able to explain where he was and what he was doing. The fact that he hasn’t even tried is just one more thing that convinces me of his guilt.

  4. "You know, I'm strongly of the opinion that David Gilroy is as guilty as hell."

    Very understandable opinion.
    But of course we agree that there is no such thing as 'conclusive selected circumstantial evidence'.

    If such a selection is found to have been made, it is very serious.
    We will usually have to drop the case. It is simply foul play, and evidence brought by foul players is not to be trusted.

    "They are challenging the Crown Office over the disclosure of information including CCTV footage from various locations which they say would give answers that would either prove or disprove their case."

    Does your judicial system live in the same ivory tower as church-controlled science did in the time of Galilei?

    By default, all compiled evidence must be available to both defense or prosecution. If (unfortunate) circumstances need to change matters this should be a case-to-case exception and step to raise the problem solved.

    You do not need to be legal expert to understand. (I am beginning to think it is an advantage not to be). Ever since we could talk we argued our cases for parents or teachers.
    Somebody who was asked by such an authority, and was later found to have told half a story would be in for a hard time, comparable to having told a straight lie, and would dramatically have reduced the chances for a 'verdict' in his favor.

    - - -

    Thanks, BTW, Rolfe, for your rich posting the last couple of days.

    1. That is totally the point, and why I think the Crown Office is extremely misguided.

      I suspect there may be some sort of game going on here. The police would not reveal what evidence they had when they initially interviewed Gilroy. They would have kept back as much as possible in the hope of luring him into giving a false account of where he actually was that day and how he occupied the missing couple of hours. Then, I imagine they hoped to ensnare him by demonstrating that his story was at odds with other evidence they had, ergo he was lying.

      It didn't work. Gilroy clammed up entirely, and was clearly hoping to be acquitted on the grounds that the case against him had not been proven. However, it seems likely that even at the time of the trial the Crown has continued to conceal some of the evidence they had, I suspect because they were still hoping that he'd come up with a counter-narrative they could then disprove.

      I think that's why we find it so dificult to make sense of Gilroy's alleged route to and from Lochgilphead, and where the Rest and Be Thankful comes into the picture. Common sense says they must have had more CCTV and/or mobile phone mast data than we know about. He was under suspicion from a few days after Suzanne's disappearance, so they had every opportunity to secure that evidence.

      This isn't on. They must reveal what evidence they have at the time of the trial. If it allows the defence to cobble together an alternative narrative that slides through the cracks in that evidence, so be it. They can always point the jury to the fact that this narrative only emerged after the accused became aware of the full details of the evidence against him, and seems to have been carefully contrived to remain consistent with these details.

      It may take the release of one or two obviously guilty people before they face up to this though. I just hope it isn't Gilroy. He has never revealed where he disposed of Suzanne's body. Obviously this is part of his "dumb innocence" strategy. He'll never reveal it until all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, and he realises that acknowledging guilt and explaining where he hid the body are necessary for him to be granted parole.

      Mr. and Mrs. Pilley are absolutely distraught by the thought of their beloved daughter's body lying abandoned somewhere in Argyll. They desperately want to bring her home and have a proper funeral and a grave and so on. They're not getting any younger. If Gilroy is released on a technicality in relation to non-disclosure, they'll never get what they want.

  5. "The police would not reveal what evidence they had when they initially interviewed Gilroy."
    That is of course reasonable, and surely a part of standard procedures. The accused should not know the evidence at that time.

    "They must reveal what evidence they have at the time of the trial."
    Of course.

    "If it allows the defence to cobble together an alternative narrative that slides through the cracks in that evidence, so be it."
    This is again why a detailed initial questioning and recording is so important. The accused commits himself to an explanation. Changing it later, to match evidence, is possible, but then the conflicts will count strongly against him.

    "I just hope it isn't Gilroy. He has never revealed where he disposed of Suzanne's body."
    That is extremely serious, and if we imagine that he was guilty very much beyond reasonable doubt, well, I'd hope he one day would get help with his motivation for releasing the Pilleys from this additional pain.

    Until then - great demands must be made to the state and availability of the evidence. It is already a difficult matter, as the police often will find themselves trying much time to find evidence for one specific theory, due to limitation of resources.

    - - -

    I fell over this American document.

    In the introduction it says:
    Model Rule 3.8(d) is controversial, not least for its severe lack of enforcement.
    Rule 3.8(d) requires a prosecutor in a criminal trial to disclose evidence that is favorable to the defendant,'
    The Court in Brady held that a prosecutor commits a Due Process violation, requiring reversal of a conviction, when it is shown that the prosecutor withheld favorable, material evidence.

    Of course.
    Note the "its severe lack of enforcement". I bet.

    Anyway, according to this, if the prosecution knew about the Heathrow break-in, the case would fall.
    The important thing would then not be if this was heavy enough evidence (a completely unreliable thing to post-evaluate), but simply whether it should have been released and wasn't.

    If you cheat, we do not try to evaluate whether you would have passed the exam's requirements anyway.
    You fail.

    1. Gilroy didn't commit to any explanation of where he'd been or what he'd been doing.

      The police said the petrol consumption in his car indicated that he could have travelled an extremely long way off his route, however that doesn't really compute. There was barely time for him to have detoured as far as the Rest and Be Thankful, and still have some time to hide the body somehow, never mind gone on a tour of Highland scenery. I think he burned up a lot of petrol going off-road somewhere and damaging his suspension. Not clever.

      I'm not sure how he handled Suzanne's body in the garage of the offices. From the photos of her, she wasn't a wee wisp of a thing. She was above average height, and although not overweight she was strongly built. She couldn't have been easy to move. I recall the murderer of Joanna Yeates couldn't even manage to heave her body over a wall, and left her on the road side of the wall. I'm sure Gilroy couldn't have carried Suzanne very far, hence the off-road shenanigans.

      I think, after keeping his head on the afternoon of the murder and getting the body out of the garage without being seen, he panicked. The Lochgilphead trip was possibly smart, to give himself a plausible reason to drive into the country, but then he seems to have lost it.

      If he didn't think of the Hell's Glen area until he was already past Tyndrum, his planning was all to pot. Then to make a detour to get there, on the way to Lochgilphead, was a bad move. It meant that he didn't get to the school until 4.30, when he should have been there before three. He should have driven on, body and all, and showed up at the school in good time. And not asked for bin bags.

      He should then have returned directly via Loch Lomond, without going up through Tyndrum (which he probably actually did), and hidden the body on that leg of the journey. (You need a decent map, to follow this. Google maps isn't great, but maybe you don't know about the Ordnance Survey. Far easier to explain lost time on the way back. Maybe buy a picnic meal, with a story of stopping to eat at a beauty spot somewhere. Even if it wasn't wholly plausible, it might have been sufficiently possible to introduce reasonable doubt.

      As it was, his problem was that he didn't know what the police knew, and so didn't dare give any explanation that might conflict with this. Hence the sustained "no comment". The Crown's problem is it seems to have maintained the position of not letting on what it knew right through the trial.

      I don't know what they know that they're not telling. Maybe they have sightings of cars that might have been his in various other inconsistent places. Maybe they're lacking sightings of him that should have been recorded if he'd done what they claimed he'd done. I'd dearly love to know the full details of the phone records. One connection to one mast, the whole day, seems bizarre.

      In principle, I agree with you about penalising the Crown for non-disclosure. They need a bad experience, somewhat like the bad experience they had over the Shirley McKie case that led to fingerprint evidence being treated with a great deal more scepticism. The thing is though, Shirley was innocent. So was David Asbury, it appears. I don't believe Gilroy is innocent, which makes me very reluctant to want to see his case become that bad experience.

    2. As far as Lockerbie is concerned, we already know the line as regards the Heathrow break-in. Oh, sorry, we'd forgotten all about that. Wasn't important to us, a bazillion statements in the case, ten years ago, completely overlooked it. I don't know if a case should be thrown out because investigators genuinely forgot about evidence that turned out to have exculpatory implications. And in this case, the break-in didn't really prove the Heathrow ingestion, it just added weight to that theory.

      Far more important to my mind is what John Ashton and his associates found out about the metallurgy testing of PT/35b. Some of the Crown's behaviour was very subtle. They disclosed the original expert reports from 1990 that said the coating was pure tin. They didn't, however, disclose the Williamson memo which explained with absolute clarity why that was important. As a result the defence didn't understand the importance of the expert reports.

      Feraday's behaviour was a lot less subtle. In 1991 he recorded clearly not just that the coating was pure tin, but that this was a significant difference from the control board. But he edited this when writing his final report in 1992, and directly lied that there was no difference between the test and control items. The Crown then failed to disclose his 1991 notes.

      That, I think, was absolutely unforgiveable. The selective non-disclosure of exactly the piece of evidence that would have revealed the thing wasn't what they were claiming it was. If I'm feeling kind, I'll suggest that they genuinely believed the thing had to have been part of one of these timers based on the visual correspondence, rather than realising it was actually something else again, but that doesn't excuse them.

      I can't find much that wasn't disclosed in the Heathrow baggage department, other than I think John Ashton said they didn't disclose the shorter of the two Henderson memos which clearly demonstrates that there were only six legitimate documented bags in that container and none of them was a brown Samsonite. However the raw material from which Henderson compiled that report probably was disclosed, so that might be a partial get-out.

      They have to stop this. They have to hand it all over. That's the only way anyone is going to regain any sort of confidence in the Scottish criminal justice system, even in cases which seem as well-founded as the Gilroy prosecution.

  6. Interesting, as always.

    "I don't believe Gilroy is innocent, which makes me very reluctant to want to see his case become that bad experience."
    We probably don't really disagree here.
    But we know the famous image with the blind Justitia. She must remain blind, i.e. the laws must fair and applied uniformly. So we are not allowed to say "But now now, let's apply it to somebody who is really innocent."

    Megrahi's case is one of many high-profile political cases where this just didn't work out.

    1. I know, I know. If it wasn't for Suzanne's parents, I wouldn't really have any reservations. But the only way they are going to find out what happened to their daughter, bring her remains home and have a funeral, is if Gilroy discloses where he concealed the body. This is turning into another Ian Brady thing, where Brady seems actually to have tried to find the place where Keith Bennett's body was buried, but failed. Keith's mother died a few years ago without ever having been able to bury her child.

      It's possible the body might be discovered by pure accident, but failing that, if Gilroy is released, it will never happen. I'd rather there was another test case. A recent one, so that they can't turn round and say, well that was then, it's all different now.

  7. Until the body is found, there will be a life-long thought that she might be alive, somehow, somewhere.
    Those who have been in such a situation with a loved one will know how torturous this is.

    - - -

    We recall this case, don't we:

    I see no resolution to the conflict, that taking inexcusable actions may be the only thing you could ever justify doing.

    1. I'm sorry I took so long to reply to this. I hadn't remembered the detail of that tragic case, although I remember reading about it at the time. It's a horrendous moral dilemma and there's no answer to it. It doesn't even yield to the usual response that torture victims will say anything and are as likely to be lying as telling the truth.

      The Gilroy case is easier. If the Crown Office broke the law to the extent that the conviction should fall, it should fall. They need to learn that they can't achieve what they see as the right result (even if it is the right result) by dishonest means.

      I just wish that this case isn't the one to teach them.

    2. By the way, I don't think anyone believes Suzanne Pilley is still alive, not even her parents. She had no reason to disappear voluntarily. She had just begun a new relationship. She loved her parents. She took nothing with her but what she needed to go to work that day. I can't remember if her bank card was left at home or not, but her account was never touched. She only had pocket change with her. She left pets at home, having made no arrangements for them to be cared for.

      She disappeared from the middle of the city at a busy time of day. If she was abducted, who took her away and how did he get her out of there unseen? Nobody else suspicious was seen nearby, on any of the CCTV cameras. You can always dream up a fanciful scenario, but realistically, she was murdered.

      Her parents still want her body back, to have a proper funeral. That's natural.

  8. "I'm sorry I took so long to reply to this."
    Well, the last post will always be unanswered. :-)
    You also 'get the last word' frequently.

    "It doesn't even yield to the usual response that torture victims will say anything and are as likely to be lying as telling the truth."
    Torture and threats of torture is extremely effective. I am fully aware of the current trend that 'torture does not work' and the myriad of arguments and statements. It does not come from victims with personal experience or documented case stories.

    Sure she is gone, but who can say 'impossible that she is still here'? Flashes of fantasies keep coming, even after decades, like that some day she might just come out from that Green Cafe on Petchbury Road and in that impossible insane moment bring back your life.

    It is off-topic, but maybe not entirely. People who left out of time mercilessly stays. Damned if somebody would stand in our way, even if knowledge is all we can hope to get.

    1. I think the main argument against torture is that torturing someone who doesn't actually have the information you want is useless and likely to provide misleading information. Sadly, that is very often the situation torturers find themselves in. If you know they have the information, and getting it could save a life - well I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.

      I suppose part of the reason for wanting to find Suzanne's body is to provide that absolute level of certainty, above and beyond what reason and logic can supply. To bring an end to the hopeless fantasies. Thankfully, the proposition that we might torture David Gilroy to acquire that information is never going to be on the table.

  9. Hey rolfe we meet again , any idea whats happening with this character lately ? Strange the sccrc website has disappeared

    1. It is strange that the SCCRC website is no longer reachable. I hadn't appreciated that until you mentioned it.

    2. Yes , and gilroys case has overrun the expected 8 month timescale , I smell a rat , and I don't mean Gilroy himself