Serial killer and rapist dies in prison aged 73
Serial killer and rapist Angus Sinclair who was convicted of the notorious World’s End murders in Scotland, has died in prison aged 73.
Sources confirmed he died overnight at HMP Glenochil in Alloa, Clackmannanshire.
Sinclair had spent more than half his life behind bars for killing four girls as well as for a string of sex attacks on young children.
But detectives suspect he could have been behind several unsolved murders from the 1970s.
Sinclair, who grew up in Glasgow, was 16 when he carried out his first killing in 1961.
He raped and strangled seven-year old neighbour Catherine Reehill before disposing of her body.
However, he was released in his early 20s after serving just six years.
In 1977, six women disappeared after nights out, and were found dumped on deserted farmland or waste ground.
Four of the victims – Frances Barker, Hilda McAuley, Agnes Cooney and Anna Kenny – were killed in Glasgow.
Teenagers Helen Scott and Christine Eadie went missing after last being seen at the World’s End pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in October 1977.
They were found dead six miles apart in the East Lothian countryside the next day.
Despite the biggest manhunt in Scottish police history, the identity of their killer remained a mystery for decades.
The women Sinclair was convicted of killing
Catherine Reehill, seven
Christine Eadie, 17
Helen Scott, 17
Mary Gallacher, 17
The women Sinclair is suspected to have killed
Frances Barker, 37
Hilda McAuley, 36
Agnes Cooney, 23
Anna Kenny, 20
In 1982, Sinclair was jailed for life after he admitted 11 charges of rape and indecent assault.
Almost 20 years later, when he was being prepared for parole, a cold case review revealed that Sinclair’s DNA had been found on Mary Gallacher – who was murdered in Glasgow in 1978.
He was given another life sentence after being found guilty of her murder.
Following that case, police began to examine the link between Sinclair and several other unsolved cases.
Scientific advances put Sinclair in the frame for the World’s End murders.
He first stood trial in 2007, accused of killing Christine Eadie and Helen Scott.
However, the case collapsed due to insufficient evidence.
But following a change to Scotland’s double jeopardy law, Sinclair was prosecuted a second time and found guilty of the murders in 2014.
The sentencing judge described Sinclair as a dangerous predator capable of sinking to the depths of depravity, and said the words “evil” and “monster” were inadequate for him.
In 2014 Sinclair’s case made legal history when he was jailed for a minimum of 37 years for the murder of two teenage girls four decades before.
The jail term was the longest handed out by a Scottish court, and meant Sinclair would have been 106 by the time he was eligible for parole.
Convicted serial killer and paedophile jailed for a minimum of 37 years
Convicted killer and paedophile Angus Sinclair has been jailed for a minimum of 37 years for the rape and murder of two teenage girls in Scotland in 1977.
Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, both 17, were brutally killed after a night-out at Edinburgh’s World’s End pub on October 15 1977.
The prosecution is the first under changes to Scotland’s double jeopardy law which meant he could be retried for their murders after the court case against him collapsed seven years ago.
Judge Lord Matthews described Sinclair as a “dangerous predator” who has “not displayed one ounce of remorse” for the murders, in which the victims were bound and strangled with their own underwear.
The girls’ bodies were discovered in East Lothian the day after their deaths. They had been dumped in remote locations around five miles apart from each other.
The change to Scotland’s double jeopardy law in 2011 meant Sinclair could be retried for the teenagers’ murders after the court case against him collapsed seven years ago.
The serial rapist, who has been in jail for more than 30 years, was convicted of carrying out the attacks with his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who died in 1996.
The jury of nine women and six men – who were unaware of Sinclair’s previous offences – took less than two-and-a-half hours to convict him unanimously of both charges after a five-week trial at the High Court in Livingston.
Sinclair was just 16 when he strangled seven-year-old Catherine Reehill in Glasgow in 1961.
He later pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide and served six years.In 1982 he was convicted at Edinburgh’s High Court of a string of sex attacks on 11 young girls, including three rapes.
He was later given a life sentence in 2001 – while still in prison – for the murder of 17-year-old Mary Gallacher, who was raped and stabbed in Glasgow in 1978.
Sinclair is still suspected of at least three more unsolved murders.
Angus Robertson Sinclair – a life of abuse, rape and murder
1959 – stole an offertory box from a Glasgow church, aged 13
1959 – housebreaking charge
1961 – committed lewd and libidinous practices on an eight-year-old girl. Sentenced to three years’ probation
1961 – convicted of killing Catherine Reehill, aged seven. Sentenced to 10 years in prison. Serves six years
1970 – marries trainee nurse Sarah Hamilton (Gordon Hamilton’s sister) and has a son two years later
1977 – thought to have murdered six women within seven months. Frances Barker, 37, Hilda McAuley, 36, Agnes Cooney, 23, and Anna Kenny, 20, all from Glasgow and Christine Eadie and Helen Scott from Edinburgh
1978 – murdered 17-year-old Mary Gallacher in Glasgow
1980 – illegal possession of a .22 calibre revolver
1982 – pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault of 11 children aged six to 14. Sentenced to life in prison
2000 – cold case review of 1978 Mary Gallacher murder
2001 – convicted of the murder of Mary Gallacher
2007 – trial for murders of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott collapses
2014 – retrial finds Sinclair guilty of World’s End murders
Angus Sinclair has been branded “Scotland’s most dangerous serial killer” who has taken four lives and is suspected to be responsible for three more murders.
It puts him in the same category as infamous Scottish murderers Peter Tobin, Dennis Nilson and Peter Manuel, with some believing his death toll would have been much higher had he not been jailed in 1982.
Sinclair started killing when he was just 16 years old, luring seven-year-old Catherine Reehill into his house in Glasgow before sexually abusing and strangling her. He then threw her body down the stairs and said her death had been an accident.
He pleaded guilty to culpable homicide for the 1961 killing and was sent to prison for ten years.
The judge in this case said Sinclair was “callous, cunning and wicked” and no young girl would be safe with him around.
In 1968, Sinclair was freed and put under supervision for three years. He moved to Edinburgh where he met his wife Sarah and they married in 1970 before the family moved back to Glasgow.
While he seemed to settle down into family life, in reality Sinclair started a killing spree in 1977, targeting young women.
In 1982, a series of sex attacks were carried out on young girls in the Govan area of Glasgow.
They would be asked to deliver a message to a tenement before their attacker followed them into the close and sexually assaulted them.
One child who managed to escape identified Sinclair as the man who tried to attack her.
He was brought in for questioning by detective inspector Joe Jackson, who has now retired. The police officer was convinced Sinclair had carried out more crimes but could not prove it.
Mr Jackson said: “When I got him I put a message out across Scotland hoping other people who had crimes would come forward and we could have a go at solving those as well but unfortunately no one came forward.
“I really did feel this guy had done other crimes which he would not admit unless I had some other proof.”
Mr Jackson only managed to get Sinclair to admit to his crimes with the help of his wife, Sarah.
He said: “He was very reticent at first and it took a wee while to get him to admit it. The way I did it was by getting his wife in, I read the charges out in front of her and she said ‘if you have done this tell the man’. His wife was totally horrified by it.”
Mr Jackson believes catching Sinclair in 1982 prevented him from carrying out more crimes.
He said: “I think we would have been looking at more rapes and more murders. I don’t doubt that because this guy just wouldn’t stop.”
Sinclair was jailed for life in 1982 for the attacks on 11 victims aged between three and 14. The judge recommended he should never be released.
Although he was in prison for life, it was not until DNA testing developed that Sinclair’s murders caught up with him.
He was about to apply for parole when police reopened the case of Mary Gallacher and got a DNA match with Sinclair.
The 17-year-old had been sexually assaulted and had her throat cut before her body was dumped on waste ground near a train station in Springburn, Glasgow in 1978.
In 2001, Sinclair was given his second life sentence for her murder.
Three years later, DNA linked him to Helen Scott and Christine Eadie’s murders for the first time.
The serial killer and his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton attacked the girls after they left the World’s End on the Royal Mile.
SEX monster Angus Sinclair was let out of jail to sell toys to children.