Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Most foul

One really shouldn't complain but ... it's been rather hot. I would like to work in the garden but really it's much too warm. According to the internet it was about 25C here today, which is 77F - and yes, you may laugh, you Mid-Westerners, but we're Scottish and we wilt in the heat. It's been lovely sitting in the shade reading a book, however, so I have to admit to a bit of sloth for the past few days.

We have various visitors coming soon, but no doubt the weather will have broken by then. We'll be able to say to them that it's such a pity they weren't here earlier in July... .

In a completely different realm of seriousness, we've been somewhat riveted in our neighbourhood by a murder. About four weeks ago, a woman's dismembered body was found in a shallow grave on a hillside really quite close to our house - at least quite close as the crow flies. It appeared to have been there for some weeks. Despite appeals and much publicity, the police didn't know who she was. This was curious because she had about £10,000 worth of veneers on her teeth and was wearing four distinctive rings - surely this would identify her? But no. Then they did one of those facial-reconstruction things that they do sometimes on Iron Age skulls or Richard III - at which point her family in Dublin recognised the computer-generated image produced. (I've always wondered if those reconstructions are really like the people. In this case, yes, fairly, by the look of actual photos of her now appearing in the papers.) Her son has been arrested and charged with her murder. According to the papers, he lives quite near us also. She was in Edinburgh visiting him.

I know that people get murdered in various places but - illogically - it seems
particularly shocking that it happened (presumably) in a road that we frequently walk along. The police said that the murderer must have had the body in a rucksack or something to carry it up the hill. And he must have had a spade also. It's so weird to imagine this chap, at dead of night (and it doesn't really get dark for long here at this time of year) creeping up his street with his terrible burden, crossing over the main road and struggling a little way up the hill.

It's appalling to think of someone killing his own mother. And I can only assume that he expected to be caught - maybe even wanted to be caught - since he buried her so near home, in a shallow grave and on a hill where many people go for a walk, often with their dogs. What was going through his mind as he waited for her to be identified and for the police to ring his doorbell?


  1. I was in Scotland once during a heatwave. It was August , possibly 98 or 97. The worst part was the lack of any air conditioners. Here, at least, one can pop into any store to cool off for a few minutes before bracing the savage onslaught of oppressive heat. Though sometimes the inside cold of the a/c makes the heat of the outdoors worse. I hate the heat and humidity and wilt very quickly.

    As for the other, it is an unimaginable horror. This kind of thing makes me realize I should keep in touch with my family more often than I do..... (not that I am worried about being murdered, you understand)

  2. Anonymous1:30 am

    I'm having similar thoughts at the moment, Isabelle. I was talking to a friend yesterday about seeing a news article about a body having been found in my area and wondering where it was. I forgot all about it, then noticed a bobby and police van on the way home, which reminded me to check-- and discovered a man had been murdered on Saturday night in the house next door! Eek! Bit too close for comfort for me!

    Ps, Belated birthday wishes to you, your flowers look lovely!

    Clarissa x

  3. Poor babies! If you want to experience some real heat, come visit in July! Today I got into the car after having parked it to run some errands. When I came back I almost burnt myself on the steering wheel (parking spots under trees get snapped up fast, and then you're stuck out in the baking, blistering sun.
    Oh dear. I live with my son. Sometimes we argue. Should I be worried, think you? If he dumped me out in the trees behind our house, I'd be melted in a week, and what wasn't melted would be cleaned up by the buzzards---yum!

  4. What a dreadful thing.....and so sad, it makes you wonder what went on in the family as well in that man's mind. Oh my, 25 degrees.....a 25 degree day in the middle of summer would be regarded as positively balmy here!

  5. You would probably more comfortable in Melbourne at the moment, if 25 degrees is too hot for you. We didn't get over 13 today, and it has been getting down to zero overnight - brrrrr..
    We've had too many of those terrible family murders here too in recent years, and while any murder is awful, to kill your own parent(s) is unbelievable. No matter how bad they might have been, they are still your parents.
    Even more frightening when it happens so close to where you live.

  6. Yikes! It's all a bit creepy to think about. That's why I try not to watch too much crime tv. (But it does seem like, if one were inclined to commit such an act, all on needs to do is watch tv to find out how to cover one's tracks.)

    And I'm sorry. I do chuckle a bit at you and your heat wave. 25 is quite perfect to me. We were ripping out shrubs in 30 degree weather over the weekend with high, ugly humidity. And my complaints pale by comparison to Mollys!

  7. Now I know not to visit Scotland in the winter! I can only dread what your winters must be like. Especially considering the amount of rain areas of Scotland receive. I agree it is a perfect temp for sitting and reading.

  8. Anonymous6:48 pm

    Hmmm.... the plot for a Marple or Poirot mystery? I wonder what the rest of the family thought had happened to her - or had she just gone for a long visit? It boggles the mind - how wonderful the human mind can be, and how ugly it can turn.

  9. One reason we moved away from London was to escape that kind of heat - you don't normally get it up where you are, though, do you? We went last weekend for the grandson's birthday and MELTED. So pleased to get back to Warwickshire, for the weather reason, anyway.

  10. Anonymous5:23 pm

    You know, I've never read A.C. Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" stories and finally got the complete set and have been reading like a mad woman.

    Relatives are the worst sort for committing foul play.

    We silly U.S. people do Fahrenheit, so I can tell you that next week we're supposed to have temps close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Me and Doglet will not like that, not one bit. It means no drive time for her!!!

  11. I have heard it said that most crimes are committed by someone known to the victim. Not sure what the percentages are though on a son doing in dear old mum!

  12. I'd have thought a son murdering his mother was still pretty rare though. I wonder if the Furies came after him, or if he was thinking of opening a motel! Odd that they weren't living together but were still on some kind of visiting terms... Interesting to see what comes out when it comes to court.

    Murder nearby is disturbing; when I was 16 a woman was murdered in a very grisly way in the woods opposite our house where I used to walk my dog. The murderer was never caught. It was really traumatic. Nowadays I get the impression that the whole counselling industry moves in and offers everyone in the neighbourhood help and support, but that's perhaps not universal.

    Love Molly's first ghoulish comment!

  13. How horrible. It always amazes me, when a TV programme or novel tells a murder story, that, actually, real life has already been there, done that. Truth is scarier than fiction. The £10,000 veneers provides a clue. Rich woman murdered for inheritance?