The family of an Aberdeen taxi driver brutally murdered 35 years ago have made a plea for anyone with information to come forward in the hope of finally getting justice.
Alex McKay, 61, spoke to the Evening Express on the eve of tomorrow’s 35th anniversary of the death of his uncle George Murdoch in the city.
During the investigation, which has spanned more than three decades, police have visited 10,000 homes and taken 8,000 witness statements – but George’s murder remains unsolved.
George, 58, picked up a fare in his sky-blue Ford Cortina taxi at the New Marcliffe Hotel on the evening of September 29 1983.
Nine minutes later, two teenage cyclists on Pitfodels Station Road saw a man sitting on top of George, strangling him, and went to a phone box to alert police.
Allan Hendry, a police officer at the time, was first on scene and he and his colleagues were unable to save George – also known as Dod.
Police believe the killer choked George using cheese wire found at the scene and the motive was robbery, as George’s wallet was stolen.
Alex claims George’s wife Jessie, who died in 2004, never truly recovered from the events. He said: “Dod’s death had a huge impact on my aunt Jessie. She never got over his death.
“Her health deteriorated over the years to the stage where it was difficult for her to get out and about.
“She never spoke about Dod’s murder. It was probably too painful for her and she knew we also would feel bad if she spoke about it. All the extended family were impacted significantly.”
George’s family put up a £10,000 reward in 2015 for information leading to the killer’s conviction and the reward is still on offer.
Alex said: “Forensics have moved on and will continue to evolve so I remain optimistic things will be done.
“There is someone out there who may have seen something or heard something and think ‘I don’t want to bother the police with it’ – but that information may be a nugget.
“The individual responsible for this murder has a mother, may have a girlfriend, a sister or a wife.
“Changes in his behaviour at the time would have been apparent and if they have thoughts and are protecting him through a false sense of loyalty, I would imagine their conscience has been burning for 35 years.
“They really need to unburden themselves. This is the time to let it out.”
Another family member, who did not want to be named, said: “It was wet and cold that night and George wouldn’t have ignored a passenger wanting a lift.
“Shortly afterwards he lay, discarded like trash, by the side of the road – his life having been brutally, painfully and cruelly taken. He didn’t deserve that, no one deserves such an ending.
“Whoever knows the killer, or has strong suspicions who it might be, please, after all these years, rid yourself of the guilt you’ve been carrying around. Do the right thing now and help to bring closure to the family but more importantly, justice for George.”
The police probe is one of the biggest in north-east history.
Detective Inspector Gary Winter of the major investigation team said: “The size of the investigation was off the scale of anything else I’ve seen.
“The murderer has been described as a man in his late 20s to early 30s who had dark hair which sat over his ears. He was of a thin build and around 5ft 7in tall.
“Someone out there knows what happened to George and I hope this appeal today serves as a vital reminder that it is never too late to come forward with information.”
Call police on 101 or email a dedicated inbox at SCDHOLMESAberdeen@scotland.pnn.police.uk with information.