It is believed McRae had information regarding Westminster paedophiles including Cyril Smith
McRae never went public with his allegations as he was found shot dead in his car off a remote road in Wester Ross on April 6, 1985.
Some maintain he was murdered by the security services over his opposition to plans to dump nuclear waste in Scotland, while others have said he was silenced by drug smugglers.
Significantly, however, his death also fits the timeline of recent claims about Westminster perverts and a massive police cover-up of child abuse and murder in the early 1980s.
His death also came just months after the late Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens handed his own infamous paedophile dossier to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan – only for it to be lost or destroyed by Home Office officials.
Fionna Borders, whose late husband James was a barrister involved in a number of child abuse cases, said she was convinced that McRae was on the verge of “shaking the establishment” to the core when he lost his life.
Mrs Borders said she learned of McRae’s dossier from former police officer turned private investigator Iain Fraser, who died only a few weeks ago.
A close friend of McRae’s who had an office in the same building on Bath Street in Glasgow, Mr Fraser was hired to spy on his “bosom buddy” in 1985 by an anonymous client.
Mrs Borders said: “Willie McRae got that information, and being the kind of man he was, he could not just sit on it. Unfortunately he spoke of the list to somebody he should not have which was his downfall.
“It is easy to sound like a conspiracy theorist – but at times conspiracy theories are proven true.
“Why not stage a car accident, his Volvo wrapped around a tree? God knows that has been done in the past. No. It was made to look like suicide – except, of course, it wasn’t.
“It was a message to leave matters well alone, and those in the know took it just as it was intended.”
Another source close to Mr Fraser said he had learned of the existence of the alleged dossier from a member of staff in Mr McRae’s office.
Some years ago, McRae was linked with another document describing a network of high-ranking Scottish paedophiles – dubbed The Untouchables – based on the deathbed confession of child abuser James Gallogley. But this dossier was dismissed as a hoax.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Police Scotland has set up a team of detectives to investigate claims of child abuse involving the late Solicitor General Sir Nicholas Fairbairn MP and other high-ranking Scottish legal figures from the same era.
Mrs Borders said she believed McRae’s dossier named powerful men from both sides of the Border, and he was “well on his way” to going public.
Before leaving Glasgow for his cottage near Kintail, Wester Ross, the 62-year-old showed a briefcase of documents to a friend, PC Donald Morrison, and told him: “I’ve got them this time.”
However, despite phoning ahead to ask for the fire to be lit, he never made it to his destination.
Instead, his body was found the next morning off the A87, with a bullet wound to his head. A gun was near the car leading to the suicide verdict.
His briefcase or the documents it contained have never been found.
Mrs Borders added: “McRae had worked so hard to expose this disgusting cancer. He knew it was dangerous which is why he made the back-up copies – not that anything has ever come of them.
“He had been due to leave Glasgow much earlier than he did, but his tyres had been slashed. That’s not something that’s widely known.
“In those days nobody wanted to be on the Highland roads at night. There was nothing open after 9pm. Yet he only headed up the road at 6.30pm knowing it would take him until late to reach his destination. The only reason is somebody made sure he would be alone on the roads.”
Calls for a public inquiry have been unsuccessful despite the fact the gun had been fired twice and was found some distance from the car.
Furthermore, although McRae was not wearing gloves, there were no fingerprints on the firearm.
Just a few months after McRae’s death, Geoffrey Dickens spoke in the House of Commons about the dangers he had faced due to his attempt to expose powerful paedophiles.
He said: “Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession so the threats began. First, I received threatening phone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home.
“Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list.”
Dickens died in 1995 and his investigation was forgotten until the Jimmy Savile scandal led to a renewed interest in historic abuse.
Meanwhile, the retired policeman who was the last person to see Willie McRae alive last night said he too believed the solicitor had uncovered evidence about a powerful paedophile ring.
I now strongly believe he had in his possession a list of names that could have brought down individuals if not establishment
However, he said he is now adamant the real reason for his death was that he was planning to expose a child abuse network operating at the highest level.
He said: “At the end of the day he was not done in for trying to stop the dumping of nuclear waste.
“I think he was in possession of secret information about Cyril Smith and others.
“Special Branch had removed information from police files down south to do with Smith and they just disappeared. There is a similarity here to Willie McRae’s death.
“The two people who were following him gave a statement to what was then the Northern Constabulary and those statements have gone missing too.”
Mr Morrison said he believed McRae may have first heard of the ring from his friend Lord Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin who was killed by the IRA in 1979, or from somebody linked to him.
McRae had been Lord Mountbatten’s aide-de-camp in India, when he was a young lieutenant-commander in the Royal Indian Navy.
However he first came upon the information, Mr Morrison said McRae would have carried out his own detailed investigation before preparing to go public with it. He added that he learned through colleagues that Strathclyde Police had been made aware of documents “which could be dangerous to the Government” in McRae’s office.
In light of the recent exposes about MPs and other high profile individuals, Mr Morrison sensed the information must have concerned child sexual abuse.
He added: “It will be 30 years since Willie McRae’s death in April and there has never been an inquiry into his death.
“Willie’s brother, who was a doctor in Edinburgh, did not wish to have an inquiry at the time because their mother was still alive and they did not want the fact Willie was gay to come out.
“I now strongly believe he had in his possession a list of names that could have brought down individuals if not establishments”
Official government documents relating to McRae’s death would normally be released by the National Archives under the ‘30-year rule’ in January.
Murdered TV presenter Jill Dando tried to expose a pedophile ring involving “big-name” BBC stars, a former colleague has claimed.
According to the retired BBC worker, the Crimewatch host was told that DJs, stars and corporation staff were involved in organised abuse.
But when she tried to get bosses to investigate the alleged ring and other abuse complaints inside the BBC “no one wanted to know”, the former friend said.
The former staff member, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the names of those caught up in the allegations were “surprisingly big”.
“I don’t recall the names of all the stars now and don’t really want to implicate anyone but Jill said they were surprisingly big names.”
“I think she was quite shocked when told about images of children and that information on how to join this horrible pedophile ring was freely available,” she said.
The source also said that when Dando put forward claims about colleagues being groped and sexually assaulted, they were ignored.
“She compiled a file of complaints but she was not really an investigative journalist, just a presenter”
“She passed the information to someone else and they gave it back. No one wanted to know.”
Undeterred, Dando is said to have then raised the claims with senior management in the mid-1990s but no investigation took place.
The TV host was shot dead with a single bullet to the head on the doorstep of her London home on April 26, 1999.
Part-time stuntman Barry George was jailed over the murder in 2001 but hit conviction was later overturned following the discovery of new evidence.
Her killer has never been found.
The friend and retired BBC worker said the late Crimewatch host was told DJs, celebrities and other staff were involved in organised abuse.
But the anonymous source says “no one wanted to know” when Miss Dando raised concerns about the alleged ring and other sexual abuse claims at the BBC.
She is said to have passed a file to senior management in the mid-1990s, but they never carried out an investigation.
The 37-year-old TV presenter was shot dead on April 26, 1999, on the doorstep of her home in west London. The crime remains unsolved.
The source said: “I don’t recall the names of all the stars now and don’t want to implicate anyone, but Jill said they were surprisingly big names.
“I think she was quite shocked when told about images of children and that information on how to join this horrible paedophile ring was freely available.
“Jill said others had complained to her about sexual matters and that some female workmates also claimed they had been groped or assaulted.
“Nothing had been done and there seemed to be a policy of turning a blind eye.”
The former colleague said female BBC staff confided in Jill, one of the best-known TV faces of the day after fronting primetime shows including Holiday and the Six O’Clock News as well as Crimewatch.
Jill said they were surprisingly big names
The source said: “I think it was in the mid-1990s. She was seen as the face of the BBC and a magnet for women with problems.”
Miss Dando compiled a file of complaints but was a television presenter and “not really an investigative journalist”, the source said. “She passed the information on to someone else and they gave it back. No one wanted to know.
“I do remember that she gave a file to senior management. I don’t think she heard any more.
“Other women who complained told Jill they didn’t want to risk their careers by making official statements against individuals as they would lose their jobs and that bosses seemed to ignore it.”
A BBC spokesman said they would always investigate any allegations of this nature, but added: “We’ve not seen anything that substantiates these claims.”
After Jimmy Savile’s sexual crimes were exposed in 2012, Jill’s fellow BBC presenter Sally Jones revealed that the disgraced DJ tried to kiss and grope her in a lift in the late 1980s.
At the time, she told Jill, who said Savile was “just a dirty old perv”.
The Crimewatch host “had to fend off plenty of unwelcome advances herself”, said Sally. DJ Liz Kershaw and former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly have also both claimed they suffered sexual harassment at the BBC in the 1980s.
Miss Dando joined a campaign to help children spot paedophiles the year before she died.
She had received death threats, putting the BBC in lock-down, with armed guards patrolling Television Centre in London.
Her death sparked one of Britain’s biggest murder hunts. Barry George was found guilty in 2001, but his conviction was quashed in 2008.
Theories about her death range from the culprit being a Serbian warlord angry over her TV appeal on behalf of Kosovan refugees, to British underworld enforcers furious at her Crimewatch investigations.
Miss Dando was also looking into the death of her friend, Chelsea vice-chairman Matthew Harding, who was killed in a helicopter crash.
Was council worker murdered because he was about to expose VIP paedophile ring? Housing manager was killed ‘days after revealing he was going to report abuse’
- New report says Lambeth housing manager planned to expose sex gang
- It states he told colleagues of fears that senior figures could ‘get to him’
- The man was later found dead at his home in an apparent arson attack
- MP who investigated claims says he is certain there was a cover-up
- Murdered man’s daughter hopes her family will now finally get justice
The daughter of a man allegedly murdered to prevent him exposing a council paedophile ring has told of her anger that a report on the abuse was ‘covered up’.
Kiddist Forsythe was born three months after her father Bulic was beaten to death in his flat, which was then torched.
Mr Forsythe, 42, was a manager at the housing department of Lambeth Council in south London, which is now the focus of an investigation into historic sex abuse claims.
Trainee lawyer Miss Forsythe, 21, believes he was killed because he found out about the abuse and planned to blow the whistle.
She has now been shown a report from an internal 1993 council probe proving other colleagues knew about the paedophile activities.
It describes claims of rape, sex assaults and the swapping of child abuse videos. Lambeth staff, police and politicians are implicated. But the report was never published and was not handed to police at the time. Miss Forsythe said she was ‘shocked’ at its contents.
‘Some of the stuff in there is quite harrowing,’ she said. ‘I am angry – I think everyone should be angry, not just me because I’ve a personal interest.
‘For this to go under the radar for 20 years is terrible.’
Speaking of her father, she said: ‘From all accounts, he was a lovely, kind, patient man. It did seem he was proud of his work and wanted to do the right thing. So it seems he did know something, and he was getting ready to blow the whistle.’
Victims were taken to this Lambeth council housing department building in the 1980s and 1990s and abused in the basement, according to claims made in a report kept secret at the time
Mr Forsythe’s death in 1993 was the subject of a BBC Crimewatch appeal, which revealed three men were seen carrying files from his flat in Clapham the following day. His bedroom was later torched and the oven turned on.
His widow, Dawn, has said she believed someone ‘wanted to shut him up’.
John Mann MP, who investigated the claims in the 1980s, said he’s certain there was a cover-up and has urged any with information to come forward
The Lambeth report documents claim senior figures in the council were using its premises for the rape of women and children.
They allegedly used the basement of Lambeth’s housing headquarters because ‘sexual assault could be performed without fear of interruption’.
A senior staff member is accused in the report of watching material with ‘sadistic, bestial and paedophile themes’ which ‘may have been home-produced by staff or people with whom they associated’. A female employee reportedly claimed she was raped on council property alongside children and animals by senior figures in the council.
The report states: ‘The murder of Bulic Forsythe was seen by some witnesses as a possible outcome for anyone who strayed too far in their investigation or for those who asked too many questions.’ Three senior members of staff were sacked but no police investigation took place, despite the report recommending a criminal inquiry.
Dr Nigel Goldie, former Lambeth assistant director of social services, said yesterday he believed this was because of a culture of wanting to keep things ‘behind closed doors’.
‘People will be incredulous,’ he said. ‘How can it be that a report raising all sorts of issues of sexual abuse and a range of different kinds of rather weird practices could not have led to a more thorough investigation.’
The Metropolitan Police said it was considering the report as part of Operation Trinity, its investigation into alleged abuse at children’s homes in the borough.
Lambeth Council said it was ‘determined to do all we can to support this renewed push to tackle the issue, and ensure offenders who previously escaped justice are now held to account’.
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