MURDER TRIAL: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF RENEE AND ANDREW MACRAE
22 August 2023
22 August 2023
Compelling two-part documentary series, Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Renee and Andrew MacRae, details the astonishing, definitive account of a missing mother and her three-year-old son - one of the biggest unsolved murder cases in Scottish legal history.
On trial at Inverness High Court is 80-year-old William MacDowell who stands accused of killing his former lover and her son, disposing of their bodies and concealing the murders for 45 years.
With remarkable in-court access to one of the most long-awaited court cases in Scotland’s history, Murder Trial sits alongside both prosecution and defence as they detail the dramatic twists and turns of this shocking case.
On the 12th November 1976, Renee MacRae, a glamorous 36-year old mother of two and wife of a wealthy building firm owner, vanished after leaving her home in Inverness. Later that night, Renee’s burnt out BMW was found in a lay-by on the roadside of the A9. Neither she nor her three-year-old son Andrew have ever been seen again.
In the eyes of the police, there was always one key suspect - Renee’s lover, William MacDowell. However, with no bodies to prove murder even occurred, prosecution KC Alex Prentice has far to go: “This case is fairly unique. There is no direct evidence of the killing or even of the removal of the bodies from the lay-by,” reflects Alex. “But there is a vast array of segments of evidence which, I suggest, when combined together, would form a coherent and convincing case against the accused.”
The defence, KC Murray Macara opposes this view: “It’s my task to highlight the deficiencies in the Crown case, to suggest the evidence is not as compelling as the Crown suggest it is”.
For the Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Brian Geddes, the quest for justice is key: “Anybody involved in this enquiry now, wants to get it to a conclusion. When there’s a child involved that heightens the determination even more.”
Filmed over five years with unprecedented access to the defence and prosecution teams, the police and the victims’ family including Renee’s sister Morag, this hard-hitting series takes viewers inside the courtroom of one of the country’s most high-profile murder trials.
You can watch Murder Trial on the BBC iPlayer here