A FIREBRAND SNP activist who died in mysterious circumstances was to expose a paedophile ring that would have brought down the Government, it was claimed last night
Willie McRae was said to have discovered child abuse by cabinet ministers and other leading members of the establishment on both sides of the Border. Shortly before his death he was seen photocopying a dossier of names in case something should happen to him.
The copies are understood to have been posted to a number of close associates. Despite a lengthy inquiry, the Sunday Express has been unable to establish whether any copies of the alleged dossier are still in existence.
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.
Donald Morrison spoke to McRae in Glasgow shortly before he set off for the Highlands on the day of his death and noticed a briefcase full of documents in his maroon Volvo.
The briefcase has never been found and Mr Morrison said that for many years he believed the would-be politician had unearthed evidence about illegal nuclear waste at Dounreay.
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.