The Disappearance of Renee and Andrew MacRae


Manage episode 316247710 series 3006052
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On Friday 12th November 1976 Renee MacRae, from Inverness in the north of Scotland, dropped off her eldest son, Gordon jr aged 9, with her estranged husband Gordon Sr at the offices of his building company in the city, so that the child could spend the weekend with his father. She arranged to pick him up again on the following Monday morning in order to take him to school, and left the building shortly after 5pm, taking her youngest son, Andrew aged 3, with her. Neither she nor Andrew have ever been seen since.

Renee was planning to drive to Kilmarnock in the south of the country, some 300 miles away, to visit her sister for the weekend, taking Andrew with her. But just over 4 hours after leaving Gordon Sr’s office, at around 9pm on that Friday night, Renee’s BMW would be found ablaze in a layby some 12 miles south of Inverness. The car was empty, but a bloody rag found it the boot alerted the police to potential foul play.

When they discovered that that not only had Renee not made it to her sister’s house in Kilmarnock that weekend, but that her sister knew nothing of her intended visit at all, their concerns intensified. And they intensified further when Renee did not return to Inverness on the Monday morning to take Gordon jr to school as she had promised to do.

A complex investigation followed, which ultimately revealed that Renee had been living a secret life; a life in which she had been having an affair with a married man, and had told a friend of her plans to leave Inverness with him for a fresh start elsewhere.

But the investigation failed to turn up any conclusive evidence that Renee had run-away; the married man in question was discovered and denied having any such plan to start a new life with Renee. All of her possessions were still at home, and her bank account remained undisturbed.

But nor did the investigation uncover any conclusive evidence that the pair had been the victims of foul play. The bloody rag found in the car did not contain enough blood on it to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person had sustained a life threatening injury.

So what happened to Renee and Andrew? Did they run away? Did they set off to start a new life? Or were they murdered and disposed of? And if so, by whom? This is the case of the disappearance of Renee and Andrew MacRae, the UK’s longest missing persons inquiry.

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