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RENEE AND ANDREW MACRAE: Murder suspect's wife gave 'very agitated and volatile' interview to police

By Ali Morrison

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The High Court in Inverness.
The High Court in Inverness.

The High Court in Inverness heard Rosemary MacDowell was questioned by police about giving her husband a false alibi.

William MacDowell (80) is on trial accused of murdering his lover Renee MacRae (36) andf three-year-old son Andrew in November 1976.

He has also pleaded not guilty to disposing of their bodies, a pushchair and destroying other evidence.

MacDowell has also lodged special defences of alibi and incrimination of Mrs MacRae's estranged husband, building boss Gordon MacRae.

The court was told today that Mrs MacDowell was questioned by Detective Sergeant Peter Black.

Renee MacRae.
Renee MacRae.

He told prosecutor Alex Prentice KC: "The interview was very agitated and volatile. She was detained in relation to attempting to pervert the course of justice."

Mr Black, now retired, said he pointed out the possible consequences of giving an alibi that was not correct and referred to programme timings and what she had previously told police about her husband's arrival home.

She had said he arrived home at between 8pm and 8.30pm on November 12, 1976, the day Mrs MacRae and Andrew disappeared.

However during the statement given in 1987 she indicated he came home when her children had gone to bed, at the conclusion of a western programme which the jury heard ended at 10.15pm.

When the discrepancies were pointed out to her, Mr Black said: "She could not offer an explanation."

Mr Black added that she said: "Well that must have been right at the time. I didn't cover up anything."

The jury heard on Tuesday that Mrs MacDowell claimed she got confused about another programme "The New Avengers." It finished at 9pm, according to the TV schedule shown to the jury.

Mr Black said: "There was no mention of The New Avengers."

During that interview she blurted out: "I don't know why you are getting on to me for, I never stabbed her or whatever happened to her."

Mrs MacRae's son Andrew.
Mrs MacRae's son Andrew.

Mrs MacDowell completed her evidence insisting her husband got home at 8.30pm

She spoke about his ill health with liver and kidney ailments and added: "It is his heart keeping him alive. He is a walking dead man. He has a Do Not Resuscitate in place."

The trial continues.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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