Alistair Wilson’s murder: 19 years on, the mystery remains unsolved

A cold-blooded killing on a quiet street

On the evening of November 28, 2004, Alistair Wilson, a 30-year-old banker and father of two, was reading a bedtime story to his sons at his home in Nairn, a seaside town in the Scottish Highlands. His wife Veronica answered the doorbell and saw a man wearing a baseball cap and dark clothes, who asked for Alistair by name. Alistair went downstairs to speak to the stranger, who handed him a blue envelope with the name Paul written on it. The envelope was empty. Alistair returned to his wife, puzzled by the encounter, and then went back to the door to see if the man was still there. He was. Moments later, Veronica heard three gunshots and found her husband lying in a pool of blood. He had been shot in the face and the body. He died in hospital later that night. The killer walked away calmly, leaving behind the blue envelope and a mystery that has haunted Scotland for 19 years

A massive investigation with no arrests

The murder of Alistair Wilson sparked one of the largest investigations in Scottish history, involving hundreds of officers, thousands of interviews, and dozens of appeals. The police explored various theories and motives, such as robbery, mistaken identity, personal grudge, professional rivalry, or a link to Alistair’s work at the Bank of Scotland. They also examined the blue envelope, which had no fingerprints or DNA, and the gun, which was a rare 1930s German pistol that was found in a drain near the crime scene. However, none of these leads resulted in any arrests or charges. The police admitted that they were baffled by the case, which had no obvious motive, no witnesses, and no suspects

A renewed hope for justice

Despite the lack of progress, the police and the family of Alistair Wilson have never given up hope of finding the truth and bringing the killer to justice. In 2018, the police revealed that they had a new lead, involving a former neighbour of the Wilsons who had moved abroad shortly after the murder. The police said they wanted to speak to the man, who was not a suspect but a potential witness, and asked for the public’s help in locating him In 2020, Alistair’s son Andrew, who was four years old at the time of the murder, made a public appeal for information, saying that he wanted to honour his father’s memory and end the family’s agony. The police also disclosed the type of firearm used in the shooting, a 0.25 calibre Haenel Suhl pocket pistol, and asked for anyone who knew someone who owned or used such a weapon to come forward In 2022, the police announced that they had a new theory about the possible motive, which involved a local planning dispute over a hotel decking area opposite the Wilsons’ house.

Alistair Wilson’s murder

The police said that Alistair had objected to the construction of the decking area, which blocked his view of the sea, and that the killers were likely customers or builders associated with the hotel. The police stressed that the hotel owner was not a suspect and that they were looking for two people who carried out the shooting In 2023, the police announced that they had identified one of the two people, who was a local man with a history of drug offences. The police said they were trying to locate the man, who had spent time in prison and had connections to the hotel.

A plea for closure

As the 19th anniversary of the murder approaches, the police and the family of Alistair Wilson are urging anyone who has any information, no matter how small or insignificant, to come forward and help solve the case. They say that time is no barrier to justice and that someone out there knows what happened and why. They hope that the new leads and the public interest will encourage someone to break their silence and end the mystery that has tormented them for almost two decades.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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