Unsolved Murders

Caroline Glachan

Age: 14

Sex: female

Date: 24 Aug 1996

Place: River Leven, Bonhill, Dunbartonshire

Caroline Glachan was found dead in the River Leven near to the Black Bridge in Bonhill, on 24 August 1996.

She had been violently battered and beaten although there was no evidence of robbery or of sexual assault. She had then been left on the bank of the river, partially submerged in the freezing water to die. Her post-mortem noted that she had been alive when she was dumped into the river. It was noted that there was no drink or drugs found in her system.

She was last seen near the Bonhill Community Centre on the Ladyton estate.

Her mother said that she thought people in the local community knew who had done it, adding that she thought that there were six people in her town that knew who murdered her. Her mother said that she had deliberately stayed in the town, turning down an opportunity to emigrate to Germany, in order that she could be a constant reminder to the people who might know what had happened to her. She added that she thought she might pass Caroline Glachan's murderer in the street most days.

CCTV evidence showed her dancing on the night she vanished as well as her later walking with some friends near to a block of flats at 11.45pm. She then left the company of her friends at 12.15am. When she was last seen she was wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt.

When she was last seen by her friend she was walking across the park and over to the Main Street where she then went on to Dillichip Loan and towards the tow path. It was said that after leaving her friends she had been going off to see her boyfriend who lived in Renton and had been taking a shortcut there.

She was also seen by a taxi driver walking along Dillichip Loan at about 12.15am. The taxi driver also said that he saw a man wearing a dark green hooded top walking nearby her. The man was said to have had sharp features but was never traced.

Other witnesses said that they also heard arguing or shouting around that time in that area.

A person said that they heard a scream at about 12.30am from the river bank behind the Vale of Leven Academy.

During the investigation the police collected over 300 items that they said they hoped would offer scope for new forensic evidence as techniques improved in the future.

Two men were interviewed in connection with her murder in 2008 but no further action was taken.

She was an only child.

On 25 November 2021 it was reported that three people had been charged with her murder. They were:

  • Man, aged 43.
  • Man, aged 42.
  • Woman, aged 42.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.