Unsolved Murders

William Young

Age: 53

Sex: male

Date: 4 Jan 1936

Place: Crockenrioch, Saddell, Campbeltown, Argyllshire

William Young was shot dead at his farm.

His 51-year old wife was charged with his murder but the charge was later dropped. She was said to have discharged a loaded shotgun at him.

She said she saw an unknown assailant shoot William Young as he was leaving his bedroom on the Saturday morning. She then ran to the neighbouring village of Saddell across the moorland road in her nightdress to give the alarm. Saddell was about 10 miles from Campbeltown.

She said that she and William Young had been in bed asleep in the early hours of the Saturday, 4 January 1936, when they were awakened by noises downstairs. She sid that the intruder then shot William Young and also shot at her but missed.

She had a disability, being crippled with rheumatism and could barely walk and had to be taken from the prison to the court by car even though they were only 50 yards apart. It was also to protect her from the 1,000 strong crowd that had gathered at the court to get a look at her.

CID men travelled from Glasgow to Campbeltown by aeroplane to assist in solving the murder on 8 January 1936 and William Young's wife was arrested on the night of 10 January 1936. A detective and another man went to Glasgow on 9 January 1936 to confer with officers and experts, but they didn't arrive back in Campbeltown until after four o'clock on the Friday morning as their car got stuck in a part of the road that the sea had flooded during a gale. Theirs engine gave out in the water and although the driver got out in his sock and padded about in the water, he was unable to get it running and the car had to be towed clear and the detective and others made the rest of their journey in a hired vehicle.

During the early stages of the investigation, on the Thursday, 9 January 1936, a fisherman who lived halfway between Carradel and Grogport had been on a visit to a tailor and some friends at Grogport when he was shot at 11pm as he was walking to his bicycle. The shot knocked his hat off. He then went to a house and hammered on the door and when the man of the house came out he shouted at him, 'Get back in the house there is a madman with a gun'. The fisherman then spent the rest of the night at the house and the police were informed the following morning. It was said that following the two incidents, such was the nervousness in the district that parents refused to allow their children to go to school unless they were escorted the whole way by school officials in cars.

On 9 January 1936 the police made an appeal for information about a car that had passed through the village of Saddell at about midnight on the Friday, 3 January 1936. It was said that the car had come from the direction of Campbeltown and was described as being of a saloon type, rather like a taxi. It was also believed that it had had only one occupant.

The police also carried out a reconstruction of the murder and took fingerprints from the cottage which were said to have been of much importance. A gun expert was also brought in.

William Young's wife was arrested on 10 January 1936 but released from custody in Greeck Prison on 2 March 1936. When she was released it was said that she was ill and had suffered from hysteria since her arrest. She was due to stand trial for the murder at the High Court in Edinburgh on 24 March 1936.

William Young was buried at Kilkerran Cemetery in Campbeltown on 8 January 1936.

Later in April 1936 her 25-year old son was involved in a motor-cycling accident and died in hospital on 20 April 1936. He was buried with his father.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Western Daily Press - Tuesday 21 April 1936

see Daily Herald - Tuesday 03 March 1936

see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 03 March 1936

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 13 January 1936

see The Scotsman - Friday 10 January 1936

see Dundee Courier - Tuesday 03 March 1936

see Dundee Courier - Monday 13 January 1936

see Dundee Courier - Thursday 09 January 1936

see Daily Herald - Tuesday 21 April 1936

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 03 March 1936

see Dundee Courier - Wednesday 08 January 1936

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 21 April 1936

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 11 January 1936

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 03 March 1936