Date: 22 May 1994
Mary McKinlay was raped and murdered in her high-rise flat in Glen Tower in Range Road, Motherwell.
She was beaten and stabbed nine times and died after her windpipe was severed and she drowned in her own blood.
It was thought that she had known her assailant. She was known to have been security conscious and no signs of forced entry were found at her flat. She had lived on the eigth floor.
Her body was found by two friends who had called round on their way to Kingdom Hall for a church service.
It was noted that there were no signs of a struggle and that her tidy flat was otherwise undisturbed.
The Detective Chief Inspector of Motherwell CID said, 'She was particularly security conscious and she would not allow strangers into her home. There is that possibility that she may have known her assailant'. It was noted that the flats had buzzers at the main door and peepholes at each flat door.
Mary McKinlay was last seen at about 10.15am the day before, Saturday 21 May 1994 when she had been talking to four or five women friends.
A taxi driver was tried for her murder but acquitted after the charge was found not proven. The taxi driver said that he had been with his girlfriend at the time.
However, it was later claimed that his girlfriend had lied. She had said that she had been in their flat in Glen Tower at the time, and was not called to give evidence at the trial even though it was claimed that she had been at the cinema with her nine-year old daughter at the time. It was also claimed by her father and another relative in court that she had confessed to them that she had lied over the alibi.
The taxi-driver refused to give evidence at the sheriff's examination after he was arrested or at the court trial.
When the jury at the trial asked to see the alibi that the taxi-driver had made they were told that they could not as it didn't form part of the evidence as the taxi-driver had not spoken to it in court.
It was noted that another elderly woman had been sexually assaulted at the flats five years earlier and heard that many of the residents were terrified following Mary McKinlay's murder.
Mary McKinlay had been the head teacher of English at the Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride which she joined in 1977. She was also a churchgoer and a devout Jehovah's Witness. She was a spinster.
see Herald Scotland