Watt Hamilton' is a chapter about the Dunblane
massacre from Jimmy Holland's book
'Scottish Hard Bastards'."
A Perspective from
inside the Gaol
ON the morning of Wednesday,
13 March 1996, Thomas Watt Hamilton shattered
the peaceful country town of Dunblane, Stirlingshire,
with a fusillade of gunfire that sent shockwaves around not just Scotland
but the world.
Allegedly armed with
with four handguns, Hamilton
entered the gym room of a quiet primary school in Dunblane
and began firing at a class of five-to-six-year-old children.
Sixteen of the children died in the violent outrage, as well as their
teacher, Gwen Major, who was shot as she tried in vain to protect
The investigation that
followed showed that Hamilton had become
increasingly unbalanced because he believed that people in authority
were constantly persecuting him. He had been forced to leave
his position in the Boy Scouts and blamed
the Scouting Association for ruining his life. He started up
several "youth movements" himself, but parents became increasingly
worried about his behaviour and withdrew their children from them.
thought that a conspiracy was being waged against him and even wrote
to the Queen to complain. Finally, he slipped over the edge
into insanity and perpetrated the dreadful slaughter in Dunblane.
has been attributed to murdering seventeen innocent people. There
are three versions to what happened: the media version, the covered-up
version and the truth. Now, one of the amazing things about
being behind bars is the information you get hold of. I mean,
why are the police always sniffing around
prisons? Because they know that it is the men already behind
bars who so often hold the keys to their crime puzzles.
The fascinating and terrifying
things I have discovered about this man in the last few years are
nobody's business. Well ... until now. What I have uncovered
is both fascinating and terrifying at the same time; it has fundamentally
altered the ideas I held about society. When I started out on
this journey, I could never have envisaged how the authorities' force
of denial could have reached out so far.
There is no doubt that
Hamilton was a cunning, evil bastard. The
1989 Children Act says that only clubs for under-eights require leaders
to be checked out in advance by local councils to see if they are
"fit persons". To overcome this, Hamilton
began recruiting "over-eights". He always kept himself
within the law and, obviously, someone was advising him how to do
The British government
has covered up the truth by granting bereaved parents their dearest
wish - a ban on handguns. However,
the handgun ban has done little to reduce
gun deaths. On the other hand, possibly
as a result of what happened at Dunblane,
there have been copycat massacres in Port
Arthur in Tasmania and in Columbine in the USA.
underworld consensus of opinion is that the Dunblane
murderer's plan did not actually involve the premeditated killing
of children. Hamilton's plan
was to kill the head teacher; it was only when this plan was foiled
that he embarked on his random rampage. [Ed.
~ If this consensus has credibility,
it is possible the head teacher Ron
Taylor was the intended target,
given that staff at Dunblane Primary School
were telling families not to send their children to Thomas
Hamilton's boys' clubs. Equally, is it conceivable
that Hamilton's initial intention was to
use the tools he loved most - and talked about as though they were
his babies - against the type of people he loved most, children; albeit
in a depraved, idiosyncratic way?]
It was a plan that went
horribly wrong and when things go wrong, the worst can happen. Hamilton's
original plans were scuppered. Another example of this came
in the Hungerford massacre. Michael
Ryan killed a woman when she fought off his attempts to rape her.
Once he had killed her, it triggered off a whole chain of events and
a full-scale massacre ensued. This
is similar to what I believe happened at Dunblane.
Given that Thomas
Hamilton had just murdered sixteen schoolchildren and
their teacher, as well as attempting to murder at least fifteen others,
it might not seem significant for me to tell you that Hamilton
may have been murdered
The legal establishment
portrayed his death
as suicide, but why would they have wanted to have it that
What was it that caused
Thomas Hamilton, a perverted character,
to enter that school on that day and shoot those children? The
public inquiry, headed by Lord
Cullen in the summer of 1996, was not a criminal prosecution,
merely an attempt to ensure that justice was being seen to be done.
At the inquest, a varied
selection of Thomas Hamilton's friends were
desperate to tell us what a boring man he was; there were also some
extremely insignificant witnesses who testified that train tickets
had been bought, as well as some vital witnesses, such as the staff
of Dunblane Primary School who had been
caught up in the tragic incident.
However, it was not the witnesses
who were present at the inquiry that aroused
my interest; it was those who were not
called to attend. [Ed
~ A similar sentiment abides with everyone quoted on this website
who calls for a new inquiry.]
In particular, there was an off-duty policeman who had been the first
person on the scene - to this day, nobody knows who he
is. [Ed ~ That was until Sandra
Uttley, through a series of Freedom of Information
requests to Central Scotland Police, learned
his name was Grant
In 1999, it was discovered
that the Crown had slapped a 100-year
closure order on gathered evidence. The excuse
given was to protect the identities of the children who Hamilton
had come in contact over the years. This is rubbish: the names
could have simply been blanked out, as had been the case in the Bichard
Inquiry that took place after the Soham
murders. The Scottish Record Office
proposed the Dunblane closure and other
documents were also subject to the 100-year closure. How
can they justify claiming that the closure was intended only to protect
the identity of children? It is ridiculous to suggest that each
and every one of these pages contains the name of a child.
Another thing, why was
an unstable character such as Thomas Hamilton
allowed to possess a firearms certificate
in the first place? Press reports after the shooting considered
him to be an unstable character, one that was not suited to hold such
a certificate. There was also, it is believed, a police
report confirming this.
stated that, prior to the shooting, there was no
evidence of criminal behaviour on the part of Thomas
Hamilton. Who are the children named in the production?
What can be so sensitive that it cannot
be made public for 100 years?
The witnesses who were
not called to the inquiry could have provided
crucial evidence. It is known that a police
officer had been in
the school at the time of, or shortly after, the shooting.
He, it is claimed, advised the first ambulance crew to arrive, saying
that it was safe to enter the gym as Hamilton
a matter as serious as this, a police officer
would have confirmed the facts himself before advising the ambulance
crew, so the police officer in question
[Ed. ~ Grant
had definitely been in the gym. Here we have an officer who
had been present at the scene, someone who had been trained to observe
and to give evidence, so why was he not called to give evidence at
the inquiry? How
come an injured schoolboy is alleged to have said that he saw the
"bad man" (Thomas Hamilton) being
shot by a policeman? There are serious
doubts as to how Thomas Hamilton died.
The gun that it is claimed he used to kill
himself would have just about blown his head right off. Yet
a teacher claimed that he thought he saw Hamilton's
body moving after the fatal shot. On seeing Hamilton's
body, the senior ambulance officer remarked that he had wanted to
kick it - even though Hamilton's head had
probably been blown off?
Why was Hamilton's
body removed from the scene so speedily and why was it cremated so
soon after the massacre? It clouds
the events of the last few minutes of his life. The authorities
have complicated matters further by attempting to have part of Thomas
Hamilton's autopsy report hidden for - you've guessed
it - 100 years.
had some very dubious
associates, yet no serious attempts were made to discover
what had driven Hamilton to commit such
a crime. It could have started with something as simple as a small
lie to protect the identity of someone in the public eye who had,
at one time, known Thomas Hamilton but who
now did not wish that innocent acquaintanceship to become public
knowledge. On the other hand, there could have been
ring in operation - that would have been
much more serious.
Take a closer look at
Thomas Hamilton and the people with whom
he was connected who were involved in his paedophile
activities. Hamilton loved the
power and control his guns gave him and
it probably did not occur to him that he could be killed with a gun
just as easily as he had killed others with a gun. Six-year-old
Matthew Birnie, who was injured in the
incident, said from his hospital bed a few days later: "I know
the bad man is dead because the policeman
shot him." Eleven-year-old Laura Bryce,
listening to what was happening that morning from Hut 7, said that
she had heard a man scream and guessed that must have been the moment
when Hamilton shot himself. It
is hard to believe that Hamilton screamed
when he put the gun in his mouth.
It is much more likely that he screamed when his assassin put a gun
in his mouth.
had set out to kill Ron Taylor, the head
teacher of Dunblane Primary School.
He had planned to do this in front of morning assembly, in particular,
in front of the Primary 7 boys. It was going to be an
eye-for-an-eye killing. In Hamilton's
eyes, Taylor had humiliated him by warning
the boys in assembly to have nothing to do with him. He was
out for revenge, but plan was foiled. As a consequence, the
Then, when a few agitators
started asking questions about the legality of hiding information
away, we were told about that it was to protect the child victims
of Hamilton's abuse. It is only natural
and right that we should be confused.
The boys Hamilton
abused are now young men. Even at the time of the Cullen
Inquiry, in 1996, many of them would have been in their
late teens. It should have been their choice whether they gave
evidence or not. The boys at the 1988 camp on Inchmoan Island
in particular must surely be traumatised by their ordeal. Doreen
Hagger, who helped out at the camp, had to
leave the island in the middle of the night for her own personal safety
and to get help for these boys. The distress and guilt she felt
at having to leave them behind, when they pleaded with her to take
them with her, must still live with her today.
Make no mistake, but
this - the long years of Thomas Hamilton's
reign, the Dunblane tragedy, the aftermath,
the Cullen Inquiry, the hidden documents
- this, is Scotland's shame.
Even before the inquiry
began, the bereaved and injured children's parents were not advised
about having legal representation. One parent said:"It
wasn't made clear to us until some time after the events had taken
place that the parents would require legal representation. I
feel that this should have been brought to the attention of the parents
the moment they were informed of the tragic circumstances. It
was mainly by accident that my husband and I became aware that we
did require, like other parents, to be legally represented." [Ed.
~ Lawyers would soon realise that rich pickings could be filched from
playing a part in such a lucrative pantomime. But surely lawyers
can't be that callous? Of course they can! It's a
prerequisite of employment with a law firm after graduation!]
lied about his qualifications so that he could meet the requirements
of the regional council. He was the holder of a Woman's Assistant
Coach Award, Class 5, which would qualify him to assist in the teaching
of women's artistic gymnastics while under the supervision of a Class
4 coach or above. Qualified assistant coaches may work under
the direction of a qualified coach, but they must not work unsupervised.
I believe that Hamilton
had been part of a very active paedophile ring.
If so, where are the other men now? Who are they? What
are they doing? Have they given up their paedophile
activities since March 1996? [Ed.
~ Not a remote chance, given that they remain unaccountable and were
covered up by the likes of Lord Cullen;
former Lord Advocate Colin
Boyd; former Solicitor General for Scotland
and soon to be Lord Advocate Elish
Angiolini; the Public
Petitions Committee of the Scottish
Sewel in the House of Lords;
at Queen Victoria School;et
used to run summer camps for children, and one in particular camp
was on Inchmoan Island in July and August 1988. It was planned
that children would reside on the island for blocks of one week, Sunday
to Sunday, for a maximum of up to six weeks. No parental
visits were allowed and phone calls by children to their parents were
at Hamilton's discretion. During this
camp, a number of incidents were alleged to have taken place whereby
Hamilton assaulted children as punishment
for misbehaviour or because they had failed to perform exercises to
one incident, on 17 July 1988, the police
were called and found children wearing swimming trunks and one supervisor
... Hamilton. At 9.00pm a complaint
was made to the police regarding assaults
on and lack of supervision for the children attending the island.
On arriving at the scene, officers from Central Scotland
Police found the campsite on the east shore and a group
of eight year-old boys playing, unsupervised.
thirteen children there, only three stated they were enjoying themselves;
the remainder stated that they were homesick, unable to contact their
parents that the food they were provided with was poor and that Hamilton
was too strict.
July, the children were taken ashore by the police. Their
parents were contacted and informed of the circumstances in which
the children had been found. The children were then taken to
Dumbarton Police Office; parents took several
of them home, but some were returned to Hamilton's
secret boot camp, that Hamilton called his
Sea Rovers Patrol, he trained boys to kill using live ammo. At
night, sick Hamilton would make them assume
the press-up position, would then whip them with a steel rod and rub
lotion onto their wounds. Sick or what? Hamilton
would also take many hundreds of young boys wearing tightly-fitting
swimming trunks. What did he do with them? Where are these
parent confronted Hamilton and demanded
that he hand over the photographs he had taken of his son. Hamilton,
of course, only handed over the ones he wanted to hand over.
Hamilton was passing these photographs onto
a paedophile ring ... a paedophile
ring that wanted him dead. That is why he was
allowed to go on his killing spree, so that he could be snuffed out. He
was a loose cannon who knew too much about his perverted
and bottom of it is that this sick bastard
walked into a primary school and pulled out an arsenal of guns.
The teachers, so they they, don't know what was going on. Even
more harrowing, the little five-year-old angels must have thought
that it was a movie, until this monster started emptying his high-powered
handguns into them. However, there
is a "missing"
half-hour in Hamilton's morning
itinerary - from his leaving home that morning to his arrival at Dunblane
School - that cannot be accounted for.
on running around the school shooting every little child he saw. After
he shot and killed a full class of five-year-olds, he turned his guns
on the teacher who tried to reason with him. Nothing would make
However, as I have already
hinted at, there is one big question to consider. The ambulancewoman,
Alison Irvine (non-witness), states that when she and her colleague
Leslie Haire arrived at the school at 9.57am there were no police
cars and no uniformed police officers in
attendance - just a man who described himself as an "off-duty
police officer" (in his evidence, Ron
Taylor also refers to an "off-duty police
officer" being present on the scene).
met the ambulance crew at the door of the school and told them that
they were the first people on the scene. Les Haire went back
to the ambulance to radio up that it was a major incident, while Mr
Taylor led Alison Irvine to the gym. The
"off-duty police officer" told
her that it was safe to go in. He reassured her that the gunman
- Hamilton - was dead. So we have
a mysterious Mr X [Ed. ~ Whose name remained
mysterious for over nine years until his name (Grant McCutcheon)
released by Central Scotland Police
under the Freedom of Information Act on
17 November 2005.], someone
who all and sundry knew to be an off-duty police officer ... how did
they know that he was the person he claimed to be? [Ed
~ It was later learned that his daughter attended the school.]
It was stated that Hamilton's
body was almost against the top wall. His head was facing the
wall. If he had shot himself facing the wall, he would
have been thrown backwards. His feet would have been touching
the top wall, not his head.
It has always been claimed
that Hamilton intended to shoot all the
children in the school, over 700 of them. A bag was found near
to his body in the gym, yet Hamilton was
not seen entering the school carrying such a bag. Was the bag
containing the additional ammunition placed there to justify his killing,
if such facts ever came to light? That way it could be claimed
that whoever shot Hamilton had successfully
limited the scale of the massacre.
couple, whose child was in the gym that day, but who was uninjured,
said that upon visiting the gym afterwards, they saw two bullet holes
at the top end of the gym, where they were told that Hamilton
had killed himself. They state that there were no other bullet
holes in the wall. These two bullet holes were six inches apart. So
himself twice through the head, just like the Deepcut Barracks
soldier did, eh?
Why was the pathologist
repeatedly warned by the lord advocate to
refer only to Hamilton's head injury and
not other areas of his body? Hadn't Hamilton,
supposedly, shot himself in the head? I believe that Hamilton
was shot in the torso and that he was then finished off - in the head
- by some unknown person. The evidence given refers to a gunshot
wound to the stomach and hip and two gunshot wounds to the head, via
the mouth. Four shots! Hamilton
was a well-known coward who likely didn't have it in him to shoot
himself. A scream was heard coming from the gym: perhaps Hamilton
was screaming for his life. His killer then exited from the
gym fire door.
Why was Hamilton's
dead body moved around in the school gym? Oh yes, his body had
been moved, something that was confirmed by someone present at the
scene. Was it the "off-duty
policeman"? If so, why?
must have known that he wouldn't have been safe in prison; even the
other sex cases would have turned on him. This dirty monster
is Scotland's worst-ever child killer.
So, as far as I'm concerned, I have no problem with the fact that
he was probably murdered.
- ENDS -