chapter from Jimmy Holland's book 'Scottish Hard Bastards'
with reference to the Dunblane massacre."
A Perspective from inside the Gaol
ON the morning of Wednesday, 13 March 1996, 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 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 them.
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.
Hamilton 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.
Thomas Hamilton 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.
The 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
~ This certainly 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, it is 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 his own 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 himself. LINK
The legal establishment portrayed his death as suicide,
but why would they have wanted to have it that way? LINK
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 LINK. [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 LINK
- 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 McCutcheon.
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. LINK
Lord Cullen 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? LINK
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
He, it is claimed, advised the first ambulance crew to arrive,
saying that it was safe to enter the gym as Hamilton was dead.
On 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 McCutcheon LINK]
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.
Thomas Hamilton had some very dubious associates,
yet no serious attempts were made to discover what had driven Hamilton
to commit such a crime. LINK
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. LINK
On the other hand, there could have been a paedophile ring in operation
- that would have been much more serious. LINK
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.
Hamilton 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 massacre happened.
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. LINK
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
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!]
Hamilton 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
former Solicitor General for Scotland and soon to be Lord Advocate
Elish Angiolini LINK;
the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament LINK;
Lord Sewel in the House of Lords LINK;
the Brigadier at Queen Victoria School LINK;
et al LINK.]
Hamilton 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 his expectation.
Following 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.
Of the 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.
On 21 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 care.
At a 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 photographs now?
One angry 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 associates.
The top and bottom of it is that this sick bastard
walked into a primary school and pulled out an arsenal of guns.
The teachers didn'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. LINK
He carried 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 him stop.
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).
Ron Taylor 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) was 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? LINK
[Ed ~ It was later claimed that his daughter attended the
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
One 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 Hamilton shot
himself twice through the head, just like the Deepcut Barracks soldier
did, eh? LINK
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
If so, why?
Hamilton 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
- ENDS -