on 13th MARCH, l996




FRIDAY, 31st MAY, 1996




(Shorthand Notes by Wm Hodge & Pollock Ltd Glasgow).


EXAMINED BY MR. BONOMY: Are you a retired shop assistant? - Yes.

And I think that you live at 11 Kent Road in Stirling? - Yes.

Now, that would make you a neighbour of Thomas Hamilton? - Yes.

Can you tell us the relationship between the two houses, how close they were? - 1, 2, 3 and 4 and that is me and that was Mr. Hamilton.

So he was bottom left and you are top right? - Top right.

When did he first move to that address roughly? - I think it may be seven or eight years ago.   I'm not too sure.

But you were already there? - I was there, yes.

And at that time were what you would understand to be his mother and father also in the house? - Yes.

The lady who was known as his sister but was actually his mother, was she there as well? - No, she didn't stay there.

Did you ever see her? - Yes, I did see her.

How frequently was she a visitor initially? - I would have said maybe once a week.

When did you find out the true relationship of the members of the family? - After this incident happened.

Now, I think Mrs. Hamilton, senior died about a couple of years after the family moved to 7 Kent Road? - I think so, yes.

And were you then aware of Mr. Hamilton, senior moving out? - No, I didn't know he had moved out but I was told later.

And were you aware then that Thomas Hamilton was living in the house on his own? - Well, when I had been told, yes.

Roughly when was that?  When did you know that? - Well, I would say maybe about five or six years ago.

Now, during the intervening period until now, or until the 13th of March, were there many visitors to the house? - Yes.

Can you tell me something of who these visitors were? - Well, mostly STV.

That is an STV van or car? - Yes, a car.

A car with STV on it? - Yes.

And this is a private visitor as you would understand it who happened to have such a car? - Yes. The police.

How frequently were the police there? - Well, maybe once or twice a month but quite often the police car was down.

Anyone else? - There was a landscape gardener came.

What was his name? - James Gillespie.

Did you know him? - No.

How did you learn his name? - It was on his van.

At any stage while Mr. Hamilton lived there did you know anything of what he did for a living? - Well, I did know that he did boys' camps.

Is that all you ever knew of what he had actually done for a living? - Well, that's all I knew about, yes.

How did you know about the boys' camps? - He told me.

How frequently did you have talks, conversations, with him? - Not a lot but one or two conversations I had with him.  Out the back in the garden or on the road.

If you met in the street would you acknowledge each other? - If I was on the same side as him, yes, but if I was on the other side, no.

Would you stop in the street or would it be very rarely you would actually have occasion to stop and speak to him? - No, I wouldn't stop and speak to him.

So that on the occasions when there was some conversation between you, who was it that started the conversaton off? - It was him and I nearly jumped out of my skin.

Can you remember the first time that happened? - Well, if I was maybe out the back hanging out my washing, he was there.  I never heard him coming but he was there and he would speak and I just got a fright and I would talk but then I just left him.

Did he ever do anything that you saw that either upset you or caused you any anxiety? - Well, he didn't really upset me but he asked me into his house and I was caught unawares and I went into his house but I was most uneasy.  That sort of upsetting.

Was it just one occasion you were inside the house? - One occasion, yes.

Apart from that, and I will come back to that in a minute, there was not anything else you were aware of going on in the area which caused you any concern? - Just the way he went about.  He was a sort of odd character.  The way he walked and spoke.

Tell me something about the way he walked? - He sort of crept.  He was very head down and sort of crept along.

What about the way he spoke? - He was very proper and soft spoken.

He has been described as a slow, deliberate speaker? - Yes.

Was there any sign in the activity around his house that he had an interest in boys' clubs? - Oh, yes.

What were the signs? - Well, he used to get a van from Central Region and he told me it was for camps on Loch Lomondside or at Queen Victoria School LINK and he used to have big boards and he would take them down the back and paint them white.  That was for flooring at the camps for the boys to sleep on.  [Ed ~ Why was there was no further examination with this witness and others about Hamilton's relationship with Queen Victoria School?] LINK

Did you learn anything about whether he charged very much for these camps? - Yes.

Did you learn that from him? - Yes, I did.

What did he tell you about that? - £70 or £80 per week.

When you saw a van around the house, did you see boys there as well? - Once.

What age were they? - Well, I would have said between maybe six and 10 years of age.

What were they doing? - Well, they were in the van and he would put in big rolls, bales, of toilet rolls and washing up liquid but the boys would be in the van or running round the van.  They were never in his house.

Tell me about the circumstances in which he invited you into the house? - Well, I was coming home one night round about 9 and he was at his front door looking up towards Annfield and he had a sort of telescopic thing in his hand and he was look at Annfield through it and he saw me coming and he just said "Mrs. Ogilvie, can I have a word?" and I said "Well, what is it, Tommy?".  "Just a minute" he said and his front door was open and he didn't go to shut it.  He walked in in front of me and I walked in behind him and into his sitting room and he asked me to sit down.  Well, I did sit down.

Roughly when was this? - Well, it was the summer time.  I can't remember if it was last summer or the summer before.  It wasn't any earlier than that.

When you sat down what happened? - He asked me to look at a video.

What was on the video? - Small boys.

How long did it last? - Well, he fast-forwarded it and stopped it and let it go for a bit and then he would fast-forward it again and let it go for a good bit.  That is what he did all the time and he was very proud because he said "These are my boys".  That is what he said.  I sort of had my back to him and I was looking out the window more often than I was looking at the video.

How long do you reckon it lasted, showing you this video? - The bit that he showed me, well, I think about 40 minutes.

And can you tell me what you saw on the video? - Just small boys.

Doing what? - Well, they were walking along or maybe running.  I can't remember if they were jumping over a wooden horse.  I can't remember that but I think there was one bit that there was that on it but I'm not too sure.  But they just seemed to be marching in lines, the boys.

Did they approach the camera at any stage? - Well, they turned their head towards the camera.

As they walked past the camera? - Yes.

So they would come right up to it more or less and look at it and walk past? - No, they were walking to the camera, the video, they were walking but they were never looking straight singly.  It was just as if they were in a line and they were photographed as they were walking up.  They didn't look straight into the video.

Were there close-ups of their faces? - No, I would have said maybe from the waist up.

Did you actually see the boys from the top? - In one or two parts, yes.

How were they dressed? - They had very small shiny bathing pants on.

Colour? - Black.

All of them? - Yes.

Were they all dressed the same way? - Yes.

Throughout the whole video? - Yes.

Could you tell whether there was only one occasion that was being filmed or there was more than one occasion on the video? - I would have just said one occasion.

And so far as these boys were concerned, can you help me about their ages? - Again I would have said seven to ten years of age.

Apart from the video did Mr. Hamilton show you something else? - He did.

What was that? - He didn't take it out and show me.  It was a box that was more or less at my feet.  It was like a box on a ship, an old box with rope handles.  He opened it and there was a lot of frames in it, picture frames.  There was no pictures I don't think but he just opened it and he took out one picture of one boy and said he was his favourite or his star pupil or something to that effect but I just glanced at it because I was uneasy.

ll a.m.

What was that boy wearing? - He was just from here up -- bare skin.

No clothing on his upper body? - No.

What was it that you felt uneasy about? - I didn't think I should have been looking at that video.  I wasn't really interested in the video.

Apart from that, can you say whether there was anything improper, apparently improper or indecent about it? - I wouldn't say it was indecent, but I didn't like it.   I was just uncomfortable.

Was there any what may be described as strange activities you observed out in the back garden? - Beg pardon?

Did you observe any strange activities on Mr. Hamilton's part out in your back garden area? - Yes, fires.

How frequently? - Maybe twice a month.

During what period? - About six months.

When was that? - Prior to this incident.

About six months ago? - Yes.

How many times did you observe fires? - Altogether I think I saw about a dozen.

Did you see what Mr. Hamilton was burning? - No, I didn't.  I smelt it.

What did you smell? - Well, when I lived at home with my mother she had a knife -- well, it was a sort of spatula -- and it was in the frying pan, and the handle of the teapot was the same, and the gas was on, and sometimes it would burn and you would smell it.  Well, it was that smell -- like Bakelite, because I came through from my living room and I could smell it in the hall and I would say, "That's him at that fire again".  I banged the windows to let him know I knew because he was sitting in full view because there was these security lights at the back and when someone walks past they light.  Well, he sat on a chair and fuelled these fires.

Can you say anything about what was being burned? - No, I only saw boxes.

Were they cardboard boxes? - Yes, it was egg boxes, that size of box.

Could you tell whether there was anything in the box? - Oh, yes, there was stuff in it, yes.

You are clear about that? - Yes.

When you were in the house did you see any photographs on the walls of his house? - Well, the first time I saw photographs on his walls was his living room when I went past the house and he put the light on, and I saw them on the back wall, but when I went into his house they had been taken off the living room and they were in the front bedroom.  The door was slightly ajar when I went in and I saw them on the wall of the front bedroom.

What were they pictures of? - Boys, small boys.

What were they wearing? - Bathing pants.

The same as the video? - The same as the video.

When was the last time you saw Mr. Hamilton? - The Friday before this incident.

That would be the 8th March? - Yes.

About what time? - 8 o'clock at night.

Whereabouts did you see him? - Coming down my path to go and visit a neighbour when he spoke -- I didn't see him, but he was coming along the side of the hedge on the main part of the road, and I said to him -- I got a fright again because the hedge is quite high -- I said, "Could you not whistle when you come?" and he says, "Did I give you a fright?" and I said "Yes".  Well, I walked along the road with him and he was talking about ghosts.

Was he talking about where he had, talking about a particular place when he was talking about ghosts? - Yes.

Whereabouts? - Upper Bridge Street, the big house, his mother and father had a big house when he was small.

Was he carrying anything? - Carrying anything, yes.

What was he carrying? - Letters. He told me what he was carrying.

Did he tell you what the letters were for? - No.

Did you see how many he had? - Well, I didn't actually look at them.  I saw them, there was quite a few, but I mean, it could have been a book in an envelope. I didn't really pay particular attention.

What size of envelopes were they? - (Indicates 6 inches).

A square shape? - No, like that.

6 inches long, about 3 or 4 inches deep? - 4 or 5.

Apart from talking about ghosts, which you have told us about, was there anything about his manner or his appearance that appeared unusual on that last occasion? - No, he was just the same.

Anything unusual for him? - No, just his usual creeping about.

No cross-examination.

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Copyright © 2016 William Burns. All rights reserved.
Dunblane Abandoned
Dunblane Whitewash
Dunblane City Sign
Scotland Map


Dunblane Public Inquiry
Dunblane Massacre
Read the full list in the Dunblane Whitewash catalogue. LINK
Dunblane Angels
St Blane's Church Dunblane
The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 massacre.
List of the victims of the Dunblane massacre
Victoria Clydesdale
Mhairi MacBeath
Charlotte Dunn
Melissa Currie
Emma Crozier
Kevin Hassell
Ross Irvine
David Kerr
Gwen Hodson/Mayor - schoolteacher
John Petrie
Hanna Scott
Joanna Ross
Sophie North
Emily Morton
Maegan Turner
Brett McKinnon
Abigail McLennan
We know who killed the above victims, but, although we may not care, we do not know for sure who killed Thomas Hamilton, and why that person was carrying a revolver at the time!
Why did Lord Cullen try to bury William Burns' letters to him for 100 years? LINK