Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Scotland's Missing Case Files: Moira Anderson - The little girl who never went home


60 years ago Moira Anderson disappeared
There can be few crimes more heinous than the murder of a child. When that's compounded by that child's body never being found, it's particularly cruel to the child's family who are denied the chance to lay their loved one to rest.

Sixty long years ago, a wee girl called Moira Anderson left her grandmother's house in Coatbridge in Scotland to go to the shops. She never returned. It was during a heavy snowstorm and the 11-year-old was last seen boarding a Baxter's bus.

This is not so much a case of who killed the little girl because there seems no doubt about that.


Her killer
Convicted paedophile Alexander Gartshore was driving the bus that day. The bus that tragic Moira got on. Later in the very same year, he was jailed for raping a 17-year-old babysitter.

But Gartshore will never confess to police that he killed Moira or be held accountable because he died in 2006. But there seems few doubts that he murdered the child.

Convicted child abuser James Gallogley said his former friend Gartshore boasted of murdering Moira. He wasn't alone in believing the former soldier took Moira from this world.

Gartshore's very own daughter crime writer Sandra Brown was convinced he was the killer and campaigned to have her father charged. Scottish prosecutors also announced in 2014 that he would have faced prosecution for the schoolgirl's murder if he were still alive.



Police search the canal for traces of Moira

Where he put Moira's body nobody knows. But the search goes on but it might not have had to. In 1957 a man was spotted carrying a large heavy sack towards a canal. The sighting was reported to police but they never acted on it.


The search for Moira 
In 2013, a grave was excavated at Monkland Cemetery in Coatbridge after it was believed that evil Gartshore buried Moira's body in the family plot of an acquaintance. But nothing was found.

As I write this, there's been another update. Along with divers, Police Scotland are retrieving objects from a canal for assessment by forensic experts in the search for the schoolgirl.

Maybe one day very soon, a little girl called Moira can make it home and finally be laid to rest at last.


Moira's memory will live on  
Footnote - Moira Anderson's name continues to live on through the foundation that bears her name and helps survivors of child abuse. 

You can learn more about the foundation here.

March 2017 Update - Sadly, the police found no trace of Moira in the canal. 



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