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After 50 years questions remain over Pat McAdam puzzle

By Bert Houston
Annan and Eskdale
After 50 years questions remain over Pat McAdam puzzle

ONE OF the most baffling disappearances on police files in Dumfries and Galloway remains with unanswered questions — half a century on.

NEVER FOUND . . . Pat McAdam disappeared after night out

For it was on the first weekend after St. Valentine’s Day, 1967 that Dumfries teenager Pat McAdam vanished — and has never been seen alive again.

The 17-year-old had been due to return to her home at Lochside Road following a shopping trip and night out in Glasgow.

She and a friend had hitched a lift on the old single-carriageway A74 road from a lorry which later dropped off her chum in Annan and was last seen heading for Dumfries.

A description put out revealed that Pat had been wearing a black cocktail dress, yellow cardigan, purple coat and black strapped suede shoes when she had left home for the city lights.

And it was after a round of the shops in Glasgow that she had gone dancing and landed at a party before catching the lift back south.

Throughout the weeks, months and years following, intensive searches were carried out by police and volunteers along roadside verges, woods, and riverbanks to the west of Annan and in the Kinmount, Hoddom and Dalton areas in particular.

McADAM river milk BA
CLAIRVOYANT . . . images in Gerard Croiset’s mind led to an extensive police search in an area beside a bridge over the River Milk, near Middleshaw, Lockerbie

Dumfries-based Daily Record reporter, the late Frank Ryan, who was working on the story, travelled to Holland to recruit the services of Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset as he had experienced success in similar cases overseas.

Through images in his mind, Mr Croiset described an area which he believed was significant in Pat’s disappearance. He described a bridge over a river with exposed tree roots on the banking, a house with signs and part of a car and a wheelbarrow.

The Utrecht-based psychic concluded Pat was murdered and her body later thrown in the river from where he suggested it was washed out to sea.

As a result police carried out a focused search in an area fitting the description. It was beside a bridge over the River Milk, near Middleshaw, between Lockerbie and Annan, but unfortunately no body or other evidence was found.

Pat’s parents Matthew and Mary McAdam put in their own efforts travelling hundreds of miles following up reports of sightings, asking questions and living in hope — but there was no trace and they died heartbroken within a few years.

Around 12 years ago, there appeared to be a breakthrough, when police made an arrest after a cold case review and the creation of a dedicated enquiry team.

The lorry driver who had given Pat the lift appeared via a video link from Peterhead Prison to Dumfries Sheriff Court and was charged with the murder of Pat on the B7020 Lochmaben to Annan road near Charlesfield Farm on February 19, 1967 by means unknown.

McADAM charlesfield BA
MURDER FOCUS . . . the Annan to Lochmaben road in the Charlesfield area, west of Annan

The case, however, never came to trial with the Crown Office later stating that there should be no proceedings “against this individual meantime.”

Meanwhile, Thomas Young, who was serving life sentences for murder, attempted murder and rape and who suffered from a heart condition, died in 2014 at the age of 79.

So the disappearance of Pat McAdam still remains unsolved half a century later.


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