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frankie

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RIP REG.A true gent

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Doesn’t seem a year but the big man is well missed RIP Reg


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JK

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Reg McKay:

 

Born July 15, 1953;

 

Died October 19, 2009.

 

 

R.I.P

 

 


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frankie

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Rip reg

frankie

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R I P Reg.
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R.i.p
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Reg McKay

1953 - 2009

Crime-writer. Born in Keith (Moray), McKay moved to Govan (Glasgow) in his early teens. Here he was soon involved in gang fighting, but it is said that an encounter with a meat cleaver changed his life. His school career was successful and he studied psychology and sociology at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1975. Despite a desire to become a journalist, McKay spent the next twenty years as a social worker, improving the lives of an underclass of Glasgow society. He rose to become Director of Social Work for Argyll and Bute Council and Scottish Director for the children's charity NCH (National Children's Homes).

In 1998 he left Social Services to pursue his ambition to write. McKay corresponded with former Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris suggesting a collaboration to tell his story, and the result was The Ferris Conspiracy (2001). The pair went on to write the novel Deadly Divisions (2002), Vendetta (2005) and Villains (2006). McKay gleaned information from contacts in the Glasgow underworld. With gritty novels based on real-life such as Armed Candy (2002) and The Last Godfather (2004), the story of crime-boss Arthur Thompson (1931-93), McKay became the top-selling writer of true crime in Scotland, producing sixteen books in ten years.

Latterly he lived in Paisley. McKay was diagnosed with cancer in March 2009 but was to write a brutally-honest column describing the progression of his illness in the Daily Record newspaper until shortly before his death. His funeral took place at Craigton Crematorium.

 


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Review by Kevin Williamson 8th 2001

 

 

imagine this situation. a book is written by a high profile, former criminal, now serving a seven-year sentence for gunrunning. the book claims that there are clear links between known gangsters in glasgow and officers of strathclyde police force. the book details these links and the ensuing corruption of police officers, their role in drug-dealing, the bribes and the set-ups, as well as how this has developed. names are named.

sensational stuff indeed. so what happens next?

scenario a: high level and independent investigations are made into these serious accusations. the scottish press reviews the book extensively and sends investigative reporters to speak to all concerned to ascertain the truth. if these revelations are confirmed heads are then seen to roll and the police's power to investigate themselves is abolished and an independent police complaints board is established as a result.

scenario b: the tabloids seize on the most salacious aspects of the violence detailed in the book and spread them across their front pages. the accusations of police corruption are rubbished as "pure fantasy" in the media by the very same police force that is accused of being bent. nobody takes the book seriously because a former gangster writes it. there are no reviews of the book anywhere.
no prizes for guessing which of the two scenarios has actually happened. (scenario a was just a daft fantasy of mine.)


to date, not a single newspaper or magazine in scotland has had the courage to review the book, the ferris conspiracy, let alone investigate the truth or otherwise of its contents. if this is a democratic country with a so-called free press then something's obviously not quite right here. so what's going on?
 
paul ferris is no angel. by his own admission he has been involved in criminal activities that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. vicious stabbings, slashings, shootings, robberies, extortion, are all graphically detailed in this book. (i suspect some of the worst excesses have been omitted.) over the years the criminal activities of paul ferris add up to a horrific litany of broken bodies and scars, terror and brutality. or put another way mr ferris is not exactly a contender for the nobel peace prize.
yet reading this account of ferris's life and times, co-written with investigative reporter reg mckay, even accounting for a certain swagger and "sticking it right up them", i couldn't help thinking that if this guy is making all this up about police conspiracies and corruption then he needn't bother returning to a life of crime - he's got a glittering career ahead of him as a writer of fiction. the scripts of taggart seem as straightforward as the teletubbies in comparison to the twists and turns of the elaborate plots and incredible events detailed here.
so who do we believe? the violent gangster in prison? or the police force who protect the streets of glasgow with such public-spirited vigilance? with such public-spirited vigilance that some of their officers are known to have fabricated evidence, threatened and beaten witnesses, and perverted the course of justice to secure wrongful convictions against such innocent men as tc campbell and joe steele (the glasgow two), as well as stuart gair, raymond gilmour, and god knows who else.
it is worth stating clearly here that all three witnesses who testified against stuart gair when he was sentenced to life in 1989 have since retracted their statements and have told scottish television that their statements were only made after being blackmailed and threatened with "outing" (re: their sexuality) during interrogations by strathclyde police officers. gair has subsequently been released on bail after 11 years in prison and is awaiting a judicial review of his case.
it is also worth stating here that the only witness against both tc campbell and joe steele subsequently retracted his statement and has been exposed as a paid liar. it has also come to light that the crown office suppressed important correspondence relating to case. these two innocent men have served 16 years in prison each and have refused to sign parole papers admitting guilt that would have them immediately released. ferris' book names the person behind the murders of the six members of the doyle family and the individual's collusion with officers serving in strathclyde police force. nobody has sued either author yet and the media in scotland remains silent despite the fact that this week the ferris conspiracy has now entered the top ten uk best sellers chart.
the real importance of this compelling book is that ferris explains why and how all of this has happened. i didn't think i would say this but after reading the ferris conspiracy i'm convinced that despite his previous activities paul ferris has done us all a favour by lifting the lid on what is happening in the rotten state of the strathclyde police force. (whether ferris was fitted up on the gunrunning charges he was jailed for, it's hard to say, but taking all things into account it seems more than likely.)
ferris's claims are not outlandish, they ring true because they tie in with existing knowledge of the activities of certain glasgow police officers and their criminal associates, and they should certainly be taken seriously enough to investigate them further.
ferris and mckay have had their say. but will anyone else have the courage to speak out and confront the surreptitious might of strathclyde police force? politicians? the judiciary? the media? or even an honest cop or two? in the event of silence we should read complicity.

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RIP Reg

There would be no movie if it was not for your work with Paul on the Ferris Conspiracy book.

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GerryMcKay

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I could not agree more - thank you.
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hammer6

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Thank you for your support and for always remembering. Precious! xx
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When T.C. Campbell and Joseph Steele were found guilty of the horrific murder of the Doyle family in 1984, it concluded a media and police witch-hunt that had begun six months earlier. But as Indictment makes abundantly clear, TC Campbell was 'guilty' before the trial even began, the victim of a miscarriage of justice that is all the more chilling because of the manner in which justice was wilfully perverted. Convicted on the flimsiest of hearsay evidence and in one of the darkest episodes in Scottish legal history, T.C. Campbell remains incarcerated and continues to fight for his release. This book, co-authored with acclaimed investigative journalist Reg McKay, documents in disturbing detail the farcical manner in which Campbell and Steele were 'tried' and the ongoing quest by Campbell to exonerate his name.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Indictment-Trial-Fire-T-C-Campbell/dp/1841952354

 A PROFESSOR of psychology yesterday cast doubt on the reliability of 24 words which helped jail two men for life for murdering six family members in the notorious Ice Cream Wars.

Brian Clifford, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of East London, was giving evidence at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh on the first day of a fresh attempt by Thomas "TC" Campbell and Joe Steele to clear their names.

In a case which has haunted the Scottish legal system for two decades, it was the pair's third time in front of appeal judges, this time at the behest of the newly-created Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).

Campbell and Steele were convicted of the murder of six members of the Doyle family, including an 18-month-old baby, in a fire which swept through the family's flat in Ruchazie, Glasgow, in 1984. However, both men have continued to protest their innocence.

The evidence led yesterday centred on the reliability of a 24- word statement, allegedly uttered by Campbell, written in the notebooks of four police officers at the time.

The statement included the phrase: "I only wanted the van windaes shot up. The fire at Fat Boy's was only meant to be a frightener which went too far." He denied making it.

However, it was written in the notebooks of all four officers with a high degree of similarity, the court heard.

Professor Clifford said there was serious doubt surrounding the possibility that all the officers would have been able to recall the words in such an identical manner.

The expert, who specialises in memory and psycholinguistics, was asked by the SCCRC to carry out a study in 2001 into a number of statements relating to the case.

He carried out two studies, one in Scotland and one in England, using 131 participants. He tested their immediate ability to recall verbatim a phrase they had just heard.

The study found that they were, on average, able to recall verbatim between 30% and 40% of the words they heard. Even the highest-scoring participant was able to recall only 17 of the 24 words accurately.

Fourteen police officers were also included in the Scottish survey and the results showed their ability to recall phrases was not significantly different from that of the other participants. Nobody was able to remember 100% of the words they heard, the professor said.

On this basis, he concluded in his survey, it was "improbable" that the police officers would have been able to record Campbell's statement in such an identical manner.

Under questioning by Graham Bell QC, for Campbell, Professor Clifford said his studies "strongly suggested it was not at all likely" the four officers would be able to note the statement "in such similar terms".

His study also showed that it was unlikely the officers would be able to obtain such similar recall in the absence of any comparison or collaboration between them, the court heard.

"It must be considered that the reliability of the officers' evidence must be called into doubt, into question. Not one of the participants even came close to the recordability achieved by the police officers in the case under review."

Campbell and Steele were convicted in April 1984. After a 28-day trial, which heard the killings took place against a background of a battle for control of the ice cream business, they were convicted of the murder of the Doyle family and jailed for life.

Referring to the murder charge at the original trial in 1984, Mr Bell told yesterday's hearing: "There was no evidence that either of the accused, Campbell or Steele, were at or near the house when the fire started. The Crown case was one of complicity in starting the fire."

He went on to tell the appeal judges that, at that trial, the Crown had relied on a statement in a pub, allegedly overheard by a prosecution witness, on the finding by police of a map in a briefcase at Campbell's home and on the statement said to have been made by Campbell to police after his arrest.

The hearing, before Lord Gill, the lord justice clerk, sitting with Lords MacLean and Macfadyen, continues today.

THE LONG LEGAL FIGHT Joe Steele, 39, was convicted of the murder of six members of the Doyle family in a blaze at their home in Ruchazie, Glasgow, in 1984 in the so-called Glasgow Ice Cream War killings, and jailed for life. Lost an appeal in 1985. Steele twice escaped from custody. He superglued himself to the gates of Buckingham Palace and staged a demonstration at Barlinnie jail where he climbed a tower. Lost appeal in 1997.

Thomas "TC" Campbell, 51, was convicted of the same murders and was jailed for life. Campbell conducted his own appeal in 1985, arguing misdirection by the judge, after he failed to obtain legal aid. He too lost. Campbell went on hunger strike. An appeal in 1997 failed, but the men were freed in December 2001 pending a fresh hearing.

Thomas Gray, 50, their co-accused, was jailed for 14 years for attempted murder during the ice cream wars. He is also appealing against his conviction. He has served his sentence and Lord Gill, the lord justice clerk, sitting with Lord MacLean and Lord Macfadyen, agreed to hear proceedings in his absence.

Andrew "Fat Boy" Doyle, 18, refused to give up his route to criminals targeting ice cream vans in the east end of Glasgow. The criminal gangs wanted them as a front for drugs and moving stolen goods. In February 1984, shots were fired through his windscreen. About six weeks later, a fire was started at the door of his top- floor flat in Bankend Street, Ruchazie, Glasgow. Mr Doyle and five other family members died.


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