rymour books independent scottish publisher The Goatfell Murder







ebook: ISBN 978-1-8381863-9-5, £5.70

The 15th July 1889 was a busy day on the Isle of Arran as it was Fair Monday. A number of visitors opted to climb Goatfell though many were put off by the cloud lingering on the summit. It seemed a day like any other, but that evening there would be an tragic event which would lead to one of the biggest man-hunts in Scottish criminal history, as well as a sensational murder trial.

Two of the people who set out to climb the mountain that afternoon were John Watson Laurie, a 28-year-old pattern-maker from Coatbridge, and Edwin Robert Rose, a 32-year-old clerk from London. They had met three days previously on the excursion steamer Ivanhoe. Rose’s battered body, ‘the face terribly mangled’, was found three weeks later concealed under a boulder on a remote part of the mountain. The discovery sparked a huge search for Laurie who was subsequently arrested for Rose’s murder after two months on the run. When captured he attempted suicide with a cut-throat razor, then stated: ‘I robbed the man, but I did not murder him.’ This is the story of the Goatfell tragedy and its aftermath, described by the Glasgow Herald as ‘the most remarkable tale of crime and retribution in the annals of Scottish judicial history'.