C.I.D. CHIEFS WHO BECAME LEGENDS OF THE FORCE
who is married to Hazel, 62, said: “The murders just kept coming. How McIlwrick kept going I will never know.
“It all started on Friday, July 15, when a man was killed during a street fight in the Gorbals. The following night, Mary MacLeod was battered to death by her husband at their home in Bath Street.
“The third violent death of the Glasgow fair weekend took place on Sunday, July 18, when 45-year-old Sunday school teacher Bob Cummings collapsed with a dagger in his back a few feet from his own doorway in the Gorbals.”
He added: “The following weekend, 47- year- old steel worker Joseph Cholsworth or ‘ Wee Joe’ collapsed in Shettleston Road. He died from a punch to the head.
“The next night, a baker died after being assaulted in his flat in Pollock. That brought the death toll to five in a week. It’s no wonder McIlwrick referred to it as ‘ heatwave madness’.”
The spate of murders coincided with the largest and most complex bank raid investigation that a Scottish police force had ever dealt with.
Glasgow and Oxford University graduate Andrew said: “On Wednesday, July 20, a bank raid in Ibrox lasting all of 60 seconds triggered an investigation which continued for months and involved CID men travelling thousands of miles up and down the country. Four men stole a bank van and made off with £ 40,000.
“As many as 200 possible sightings of the culprits were reported and followed up. By September, four arrests had been made and, in January 1956, six men went on trial in the High Court.
“McIlwrick received high praise for his work with a news report stating, ‘ Five murders and a £40,000 bank raid in the space of seven days would surely bow any ordinary man’.”
Andrew’s book also pays t r ibut e to Bob Colquhoun, the teetotaller and judo exper t who, while on duty during World War II, used to disguise himself as a drunken sailor, making himself an easy target for muggers, who then got a nasty shock when they were arrested.
The men who helped bring Peter Manuel to justice – Alex Brown, known to his colleagues as “Faither Broon”, and Tom Goodall, “Glasgow’s Maigret” – are also lauded in the book, which comes out on September 26.
Andrew said: “I was privileged to be given access to some never-before-seen case files belonging to these incredible officers thanks to the Glasgow Police Museum, who gave me access to documents, and the families of the CID chiefs, who told me anecdotes.
“Goodall’s daughter let me see his notebook, where he had taken notes and drawn diagrams of the Smarts’ house in Uddingston in the aftermath of the Peter Manuel murders.
“Holding it in my hand gave me a real awareness of the terrible crimes these men had to deal with on a daily basis.
“The inspiration for the book came f rom my friendship with Joe Beattie, who worked on the infamous Bible John investigation.
“After listening to him reminisce about his time as Glasgow’s top brass, I thought it was only fitting that something should be written about his career and the other CID chiefs who helped keep Glasgow safe.
“Peter Manuel and Bible John, these are names that everyone knows, but what about the brave crime fighters who relentlessly pursued them.
“I hope my book will ensure these crimebusters are never forgotten.”
Exclusive reader offer, valid until October 1: Get the book for £6.99 + £ 2.50 p&p. Order by phoning Black & White publishing on 0131 625 4500.
SHOCK AND AWE LEAD ROLES Taggart stars Blythe and Alex
HIGH-PROFILE CASES From left, four-year-old murder victim Betty Alexander, the home where Mary MacLeod was battered to death in 1955, and top cops Joe Beattie and Tom Goodall