The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
‘left huge hole in my life’
he never knew 47 years after she was killed with her children
abella’s “secret son”, who had been taken from her just three weeks before she was killed.
Aged just six months, Michael MacDonald was removed from her care and put into a children’s home in Stirling.
“I spent the first four years of my life there,” he said. “It was not a happy time, but it was all I knew.”
Growing up, the 47-yearold– whonowlives inPerth – said he had a “magnificent” childhood after he was fostered.
But he always knew he was different from the rest of his family.
His tragic background was kept a secret until he turned 16, when he started asking questions about his real parents.
“My foster mum didn’t know how to explain what had happened when I asked if there was anyone still alive,” he said.
“Thatwaswhenthe story unravelled. I was told that my real mum had been found under the floor in one room, while Murray was found in another.
“But Jacqueline had been taken to the tree where Adam Sherriffs killed himself.
“He must have suffered to do that to his own daughter. Killing her would have been the last thing he ever did.”
From that moment on, Mr MacDonald – who has battled cancer twice – was determined to find out as muchas he could about the mother he never got the chance to meet.
But he became disheart- ened as his search for information led to nothing.
When his foster mother died nine years ago, he became even more determined to find out what his real mother had been like and if he had any relatives left.
“Nobody wants to speak about what happened though,” he said.
“I have been writing to local authorities and the police since 1986, but they say they cannot help.
“There is a huge hole in my life – I don’t know what my mum was like.
“I know that she was cremated, but I can’t find a graveyard or where her ashes were scattered. There is no place I can go and sit and contemplate what happened. I have nothing at all of her, apart from a ragged old picture.”
Mr MacDonald said he would even speak to his stepfather’s family if it meant uncovering anything about his own.
“I bear no animosity towards anyone for what happened. I am not out for revenge,” he said.
“I’ve led a very charmed life, my childhood was magnificent. Had I not been taken away, I would have been killed with the rest of the family.
“Surely someone out there must know wheremy family are buried and be able to tell me what my mum was like.”
Can you help Michael MacDonald piece together his family background? Email pj. newsdesk@ajl. co. uk or telephone 01224 343303.