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Daily Record
Daily Record
David Love & Kaitlin Easton

Sister of murdered Renee Macrae haunted by 'terror' suffered by mum and young son

The sister of murdered Renee MacRae has said the passing of time has not eased the family's anguish as they have not been able to grieve.

Morag Govans, 82, prepared a statement which was read out at the High Court in Inverness by advocate depute Alex Prentice after her sister's killer was found guilty by a jury.

William MacDowell, 80, was found guilty of murdering Renee and her three-year-old son Andrew on November 12, 1976. He was given a life sentence over the evil crimes.

Morag Govans (Peter Jolly)

He was also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of their bodies and personal effects.

Morag statement said: "The pain of losing Renee and Andrew doesn't ease. Not a day passes when both are not in our thoughts. Andrew's life was cruelly and brutally cut short at such a young age, just three years old and I often wonder what he would be doing now.

William MacDowell (Peter Jolly)

"The passage of time has not eased the anguish. We have not been allowed to grieve properly. Not knowing how Renee and Andrew died and where their remains lie compounds the anguish. I have never stopped trying to find justice for Renee and Andrew who deserve to rest in peace.

"Thinking of the terror they must have felt when they died in such a calculated and callous was continues to haunt me."

Morag urged him to come clean. But she is doubtful he will: "He has kept quiet for this long. I can't see him telling us what we have wanted to know for 46 years. I hope he will."

The court had heard how Renee, who was separated from her husband, had been having an affair with married MacDowell at the time she and Andrew disappeared.

Renee MacRae missing person who disappeared in November 1976 with son Andrew age 3 (Daily Record)

MacDowell, of Penrith, Cumbria, was on trial charged with assaulting Renee and her son Andrew at the Dalmagarry layby on the A9 trunk road south of Inverness, or elsewhere, by means unknown, and as a result murdering them on November 12, 1976.

He was also accused of disposing of their bodies and disposing a boot hatch from his Volvo car to defeat the ends of justice.

MacDowell denied both of the murders and one charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

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