April 23, 2006
A SECRET dossier said to identify members of a paedophile ring could be published within weeks, after the intervention of the Scottish information commissioner.
The 11-year-old was last seen boarding a bus in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in 1957 during a heavy snowstorm. She was on her way to the shops to buy a box of chocolates for her mother’s birthday.
The dossier, written by James Gallogley, a convicted paedophile who died in Peterhead prison in 1999, is said to implicate senior public figures in the abuse of children in Strathclyde during the 1950s and 1960s. It is also believed to list vehicles and safe houses used in Glasgow, Monklands and Paisley where children were hidden before being taken to sex parties.
Strathclyde’s chief constable has refused to release the document, saying its publication could destroy any chance of solving the case.
However, relatives argue it could help to identify those responsible for Anderson’s abduction and recover her remains.
Her sister Janet, 63, who lives in Australia, has appealed to the information commissioner to order its release. A decision is expected in the next few weeks.
Her call is backed by Sandra Brown, the founder of the Moira Anderson Foundation, who believes her late father, Alex Gartshore, was responsible for the crime.
In an interview with The Sunday Times this weekend, Brown said her father, a former bus driver and convicted sex offender from Coatbridge, was part of a paedophile ring whose members she will recognise when she sees Gallogley’s dossier.
She said that Gartshore and Gallogley, who were friends, lived close to Fred West, the notorious serial killer, in Coatbridge during the early 1960s. Both Gartshore and West moved out of the area in late 1965.
However, Gartshore, who was on bail accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at the time of Anderson’s disappearance, denied any involvement in the crime. He died earlier this month at the age of 85.
According to Brown, who has spoken to former police officers involved in the investigation, Gallogley’s dossier describes how “wee Moira” was subdued with chloroform, abused by Gartshore and “one other” and placed in the boot of Gartshore’s bus.
It claims her body was dumped in the Tarry Burn in Coatbridge, an area that has never been thoroughly searched.
The dossier was handed to police by a former cell mate four years after Gallogley’s death.
It prompted a review of Anderson’s disappearance but failed to throw up any meaningful leads.
“Pressure needs to be brought to bear on Strathclyde police,” said Brown. “Who is being protected and why is there a problem with transparency? I understand Gallogley’s dossier reveals names in his confession. It indicates Moira was not the sole victim of this ring and gives details of parties where children were abused.
“Those named could help lead us to Moira’s remains. There’s unwillingness by officers to share information.”
However, Strathclyde police said inquiries were ongoing. “We regularly review any investigations and the disappearance of Moira Anderson is no exception,” said a spokesman. “Any new evidence and information will be the subject of further investigation in an effort to resolve her disappearance, ” said a spokesman.