When the Dunblane massacre happened in March 1996, I was in the most stable settled part of my life. I’d lived on the outskirts of Dunblane since the early 1980s, but in April 1995 I bought a small flat in the town itself, not far from the imposing 13th century Cathedral.
In August 1995 I joined the Scottish Ambulance Service and began work at the station just 9 miles north of Dunblane. I am ashamed to say that during my training I didn’t pay much attention to dealing with gunshot injuries as to my mind that was a ‘city’ problem and not something I was likely to encounter in the little backwater where I lived and worked.
Fortunately I wasn’t due back on duty on 13 March till 8pm. My colleagues Alison and Les received THAT dreadful call and were the first ambulance personnel to arrive at the school, declaring it a Major Incident.
I was called in a few hours later to relieve them from duty. Having collected the ambulance from Stirling, myself and another colleague Russell went back to station to clean out the ambulance that had transported 5 year old Mhairi MacBeath to hospital. She was declared dead on arrival, from a single gunshot wound to the head. Mhairi’s father had been my philosophy lecturer at university in the early ‘80s. He had tragically died six months before Mhairi’s murder, from a brain haemorrhage. He hadn’t lived to see his second daughter, Katherine, born. And on the day of Mhairi’s murder, a memorial service was being held in his memory. His wife Isabel had thought about keeping Mhairi off school that day, but decided it was for her own selfish reasons and besides, Mhairi didn’t want to miss gym. Within an hour, her daughter was dead.
I bring in such personal detail, because to my mind it is too easy for people to forget the enormous loss of life on 13 March 1996 and the individual tragic stories involved in each death.
Back at my ambulance station, I waited with dread for Alison and Les to return after their debriefing. I didn’t know what I could possibly say to them. They were deeply shocked and traumatised. Alison simply said, “that is not a job you would have wanted so early in your career”. I was so incredibly relieved it hadn’t been me. Les could barely speak. He kept on making a gun trigger gesture to his head and said that is how the children had died. They had been disabled and then shot through the head as they lay injured on the gym floor. For some reason very little has been said about this aspect of the massacre – that 11 girls were shot through the head. I am not certain how many of the 5 boys who were killed died from head injuries. The gunman didn’t seem to have the boys as his target as clearly as he did the girls. One boy who was lying injured was shot in the back, not the head, giving him more chance of survival (and indeed this boy, Matthew Birnie, did survive).
A head shot virtually guarantees death and the gunman was clearly intent on making this a true massacre, in every sense of the word.
Just how had this obscenity happened?
It has taken all of ten years for me to finally understand why Dunblane happened. I remember being very surprised when the bereaved parents called for a ban on handguns, as to my mind this was an obvious failure of policing. Thomas Hamilton should NEVER have been allowed to own guns. Britain had no noticeable ‘gun culture’ as in the States. I would imagine that the majority of people, like me, had no idea that target shooting as a sport existed. The very rare gun crime we heard about was part of the criminal underworld. We did not have a problem with legally held weapons in this country.
But, waiting in the wings was Gill Marshall-Andrews, wife of British MP Bob Marshall-Andrews, with her embryonic Gun Control Network (GCN). In Australia and New Zealand, Rebecca Peters and Philip Alpers too were waiting to pounce. After the massacre at Port Arthur, Peters and Alpers were in action.
In preparation for the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane massacre, the solicitor representing the bereaved and injured children’s families, invited each family to express their concerns about – amongst other matters – gun control. Those who expressed the strongest views, in particular, Mick North, who lost his only child in the massacre, were then co-opted into the gun control movement. Mick has remained there ever since.
I began a relationship with Mick a few months after Sophie’s death (his wife had died a few years earlier) and after our relationship ended, I worked for him for the next 7 years as his Personal Assistant. By then Mick was travelling the world on his gun control ‘mission’ and I held the fort back in Scotland whilst he was away on his endless trips.
It was only in 1999 that I discovered that all the Dunblane Inquiry documents had been locked away for an astonishing 100 years (a closure order that has since been declared illegal). Whilst for the previous 3 years I’d thought in terms of police incompetence re Thomas Hamilton, NOW I realised that something much more sinister was going on. Still, I had nothing to work on – or so I thought.
At the end of 2002, I accidently stumbled across some information on the internet about Dunblane that was to set me off on this path – searching for the truth. Once you find yourself on this road, it is impossible to get off. That said, I never expected to be battling on nearly 4 years later. I naively thought that once the parents and the media discovered about all the lies told at the Dunblane Inquiry, there would be an uproar. There has been nothing of the sort.
For the first 6 years after the massacre, I hadn’t doubted for one minute that Thomas Hamilton had killed himself immediately after his shooting spree. But once I began studying all the evidence from the transcript of the Inquiry, there were such glaring inconsistencies and blatant lies about the scene of crime in the gym, that it soon became clear to me that Hamilton had been shot and killed and hadn’t committed suicide at all.
Now if that was the case, why? Surely after what Hamilton had just done, this person would have been hailed a hero? But there was a difficulty though. The massacre was said to have taken just 3 minutes. If Hamilton was killed, how did his assassin get there so quick? I don’t need to go into any more detail now about that, as this is all in my book.
But when you look at all the evidence coming to light now about the Port Arthur massacre in Australia and the Columbine massacre in the States, Dunblane would seem to not be alone in terms of inconsistent evidence, disappearing vital witnesses, a refusal of the mainstream media to print anything about that, the ridiculing and hounding of those campaigners like myself who fight to be heard, AND the total silence of both GCN and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) of which Mick is closely involved.
On 2 October 2005, Mick saturated the British press with his claims that there had been no cover-up of the truth about the massacre in which his beloved only child had been killed. All the articles were full of inaccuracies and, in all honesty, downright untruths. No newspaper would print a right of reply from me, the main campaigner for the truth about the Dunblane massacre. I had – at last – been silenced.
Why would a parent do this? Mick has, without a doubt, been brainwashed by the international gun control movement. There can be no other explanation for why a father would so blatantly stamp the truth about his daughter’s murder into the ground ……… and to my mind, this left the door wide open for further gun massacres. It is a tragic irony that exactly one year later, on 2 October 2006, in a small backwater in Pennsylvania, a place where, like Dunblane, these things just do not happen, five schoolgirls were executed, Dunblane-style.
These gun massacres are always said to be the work of the lone nut gunman. I don’t know enough about the details of all the other school massacres we have witnessed around the western world these last two decades. Andrew MacGregor has done much work in that area and will be speaking about this in a couple of days.
But I do know enough about Dunblane now to know that Thomas Hamilton more than likely did not commit the Dunblane massacre. Hamilton was – no other word for it – the patsy. He was set up that day and he paid with his life. And because the truth about the Dunblane atrocity has been buried, you can be sure that we will see more and more of this kind of modern warfare, where children are sacrificed for some supposed greater good that ‘the planners’ would wish for.