Extraordinary claims in MacRae mystery

DESPITE December's decision by the Crown Office that there was not enough evidence in a new police report to prosecute a person named as the prime suspect, it was clear that the Renee MacRae murder mystery was one that would not go away. For over 30 years it has captivated the public imagination in the Inverness area – and is regarded as one of Scotland's great unsolved crimes. Today we carry a full report on the claims of two psychics living in the city who say they have been contacted by the spirit of Renee MacRae. They make some startling allegations about what actually happened on that fateful night of November 12, 1976, when the 36-year-old estranged wife of the building firm boss disappeared along with her three-year-old son Andrew. The only trace was her burned out car found in an A9 lay-by. We realise a number of readers may dismiss this out of hand as fantasy – but many will treat it seriously and have strong beliefs in spiritualism and the paranormal. Packed gatherings at events involving psychics and mediums bear witness to this interest and hit TV shows like Sea of Souls and X-Files also feed the public hunger for the unusual. Here we have a real life – and death – mystery and high-profile crimes do attract their share of crackpots and charlatans – and the MacRae case has been no different over the years. Indeed this newspaper has checked out and dismissed a number of these in the past. But our staff who dealt with psychics Jo and Jock Brocas found them to be well meaning and that the couple genuinely believe they have encountered something extraordinary. They were at pains to point out they were trying to use their powers to help a situation they realised was still distressing to those who were close to Renee and Andrew. We will leave it to our readers to decide what credence to place on their story – but we feel it is one that should be told. Claims about the "spirit world" are pretty much impossible to prove, but if Jo and Jock Brocas are genuine, then we can only hope their revelations might just shed a bit of light on a dark deed or even bring a little comfort to some from what they say is Renee's message that she is "happy now, no matter what happened, and there will be justice".

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