The deaths of six members of one family in 1984 following a firebomb attack on their Glasgow home shocked Scotland.

Thirty seven years later there still remains considerable doubts over who was responsible for the city's biggest ever mass murder.

READ MORE: Detectives appeal over Glasgow Ice Cream Wars 'unsolved' murder

Glasgow Times:

The Doyles were innocent victims of a violent turf war involving organised crime figures seeking to control the lucrative ice cream van trade operating in the city's sprawling housing schemes.

Glasgow Times:

Because of a shortage of late opening shops the vans could legitimately make £200 profit a week (£700 now) selling food, soft drinks, sweets, and cigarettes on top of the traditional cones and wafers.

However for the more unscrupulous they also provided a means for selling stolen goods and even drugs like heroin.

In what became known as the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars legitimate drivers were subjected to nightly attacks with baseball bats, knives, and eventually shotguns by major criminals who wanted to take over their routes.

On one occasion an undercover police team using a borrowed ice cream van were ambushed in Baldragon Road, Easterhouse by two masked thugs with batons - who they then arrested.

When 18-year-old Andrew Doyle refused to bow to intimidation, he and his family were targeted with horrific consequences.

One evening in late February 1984, shots had been fired through the windscreen of Andrew's ice cream van in Balveny Street, Garthamlock, while he was working with his 15 year old girl assistant.

Unlike those who ordered the attacks Andrew and his family were known to be hard-working and law abiding.

Seven weeks later a mystery man armed with a petrol can mounted the stairs to the family's top floor flat in Bankend Street, Ruchazie and set fire to an outside store cupboard at 2am.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Detectives appeal over Glasgow Ice Cream Wars 'unsolved' murder

Within minutes the early morning blaze had spread through the family home and of the nine people sleeping inside, only three survived.

The tragic victims were Andrew, his father James Doyle, 53, sister Christina Halleron, 25, her 18-month-old son Mark and two brothers James, 23, and 14 year old Tony.

Glasgow Times:

Mum Lillian Doyle, 51, was rescued by firefighters and another son Stephen, 22, jumped 40 feet to safety but broke his left leg. A fourth brother Daniel, 28, also survived.

There was massive public outrage at the six deaths and demands for swift justice.

Glasgow Times:

Understandably Strathclyde Police - now Police Scotland - were under extreme pressure to find those responsible for the April 16 attack.

In the following months detectives arrested seven people for serious acts of violence against ice cream van owners including the gun attack on Andrew's van. Four were charged with the murders of the Doyle family.

Glasgow Times:

At the High Court in Glasgow later that year Thomas "TC" Campbell, 31, and associate Joe Steele, 22, were found guilty of killing the Doyles.

Both were given life with Campbell told he must serve at least 20 years until he could apply for parole.

What followed was a battle by the two convicted men to clear their names - spanning three decades - that proved to be one of the most controversial in Scottish legal history.

Glasgow Times:

Campbell staged a series of high profile hunger strikes and refused to have his hair cut to publicise his case.

Steele escaped three times from prison custody and on one occasion superglued himself to the railings at Buckingham Palace.

The prosecution case against Campbell and Steele had rested on three key pieces of evidence.

Their main witness, William Love, said he had overheard Campbell, Steele, and others in a bar discussing how they would teach Andrew Doyle a lesson by setting fire to his house.

The police claimed that Campbell had told four officers during his arrest: "I only wanted the van shot up.

"The fire was only meant to be a frightener which went too far."

The police also claimed that a Glasgow street map, with the Doyle flat marked with an X, was found in his home.

Glasgow Times:

According to prosecutors Campbell was a major organised crime figure in the East End of Glasgow, prepared to go to any lengths to profit from the ice cream van trade and put his rivals out of business.

After their conviction both he and Steele claimed that Love had lied and the police had fabricated evidence.

A first appeal was turned down in 1985 and a second one failed in 1989.

However in a book on the ice cream wars in 1992 Love admitted lying under oath and later gave a signed statement to that effect.

In 1997 the then Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth, referred the convictions back to the appeal court in Edinburgh and both Campbell and Steele were freed pending its outcome.

The appeal was thrown out the following February and both men returned to prison.

A second petition was presented to the new Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar in December 1998 but that was refused.

Campbell and Steele then took their case to the then newly created Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in July 2000 who decided that the case should be referred back to the appeal court.

Pending the outcome of this latest appeal Campbell and Steele were set free for a second time in December 2001.

Glasgow Times:

Three years later in March 2004 three appeal judges finally quashed the convictions as a result of hearing new evidence.

Campbell was later awarded £1.2 million over the miscarriage of justice and died aged 66 in 2019 at his home in Dunoon, Argyll from natural causes. Steele, who lives in Garthamlock, was awarded £750,000.

No-one apart from Campbell and Steele has ever been convicted for the murders of the Doyle family.

So who was responsible for the six deaths?

In 2010, it was reported that one of the seven original accused Gary Moore had confessed to setting the Doyle's house on fire before he died.

Moore had stood trial with Campbell and Steele on the murder charge but was cleared due to insufficient evidence.

It has also been claimed that Glasgow crime boss Tam "The Licensee" McGraw was responsible for ordering the hit on the Doyle flat. He died of a heart attack at his luxury home in Mount Vernon in 2007.

Retired detective Les Trueman was part of a five man team based at Easterhouse Police Station who investigated the various attacks on ice cream vans and their owners including Andrew.

During that period the Detective Constable got to know the powerfully built teenager well.

Les was one of the first police officers at the scene of the fire and helped a badly burned Andrew into an ambulance.

He said:"I was on back shift that night with another colleague and we heard a call come in that there had been a fire at the Doyle house.

"When we got there they were bringing out Andy who was in his underwear and he was badly burned.

"He said to me :'Les you know who done this. You need to get them.'

"But at that stage I just wanted to get Andy into the ambulance.

"He was going to tell me everything, but of course he never survived.

"His burns were so bad that he is condition deteriorated once he got to hospital and they could not save him."

Andrew died four days after being admitted and he was never well enough to be interviewed and tell detectives what he knew.

Les added: "When we heard about a fire in Bankend Street we knew whose house it was even before we arrived.

"Andrew was a big man who could handle himself but he wasn't ready for guns and firebombs.

"When we started looking into the threats against him, we didn't think for a minute that someone was going to torch his house and murder him and his family"

Les retired from the police in 2000 after 28 years and is now a private investigator.

He says the people who carried out the arson attack would have been different from the people who ordered it.

But he doesn't believe that either intended for anyone to die that night.

Les added: "Whoever ordered the attack would have been tucked up in bed that night.

"It was meant as a warning to Andrew Doyle, a frightener if you like.

"But it was a frightener which went badly wrong."

Les says it's also important to remember that the real victims of the fire were the Doyle family.

He added: "Everyone knows the names Campbell and Steele but we must never forget the six innocent people who died that night."