In the newest episode of our crime podcast, we look back at the trial held after the abduction, torture and murder of Lynda Spence, which remains one of the most disturbing ever held at the High Court in Glasgow.

Financial advisor Lynda Spence endured 14 days of hell bound helplessly to a chair at the hands of her tormentors Colin Coats and Philip Wade.

Coats took her to the attic of a flat in West Kilbride, Ayrshire, bound her to a chair with tape, put tape over her mouth to stop her screams and placed glasses with taped-up lenses over her eyes.

They used an iron, a golf club, cigarettes and bolt cutters as Lynda sat blindfolded in terror and defenceless before killing her.

Wade bought the equipment used in the torture, and Coats used Lynda's mobile and email accounts to pretend to her family and friends she was alive and well.

They hired two small-time crooks, David Parker and Paul Smith, to guard her between the lengthy torture sessions.

Coats aim was to force Lynda to tell what she had done with money she owed Coats in a bogus land deal.

He believed he had been ripped off and wanted revenge and his money back.

It's not known if Lynda ever told the men what they wanted to know.

One thing is certain she would not live to tell the tale.

Lynda was finally murdered around April 28, 2011, and Coats is believed to have cut off her head before disposing of her body.

Her worried parents, Patricia, 56, and Jim, 68, reported her missing on May 13 and appeals were made to the public for information.

Coats became a prime suspect and was placed under surveillance, but detectives found witnesses too scared to speak out.

The breakthrough came on August 16 — after Coats left one witness so terrified for his life that he went to police.

On October 28, six months after Lynda was murdered, officers smashed their way into the West Kilbride flat.

Police found a spot of Lynda's blood on the bathroom floor and his fingerprint on the door handle.

Mobile phone evidence also placed Coats and Wade in West Kilbride throughout Lynda's ordeal.

As a result, both men stood trial in February 2013 at the High Court in Glasgow accused of her murder - despite there being no body.

Crucially, Parker and Smith agreed to give evidence for the prosecution in return for lesser sentences.

The jury heard how Lynda, 27, was snatched off the street in Broomhill in Glasgow's West End in April 2011 and taken by car to Ayrshire.

They were told that Coats was a computer expert who had a glittering career, a glamorous wife, three children and a fortune in the bank.

His extraordinary IT skills took him first to the Civil Aviation Authority, where he helped develop air traffic control systems, then to the world of investment banking, where he designed trading floors.

Coats was richly rewarded and made even more money from property development.

He told his QC Derek Ogg at his trial: "In a bad year, I earned £200,000."

However, his love of booze and cocaine, and violent flaws in his personality took him into the world of organised crime.

A catalogue of witnesses took the stand during the trial to implicate Coats and Wade in Lynda's murder.

Smith and Parker had been paid £10,000 to "babysit" Lynda after her abduction.

Paul Smith, 47, claimed he had been hoodwinked into providing a safe house where Coates and Wade could keep her.

He claimed Lynda was alive when he last saw her but was too scared of Coats to let her go free.

Smith added: "I wish that Lynda Spence would be found for her family's sake."

David Parker confirmed that Lynda was held at his home in West Kilbride, for around 13 days.

The 38-year-old told police that he believed Coats and Wade had murdered Lynda, then disposed of her body.

He broke down while giving evidence.

Asked if he spoke to Lynda, Parker said: "She just said she wished she hadn't got herself into this mess.

"I told her to tell these guys what they want to know and get it finished."

Both Coats and Wade, went to remarkable lengths to cover their tracks after Lynda's murder.

The loft carpet was removed, floorboards were replaced, and an industrial-scale clean-up operation was carried out, including burning the chair.

However, they still left behind the tiny amount of forensic evidence that linked her to the "chamber of horrors" where she met a brutal end.

Lynda's business partner, financial adviser Tony Kelly, 56, had introduced Lynda to Coats and was the first witness to recall a confession from the accused.

He said Coats told him: "I killed her last Thursday."

Coats also made a comment about Linda being "seafood".

Kelly said: "I took it to mean that her body was dumped in the water."

He also claimed that when tried to get hold of Lynda after she went missing, Coats told him: "You might need to do that through a medium."

The most heart-rending evidence came from Lynda's parents.

Patricia Spence, then 56, described her daughter as a "loving, caring girl" but said she was very tense the last time she saw her, on April 13, 2011.

The mum added: "I just keep thinking she is going to come back. I only had the one lassie. She was my life."

On June 2, Patricia received a call from one of Lynda's phones.

It had been found in a bin at a cafe in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, and the person who discovered it dialled "Mum" in a bid to trace its owner.

Both parents told police everything they knew about Coats and their daughter's business dealings.

But it was too late. Lynda was already dead.

Another witness Pamela Pearson claimed Wade confessed to her that he and Coats had disposed of a woman's body in the hills.

Landlord James Dillon told the court three pieces of flooring had been replaced in the attic room where Lynda was tortured.

Peter Haddley, who met Coats while he was on remand in Addiewell prison in West Lothian, claimed Coats had told him that he cut off Lynda's head and put her body in a furnace.

Haddley said: "He told me he had killed her, she had tape over her mouth, and he held her nose until she died."

He also claimed that Coats had told him he had killed her because she owed him money.

Company director John Glen was a key figure in the case and screens were erected in court for his evidence.

He first met Lynda in late 2009 through his property business and lost money he invested with her.

But he continued to do business in the hope he could recoup his losses.

Glen said: "If you listened to Lynda, you would believe that she was a millionaire a couple of times over with property in Glasgow and property abroad."

On one occasion Lynda had phoned him to cancel a meeting at McDonald's in Glasgow's Crow Road.

He told jurors: "She made reference to Colin Coats and said: 'He is going to kill me. I need to get his money back for him.' She sounded very distressed at the time.

"Usually she was a bubbly person, but she did not sound herself," he added.

It was the last time Glen spoke to her but on April 26, he met Coats at a shopping centre in Broomhill.

Glen claimed Coats then told him: "I need to show you something." He then pulled out a plastic supermarket bag.

Glen said: "When I looked in, there was a thumb inside the bag. I was horrified by what I saw."

Coats replied: "We've got her. We've always had her."

Glen then added: "I knew straight away he was talking about Lynda Spence."

The following day, the pair met again, and Glen told Coats he would need a copy of a valuation from Lynda.

Coats replied: "If you want one, you will need to organise a seance."

Glen said: "This led me to believe that he had murdered Lynda."

To this date, Lynda's body is yet to have been found.

Coats is believed to have suffocated Lynda in the bathroom before putting her bloody remains in the boot of her silver Vauxhall Astra.

Like Lynda's body it still remains missing to this day.

At one point Coats and Wade drove to Tighnabruaich, Argyll to dump the body in water but changed their mind after being told the weather was too bad.

During the trial, an image emerged of a young woman who mixed with the wrong people and, audaciously, ripped them off. But her luck finally ran out when she met Coats.

Lynda broke the law in two ways. She committed fraud by taking money off people and then squandering it on her lavish lifestyle.

But she also acted as a facilitator by providing people with forged documents to get them a mortgage. The court was told her services for people who did not have the necessary paperwork were well known.

Lynda enjoyed many luxuries, thinking nothing of shelling out £150 on bottles of Cristal champagne. But her business partner Tony Kelly described her murky dealings as "absolute chaos".

One involved 30 members of Glasgow's Chinese community who handed over £175,000 in deposits on flats at a housing development at Lochburn Gate, Maryhill. But no reservation fees were paid - Lynda simply pocketed the lot.

She often used aliases, and an expert report found she used 20 different mobiles in the 18 months before she vanished.

Lynda had promised Coats a £3.2million return on a £85,000 investment, paid in Danish bearer bonds to avoid VAT.

However, he did not know the deal was a scam and the bonds were actually forgeries.

Coats and Wade, then hatched a plan to abduct Lynda and systematically torture her for days in a big to get their money back.

Glasgow Times: Killers Philip Wade and Colin CoatsKillers Philip Wade and Colin Coats

During their trial it also emerged that the murder victim had been recruited as an informant for the now defunct Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) weeks before her murder.

She had agreed to spy on an Albanian underworld network with links to alleged drug dealing and people trafficking.

However, it was claimed in court that her SDEA handler failed to tell police colleagues of her secret role.

As a result, they lost vital ground hunting for Lynda.

Her parents had given her money to set up in business as a financial adviser.

But mum Patricia said she knew nothing about Lynda's work except that she was always busy.

The jury took around 20 hours to reach their guilty verdicts on Coats and Wade following a trial that had lasted 46 days.

Both men were given mandatory life sentences and warned by trial judge Lord Pentland that they could die behind bars.

Coats was ordered to serve a minimum sentence of 33 years before he can be considered for parole.

While sidekick Wade was given a tariff of 30 years.

Trial judge Lord Pentland told Coats he was a "highly ruthless and dangerous man" who had been the driving force behind Lynda's torture and murder.

He added: "You were the more dominant and controlling personality. You were the prime mover and shaker behind the abduction, torture and murder of Miss Spence.

"You are clearly a man of some intelligence who attained a measure of some success.

"But you are a manipulative, devious, cruel personality and resorted to violence where you perceived you had been thwarted."

Lord Pentland said Wade had been driven by greed to commit "a truly monstrous and barbaric crime".

He told him: "You were motivated by greed and the thirst for revenge. The evidence shows you are a violent and dangerous man with no respect for human life.

"You will not necessarily be released after 30 years and may indeed never be released."

Neither of the killers showed any emotion as they were handed their life sentences.

Minutes after the verdict, Coats was served with an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act and said: "Oh, thanks very much" to the police officer who served it on him.

Parker and Smith were each jailed for 11 years for assaulting Lynda and holding her captive.

In a statement outside the High Court in Glasgow, Lynda’s devastated father Jim, then 68, and her mother, 56-year-old Patricia, said: "There is no verdict that will bring our daughter Lynda back or spare her the terrible ordeal that took her life.

"We will never begin to imagine her suffering or comprehend the cruelty of any person who would do that to another human being. We cannot begin to understand or forgive what they did to our daughter Lynda.

"No words can begin to describe the heartache and pain we are suffering."

In July 2014, Coats and Wade lost appeals against their conviction and sentence.

Both claimed they were victims of a miscarriage of justice and had been given longer sentences than the Lockerbie Bomber.

The three appeal judges concluded there was "overwhelming evidence" they had killed Lynda and the prison sentences were justified.

Lord Gill said: "There emerged, in my view, an overwhelming case that the appellants murdered the deceased. In my opinion, there was no miscarriage of justice.

"This was a barbaric crime that merited the severest penalty."

It later emerged that the police investigation to bring Coats and Wade to justice had cost almost £875,000.

But few disputed at the time that it was money well spent.

Glasgow Times: Police looking for Lynda Spence's remains

Police looking for Lynda Spence's remains

In March this year, police began a renewed effort to find Lynda's body at a remote 21-acre spot at Auchenbreck, around 12 miles from Dunoon in Argyllshire.

The following month they began an official dig following a four-week assessment by experts.

At the time Detective Superintendent Suzanne Chow, of the Major Investigation Team,  said: “A detailed assessment of the location has been completed and we have now commenced digging to further explore the site for potential evidence.

“This will be an extremely detailed operation, involving specialist search teams from Police Scotland, forensic scientists and soil experts from across the United Kingdom.

“The family of Lynda Spence are being kept updated as efforts to establish if her remains are within this area continue.

“I would ask anyone with information to please come forward and speak to officers.”

To this day Coats and Wade have refused to tell Lynda's mother where they disposed of Lynda's body.

Six years ago, she made an impassioned plea for him to break his silence.

Patricia said: "If you have any heart at all, any conscience, just tell me where she is and give me her back. I'm asking you and I'm pleading with you. Give me Lynda back before anything happens to me.

"Lynda was my only child. It would mean everything to me to be able to lay her to rest. "Without her body there can be no closure."

Patricia then added: "The worst thing for me, the question I can't get out of my mind, is 'Why didn't she tell me she was in trouble?' I swear to God I didn't have a clue.

"She was like my best pal. All we did was laugh. I miss her so much."

Ironically, Coats was allowed out of prison in November 2016 on compassionate leave from Shotts prison for the funeral in Glasgow of his own mother, Catherine, who had died aged 80.

One source close to the original police investigation told the Glasgow Times said: "Lynda may not have been an angel, but she did not deserve to die the way she did.

"To her parents, the nightmare can never be over until they finally have her body to lay to rest."