IT is one of Scotland’s most baffling murder mysteries.

A teenage girl Pat McAdam disappears without a trace after a weekend in Glasgow shopping and partying wit h her best friend.

Pat, who was 17, and pal Hazel Campbell, 19, had been looking forward to their trip to the big city almost 90 miles away. Shortly before Pat left the family home in Dumfries on the morning of Saturday, February 18, 1967, she said good-bye to her 43-year-old mum Mary.

Glasgow Times:

It was the last time Mary would see her daughter alive. Pat caught a bus to Gretna with Hazel before the two teenagers hitched a lift to Glasgow, where they shopped for new clothes.

They spent the evening at a dance hall in Cardonald in the south west of the city before being invited to an all-night party.

The following morning, bleary-eyed, they hitched a lift home from a lorry driver on London Road in Glasgow’s East End.

Hazel was dropped off near her parent’s house in Annan, Dumfriesshire, at 2pm, but Pat never made it to her own home 17 miles away in Lochside Road, Dumfries.

Her worried parents Mary, and dad Matthew, 51, reported her missing and a major police investigation was launched.

A description put out revealed that Pat had been wearing a black cocktail dress, yellow cardigan, purple coat and black strapped suede shoes when she had left home for Glasgow.

It seemed she had simply vanished into thin air.


Pat had however left behind a bankbook containing £50 – worth more than £700 today – and all her clothes.

That reinforced the belief of police that Pat had come to harm, rather than choosing to disappear.

Hundreds of officers were drafted in for the search of moorland, ditches, riverbeds and lochs for her body.

Police were particularly keen to trace the mystery Glasgow lorry driver, a prime suspect in her disappearance. People she had met in Glasgow on the Saturday were interviewed, including guests at the late-night party.

However, detectives had one vital card up their sleeve – Pat’s best pal Hazel Campbell.

She told the police that the driver took the A74 towards Lockerbie before stopping briefly at a service station in Lesmahagow, near Lanark, where he bought Pat and Hazel a meal. They set off again, later cutting off towards Annan, where Hazel got out and waved her friend off.

The lorry continued towards Dumfries and witnesses would report a sighting near the village of Dalton. It was also seen parked up off a road near the Williamwath Bridge over the River Annan.

Within three weeks of issuing a public appeal for help, detectives had the name of the lorry driver. Thomas Ross Young, 33, from Glasgow.

He was also picked out at an identity parade by Hazel. Young, they discovered was a man with a history of violence, particularly against women.

At 13, he had been convicted of indecent assault and locked up for the first but not the last time.

His job as a lorry driver offered the ideal opportunity to target vulnerable women across the country.

Young was already facing a charge of raping a 19-year-old girl in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, in the south of England, where he had worked as a lorry driver. The incident had happened exactly a month before Pat went missing.

When interviewed by detectives Young claimed Pat had agreed to have sex with him in his cab before he dropped her on the outskirts of Dumfries.

With no evidence to the contrary and nobody, they had to let him go.

At one stage police acted on a tip from a Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset as he had experienced success in similar cases overseas.

Croiset described a bridge over a river with exposed tree roots on the banking, a house with signs and part of a car and a wheelbarrow.

The Utrecht-based psychic concluded Pat was murdered and her body later thrown in the river from where he suggested it was washed out to sea. As a result, police carried out a search in an area fitting the description.

It was beside a bridge over the River Milk, near Middleshaw, between Lockerbie and Annan but unfortunately, no body or other evidence was found.

Eventually, the investigation into Pat’s disappearance was wound down.

Meanwhile, Young was jailed for 18 months for the Rosson-Wye rape.

In 1970, he was sent back to prison, this time for eight years, for raping a 15-year-old girl in Lanarkshire.

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In July 1977, Frances Barker disappeared from outside her home in Maryhill after getting a taxi home from the Parkhead area of the city.

The 37-year-old bakery worker’s body was found dumped next to a farm track near Glenboig, Lanarkshire, 17 days later.

Police wondered how she had got there.

They could only assume that she had been driven there and her body abandoned.

One line of inquiry was identifying lorry drivers who used Glasgow’s red light district.

They spoke to one sex worker who had a habit of noting down the registration numbers of the vehicles of suspicious-looking clients in a paperback One lorry belonged to a haulage firm in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow. The driver was Thomas Young.

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Forensic analysis showed hairs found in his cab belonged to Frances.

Later officers discovered her green make-up compact concealed under the floorboards of the house where Young lived.

That was enough to charge him.

On October 25, 1977, a jury at the High Court in Glasgow took an hour to find him guilty of Frances’ murder, the attempted murder of two more women and the rapes of another three.

He was jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 30 years before he can apply for parole – later reduced to 25 on appeal.

In 2004, Dumfries and Galloway Police’s head of CID, Detective Superintendent Bill Gillies, launched a cold case review, which led to lorry driver Young finally being charged with Pat’s murder in 2007.

The charge said the killing had allegedly taken place on the B7020 Lochmaben to Annan road – around eight miles from Dumfries.

Around this time the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission lodged a separate appeal challenging the safety of Young’s conviction for the murder of Frances Barker.

Young had always protested his innocence and claimed he was ‘fitted up’ by police.

Instead, the finger for France’s murder was now being pointed at another man, Angus Sinclair.

He had been convicted of the 1978 murder of Mary Gallacher at the High Court in Glasgow in 2021 following a review of forensics which had yielded a DNA match.

Three years later police set up a Scotland-wide investigation – Operation Trinity – to look at the other unsolved murders of women and possible links to Sinclair.

Five suspected victims in 1977 were Anna Kenny, 20, Hilda McAuley, 36, Agnes Cooney, 23, in Glasgow and two 17-year-old pals, Helen Scott and Christine Eadie in Edinburgh. But had Frances Barker been a sixth one?

The probe led to Sinclair being convicted in 2014 of murdering Helen and Christine who were last seen leaving the World’s End pub in Edinburgh in October 1977.

At the time of France’s murder, Sinclair lived a few hundred yards along the street from where when she vanished and fished near where her body was found.

In the end, the appeal against Young’s conviction for Frances’ murder failed and the charges for Pat’s murder were dropped.

Young, died in 2014 at the age of 79. from a heart condition He had served 37 years in prison for Frances’ murder, still protesting his innocence.

At the time he was also Scotland’s longest-serving inmate.

Glasgow Times:

However, Mr Gillies is certain of Young’s guilt over Pat McAdam.

Now retired, Mr Gillies said in an interview in 2017: “The case had a big impact on Dumfries – everybody remembered where they were when Pat McAdam disappeared – and we had an astonishing public response to the fresh appeal.

‘We managed to unearth new witnesses and eventually put the jigsaw together. All the evidence pointed to Thomas Young.”

Both Pat’s parents died without her body ever being found.

Matthew was only 53 when he died in 1969, while Mary passed away in 1981, at the age of 58. The stress and strain of coping with their daughter’s disappearance had at the end of the day been too much. They had put in their own efforts to find Pat, travelling hundreds of miles following up reports of sightings, asking questions and living in hope.

Mr Gillies added: ‘It’s just disappointing that the investigation never went any further. The whole point was to bring some closure to Pat’s family. I feel sorry for them. They have been looking for somewhere to grieve, but have not been able to do it.”