Alistair Wilson: timeline of investigation into Nairn murder

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Alistair Wilson was shot dead on his doorstep in November 2004, days later the murder weapon was found in a drain

Alistair Wilson was shot dead on the doorstep of his home in Nairn, Scotland, in 2004. His murder remains unsolved.

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It was a crime that shocked Scotland – and more than 17 years on its doorstep, Alistair Wilson’s murder remains unsolved.

Mr Wilson, 30, was shot dead by an unidentified man at his home in Nairn in 2004. The murder weapon, a rare German handgun, was found days later.

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Police recently said they believe the murder was linked to his personal life rather than his work as a banker, and asked for information about a planning application for patio space for a local hotel opposite his home, to which he objected shortly before his death had.

Alistair Wilson was murdered on his doorstep in 2004.

Detectives have revealed the father-of-two’s plea was discussed in the hotel bar days before his murder and over the weekend leading up to his death two days later.

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In the summer of 2004, Mr. Wilson objected to the construction of a large patio area in the hotel’s car park, which he said was responsible for increased noise and litter in the area. He had filed this appeal with the local authority days before his death.

The inquiry has prompted a spate of appeals of late, with officials traveling to Canada as part of the inquiry earlier this year.

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Here are some of the key moments of the investigation over the past 17 years.

2004

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November 28th: Alistair Wilson is shot dead by an unidentified man on his family’s doorstep in Nairn, Scotland. He had been reading his two sons a bedtime story just after 7 p.m. when the man came to the door and asked his name. He went downstairs to speak to the man and was given a blue envelope. Mr Wilson went back inside briefly, then returned to the door and was shot. He later died at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

December 8: – The murder weapon, a Haenel Schmeisser, a German handgun, is found in a drain not far from Mr. Wilson’s house

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10th of December: Mr. Wilson’s wife, Veronica, makes a public appeal for information as the hunt for the killer continues.

2005

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Can: Reports from the time state that officials from what was then the Northern Constabulary had sought the help of a German ballistics expert to date the weapon. It is believed to have been brought back to Britain by a WWII soldier. The ammunition is recent.

2006

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February:The police travel to Europe to find out where the gun and ammunition came from.

The tiny “pocket gun” used to assassinate Alistair Wilson

2007

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June: DNA testing of 1,000 local men begins.

2013

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September: As part of a new appeal, new images of the weapon will be released. Detectives say the gun was made at the Schmeisser factory in Germany between 1920 and 1945, while the ammunition was made by Seiller & Bellot in the Czech Republic between 1983 and 1993.

2017

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November: Police say a blue envelope that the gunman gave Mr Wilson just before he was shot was blank and had the name “Paul” written on it.

2020

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October: Mr. Wilson’s son Andrew, who was only 4 when his father was killed, is emotionally pleading for information to try to find the killer.

Timeline of investigation into Alistair Wilson’s murder.

2022

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March: Police Scotland reveal officers had traveled to Nova Scotia, Canada, to conduct interviews with a key witness.

March: Officials are revising the description of the shooter and say he may have been younger than first thought. They believe the man who murdered Mr. Wilson was in his 20s to 40s at the time and would be in his mid 30s to nearly 60 today.

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He was about 1.75 meters tall and wore a baseball cap and jacket. Previous appeals described the shooter as between 30 and 40 years old.

March: Detectives are seeking information about two men seen with a handgun a month before the shooting in East Beach, Nairn.

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April: Police say they believe the answer to his shooting lies in Mr Wilson’s personal life rather than his professional life as a banker. They are asking for information about a planning application, which he objected to shortly before his death, for a patio area in front of the Havelock Hotel opposite his home. Mr. Wilson had lodged a complaint with the local authority on November 25 of the same year, three days before his murder.

Can: Officials say they believe this objection was discussed in the hotel bar on Friday November 26, 2004 and over the weekend leading up to Alistair’s assassination on Sunday night. They said it was the first time Alistair’s objection to a subsequent planning application for the terrace had become public knowledge. They asked everyone at the hotel to come in two days before the shooting.

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Alistair Wilson, wife Veronica and their two sons. Mr. Wilson was reading the boys a bedtime story when his killer arrived at the family home.

What do the police say about the current development?

Detective Superintendent Graeme Mackie, of Police Scotland’s Principal Investigations Team, said: “This would have been the first time Alistair’s objection to a retrospective planning application for the Terrace had become public knowledge.

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He said: “We want to know what was said about it and who else was there as it could be relevant to our investigation.

“I would urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they think, to come forward.”

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Det Supt Mackie added: “Within the last two weeks, two new witnesses have come forward with further information on the planning application and also on the construction of the terrace.

“This new information will be reviewed as part of the investigation and I am very encouraged that even after 17 years we still have new witnesses coming forward to help catch Alistair’s killer.”

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