Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brian McDermot : 1973 Murder Of Schoolboy Brian McDermot

New hunt opens for 'grotesque' child killer
Witchcraft not ruled out in killing of boy 30 years ago

POLICE have not ruled out witchcraft or paedophilia as motives for Northern Ireland's most gruesome child murder, it emerged today.

Detectives have appealed for fresh information about the death of 10-year-old Brian McDermott, 30 years after his murder.

Brian disappeared from a playground in Ormeau Park, south Belfast, on Sunday, September 2, 1973. His badly mutilated torso and arm were recovered from the River Lagan a week later.

Detective Chief Inspector George Hamilton said he remained optimistic that someone could be brought to justice for the murder, although it happened so long ago. He believed there were people in the park on the day of Brian's disappearance who had not yet talked to police.

"People, for a variety of reasons, may not have felt free to come forward to the police in 1973," he said.

"There are technologies and investigative opportunities open to me as a senior investigator in 2003 that weren't available to my counterparts in 1973.

"What I want to do is try to exploit those to the maximum to try to bring the person or persons to justice for this horrific and grotesque crime.

"But although I am optimistic and I believe it is achievable, I am also realistic.

"It can only be done if I get more information from people who I believe saw something here in Ormeau Park on Sunday, September 2, 1973."

Mr Hamilton said that his team had reviewed the child sex, witchcraft and sectarian motives which were suggested during the original inquiry.

"I believe that out of the large number of lines of inquiries and motives mentioned in 1973, that there's one or two that with help from the public we can develop this investigation and really take it forward, and hopefully bring it to a conclusion and bring these people to justice and bring some closure to the family," he said.

The police team had been in close contact with Brian's family, who left Northern Ireland in the 1970s because of the murder, Mr Hamilton said.

Brian's mother is currently in frail health, and his father died several years ago.
Mr Hamilton urged anyone who wished to pass information to police in confidence to contact the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.
05 September 2003