Friends of Shirley

Messages of Support


Shirley and our family are grateful for the letters, telephone calls and e-mails of support as the civil hearing approaches. That this support has never faltered over the past 9 years is truly remarkable. It has continually served as a reminder that this is a fight worth fighting. thank you!!




Since I last spoke to you I have gone through your web site getting
caught up in the reading of every item on this case.

How anybody, be they in the police service or government body, treat an
individual in the way that Shirley has been treated over the years, and is
still being treated is beyond belief.

Words escape me to say anything more about the case than what has not
already been said.

As the bard said,  "Facts are chiels that winna ding".      In the end of
the day the truth will out.

To you Iain I would say hang on in there in the knowledge that we are all
behind you supporting you all the way and to you Shirley, 'chin up'  you are
nearly there after such a long hard slog.      


You know, probably better  than I do, that you could not have a better man beside you than your father. I hope that my next correspondence is to congratulate you both on the  successful outcome of the court hearing


DH Scotland


Hello Iain,


With the upcoming court appearance I wish to assure you of my support and prayers during the weeks ahead.  The road travelled by Shirley and your family since 1998 has not been one of comfort and peace.  You have been denied the confidence in trustworthy stewardship by the Government and Police which should be a right of every citizen in the Commonwealth.  They have a lot to answer for and hopefully Shirley and your family will get answers to those questions that mean the most in order to resume your lives.  I wish you strength and success.  Kind regards. 


SE Expert Australia





As a long retired …………..of the Queensland Police Force (Australia) I am thoroughly disgusted by the arrogant, stupid, unfeeling attitude of the responsible Scottish authorities.


Or should I say irresponsible Scottish authorities.


I understand that civil action for damages is coming up soon. If a settlement is reached, no doubt a condition will be confidentiality of the terms of settlement, so that the rubbish can continue to be swept under the carpet.


Shirley should be awarded substantial NET damages, plus punitive damages against the criminal neglect by the Scottish authorities, plus all legal costs to date, plus an unreserved apology and full acknowledgment of her innocence.



Ex Police Officer, Australia




Dear Iain


Our prayers are with you both.  (We)……… are both former police officers and know the feeling of "brotherhood".  We stand together in this until it's finished.


………… and hopefully  we will meet one day.


As ever,


C and G ……….., USA



Dear Iain,


Good morning from one of the original 13 Colonies,


As the windows are opened and light finally shines into the abyss that is the Scottish Government offices, they will be forced by legal action to disclose fully for all to hear. 


The record of the impending proceedings will speak volumes to what damage can be brought by the few.  Let justice be the remedy.   





Dear Shirley and Iain,


Since I last emailed you, my amazement has grown even deeper.  I can't believe that this situation has been drawn out to this length.


However,  my belief in GOD ALMIGHTY brings me to the realization that HE has a greater plan and those in power now will be brought to their knees and justice will be served.


You can hold your head high and be very proud of your stance.  You are not alone in this fight.  When all is said and done, you will come out of top and those who have wronged you will be put in their place.


I would like to extend our home to both of you.  I am hoping that you will find the time to visit the United States in the near future.


Our prayers are with you always.


KB and DC

Latent Print Examiners USA




HI Iain


Gave a talk to ……………… last Monday and highlighted the main points of the case to date as part of my talk on ………… Everyone was very aware of the case and deeply sympathetic towards Shirley. I have asked them to keep an eye out for the Civil Case which begins shortly and those that have computers to link in and perhaps leave a message of support.


All the best to yourself and Shirley for what I know will be a difficult time ahead.




C T,  Retired Police Officer, Scotland.




It just gets crazier and crazier, doesn't it my friend.


Hopefully it will soon be over and you can begin to restore your life to what it was before that awful day.  My hope is that you know exactly what that will look like, and that you are excited for that day soon to come.


You and Shirley are in my thoughts and prayers.


SK Expert USA






I will say a prayer for Shirley when I next attend at my church this week


KL Scotland



Hi Iain

Just read the latest update. It’s still absolutely incredible the unwillingness to face up to the facts, when all evidence speaks for itself. Even the lack of information from your FOI requests is astounding. What or perhaps who are they protecting? I agree that it is a frightening thought that perhaps the guilty person(s) is free through continued incompetence and arrogance.

Keep your spirits up & best wishes


AC Scotland



I shudder to even think of how many other accused persons have been convicted purely on fingerprint identification.


I do hope that a settlement can be arrived at to prevent any further trauma being suffered by Shirley


MS Scotland


To Mr. McKie,


I ………. attended some fingerprint training and as part of the course we watched the BBC video regarding your daughter’s case. WOW - what a nightmare! Please tell Shirley me heart goes out to her.  I think that this is a case anyone and everyone that works with fingerprint evidence should be familiar with. I would like to know if I can get a copy of the case on VHS or DVD. Please let me know. Thank you.





Hello Iain,


I was pointed to your daughter’s case and website by a serving officer……….


I joined the police ………… and believed that I would be joining an organisation with ethics and integrity.


I had heard about collusion between officers, but didn't believe it - after all, were we not about truth and justice?  How naive can you be, I now ask myself?


Please give my very best to your daughter - and yourself for the obvious love and support you give her.


All the very best to you and yours.


CK England



My attention has recently been drawn to your website…...I would like to pass on my simple message of support to Shirley and all those involved in trying to right this very sorry mess.


I am a serving officer from …………(Scotland) and at the beginning of Shirley's nightmare I could not believe their treatment of one of our officers. I am now a bit older and wiser and have seen and experienced how…………(the police) can behave and treat its members.


Sadly, I am no longer proud to be a police officer ..……………


……….I wish you all the best at the forthcoming hearing at the Court of Session. I will be watching for any news coverage. I hope that justice is done and that some day soon Shirley can rebuild her life.


With very best wishes.


PS Scotland



Dear Iain


I read the details of your daughter Shirley's case in today’s Herald and as a result then spent a few hours reading your excellent web site.


I wish you every success in your endeavours but hope it reaches a satisfactory conclusion soon in order that you can begin to enjoy what you obviously hoped would be a happy retirement from the 'job'.


I totally sympathise with what you and Shirley are going through as to a certain extent I am experiencing the same frustrations.


It will be our intention to make official complaints about our treatment ………….and reading your excellent site has given me a few new ideas


Thanks for taking the time to read this and please pass my kind regards to Shirley




GY Scotland





I have followed your daughter's case from the start and was therefore not in the least surprised by the article in today's Sunday Herald.


I write this message as someone who has suffered similar treatment. ………….. I was ultimately …completely vindicated……….


The struggle began in ………..(and resulted in) the loss of thousands of pounds, (and) a …………………(loss of health and relationships) 


………………………………..I also survived with the help, financial and otherwise, of a few close friends learning in the process what real friends are.


I did suffer mentally and entertained some dark thoughts at times but kept going for the sake of my (family)……….. ……… I returned to (work)……… …… with most people glad to see me again. I can now start to rebuild my career again and earn some money……….. although I will never recoup what I lost.


On this last point I would ask you to note that money is nothing compared to a lost or damaged ………..reputation and I would counsel you and your daughter to be very careful in the ongoing settlement negotiations. No amount of money is worth sacrificing the truth for and the wrongdoers and the cover-up merchants must be exposed. They must be put in the dock of public opinion and the criminal courts and be made to suffer the consequences of their illegal acts and omissions. Without this, there is no guarantee that the same thing will not happen to another wholly innocent human being such as your daughter!


I hope that the end of the road is near and that your daughter can at last be wholly vindicated and obtain just recompense for the hurt and anguish she has suffered. It sounds like she is surrounded by a loving family and has the assistance and belief of many many others and hopefully the whole tawdry saga and the nightmare that surrounds it will end soon.


I write ……………. to offer in a small way my support for your cause in the sure and certain knowledge that your daughter will one day be vindicated and that those responsible for her disgusting treatment will be dealt with.


Best Regards,


ML Scotland




For such a long time I have felt and believed that Shirley McKie has been the victim of a massive injustice. Like many others I'm sure, I just believed that everything would turn out right, as a matter of course and that such an unjust state of affairs would not be allowed to continue. After reading the Sunday Herald article yesterday I realised how thoughtless I had been in not even offering the support of my beliefs. Between the SCRO and the Executive in Holyrood a great wrong has not only been perpetrated against Shirley McKie, it is being perpetuated by the inaction of those with the power to deal justly with the matter. To effectively ruin a life in order to obtain a set of circumstances which could guarantee a favourable "result" ,is a corrupt and despicable way of treating anyone. I hope that the name of Shirley McKie will be completely cleared and that she will be compensated in full for the theft of her health, her life ,her good character and reputation and that those responsible for this catalogue of corruption are held to account. I wish you justice.     


TP Scotland




Dear Iain


2006 To your success


I hope this means you are just about there. Thinking of you and Shirley.  Wishing you both well 



GM Scotland.


Dear Mr McKie

I write this as a former Ayrshire resident living in ............ who has followed this case for a number of years. I am an ordinary member of the public with no connections to the case other than that my ......... lives in Kilmarnock close to the home of Marion Ross. The manner in which this entire case has been dealt with, is one which shames Strathclyde Police and the manner in which they have dealt with a family who have given them years of service. The anger I feel as a disassociated member of the public must be nothing to which the McKie family must feel. I have watched with interest as more and more statements come forward which back up Shirley and cast even more discredit upon Strathclyde Police and the fingerprint ‘experts’. I can’t say anything more than you have my total support. It’s crucial that justice is obtained for all those parties affected by this horrible crime and the blatant errors and cover-ups since.


I hope that the McKie family can stay strong. I have no idea how you have coped with all of this so far and hope that February 2006 marks the start of justice for Shirley. I will be watching with my fingers crossed and hope that all your prayers can be answered.


With my love and support,


 CG Scotland


Hello Iain,


As we head into Christmas this revelation must come as some relief and vindication of the suspected relationship between the two bodies.  When the bath water is getting too hot then the first to leave are those with the most to lose.  The challenge that they both face is credibility.  Even though the draw bridge is still up on the SCRO castle of defiance and keeping the truth concealed within its walls there is still an exodus going on that they can’t stop.  Human nature requires us all to have a conscience since it’s the only way we can have an inner peace about who we are and what we are about.  These Scottish men and women are finding out the hard way that loyalty to each other is often too high a price to pay when compared with the general respect of the community.  Even criminals are loyal to each other and uphold their twisted code of behaviour but they will never be given general acceptance until they show a credible conscience.  Let’s hope that flowing from this event there will be a further little package of goodwill coming to Shirley and yourself so this festive season can be truly enjoyed. 




MG Expert Australia


Hi Shirley


I just found your web site today, listed in the Sunday Herald, I'm …….. from Stewarton....well maybe a long long time ago.... any way I ………………..  have been watching your experiences with interest and support.  You've been through a terrible time of it but there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel and although it may have been easier to bend the knee it’s always much better but often a lot harder to stand up and fight for the truth.


Best wishes


K  Scotland



Dear Sir


If there is confusion as to the truth inferred by Alison Hannah( Nov 16) it has been caused by her and her profession who have re-educated us all to the fact that fingerprints introduced in evidence even by the words of experts are apparently no more than a matter of opinion.


Experts can and do make mistakes. In other walks of life genuine mistake is conceded and professional indemnity policies come good to those who have suffered loss and damage.

Unfortunately where governments and civil servants and their trade union representatives are concerned they have a vested interest in refusing to admit failure or culpability. Whatever may be the truth of what has gone on to protect vested interests since Shirley McKie was cleared of perjury, and Bill Wallace conceded that she had suffered a grievous wrong and apologised, Shirley McKie herself has always told the truth and for that has indeed suffered grievously on behalf of all of us.


At the very least the so called fingerprint experts in this case had a bad day at the office and a mistake was made. There is no need to prove malice in any other walk of life to achieve compensation only human failure. By their continued obfuscation politicians and civil servants are themselves giving rise to suspicion of malice. Perhaps if they just paid reasonable compensation to Miss McKie with good grace that would be a sensible first step to restoring their integrity and that of our tarnished justice system.


Has this case been a good example to our young people of what can happen to you when you tell the truth?

Yours etc.


TF Scotland


Dear Iain,


Very glad to see your excellent letter in the Herald this morning.


I saw last week’s “contribution” from Kath Ryall and knew you wouldn’t take long to put the record straight.


Let me know if and when you think I can help in anything.


Best wishes to you and Shirley,


PG Scotland




 Dear Mr McKie,


Another eleventh hour surprise by someone who has chosen her timing to coincide with recent events. 


It is interesting that her position is one who now disclaims being part of a group denouncing the SCRO but as an expert she is not saying her position in relation to the erroneous identification which we can now assume is aligned with SCRO. 


At any court her credibility will be severely damaged if the initial examination of her expertise is the ability to identify.  After that any denials about being part of the original group are really questionable.  She has made herself a perfect target for defense lawyers based on her lack of ability to decide. 


I wonder how she sleeps at night knowing the sort of stress her media release has generated.  In time her correction will come when the real truth has been judged. 



Kind regards. 


Expert, Australia



Dear Shirley

Having read your fathers reply to comments made by Ms Ryall's in the letter page of today's Glasgow Herald Newspaper, I was so outraged I felt I had to write to you to express my outrage at the disgraceful way you
have been treated by the Scottish Police and Judicial System. The very fact that you are still fighting to clear your good name and reputation on what is clearly flawed fingerprint evidence is unforgivable and calls into question the Scottish Judicial System.

Ms Ryall adds insult to injustice by stating your fight for justice calls the Criminal Justice System into question, the very fact it is called the Criminal
Justice System says it all. I would have more confidence in the Scottish Justice System if experts would admit their mistakes when they get it wrong.

I wish and your family my sincere best wishes in your fight for justice.

Truth is all





Your letter in the Herald today was brilliant.   


Keep on fighting



Police Ex-Inspector




Hello Iain,


Having read your immediate response has given me the opportunity to reflect prior to responding and I'm thankful I did.  In the end she (Ms Ryall Unison)  will become irrelevant because she hasn't kept pace with how this matter has unfolded.  I think it would be fair to say the issue of malice has already been tested.


The next phase deals with the issues of professional negligence combined with a mischievous reluctance to accept  the truth.  They may not form part of the criminal code but as moral standards based on proof to the balance of probabilities they should go a long way to convincing an arbitrator of who was in the right and who has been the true victim.


This no longer seems to be about the science of fingerprints but bureaucracy and politics done under the Scottish sun.  I wish you and Shirley well.  Kind regards.


BL Expert Australia



Dear Iain,


I was interested to see a letter in yesterday’s Herald from a Unison representative. It amazes me what is being said.


It is only within the past few weeks that it has been admitted that there was a misidentification of the print. It is only now that it is being suggested that this is an honest mistake.


There were four “experts” who allegedly made this mistake independently of one another before their conclusions were consolidated in to one report. A “mistake” (to put it neutrally) was made in the misidentification of the print that led to the appeal of Mr.Asbury being granted, after he was convicted of murder. This was a different print, alleged to be of the murder victim. If it is suggested that the same four “experts” made an honest mistake in that investigation too.


At no time have Unison, or the Executive disclosed that they have reports supporting the honest mistake theory. If Unison have such reports, they can of course make them public and allow the public to judge the matter for themselves.


AB Lawyer Scotland




Hi Iain,

It indeed beggars belief that Shirley has suffered dreadfully from justice DELAYED and Willie Rae's letter shows that, at least on his part, there was a genuine concern to settle the matter. Perhaps, though, he should have shouted louder!!


I have watched this case with interest since last year when the HF memorial was unveiled. I have mentioned the case in every talk since. Amazing how many ordinary folk know about it are at sympathetic.


All the best to you and Shirley. Surely justice will prevail soon! Cheers.


RD Scotland




Hi Iain

Very good article in the Herald with a very strong editorial comment.

How long did your FOI request for that letter run over the time limit?

Surely I don’t need to book a seat now?

If so, I take it Mr Rae is now a good witness.

Continued best wishes and good luck.

RA  Ex Police Officer Scotland




Dear Iain,


Looks like you're getting there, somebody's got to own up. I thought the article was very good. 

Best wishes, 




Dear Shirley,

It is some time now since I last posted an e-mail to you but there is rarely a day goes by when I don't think about you and the scandalous injustice you have and are suffering. 

The report in today's edition of The Herald reveals the content of Chief Constable Rae's letter to the Scottish Executive in 2000 just serves to underline the total farce committed by the 'authorities' concerned.  Such an exposure of this nature only adds to the validity of your protestations and the total injustice still being endured by you. 


Why those responsible for your needless and unjustified suffering cannot find it within themselves to settle this matter in a proper manner together with a full and public admission of error is beyond my comprehension.


I think you will have had so many e-mails and letters of a similar nature as to mine but I hope it does not detract from my sincere feelings on your case.


Finally, I note that time has been set aside at the early part of 2006 for your case to be considered hopefully for the last time and I do hope it will provide the overdue justice that to date you have been denied.


I offer you my very best wishes once more and I pray that justice will not only be done, but be seen to be done!


Your conduct throughout this traumatic experience for you has my admiration.  Always remember you have many supporters.


Kind regards,






Dear Iain,


Great story.    Can I do anything more now to help?  What has happened to the negotiations - are they any further forward - has the ministers involvement been acknowledged and what is she saying, if anything.


LS MSP Scotland





 From: S


Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:39 PM

Subject: you have my support


As an attorney who handles criminal cases in America, I am thrilled that your case was made public but so sorry it has damaged your life, profession and reputation. Those in criminal justice know that when you show law enforcement where it is wrong, the information isn't exactly taken with appreciation.


All the world should look upon your case and be happy that it has helped increase our understanding that the art of fingerprint analysis is just that, an ART not a science. Errors ARE made. The fact that happened to one of law enforcement's own is necessary before serious analysis will be given, but I am sorry that you had to be the one involved.

Keep fighting the good fight! Demand apologies and hold your head up high.

Your name…,….. is known world wide……………. Innocent people who have been charged or incarcerated will …… see…………… one who made an impossible dream seem possible... maybe someone will listen to them too, just as they finally did to you.


I know, as all criminal defense attorneys know, that the bulk of inmates are not innocent of the crime charged, but we also know that some ARE innocent. For those, we need to stop crying and start screaming. The same society that clammers for harsher sentences and "death penalty for all" forgets that in addition to the hell the innocent person endures throughout the arrest, conviction and incarceration for a crime they did not commit, an often dangerous, GUILTY man/woman walks free among us - able to commit more crime and harm more people.


Even the "law & order" folks should want the truth about fingerprint errors to be addressed and minimized. Hell, right now I would settle for having the errors acknowledged! In America, this great country, the FBI has NO set minimum number of matches for a latent to known print- that is embarrassing. This great country should be ashamed. But I was happy to see that this country's experts have done some good- just not enough.


(This) ……… Criminal Defense Attorney in America" is grateful for your voice. Keep talking! I hope your experiences lead to an even better life than you had prior to this ordeal. Many of us are so grateful for the exposure you have brought to such a critical issue. KEEP IT UP!!! If I can ever assist you, please let me know.


S.  Attorney at Law. USA




Dear S,


Thank you for taking the time to write. Your support is extremely important to Shirley as we approach yet another court hearing in February of next year.


I think it is vital, as you acknowledge, that lawyers and judges are much more aware of the expert' evidence being given and do not take it as infallible.


Despite the major issues facing fingerprinting I still believe that in the correct hands it is a forensic science capable of continuing its role as an important crime prevention and detection tool. Like you however I believe that the issue of 'error rates' must be faced.


 The problem lays not in the 'science' but in the lack of international standards, differences in training and procedures and a need to create effective independent oversight of the profession.


I have been in contact with many 'experts' across the world who are well aware of the need to develop their profession and are working effectively to that end.


It was fingerprint experts who rescued Shirley from the hell of a period in prison and our family will forever be thankful for that. I believe that the most effective strategy is for the experts and the critics to start listening to each other and work together to improve the science' instead of seeking to score points of one another.

Best wishes to you and yours.






Dear Iain,

I am disgusted by the cheap tactics being pursued by the Scottish Executive legal team.    They should address each head of loss on the merits, properly and directly.   

The Scottish ministers either are not bothered about what happens, or they do not have any influence over their own lawyers.   

GF Scotland  


Dear Iain


Thanks for the latest update which I read as always with interest poised to leap in with some help if I can. As I feel there is not much I can do at the moment I can perhaps help by supporting your sense of humour.


My wife received an e mail from a wag last week---


In the midst of present world trauma it was largely overlooked that Larry La Prise the man who wrote the hokey kokey died recently in his sleep at the age of 93.

The worst part for his family came when they tried to put him in his coffin. They put his left leg in first ----and then the trouble started.


Whatever you do keep your chin up it'll all come right in the end




LF Scotland


Hello Iain


I have just read the first few lines of your most recent update re the meeting with lawyers.  I am like you perhaps horrified and shocked but with a sense of deja vous.


How many ordinary police are backing Shirley I would imagine given free choice it would be 80%.  It is a national disgrace.  This case will be highly damaging to Scotland but will show everyone where they prefer to spend money.  Get the voters and NHS protestors to lobby their MSP on cost if nothing else. Do not spend our money on this court case at the cost of our beds or  maternity wards


Thoughts are with you both


LM Scotland


Hi Iain,


Well would you Adam & Eve it, just had a look at the site... makes me wonder if kicking the bucket is the better option after all!


Seriously though, it still wouldn't surprise me if they cave in days before the hearing.....?


I hope your early sceptism has softened the blow.


My thoughts are with you all as always.







Dear Iain and Shirley,


Morning from America (almost 2 PM to you)


Thanks for the update.  Both you and Shirley should keep your spirits and head held high. 



I am a latent print examiner in …..USA and I am horrified and appalled by this ongoing cover-up. I was raised to admit my mistakes and tell the truth regardless of the outcome. It is time to stand up and take responsibility and face the consequences of your horrific behaviour. I can’t even imagine why a particular group of people would think that their lives and reputations are more important than those they are hurting – Shirley, the murdered woman and the entire latent print community which will ultimately affect other homicides and other latent examiners reputations . Your inability to take responsibility has had a ripple effect and I personally could not live with myself if I were perpetuating this charade. So I have this to say to the lying Scottish Authorities – The truth will set you free. Isn’t that better than this self induced prison you have placed yourself in? Stand up and take your punishment in this world before you have to face your maker in the next.






Dear Iain & Shirley


It is a relief that you are involved in these negotiations. 


Our thoughts are with you now as much as ever. I have every confidence that you will do this as you have done everything.  You will see justice for the Aberdeen fingerprint people with support from everyone except from the diminishing `others`  I know this negative aspect will continue by the others as you said it would be naive to suggest otherwise.  


I hope you are looking after your health and Shirley’s which is important now.   


My best wishes and continued support for Shirley and  everyone involved in the fight for justice.






Dear Shirley,


To find your career ended in the way it was because of the failure of those we trust to get it right to own up to their shortcomings must continue to hurt you some.


You would not lie; you could not lie and as a result justice in this country will be improved. What a splendid police officer you must have been and would continue to have been. I am so sorry for not paying attention to it all when the detail first appeared in the press. 


You did not look for this battle but I hope that you do not feel that it has spoiled your life. Not many people are given the chance to something so substantially important and I hope that you and your family come out congratulating yourselves on a job well done.


Clearly your father and yourself are very special people. Your steadiness, stamina, your courage and moral superiority shine out to nation which I hope will in some way recognise your extraordinary contribution.


Yours Aye,


AB, Scotland.




Dear Shirley,

You have all my solidarity and good wishes.  It is terrible to think that your
wrongdoers are unwilling to see themselves as fallible humans rather than
infallible demigods.  Stay strong and keep your head up!




I wondered what had happened to you?! (at the CIS conference) I was looking forward to having you see the research I have done, and then I looked around and you were gone!  I thought: "oh well, I would be bored by a presentation on fingerprint statistics too if I was him!"  I looked for you and Mairi that night to buy you a round of whiskey (Scottish of course, though if I must have an Irish, Jameson is right on for me) and couldn't find you anywhere!

I had no idea that you had taken ill!!!  I am glad to hear you are OK.  I can only assume that this was probably related in some way to previous day's health "issue".

I am sorry that your vacation to Banff was cancelled, but as you said the Canadians are such gracious and wonderfully kind folk.  You were in good care.

Hope your health continues to improve and your next visit over across the pond is not so "exciting"!

Best regards to you, Shirley, and Mairi




Hello Iain and Mairi,


We were wondering how Iain was doing? We hope you got the chance to see the Rockies etc. Delightful to meet you both. Keep up the good work.





Dear Mairi and Iain,


We all talk about you regularly.  It’s quite amazing how people can become good friends in such a short time. I hope the flight home was comfortable and uneventful.  Please chat to Shirley about a holiday here.  We all hope Iain’s health has improved.


Rest assured, we will stay in touch.  If there is anything we can do to assist you in your quest, just ask.  I will keep you posted on the developments of the CIS Latent Friction Ridge Certification Committee.  Ian Currie advised me he is trying to arrange a meeting of the Committee in Ottawa in September.




The T Clan. Canada



 Good evening Iain,


We met at the Miami IAI Conference several years ago.  After the conference I mailed you a copy of "Character and Cops, Ethics in Policing."  I came across a newer edition of the text and have ordered several for an upcoming conference in California. I haven't read anything about Shirley's case in quite sometime, has there been any sort of resolution? 







Shirley (and Ian)


Well done......some positive progress at last.

Keep pushing as we are all behind you and justice will prevail.


Best wishes,


FA. Scotland


Dear Iain and Shirley

I believe and very hope that this recent move on the part of the Executive is indeed a hopeful sign, and that it may not be too much longer until you can gain some sense of closure and of justice achieved after eight long years.

Please keep me in touch with developments.

With very best wishes

CD. MSP Scotland





I met you and your good lady at the Fingerprint Society gathering in Cardiff. Since then I have

avidly followed the progress of your trials and tribulations through the medium of the internet.

Shirley, yourself and family are often in my thoughts and I remain one of those many

anonymous experts out there who continue to wish you well, ultimately for a satisfactory and

peaceful outcome to Shirley's plight.


Like many I feel neutered by the system that will not allow all experts who are interested in

viewing the original material to make up their own minds but most, I am sure, are bound by

that Corporate shield that will not risk the possibility of 'embarrassment' to their individual

police forces. The words I have heard uttered are along the lines of "she was found innocent -

end of story". I know that for you, nothing could be further from the truth.

I am certain of the integrity and expertise (of the Grampian experts) and I am pleased to see

that you have written to commend all three. I hope that will indeed be the outcome and not

something of a more negative nature.


The difficulty of someone like myself …… is that I ….. personally know certain of those from

the 'it's it' camp and have no reason either to doubt their integrity.

Clearly the problem for some fingerprint experts is not one of integrity but that of ability and

that is an almost impossible quality to define, since persons on both sides of the divide have

often long and distinguished records.


Nevertheless, there are many out there who support you, even if only in thought and prayer.

Continue to fight the good fight and pass on my personal best wishes to Shirley for ultimate

good health and happiness.






Dear Iain,


I have kept up with your case for the past 3 years.  I am a latent print examiner [3 yrs experience in that, 25 yrs experience as a sworn police officer].  I will pray for your deliverance from this hardship and tribulation


I do know that the Bible tells us that we go through trials in this life to produce perseverance, and perseverance to produce patience, and patience to instill in us hope


"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Romans 5:3-5



"Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

James 1:3-4

"Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

Psalm 37:7-9


I hope these words have not been offensive to you. 


You will remain in my thoughts and prayers.







Thanks for your reply. I look forward to the results of the enquiry with a great deal of anticipation as I'm sure many in our professional community do also. Much nearer the time, it might be nice to have an insight on the judicial process of the enquiry and how it is likely to unfold. I certainly agree that more support for SCRO would be counterproductive to our profession, however, my personal opinion is that if there are indeed people out there who agree with the SCRO conclusions, we are more likely to hear from them at the actual enquiry. I can't imagine there would be many but one never knows.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to
Calgary as I will instead be at the IAI conference in Dallas this year. However, I hope to catch up with you sometime. Good luck in Calgary and in raising awareness of Shirley's case here in Canada.







 A little note to say how fantastic it was to read and hear so much in the news last week.  Things are obviously moving more quickly now, and I just hope that things will be resolved in a way that makes Shirley and yourself feel that justice has finally prevailed.  I am sure the most important thing to you both is confirmation from ‘the authorities’ that Shirley is completely innocent and has suffered terribly, and suitable compensation is therefore provided.  Money will never bring back Shirley’s carefree zest for life, nor will it ever match the pain and suffering you have both gone through, but it will hopefully give Shirley a secure future and give you peace of mind that your lovely daughter will have some tranquillity and independence in her life.  You will never be the same people as you were before this awful case, but you will both be stronger, and I am sure you have met so many wonderful people along the way who will remain your friends for life.


I know that all I wish for my own daughter is for her to be happy, healthy and treat others as she would wish to be treated herself.  You and Shirley have had all of these things taken away from you over the years.  Hopefully this is the start of a slow recovery process.


BS Scotland



Sincerest congratulations to you Iain.


Your dedication and resolve over the years has been frankly astonishing. Where mountains had to be moved you moved them, and when ill health got in the way you set that aside too. I hope that finally the warmth of contentedness is filtering through the McKie family which I'm sure has eluded you all for many years.


Sincerest congratulations also to Pat Wertheim, Allan Bayle, and David Grieve, the three international experts who represented Shirley at the original trial. Official confirmation from the Grampian experts that they were correct in their opinion some eight years ago is a welcome revelation, but one wonders why this was necessary to persuade the Scottish Executive? 


Do three experts establish doubt, but six establish fact?

Is it the number of experts that matter, or from which establishment they represent?


Whatever the answers are, it's clear it would help unite the fingerprint fraternity  if other experts were to follow in the footsteps of "the Grampian 3". Not to would be understandable, such is the oppressive nature of certain establishments within the profession, but hopefully success in this case will push things forward in the right direction.


Finally of course my thoughts are with Shirley, whose treatment by the SCRO can be described as nothing short of barbaric. Eight years of such trauma, being a prisoner within ones own mind, has to be experienced to be understood.


I understand.


Kind regards,


NA. England




I would like to offer my very best wishes to you both in light of this wonderful and significant development in your continuous struggle for justice. It makes it even more fitting that it should come from within Scotland and I applaud those three individuals for their courage to step forward in what I hope will be the first step towards restoring some integrity to the Scottish Fingerprint Service. I hope their chief will be as supportive, and in doing so, perhaps encourage others to make their own voices heard. I hope that sunlight at the end of the tunnel feels a little warmer for you today.

Kind Regards





Dear Iain,


I tip my hat to the courage and integrity of these three gentlemen.  Finally it appears that the strangle hold of organisational power has been broken and the light of informed comment is now streaming through.  Let’s hope the effect is like a hole in the dam wall and it flows right through the whole British fingerprint community. 


Regards from Australia





Dear Iain,

When something is as black and white as the fingerprint "error" in Shirley's case, it is ludicrous that things should continue for years as if some question continues about whether she was really wronged. 

Thank goodness the fingerprint professionals at Grampian Police have the guts to point out the emperor's invisible clothing.  Unless their superiors are equally as upright, John McGregor, John Dingwall and Gary Dempster will probably have to face some negative consequences for their statements.  I applaud their willingness to speak the obvious and undeniable truth.

Best wishes in Shirley's struggle for justice. 






Saw a report on the Television last night and an article in the Herald (on-line) this morning, then discovered Shirley's website     It is appalling that she is still suffering after all these years from 'evidence' that was assuredly wrong and no one is prepared to even say sorry. 

 As a former police officer, I am appalled that justice is not being seen to being done.


There is no doubt by the evidence of the website that Shirley is receiving support from all over the world, not only from experts but also from lay people as well.   There is a lot on the website which I will have to go through and I have made it my home page just now




LR, Scotland



Dear Shirley,


I think about you a lot, in fact I was out the other night there and discussing your case with a group of Guide leaders.   Little did I know that you would be back in the headlines soon.   Keep your chin up Shirley, I've supported you from the beginning.


Maggie, Scotland



My faith in true Scots who understand basic concepts of right and wrong has been restored.  I have now added three names to the list of people I would be proud to shake their hands.  I only hope there are more. 





I have just read the amazing story about Shirley and the SCRO in
Scotland and I can only wonder what is the reason for the 'cover-up'.
It seems so obvious from the material presented to the court that
Shirley was not guilty of perjury and that a 'mistake' had been made.
An apology should have followed immediately afterwards so why is there
so much animosity being displayed by the SCRO?

I can only think that there is a sinister background to the SCRO's
behaviour and from what I have read I would look at any connections
that exist between those involved and the local Masons.

I wish you both all success with your fight for justice.

Thank you





I have just read the article on Shirley McKie on the BBC news
web-site. I had forgotten about this case, having first been made
aware of it some years ago, and had assumed that it must have been
resolved by now. I am appalled that it has not been, and grateful that
I have been made aware of this fact.

I am a private citizen with no relevant expertise or connections, and
do not live in
Scotland (so have no MSP to write to). But I would like
to offer my wholehearted support for your campaign. I hope that the
BBC's publicity will bring you many more such offers.

I wish you the very best of luck.






I've followed this case with a great deal of interest and this new turn seems to continue the case against the establishment.  Can I take this opportunity to wish Shirley ever success with her ongoing battle.


Kind regards,


WJ, Scotland



Dear Iain and Shirley


I as so sorry to hear that Shirley is still being subjected to these farcical examinations but that is just what they are what they are seen to be by all of us   She is a lovely sensitive female and all we can do is offer encouragement through tears.  You are changing so much for everyone.  The politicians involved in this will have to answer surely for not doing the right thing now. 


I know Shirley will do her best to rise above what has happened

Thinking of you both





RG, Scotland



Dear Sir,


I must apologize for only now being aware of your website.


I am not really an e-mail person but we have mutual goals’


Also I have come up against brick walls ,inc. Cathy Jamieson ,Crown Office ,Police,the investigatory power tribunal etc.


All the best to you and your daughter.


Kind regards,


LB England




Hello Iain,

This is the first time I have contacted you, although I have closely
followed Shirley's ordeal from soon after the news of the misidentification

Very early in the piece ..............sent me photographs of the prints and
court charts for us to make up our own minds and, needless to say, we here in NZ were stunned with what we saw.  Our initial reaction (before viewing the prints) of 'What the hell is this guy up to' changed to one of total

agreement, support and admiration.  I could not begin to imagine how life
has been for Shirley and yourself these past years.  I have registered my
support as one of the 'international experts'.

I wish you and Shirley all the best and look forward to seeing you get the
compensation you so truly deserve.

Yours Sincerely
New Zealand


Dear Iain,

Just a note to offer our continuing support.  I  continue in a small way  to highlight Shirley`s case. You know you are being successful professionally.   Others in the campaign can do this better than the writer although I shall continue. MSPs can surely do more  You can by 20/30 or more writing to our individual mp/msp they must take action on that surely.You can't it seems embarrass the system.   I have no doubt you will win this case and I hope Shirley is taking as much from life as she can.

Best wishes




A short note just to pass on my continued support and best wishes to Shirley and yourself.  The people who continue to behave as they do merely highlight their own inadequacies and wrongdoings.  At the end of the day, Shirley will have the respect and admiration of (almost!) everyone involved in this case both at home and abroad, as well as most of the public at large.


If there is ANYTHING you feel I can do to help at any time, I still want you to let me know please, and do keep me on the weekly update list thanks.


It was lovely watching Shirley’s little videoclip – you must be so very proud of her.  And she should be proud of herself!






Dear Iain,

I'm an Australian Fingerprint Expert, I'd like to be placed on the mailing distribution list.   Keep going people, the truth always shines in the end.




Dear Shirley,


Your case is a warning for me, as a crime-scene investigator in …… the Netherlands. I have to be alert on misjudgement by me and others. I have to admit my mistakes to prevent others from a situation like yours. I'm impressed by your power! I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope that once you can restart with enjoying your life!!




D.  Netherlands


Dear D,


Messages such as yours mean a great deal to Shirley and our family.The support from across the fingerprint world as been unbelievable and has kept us strong when frankly we had felt like giving up in the face of the relentless cover up and lies.

It is important for you as an expert to value and respect your skills in the cause of preventing and detecting crime but I agree that it is equally important you are aware of your potential to destroy the lives of innocent people.

The end is in sight and thankfully those responsible for Shirley's nightmare will have to stand alone in the witness box and account for their actions.


Best wishes to you and yours.




Dear Iain,

Thank you for your informative reply to my questions.  Our local (state) elections are held simultaneously with our national elections, and I thought that might also be the case for the UK.   I can understand Forensic Science not being uppermost on people's minds at a national level.  However,  it is something of a sad commentary that the real problem of government arrogance and lack of accountability is not more widely recognized.  The attitudes and behavior you and Shirley are confronted with are not confined to Scotland, and should be a major  concern to all.   The intransigeance of the SCRO in the face of such overwhelming evidence, and with the certain knowledge of the harm caused to Shirley and your family, is difficult to comprehend.  One has to wonder how those responsible are able to sleep at night.   Wishing both you and Shirley all the best,  



Dear Shirley,   Just thought you would like to know, I am ....... teacher in Australia. When the Australian Broadcasting Commission showed the BBC - Horizons episode "Finger of Suspicion", I decided that it would be a useful and powerful tool to use in the Forensic Science Unit....   On behalf of my students (and myself) I wish to say thank-you for your courage and strength of character to stand up for your own and other innocent people's rights. We have had many great discussions after studying the stories presented in the Horizon episode, and our students have gained an appreciation that forensic science is not necessarily fact and therefore proven guilt but people's opinions. They also understand that there should be more than one piece of evidence before a person can be convicted by a jury.   Also, I find that the students get quite upset when they find out that Alan McNamara the young father accused of robbery due to the thumb print on the jewellery case was sent to jail. Do you have any positive words about him or his case that I may pass on to my students?   We wish you and your family well in the future. Once again thank-you for your story and courage to speak out,  

A W,

Brisbane, Australia.


I'm sending this on behalf of my dad who is a follower of your case he is very bitter about the way the system can mess up someone,s life and get away with it.  Anyway he and myself wish you all the luck in the future...,

Best wishes

G and R

Dear Iain

Spoke to ...........................this week. Outlined the Shirley McKie case and it was amazing just how many folk knew about Shirley and there was great sympathy for her and a real feeling that she had been badly treated by the authorities. .....................That audience were certainly very sympathetic about the way Shirley had been treated by the system.




Dear Mr McKie

I am a BMSc student in Forensic Medicine and for one of my assignments I have to write a 2000 word essay on Shirley's case.   Things I have to include are   What went wrong? How was Shirley wrongly implicated? Who was at fault? Why? What did the inquiry find? What are the practical implications for fingerprint examination?   I was wondering if the site www.  had all the information and if it was a best site to use. If not is there any other sites or books I could look up or could you provide me with useful answers.   Thank-you for your time.


Dear Iain,

Reading the summary is it indeed breathtaking that natural justice has been so blatantly ignored. This is a very useful summary to give ordinary folk who perhaps know of the case a bit more detail of what Shirley has had to go through. Staggering that no one in Strathclyde Police or ACPO(s) is prepared to stand up and say: "Sorry, we go it wrong." You can be sure that if Shirely had not been a police officer then thel likelihood is that it would have been settled long ago.

Cheers AK

For the Attention of:


Minister for Justice, Cathy Jamieson

Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd

Chief Constable, Willie Rae

Head of SCRO, Harry Bell


You must surely be aware that the failure of the state to offer any coherent explanation of its actions in  the prosecution of Shirley McKie and subsequently providing any sort of response to the weight of evidence indicating something seriously wrong, brings Scottish Justice into disrepute.


Are you people not supposed to be publicly accountable or do we now live in a society where the agencies of the state can act with impunity - pick on any citizen, prosecute them falsely and never answer for it.


The line that nothing can be said because of a pending Civil court case is surely just a convenient if rather flimsy excuse for saying and doing nothing.


Does the long term credibility of Scottish Justice not demand that the truth is told? If that means exposing some horrific abuse of position, negligence or criminal conspiracy within the justice agencies, then this needs to happen. The alternative is the justice of the totalitarian state.


Give us the facts now.








I trust you will have some familiarity with the story of Shirley McKie. The history of the case, and the continuing refusal of the Authorities concerned to provide any kind of credible and coherent account of their actions relating to the prosecution of Shirley McKie, is shameful and brings Scottish Justice into disrepute.


A serving Police Officer was tried for perjury on the basis of fingerprint identification evidence that has subsequently been shown to be incorrect. Yet the public have been offered no explanation of  what went on in their name and using their resources.


I do not want to live in a Police State where people can be fitted-up because it may suit someone in the State apparatus but judging by the McKie case, this appears to be what can happen in present day Scotland. This impression will remain until there are answers to -

  • why a prosecution was taken forward when all evidence pointed to innocence except the fingerprint identification that has subsequently been shown to be wrong
  • why no mistakes made have been admitted and no proper apology made to Ms McKie
  • why eight years have gone buy without anyone being held to account

I am aware that Authorities currently argue that nothing can be said because of Ms McKie's legal action against Scottish Ministers. I believe this to be an excuse for keeping quiet. The proceedings are civil not criminal in nature and in any case, all that is required is a statement of facts - the facts that explain why actions were taken and subsequently not taken.


I sincerely believe that any reasonable person reviewing this case would conclude that the most likely explanation for everything that has happened is that there has been a criminal conspiracy within the prosecuting Authorities and that an attempt is being made to cover this up.


I urge you to put pressure on the Minister for Justice to end this shame on Scottish Justice as soon as possible for the sake of the McKie family and everyone who wants to live in a free country.


Yours sincerely





Hi Iain                                                                

Got the 10 truths challenge & weekly letter. Am happy for you to post anything relevant that I say here, but to be honest I don’t know where to begin!


It actually beggars belief and is quite astounding that so many world experts can be disregarded, quite incredible. I note in the weekly letter you mention any other issues of justice.


You are aware of my situation and I personally am appalled that 2 former police officers, who have had their innocence and integrity proved in court are  still being penalised, victimised and persecuted by an organisation that cannot admit their own mistakes and failings. Many of the points you raise are completely applicable in my case such as 'sub judice sub judice', that’s all I've heard now for 4 years or 50 months now as it actually is! When it’s not sub judice, it’s an operational matter that can’t be commented on. And as for 'defending the indefensible' again it is quite incredible that you have so many experts and certainly the former justice minister on side, among others, but what has moved on in our cases?


I have letters of congratulations from senior politicians that justice has been done in my favour. Has it? In that case why can certain people in certain organisations dictate to the politicians, media, public and fob matters off, as 'operational decisions' whilst costing the tax-payer hundreds of thousands of pounds. Quite disgraceful actually. If you want to post anything from that as comments, feel free. ………


Still no word this end  from  Lord Reed,  but hey it’s  only over a year since I won and 15 weeks since we were at the Court of Session.

Maybe this week................

Take care and keep fighting.

All the best & good luck,




25 February 2005



Scottish Criminal Records Office

1 Pacific Quay

Glasgow G51 1EA



Dear Sir,


Shirley McKie


My attention has recently been drawn to the above, well publicised, case.  I am appalled at the maltreatment Shirley has received by many public bodies and individuals since 1997, but none greater than that she has suffered, and is continuing to suffer, due to the actions and inaction of your office.


I would ask the following of  you:-


  • Would you write to me to confirm whether or not the SCRO believes the mark left at the scene was made by Shirley McKie.


  • Would you be good enough to send me a copy of the Internal Independent Enquiry conclusions, 20 March 2002, into the work of the SCRO, which I understand I am entitled to under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.


  • Please explain to me why on 17.2.97, in a blind test, the mark was examined by 4 experts who refused to confirm an ID, and this information was not passed to the police.  Please also explain to me why, given this information, a joint report from 4 other experts was given confirming the Shirely McKie identification.


  • Please explain to me why a police report recommended prosecution of SCRO experts and possibly others within SCRO, and no action has been taken.


  • Having looked at the SCRO Website, would you please tell me how the SCRO is measured on performance against the stated Vision, Mission and Key Business statements, and your achievements against those objectives since 1997.


Shirley McKie and her father have jointly given 43 years of public service in the Scottish Police Force.  In my opinion there is nothing worse than injustice.  Shirley had always worked to ensure justice prevailed, and that is why you are in paid employment in your offices.  Any incompetence or deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice must be highlighted and acted upon.  What has happened to Shirley McKie could happen to any one of us, and must not be allowed to happen again.  We must all do everything in our power to ensure that truth prevails – however unpleasant that may be to some people.  As Sir Winston Churchill said – “The truth is incontrovertible.  Malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is”.


Let us not allow this farce to destroy Shirley’s life any longer.  Shirley deserves an apology and compensation, and there must be a review of procedures to ensure this is never allowed to happen again.  In your position as Director of SCRO, I believe you should be doing everything in your power to ensure the hearing is brought forward from February 2006.  The supporters of Shirley McKie will not give up until justice is seen to be done.


Yours faithfully,


BS       Bardowie Glasgow


Cc:  Cathy Jamieson, MSP, The Minister for Justice, The Scottish Parliament

       Edinburgh EH99 1SP


FAO Cathy Jamieson, Minister for Justice


Where is justice in this case now ?


I wrote to you in April 2004 (copy attached), shortly after I became acquainted with some of the known facts of this case. In response I received a letter from a Mr James Laing of the Police and Civil Contingencies Division of the Scottish Executive. Mr Laing apologised that he could not be more helpful regarding my enquiries saying that because of Ms McKie's legal case, the matter was sub judice.


Now, nearly a year on for me, and over eight, for Shirley McKie and her family, it seems we are not any closer to having any kind of coherent and credible explanation of what was going on relating to Ms McKie's prosecution for perjury based on bogus fingerprint evidence. 


As an ordinary member of the public what am I to believe? Is there corruption at play at senior levels of SCRO, Strathclyde Police and the Criminal Prosecution Service in Scotland? Sadly, this seems the only view that "stacks-up". Letting the matter drag on, as seems to be the case, only prolongs the period in which Scottish Justice is in disrepute.


Ms McKie may have a civil case pending but does this preclude you from saying anything? There must be an explanation of what was going on in the collective minds of the above named players, and why they acted as they did. Until it is told, not only do the McKie's suffer but so does anyone concerned about justice in Scotland. Yet things just seem to drag on. Surely as the potential case against Scottish Ministers is a civil one, you could if you wanted, tell the story now. And surely for the sake of Scottish Justice you should.


If there are to be  further delays before the authorities will speak the truth, please can you explain why this is, and also your expectations of when a full explanation will be given to citizens of what went on in this case, in their name and using their resources.


Yours sincerely





“The 11th Truth”


 The "Ten Truths" are ten incontrovertible facts. That they have drawn no effort from the Strathclyde Police, the Scottish Criminal Records Office, or the Scottish Government to set things straight speaks volumes of a system that cares nothing of the individuals harmed by the actions of government employees. Every citizen of Scotland should be asking himself or herself, "If this could happen to Shirley McKie, what is there to prevent it from happening to me?" And the answer, obvious to those familiar with the case, is "Nothing -- nothing at all! No matter how careless or malevolent a government bureaucrat, the average citizen has no protection at all from harm, nor any hope of redress." Until the government rights the wrongs done to Shirley and others, and takes positive steps to prevent these things from happening to anyone else, this stands as one of the grossest injustices every perpetrated by the police in a "free" nation.


W A. Fingerprint

Expert and Certified Latent Print Examiner


Just read the key 10 points referred to on your web site. I have to say that I have had only a fleeting knowledge of the background to the case. Having read the ten key points it is quite staggering that Shirley has not been unequivocally cleared of any wrong-doing. Any layman reading the facts presented in the 10 point plan, I am sure, could only shake a head in disappointment and disbelief that the "system" has not had the integrity to admit failure of titanic proportions. An effective criminal justice system should be able to proudly affirm that they got it wrong and, as far as possible, make redress for such a stupendous error of misidentification which has really ruined the life of a first class young police officer. That the criminal justice system( in its widest sense) in Scotland has had to be dragged screaming and shouting to the altars of justice speaks volumes of how "the system" is protected by those who should be honest enough to admit that "they got it wrong," and ensure that Shirley's nightmare is ended. I suspect that most folk are not aware of the irrefutable body of evidence pointing conclusively to her total innocence and what amounts to a terrible miscarriage of justice. Tragic that anyone should have been put through years of hurt when fingerprint experts across the globe were able to demonstrate the FP evidence was simply wrong. The justice system relies on "experts" at its peril and there needs to be rigorous testing and re-testing of fingerprint evidence rather than the assumption that experts must be right and therefore cannot and should not be challenge. These are my thoughts on this matter after reading your circular. I wish you and Shirley well and hope that justice is indeed done. Cheers



Dear Iain - link to correspondence

Dear Iain

It is difficult for me to understand how an identification was made by the SCRO experts. After seeing the prints I recall having seen them on a fingerprint officer website ( back in 1999 but without any background to the case. The site offered the latent print and Shirley's print for comparison and was headed "For Experts Only" After trying to see the points which were marked out I gave up and began to doubt my own ability. It has troubled me ever since. How glad I am to see that I was correct in not being able to see the so-called similarities.   Good luck to you with your case.

Best wishes from South Africa.  


Dear Shirley,

I first met your Father when he gave a presentation on your case to a Forensic Science Society Conference at Oxford almost two years ago. I was extremely impressed with what he said. I also spoke with the Fingerprint Expert Allan Bayle at the conference and was able to view for myself the fingerprints in question. ............(Since 1972) I .......... have been involved in crime scene investigations and fingerprint examinations both as a Police Officer and as a civilian Crime Scene Officer and Crime Scene Manager. ...........I have been a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at .............University. After having spent some time viewing the fingerprints supplied by Allan Bayle at Oxford, I had no hesitation in stating "These two marks are NOT identical, and how anyone, let alone a Fingerprint Expert, can state that they were made by the same person, is totally beyond me. If Fingerprint Experts have previously stated that these fingerprints were made by the same person then they are at best totally incompetent,or at worst corrupt". You have my complete support. I know that it is a long time until February 2006, but I am sure that it will be worth the wait. I understand that your Father had a heart attack a few months ago, and I am sure that the strain of this case must have been a factor in that. However, I believe that he is now almost fully recovered, and I would like to wish him continued good health. I am also hopeful that one of my research students will undertake a project on your case once the Court Case in 2006 is over. Every best wish to you and your continued quest for justice and truth.


Dear Iain

I have not and indeed will never forget Shirley .....and I keep as up to date as I can through the press and the website. If there is ever anything more you think I can do you must let me know. I have been following the Jodi Jones trial and I am beginning to wonder if we have another developing fiasco with evidence having been moved and left unprotected before forensic tests have been completed and an absence of forensic evidence linking the accused to the crime scene. It has the makings of another potential miscarriege of justice but I hope and pray not.  .......back on that day in May ......... the ordinary men and women who were the commissioners to the General Assembly stood unanimously in support. They are as representative a body of the people of Scotland as you will get and I hope you and your family continue to take strength and comfort from that day when the voice of the people of Scotland was raised in support of Shirley and the truth.  May I wish you and Shirley and the family a Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year. .........I hope you find the peace I mention particularly the peace of mind that I believe Christ came to give us all if we only reach out to Him.. God Bless   K

Dear Shirley and Iain  

As we approach the festive season I hope and pray that you are well and that you are now looking forward to Christmas.  I and my family would like to pass on to you our continued support and prayers as we approach the end of 2004.   I have a feeling that 2005 will be a better year for both of you and those closest to you.   My dad also passes on his good wishes as well.     As always you will be in our prayers.  Merry Christmas to you all, and a Guid New Year when it comes.      M. Northern Ireland 



I am a fingerprint expert in training and recently attended an intensive week long course here in the US. Our instructor presented your case to us at the close of our course and we were shocked at what has transpired.


The identification process and court prepared charts and illustrations used as evidence were preposterous. Hearing about what happened to you just reinforces the need for proper training of latent print examiners (as well  as proper techniques of fingerprint identification!) AND the the need to make sure those who ARE selected for such positions have high morals and standards. We will all continue to monitor your case here in the US, I believe our instructor will continue to be involved in your case and be a very active proponent.


I know there can be no real repayment for what you have suffered, we can only hope that justice will prevail and those responsible will be punished for their actions.


All the best,



Dear Mr McKie,

Indentity cards et al. - Link

Hello Shirley, Iain,


Its taken me a little while to get around to joining up to Friends of Shirley, be assured I've always been your friend, its just homelife, work and other matters have taken precedence.  These are our luxuries compared to the stress and ordeal you and your family have endured to date.  Believe me when I say the science of fingerprint identification has suffered too.  Our integrity as independent examiners and court experts has really been questioned since a large firm like SCRO has taken a firm stand in opposition to world opinion.  In some ways it has been purposeful since we are shaken and now realise our duty to correct the perceptions that some jurisdictions propose ( Latimer as one good example).  Like any of the sciences the individual countries who develop expertise are only as good as the standard they practice.  I hope that your suffering will bring about an improvement in the profession within Scotland.  You have good experts, but fear of employment seems to be the vital factor and governments alone can change that situation.  Strong family support and good friends will get you through to the final stages, I'm religious also so my prayers should help.  Take care and as my Welsh uncles say, watch how you go. 

Regards.  M  Australia

Hello Shirley,


Just a few short words of encouragement from a fingerprint examiner.


I have recently retired from a crime lab ………. where I worked on major cases as a fingerprint examiner and processed crime scenes.


I have seen many brutal murders and other sad and unnecessary crimes during my working career……………


I believe things do happen for a reason.  As sad as it is for you and your family, good is going to come out of this for you and I believe for others who may have been wrongly accused.  You as a law enforcement officer, held a different standing than someone already accused and incarcerated.  When an incident involving a police officer comes to the attention of the news media, it always makes the headlines.


The fingerprint examiners in your case must and will be held to answer for your case as well as their past casework.  At this time, many of us in our field are wondering just how many innocent persons are behind bars falsely accused by fingerprint examiners that should be working in a different field.


I want to thank you and your father for not giving up, which would be so easy to do.  We have all been in situations that have made us feel like running away from it all.  When this is over and the side of right has stood its ground, you will feel that you have won the race.  You have so many people standing with you and are supporting you here in the United States, as well as the rest of the fingerprint community throughout the world.


I do hope you will consider a trip to the United States.  Many of us would like to see you in person and to be able to applaud you for the person you are.


Even though we have not met, I would like you to consider me a friend in a distant land that is praying for you and knows God is beside you during this history making situation.


Your friend,




Dear Shirley,

I have followed with much interest and a fair deal of disgust, at the treatment you have received over the years at the hands of Institutions which, according to their remit, are there to uphold and protect the innocent. May you and your father take some comfort from the fact that there are, from all sections of society, those who have stood up to be counted. I wish you every success in your continuing fight for justice.

Sincerely, R   

Hi All


I am seeking to gain your support for the cause of Shirley McKie. Shirley's case is a travesty of Scottish justice. It has many horrifying aspects - it seems to demonstrate cover up at the highest levels of the political / legal establishment, raises serious questions about the standards of fingerprint evidence used to put people in prison, and involves the horrendous persecution of a decent policewoman because she insisted on telling the truth when her superiors wanted her to say something different.


If this kind of thing is allowed to go on, we are close to being a Police State. Please take a look at the details of the case and I hope you will be sufficiently moved to act. The Authorities cannot maintain their position of playing down / ignoring the significance of what has happened if they are repeatedly questioned by the public.


It would be great if you could write to Cathy Jamieson, the Minister for Justice at


The McKie's deserve the support of all right thinking Scots.


Please see for full details of the case.


Best Wishes to you all.




Dear Shirley,  

I have followed your case with horror over the years.

I just wanted to say what a courageous lass you are to have endured the shame and agony wrongly placed upon you and to see you still fighting to clear your name.  Why oh why are there so few people in high places willing to support you in your fight?  But do not give up and keep praying to a Heavenly Father who understands all about what you have been through.  And I am praying to.  If a wee donation towards this fight would be accepted I would love to show my support in this way.    God bless you and keep you strong.  G  

Shirley and Iain,

Scottish Justice and your fellow Scots owe you more than we can ever give.  It is to our shame that you have been treated so appallingly. I sincerely hope you are successful in winning your case, and exposing the truth. I believe your fight is one that all right thinking folk should support. People in high places need to know we will not tolerate the many aspects of their terrible behaviour that pepper your case. Yours sincerely 




Dear Shirley and Iain,

Thank you for the background infomation you sent me on Shilrey's case in April of this year.

I understand there is some new report on fingerprinting procedures which Shirley hopes may help her sitution. I do hope so.

Please accept the enclosed cheque to help you in your everyday expenditure, along with my best wishes to you both,

Yours sincerely,



Reading your case, I am ashamed for the Service I held so dear. There must be many more police officers like  myself and "W" who have been through the mill (but not ground down like yourself) and should speak up for you. You are in my prayers - keep fighting, lass.  




I am a good friend of ................ and he pointed me in the direction of your site - best wishes in your struggle and I hope the proper outcome will one day become a reality.


Dear Shirley,


I have been following your case since it began and now I have found this web site and learned so much more.  It is to me, one of the most tragic cases I have ever read.  It has been said that justice must not only be done, it must be SEEN to be done.  Your fight is a valid one and it is disgraceful that Strathclyde Police and the SCRO have not had the decency to contact you and admit they were wrong.  How hard it has been for you I will never know and I am amazed at your fortitude.  I can only sympathise with you at what has happened and say that I know that there are so many people who share my views but have not gone on record to that effect. May I say that I am very sorry that the very judicial system that is there to protect the innocent and punish the guilty are not capable of doing so and the longer your fight takes the more public support I suggest you will receive. On an appropriate web site in the U.S. I have posted your case and attempted to put forward the facts as per your site and others.  The response has been one of incredulity at what has happened.  You are being thought of by quite a number of people in the U.S. and I can only offer that as a small token of how people perceive the actions of the authorities involved. I do hope and pray that you will be successful in your present action and that in the fullness of time justice will prevail.  In the meantime I would offer you my very best wishes and that you are sustained in the knowledge that many, many ordinary people support you in what you are doing.  I am very sorry that this matter has caused you such pain and poor health.  There are some people who owe you a great debt and must right the wrongs they have committed. You are a very lucky young woman to have such a wonderful father who has fought hard for your cause.  I admire what he has done and I offer you my sincere good wishes for a successful conclusion to your fight for justice. Please take heart knowing that there are people out there who do care about you in this matter and that you are not alone in your efforts. May you be given the strength and courage at this time in your current action and I do hope your health will improve. K






I have always respected the police - until we got involved in an investigation recently.  Shirley - you must be a very strong character to have gone through what you have and still be well!!  You have the support of many people, some in high places and some normal, everyday people.  Many people will not realise that this could so easily be them - through no fault of their own.  We must stand up and be counted in our support for justice and fairness and honest investigation.   All the very best Shirley - keep smiling, and you will beat the very large and complex system soon.



Best Wishes in your continued fight against this personal injustice & more broadly the entrenched attitudes and nepotism of Strathclyde Police.

Good luck to you and your family.


We met a few times when I was a lot younger and at school with Shirley and I have sent an e-mail to all those in your Let Them Know page. If there is anything else I can do to help please do not hesitate to contact me. I have a pc with a broadband connection, some time I could give to you if you needed for research or anything else which might make things easier for you and your family.

Bye for now


Dear Shirley,

It has been my intention to contact you long before this.

However, for one reason or another I have not done so. As you will no doubt agree it is much more difficult to put 'pen to paper' than just passively agreeing with someone or something.

First a bit about me. I too was a serving member of Strathclyde Police.

The reason that my career was cut so short was due to ill health.

I also in common with yourself, faced much opposition from my former employer. This lasted for years with many dirty tricks used against me (and others).

As you will notice from this e-mail I still find it difficult to put my feelings into words, coherently.

For the present I will not go into any detail regarding my experiences, but I am more than willing to discuss it further if you feel it may be of help to you. Of course, I did not suffer as much as you have and are, but it may be of comfort to realise that in many ways you are not alone in suffering in this way.

Speaking for myself, I would like, someday, to have the opportunity to speak with you about these things, as I still find it difficult to come to terms with what happened to me.

I am sorry that I cannot offer you anything more than this. I am not a fingerprint expert nor am I am rich.

Although this e-mail may be a bit garbled I will leave it for the present.  

I wish you and your family every blessing and success in the future. I once thought that there was no light at the end of the tunnel for me, yet I pursued my aim as a matter of principle and in providence I succeeded and was still alive to see it.

Do not give up but be of good courage, I am confident that you will be vindicated, soon.

You remain in my prayers.

Yours sincerely,


Dear Shirley,

This is a total outrage and demonstrates that the 'system' has always got to be seen to be right. No lessons have been learned from several miscarriages of justice such as the 'Ice Cream War' case etc. It is unbelievable that this has being going on for so long and you have no form of obtaining compensation and, in effect, your life is still 'on hold'. In such instances, it is imperative that you have the best legal representation possible with person(s) that have ECHR experience such as ………….. who has a track record of winning in Strasbourg with cutting edge cases. Keep your chin up, don’t let them get you down as you have done nothing wrong and sacrificed a lot for a police career. You shall succeed, do not give up! keep up the political pressure and media PR.

Kindest regards I and R


The truth they are a-changing

(With apologies to Bob Dylan and George Orwell)

Come gather 'round Scotsman
Wherever you are
And admit that McKie’s case
Is completely bizarre
And expect it that once
You'll be dragged in their car
If the truth to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start acting
Despite innocence so far
Cause its fingerprints they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesise with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
Their fraud may come again
And don't laugh too soon
For the board’s still in spin.
And there's no tellin' who
they will be namin'.
Hopin’ the loser now
May be later to win
But its criminal what they are changin'.

Come members of parliament
Please hear the call

You did get the power

But act like a doll
For she that is hurt
Was acquitted in court
And all experts outside
That are ragin'
It takes all your courage
To switch who’s at fault

Its justice they’re constantly rapin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And start criticize
What you well understand
Your cops and their bosses
Are beyond your command
Their ethics are
Rapidly fading
Please get out of your daze
and get hold of your land
For the rest of the world is amazin’

Police line for all
Is the curse they did cast
The constable now
Is their enemy fast
As the leader now
Was mean in the past
Integrity is
Nice for debatin’
And the firm one now

Will later be last
For the cops think they are reignin'?

Bobby Villain


Dear Shirley and Iain

Please accept this as my continued support for you in your courageous
struggle amid this terrible injustice. As one of the original 170
signatories to your petition, I continue to follow this case with interest
and remain hopeful that your ordeal will be over sooner rather than later.
It is my hope that those responsible ultimately face the consequences of
their actions and are held accountable. Both you and your family as well as
our profession deserve nothing less.

Good luck and take comfort from the knowledge that there are a great many
others thinking of you through this difficult time.

Kind regards




As an old school friend, I was amazed, no astounded, that when you were cleared in court that your Chief Constable didn't have the guts to telephone you and apologise to you, for the grave injustice done to you and your family. 

I can understand however, because I am a serving police officer  I wish you every success in your ongoing fight for justice.  I know that you will overcome all in the end and be victorious in this fight.

If I can be of any help whatsoever, please ask and I will gratefully and happily do what you ask.

I remain an old school friend and staunch supporter of you and your family. G


I just wish to extend my deepest feelings of support to Shirley. I have also
been accused of things I didn't do, and it also went to court, and it was
very traumatic, but it was nothing compared to what Shirley must have gone
through, and continues to go through.

I read the ruling in her failed action against the Chief Constable and was

I hope Shirley will finally get some justice by winning against the SCRO.

Good luck, and don't give up! I'm not giving up in my fight either.



Dear Shirley,

I’m only a member of the public but need no expertise to recognise injustice. I have, as best I could, followed your sad and painful struggle for justice and had hoped that by now you would have achieved a full and unqualified apology for the hell you have been put through simply because others put self-interest before doing what is right.

I’m astonished and severely disappointed in the behaviour of those who are supposed to be the guardians of the law and will be using the links on this site to let them know my feelings. I know my viewpoint carries little but I’m certain there is a significant majority of people who feel the same as I do and hope they too will use this site to express their disgust of how shabbily you have been treated.

I know what it’s like to be lied to and worse still, lied about but it’s nothing compared to what you have had to suffer. I truly hope that this evil wrong will be righted, and soon.

Yours sincerely

D Edinburgh



Only recently found out about your ordeal Shirley through a school friend, …….. and I would wish to offer my support and any help I can possibly give. I have since been checking the press releases to keep me up-to-date. I wish I had known from the beginning because I would have offered you help and friendship even at the time when all was against you because I would never believe you would have been guilty of any type of crime. I would love to hear from you but understand if I don’t hear from you.

Wishing you all the very best and I really mean that most sincerely.

Always your very good friend,


(I was always a little jealous of the fact that you were heaps better at the gymnastics than me!) xxx