Letter from Maria - Justice for Annie and EveryoneDecember 4, 2014.
Cover up, incompetence, lack of resources, structured dams that block the flow of social progress or a serious flaw in the legal system and current procedures that need to be amended?
Before 4 Dec 2005 when I lost my best friend Annie, I always thought that when the worst thing happens – we would automatically receive help. I am sorry to say that this however is very far from the reality we all have to face. And after fighting for truth & justice for 9 years I now think that if the system would change and families who have fought would be able to receive retroactive compensation,” and a wave of compensation claims would rain down on the authorities”, then that would bankrupt the government funding’s. And the government also would need to employ a huge amount of policemen, investigative leaders and others to be involved, to be able to handle all these cold case review´s. Also there would be a need of more forensic specialists within the many different kinds of fields, diatom professors DNA specialists etc.
The forensic techniques are taking huge amazing steps worldwide. And as we and many other families have been fighting, inhumanly long time for the truth and justice, the right tools have “been there to use” if reviewing the cases have also now been both updated and very much sharpened to become even more precise and accurate.
The last time Annie and I spoke over the phone we spoke about how fun we would have when she arrived at Stockholm Skavsta Airport, and she told me that she would book an appointment with her hairdresser in Sweden. As I live nearby the airport we never had to decide what flight she would take, Annie just had to phone when arriving on Swedish ground and I just would drive there and get her. Annie had a lot of things going on at the end of the week, and I myself was going away on a training course at the beginning of the week, and we both made fun over the fact that we might be unable to speak properly until she came to Sweden. The only thing that was bothering Annie at the time of our conversation was the strange behavior by the man Martin Leslie ( the former Scottish rugby star) however Annie was a strong and positive person who took good care about herself, and both she and I thought that the best thing to do was that she just took care of herself and trye to keep a distance from him if they would meet again during the time when the N.Z Rugby Team was in Scotland for the big games.
I had made preparations with cleaning my house and had bought lots of good food and fruit juices which I knew was Annie’s favorites, and my youngest son had prepared his room so that Annie could stay there, while he was happy to sleep on our sofa. Then the telephone rang and I was expecting Annie of course, but it was Annie’s sister who told me that Annie had been found dead. To us all, it was clear that she was murdered – we all knew about her last meeting with the man calling himself Martin Leslie and that she felt almost scared by his behavior, and Annie was not easily scared!
A short time after Annie’s sudden death the former President Bill Fell at Murrayfield Wanderers found a witness who wanted to give the Police a witness statement. The person had made an observation that felt important, of Annie and an N.Z Rugby player. The Police refused to take that statement! Why? And the Police stated to Mr Fell that it was a suicide! Why?
The Police did however later speek with one person of the Leslie family. And in the Police report we could read that the person they spoke with was John Leslie! Why did the Police make such a mistake? Or is there another reason to why they interrogated John Leslie and not his brother Martin Leslie? We have not received any explanation!
When we later luckely managed to reach the real person and spoke with Martin Leslie over the internet, he told us that he had not been to Scotland for several years and that the man Annie met was an impostor using Martin´s identity. Martin also so very kindly offered us help as did his sister in law Carmel Leslie (O´Loughlin) – who you might have seen making the rough and dangerous stunt scenes for actress Lucy Lawless as Zeena the Warrior Princess.
The Leslie family gave us very interesting information about a man they strongly believe could be the man using Martins identity. They even contacted their former colleagues and one of the rugby players told Martin and Carmel more disturbing news about this man – who also was a well-known rugby player in Scotland, who knows his way around in the Rugby society. It was some bad blood between this man and Martin, and he had suffered from a knee injury. Annie told me about Martin after meeting him at the club the Mood in Edinburgh, that he had a scar on his face, was a bit unshaven, that he had a knee injury, that his friend´s name was Brian, that he liked whisky, wanted a tattoo, that his father was Scottish and his mother N.Z, that he had a brother named John and he told Annie a lot about his rugby carrier that ended after his injury, and so much more. The only thing speaking against this man was the fact that Annie herself showed me a photo of a young Martin Leslie who she found on the Internet. The man Martin and Carmel suggested to be the imposter however did not look as Martin at all!
We strongly believe that the man using Martin Leslies identity looked like a young Martin Leslie 2005, and that he has performed this scam on also other people. This man tried to make Annie drink and told her repeatedly to please drink up the champagne that he bought for her but Annie did not touch a drop she was very careful. Has anyone else encountered this impostor please do not hesitate in contacting the Scottish Review or us on email@example.com
Guje and I immediately decided to make a follow up on Martin and Carmel´s information as we have done with the other leads we have received during these years and after a meeting with Mr Fell we were told to get in contact with Ms. Lindsay Geddes and that she would help us further. The first time we spoke over the phone she was very kind and caring, the second time she told us she was unable to speak with us about this matter. We have sent several letters with our plea for help however have not even received an answer on any one of the letters sent. Why?
Annie’s Scottish friends and other acquaintances
When speaking with the girls who rented rooms in the shared appartment at Linton Court Apartments in Edinburgh the Police asked what they knew about Annie committing suicide. One of the girls who came from India become so shocked that she became ill and fled back to India, leaving all her items still in her rented room at Linton Court.
One of the members of the staff saw Annie 13.15-13.30, on the 3 rd. Dec 2005, the last day we know that Annie was still alive. However the Police have not been interested in her statement! Annie was given some advices by another member of the staff at Linton Court Apartments and we still do not know what kind of advices Annie received.
Several of Annie´s friends in Scotland were never heard by the Police! One of Annie’s former colleagues and friends who was working on the Scottish Whiskey Heritage Centre, today renamed to the Scottish Experience, told us that the Police had informed them that Annie had committed suicide.
The shop owner
The shop owner who had his shop along Gorgie Street in the same area as Linton Court was situated was never investigated. Annie met this man while being interested in having a closer look at his shop and others. Annie was making research since her family was going to extend the family business with perhaps opening some new shops. She told me that this man was disabled and that she felt sorry for him, since every time she walked by the shop on her way down the road to the internet café, or went in to visit the shop there were no customers inside.
Later during our investigation this man told the former Crime Inspector of Lothian and Border Police that so kindly helped us for a while, that he knew Annie was back in Scotland again and that they met. This was news to us. He also said to the former Crime Inspector that if Annie’s family would try to get in contact with him he would phone the Police and report it as harassments!
This man writes in his biography that he had embezzled several thousand of million pounds, had some kind of “protectors” helping him embezzled the money for (or from) a syndicate. He writes that his drug intake was massive, that he every day consumed more than 72-120 painkillers, 10-15 double strength sleeping tablets and 10-20 Prozac. He also writes that he often vomited on both the floor and walls that his temper became more and more dangerous, that he was gone, had no fear, not of jail, not of anything and had a demon inside….. This man himself writes that he was known by the Police, since being arrested receiving community service and 18 months’ probation and if the embezzlement case against him would not have been dropped, declared “Not in the Public” interest by the Procurator Fiscal he might have received another punishment. This was nothing that we all knew about until much later.
One of Annie’s Scottish friends who so very kindly were helping the Börjesson family and knew who this man was, saw this man at one occasion, and started to talk about Annie. The shop owner said that “oh Fuck ….those who did this must be good at covering things up”. Shortly after Annie´s friend informed us about their conversation, and contacted the Police, he suddenly became silent. We all started to become very worried and when finally Guje were able to reach him he told us that two CID Policemen had told him to immediately stop helping the family with Annie’s murder since if Swedish Police were to open up Annie’s case, he would become the prime suspect. Is this normal procedure? Warning persons from helping families finding the Truth? Why?
The missing 70-80cm thick blond hair
Annie´s body was transported back to Sweden 9 days after being found dead. The Börjesson family received an enormous shock after the transport coffin had been opened. The first thing they saw was that the Annie´s face was covered with very dark full coverage foundation, looking like a terrible mask. Even with the mask of heavy foundation they still clearly could see a big dark bruising on the face from the temple, down over the nose and the cheek. They were taking a step back in shock - was it even Annie?
Then they saw what really was wrong! Their beloved Annie’s blond unusually thick waist long hair was cut off! This was a terrible discovery since the beautiful hair was a part of their beloved daughter’s personality! When Guje herself took care of her dead daughters body together with the female member of the funeral staff and noticed that her daughters hair had not be cut off but hacked off in bunches, she thought that “I will be given a very good explanation to why my daughters hair have been hacked off, the bruising, injuries and every strange mark I see”.
When Guje took care of the remaining pieces of her daughter’s hair she also noticed that the structure of the hair bristles were strange, as if the hair had been washed in a solvent liquid! However no satisfactional explanations have been given. There are no conclusions or recommendations to follow through seen in Annie’s autopsy report. The family immediately phoned the Swedish Police that made an investigation and found out that the crime /desecration have occurred abroad. We tried several times to report the crime both in Scotland and in England, and at the UK Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden!
However they all refused to take the report! And we are still standing with no answers and all these contra dictionary statements and documents. Annie’s hair was never measured and investigated as being a part of her body; there is no written evidence of how long her hair was when she was found. The authorities admit that they cut of a small piece of the hair for further tests, and the English undertakers admits trimming her hair and removing 4 – 5 cm of her hair. The Scottish authorities have stated that the hacked off hair is not a crime. The Police refused to investigate since they were content with the investigation!
The family liaison Sergeant persistently stated to Maria that Annie had hacked off her hair herself, and it was not until Guje found a witness that could give the Police a statement that that Annie´s hair was as incredibly long, thick and beautiful as always her last days in life that the police stopped with their assumption!
When speaking with funeral companies both in Scotland, England and also other countries they all state that they would never desecrate a body of a loved one like someone had done to Annie! We demand to know! We assume that both the Police and the forensic specialists have taken photographs, both of Annie at the shore and during the autopsy.
If the desecration happened post mortem then we want to file a report on the one who hacked off Annie’s waist long hair in bunches, only remaining 5-15 cm on her scalp! We want answers! And to have this crime (since desecration is a crime in Scotland even if Guje and the family were told otherwise) reported both in Scotland and in England if necessary! 70-80 cm are missing, please use a measure stick and have a look at how long piece of Annie’s hair that is missing!
The diatom test result came back to Sweden from Strasburg and the family could finally arrange the late funeral. We did not know what the result meant and at the time it was too painful for anyone of us with regards to all the thoughts and feelings surrounding the preparations for the funeral. We were heartbroken, devastated suffering from the traumatic shock of her sudden and mysterious death and all the unanswered questions.
Later that summer the family received another shock when they received the information that Annie was found with DNA from an unknown female person somewhere on her handsm(fingers or under her nails) The DNA had been matched against the DNA register with criminals however no match was found 2005/or early 2006. This had been kept secret from us!
It was not until spring 2007 that I Maria had strength enough and started to make extensive research about the test result. After managing to reach out to diatom expert’s worldwide I found several loving and caring professional marine and diatom experts and we started the communication about the specific species that was found in Annie. I continued with contacting forensic specialist and many others to get an overall picture.
When Guje and I finally felt that we had enough material we suddenly received contact with one of the world wide experts and we were so surprised to know that we could get in contact with this Professor here in Sweden. After sending all the information, tables, research material and documents to her along with some of the conversation containing very important information – the Professor told us that if an extended test could be granted then the entire department would be happy to perform the extended test pro-bono.
Guje of course requested an extended test, but they refused and they gave Guje two paragraphs in the book of law, as an explanation to their refusal. When we sat down and red the content through in both paragraphs we very soon discovered that the content in both paragraphs are not related to either our request or the specific situation.
This Swedish authority is keeping microscopically slides and tissues from our loved ones kept in paraffin just in case a new test or review is needed! The reason to why parts of organs from Annie are kept there – is to be able to make new tests if needed. Still they refused, although the extended test could be performed without any cost by this Professor and the colleagues.
We contacted the Professor in Strasburg who became surprised and annoyed to hear that his original conclusions and recommendations were never followed through and he still supports his own conclusions that more tests have to be done!
The two diatomes found was skeletons/frustrules of the fresh water diatom Navicula Lanceolata and every one of us could have these frustrules inside our bodies from drinking our very first glass of tap water as young children.
Considering that Annie was found on a shore where the sea water contains a high salt halt there should have been salt water diatoms (various species) inside Annie, however no salt water diatoms were seen to be found!
After 5 months of waiting for Police Scotland to answer the Scottish Review´s formal application with the request to have Annie’s unsolved death reopened, the request has been turned down. Guje herself said to me weeks ago, that it would be better if the Police just could hurry and tell us that they refuse, so that we are able to stop being torn between Hope and Despair! Now we know!
But this time it is different! This time it is not only ourselves that are shocked or upset. The people behind the Scottish Review now know, and they too are shocked but not surprised. All of you reading this know, and even if you probably not are feeling surprised you are still a little shocked about finding out that Police Scotland have now taken a thorough look at the dossier that Mr Kenneth Roy and his amazing colleagues put together and presented to the Police and that their only comment was – We knew it all, from the original investigation.
I suspect that it is not only all of us but also many of you readers out there in beautiful Scotland who feel upset when finding out that Police Scotland now have admitted that they knew 100% about the fresh water diatoms! And they still refuse to investigate even though they all know 100% that the sea water is salt!
Had a diatom test been performed after Annie’s body had been transported to Kilmarnock hospital? We have no such information or any documents which supports that a diatom test was performed!
The Police also claimes they knew that the time and movements of Annie on the CCTV pictures do not add up! Then how can we be sure that the day and date is accurate?
At the Police station in Kilmarnock, we were shown the CCTV still picture movie´s both the one from Prestwick Airport and some from a CCTV camera situated outside the train station in Prestwick. The ones from the Airport were of poor quality but still we were able to determine that it was Annie. I noticed that there was no time or date and felt very worried, considering that the CCTV camera was situated in an important Airport where Airplanes from all over the world was landing on a regular basis both with passengers and with carrying goods.
Guje and I also noticed that Annie is walking outside the main entrance of the building that she walked over a pedestrian crossing and out on the main car park directly outside. I got a cold feeling inside, since we were told that Annie walked behind a shelter and to a cash machine. Guje and I had already found out when arriving for the first time to Scotland in October 2006 that there were no cash machine situated behind the shelter which the Police had informed the family about. We saw that Annie never walked behind the shelter either.
We also noticed that Annie was looking upset and angry when entering the main entrance again. This was nothing we had been told about. We also clearly could see that Annie had put the upper part of her hair in one of her elastic hair bands – why was this not mentioned in the autopsy report! Another item that is missing!
And when we all clearly could see one of the many missing items, the red and white fleece that Annie is wearing underneath her open goose feather jacket…… I used my entire hand pointing at the visible red and white fleece. (Guje had already received a document from the Police that their Polis Experts stated that IF Annie had such an item on her; there could be several innocent explanations to why that item is missing! )
The Police men who were present did not even look at Annie at the CCTV picture, they however looked toward the ceiling! This we found to be a very strange behavior. And when I asked them what they thought about the missing items I was told that; “You cannot assume that Annie had those items with her” And when I pointed out that Annie always carried her personal items with her I was told the same thing once more “You cannot assume that Annie had those items with her”
Are we getting this right – The Police, Crown Office and other authorities involved are allowed to make assumptions – and that we are not allowed to make assumptions? An assumption based upon a witness statement.
They also states that they knew that the witness observation are not a hard cold fact of how Annie came to the shore but only a vague assumption which they allowed the COPF and the then solicitor Frank Mulholland to write in the document sent to the Swedish embassy in London.
Guje and I have done the same investigation as Scottish Review and we have pictures where one of us have walked out on the shore when the tide is out and we also made the conclusion that since the street lights were broken in that end of the Esplanade/ we have been told this by the locals living in the area since they felt uneasy to walk past the boat club since it was really pitch dark at that end of the Esplanade.
We therefore also made this test further up on the shore where the street lights from the Esplanade were shining and still it is very difficult to determine whether the person is a man or a woman. However we could see that our clothes were of dark colors.
The witness told us that the person he and his friend observed had a white or beige coat that reached down mid-thigh and that a dark dog was running from the beach and somewhere at the esplanade. When taking a look at one of the very blurry CCTV still pictures from Station Road we could assume that behind a car passing by you can see a person in beige clothing with a dark dog on the left side!
Cover up, incompetence, lack of resources or a serious flaw in the legal system and the current procedures? do not know! However Annie is only one of many other loved ones unsolved deaths and of course they all differ, however there is one important common denominator, there are many families fighting to get the truth. This is an unacceptable problem which needs to be looked into.
In another case we know of, the Police had several forensic teams arriving in a double decker buss. They scrutinized the area and took samples from the stone wall / similar to the one situated at Prestwick Beach where Annie was found dead. Was this done also in Annie’s case? Also a CCTV picture movie was released to raise awareness about the person they suspected could be the murderer.
The other persons present in the area, when Annie was found by a person who was walking the dog, were never heard by the Police – We have no information about their observations.
There were no sand present in Annie´s mouth, throat or gullet and not in her nose, eyes or ears, even though Annie was found on a shore where there are lots and lots of sand.
Her hair was not measured and investigated as being a part of her body, was there any DNA present in Annie’s hair or on her clothes, the bag and jacket that was found nearby?
No nose rinsing was done, to determine where Annie took her final breath – this is a forensic technique that is very helpful in the investigation of deaths in suspicious circumstances.
No diatom test done?
No test were done at the shore, no geographic experts were contacted to make calculations of the location of Annie’s body bag and jacket. In other cases where a person is found in the sea or on the beach the coast guards are called out to search the area. This was not done in Annie’s case!
How is it possible that the Police told the newspaper that there were no suspicious circumstances when Annie’s body had not yet been examined?
We have not been given any time of death!
The Police have told us that they refuse to investigate what happened to Annie during the 16 hours she was missing, from last seen until found dead the morning after!
Why did the Police refuse to take witness statements?
Why were not all the CCTV cameras situated from Linton Court Apartment through both train stations in Glasgow and situated outside the Airport requested? This must surely have been very easy to do! And why was Annie not spotted at one of the many CCTV cameras situated in Prestwick town IF she walked from the airport down to Prestwick Town 3 Dec 2005 – were those CCTV movies requested, by the Police experts in Dec 2005, who were looking at the CCTV pictures day and night (Guje was told this)
Is it not strange that the only one actual sighting of Annie at the Airport and one assumed sightings of Annie (one of poor quality and one with really bad quality/ blurry) found, was not found by the Police experts until several months later? The list can be long!
We are all looking forward to find out what is going to happen and thanks to Scottish Review we have received some interesting new ways of taking Annie’s death in suspicious circumstances further. There are other families who today have lived their lives in a way that could be easily compared with a constant nightmare; they too have felt that justice has eluded them.
Many families, friends and campaigners have fought to get the truth about their loved ones deaths, others to get the truth to save loved ones who is innocently put to jail for a crime they did not commit. I am amazed that the law and procedures that are made by people for the people with the people’s best in mind – actually do not give any one of us the help we need and should have the right to have - when the worst thing possible happens.
The many different authorities are put there to serve their country´s inhabitants with helping and supporting in traumatic situations. Why are so many of us denied to receive that help?
Why is it so hard to just reopen and properly investigate all these unsolved cases where enough evidence does exist? Is it so that if they would have to admit that their initial investigations and judgments were wrong, it would be equal with them open themselves to criticism and prosecution so that they instead focus on the denial where there is a good chance of getting away with it, especially since they all know that events are usually forgotten by the media and therefore by society, in other words they play for time.
What else can we all do but to raise the awareness about all the unanswered questions? And until all are answered we have both the right and duty since this could very well happen over and over again. We are all fighting not only for the historical cases and our loved ones but also for all of you living your lives out there that (God forbid) could lose a loved one, so that when something similar happens to a family in the future to come – let us all work together to create a future with better procedures, amended law that better fits the needs of our modern society.
There are criminals out there, walking free and therefore we must keep on raising the awareness with spreading the story about what happened to our loved ones deaths to hopefully save others!