Residents’ insistence victim was still on island led to manhunt

Bob Rose

3 March 2010 
The Press and Journal
Neil MacPhail

The refusal of locals to believe Campbell and Crummack's claims that Bob Rose had left Sanday sparked the massive manhunt which led to police solving the “particularly wicked crime”.  Suspicion focused on Campbell, who had threatened Mr Rose, and Crummack, who was acting strangely.

The pair had also been seen near the dunes four days before the murder, and Campbell had tried to order lime – which is used to speed the decomposition of bodies – from a local supplier. 

Both were quizzed by police and initially presented a united front.  However, Crummack turned against his friend after he heard him laughing with his lawyer in Kirkwall police station and believed he was going to be “fitted up”.

After that, Crummack told police where Bob Rose's body was and led them to the site in the dunes overlooking the sea.

Sniffer dog Eddie and his handler Martin Grime, who were involved in the hunt for Madeleine McCann and the search for Soham murder victims of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, were called in.

Campbell's only mistake was to confess to his cellmate at Inverness Prison – Leslie Norquoy recounted the conversation to the police.

The detective in charge of the investigation said last night that the two accused had been “very callous” in terms of the steps they took to cover up the crime.

Detective Inspector Mark Mackay said: “This was a particularly wicked crime, committed by two individuals who went to great lengths to cover their tracks.

“Our thoughts are clearly with Mr Rose’s family at this extremely distressing time and hopefully this verdict will bring some comfort in that justice has now been done.

“We would particularly like to thank the people of Orkney and in particular the residents of Sanday for their assistance, co-operation and support during the inquiry.”

The force interviewed 330 witnesses during the investigation on the 24-mile long island, which involved a range of specialist officers.

Det Insp Mackay said: “The logistics of the investigation were difficult and unusual given the remoteness, the transport links and infrastructure of a small island community.

“We are grateful to a number of local companies and agencies across Orkney, from whom we received significant assistance with regards to practicalities, such as boat hire and accommodation for the inquiry team.”

Det Insp Mackay added that it had been one of the biggest investigations carried out by the force in recent years.

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