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Ann Ballantine: Unsolved Murder (1987)

On the 21st of January 1987, Ann Ballantine's (20) remains were discovered in Edinburgh's Union Canal, Scotland. The remains were found naked, bound, wrapped in a carpet, and badly decomposed with identification taking place by dental records and a scar on her head.

The forensic examination found that the body had only been in the water for days, but Anne had been dead for months. The post-mortem also revealed that Ann had died of “asphyxia and vagal inhibition” (her heart stopped beating) and a “ligature had been tied around the neck.

Her mother Isobel had last seen Ann on the 18th of November 1986. Ann had been at her mother's apartment in Warriston Road before leaving to return to her own flat on Dalry Road. After Ann did not attend Christmas at her mother's house, her parents became worried and contacted the police to report her missing.

Location of Ann's Remains

Ann left behind her parents and a younger brother Alan who was only 13 years old at the time. Sources say Ann was not employed at the time of her death but that her hobbies included clubbing and music, particularly heavy metal. She had also once been engaged but the relationship was broken off allegedly in an amicable manner.

Investigation & Theories

Once the investigation into Ann's murder began police did come up with a suspect but it was ruled that there was not enough evidence to bring charges.

Since then former detective Chris Clark has put forward a theory that Ann may have fallen victim to 'the Beast of Bramley' John Taylor as his first victim. John Taylor (62). Taylor was convicted of the 2000 murder of 16-year-old Leanne Tiernan as well as a series of sex attacks for which he is currently serving a life sentence.

The reported similarities between the murders of Ann and Leanne are as follows:

  • The state of decomposition of Leanne's body led some forensic experts to believe that after her death she had been kept in cold storage or a freezer up until a few weeks before the body was found. Much like Ann who had been dead long before she was eventually placed in the river.

  • Also much like Ann, Leanne's body had been wrapped up, and it has been placed inside a duvet cover. In Ann's case, it was a carpet instead of a Duvet.

  • Both victims had also been bound with a ligature around their necks. In Leanne's case, plastic cable ties had been to strangle her and a dark-coloured scarf was found wrapped around her neck.



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