Skull in a Net: The Disappearance and Death of Andrew Ramsay

Caitlin King
5 min readNov 29, 2020

On Wednesday 22nd February 2006, 51-year-old Andrew Ramsay was walking from his local pub in Glasgow to his house in Cardonald with his partner, Beverley Sinclair. When they arrived home just after 7.10pm, a black Honda Accord pulled up at the side of the road and two men impersonating plain-clothed fraud squad police officers — who addressed the pair by name — handcuffed Andrew, threw him into the vehicle, and sped away.

The men had told Beverley they were taking Andrew to Stewart Street Police Station in Glasgow to be questioned about a fraud investigation. When she called the station at 11.00pm that night, officers informed Beverley that Andrew was not there, nor had he ever been — and so began a years-long investigation police would later refer to as “the most baffling case we’ve ever dealt with.”

At first, investigators theorised Andrew may have staged his own disappearance. Days before the abduction, he’d tried to secure a £150,000 loan by attempting to remortgage Beverley’s home without her knowledge. Andrew had also recently sent an email to an ex-girlfriend he’d lived with between 2004 and 2005 when he was in Belgium. It read:

“I am going abroad and won’t be able to speak to you for a few months.”

Speculation about what may have happened was rife. Andrew was an accountant who was well-known in the business world and his disappearance sent ripples of confusion and uncertainty through the community. He had been out of work for six months before he went missing and was interrogated by investigators several times in relation to a fraud enquiry shortly before he was abducted. Friends say Andrew told them he feared for his life because he “knew too much.”

Law enforcement had detailed descriptions of the suspects from Beverley. But although the area was busy with football fans passing through on their way to Ibrox and parents picking their children up from karate classes across the road, no other witnesses to the abduction came forward.

Months passed with few leads and no arrests. Then, on 5th April 2007, Andrew’s skull was found in a fishing net by fishermen who had been trawling the Firth of Clyde. Police believe the skull was dropped near Little Cumbrae, a small island thirty-seven miles southwest of Glasgow.

The discovery of Andrew’s skull only led to more questions. In a 2008 interview, police disclosed that extensive underwater searches using sonar equipment had been carried out in the area where the skull was located. The marine geophysicist who coordinated the operation said:

“Everything suggested there wasn’t a huge amount of sediment movement, making it unlikely a body would have moved far. It’s a really difficult case, but I found that the flat seabed in that area meant it was worth continuing because targets would stand out sufficiently well on the sonar.”

In the same February 2008 interview, law enforcement stated they suspect Andrew may have been murdered as a result of telling his kidnappers or their associates what he had discussed with police in relation to the fraud inquiry — allegedly a multi-million pound “carousel” scheme designed to exploit tax loopholes. Not ten months later, two men would be arrested in connection to Andrew’s death.

On 28th November 2008, Ian Millar (then 44) and Derek Menzies (then 46) were arrested and charged with the abduction and murder of Andrew Ramsay. Millar is a businessman who owns several homes across Scotland valued at over £2 million in total, at least one of which was paid for in cash. In 2008, Menzies was Head of Security for G1, Glasgow’s biggest pub and club chain.

The men were questioned and released twelve hours after they were taken into custody, with Millar telling detectives he had never met Menzies. Both men say they have never met or contacted Andrew and deny any involvement in his disappearance and subsequent death.

A national newspaper reported at this time that a £40,000 motorboat had been seized and forensically examined in relation to the investigation, but was returned to its owner (who is not a suspect) weeks later after nothing of evidentiary value was found.

What seemed to be a step forward in Andrew’s case turned into a standstill. Years passed and in October 2011, a newspaper revealed prosecutors at the Crown Office were yet to receive an official police report on the two suspects. Strathclyde Police claims to have sent the report shortly after they concluded their questioning of Millar and Menzies. In an interview, Millar commented:

“I have been in limbo for the last three years. No one can tell me why I was a suspect in this man’s murder. I was arrested in the morning and then dumped back on the street in the evening without any money after being charged. I have heard nothing since then.”

A month later, Millar made the news again after he purchased the home of a convicted drug-dealer who masterminded a multi-million pound cocaine smuggling operation. The man had been forced to sell the property in order to pay money owed under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

More than fourteen years after Andrew’s bizarre disappearance, there have been no further arrests in his case and the charges against Millar and Menzies have not led to any court appearances or trials. In 2015, Beverley Sinclair — Andrew’s partner and the only witness to the abduction — passed away from natural causes. Andrew’s sister, Linda Hodge, feels Beverley was their last hope in finding justice for her brother. Linda said:

“It’s awful not knowing what happened to him. But there’s nothing to be done now. There’s no point in making another appeal. What would that achieve? His partner has died and she was the only witness.”

In an investigation spanning Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Belgium, more than 1,000 people have been interviewed, 300 statements have been taken, and over 1,300 lines of inquiry have been pursued. Andrew’s case was featured on BBC’s Crimewatch programme with a reward of £5,000 offered for information — not a single call was received after the episode aired.

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Caitlin King

Usually clutching a strong cup of coffee, a good book, or both. Writing about true crime, mostly. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caitistyping/