When Laura Anne Nelson argued with her older sister Zoe over a boy they were both seeing, she didn’t expect it to be their last conversation.
Later that day, 16-year-old Laura met 21-year-old Robert Byne, who took her to the woods near Wishaw, north Lanarkshire, and showed her the charred corpse of Zoe that if she said something she would “be next”. .
The murder of 17-year-old Zoe in 2010 shook the Scottish community, and the killer, Beyne, a bodybuilder, also named someone else as the killer.
Crime and Investigation’s Murdertown, in front of Anita Rani, deals with the case in which Zoe’s body was not identified until three days after the murder.
The girl’s body was burnt so badly that the police could not tell whether she was a man or a woman.
Zoe was stabbed, suffocated and a plastic bag was placed over her face.
Laura Anne recognized her sister with a tattoo when Beyne showed her the body the day after she was killed — but the teenager was afraid to say anything for five days.
Retired assistant chief constable Derek Robertson, who led the investigation, said: “The morning of the day – the day after tomorrow – she went downstairs to return his clothes and he said he was in disarray and all that dirty and soot and dust and smoke. Why was it?
“He was still drunk and he took her to the murder scene and pointed to her… and he recognized her with a tattoo. [He said] ‘And if you say anything, it is you.’
As the police prepare to arrest Beyne for the crime, he comes to accuse someone else of Zoe’s murder.
In the hours after the murder, he was drinking with Zoe behind Asda.
Byne, who had a tribal tattoo on the right half of his face, was said to be a jealous control freak.
He reportedly had an obsession with keeping clean and bathed thrice a day as well as changed his clothes frequently.
Zoe had opted for a bottle of vodka and had chosen a tequila with a red sombrero—later found from her charred remains.
Before meeting Beyne, he had argued with her sister over her and was told by her mother to ‘leave’.
She was not reported missing for three days, as her family said it was not unusual for her to be away from home after a disagreement.
Sadly, the reason for not returning home was far more sinister.
On the night of the murder, Beyne is heard threatening to kill someone and is seen punching Zoe.
When he is charged with murderous assault, his friends Gemma Finn and Jade Sim are devastated.
Gemma said: “Zoe was a huge character. If you didn’t know her, you knew her.
“She had some character. She’d be singing, she’d be dancing. She was always willing to take the shirt off her back; she was willing to help anyone, so overall she’s a huge, huge part in everyone.” Life.”
Monkey Hill woodland is visible from Gemma’s house. He had seen smoke coming out of there, not knowing that it was from the body of his best friend.
hunt for killer
She said: “I was devastated to learn it was Zoe. I couldn’t believe someone could do this to someone. Especially a person like Zoe.
“It was frightening to think he was even – he was even outside; that they hadn’t caught him.”
Throughout the trial at the Edinburgh High Court, cocky Beyne behaved like he would walk free.
During the trail, Laura Anne gives evidence behind a screen so she doesn’t have to see her sister’s killer.
Police had now learned that Bayne was at risk of developing schizophrenia and opted to strengthen security on the day of the verdict.
Former Assistant Chief Constable Derek said: “Judge Lady Dorian found him guilty and went berserk. And he jumped up immediately, screaming and swearing.
“The court officers who are sitting immediately next to him on all sides are trying to stop him and one is beheaded. And on him he’s trying to get out, he’s trying to get out of the dock.” Used to be.
“The court officials have to physically put him down and stop him and cuff him. And he’s taken down the cuffs and that’s the mentality of that guy, violence.
“Again it just shows his character and what he was like.”
Bayne was sentenced to life imprisonment, with at least 20 years without parole, for murder and six others for attempted concealment.
But for Zoe’s friends, the sentence will never suffice.
Gemma said: “I couldn’t even see him. I felt physically ill. But I was so glad he was finally there – he was going to be behind bars and he can’t do it with anyone else.” .
“He should have got much more than that to be honest with you. I think they should have just brought back the death penalty for him, I really do. I really do.”
While the punishment gives Jade a sense of relief, she thinks it will never be justice for her friend.
He said: “How can justice be done when he is finally freed from prison? The meaning of life must be life.
“He’s going to have a life after this and we’ve lost the best man anyone could ever be in life.”
Speaking about the impact of the murder on the family of Zoe, the former assistant. Chief Constable Derek said: “At the end of the day, your daughter has been murdered and you live with her every day. And the assurance that I have caught the killer does not bring their daughter back.
“It just makes him feel content in the knowledge that he can’t kill anyone else like he killed his own daughter.”
Murdertown tonight at 9 PM C&I. is on