Ballindaloch Castle background

The Likeliness of a Whisky Murder

04-09-2016 No comments yet

Many homicides are never solved in the real world, particularly those involving espionage.

In the 17th century a ‘tulip-mania’ raged through the provinces of the lowlands, Holland that is. Bulbs were sold and bought at astronomical amounts, which seems odd for something organic that is prone to decay through weather conditions and other outside influences and very likely to eventually die.

Even a, what could be called 19th century marketing-study (1841), written by Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter Charles Mackay,1814-1898 was dedicated to the phenomenon
In his book ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’ Mackay describes how people spent and lost fortunes, also involving foul play.

Back in the seventies, Dutch television broadcasted a children’s crime series, titled ‘The Black Tulip’ telling the story of deceit and theft surrounding one single bulb. It seems inevitable a sort of Maffia evolves, when something is much in demand.

Throughout the centuries whisky as well has been the subject of smuggle and illicit trade.
Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat, describes a ‘whisky tunnel’, used as an Aladdin’s cave by smugglers.
While doing the research for Bloodlines –Traces, McKerley & Schippers came across stories of bottles of whisky being sold for over a hundred thousand pounds and more, in circles where presenting a valuable bottle sets the tone of the business meeting. For this reason there is a huge increase in interest from countries like Russia and Ukraine, to make its own way into the industry. Efforts to take over old and famous Scottish distilleries, at times leave few tricks untested to reach the goal.

A whisky-murder, may seem far fetched, but is in fact not at all unlikely. With potential buyers willing to pay extreme amounts of money for the status of a famous brand, bottles of whisky have become like Rembrandts, Icons (the pre-computer ones) or tulips for that matter.

This knowledge triggered author Tom McKerley, to set up the privately owned  whisky distillery ‘GlenFraoch’ for Bloodlines-Traces. The label is shown as part of the photogallery on the home page
Owner Doug Stein gets into trouble when he refuses to sell the family business.
Had it happened in real life the following article could well have shown up in the newspaper:

(slight spoiler warning)

The Scottish Daily Mail
Thursday 13th October, 2011

Whisky Tycoon Poisoned
Mystery over Glen Fraoch owner Doug Stein baffles Police

Tuesday’s death of the CEO and major shareholder of Glen Fraoch whisky distillery has now been confirmed as a murder investigation. Chief Constable Gardner of the Grampian Police Force issued the following press release;

‘First of all we would like to convey our condolences to family and friends of the deceased, Mr Doug Stein.
We would like to confirm investigations have been under way since last Tuesday when the body was found. We would like to talk with anyone who witnessed a black BMW in the area of Aviemore between the hours of seven and eight am on Tuesday October 11th. The prime suspect goes by the name of Richard Stillwater. His picture has been circulated to all media outlets. Given the possibility this murder could have been committed by individuals outside of this country, the Home Office and Interpol have been informed. I would also like to say our officers who arrived on the scene reacted quickly to the situation, but so far we do not have any leads or possible motive for this crime.

This is Richard Stillwater as pictured in his personnel file. If you see him, do not approach but notify the police immediately at the following number: 013-1313

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