While plenty of people have big dreams and aspirations, many folks will settle for a comfortable, “normal” life. That doesn’t mean they can’t still be ambitious, of course, but they’re happy to simply provide for their families and be stress-free.

That path seemed to be where Alistair Wilson of Scotland was heading. He worked hard. He didn’t hurt anybody. Soon enough, he was married with two children and living comfortably in a large home.

Unfortunately, the good life wouldn’t last long for Alistair. When a strange visitor entered his home one day, the lives of his loved ones—and his entire town—were shaken to their core…

Alistair Wilson must have seemed like he was destined to live a relatively normal and peaceful life. He was raised in the western coast of Scotland, in the small town of Kilbirnie, and he went to college to study business law and accountancy.


After that, he started working at the Bank of Scotland, and he was stationed about 110 miles from Kilbirnie in the highland settlement of Fort William. It certainly seemed like everything was working out for him…

Dave Connor / Wikimedia Commons

After spending so much time in rural areas, Alistair was ready to relocate to the city. He first moved to Edinburgh, and then he joined the business banking team in Inverness. Life, it seemed, was all going according to plan. It was not to last, however…

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In the meantime, Alistair was starting a family. He married a woman named Veronica from the town of Fort William, and soon they had a son named Andrew. Their second son, Graham, was born just two years later. After that, it was time to move again.

The Scottish Sun

The young family relocated to Nairn, a beautiful town near Scotland’s eastern coast. It was also just 17 miles from Inverness, so he could commute to the city center with ease. With a large, beautiful home, which Alistair and Victoria operated as a hotel and restaurant, what more could he want?


Unfortunately, things took a turn when the family was forced to close their hotel, though they remained in the property. In 2004, Alistair found a new job at an environmental consultancy firm, but it meant permanently moving out of his beloved Scotland. This was when his perfect life began to unravel…

Daily Business Group

Unfortunately, at the tender age of 30, Alistair would never start his new job, because tragedy would strike. It all happened on November 28, 2004 as he was putting his kids to bed…

STV News / YouTube

It was 7 p.m., and Alistair was in his sons’ bedroom reading a bedtime story when the doorbell rang. The small family hadn’t been expecting anyone to visit, but Veronica went downstairs to answer the door anyway…

STV News / YouTube

Veronica opened the door to find a man who appeared to be in his late thirties; he was wearing a baseball cap and a darkly-colored jacket, and he asked for Alistair. After speaking to the stranger for a moment, Alistair was handed a blue, empty envelope with the name “Paul” written on it.


At first, Alistair was confused, but before he had a chance to ask the stranger for clarification, tragedy struck. Suddenly, several gunshots fired, and before anyone knew what happened, Alistair was lying in a pool of blood.

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Horrified, Veronica called an ambulance before running frantically down the street to the Havelock Hotel for help. A number of people tried to do whatever they could, but to no avail. Alistair was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

Havelock Hotel Nairn

The murder weapon wasn’t discovered until 10 full days after the tragic events took place. It was a rare German handgun from the 1920s called a Haenel Schmeisser, and it was found in a storm drain close to the family’s home…

STV News / YouTube

The murder weapon wasn’t enough for the police to solve the mystery. The investigation would continue for years until November 2017, when authorities made a startling announcement: while the murderer himself remained at large, police had found an additional weapon…

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This gun was exactly the same model as the one that Alistair was murdered with—and it was rare. Just 13 of these weapons were known to exist in the United Kingdom. “Obviously, two of them were in Nairn, which would appear quite significant,” Detective Constable Ged Quinn said in an interview.

As if that wasn’t strange enough, there was another clue that very same month. David Wilson—a criminology professor from Birmingham City University who had no relation to Alistair—revealed that he received an unusual package with important information about Alistair’s death.

Blogs / BCU

David said that somebody whom he only knew as “Nate” gave it to him, and that it revealed there was at least one other witness to the murder besides Veronica. Investigators hoped this would bring them closer to cracking the case…


The mystery deepened during a BBC radio interview with David. While on air, a Nairn resident named Tommy Hog called into the show and said that he’d noticed something strange the night of Alistair’s murder…

STV News / YouTube

Tommy described a weird, jumpy-looking man who he saw on a bus. The man was wearing a dark jacket and what looked like a baseball cap, and he was heading in the direction of the Wilsons’ house. Unfortunately, this evidence didn’t give the police any new leads.

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It’s been well over a decade since the tragedy. In that time, the authorities have analyzed just about every facet of Alistair’s life, trying to understand why anybody would want to murder this seemingly average man.

Could it have been blackmail? Did he know something he wasn’t supposed to? What was the deal with that empty envelope? Who was Paul, the name written on the envelope?

STV News / YouTube

To this day, the case remains unsolved. For her part, Veronica hasn’t stopped trying to figure out the reason behind the horrific incident that took the life of her beloved husband and father of her children.

“I couldn’t even imagine why people are actually killed,” she said. “You know, you see things, other people, and you just presume there’s something dark or sinister in their life. But I knew Alistair inside out and there was nothing there.”

STV News / YouTube

This is undoubtedly an upsetting story. Still, there’s hope that the mystery will be solved and Veronica and her family will find some much-needed closure.

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