Dr & Mrs Wood, 1980

Roseangle, May 1980

A beautiful building stands on the corner of the intersection between Perth Road and Roseangle. It stands empty and haunting, a tragic tale of murder hidden within it’s walls. Dr Alexander Wood was a very well-known and respected doctor within Dundee. At 78 and in ailing health, Dr Wood and his wife Dorothy were brutally butchered when an unknown assailant entered their home on a balmy evening in the middle of May, 1980.

The perpetrator was later to be identified as Dundee-born Henry Gallacher, a 29 year old man with a shady history of theft and burglary. Aged and defenceless as they may have been, Dr Wood and Mrs Wood tried to defend themselves from the attack, but sadly fought in vain as Gallacher bludgeoned them to death with a hammer.

After murdering the elderly couple, Gallacher stole from their home before fleeing the city. Their bodies were discovered on May 18th, 1980 by a young medical student who was retrieving a football from their garden that had been kicked there unintentionally. Upon peering in the window to see if he would get into trouble for being in the garden, he happened upon a nightmare scene of bloodshed and carnage.

Gallacher had no motive for killing the pair, but it began the start of a killing spree for him when his confession to a priest was met with horror. Once apprehended by police, Gallacher was sentenced for his crimes in England and incarcerated at Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric hospital, previously known as Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. To this day, he remains there. Unfortunately for Dr and Mrs Wood, Gallacher was never brought back to Scotland to stand trial for their murders.

Various ideas for renovation are still being considered in an effort to restore what was once a magnificent building and a happy home.

– DD Tours operates walking tours in Dundee city, covering dark local history such as wars, battles, murders, diseases, riots, disasters and executions. Walk with us for an unforgettable storytelling experience.


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