St John’s RC High School, November 1967

The man above is Robert Mone; depraved multiple killer and the murderer of local teacher Nanette Hanson. Having been expelled from St John’s Roman Catholic High School in 1964, Mone returned to exact deadly revenge on the morning of 1st November 1967. Having spent some time serving with the Gordon Highlanders in Germany, Mone had returned to Dundee depressed and vengeful. Armed with a shotgun, he entered the High School and went into a classroom on the first floor, occupied by Miss Hanson and her small needlework class of 14 and 15 year old girls who were quietly making dirndl skirts.

At gunpoint, he threatened Miss Hanson and ordered the terrified girls into the storeroom before ordering the tallest of the girls back into the classroom and subjecting her to horrific sexual abuse in front of her sickened, disgusted and pregnant teacher. He abused a further student whilst Miss Hanson begged for them to be left alone. As he ordered one pupil to leave the room and tell the headmaster what was going on, he forced others to barricade the door closed with desks to ensure they were not bothered. With instruction from Mone that if anyone tried to enter the classroom, he would start shooting, swarms of police officers stood by on the sidelines for fear of a bloodbath.

His demands included that he speak with a female acquaintance of his, Marion Young. A student nurse, 18 year old Marion was roused from her sleep and brought to St John’s RC High School, where she bravely made the decision to enter the classroom where Mone was in lockdown with his captives. Most of the girls remained in the storeroom, petrified with fear, as Mone brought one of the girls he had sexually assaulted back out to sit with Marion. As the women pleaded with him, Mone began to get stressed and erratic. Nanette Hanson bargained with her life for the sake of her young charges, peddling Mone to let the girls go and keep her instead. Surprisingly, Mone agreed, and the shocked, confused and frightened young teenagers were released after a stand off lasting approximately 90 horrifying minutes.

Things soon took a terrible turn for the worse as Mone turned the gun on Nanette Hanson and shot her dead. Cowardly Mone could not look the pregnant teacher in the eye, forcing her to turn away from him as he shot her from behind. By asking Mone to release the girls, 26 year old Miss Hanson’s fate had probably already been sealed. Nanette’s parents travelled from her home town in Yorkshire to receive the body of their daughter, and it is said that around 300 people attended her funeral, including Marion Young, who had been forced to watch in horror as Mone executed the heroic young woman.

Declared criminally insane and unfit to testify, Robert Mone was never actually convicted for the murder of Nanette Hanson, and was instead sent to Carstairs Hospital, a high-security treatment facility in South Lanarkshire. In 1976, along with his friend and lover, Thomas McCulloch, Mone broke out of Carstairs, killing an inmate, prison guard and then a police officer on their way. A car chase ensued down past the border between Scotland and England before the notorious duo were finally apprehended and once again incarcerated. For more details on this, read what the statement by Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr Bruce Millan had to say about the events at the end of this post.

Claiming that his outbursts stemmed from having a dysfunctional childhood, it comes as no surprise to learn that his father later killed three women, including a member of his own family, and was sentenced in 1979 to life imprisonment. He was later stabbed in jail and died in 1983. Unfortunately for the general public, Mone is still alive, but thankfully, still incarcerated.

CARSTAIRS STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL (INCIDENT)

Mrs. Hart (by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the incident at Carstairs State Mental Hospital yesterday.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Bruce Millan)

The whole House will wish to join with me in expressing its deep regret and sympathy to the families of the three people who died in the tragic events which took place in and near the State Hospital at Carstairs last night, and to the others who were injured.

Since criminal proceedings are pending against the two patients, Mr. Robert Mone and Mr. Thomas McCulloch, who escaped, it would not be proper for me at this stage to comment on the events, and I shall give only a brief summary of what is so far known to me.

The two patients were parole patients —that is to say, they had some freedom of movement within the hospital. A nursing officer, Mr. Neil McLellan. was in charge of recreation. The patients were members of his drama group. Early in the evening of 30th November there was a routine check of patients in wards, and, as some patients in the drama group were absent, a call was made to Mr. McLellan’s office in the old administration block, part of which is being used temporarily as a recreation area. As there was no reply, nurses went to the office and found the dead bodies of Mr. McLellan and another patient, Mr. Ian Simpson, with severe head injuries. Mr. Simpson was also a parole patient and a member of Mr. McLellan’s drama group. A fireman’s axe was missing. This axe had formerly been kept in a safe in the central nursing office in the old administration block. When the new block was opened the axe had been handed to Mr. McLellan to keep in the safe in his office for use in case of fire.

The alarm was given and escape procedure put into operation. It was found that the patients had got over the perimeter fence using a weighted rope ladder, which they had evidently prepared beforehand, by what means is not vet known. It is not the case, as stated in the Press, that the patients got through the gate in nurses’ uniforms. The patients had taken Mr. McLellan’s keys, but these were not used in their escape and they have now been recovered.

The police officers, Constables Taylor and Gillies, were meanwhile on routine patrol in the vicinity of the hospital in a Panda car. They saw two men and stopped to interrogate them. Constable Taylor sustained injuries from which he has since died. Constable Gillies was also slightly injured. The two men made off in the police car until it crashed on the A702. A van stopped at the crash so that the occupants might help. Its two occupants were seriously injured and are in hospital. The van was then taken by the two men, who made off to Town-foot Farm, Roberton, where they secured, apparently under threat of violence, the farmer’s car. The men then made off to the south on the A74, with the police in pursuit. The car crashed at roundabout 43, just north of Carlisle, and after a struggle the occupants were overpowered by the police.

Mr. Mone and Mr. McCulloch were brought before the Sheriff Court at Lanark this morning on a charge of murder. They were committed for further examination and sent to Barlinnie Prison.

These are the main facts as so far known to me. I am already pursuing my own immediate inquiries to satisfy myself that the incident does not reveal any obvious security deficiency that should be dealt with at once, but the House will know that the security record of the State Hospital has been a good one. In view of the nature of the incident, however, it is my intention to set up as soon as possible an independent inquiry into the circumstances in which the escape was possible and to report on any additional measures that might be taken in the interests of security.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation of the prompt, brave and effective action taken by the police and of their ready co-operation with the hospital. I should also like to pay tribute to the constructive and devoted work done by the hospital staff in the care of patients, often in circumstances of the utmost difficulty.

text copied from http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1976/dec/01/carstairs-state-mental-hospital-incident

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