Confession of man may solve one of Britain's biggest mysteries

Confession of man behind one of Britain’s biggest mysteries may finally solve 51-year-old murder

  • Muriel McKay was kidnapped from Wimbledon in December 1969 and murdered
  • Taken after she was mistaken for the wife, 25, of media tycoon Richard Murdoch
  • Brothers Nizamodeen, Arthur Hosein were convicted but body never recovered
  • Nizamodeen has told the family’s lawyer where he buried the body, raising hope
  • He also claimed McKay died of a heart attack while watching news of her kidnap

The confession of a man behind one of Britain’s biggest mysteries may have finally solved a murder that happened 51 years ago. 

Muriel McKay was kidnapped from her Wimbledon home on December 29, 1969 after she was mistaken for Anna Murdoch, the 25-year-old wife of media tycoon Rupert, and later died. 

Brothers Nizamodeen and Arthur Hosein were convicted of her murder though police never recovered McKay’s body. 

But Nizmodeen, 75, has now revealed the site where McKay was buried to a lawyer representing her family putting police under pressure to excavate the site in a bid to find her remains.  

He also claimed McKay died from a heart attack while watching a news report of her kidnapping two days after the 40-day ransom ordeal began.

He made the confession after being tracked down in Trinidad by documentary makers covering the story in August this year, despite maintaining his innocence. 

Muriel McKay was kidnapped from her Wimbledon home on December 29, 1969 after she was mistaken for Anna Murdoch, the 25-year-old wife of media tycoon Rupert, and later died

Nizamodeen (right and Arthur Hosein (left) were convicted of her murder though police never recovered McKay’s body. Nizmodeen, 75, has now revealed the site where McKay was buried to a lawyer representing her family

The pair claimed they were innocent but Arthur’s fingerprints were found on the ransom notes and a notebook filled with the same paper that Muriel’s letters were written on were discovered at the site.  

Nizmodeen told Matthew Gayle, a British barrister in Trinidad hired by the family, that he wanted ‘closure’ before he died and so would reveal the location of McKay’s body. 

He said: ‘At the farmhouse there’s a wooden gate, there’s a few wooden gates, it has barn beside, barn beside, and ten foot forward, ten foot this side [left], the body’s somewhere around there. 

‘Next to the barbed wire fence, about three foot [from the fence].’ 

Muriel was kidnapped after the brothers tailed a chauffeured Rolls Royce belonging to Murdoch that was on loan to her husband Alick McKay.  

She was abducted in the brothers’ Volvo and taken to Rooks Farm, where they lived with Arthur’s wife and children, who were on holiday at the time. 

Newspaper executive  McKay returned home to find the telephone ripped off the wall, the contents of his wife’s handbag strewn over the hall. 

Muriel McKay’s family (pictured in January 1970) are pressuring the police to excavate the farmhouse where she is thought to been buried in a bid to find her remains

He later received a call from a man demanding £1 million — equivalent to £20 million today — if Muriel was to be returned alive, sparking the UK’s first high-profile, kidnap-for-ransom case.     

Over the 40-day ordeal the brothers, who claimed to be a mafia group called M3, sent three letters and made 18 further calls demanding the money. 

They also sent McKay’s husband five letters allegedly written by Muriel, including one in which she said she was cold and blindfolded, as proof of life. 

Two attempts by police to deliver fake notes to the kidnappers failed but the second try led officers to Rook’s Farm, where Muriel was taken by the brothers. 

Nizmodeen told the lawyer he was the only person who buried McKay, refusing to implicate his brother Arthur who was also convicted for her murder. 

He also protested he had not killed McKay, maintaining instead that she had collapsed and later died from a heart attack while sitting downstairs in the farmhouse. 

‘This will forever haunt me for the rest of my days,’ Nizmodeen said, adding he had fed ‘fried rice’ to McKay after kidnapping her. His brother Arthur died in prison in 2009. 

Nizmodeen Hosein protested he had not killed McKay, maintaining instead that she had collapsed and later died from a heart attack while sitting downstairs in the farmhouse (pictured)

Nizmodeen also agreed to talk to Muriel’s sister Dianne, 81, in a video call.   

She said: ‘I was dreading speaking with him. At first I wrote him a letter and I couldn’t do it, I felt physically ill. Since then I’ve got more into it and eventually I was able to front him up on a Zoom call. 

‘He told me he wanted closure before he met his maker. I felt utter relief when he said she’s buried at the farm.

‘I’ve just thought about it so much over the years. For years I had terrible dreams of them throwing my mother in the sea.

‘We haven’t had a good Christmas since it happened. To me it’s a horrible time, it’s the anniversary of it happening and New Year I find particularly upsetting. We always went abroad at Christmas so we could avoid the issue.

Dianne added: ‘It’s always there in the back of your mind somewhere. It makes you more anxious — I lock the doors and moved abroad to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, I retreated to a very isolated place.

‘You didn’t know whether to cry, or to accept, it was a very confusing emotion. You cannot grieve, you cannot accept, because there was no body…

‘When he told us those details, he said where it was, how to get there, how many steps, it was quite a lot of detail and I thought, “My God, he’s telling the truth, he can’t be making this up”.’ 

Dianne said the revelation gave her ‘a sense of comfort, just to think she was buried somewhere’ especially as ‘there was so much horrible speculation about being fed to pigs.’

She said she was ‘desperately keen to find [Muriel’s] body’ and that if remains were found she and her siblings would have to decide what to do with them. 

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