Cold-case cops launch new hunt for Scots dad’s brutal killers

  • Battered body of 33-year-old found in boot of burned-out car in West Germany in 1983 
  • Much-loved father of two had been on work trip when he went missing 

The investigation into the murder of a Scots father-of-two during a work trip to Germany 40 years ago is to be reopened.

Colin Adamson was found in the boot of a burnt-out car and his killer has never been brought to justice.

The 33-year-old, who lived in Aberchirder, Banffshire, with his wife and two children suffered blunt force trauma to his head before he was bundled into the car and it was set alight.

Colin Adamson pictured right with his son Evan and daughter Gillian. The Scottish Cold Case Unit based at Glasgow Caledonian University are investigating the murder of Colin, 33, in 1983 in Celle, West Germany

Now the Scottish Cold Case Unit, set up by Glasgow Caledonian University in 2021, is reviewing the evidence as part of an international effort involving universities and police forces.

The International Cold Case Analysis Project (ICCAP) will see 12 criminology students from the university, along with five other teams, review the original inquiry.

Mr Adamson’s son Evan, who was just six when his father was murdered, hopes it will help shed more light on what happened on December 18, 1983. 

He said: ‘It feels a bit surreal after all this time, but it’s obviously good news there are going to be fresh eyes on this case.

‘I’ve been looking into the death of my dad for many years and, even at this stage, it’s possible the person or people responsible for his murder could still be caught.

‘We have seen recently that other cases, including the murder of Renee MacRae [and her son Andrew] in 1976, have been solved even though they happened decades ago.’

The town of Celle, West Germany

The town of Celle, West Germany

Evan Adamson whose father Colin Adamson was found in a car boot in woods near the town of Celle days before he was due home for Christmas - his killer was never found.Details of the case are being examined by the Scottish Cold Case Unit based at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).It is part of an international cold case project involving a number of universities and police forces.

Evan Adamson whose father Colin Adamson, 33, from Aberdeenshire was found dead

Mr Adamson, who worked in the oil and gas industry, had been staying at a hotel in Celle, around 30 miles from Hanover.

Two men were questioned and eliminated from the original inquiry and there have been no further leads. 

It happened just days before Mr Adamson was due to return to wife Babs, Evan and his sister Gillian, then two.

Maureen Taylor, co-director of the Scottish Cold Case Unit, and operations director at Locate International, which helped to set up ICCAP, said: ‘The students are given more skills as cold case investigators but most importantly for the families involved it is another opportunity for these cases to be reviewed.’