Muriel McKay

The Kidnapping of Muriel McKay

Below, are public details of the case, and recounts by the McKay family, from the time Muriel McKay was taken from her home in Wimbledon, London, in 1969.

Dec 29th, 1969
The Kidnapping
  1. Alick McKay is driven home by his chauffeur in a blue Rolls Royce (a car borrowed to him by his boss, Rupert Murdoch, whilst away on holiday)
    WHAT WE KNOW: The kidnappers mistook Muriel McKay for Anna Murdoch (Ruppert Murdoch's wife), as Alick McKay was driving Rupert Murdoch's blue Rolls Royce.
  2. Alick McKay finds himself outside his front door at approximately 7:45 PM
  3. Noticing that the door locks are broken, Alick McKay enters the property.
    WHAT WE KNOW: The kidnappers pulled into the driveway behind Muriel McKay, and there was a struggle for her to lock them out. Yet, the kidnappers obtained access and forced Muriel Mckay to the ground.
  4. The lights are still on, the contents of his wife's handbag are scattered across the floor, and the phone line is dismantled from the wall.
    WHAT WE KNOW: The kidnappers removed jewellery from the house, searching both the house and Muriel McKay's handbag.
  5. An 18-inch rusty billhook (a machete-like garden tool) is also found on the floor.
  6. Muriel McKay is nowhere to be found in the house or the garden, and her Ford Capri is still parked in the garage. Alick McKay immediately then calls the police who arrive at the residence within ten minutes of the call.
    WHAT WE KNOW NOW: Muriel McKay was forced under duress to go with the kidnappers into their car.
Dec 30th, 1969
The Ransom
The McKay family.
  1. Just 6 hours after the initial discovery that Muriel McKay is nowhere to be found, and police still present at the McKay residence, the phone rings at 1 AM on the 30th of December.
  2. An unknown male introduces himself as an American mafia group called M3. Mentioning that they tried to kidnap Rupert Murdoch's wife, however, instead, they kidnapped Muriel McKay — who is equally as valuable to them for ransom.
  3. The demand they set is for £1,000,000 GBP within 1 full day, or else they will murder Muriel McKay.
  4. The case is officially upgraded from a suspected burglary and missing person enquiry to an abduction case.
  5. With now a large presence of police, knocking door to door, a neighbour mentions spotting a muddy blue Volvo earlier throughout the day of the kidnapping — giving Scotland Yard a lead.
  6. The police manage to trace the ransom call to Bell Common, in Epping (approx 32 miles away from Wimbledon).
  7. Another phone call is made by the kidnappers, mentioning that Alick McKay will soon receive a letter from his wife, as proof of life — as well as probing Alick McKay for the money.
Dec 31st, 1969
The Ransom
  1. A letter arrives at the McKay residence with a postmark from Tottenham (approx 19 miles away from Wimbledon) written by Muriel McKay — instructing Alick McKay to not inform the police.
  2. The letter is examined by handwriting specialists at Scotland Yard, as this is a potential proof of life.
  3. This letter was also leaked to the press, causing all sorts of fake news, fake sightings and therefore false hope for the McKay family.
    WHAT WE KNOW NOW: The letter is believed to have been leaked by someone at Scotland Yard.
  4. There are no further communications from the kidnappers, nor any instructions for the ransom to commence on the day the kidnappers originally demanded.
  5. The McKay family appeared on television, pleading for help and spreading coverage of the case, in order to bring back Muriel McKay home safely.
  6. The McKay family receive a call from who they believe is Liley Mohammed, Nizamodeens’ girlfriend. Dianne McKay picks up the phone and hears the lady frantically say: "She’s dead, she’s dead". The phone call then hangs up.
    WHAT WE KNOW NOW: Liley Mohammed was a former nurse.
7th January, 1970
The Ransom
  1. After a week of no communication from the kidnappers, another letter is sent to the McKay residence, written by Muriel McKay. The letter states that she is in bad health and kept in bad condition — urging her husband Alick McKay to gather the money requested by the kidnappers soon.
  2. The police realise that the letter refers to the television interview her family did just 2-days after the kidnapping as if it was yesterday, and that a group called M3 will be in touch — however, they already made contact in the initial hours of the kidnapping.
  3. This letter is not confidently acknowledged as proof of life, given the timing.
30th January, 1970
The Payment
  1. Just over a month after the kidnapping, the kidnappers get in touch with the McKay residence, demanding the money in 2-lots of £500,000.
  2. The kidnappers require the money to be in £5 notes. Therefore, 2 suitcases of fake £5 notes are assembled by Scotland Yard.
  3. Alick McKay puts his own real money along the top of each bag, just to be sure that the kidnappers will think it's real.
  4. The police devise a plan to go undercover as Alick McKay in Rupert Murdoch's blue Rolls Royce.
1st Feburary, 1970
The Payment
  1. The kidnappers call the McKay residence, demanding Alick McKay to drive to a series of red telephone boxes across the A10, towards High Cross.
  2. Hundreds of officers undercover follow the blue Rolls Royce, as backup.
  3. The 2 suitcases of £500,000 each are left at an instructed location within a village called Dane End.
  4. The kidnappers never show up to take the money. However, one thing that stood out was the same dirty blue Volvo from the McKay neighbour's witness report, driving past the location of the drop-off.
  5. Scotland Yard managed to find the details of the car belonging to a Mrs Hosein of Rook's Farm. According to a recent census at the time, she lived with her husband, 2 children and brother in-law. Scotland Yard did nothing with this information, and was filed away.
    WHAT WE KNOW NOW: Mrs Hosein's husband and brother in-law are the kidnappers.
6th February, 1970
The Payment
  1. The kidnappers had spotted the previous drop-off attempt's police presence.
  2. Instead, they now required both Alick McKay and his daughter Dianne McKay to come to the second attempt alone.
  3. At 3 PM, the blue Rolls Royce leaves Wimbledon, heading to Church Street in Tottenham, with disguised officers acting as Alick McKay and Dianne McKay — along with one more in the boot of the car as backup.
  4. They are instructed to answer the phone box on the street, that rings shortly after arriving, and to wait for further instructions.
  5. At 4 PM, another call is made, requesting Alick McKay and Dianne McKay to drive to another phone box in Bethnal Green.
  6. At 6 PM, the phone box rings, and they are instructed to take the London Underground Train from Bethnal Green to Epping, to another phone box.
  7. Once in Epping, the phone box rings again, requesting that Alick McKay and Dianne McKay take a taxi to a garage in Bishop's Stortford, where they are to deposit the suitcases into a van parked outside.
  8. The surveillance team notices an alone driver in a dirty blue Volvo, drive past the location a few times.
  9. The car returns, however, now with another passenger present in the car too. Parking up near the bags — then hastefully driving off.
  10. Scotland Yard notes the number plate, as well as corresponding it with their previous files — matching the car to Mrs Hosein.
  11. A search warrant is drafted, ready for the next day.
7th February, 1970
The Arrest
The farm.
  1. At 8 AM, approx two dozen Scotland Yard officers and local police head to Rook's Farm.
  2. Arthur Hosein and Nizamodeen Hosein are arrested, however, Muriel McKay is not to be found.
  3. Both brothers are interviewed and processed for prints — and Arthur's prints are a match for an item left behind at the McKay residence at the time of the kidnapping, as well as on the letters sent to the residence.
10th February, 1970
The Arrest
  1. Detectives at Scotland Yard begin to worry that the brothers have murdered Muriel McKay.
  2. Given the evidence, both brothers are charged with the kidnapping and murder of Muriel McKay.
  3. The brothers are then sent to Wimbledon Magistrates Court, where they are remanded for 7 months until trial.
14th September, 1970
The Trial
The McKay family.
  1. The trial begins at the Old Bailey and is heard by the Attorney General at the time.
  2. Both brothers start by entering into a not-guilty plea, blaming each other.
  3. Nizamodeen Hosein admits that he stalked Rupert Murdoch's car for 7 weeks, before actioning their plan to kidnap Rupert Murdoch's wife.
  4. Even without the body, the Jury determines they have enough evidence to help deliberate that the brothers are guilty on all charges.
  5. The judge sentences both brothers to life in prison, as well as further decades of charges.
Arthur Hosein
  1. Over many years, Arthur Hosein made attempts to appeal his sentence.
  2. After many attempts to take his own life, he was transferred to a high-security psychiatric hospital.
  3. Arthur Hosein passed away in 2009.
Nizamodeen Hosein
  1. Nizamodeen Hosein was relased in 1990, and deported back to Trinadad.
  2. He still denied the murder of Muriel McKay.