John McCullagh November 30, 2006
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Charles Ashe was out walking his greyhounds as usual early on the morning of Saturday 28th January 1961 when he stumbled upon a single black shoe lying in the middle of the road a few hundred yards beyond Ellen Vale on the Upper Damolly Road.


As one might, he picked it up briefly to examine it before tossing it aside into the nearby hedge.

Carrying on in the direction of Damolly crossroads (where the Damolly and the Upper Damolly roads intersect) he soon came across other, more mystifying articles of clothing: there was a silk scarf in the water channel that runs alongside the road, and another in a ditch; and he found the match of the black shoe, and a pair of brown shoes. Further along the Damolly Road and close to its junction with the Belfast Road he spotted a bicycle abandoned in a field, just the far side of the hedge.

The abandoned bike had also been spotted by farm labourer Bob McCullough who was fitting gates to a field near to the Upper Damolly Road cross-roads. The two men exchanged words and comments on the finds before bidding farewell to one another.

It was about 9.30 am when McCullough left what he was doing and went off for a sledgehammer to complete his task. It was then he came across the other scattered items of women’s clothing, blood-stained and spread all across a field. His heart was filled with dread.

He called to the nearest home to raise the alarm.

Unfortunately it was the home of Mrs Margaret Gamble, who was already very worried as her elder daughter, Pearl, had not yet returned from the dance she had attended the previous evening …

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