Glasgow Herald, 26th January 1947
HUMAN REMAINS FOUND IN MILNGAVIE
by Terence Somerville
Chief Crime Reporter
A police investigation into human remains found recently in the gardens of five Children's Homes in Milngavie, belonging to the Good Shepherds Society, which provides homes for twentyfive orphaned or abandoned children has been extended to a further twenty Homes in other parts of the Glasgow area, also the property of the Society; the original find was made by two United States Army non-commissioned officers based in the Maryhill Barracks, who were attempting to discover evidence of their Scottish roots; a chance look into an Anderson air-raid shelter was all it took for the two soldiers to realise that they had discovered something more tangible than the names of their ancestors; Staff Sergeant Tom Mix of California, and Corporal Freddie Fassenfelt from Arizona have given an exclusive interview with The Herald, and described the moment when they realised that something was amiss: "we'd been knocking on doors to ask if anyone had knowledge of the area before the houses were built – we believe that our ancestors were either farmers or farm workers in the area, Mix and Fassenfelt aren't the most common names in Scotland, so we hoped that someone might remember them, or the names might ring a bell, see; we'd stopped for a cigarette and Freddie noticed this corrugated iron roof that looked like the entrance to a tunnel and out of curiosity thought that no-one would mind us just having a peek inside; I always carry a torch and gave it to Freddie and he crawled inside: what a yell he gave and I grabbed him by the pants and dragged him out, he looked like he'd seen a ghost, or encountered a drop bear, or even his Aunt Mariah!" and Corporal Fassenfelt took up the story: "it was like in a Horror Movie - there was this skull kinda grinnin at me! – we've seen some gory sights in the War, but comin face-to-face with a skull in a back yard in Milngavie wasn't somethin I was prepared for, and when I yelped it echoed around in there and boy, was I glad when the Sarge dragged me back out! you could give a Roland for a Babe any day but don't ask me to go back in there! talk about the Curse of the Bambino!" the story was investigated by Detective Chief Inspector Jock Stein from Milngavie Police and he and his officers checked similar Anderson Shelters in four other properties – as well as every other shelter in the area – and in each of the Children's Homes found similar bones and this was repeated in the four Clusters in Glasgow; 125 children living in these twentyfive properties have been taken into care and found temporary homes with Foster Parents across the West of Scotland and the fifty House parents together with fifty Uncles and Aunts who supervise the Clusters have been remanded in custody while the case is investigated; Miss Dolores Bambona, Solicitor, representing the Good Shepherds Society today issued a statement: "the Homes for Orphaned or Abandoned Children cared for by the Society each house five children, with a House Father and House Mother employed to care for them on a day-to-day basis; each Cluster of Five Homes is supervised by five Uncles and five Aunts from the local area; these are volunteers who give their time and energy freely because they each have a desire to provide the children in their care with a stable family home life; the children are devoted to them; the Aunts and Uncles visit the Homes on a rotational basis, for informal chats and to read bed-time stories which are seen as an ideal opportunity to assess each child and discover if there are any problems or 'skeletons in the cupboard'," she said before realising the full impact and tastelessness of the expression, "or issues which may need to be addressed; rest assured, The Society will co-operate with the Police to discover who has violated the good name of The Society by planting these remains on Society properties – whether it is a mean-spirited hoax, or a serious attempt to besmirch The Society, it is hoped that all Society employees and volunteers will quickly be cleared of any involvement and exonerated, allowing the Police to get on with the urgent task of discovering the real culprits!" in answer to the question: "can you think of any reason why someone would target The Good Shepherds' Society in this way?" she said: "tae me, the hale situation seems richt Felliniesque – an mebbe that's jist cause Ah'm an Eyetie, but ma cousin Federico Fellini, wha's a scriptwriter in Italy is goanie mak filums wi strange complicatet plots an ye'll ken whit Ah'm on aboot! – but mark wa wurds: aince this case is fully investigatet, am guessin the Polis wull be able tae retrodict sum auld cases in the Past an fund oot that therr's fowk in High Places wha ken a lot mair'n therr lettin oan – but am sayin nae mair!"