Iain Scoular is a convicted Scottish double murderer who was controversially released in 2003 after serving out his prison sentence.


Not a lot of details about Scoular's life have been publicized. Though he was born sometime around 1958 and came from a good family, he did poorly in school and was a loner and sometimes prone to depression. As an adult, he worked as a fork-lift truck driver. Even when he was in his twenties, when he was still living with his parents, his mother was apparently quite overbearing; if he was out too late, she would get into her car and go out to look for him. On the night of November 31, 1982, Scoular attacked Catherine McChord, a 36-year-old taxi driver, stabbed her to death and stuffed her body into the trunk of her car. Afterwards, he took a cigarette lighter, an inhaler and her car keys from her purse and laid them in a neat line in the back seat. Because McChord had served time in prison for fraud, the police incorrectly suspected that she may have been killed due to some connection to organized crime. Two months later, Scoular attacked Elizabeth Walton, 48, on the grounds of her daughter's school. She was killed more brutally than McChord; Scoular beat and kicked her, stripped her, strangled her to death and mutilated her corpse. Afterwards, he tied her clothes into neat knots and laid them in a straight line next to her body.

Apparently in an attempt to throw the authorities off his track, Scoular approached them and lied about having seen a strange man near the crime scene before the time of the murder, the approximate time of the murder. Fortunately, this became his downfall. When witnesses placed him at the scene at that time and Scoular's history became known to the police, they started investigating him as well. During questioning, he claimed to have been home by 11:00 p.m., the time of the murder. When his mother, who was concerned about the police's interest in her son, talked to the police, she revealed that he didn't come home until 1:00 a.m., two hours after the murder. As witnesses placing Scoular at the crime scene appeared, he continued changing his story. When Scoular's mother brought up the murder of Catherine McChord to the police, they began comparing the cases and realized they were linked. In addition to Scoular's signature, both murders were committed by someone left-handed, which he was, and both were committed not far from his home. The police's suspicions were only strengthened when they learned that Scoular had also lied to his fiancée about his whereabouts at the time of McChord's murder and witnesses linking him to that crime as well turned up. When hairs from McChord's jacket were found on a pair of Scoular's pants, he was charged with both murders. The trial began in May of 1983 and lasted only two weeks. Scoular showed no physical reaction to what was said during it, not even when the psychiatrists called a him psychopath, except for when they said he was also sexually impotent. Ultimately, Scoular was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 2003, he was released, to the public's outrage, and went to live with his widowed sister. He has remained a free man ever since.

Modus Operandi

Both of Scoular's victims were women in their 30s or 40s. He would kill them brutally and violently. The first victim, McChord, was killed by stab wounds to the neck and chest. The second victim, Walton, was kicked, beaten, strangled to death and mutilated. Scoular's signature was his habit of taking the victims' clothes and possessions and laying them in a neat, straight line near their bodies.

Known Victims

  • 1982:
    • September 30-October 1: Catherine McChord, 36 (stabbed through the rear neck and three times in the chest)
    • December 2: Elizabeth Walton, 48 (strangled, beaten and mutilated)

On Criminal Minds

Scoular was mentioned in "Compromising Positions" along with Albert Fish and Andrei Chikatilo as an example of piquerists when it was believed the unsub, who would stab the women he killed, was also a piquerist.