The former boss of an escort agency revealed that a scientist who worked there secretly feared for her life before being killed.
William Austin broke his silence 37 years after Brenda Page’s murder, and just weeks after her appearance, police were re-examining her death.
The 32-year-old genetics specialist was found in the bedroom of her home on July 14, 1978, after she failed to show up to work at the research lab she ran at the University of Aberdeen.
Brenda secretly worked part-time at the Capital Escort agency which provided dinner mates for wealthy businessmen.
Austin, 88, from Edinburgh, said: âI had only been to see her a few days before. We had dinner together and she seemed to be doing well.
âBut she said she was scared. I told the police at the time.
“All I can say is that she was concerned for her safety.”
Brenda had divorced her husband, Dr Christopher Harrisson – known as Kit – the previous year and had taken a court ruling against him.
The interim ban stated that Harrisson had been aggressive, violent and threatening during their marriage, and around the day of their divorce in October 1977, he had gone to his apartment in Allan Street, Aberdeen, and threatened his life. .
Harrisson was questioned by police in the weeks following Brenda’s death, but has been ruled out as a suspect.
It is believed that he now lives in Holland.
In the past, Harrisson has refused to answer questions about Brenda’s murder.
After his death, he issued a statement expressing his “sincere and sincere grief” at his loss.
Austin said, âBrenda was a very smart woman and hadn’t worked for us very long.
âShe was a well-behaved girl, not at all what you might call a ‘cheap’ girl.
âShe was a learned and sophisticated woman. I think she just wanted to earn some extra money.
The scientist was on escort dates with two wealthy businessmen the night of her murder and didn’t get home until 2:30 a.m. The two men were then excluded from the murder investigation.
Austin admitted, âIt was a very special arrangement we had for that night.
âPeople have called me from their motor cars, a phone in the car was quite a thing at the time.
âThey arranged to meet her at a hotel I named. I used to meet clients but if they were in Aberdeen I couldn’t always do so as I lived in Edinburgh.
Brenda’s murder is currently the subject of a new investigation at the direction of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland.
It is hoped that technological advances, especially in the field of DNA, could unveil new evidence.
Austin added, âIt was all very sad and bad publicity. I think everyone took it very badly. It was a terrible situation and it would be good if it were resolved.
Announcing the new investigation last month, the Lord Advocate urged anyone with information to come forward.
He said: âThe further investigation into this case will be carried out by the Police Scotland North Main Investigation Team, led by Detective Superintendent Malcolm Stewart under the leadership of the Cold Affairs Unit.
“We are continually reviewing unsolved homicides and I have decided this is a case that should be re-investigated.”