On average, every three days, a woman is killed by a man in the UK.
One every 72 hours.
Every third day in the Month of May 2021, I or one of the contributors or co-editors to this website will be telling the story of a woman killed by a man and using the hashtag on Twitter #EveryThreeDays to remember them. We are doing this because we feel that the impetus of the death of Sarah Everard is being lost, – we believe womens voices need to be heard every three days.
My thanks to Sara (@runninglate101, a Twitter follower) for the poignant #EveryThreeDays campaign name.
Today, I will remember Suzanne Pilley, a thirty-eight-year-old bookkeeper who lived and worked in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Suzanne disappeared on the 4th of May in 2010 whilst on the way to her job at Infrastructure Managers Ltd and was a reliable, hard-working employee.
It was not until the 18th of May that the police decided to treat Suzanne’s disappearance as a murder enquiry, but the initial leads came to nothing. Edinburgh police then requested help from South Yorkshire police, who operated with dogs trained to find lost persons and human remains.
The vast majority of murders are carried out by people known to the victim, and in the course of their enquires, they interviewed and searched a former lovers residence and car, belonging to David Gilroy. The police immediately noticed that the boot of his car was remarkably clean with a strong cleaning agent smell – however that did not deter the dogs who confirmed Suzanne had indeed travelled in the boot of Gilroy’s car.
The police immediately impounded the car and found vegetation on the underside of the car consistent with that in the Forest of Argyle located some two hours travelling time from Edinburgh. Gilroy was unable to explain his movements on the day of Suzanne’s disappearance or the fact that police dogs had identified Suzanne had travelled in the boot of his car. Nor could he explain why vegetation from the Forest of Argyle was on his car.
At that point, Gilroy was charged with Suzanne’s murder.
Evidence was given at Gilroy’s trial that Suzanne had previously lived with him in a very rocky “on-off” relationship. He deployed typical stalking tactics of hacking into Suzanne’s email accounts and often text her up to fifty times a day.
I can not imagine the stress that Suzanne encountered in the days leading up to her death.
Gilroy was found guilty of her murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison but refused to admit his guilt or where Suzanne was buried, though police are convinced her body lies somewhere within the Forest of Argyle.
This has led to considerable distress for Suzanne’s family, and on the 4th of May 2020, ten years after Suzanne’s death, they reached out asking for help to find her body. Understandably they wanted to lay her to rest and say a proper goodbye. The media, including the BBC, covered the families appeals, but sadly no new information was forthcoming.
To date – Suzanne’s body has never been found.
And her family still mourn.
Authored by Steph