Two weeks after Heather Stacey's head was found in a bag in Edinburgh, a picture of her tangled and turbulent life has begun to emerge.
It emerged yesterday that Ms Stacey, a mother of four, had previously been the victim of a vicious knife attack by her jealous husband. She was left seriously scarred on her face after Michael Williamson, the father of two of her children, slashed her with a utility knife for having an affair.
Detective Superintendent Allan Jones, who is leading the investigation for Lothian and Borders Police, said that Ms Stacey had been described to police as a “very aimable and pleasant lady”. He also admitted that she had lived a “pretty torrid” life.
The attack came while Ms Stacey and Williamson, who had two children, Danielle, now 22, and Mark, 25, lived in Dingwall, in Ross-shire, in 1995. During the subequent trial at Dingwall Sheriff Court, Williamson, a former private in the Queen's Own Highlanders, claimed that his wife had taunted him about his sexual inadequacies. He also told the court that she had called out another man's name while they were in bed. After he was jailed for 18 months, the couple divorced in 1999. Ms Stacey went on to have two more children with Douglas Woolard, a BT engineer, with whom she lived in Lasswade in Midlothian. He is thought to have retained custody of the youngsters when the couple later separated, with Ms Stacey moving to Edinburgh.
Woman's head may have been dumped days ago
Her family said yesterday they were too upset to discuss her death. Patrick McNally, Ms Stacey's stepfather, who lives in Loanhead, said: “This is a terrible time for the family. Her mother died a few months ago. I can't bear to talk about it, especially for the sake of Heather's children.”
Mr Woolard has refused to comment on his ex-partner, but his former wife Helen acknowledged Ms Stacey's troubles. She said: “I knew she was a girl with problems and had gone off the rails, but nobody deserves that.”
Lothian and Borders Police said that Ms Stacey's ex-husband had not been interviewed.
The details came as police searches continued in locations across the capital. Detectives believe that Ms Stacey died as long ago as November 2007, raising questions about why she had not been reported missing. Her badly decomposed head was found in a blue Ikea bag by a member of the public at the side of a footpath at Hawthornvale, in Edinburgh, on Hogmanay.
Further remains were later found at the same site and more body parts have been unearthed at two separate locations less than a mile away in the Granton area of city. A flat at Royston Mains Place, where Ms Stacey is thought to have lived, is being searched.
Ms Stacey's identification was revealed last Friday, after Alan Cameron, 54, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in connection with the discovery. He has been charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice and breach of the peace.
Is it me or are headless murders becoming more common?:raging: