Shocking inquest evidence sheds light on bizarre double death in Rowley Regis

5:19pm Monday 31st March 2014

SHOCKING evidence from beyond the grave revealed the bizarre reason for a tragic double death in Rowley Regis.

Recluse Ken McRae killed his wife Jayne and left her decomposing body in bed for several days before he took his own life at their home.

A note signed by Dr McRae was found by police who broke into the property, on Bryan Budd Close, told how an outbreak of Japanese knotweed on a neighbouring golf course was behind the tragedy.

In the note, Dr McRae, a 52-year-old laboratory technician, said: “I believe I wasn’t an evil man until the balance of my mind was disturbed by the fact that there is a patch of Japanese knotweed which has been growing over the boundary fence on Rowley Regis golf course.

“The worry of it migrating onto our garden and subsequently undermining the structure over the next few years with consequent legal battles which we won’t win has led to my growing madness.”

The note went on to describe how Mr McRae feared his house would become worthless if it was affected by the plant.

An inquest at Smethwick Coroners Court heard today (March 31) that Mrs McRae, aged 55, died from a “massive” head injury after being hit by her husband with a perfume bottle.

Dr McRae died from blood loss caused by self-inflicted knife wounds to his wrists and neck.

The note gives a chilling insight into Dr McRae’s state of mind and life behind the couple’s closed doors.

He said: “Jayne and I were a very private couple, we chose to have no real friends, just enjoying each other. But the despair has got so bad that today I have killed her, as I did not want her to be alone without income when I killed myself.”

Detective inspector Derek Packham, from West Midlands Police, told the hearing officers had called at the house after Mr McRae’s work colleagues reported his absence.

After getting no answer cops broke into the property, on July 17 last year, and made the grim discovery of Mrs McRae in a second floor bedroom and Dr McRae on the first floor.

The house, which the detective described as immaculate, was heavily bloodstained. Scenes of crime officers found a large amount of blood in a bathroom and footprints, also in blood, around the first floor.

The couple’s adult adopted son, Mark McRae, was at the hearing but said he could not offer any insights into events before the tragedy because he had not had any contact with his parents for the past ten years.

Senior Black Country coroner Robin Balmain said: “I get the impression Mr McRae was possibly becoming paranoid. It is difficult to understand what was going on in Mr McRae’s mind.”

He concluded Mrs McRae was unlawfully killed and Mr McRae took his own life.


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