Five-foot-six and far from robust, 40-year-old Patrick Carraher looked less than intimidating. Yet he was a hardened Glasgow criminal, and many discovered he was not a man to mess with – two of them at the cost of their lives.
In 1938 he was convicted of culpable homicide – the Scottish equivalent of Manslaughter – and jailed for three years. He had stabbed to death a soldier who tried to intervene in a street brawl. On his release he resumed his career as a burglar, teaming-up with his brother-in-law, Daniel Bonnar.
He was always ready for trouble, and was never known to avoid it even if he could. As a Glasgow detective was later to say, “Carraher was like a human time-bomb, set to explode in all directions, but no one could gauge just when. That depended on Carraher. But when the moment came, he was lethal.”
Such a moment arrived on the evening of November 23rd, 1945, when Carraher heard that Bonnar was involved in a fight outside a pub in Glasgows Rottenrow.
Hurrying to join the fray, Carraher bumped into John Gordon, an ex-soldier who had spent the war as a POW after being captured at Dunkirk. But Carraher wasnt one to waste time asking questions. Assuming that Gordon was one of Bonnars attackers, he stabbed him with a razor-sharp chisel, inflicting a four-inch-deep wound behind the left ear.
Gordon was rushed to hospital, where he died within a minute of admission. Carraher was quickly tracked down by the police, and at his trial the court heard that he had frequently boasted about his previous killing. Convicted of Gordons murder, he was hanged at Barlinnie Prison on APRIL 6th, 1946.