Muriel McKay: Family offers landowner £40k to search for body after killer reveals burial spot

ANG Muriel McKay and Mark Dyer. credit PA / ITV News 120124
Muriel McKay was kidnapped and killed in 1969. Her grandson Mark Dyer, right, wants to dig up an area where she is believed to be buried. Credit: PA

The grandson of a woman kidnapped and killed more than 50 years ago says he is frustrated at being refused permission to dig up the area where she is said to be buried.

Muriel McKay, 55, was kidnapped in 1969 as criminals thought she was media mogul Rupert Murdoch's then-wife, and planned to demand a £1m ransom.

More than 50 years later, one of her killers, Nizamodeen Hosein, broke his silence over the murder. He told her family she is buried at Stocking Farm in Hertfordshire, where they held her.

The current landowners allowed Met Police detectives to dig up a small, restricted part of the land in 2022.

Police found nothing, but the family said police had searched the wrong area.

Mrs McKay's grandson, Mark Dyer, has offered £40,000 in return for digging up another spot - but this was turned down by owner Ian de Burgh Marsh.

Mr Dyer told ITV Anglia: "I don't understand Mr Marsh, who owns the house. I understand it's his home, he doesn't want it damaged.

"But when you buy a house, you get inquiries... this guy knew that there had been this crime [and] it had history.

"We're looking to excavate an area which is a vegetable patch."

  • Muriel McKay's grandson: "I can't believe anybody would want to keep my poor grandmother's bones in their back yard'

He added: "I can't believe anybody would want to keep my poor grandmother's bones in their back yard.

"Just being macabre, they must be looking out their windows going, 'Is she there?'"

Mr Dyer said: "My mother is 83 and in great health, but she's lived 53 years with no Christmas, no New Year...

"The last time she saw her mother was 27 December. She wants her back. She wants to give her a burial."

A statement on behalf of landowner Mr de Burgh Marsh said he "very much sympathises with the family and hopes they can find closure over this tragedy".

"Mr Marsh is in regular conversation with the Metropolitan Police over this matter. He has at all times been fully cooperative with their investigation and every time the police have asked for access to his land, he has granted it to them."

Rooks Farm near Stocking Pelham, where Muriel McKay was killed in 1969. Credit: ITV Anglia

Mr Dyer says he is also frustrated that police are not making efforts to search the alleged burial spot.

He told ITV Anglia: "I thought the most difficult thing would be getting the kidnapper to tell me where my grandmother was buried, or hidden.

"But no, it's not been. The most difficult thing has been getting the British police to give my mother the respect and my grandmother the respect she deserves."

The Met Police said it understood "how frustrating and difficult this matter has been for Muriel’s family".

It said an "extensive" search was carried out in March 2022, but nothing was found.

Muriel McKay was mistaken for Rupert Murdoch's wife and kidnapped in 1969. Credit: PA

It continued: "At that time there was no legal power to apply for a search warrant in these circumstances and so the search took place with the consent of the landowner.

"The investigation remains live and we continue to review and assess new information, keeping an open mind to all available options to recover Muriel."

But Mr Dyer said the family has had some closure after killer Hosein - who now lives in Trinidad, aged 75 - finally revealed details of his grandmother's death.

He had also offered Hosein £40,000 for information, but Hosein, who is said to be reformed, refused it.

Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein were convicted of killing and kidnapping Muriel McKay. Credit: Library

Mr Dyer said: "This man lives on seeds, he lives on nothing - handouts. He pushed the money back and said, 'I don't want it.' He was actually quite angry.

"He said, 'This is not about money, this is about closure. This is about Diana having her mother back and mef having closure and being able to, when I die, I I feel like I've done the right thing.'"

Nizamodeen Hosein and his older brother Arthur were jailed for life for kidnapping and murdering Mrs McKay in 1970.

It was one of the first murder convictions without a body being found. But the killers had always maintained their innocence.

Hosein is said to have told the family that Mrs McKay collapsed and died of a heart attack at the Hertfordshire farm where they held her.

She was the Australian wife of Alick McKay, the deputy to media businessman Rupert Murdoch. They mistook her for Murdoch's then-wife Anna.

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