Abducted, stabbed 8 times and left for dead aged 9: Appeal to find woman at Fountain Park bus stop who ‘saved my life’

Kitrina McKenzie
Kitrina McKenzie

A 29-year-old who was abducted, stabbed eight times and left for dead as a little girl is appealing to find a woman who “saved her life” 20 years ago.

Kitrina McKenzie was just nine when she was taken from the street outside her grandmother’s home in Longstone, forced onto a bus and taken to an underground car park at Edinburgh’s Fountain Park leisure complex to endure the terrifying ordeal in broad daylight.

Shockingly, her attacker Darren Cornelius was just 11 years old at the time.

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News nearly 20 years on, Kitrina recalled the horror of the stabbing and aftermath that day when he told her to “stay down there” while fleeing up some metal stairs leading to the car park’s emergency exit – but she managed to crawl up the steps and stagger towards a nearby bus stop.

Kitrina said: “A woman was standing at the bus stop at Fountain Park. She was on the phone and I remember her saying, ‘I need to go, a wee girl needs my help,’ and I told her I had been stabbed and I pulled up my top and then I passed out.”

Continue reading

The day a baying mob of 20,000 razed the ‘Burking house’ in Aberdeen’s bodysnatcher riot

It was a time when the people of Aberdeen lived in terror of bodysnatchers – the grave robbers who would dig up your recently deceased loved ones to be dissected at the hands of anatomists and medical students.

Added in to this febrile atmosphere, 190 years ago, was the national revulsion at Burke and Hare, convicted of murdering 16 people in Edinburgh and selling their corpses to the resurrection men.

Not, you might think, the best time to be making plans to open your own anatomy room in the Granite City – a place where students were already being chased and attacked as “Burkers”.

But, undaunted, famed doctor, Dr Andrew Moir pressed ahead with his vision to teach and show the workings of the human body, opening his Anatomical Theatre in 1831 on St Andrew’s Street, an imposing building with blacked-out windows, where the Sandman Signature Hotel now stands.

Dr Andrew Moir.


A month later, a furious baying mob set it ablaze, wrecked it and almost succeeded in demolishing it in a riot involving possibly as many as 20,000 angry citizens, enraged after a dog dug up human bones behind the grim building.

Dr Moir and his students fled for their lives and the medic was forced to flee the city for a while, reviled by the citizens of Aberdeen. Continue reading

How Scotland’s music scene is surviving COVID-19

A look at the Scottish music scene’s coronavirus response, with Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, Sneaky Pete’s owner Nick Stewart and SMIA’s Robert Kilpatrick

A feeling a lot like Doomsday fell about town last weekend. Up until then it had felt like business as usual, but while Boris Johnson told the public that schools would stay open and sporting events could go ahead, Nicola Sturgeon seemed to confirm on Thursday afternoon what Scottish promoters had feared for weeks – that large gatherings of more than 500 people would be banned in Scotland, starting Monday.

Events that were scheduled that weekend could still go ahead, and at Wee Dub Festival the room was full. That’s not to say there weren’t lingering signs of the coronavirus pandemic – events colleagues opted for the more hygienic elbow bump over hugs, and MC Natty Campbell shared on the mic how nervewracking passing through Edinburgh Airport had been. “It’s scary out there,” he said, “but tonight is about the music.”

“The show must go on” seems to be the operating mantra amongst promoters, though with each passing day that is becoming an ever more daunting task. In Edinburgh, the lack of large venues initially felt like a benefit. Smaller clubs, like the 100-capacity Sneaky Pete’s, could technically still keep their doors open, while nights like Church Edinburgh said that they would cap numbers for their night in the Liquid Rooms (now cancelled) to stay under the 500 limit.

But come Monday, it materialised that Sturgeon’s message was not an outright ban, just strongly-worded advice. In his first daily briefing to the public, Johnson avoided ordering a ban, in favour of discouraging people from communing in clubs, pubs and restaurants, and said that emergency services would no longer be in attendance at large gatherings. It is left to the musicians, promoters, and venues, then, to decide whether to press forward with their events.

Whether these individuals ethically feel that they can keep bringing people together is one thing. On Saturday, EH-FM resident DJ Andrea Montalto announced that a night he was supposed to play in The Jago in Dalston was cancelled. “Due to the lack of measures taken by the British government it’s very important to take responsibility and act in any way to protect the weakest,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “What is happening at the moment in Italy is a warning that we can’t avoid looking at.”

‘Closing venues for a few weeks could be a disaster’

But many who have staked their careers on live music have little other choice. A lot of these events are built by an army of freelancers, who must all now rely on the generosity of their clients to pay for work that might not go ahead. This line of work is already famously hand-to-mouth, and with a rapidly emptying calendar many have found themselves cut off.

Continue reading