Connected to newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch's family, Muriel McKay was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1969
Muriel McKay, the wife of Rupert Murdoch’s deputy, was mistaken for Murdoch’s actual wife and kidnapped in 1969
Muriel’s body has never been recovered but brothers Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein were later convicted of her kidnapping and murder. Arthur died behind bars in 2009, and, after his 1990 prison release, Nizamodeen was deported to Trinidad and Tobago.
More than 50 years after Muriel’s presumed murder, Muriel’s daughter traveled to the island nation to meet Nizamodeen face-to-face.
Mistaken for newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch’s wife, Muriel McKay was dragged from her London home, tossed into the back of a beat-up Volvo and held for a £1m ransom at a Hertfordshire farm in December 1969.
Her family never saw her again.
But last weekend, Muriel’s daughter – Dianne McKay, now 83, and grandson, Mark Randolph Dyer, 59, who was just 6 at the time of the abduction – traveled to the Caribbean and met with one of her convicted killers, the BBC, the Times of London and Sky News report.
In greeting, Dianne kissed both cheeks of Nizamodeen Hosein, saying to her mother’s killer, per Sky News: “I came all this way to see you.”
"Thank you,” Nizamodeen replied per the outlet. “God bless you. It's good to see you.” Then he kissed her cheek.
Describing the long-awaited meet-up between the two, Mark told the BBC: “It was like he'd met his oldest friend.”
Muriel, then 55, was married to Alick McKay, a newspaper executive who served as Mudoch’s deputy. Per Sky News, at the time of her kidnapping, Murdoch had recently purchased London’s The Sun Newspaper.
Muriel’s body has never been recovered but brothers Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein were later convicted of her kidnapping and murder, the three outlets reported.
After 20 years behind bars, Nizamodeen was deported to Trinidad and Tobago in 1990, per Sky News. Serving a life sentence, Arthur died behind bars in 2009.
At the weekend meeting, Nizamodeen told Dianne and Mark that shortly after the kidnapping the brothers realized that Muriel was not Murdoch’s then-wife, Anna Murdoch Mann, Sky News reported.
But the brothers kept Muriel hostage at the farmhouse anyway, per Sky News.
The Saturday meetup was the first time that Dianne had seen Nizamodeen since his Old Bailey trial in 1970, per the outlet.
Muriel’s family never gave up looking for her body.
Two years ago, Scotland Yard detectives searched the farmhouse area for her remains, but found nothing, per Sky News.
At the weekend gathering, the family brought photographs of the land – dating to 1969 as well as present day – to try to jog the memory of now 76-year-old Nizamodeen.
“I don't need a photograph to remind me,” Sky News reported him saying. He added: “Two feet from the hedge, that's where the body is.”
Nizamodeen’s story has changed over the years, but per Sky News, in emails and video calls with Muriel’s daughter, he claimed that the brothers did not kill Muriel.
Rather, he told her per the outlet that Muriel had been distressed watching a TV news report about her kidnapping and collapsed while watching her daughter pleading for information about her disappearance.
“I panicked,” Sky News reported Nizamodeen saying of what he described as Muriel’s natural death. He said he later carried her limp body behind a barn for burial.
Current farmland owner Ian de Burgh Marsh says the family cannot go on his property to search for her body without express police permission, per Sky News.
Per the outlet, police said that there is not enough new information about Muriel’s whereabouts to merit a search warrant.
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