Sunderland University graduate reveals how he discovered a family member was a murderer

A former Sunderland university student has told of the moment he discovered one of his family members was a murderer.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 2:22 pm
University of Sunderland graduate Stuart Russell.

Stuart Russell, who graduated in MA Radio in 2018 from the University of Sunderland, was researching his family tree when he found out his great-grandfather’s cousin was a killer.

The 27-year-old came across the shocking discovery when he uncovered a news article about John Welsh, who was an egg dealer in the 1930s.

Welsh had battered his uncle William Forrester to death at The Croft in Leslie, Fife, in 1938, before leaving his body in a coal cellar.

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Images from newspaper clipping at the time of the murder and the arrest of John Welsh.

The 33-year-old killer then went on the run around Scotland and down to Liverpool, managing to avoid police for weeks, before the chase finally ended in Southampton with his arrest.

Stuart, who now works as a producer at BBC Radio Wales, said he found hundreds of news articles during his research which told of the murder and how Welsh managed to evade capture from every police force in the UK for several weeks.

He has now turned the story into a documentary for BBC Radio 3 called ‘The Egg Dealer,’ which is set to be aired on Sunday, September 22.

Stuart said: “It was a shock to find out that my ancestor was a murderer, but through detailed historic research I was able to piece together this bizarre story that was kept secret for over half a century.

Images from newspaper clipping at the time of the murder and the arrest of John Welsh.

“It details John’s struggle with severe mental ill health issues and his dramatic run from the law.

“I think it will prove interesting, especially to people in Leslie, some of whom may have been around at the time.”

Stuart started his broadcasting career at Fife College and went on to take a first class honours and then a Masters at the University of Sunderland.

He has also won multiple awards at the prestigious New York Festival.

‘The Egg Dealer’ is a Soundscape Production and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday, September 22 at 6.45pm.