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Journalist tells of key role in ‘Wind in the Willows’ murder investigation

A journalist who was the last person to speak to an author before his death has revealed she “felt like a suspect” in the days after his murder.

Heather Greenaway, who works as a features writer for Glasgow’s Sunday Mail, has opened up about her involvement in the investigation into Adrian Greenwood’s death, in a case which has become known as the ‘Wind in the Willows’ murder.

Mr Greenwood, 42, was tortured and stabbed to death by Michael Danaher, who attacked him when he refused to hand over his £50,000 edition of the classic children’s book.

On the day of his death, 6 April last year, Mr Greenwood missed a phone call from Heather, who had previously arranged to interview him about his biography of Victorian general Colin Campbell.

Victim Adrian Greenwood, left, and journalist Heather Greenaway

Victim Adrian Greenwood, left, and journalist Heather Greenaway

At 11.56am, Heather received an email from her interviewee apologising for missing the call and saying he would phone her at 12pm the following day.

In a piece on the Daily Record’s website, Heather wrote: “I thought nothing more about it until I opened the paper a few days later and read about his horrific death. I was so shocked. He had emailed me the day he died.

“It wasn’t long before Thames Valley police were on the phone looking to speak to me about my relationship with Adrian. By this stage, I was back in Northern Ireland visiting my mum.

“For a while, I felt like a suspect as, to someone who doesn’t understand the variety of our work, it looked like I had phoned the victim and then fled to Ulster after his death. After being questioned several times over the phone, the police came to interview me and take a statement.

“It took two hours and they left with copies of the correspondence I’d had with Adrian. It soon became clear my emails were a vital part of establishing a timeline for his murder.”

Further investigations led to a search of Danaher’s flat, where police uncovered a spreadsheet containing targets for theft, robbery and ransom demands which included model Kate Moss and author Jeffrey Archer.

Further investigation revealed the heavily indebted killer had also searched online for the homes of Simon Cowell and TV presenter Michael Parkinson.

In October, Danaher was found guilty of murder at Oxford Crown Court and sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in jail.

The case is now the focus of a Channel 4 documentary – Catching A Killer: The Wind In The Willows Murder – which aired last week and is available on demand.

Heather added: “Although as a journalist you write about murders, you never think you’ll inadvertently become caught up in one.

“My heart goes out to Adrian’s family and I hope they take some comfort in the legacy he has left behind through his writing.”