Beautiful, dark haired, 20 year old Ann Ballantine was unemployed, but used her free time to contribute to the local community, helping handicapped children and volunteering at a youth charity for disadvantaged local kids. She was a warm hearted and charitable young woman, who wanted to benefit the lives of those in need. According to this article Ann loved children and aspired to have kids of her own one day.
Ann’s mother, Isobel, was only 18 years old when she gave birth to Ann, but describes her first child fondly, commenting on how happy the child was.
Ann was single and was living independently in her own flat on Dalry road. She would visit the family home on a weekly basis, usually with armfuls of laundry. She’d use the washing facilities and sit down and chat with her family before leaving with food and snacks to take back to her flat.
Ann and her boyfriend, a man named Joe Burden, had recently separated on amicable terms, and she had no known enemies in the area. In fact, Anne was a popular young woman who loved heavy metal and would watch bands at the local venues and hang out with bikers around Edinburgh. She was very sociable and was always meeting up with friends in the city.
This is why, when she failed to show up to a pre-planned get-together with a friend just a few days after the 20 year old visited her parents’ home on the 18th of November 1986, her parents were contacted.
The friend alerted them and explained how Ann had failed to show up to the meeting they had arranged, and expressed worry. Her parents called in at their daughter’s apartment but she neglected to answer. They left a note and went home, returning several times to check again and post notes and money through the letter box, encouraging Ann to get in contact.
Ann never did contact them.
When she neglected to show up to the family home for the Christmas holidays as they had arranged they reported her missing on the 26th.
Ann’s friends were interviewed; her flat was searched by police who determined there was no sign of a struggle. There were various items missing from the residence, however, including a sleeveless black leather jacket, a brass lighter with her initials engraved into it, her black shoulder bag, a photo album, a camera and keys. To me these all seem like items you’d take for a day out somewhere, but the photo album throws me off. I feel as though a photo album is something you’d take to a meet up with a friend. I mean it doesn’t say anywhere (as far as I can see) what the content of the album was (for example was it childhood photographs, school pictures, pictures from concerts, pictures of friends?) but maybe she was talking it to show someone she hadn’t seen in a while (For example an old school friend maybe) and wanted to take a stroll down memory lane with the aid of the photo album?
Tragically, Ann Ballantine’s bound and naked body was discovered wrapped in a carpet, floating in the icy water of Union Canal on the 21st of January in 1987. Her hands and feet were bound and she appeared to have been strangled by a ligature and photographs were discovered splayed out nearby.
Due to the state of decomposition, it was estimated that she had been dead for a few weeks and probably kept somewhere else before being callously dumped into the canal. Her body was so badly decayed that police advised the family not to view it. She was finally identified by dental records and a scar. Family friends viewed the body for confirmation to spare Ann’s parents of the pain. Although they were not allowed to see their child one last time they were given a lock of her hair, a memento that they treasure till this day. (source)
Her apartment was only 90 meters away from where her body was discovered.
Apparently Ann kept a diary, which her parents read in search of clues.
One entry read: “There’s somebody knocking at my door, I think I recognize the knock, I think it could be XXX”
In reports her parents insist that they know who their daughter’s killer is, and that they even have a photograph of the two together at a family event. Apparently they aren’t allowed to expose the suspect due to insufficient evidence, but they are adamant that they know who killed their first born.
“He looks pure evil” Isobel commented.
Although advances in DNA have contributed significantly to solving decades old cold cases, the state of decay and the wet conditions Ballantine’s body was found in could render new technologies irrelevant in this case. Investigators may have to turn to other methods to find the killer.
Ann Ballantine never got the chance to marry and have her own children as she dreamed. She never got to go to the Alice Cooper concert she had bought tickets for weeks in advance. The case remains officially unsolved and her killer still walks the streets freely.
If you have any information please do not hesitate to contact the authorities