Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and abuse. Reader discretion is advised.
On July 14, 1978, Brenda Page‘s ex-husband, Christopher Harrisson, murdered her in Aberdeen. The victim was found dead on her bed, after which Harrisson was arrested and interrogated by the police. However, he was let go because of an insufficient amount of evidence. The killer remained unidentified until 2015, 37 years after the murder, when the case was reopened and evidence was cross-checked.
On the night she died, Brenda Page was violently beaten to death with a heavy object found at home. A blunt instrument was used to strike her on her face and head more than 20 times. Brutal wounds and scars were visible on her hands and wrists as well. She was beaten with a chisel-like object and died from blood inhalation, the Daily Mail reported.
Authorities found semen on a duvet at Brenda Page’s flat in Allan Street. Although Harrisson claimed he never had intercourse with his ex-wife in the Allan Street apartment, forensic investigation revealed that the semen was 590 times more likely to belong to Page’s ex-husband Harrisson than any other male. Brenda’s killer was believed to have entered her home through the bedroom window. A recent investigation matched tiny flakes of paint found at the window with the paint in Harrisson’s car.
On March 27, 2020, he was formally questioned by authorities and asserted his innocence. He was charged with Brenda Page’s murder but remained on bail until 2023. After a 10-day trial, Christopher Harrisson, aged 82, was found guilty of Brenda Page’s murder in March 2023. He was sentenced to life in jail and is required to serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars before he has an opportunity for parole.
Who was Brenda Page and what happened to her?
According to The Scotsman, Dr Brenda Page was a genetic scientist at the University of Aberdeen. She was from East Anglia and met Christopher Harrisson when she was studying at the University of Glasgow. Harrisson was a Cambridge graduate, and the couple got married in 1972. They moved to Nort-East Scotland after Page took a prominent position in the genetics department at the University of Aberdeen, and Harrisson took up a research post there.
Immediate investigation after Brenda Page’s murder revealed that she had an unhappy marriage with Harrisson. According to BBC, Page was afraid of her husband during the years of her marriage to him. On more than one occasion, the domestic abuse led to Brenda’s hospitalization. The couple lived apart for almost two years before they officially divorced in 1977 when she described him as “aggressive, threatening and violent.”
Brenda Page also reportedly took legal action to restrict Christopher Harrisson from seeing her. His behavior also led to him being banned from university grounds. She began living in a flat she purchased on Allan Street and soon started to face financial struggles. Page reportedly started to lead a double life as an escort to support herself, according to The Scotsman.
Murder Trial: The Killing of Dr Brenda Page is a two-part documentary series that revolves around the murder of the Aberdeen scientist. It will majorly focus on the courtroom proceedings that led to Christopher Harrisson’s conviction and the conclusion to a decades-old cold case. The first part of the documentary aired on BBC Two on January 24, 2024, and the second part will air on January 25, 2024. Both parts are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
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