Sunday 22 July 2018

Karen Buckley murder: what we know now

Karen Buckley was murdered by Alexander Pacteau (Police Scotland/PA)
Karen Buckley was murdered by Alexander Pacteau (Police Scotland/PA)
Alexander Pacteau
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Alexander Pacteau (21) has pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of Irish student Karen Buckley. We can now reveal what actually occurred that fateful night through to today's plea hearing in Glasgow.


•    11pm - Karen Buckley and Alexander Pacteau and their respective friends separately head to The Sanctuary nightclub on Glasgow’s Dumbarton Road.


•    1am Pacteau leaves the club intending to go home. He changes his mind, goes back to the club and then leaves again. He paces up and down across the road from the club.

•    1am – Karen Buckley leaves the club intending to walk home alone.  She had given her jacket to a friend who broke a zipper on her dress.

•    1.06am-1.18am – Pacteau offers Karen Buckley a lift. She gets into his car only for him to attack and kill her at Kelvin Way. His car is parked there for around 12 minutes. He later drives around the area of Dawsholm Park.

•    2am – Pacteau returns to his flat on Dorchester Avenue. He brings Karen Buckley’s body into the flat, puts it in a bedroom and then goes to sleep.

•    7am – The young woman’s handbag is found at Dawsholm Park near a council bin.

•    8am – Pacteau awakes and uses his mobile phone to check the chemical properties of sodium hydroxide/caustic soda.

•    9.42am – Pacteau goes to buy caustic soda at B&Q.

•    10am – He returns to the flat and removes Karen Buckley’s clothing,  places her body in a bath and submerges it in caustic soda.

•    1pm/2.30pm – Karen’s friends become worried about her and alert Police Scotland.

•    5pm – Pacteau drains caustic soda solution from the tub and brings the body into his bedroom.

•    8.15pm – Pacteau’s flatmate arrives back after a hill-walking expedition with their mother and discovers him cleaning the flat and corridor.

•    8.30pm – Pacteau goes to bed.



•    4.52am  – Pacteau goes to Bridge 27 on the Forth & Clyde canal and dumps the spanner he used to kill Karen.

•    4.52am/6.27am – He travels to Tesco on the Maryhill Road and asks a staff member to recommend cleaning products to remove blood stains from a mattress.

•    6.27am – Pacteau goes to Milngavie Tesco to buy white spirits and a lighter. He then drives to High Craigton Farm, 7km from Glasgow, to burn clothing and blood-stained cleaning gear.

•    8.34am – Pacteau uses his mobile to research storage equipment and purchases a heavy blue 220 litre plastic barrel from Invopac which he collects at 9am.

•    9.38am – He buys more caustic soda and drain unblocking fluid from Poundstretchers.

•    (No Time) – Pacteau wraps mattress and places it in his Ford Focus car.

•    10.27am – He drives to Asda to buy lighter fluid.

•    10.41am – Pacteau drives to High Craigton Farm and burns mattress, duvet, clothes and a suitcase.

•    11.19am/2pm – Karen’s body is placed in the barrel, with parcel tape around her head. The barrel is then filled with 40 litres of caustic soda.

•    2pm – Neighbours see Pacteau struggling to load the heavy blue barrel into his car.

•    2.22pm – Pacteau stops at Asda to buy padlocks and white spirits. He then drives to High Craigton and agrees a £10 fee with the farmer to rent a storage unit for a week.

•    3.41pm Pacteau buys another padlock at Tesco and places the sealed barrel in the shed which is carefully locked.

•     4.16pm – Pacteau drives to Anniesland Car Valet Centre to get his car cleaned.

•    6pm – Police Scotland call to the Dorchester Avenue flat after Alexander Pacteau was identified from CCTV footage outside the nightclub. He tells them: “I was just calling to see you.”

•    (No Time) – Pacteau is questioned at Helen Street police station as a witness. Keys and a Poundstretcher receipt for caustic soda are found in his pocket.

•    (No Time) – He is released and goes to stay at the Holiday Inn while forensic experts examine his flat.



•    1.55pm – Pacteau is detained at Starbucks in Glasgow city centre and questioned at Helen Street as a suspect.

•    3pm – Following a major media appeal, a caller contacts police and informs them of Pacteau’s link to High Craigton Farm. His car also matches the description of the vehicle sought by police.

•    3.30pm – Police Scotland arrive at High Craigton Farm. Health and safety concerns mean they cannot immediately open the blue barrel in the storage shed.

•    8pm – Police open the barrel and discover Karen’s body.



•    3pm - Alexander Pacteau is charged with Karen Buckley’s murder.



•    (No Time): Police divers locate the spanner used to kill Karen in the Forth & Clyde canal.



•    (No Time) – Burned mattress found at High Craigton Farm. Blood is also confirmed to be on parcel tape.



•    12.02pm – Alexander Pacteau pleads guilty to the murder of Karen Buckley.

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