herald

Sunday 21 October 2018

Two fresh leads as cold case team open RTE killing

GARDAi have two new leads in the savage murder of a gay RTE set designer, murdered almost 30 years ago.

No charges have ever been brought over the murder of Charles Self (33).

The new leads are understood to centre on a fingerprint found close to where Mr Self was murdered as well as a detailed statement from a taxi driver who thought he saw the victim with another man on the night of his killing.

The killing of Mr Self is the subject of a cold case review which gardai hope will unearth new information.

At one point serial killer Malcolm MacArthur was interviewed about Mr Self's murder. However, senior sources say that double-killer MacArthur is no longer considered a suspect in the case.

"The victim was a well-known member of Dublin's then small gay community in 1982 and we would appeal for anyone who may have been fearful of dealing with the gardai because of their sexuality 29 years ago to come forward now," a source said.

"Gardai and the gay community now have a great working relationship," the source added.

At the time that Scottish national Mr Self was murdered, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland and sources believe that this meant some of his associates may have been fearful of co-operating with the original garda investigation.

Mr Self was murdered in his flat on Brighton Avenue, Monkstown, south Dublin, on January 21, 1982. He had knife wounds to his chest and neck and gardai also discovered a tartan scarf around his neck.

The victim, originally from Glasgow, was involved in the design of a number of RTE shows including the Late Late Show, then hosted by Gay Byrne. He had worked with the State broadcaster for nine years before his murder.

On the night he was murdered in his Monkstown home, Mr Self had earlier been socialising in a pub on Duke Street, in Dublin's city centre.

Sources say that Malcolm MacArthur, now aged 65, the double killer who has spent the last 28 years in jail, was once "a person of interest" to investigating detectives but that is no longer the case.



brutal

MacArthur is the second-longest-serving prisoner in the Irish prison system. He was given a life sentence for the brutal murder of nurse Bridie Gargan in Phoenix Park in 1982 and was also the only suspect for shooting farmer Donal Dunne dead at his Co Offaly home.

MacArthur was later arrested in the home of former attorney general Patrick Connolly.

Meanwhile, the garda cold case unit has had some success in recent times including a successful prosecution in the 1987 murder of Brian McGrath.

A senior source explained: "It's very early days to be expressing confidence in how the review of the Charles Self case will go but a lot of work will be put into the file over the coming weeks and months."

hnews@herald.ie

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