Robert Bayne beat 17-year-old Zoe Nelson to death and set her body on fire in a wood near her home in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, in May 2010. He then threatened his sister Laura Anne, then 16. .
A killer who murdered a teenage girl showed her sister her burnt body and said, “If you say anything, it will be you.
Zoe Nelson, 17, was beaten to death by Robert Bayne, then 20, in May 2010, before burning her body in a forest near her home in Wishaw, Lanarkshire.
He was dating Zoe and her sister Laura Anne, then 16, and the couple had argued over him before he disappeared.
After the murder, Bayne, a bodybuilder, showed Laura Anne Zoe’s charred remains – and threatened to kill her as well if she spoke to the police.
Laura Anne was silent about the murder for five days before she found the courage to speak up.
The case is now featured in a new episode of the Crime + Investigation Murdertown documentary series, presented by Anita Rani.
Retired Scottish Police Deputy Chief Constable Derek Robertson, who led the murder investigation, told the program Laura Anne was afraid of Bayne’s formidable reputation.
He recounted how investigators knew she had more to tell them – but had no idea why.
The former detective said: “Laura Anne was interviewed by family liaison investigators, we thought she could help us as she knew her sister and what was going on in this community.
“But we just weren’t getting that information. It was like she had closed inside, she just folded into herself.
“I remember talking to her mom and her aunt about it and they said, ‘It’s just who she is, she’s very shy.’
He praised Laura Anne for having the courage to speak out and help them catch Bayne.
He added: “We had witnesses who had seen Robert Bayne with Zoe but we didn’t have him at the scene, we didn’t actually have him committing the murder.
“Laura Anne was a very introverted, shy and nervous character, and we worked really hard with her to get information.
“On a late Friday afternoon, she said ‘I know he killed Zoe. I know he killed Zoe because he told me he killed Zoe’.
“She basically said she saw him and her sister saw him and they fell out.
“The next day she went to return some clothes to Bayne and he took her to the murder scene and reported Zoe. She recognized her by a tattoo and Bayne said to her ‘If you say something, this will be you ‘.
“Robert Bayne towers over her, massive muscles, dominant, controlling, threatening. You can imagine the fear in the girl.
“It silenced Laura Anne and made Robert Bayne even more confident as the week went on that she hadn’t spoken.”
A member of the public found Zoe’s badly burnt body the day after the murder, but believed it to be a charred tailor’s dummy before realizing it was a corpse, said the court said during Bayne’s trial.
Bayne got rid of Zoe’s cell phone and then told officers that another person admitted to killing the student.
When the unanimous guilty verdict was read, he went berserk, shouting vile slurs at his victim’s family and head butting a security guard.
He was imprisoned for at least 20 years.
The Murdertown episode of Zoe’s murder will air on Crime + Investigation on Monday at 9 p.m. ET.