This review was written by Taggart fan Barry Clements

Episode 7 - COLD BLOOD

Writer - Director - Producer

Writer - Glenn Chandler

Director - Haldane Duncan

Producer - Robert Love

Additional Information

When originally televised in December 1987 Cold Blood was watched by 9.60 million. Music at fairground by 'Five Star', 'Wet Wet Wet' and 'Pet Shop Boys'.  The football regalia in Donny's bedroom is Partick Thistle based in Maryhill part of Glasgow.

Regular Cast

Principle Characters

DI Jim Taggart - Mark McManus

DC Michael Jardine - James Macpherson

Ch Supt Jack McVitie - Iain Anders

DS Laura Campbell - Patricia Ross

Dr Stephen Andrews - Robert Robertson

Jean Taggart - Harriet Buchan


Ruth Wilson played by Diane Keen

Rickie Keenan - Freddie Boardley

Geraldine Keenan - Margo Gunn

Stuart Hardie - Paul Morrow

Duncan Stoddart - Kenneth Lindsay

Lin Chang - Choy Ling-man

Marjorie McVitie - Mona Bruce

Donny McGregor - Leonard O'Malley

Norman Brownlow - Nicholas Coppin

Gordon Roe - Bill Henderson


Opening scene

An elegantly dressed woman arrives by train at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC). She makes her way through the SECC hastily, stopping only to speak to a man working on an exhibition stall. She continues her way out of the Exhibition Centre and into a car park. She arrives at a parked car and withdraws a gun from her handbag. The man from the exhibition stall has followed the woman, but he is too late. She fires six shots directly into the male occupant of the car.

Meanwhile, Jim Taggart is dropping off his wife Jean at her day job as a secretary. Jean is harassing Jim about his knack of missing their anniversaries due to work. He is reminded that their impending anniversary is in fact their 25th!

He is getting lots of forewarnings when his pager sounds and saves Jim.

At the SECC the gun woman is still armed and has taken refuge by the Clyde riverside. Taggart arrives on the scene and is greeted by DC Mike Jardine who brings Taggart up to speed.

‘She pumped six bullets into him, cold blood’

Taggart jokes ‘ What did he do forget their anniversary’

A Mr Brownlow is introduced to Taggart - he witnessed the attack and was the exhibition stall worker who followed the woman. He immediately identifies the dead man in the driver’s seat of the car as George Wilson and the assailant as Ruth Wilson, his wife.

Taggart and the armed team head for the rivers edge and approach Ruth Wilson. At the first request she disarms - with little persuasion man in the driver’s seat of the car as George Wilson and the assailant as Ruth Wilson, his wife. As a passing judgement to Taggart, Mrs Wilson remarks

‘I am glad he’s dead’

At Maryhill CID, Taggart interrogates Ruth Wilson. She reiterates her lack of remorse by alleging that her husband was having an affair with a Geraldine Wilson, who runs a Beauty and Aqua salon on behalf of the deceased. George and Ruth Wilson owned and managed Aqua Salon’s in both Glasgow and Manchester. Ruth and George lived in Manchester, but according to Ruth he had been spending more and more time in Glasgow, providing reason for the affair to continue. She explains the reason to kill him had come about when Mr Wilson had asked for a divorce and a row had ensued.

Taggart believes the case to be open and shut – motive sexual jealousy. He even tells Jean to go ahead and book a table for their anniversary. He is about leave for the day when Jardine stops him. Dr Andrews the pathologist wants to see Jim at the mortuary - something was not right.

At the mortuary Dr. Steven Andrews explains to Jim and Mike that on examining the body there was another wound, other than the gunshot wounds. He had also been stabbed and it occurred much earlier that day. So it transpired that George Wilson was already dead when Ruth Wilson shot him – she had fired six bullets into a corpse! Dr Andrews also said that he noticed the victim had been wearing a watch but this had been removed in a hurry and left marks on his wrist.

At this point we witness a young man pilfering through a man's wallet and fingering a gold watch; we are led to believe that he could have mugged George Wilson. This is confirmed when we later see the young man – Donny McGregor flagging down a motorist on the A74. He holds the man at knifepoint whilst stealing his wallet – he flees into the adjacent woodland leaving his victim tied up in the car.

Back at Maryhill, Taggart and DS Campbell head to the cells to confront the detained Ruth Wilson. She is informed that she will be charged for discharging a firearm in a public place but not for the murder of her husband. Jim then asked Ruth for a description of the watch belonging to her husband. She tells Jim it was a gold watch and that it was a present from Rikki Keenan, a snooker professional George Wilson knew. George had helped finance a snooker club for Mr Keenan by giving him a loan of 50,000, money that was never re-paid. Ruth Wilson was now free to go, pending bail.

Interviews continue with witnesses including Stuart Hardie and Duncan Stoddart who run a fast food outlet in the SECC car park. The men confirm that George Wilson bought two coffees early that morning.

Taggart and Jardine visit the Aqua Salon in Glasgow run by Geraldine Keenan, who Ruth Wilson believed to be George Wilson’s mistress. She is genuinely shocked by the allegation and denies it categorically. Taggart then focuses on the link with Geraldine’s brother Rikki Keenan, who owed Mr Wilson a large sum of money.

Taggart later decides to visit Rikki Keenan at his snooker club. He embarrassingly confirms his alibi that he was detained at Rutherglen police station for being drunk and disorderly on the day of the murder. Taggart asked Keenan about the loan given to him by George Wilson. He confirmed that it had helped him finance the club and also to buy a small weekend cottage in Loch Lomond.

The motorist, Gordon Roe who was mugged on the A74 takes Taggart and Jardine to the scene of incident. They are following up on a possible lead of a hitchhiker being picked up by George Wilson. Mr Rose reveals to them the details of the attack. He tells Taggart of a distinctive tattoo on the assailant’s hand – a red triangle.

Taggart decides to track down Ruth Wilson again who remains in Glasgow pending her court appearance. He manages to locate her at a restaurant ‘The Chip’ unbeknown to Jim this is where Jean Taggart had booked their anniversary meal – the meal Jim cancelled again due to the case being unexpectantly prolonged. Jean did not cancel the reservation out of principal; she is there instead with the basketball instructor from her day job.

Taggart joins Ruth at her table where she is dining alone, he tells her that he believed that her husband was not actually having an affair – there was no evidence to suggest he had another woman. At this point Jean arrives abruptly on her wheelchair – she confronts Jim and there’s hell to pay

‘So…too busy for our anniversary’ she roars ‘too busy working’

Mrs Marjorie McVitie is listed as one of George Wilson’s masseur clients. She had earlier shied away from a confrontation with Mike Jardine but phones him to arrange a secret assignation – she says that her husband CSI Jack McVitie must not know about their meeting. At the meeting Mrs McVitie tells Mike about another woman in George’s life – a Chinese woman. She stated that during one of her massage sessions a Chinese birthday card had arrived and he seemed animated when he received it.

Taggart visits a Tatooist in Glasgow following on the link provided earlier by the victim of the mugging by a hitchhiker on the A74. There are now subsequent reports of an attempted robbery by a youth who tried to snatch a woman’s bag near the SECC - both descriptions now detail the red triangle tattoo on the muggers hand.

Rikki Keenan reads the description of the attacker in the Evening Times and spots Donny McGregor at his snooker club. He chats to McGregor who blatantly tries to sell George Wilson’s watch to Rikki Keenan. Keenan recognises the watch and also realises that McGregor has the red triangle tattoo. Keenan does not let on and they part company.

Keenan now arms himself with a kitchen knife and follows McGregor to a fairground. He accompanies him on the big wheel riding out the story of buying the watch. Whilst on the ride McGregor asks to read Keenan’s paper only for the knife to become loose. A struggle ensues and McGregor is stabbed and falls to his death from the big wheel.

Taggart is following the Chinese connection given to Jardine by Marjorie McVitie. Taggart investigates a Lin Chang who provides a different slant on the whole case – she had no romantic involvement with George Wilson, in fact their friendship was only a secret for fear that people would suspect an affair. Miss Chang provides Taggart with information that turns the case upside down; she corrected Taggart that George Wilson was not looking to divorce his wife it was in fact Ruth Wilson who wanted a divorce from him. Taggart’s pager alerts him to attend the fairground and he arrives to interrogate Keenan at the scene. Keenan argues the whole event was a tragic accident and that he recognised the gold watch that McGregor was trying to sell him. He is only temporarily satisfied with Keenan’s explanation, but lets him go.

Jardine decides to re-visit Hardie and Stoddart at the fast food van at the SECC. He discovers that the centre cleaners usually come to work in pairs. Stoddart tells Jardine that a supposed cleaner passed on her own on the morning of Wilson’s stabbing and did not pass time like normal. She wore a shoulder bag along with her old coat. Jardine is curious.

The pieces of the case are now beginning to bear more clues, Taggart heads to speak to Keenan further but does not find him at his snooker club. His disappearance makes Taggart suspicious. Taggart, Jardine and McVitie discuss the progress of the case back at Maryhill. Taggart decides he will visit Keenan’s cottage at Loch Lomond.

Meanwhile, Keenan is at Balloch Central awaiting a train arriving from Glasgow – off the train steps Ruth Wilson and gets in to Keenan’s Lotus.

- Rikki Keenan and Ruth Wilson are lovers.

Immediately, Ruth reprimands Keenan for carelessly killing Donny McGregor, Keenan argued that if the police had tracked him down, then he would have implicated Ruth as being at the scene when George Wilson was originally stabbed.

She was one that was mugged and not George Wilson – she had his watch and wallet as it was Rikki Keenan and Ruth Wilson who had masterminded the whole thing. McGregor was silenced for his knowledge. Now Keenan and Ruth Wilson the murderers headed for apparent safety at the secret cottage.

Taggart later arrives at Keenan’s cottage but finds it empty. What he does find though in the caravan next to the cottage is confirmation of all that has gone before.

He finds a recently slept in bed and a distinctive brand of smoked cigarettes in the ashtray. Keenan and Wilson are here – Taggart has worked it out - but where are they now?

Taggart follows the road and the trail leads to a dam. True to form the runaway lovers are found. Taggart parks his Ford Sierra on the road traversing the dam and confronts Keenan, meanwhile a shocked Ruth Wilson runs to the parked Lotus. She starts the car and makes headway for Taggart. Her attempts to ram Taggart fail, he leaps to safety she instead catches lover boy Keenan head on and catapults him over the dam’s edge – he falls to his death. Her accomplice and lover are now dead, the game is up and Ruth Wilson is caught.

Jean Taggart is seen working in an office job being secretary for a disabled Basketball team
The town of Balloch 12 miles from Glasgow and the gateway to Loch Lomond