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Publisher's Summary

A woman disappears on her way to work. A man is convicted of her murder.  

But this case is different. Though the police believe they have the right man, key components of the prosecution case are missing. There is no body of the victim, no witnesses to the crime, no confession and no physical evidence: no DNA, CCTV or murder weapon.  

Journalists and TV producers Darrell Brown and Sophie Ellis examine the extraordinary case of Suzanne Pilley, a woman who vanished whilst on her way to work in Edinburgh in 2010. The pair has spent two years investigating the case and speaking exclusively to David Gilroy - the man who was found guilty of killing Suzanne and disposing of her body. He is currently serving a life sentence in a Scottish jail.   

But Gilroy says he is innocent: victim of a miscarriage of justice.   

Darrell and Sophie are not so sure. They explore Gilroy’s claims that the investigation and trial were mishandled, that key pieces of evidence were not presented in court and witnesses were not contacted.  

The pair uncover startling information, not heard in court, that might have changed the minds of the jury. And they shine a light on aspects of the Scottish criminal justice system that might be keeping an innocent man behind bars.   

A What’s the Story Films production for Audible.

©2019 Audible, Ltd (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

Our favorite moments from Body of Proof

A stunned family
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"We still don’t have answers to dozens and dozens of questions."
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"Body never found…no forensic evidence…no witnesses…"
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  • Body of Proof
  • A stunned family
  • Body of Proof
  • "We still don’t have answers to dozens and dozens of questions."
  • Body of Proof
  • "Body never found…no forensic evidence…no witnesses…"
Darrell Brown

About the Creator and Performer

Darrell Brown is an executive producer in television documentary. He’s made numerous factual programs for major broadcasters, including films on cases such as the Shannon Matthews disappearance, the coastal-path murders in Wales, an investigation into the treatment of child-killer Jon Venables, and investigative episodes for Channel 4’s Dispatches program. Darrell teamed up with journalist Sophie Ellis to create the true crime podcast called Body of Proof for Audible. He’s filmed in the US, South Africa, and across Europe and likes to give a unique perspective on factual stories, many of which haven’t been told before. He lives in Leeds with his wife and two children.

Sophie Ellis

About the Creator and Performer

Sophie Ellis is a factual television producer working in the North of England. She’s worked on programs for major broadcasters including ITV, Channel 4, the BBC, and Channel 5, covering a diverse range of topics, including criminal law, acid attacks, preventable illnesses in children, and the first all-Muslim girls cricket team in Bradford. Sophie is also a freelance journalist and her articles have featured in many newspapers and magazines, such as The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, Psychologies, and The Sunday Times Style. She joined forces with producer Darrell Brown to create Body of Proof, a true crime podcast for Audible. Sophie has master’s degrees in magazine journalism and in creative writing. She lives in Leeds with her daughter.

What listeners say about Body of Proof

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A good attempt, but some serious issues

NARRATION: Narration is good! The only small issue is that at times the pauses between audio clips are several seconds too long (e.g. person says xyz, then 3-4 seconds pause and continue). TOPIC: The chosen topic is good, it definitely is an interesting and unusual case, and hearing about it was very interesting. INVESTIGATION: This is where the issues start. Spoilers ahead. One of the key points of the author's conclusion is the lack of forensic and physical evidence. This point is repeated incessantly throughout the investigation. I would understand mentioning it a few times, to note the oddity of the case, but it is repeated so much it is evident the authors fail to grasp the fact that a crime can be committed with little or no trace. This obviously undermines the objectivity of the investigation. Another issue lies with inconsistencies in the lines of questioning and details revealed. There is no mention of when precisely David arrived at the office (did he get there at 9.00? was he there before? did anyone see him before?). There is no mention of David's wife being asked whether or not David actually went home during the day (was she home, did she see him). With regards to the supposed spotting, is there any credit card records of purchases at that department store? was the eye-witness asked about clothing? and David is barely ever challenged when he is obviously being vague about something, or when he claims that what someone is saying is false (happens a lot, why would Suzanne or her friends lie about the basement meetings?). Next, are the assumptions. The authors jump to a pretty big conclusion saying SP 8.5 (the image not included) shows Suzanne didn't turn the corner, the only thing that image shows is an unidentifiable figure turning the corner. Obviously the image by itself shows nothing, but it has to be taken in the context of the other images. Anyway, it is a huge assumptions to say the black shadow in the image wasn't her. Next, both authors magically come to the conclusion that 7 minutes is not enough to murder someone, based on no evidence. They also assume that David couldn't possibly have turned down a country track without being noticed or encountering a gate. This is obviously a nonsensical assumption since David was familiar with the route and turning down a country track with your car is hardly suspicious. The authors also come to the conclusion (how?) that there is no way David could have done the disposal in two times. Towards the end the authors even come to the conclusion that, and I quote, "if he was guilty, why did he lie?" (I'm still struggling to make sense of this one). Another one, is the fact that Suzanne's body must have left traces in the basement or the car, apparently tarps or blankets are not allowed in this scenario. The behaviour towards experts and their testimonies is also questionable. The authors stress how much the prosecution speculated during the trial, yet they constantly ask expert witnesses to speculate (what if this or that, could this be,...). Every time the experts are reluctant to speculate, and stress important caveats but the authors only take away what they wanted to hear. I also have an issue with the way the authors portray reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt doesn't mean coming up with a multitude of very unlikely alternatives that absolutely do not fit together, because if that were the case no one would ever be convicted. Is it possible that Suzanne was led or got into the blue car? Sure. Is it reasonable to say so? Absolutely not, because she is on her way to work as per usual, she has not been in contact with anyone else would could be driving that car, and the alternative of a daylight abduction seems far fetched. Not to mention that the entire car theory stems solely from the fact that the car made a single illegal turn near the victim's workplace! Is it possible that David had a slower drive because his car broke down? Sure. It is reasonable to assume so? No. How reasonable is it to say that his suspension started causing problems on the same stretch, and for the same amount of time twice? Not very reasonable. There is also no mention of David's character. The way in which he portrays himself is in stark contrast to witness accounts and sms/email evidence. His testimonies are either all contested on not corroborated, either everyone forgot what they told David or something else is going on. He is always keen to portray himself as a good guy in all aspects (he voluntarily goes down to the basement to fix the water pressure at the office, he checks and stops his car for the safety of other road users, he does not hurry back to the police because he wants to drive safe, he hurries back home halfway through the work day because he forgot some work documents, he is the victim in the affair) and the only thing he admits is the undeniable fact that he was having an affair, but even then he downplays it and says how he knows it was a mistake. I had no notion of this case before I listened to this podcast, and given the author's investigation I would undoubtedly return a guilty verdict. If anything, hearing David's own accounts and the authors' alternative theories reinforced my conviction that the prosecution's case is the only plausible explanation. Let's also keep in mind that the prosecution made it's case for 21 days, hardly seems like they did not have much to go on. Not to mention that David had means, motive, and opportunity as well as no verifiable alibi both that the time of the alleged murder and during the time of the alleged disposal.

93 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Biased

So the reporters make a firm point at the beginning about how objective they are - and sure, they throw in a few tidbits here and there that support the prosecutors case - but man, they really are not objective. The things they say are just ridiculous. For example, when David goes into the office and asks where the missing woman is, they’re like “If he had killed her, why would he have asked that” (ummm so he didn’t look guilty?). And they go on forever about how could he have possibly found a place to bury her etc in the time allotted... umm... maybe he went there ahead of time and scouted it out? And Jesus, the part about the car’s suspension. “You know, cars do break down” as an excuse? Come on! I wouldn’t be surprised if David’s family paid these reporters to put out a story that was “objective” when its pathetically not. If he is innocent, yes - he should be given another day in court. But guess what crime reporters, sometimes they really are guilty. This just made me mad. I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I would quit on it but I want to see if they grill him at all about why his millions of texts suddenly stopped after she went missing (and before he was told she was missing). I’m guessing not but we shall see.

86 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

In-Depth Radio 📻 Podcast Misses Key Questions🧐

Overall, I love these Audible podcasts in audiobook form. West Cork was one of my favorite Audible listens of the last two years, and I’ve given it as a gift to several family members and friends who enjoy true crime podcasts like West Cork and the equally great free NPR podcast Bear Brook. Nonetheless, reporters Ellis and Brown missed some very obvious opportunities to expand their knowledge about the case and enlighten their listeners in this podcast. Early on, they proudly tell us that the accused killer has promised he will “answer any question” they choose to ask him. Why, then, did they never choose to ask him the most basic of questions: Did you love your alleged victim? How did you feel when your former lover went missing? Were you worried? Were you SORRY she disappeared? Do you miss her? What do YOU think happened to her? Do you think she might still be alive somewhere? If so, knowing her as you do, what do you think SHE would think about YOU serving time for her alleged murder? Did she love you? Would she be rushing to defend you right now, if she were able? Why do you think that none of your former friends, family, or work colleagues are willing to defend you? Overall: This podcast held my interest all the way through, but left me somewhat frustrated and disappointed in the quality of the journalists’ work. Grade: B

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Clearly a stretch

The only good thing I can really say about this is the narration was decent. The authors came across as grasping for straws just to generate a story. Their arguments that certain things weren't brought up in court were really weak. I kep thinking that the defense could have called or brought up any number of people or evidence and they didn't. There had to be a reason. Also, learn a little more about cadaver dogs please. *rolls eyes*. My advice: don't waste your time. I feel sorry for the family of the victim. This story will just further torment them.

33 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Justice?

This one is for fans of true crime. It highlights what appear to be some glaring problems in the judicial system in Scotland. <SPOILERS> David Gilroy was convicted of murdering his co-worker ex-girlfriend. There was no body, no forensic evidence, and no one who had seen the two of them together. Apparently in Scotland you can be found guilty of murder if eight out of fifteen jurors believe it is proven beyond reasonable doubt; even when all of the evidence is circumstantial. So, eight years after the case, two reporters decide to look at the case with 'fresh eyes' and review all of the 'evidence'. This is a really fascinating case history. Was David Gilroy a weird guy? Probably. Did he kill Suzanne Pilley? Who knows. Was there actually any evidence against him? Nope. The reporters go over all of the 'evidence' for and against Gilroy. They interview various experts who comment on the situation. This was really interesting and piqued my interest in the judicial system in the UK.

41 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Compelling case for injustice

100% of what I know about this case is from the audio book BODY OF PROOF and from the Wikipedia article. I have no idea of whether or not David Gilroy killed Suzanne Pilley or even whether Ms. Pilley is dead. I can easily imagine cases where a defendant should be found guilty of murder even when no body is found. However, when the prosecution presents a detailed summary of how Ms. Pilley was killed and her body disposed of and there was plenty of opportunity for forensic evidence, there was an obligation to present such evidence. Since there was no forensic evidence found where it should have been Gilroy's conviction is an injustice. BODY OF EVIDENCE is a fascinating and well presented audio book.

32 people found this helpful

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  • W
  • 09-16-19

Too biased to enjoy

The idea is fairly engaging. However, the “authors” are so biased as to not allow the listener to enjoy the performance. Evidence and finding of fact are discarded in favor of speculation and conjecture. They would have made excellent OJ Simpson jurors circa 1995.

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Did he kill her?

A review of a murder case in Scotland. Ellis and Brown set off to find out if a man is wrongly convicted of a killing a co-worker and former lover as he claims or if the police and jury got it right. The report was very succinctly done without a lot of repetition. They interviewed all of the people involved who would talk to them, called in many of their own experts, carefully viewed the CCTV footage, visited sites, drove on the road trip he took, and questioned everything. Kudos to the duo for making a fascinating audio book that made for enjoyable listening.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

First Audible Original I've tried and liked.

Author decided to revisit a murder conviction where there was absolutely no conclusive forensic evidence presented whatsoever. At the trial, the prosecution relied solely on implication via circumstantial evidence. Difficult to see how this meets the Reasonable Doubt level required? I hadn't realized until now that unlike the rest of the Western world, Scotland requires a simple majority for a criminal conviction! Also uniquely, they have a third verdict of Not Proven, which seemed a total no-brainer in this case to me, but I suppose some jurors just did not want to see the defendant walk away on what they saw as a technicality. My take away from this was that he was quite ill-served by his defense team. When the author's challenged the defendant regarding the prosecution's allegations of events, he sounded plausible enough to me in his refutations. There were one or two places where I kind of wish they'd got on with it, finding those somewhat digressions, but overall I'm really glad that I listened.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

needs some work

story was good. case was interesting but some of the voices were hard to hear because they were coming from over the phone. This causes you to have to turn the volume up and down which is annoying.

1 person found this helpful