Although police are remaining tight-lipped about their investigations into the mystery death of Det. Const. Mervyn Patterson who was found shot through the head on the shore of Belfast Lough ten days ago they have now ruled out foul play.
Although no gun was found at the scene, detectives on the case believe the weapon could have silted over in this week's heavy seas. Parts of the shoreline have been dredged in the search.
Nor do police think it strange that the dead policeman who lived close by in Whiteabbey Park had his hands and feet tied with rope wnen the body was found.
They believe the body was so loosely tied the dead man could still have moved freely enough to have shot himself through the head.
As revealed in SUNDAY WORLD last week Det. Const. Patterson was under great stress over serious allegations he made against numerous officers and, in a letter to the Chief Constable Sir Jack Hermon, had threatened to take his life to highlight his grievances.
He also told friends - and SUNDAY WORLD - he feared for his life because he knew too much and this sparked speculation there was something more sinister in his death.
It now seem certain Det. Const. Patteson stage-managed an elaborate suicide to make it look as if he had been murdered - probably believing a subsequent murder probe would re-open inquiries into serious allegations he made against fellow officers.
[The front inner jacket of the book "Stalker" by John Stalker former Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police Force, reads as follows:
"In 1984, the Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police Force, John Stalker, was asked to undertake an enquiry into the deaths of six men which took place in Northern Ireland during a five-week period in late 1982. These six men were killed by officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and their deaths provoked enourmous controversy and allegations that the RUC had a secret but official 'shoot to kill' policy against suspected members of the IRA.
John Stalker's investigation had originally been commissioned by the Chief Constable of the RUC, Sir John Hermon. As it developed, however, Stalker met increasing resistance and obstruction from members of the RUC at all levels from Hermon down. The investigation should have been completed within nine months but it remained uncompleted after two years, at which point John Stalker was dramatically relieved of his duties - at the very moment that he was about to gain access to material which would be highly embarrassing to the RUC. The story of Stalker's suspension, while charges of impropriety back in Manchester were investigated, and his eventual reinstatement was the subject of front-page headlines in the British press for several months of 1986. Many facts about the investigation itself and the - This is continued on the back inner jacket - charges levelled against Stalker were publicly described. The full story has, however, never been revealed and only one man, John Stalker himself, is in a position to do so.
In "Stalker", John Stalker discloses the extraordinary lengths the RUC went to in order to obstruct an investigation into the conduct of its own officers. More importantly, however, he reveals the circumstances surrounding his removal from the investigation at a critical moment. Stalker writes frankly about his relationships with Sir John Hermon, with James Anderton, the controversial Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, and with Colin Sampson, the Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire police, who was asked both to complete Stalker's own Northern Ireland investigation and to investigate Stalker himself. He also discusses the implications of this affair for future police and security operations in Northern Ireland.
"Stalker" is a very personal book. Besides recounting the facts of his investigation, suspension and ultimate vindication, John Stalker eloquently describes the great personal suffering that this affair has brought him and his family. He describes, too, the astonishing degree of public support he received throughout these events. John Stalker has become a local and national hero and his book tells the truth that many people are determined should be told.
Two months before Det. Const. Mervyn Patterson was shot dead, John Stalker was "removed forever" from any further investigation of the RUC "shoot to kill" policy. Mr. Stalker had informed his boss, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable James Anderton, that he was returning to Northern Ireland to discuss the possible suspensions or removal from duty of the RUC Chief Constable and/or his deputy. Mr. Stalker was immediately 'framed and set-up' by his own superiors in the Greater Manchester Police Force and in the British Government to justify an investigation into his character and conduct as a police officer, to have him removed from Northern Ireland and to play down the criminal activity of the RUC. Mr. Stalker's 'crime' was simply that he insisted on getting to the truth of what the RUC top brass has been up to in the murders of unarmed men here in Northern Ireland. Mr. Stalker was subsequently totally exonerated.
The big question is, "Was Detective Constable Mervyn Patterson also murdered by the same RUC squad?" DC Patterson was doing, within his own police force, exactly what Mr. Stalker had been asked to do in Northern Ireland by the British Government only both men did what was asked of them without question and did their jobs too well for the keepers of law and order and even the British Government.