THE UNSOLVED killing of a Glasgow prostitute sparked the most expensive murder probe in the recent history of Scotland’s biggest police force.
Figures released by Strathclyde Police show the cost of the investigation into the murder of Emma Caldwell has now soared to almost £4m.
The case is more than six times more expensive than any other murder investigation dealt with by Strathclyde in recent years.
Under freedom of information legislation the force has now revealed the ten most expensive murder investigations they have on record.
Today the constabulary admitted it began detailed accounting of murder cases in 2006 to “avoid running out of money”.
Miss Caldwell was found dead in remote woods a month after she went missing in Glasgow in 2005.
The cost of the probe into the 27-year-old’s death cost £3,896,255, and includes police man hours, forensic costs and overtime hours.
A probe into the killing of scrapyard boss Victor Yuill was the force’s second most expensive and cost £591,000.
A gang of four men executed the 47-year-old over a failed cannabis farm. The so-called hash farm assassins were jailed for a total of 52 years.
Strathclyde spent £585,325 investigating the death of Moira Jones in 2008. Marek Harcar abducted and killed the 40-year-old businesswoman after she parked her car only 100 yards from her home on the south side of Glasgow.
The force spent £576,000 on probing the death of Angelika Kluk.
Peter Tobin was jailed for life after he murdered the 23-year-old Polish student in Glasgow in 2006.
The constabulary spent £341,937 on the Zoe Nelson case. Robert Bayne was jailed for 20 years for burning the body of the 17-year-old in woods in North Lanarkshire in May last year.
However, no-one has ever been convicted of the death of Miss Caldwell.
More than two years after her body was discovered four Turkish men appeared in court charged in connection with her death.
The case sensationally collapsed 10 months later.
The Crown Office still say the investigation remains live and say they “reserve the right to proceed” with the case in the future.
A police insider said the force’s decision to keep track of spending on murder investigations was not surprising. But he said detectives never gave up on a murder investigation and that the Caldwell case was complex.
“Her body was found out in the open and there was no family connection,” he said.
“And there’s the whole issue of public safety of women in Glasgow. There have been a number of killings of sex workers. The spending demonstrates that the police see victims as being equal, whether you are a prostitute or a nun, which is a good thing.
“Murder cases can go on for between 20 and 30 years. And you cannot stop an investigation if there is any chance of success.”
A former stable girl, Caldwell, from Renfrewshire, became addicted to heroin in 1999 after her sister’s death from cancer and took to the streets to feed her habit.
In a bid to catch her killers Strathclyde Police organised television appeals.
A £10,000 reward was offered and huge images of Emma were projected on to high rise flats.
Explaining the move by the force to record the costs of murder investigations, a spokeswoman for Strathclyde said it was an “internal decision”.
She added: “Strathclyde Police has a finite budget. Like all organisations our budget has to be managed. We have to budget accordingly so we don’t run out of money. That’s why we decided to keep a tally of mow much investigations cost.”
Ten most expensive Strathclyde murder probes
Emma Caldwell: £3,896,255 The 27-year-old was found dead in remote woods a month after she went missing in Glasgow in 2005.
Victor Yuill: £591,682 Scrapyard boss Victor Yuill was executed over a failed cannabis farm in June 2007.
Moira Jones: £585,325 Marek Harcar abducted and killed 40-year-old businesswoman Moira Jones after she parked her car only 100 yards from her home on the south side of Glasgow in May 2008.
Angelika Kluk: £576,135 Serial killer Peter Tobin was jailed for life for the murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk in 2006.
James McDonald: £379,772 Stuart Robertson killed rival gang member and drug baron Jim McDonald at a bus stop in Glasgow in May 2007.
Scott Margery: £358,158 Scott Margery died in hospital after being found with stab wounds in Ayrshire in July last year.
Zoe Nelson: £341,937 Robert Bayne was jailed for 20 years for burning the body of 17-year-old Zoe Nelson in woods in North Lanarkshire in May last year.
Mark Fleeman: £320,982 Notorious crime gang member Paul Lyons rammed 32-year-old killed Mark Fleeman by ramming his van on the M74 motorway near Larkhall in June 2009.
Anthony Wright: £219,429 A murder probe was launched after Anthony Wright, 35, died at Wishaw General Hospital within hours of being shot in Lanarkshire in June last year.
Louis Shields: £194,725 Louis Shields, 46, was struck with knives, a meat cleaver and a baseball bat in Glasgow in February last year.