Lynda Spence’s life ended after weeks of unspeakable cruelty

Financial adviser was tortured and murdered after getting caught up in various scams.

Lynda Spence: The Glasgow financial adviser who was tortured and murdered STV News
Lynda Spence: Vanished in 2011.

In an attic room of a flat in West Kilbride, four men controlled the final weeks of Lynda Spence’s life in 2011.

David Parker and Paul Smith stood guard while she endured day after day of horrific torture and humiliation.

Colin Coats and Phillip Wade cut off her fingers, crushed her toes, burnt her with an iron and beat her with a golf club. The two then murdered Lynda.

Police have now launched a new search of remote land near Dunoon in a bid to finally discover her remains.

But what led to the 27-year-old financial adviser’s life ending in such a cruel and terrible fashion?

Taste for luxury

Everyone who associated with Lynda knew she had a taste for the high life – luxury hotels, Cristal champagne and cars.

But it was all a facade.

In reality, the extrovert businesswoman, who often wheeled and dealed in Glasgow’s West End, was virtually penniless and a fraudster who had connections with Albanian gangsters.

Before she disappeared, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency had tried to recruit Lynda to act as an informant.

From left, Coats and Wade were convicted of murdering Lynda Spence; Parker and Smith admitted keeping her prisoner.STV News
From left, Coats and Wade were convicted of murdering Lynda Spence; Parker and Smith admitted keeping her prisoner.

Greed and deception were at the centre of the case. During the murder trial at the High Court in Glasgow, the jury heard from numerous reluctant witnesses about how they were drawn in by Lynda’s lies.

Coats had believed he was set to make millions from one of her scams involving Stansted Airport.

Lynda went to great lengths, claiming another fake investor was also on board. She forged Danish government bearer bonds to the value of £6.3m. She even flew to North Carolina for a business meeting, attracting the attention of the FBI.

By early 2010, it wasn’t just the authorities who were after Lynda. Coats and others wanted their cash.

Lynda’s world began to crash down around her. With no sign of his money, Coats finally snatched Lynda off the street.

A blood mark in the bathroom was the only trace of the financial adviser found in the flat.

It was suggested that her disappearance was the ultimate scam by a woman who had a fake passport and a stash of cash.

The jury, though, didn’t believe that Lynda Spence had started a new life elsewhere. They accepted that it had ended after days of unspeakable cruelty.

Her family are now hoping the new search will finally allow them to lay her to rest.