Death deemed suicide may be Shankill Butchers’ only female victim

Posted By: May 24, 2016

Allison Morris. Irish News (Belfast). Tuesday, May 24, 2016


A Catholic woman living in a loyalist area of north Belfast may have been the only female victim of the Shankill Butchers.

The body of Rosaleen O’Kane (33), pictured, was found in a burning flat at Cliftonpark Avenue in September 1976.

Although the RUC initially said she died in an accidental fire, officers later suggested her death was suicide.

But postmortem examination results showed she had suffered serious head injuries and there was no soot in her lungs, indicating she was already dead before the fire was started.

Her family were only told during a meeting with cold-case officers in 2002 that a man had been questioned and named four other known loyalists as having been involved.

No-one has ever been charged in connection with the death and the information was not heard at the original inquest.

Kathleen Graham told The Irish News she always knew her sister had been murdered.