Thompson’s family has always maintained that the RUC failed to carry out a proper investigation of her death. Police have continually told the Thompson family that they have been “unable to locate” the RUC investigation file on their mother’s death.
However, last March, just a few hours before the airing of a TV documentary on the case that highlighted the fact that police were unable to produce the file, the file reappeared — or so the police said.
Police contacted the program’s producers, not the family or their lawyer, to claim that they had found the file. The Thompson family demanded to see it, but for the last seven months, they say, they have been stalled by the police.
Then, on Oct. 4, the family was received a letter from the Northern Ireland Office that said, “The police inform us that they are unable to locate the file relating to your mother’s case.”
The news brought an emotional reaction from Thompson’s daughter Minty, who said that after 31 years her mother’s memory is still being insulted. Thompson said her family now wonders if a file ever existed or if it contained something that the police did not want her family to see.
“This is completely incredible,” a spokesman for the Pat Finucane Center for Human Rights in Derry said. “For the investigation file to be missing for 30 years, only to turn up on the day of the TV program, then disappear again is beyond belief.
“We have serious doubts as to whether there ever was an RUC investigation into the death of Kathleen Thompson. We already know that the RUC had a deal with the British Army at that time not to investigate killings by soldiers, and we believe that that agreement was applied in this case.
“We demand that the NIO and the PSNI now settle this matter, and either produce a credible investigation file or admit once and for all that no investigation was ever carried out.”
Meanwhile, a loyalist shot in the head in East Belfast died Monday, seven days after the attack. Alex McKinley is the third man to die in the ongoing loyalist feud.
Last week, paramilitary leaders took part in talks with Protestant clergymen following several shooting attacks linked to the feud. Just hours before McKinley was shot, a gunman had fired shots at another man, who was unharmed.
The latest loyalist feud can be traced to two shootings in September — the murder of a LVF member Stephen Warnock and the wounding of Jim Gray, a senior UDA member in east Belfast. Since then, there have been seven shootings. The feud is understood to center on the proceeds of drug dealing and over territorial power in different parts of Belfast.
Meanwhile, a Catholic man in his 50s who was attacked by loyalists on the evening of Oct. 7 remains hospitalized in serious condition. Paddy Murphy was attacked by the loyalist gang as he walked home. His wife and daughter said that when he was brought to hospital, one of the loyalists, who sustained injuries when Murphy’s friend acted in self-defense, was placed in the next cubicle.
Family members say they pointed the man out to police officers, who took no action. It turned out the loyalist gave a false name and signed himself out after being treated.
Describing the attack as “attempted murder,” Sinn Fein councilor Gerard Brophy said: “This was an attempt to kill a Catholic man. The loyalists were just looking for any Catholic. This car drove around with loyalists using Celtic [jerseys] as cover for their murderous intentions.” Celtic is a soccer club favored by many Catholics.