Police in Scotland have confirmed that human remains found in West Lothian are those of Martin Hamilton. Hamilton had been called Scotland's most wanted man after he disappeared in April.
Hamilton had previously been jailed after being sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of nine years for torture, assault, abduction and drug dealing. He was released from prison in September 2014, and due to face charges of historic sex offences against men at Glasgow High Court.
Certain media outlets branded Hamilton the Blackhill Butcher after the area of Glasgow where he operated a network of teenage drug dealers, and tortured rivals. While sentencing Hamilton, the judge, Lord Kingarth said: "You showed yourself capable of taking sadistic pleasure in the infliction of pain and the inspiration of real terror over long periods. You pose a substantial danger to the public."
There had previously been suggestions that he had disappeared because he feared spending the rest of his life in prison; others thought he was being targeted by rival gangsters. One of his associates, Albert McDonald, was murdered in June. When appealing for information on his whereabouts, Police had said that Hamilton "may be dangerous" and urged members of the public not to approach him.
Police have said that the area near West Calder where the body was found will remain closed off while they conduct their investigation, along with the B7105 road. They are treating his death as unexplained.
Detective Superintendent Kenny Graham said: "My condolences go out to the family of Martin Hamilton, who have had to receive such devastating news so close to Christmas. A team of officers is dedicated to this inquiry, so we can seek to give them answers as quickly as possible.
"We are continuing to conduct examinations with various scientific experts to establish exactly when and how Mr Hamilton died, and to ensure any evidence available can be captured from the scene and from the remains themselves. Work will be ongoing at the site near West Calder for several more days whilst we complete further searches and specialists carry out their work, so the area will stay closed off and the B7105 will also remain closed."