Alternative Accounts - An Overview
Richard Edkins, a resident of Murdoch's home town of Dalbeattie, has set-up a website devoted to the allegedly “maligned” William Murdoch in response to James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic. He writes:
“The film has incorrectly portrayed Murdoch as a man who committed suicide by shooting himself for being responsible for the collision. The writer trusts that this account will set forth the truth about a very worthy seaman.” (Richard Edkins, Murdoch of the Titanic (1.))
With assistance from Samuel Scott Murdoch, nephew of the First Officer, and from maritime historian Ernest Robinson he has put together an extensive and comprehensive history of William Murdoch, putting forward accounts that may contradict the alleged suicide. Following the same procedure outlined in the previous 'Suicide Witnesses' section, we will scrutinise these accounts and other alternative testimony that would seem to contradict a suicide with the objective of determining accuracy and reliability.
Please note: Originally this section was entitled "Defence Witnesses" but due to the unnecessary connotations of using the term "defence" this has been changed to the more accurate "alternative".
1. Charles Lightoller
"We were all in the water. Other reports as to the ending are absolutely false..”
2. Harold Bride
"Murdoch was lying motionless in the water... [he'd] never have shot anyone.”
3. George McGough
'Murdoch waved to get further back... sea then engulfed them..'
4. Archibald Gracie
(First Class Passenger)
'Murdoch, was trying to launch the boat… Then the wave struck us.'
5. Other accounts
"There was no shooting on our side of the boat.”
Next... 4. Circumstantial Evidence