What I did is not such a great harm, with all these surplus women nowadays. Anyway, I had a good time.

— Rudolf Pleil
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Bible John Case


Bible John is a nickname of an unidentified serial killer who was operating in Glasgow, Scotland in the late 1960s.  It is unsure how many people he killed, but the police attributed three murders to him.

Although these murders didn’t seem to have the same MO, there were certain similarities between all three victims:

  • All had spent the last night of their lives at the Barrowland Ballroom
  • All three were strangled with their own nylons
  • Each body was left in very close proximity to the victim’s home
  • The handbags of all three were taken after the murder (possibly as souvenirs?)
  • All three victims were menstruating

Sketch Portrait of John Bible All three victims were seen leaving the Barrowland with a man of similar description, which the CID distributed to newspapers. A color portrait (the photo on the left) based on witnesses’ descriptions was created by a member of the Glasgow School of Art and widely circulated in the Glasgow area. A lot of people claimed to have seen or known the man although they have never found him…

The question remains: Could Peter Tobin (read the previous article) really be Bible John? Could Glasgow’s legendary murderer really have kept killing, taking lives almost 40 years after the Barrowland murders? And – four decades on – can the police really gather enough evidence to get a conviction?

The detectives investing the death of one of Tobin’s victims quickly realized that he was a potential serial killer. “He has done this before,” one investigator said after seeing mutilated remains of his victim. This was a murder carried out by tried-and-tested means.

Psychologists too were quick to realize that Tobin hadn’t begun killing in middle age. Ian Stephen, the Scottish criminal profiler who inspired the TV show Cracker, is sure Tobin has a history. “You don’t usually start being a serial killer in your forties or fifties,” he said yesterday. “You start fairly early on in your life.”

Like Bible John, Tobin was young, smart and handsome. And he liked the dancing. Tobin was said to be a regular at the Barrowland ballroom, where “John” picked up his three victims, Pat Docker, Mimi McDonald and Helen Puttock.

So how does the evidence stack up? First, his looks. Even today some believe the 62-year-old Tobin looks a bit like the straight-jawed twenty something shown in the Bible John portrait. But photos of a young Tobin reveal an even closer resemblance. His age also fits. Tobin would have been 21 at the time of the Bible John killings. He was already violent, having spent his youth in reform school, when the Barrowland murders took place. He was living in the Glasgow area when the first two women were found. Tobin and Bible John also share another habit: they are both thought to have kept mementos of their victims. Bible John stripped or partially stripped the girls he killed, taking it is believed, their handbags. Tobin too kept grisly souvenirs.

Can all this just be a coincidence or there is more to it? I guess, without any conclusive evidence, we will never know for sure.

-article written by David Leask rewritten and adapted by admin-


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7 Comments to “Bible John Case”
  1. suzanne says:

    Yep investigation is still open. And police are pointing their finger at tobin. I hope for the sake of the victims and their families the truth will be uncovered. I’m currently writing a book on bible john and hope to have it out next year

  2. admin says:

    Hi Katia, thank you for your comment! I will try to answer your question the best I can.

    To my knowledge, it looks like they lack the real evidence to reopen the case or request exhumation of bodies. All of these similarities can be just a coincidence. Also, Peter Tobin already serves a life sentence for raping and murdering a 23 years old Polish student, so it’s not like he’s going to get out of jail anyway.

    Maybe if victims’ families asked for exhumation something could be done. Otherwise, I believe they’ll just let it be until they come up with more evidence to link these two.

    Any other thoughts?

  3. Katia says:

    I watched the ITV programme ‘Real Crime’ on Thursday evening. The similarities seem too coincidetal to ignore. Is the case of ‘Bible John’ still open? Can’t the police request that the bodies be exhumed to look for DNA evidence, or have I been watching too many episodes of Waking the Dead?

  4. Comfortably, the article is in reality the sweetest on this valuable topic. I agree with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your incoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be enough, for the phenomenal clarity in your writing. I will at once grab your rss feed to stay abreast of any updates. De lightful work and much success in your business efforts!

    • admin says:

      Hey Erin, thanks a lot for your comment, I am really glad you like the article that much, I put a lot of effort in finding/writing news, and I hope you keep visiting my website for more interesting updates! 🙂

      Best Regards!

  5. admin says:

    Yes, that’s right! I just fixed it, thanks for the heads up!

  6. soyung kim says:

    you mean grisly souvenirs??

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