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
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-