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Stories of unsolved murders have long been a subject of great books and movies, most of the time these stories are of killers you probably heard of at school, or on the news or, indeed, other movies or books. The most famous would be the likes of the Zodiac Killer and Jack the Ripper, both of these killers shared one major thing, neither was ever caught.
Theories abound, Jack the Ripper worked for the Queen killing prostitutes working in Whitechapel who knew of an illegitimate heir to the throne born of a tryst between Prince Albert and an local whore. Some believe it was Albert himself wielding the knife. After over 100 years and still no real leads, I have resigned to never knowing, or living under the assumption that the Royal Family knew then, know now and continue to cover it up.
While Jack the Ripper is an English tale, Zodiac is American lore. Credited with starting the old killer messes with the cop’s routine, Zodiac was a west coast killer who would write letters and ciphers demanding they be published in the paper. Jack the Ripper did it first. However, a lot of the Ripper letters are regarded as fakes. Although one or two are thought to be real by true Ripperologists, in particular the From Hell package containing part of a human kidney, the other part ‘Saucy Jack’ ate.
The Zodiac Killer hunted humans, and for a long time was believed to be a man called Arthur Leigh Allen, DNA says otherwise, but again, we will probably never know. This is the reason we become drawn to these stories, particularly after some time has passed, the mystery.
There is such a mystery in Scotland. The story of Bible John is one that almost every West Coast Scot knows; it is the story of murder at what is now Scotland’s best Venue, the Barrowlands.
Back in the day the Barrowlands in Glasgow was a dance hall, today it is the only decent large live music venue in the country. Bible John frequented this “den of iniquity” as he called it, and it is where he found his 3 known victims, all of whom were menstruating, and all were strangled with their own stockings. He was given the name Bible John after he was heard talking about the bible, and sin, etc. the war cry of the religious maniac.
Much like the Zodiac case, the police in charge of the Bible John case have a prime suspect, but a lack of solid evidence makes it impossible to make an arrest.
In 2006 the body of Polish student Anjelika Kluk was found under the floor of a church in Paisley, fingers pointed straight at the creepy handyman who blew in to town not long before the grisly discovery. The name he gave was Pat McLaughlin, his real name was Peter Tobin, a man with a dark past filled with suspicious deaths, child abuse and prison
He was found guilty of the young Polish student’s murder and sentenced to 21 years in prison, once found guilty the Police started digging in his known previous addresses; evidence gathered from these digs linked him to the murders of Dinah McNicol and Vicky Hamilton. He was charged with these murders and will now die in prison.
It was not long before reporters and the police started putting pieces together and noticed similarities between Tobin’s M.O and that of Bible John. Not only that but the artists impression of Bible John could easily be a young Tobin, who lived in a house that had access to a back lane where one of Bible Johns victims was discovered.
On the surface Tobin is a fit for Bible John, he certainly shares the same evil tastes. Naturally, he is not saying much in the way of a confession, but if we have learned anything about serial killers in UK is that they love to bury the evidence where they live, a move I have never fully understood. Fred and Rose West buried so many bodies in their foundations that I am surprised the house did not collapse.
Serial killers are the rock stars of the criminal world, by that I mean you wouldn’t want to spend time with one. The actions of these mad men and women are disgusting and tragic, such a disregard for human life is something us regular folks could never comprehend. Although, in saying that do you think Mary Kelly would think, while up some dirty alley way in Victorian London having sex with a disgusting drunk, that she would not only be remembered over 100 years later, but portrayed in Hollywood movies. Obviously not, Hollywood movies had not been invented at the time, but you get my drift. She became famous because someone (possibly Royal) did this to her.
Tobin may only ever admit to three killings, but the advancements in DNA and forensics alongside his known habits, burying bodies and evidence in “secure” places could lead to his downfall very soon. The police are digging and are sure to find something to tie him to the Bible John killings, if indeed he is the 60’s killer who is also credited with 3 killings. The exact number of people killed by Tobin and Bible John may never be known.
Copycat killers do not count due to a lack of originality. Like cover bands.
Henry Hunter WorldNewsVine Scotland