Tobin: Jewellery checked for links to unsolved murders

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The extent of Peter Tobin's serial killings may never be known.

His nomadic lifestyle since the 1960s while his crimes went undetected have prompted police to trawl through scores of unresolved cases.

One intriguing clue made public by police today is a collection of unclaimed women's jewellery - pendants, broaches and necklace clasps - which Tobin kept at his home.

Detectives across all corners of the UK - from Glasgow to Brighton, via Portsmouth and Paisley - have been alerted to the chilling likelihood that he could be behind other crimes.

Over the past two years, police have attempted to pull together a detailed timeline of Tobin's movements since leaving his hometown of Johnstone, Renfrewshire.

Before today's verdict, the 63-year-old had already been serving two life sentences for the murders of Vicky Hamilton, 15, and 23-year-old Polish student Angelika Kluk.

But privately officers in the operation, led by Sussex Police, say they would not be surprised if more killings came to light.

Robin Merrett, Assistant Chief Constable of Sussex Police, said the inquiry - which started in 2007 and is named Operation Anagram - would accelerate now the Dinah McNicol trial is over.

Cases detectives are believed to have examined include:

* The murders of three women in Glasgow in 1968 and 1969 - thought to have been victims of a mysterious figure nicknamed "Bible John".

All three women were brunettes and all were wearing black dresses. They were savagely assaulted and murdered after being picked up at the city's Barrowlands dance hall.

Patricia Docker, 25, was killed in February 1968; Jemima McDonald, 32, was strangled in August 1969 and Helen Puttock, 29, was murdered in October 1969.

The killer earned his nickname after a taxi driver, who drove the murderer with his last victim, remembered him quoting the Bible.

Tobin, who had links with the church throughout his life, was living in the city around this time. He would have been in his early 20s.

* Schoolgirls Karen Hadaway, 10, and Nicola Fellows, nine, were found strangled in Wild Park, Brighton, in October 1986. The cases became known as the Babes in the Woods killings.

Labourer Russell Bishop was charged with the murders but was acquitted after the prosecution admitted a series of errors in the presentation of forensic evidence at his trial at Lewes Crown Court in 1987.

Bishop, from Brighton, was jailed for life in 1991 for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl from Brighton but has always denied killing Karen and Nicola.

Tobin lived in Brighton for 20 years from the late 1960s, including in an eight-bedroom house with a patio garden in Dyke Road.

* Patsy Morris disappeared in London in 1980 aged 14.

The teenager's body was discovered hidden in undergrowth on Hounslow Heath, south-west London, in mid-summer.

Her father George said he believed his daughter could be one of Tobin's victims.

"As soon as I read about the other girl's body being found in Tobin's backyard, something inside me clicked," said Mr Morris.

"It just felt like at last there might be an answer. Nothing will bring her back but to know for sure who killed her will bring a sense of relief."

* Art student Jessie Earl, 22, who disappeared from a bedsit in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in May 1980.

Her partially-decomposed remains were found on a cliff near Beachy Head in 1989 by kite-flyers. Police stepped up a murder inquiry in 2000.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
film
News
people
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'