Tobin murder police reopen unsolved cases

The convicted serial killer has been linked to dozens of murders going back to 1968

Detectives investigating the life of serial killer Peter Tobin said they would continue to examine dozens of other unsolved cases after his conviction yesterday for the murder of a teenage hitchhiker.

It took a jury just 15 minutes to find the 63-year-old handyman guilty of drugging and then strangling A-level student Dinah McNicol after she accepted a lift in his car on her way home from a music festival in 1991.

Tobin was ordered to spend the rest of his life in jail by the judge at Chelmsford Crown Court at the end of a three-day trial in which he offered no defence. He has already been convicted of raping and murdering a 23-year-old Polish student, Angelika Kluk, in a Glasgow church in 2006, and was last year sentenced to a further 30 years in jail for killing Vicky Hamilton, 15.

He also has convictions for raping and sexually assaulting two 14-year-old schoolgirls in Hampshire in 1994, for which he served 10 years in prison. He was released early, only to kill again.

Miss McNicol's body was found alongside that of Miss Hamilton buried in the backyard of Tobin's former home in Margate, Kent. Yesterday the fathers of both girls, whose bodies had lain alongside each other undiscovered for 16 years, were together in court. The teenagers remains were only discovered after a nationwide cold-case review and searches of Tobin's old addresses.

Tobin, who was sent to reform school at the age of seven and has been married three times, has persistently refused to acknowledge his guilt. But police said the successful conviction would now see them follow up 1,400 lines of inquiry which it is hoped could lead to the resolution of some of Britain's most notorious unsolved murders. Police believe Tobin used a number of different aliases and was linked to 38 mobile phone SIM cards.

Detective Superintendent David Swindle of Strathclyde Police, who set up Operation Anagram to look at other cases involving Tobin, said new addresses would be searched should fresh evidence arise: "Every day there is new information about his movements and I am confident that as more information comes to light, it will [help us] identify other victims."

Among the new leads made public for the first time yesterday were pictures of women's jewellery recovered from Tobin's various homes, which, it is believed, could be trophies kept from his other victims. Police are busy reconstructing the killer's movements from the 1960s onwards, during which he lived an itinerant existence travelling extensively on the motorway network.

The unsolved cases to which he has so far been linked include Glasgow's so-called "Bible John" killings in 1968 and 1969 in which three women died. He has also been investigated in connection with the murders of girls and women in London, Sussex and Northern Ireland.

Miss McNicol, from Tillingham in Essex, was murdered six months after Vicky Hamilton, whose dead body Tobin cut in half and brought with him when he moved from Scotland to Kent in 1991. Neighbours spotted him digging a deep trench in his back garden but he dispelled suspicions by telling them he was building a sandpit for his son.

The family of Miss McNicol, who had to sit through evidence twice after the first trial was abandoned when the slightly built Scot was taken ill earlier this year, welcomed the verdict. Her half-sister Sara Tizard said: "After all these years, we at last know the truth and justice has prevailed. We would like to put the trial behind us and remember Dinah as the unique and inspiring daughter and sister that she was."

One friend of the family waved a sign at Tobin as he was led away from the dock which said: "May all your dreams be nightmares."

Michael Hamilton, father of Vicky, said he had come to support Ian McNicol, Dinah's widower father. He said of Tobin: "I'm glad he's going to be in prison for the rest of his life. I hope he lives to be 100."

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album